13 years old

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By: Roel de Winter

Translator's note: this is not fiction. It originally appeared as a column in a Belgian gay magazine, Roze Aktie Front, and has been reprinted by MARTIJN with permission.

I must have been twelve when I first held someone else's dick in my hand.

My parents kept goats in the back of our garden. These animals slept in a pen with much hay. A friend who was two years my senior - his name was Guido - took me into the pen. After some chat about sex and bragging about the size of our willies, he showed me his. The thing fascinated me, not just because it was much bigger than mine, but especially because he was much hairier. He asked me if I masturbated. I'd never heard of that. He showed me. After a while, he asked if I wanted to jack him off. I was eager to. I'll never forget what happened then. He shook, moaned, and a white slick substance appeared which he called sperm.

He tried it with me, but nothing came out.

After that, I did it with the charwoman's son, and then with the boy nextdoor. When a cousin came over for a stay, his pants were bound to go down. I recently met one of those cousins at a family party. He's decently married with two children now. We reminisced about our experiences. He was enthusiastic upon hearing I am gay. For me it hadn't just been experimentation: I was already attracted to boys at the age of twelve, and he considered it a compliment that I had chosen him to have sex with. No frustrations, no traumas. He was simply grateful, happy and honored to once have had sex with me.

When I read the interview with Dirk Tieleman [a Belgian journalist - cc] in Humo [a leading Belgian magazine - cc] about his sexual experiences as a thirteen-year-old, I was immediately reminded of my own boyhood. When I was thirteen, I met my first big love: the French teacher. I've forgotten his name, but not his face. He lived in my village, was unmarried and had the same hobby I had: an aquarium. The plants and fishes made for good subjects to get in touch with him. He was a meek man. Most of all I wanted him to hold me in his arms, and for us to make love. Not the stuff I did with my friends, but real sex.

One bright day, it seemed as though it was going to happen. He invited me to come look at his aquarium at his house. That afternoon, I nervously rang the bell. He had a beautiful fish tank and we talked for hours; first about the fish, then about my difficult relation with my parents, and before I knew it I blurted out that I felt attracted to boys and was madly in love with him. We did not make love. We only hugged, that was all. A few months later he went to work at another school, but I never found out why.

If that man had decided back then to have sex with me, my sex life would have been very much enriched.

source: '13 Years Old' by Roel de Winter; Roze AktieFront; OK magazine, no. 74; August 2000; Original title: "13 jaar"; Translated from Dutch by C.C.; Roze AktieFront: February 2000