March 1, 2015
Did I Ever Tell You About the Time I Was a Sexually Exploited Teen?
No pictures of the actual predator, so here's the great Al Goldstein and
Speakers Corner dude.
“I can’t tell if you’re an American disguised as a Frenchman or a Frenchman
disguised as an American.”
Starting with that prosaic pick-up line, Willie engineers a chain of events that inevitably culminates some fourteen hours later with my ejaculating six hundred million sperm into his mouth. Oh, sorry: Spoiler alert.
Allow me to back up a bit. My journal notes for November 1974 inform me that a few weeks after turning nineteen toward the end of my semester abroad in London, I was accosted in the manner described above by “a short, burly stump of a man” whom I would go on to further describe as “forty-four years of sexual mania.”
During a recent two-week tour of the continent I had acquired a beret that I was thereafter loath to part with—ergo the Franco-American vibe. The encounter took place on a street in the Paddington district as I was groping my way back to my hostel after an early lunch on a Sunday morning that was all too bright for my bloodshot eyes.
I was instantly drawn into the vortex of his personality, and soon enjoyed
having the neighborhood porn shop pointed out to me, not far from which
there stood a major bus terminus where, Willie assured me, pretty English
girls from the countryside arrived every day for brief spurts of unrestrained
and anonymous sexual adventure in the sinful capital before returning to
their quiet hamlets to resume their virginal role-playing. Then he invited
me to his basement apartment, and I accepted.
Now, if you’re interested in the tortured rationale by which I convinced myself that Willie was an upstanding citizen whose invitation could be safely accepted and not at all a serial predator of naive teen boys far from home, read the next section. If not, skip to where it says “In his apartment.”
That Willie might be a gay guy moving on me was not a concept beyond my grasp at nineteen. My rationale for thinking, or at least hoping otherwise consisted of these three parts:
1. My usual Sunday morning ritual in London, when the residual effects of Saturday night permitted, was to attend Speakers Corner at Hyde Park, where my favorite orator was an unkempt, minimally barbered gentleman of around fifty who used to plunk a milk-crate on the pavement, climb atop it, and deliver loud fifteen-minute soliloquies consisting entirely of breath-taking non sequiturs. Just as I was missing that guy, along comes a similarly constructed proponent of a similarly preposterous worldview, expressed with similarly supreme confidence.
2. My new hero at that time was Al Goldstein, publisher of Screw magazine and among the first to regard adult movies as a genre worthy
of criticism. His hilariously profane interview highlighted that month’s
Playboy, and it implanted in my impressionable young mind the notion that “If
you want to know more about straight sex, seek out a swarthy, pudgy, bearded
guy of around forty who can’t stop blabbing about the subject.” And, presto!
3. Right out of the gate, this guy just knew the right buttons to push.
Available hetero-sex is just oozing all around you, son, and you keep on
just missing it. He made me feel as though I was trapped in the Phantom Zone, and he had
the means to spring me loose with my Kryptonian powers intact.
In his apartment, Willie introduces me to his sullen and oh-so-Britishly pale roommate Ray, who looks to be in his mid-twenties. Conversation tends to flag considerably when Willie leaves the living room to tend to the tea. After tea-time, I find myself unaccountably woozy, and wake up unknown hours later strapped to a makeshift plywood table in... No, I just finish the tea while listening to more of Willie’s prattle about my untapped Lothario potential, after which I promise to meet him and unspecified friends of his that evening, and then head back to my hostel.
At the appointed hour, I enter the nearby Western Counties Pub. It is split-level,
the most spacious pub I have yet been to, and encouragingly populated by
a young, gender-balanced crowd. I soon find Willie on the upper level along
with Ray and an assortment of characters he has evidently rounded up over
the course of the weekend, including another American college boy—an excitable
blond hulk in a University of Nebraska jacket. “You’re from the Midwest,”
he declares, “so you know the Big Red!” I acknowledge an involuntary awareness
of the fact that his school boasts a competent football team, and that
seems certain to be the end of our interaction as he turns to explain the
greatness of the Big Red to presumably more interested parties.
