Just the Beginning

I heard an interview the other day with Al Styron; she was talking about the writing of a memoir about the life of her father. She told a story about how, at age 12, she picked up his just published novel, Sophie's Choice, and gave it a go. All was well until she hit a very graphic sex scene, horrified, she closed the book and didn't pick it up again for some years. No one wants to conjure images of their parents having sex, much less read about it in graphic detail. Al went on to say that her father was haunted after the birth of his last novel, slipping ever more into depression and wandering aimlessly through one uncompleted novel after the next. He never seemed able to finish what was started, jumping on the next, only to wander more. All of this struck me, at what age do we as gay youth imagine sex? Are our fantasies and ponderings any different than those of our heterosexual counterparts? Michael Stipe once said that at the age of 15 he knew that he enjoyed having sex with both men and women. It wasn't that he was bisexual, just that he enjoyed that he could have sex (NPR 26 May 2011) with “anyone”; later in his life he settled down with a man.
It often seems that it is ok, status quo even for young men and women to be attracted to older members of the opposite sex at a young age; toddler girls are referred to as being “cute” when they flirt with adult men, little boys will often stare aimlessly at buxom women, being referred to as a chip of the old block. What of little gay boys and munchkin lesbians; if at age 5 I'd been caught openly flirting with the adult father of a friend I'm sure that I would have been ostracized and spoken sternly to. But why? Am I not merely developing the skills that I will later use in my life? If by age 5 I knew that I liked cock, why let myself be pushed into a closet not of my own making? And shouldn't Mr. Johnson be flattered if a teen or tween of either sex thinks that he has it going on? If the line of physicality is not crossed, then what is the harm? I think that the fantasy of seeing Mr. Johnson nude was enough of a turn on, never mind actually seeing him nude. Who is being hurt by my tweenage fantasy; I'm sure that Mr. Johnson searches the internet for porn, I know a lot of adult males that do, I know I do...

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