(Boylove Documentary Sourcebook) - The Teenage Sexual Experiences of Edmund White

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Shirtless boy holding a hoe while standing outdoors. Illustration by John Clymer. Detail of an American Meat Institute magazine advertisement (1944).

From "Minor report: Sex between teenage boys and older men is not always coercive -- and it can be more ecstatic than traumatic" by David Tuller, Salon.com, July 22, 2002.

Gay men compare coming-out stories like kids today trade Pokémon cards, and over the years I’ve heard many tales of teenage escapades with older men, of sex with an uncle, sex with a married neighbor, sex with an unknown man driving a shiny Chevrolet, sex with a teacher. Sex in a park at night, sex in a train station toilet, sex in a stranger’s home. Sometimes the sex was great, sometimes awful. Sometimes the experience was tender, sometimes rough, sometimes somewhere in between. Most of the time the kids wanted it, like I did; they were just a bit braver, or more desperate.

Or maybe they were simply too horny to stop themselves. Edmund White, the noted gay writer, recounts with relish how he started cruising grown men from the age of 13 or 14 at beaches and public toilets in Chicago. “I was very oversexed, absolutely driven wild by desire,” he says. “I would pick up men, and then they would abandon me as quickly as possible because they were worried that I was jail bait. The first one was a handsome architect, who actually had children older than me. I was absolutely fascinated by him, and I seduced him. I followed him to his car, walked right up to him and started talking to him. My mother was away and I said, ‘Come back to my apartment.’ And it was terrific.”

Shirtless boy drying himself off with a towel. A. O. Smith Automatic Water Heaters advertising poster (1950).

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