Big Red is not entirely useless to me; his presence weighs prominently against the theory that our leader is a gay predator and in favor of his being a sort of cross between Al Goldstein and Sean Connery, a champion of sexual justice bent on establishing a League of Extraordinary Pussy-hunters. Our table is occasionally infiltrated by pub regulars, including some females who recognize our leader as a neighborhood icon—or maybe just a local character. When Willie asks one pleasant young lady if she would like to join us back at his flat for serial intercourse with all and sundry, she declines with a smile and a curtsy because, well, of course she does—it’s England!
As the evening slithers on, Willie focuses more on me, offering sexual
coaching tips. “You’ve got to get on good terms with it,” he says. “When
you wake up in the morning, just lift up the sheets and look at it, and
say, ‘Hi, buddy! I’m gonna bury you today!’” Around this time he conjures
up a new character: a friendly, sexually adventurous nurse living next
door to him who sometimes spontaneously drops by for a quick one after
returning from her shift around five a.m. I note that, to the extent that
I can lay claim to a sexual specialty at nineteen, it is quick ones.
So after closing, I head back to Willie’s apartment with Ray and an RAF acquaintance who has turned up (because why not, what middle-of-the-night encounter with near-perfect strangers in a foreign capital is complete without the token RAF guy?), knowing that the night would suddenly turn weirder without quite knowing how.
Ray and the RAF guy disappear into the kitchen, of all places, while Willie continues to coach me for the arrival of the nurse, still at least four hours away, talking up the need to hold back and not let go too soon, etc. This goes on for nearly an hour, and then it’s time to sort out sleeping arrangements. Willie feels he should sleep on the living room floor, partly to be a good host but also to be able to greet the nurse when she enters, which she will do using her copy of the key that she possesses for just such sexual emergencies. Strangely, the RAF man will be accompanying him there on the floor, but I’m so chuffed at getting Willie’s bed all to myself that I don’t search for meaning in that.
So that works out fine, except for the fact that we have, after all, spent some hours in a pub, thus necessitating a trip to the bathroom around three. On the way back, Willie’s disembodied voice suggests a trade. I, too, should be there by the door, what with the nurse due back before long, he reasons. And yes, here is where you can cast whatever aspersions you care to cast, but I totally buy that and lie down on the living room floor in my underwear, beneath the same quilt that covers Willie and (yes, it’s my blog and I’m going to use it) Willie’s willie.
He keeps going on about the criticality of having an erection as a prerequisite for intercourse, in case I didn’t know that, and assigns me the task of achieving one without any touching. In the meantime, he begins to masturbate furiously. I’m confident that this is no exaggeration since my journal, composed shortly after the fact, states that “Willie begins to masturbate furiously.” “Don’t mind me,” he actually says, amid requests for updates on how that erection’s coming along.
After a while, he stops asking for progress reports and starts feeling for evidence on his own. I bat his hand away for a while but he is insistent and, after all, it’s his quilt, his home, and hopefully soon his neighbor’s genitals that I am to be occupying.
Sticking with the coaching motif, he establishes an exercise wherein I’m supposed to tell him to stop jerking me off when I get close to an orgasm. This is, again, sold to me as part of the gritty prep-work for my upcoming excursion into the vagina of this fabled sexually generous nurse. My journal informs me that the estimable image of Jan Kelso, queen of our Mankato study-abroad cohort, is summoned from the vasty deep for inspiration, and that the power of that image overcomes the incongruity of Willie’s callused, stubby fingers. He has plenty of complimentary things to say about my cock, and that’s nice—certainly at nineteen, one is not yet tired of hearing such remarks—but they would be considerably more effective if delivered in a voice a little closer in timbre to that of Jan Kelso.
Anyway, the exercise actually starts to seem worthwhile around the fourth trial, but it is just at this point that Willie betrays me with the bait-and-switch, throwing off the quilt and substituting his mouth for his grip at just the moment of no return for my aforementioned six hundred million proud warriors.
I’m too shocked to move at first, and ejaculating at the same time, which tends to dull the senses. My journal is mute on the subject of what I uttered on that occasion, but my best surmise is Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa! as opposed to the more traditional Unnnn-gahhhhhh!!
When I regain said lost senses, I push him away, telling him that I can’t handle that. “My God, don’t you know what you’ve just done?” he manages to say. “You’ve filled my mouth with enough pud to open a Chinese orphanage.” Even then a writer (at least in my own mind), I have to admit that that’s a pretty good line for a guy with a mouth full of sperm--and angry sperm at that, having been literally jerked around as long as they were.*
So then I...well, just lie there for a while, next to my predator, still hoping that this phantom nurse might yet materialize and be fetching and nurturing enough even after her long nurse-shift to replenish my lost minions on the fly. I’m nineteen, after all, and hyper-fast spermatogenesis is my lone superpower. And a short time after five, we do indeed hear approaching footsteps and a key in a latch...and then the closing and locking of the apartment next door. That is when I assemble my scattered wardrobe and slip out.
Oh my God, oh Jesus, oh what happened!! etc., etc., I bleat to myself back at the hostel, where I spend most of the remaining dark hours locked in the toilet trying to make sense of it all. I feel used and deceived and violated, and that feeling lasts till around noon, by which time I’ve had a decent nap. When I finally sort things out, I realize that deceived I certainly have been: if there really was any sexually adventurous nurse, most likely he, too, had a kielbasa to add to that sausage-fest. And I can make a fairly good case for “used” as well.
“Violated”? That seems a bit hysterical in the cold, dim light of a London
Monday, and even more so here in 2015. Bill Cosby’s victims were violated.
Whatever else might be said of Willie, he made for one piss-poor Bill Cosby.
Yes, he successfully lured me back to his apartment on the pretext of providing
valuable mentoring, and yes, he embroiled me in a sexual encounter that
I had in no way sought—shades of the Cos. On the other hand, he missed
thirty-six golden opportunities to drug me, his attempts to prevent me from leaving his lair were limited to a
bit of whimpering, and, while his final mouth-dive was sudden and scary
and definitely in violation of modern notions of “consent,” he attempted
nothing that had any potential to cause me physical pain, let alone unwanted
pregnancy or disease.**
And then there was the mentoring, several tidbits of which I found significant enough to note down verbatim in my journal. Here are a few:
I get the impression you come from one of these backwoods areas where sex
is discouraged rather than encouraged... I think you’re one of these guys
who always says, well, tomorrow, next week, next month... You’re not responsible
for your past. What you are responsible for is everything from right now on.
Okay, so Willie’s tidbits may come off a bit triter here at the end of
a long post than they do in a Paddington kitchen at 1:30 on a Monday morning
in the Seventies. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s so very rare for
a young man in any era to encounter an unrelated adult who sincerely takes
and interest and seeks to effect some sort of improvement on you. So rare
indeed that you just have to respect it when it does happen, even if the
ultimate motive of it is to sample a mouthful of your youthful and irascible
spermatozoa. But I was not quite respectful enough to seek his society
again in the remaining days of the semester; nor did I manage to figure
out how to benefit from the busloads of desperate rustic virgins allegedly
sloshing daily into the streets of Paddington in that short time. Instead,
I retreated to Mankato and resumed saying tomorrow, next week, next month…
Not really sure why I’m telling you all this, other than the fact that it’s
way past time for me to feed this here blog beast. I suppose one factor
is the steady diet one gets online these days of accounts of people being
sexually preyed upon by older men who exude authority. One can’t go anywhere
near Salon these days, for example, without running headlong into one contributor
or another’s confessional piece on falling prey to a teacher or uncle or
what have you.*** Not coincidentally, this spike in old-guy-having-his-way-with-me-and-getting-away-with-it
pieces began late last in 2014, with the renewed interest in the Cosby
“Predator”-wise, I guess I lucked out. Mine was a liar, but apart from that a pretty decent sort. And I suspect that some ninety percent of the sexual activity in the world—including, even, that tiny bit that takes place within marriage—would never come to fruition without a bit of falsehood. I remember him and the night we spent together with something like fondness. Anyway, better Will than Bill.
Just saying, not all these stories end in court or therapy.
|* My sperm were spoiled in those days, accustomed to flying loose whenever
the mood struck them. I grew free-range sperm.
|** In retrospect, he did expose me to a moderate disease risk. This being the
golden pre-HIV era, however, any such diseases were relatively mild and
|*** As you might imagine, the “teacher” sub-genre leaves a bitter aftertaste with me, not unlike the aftertaste I probably left with Willie. Astute readers may recall that I cut my literary teeth several years ago on a memoir that devoted a number of chapters to a relationship with a university student at a time when her and my respective ages almost perfectly paralleled those of me and Willie so many years before.