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ESPEN ASKS...
I'm from SE Asia, where I don't think anyone here even knows about the term 'boylover'. Anyway, the first time I felt attracted to a boy was when I was 11. I fell in love with my classmate (although nothing happend), but later when he reached puberty I didn't even want to look at him. So there was this long line of succession from eleven until now, where I'd fall in love with one boy, then when he wasn't 'boyish' anymore, I couldn't bear to look at him. And of course, nothing intimate ever happened. This is because homosexuality is really a BIG taboo here, and mostly because that I'm not even sure of my sexuality.

When I was 16 onwards, I was already beginning to help kids stay out of trouble. Because I'm naturally good-looking, athlethic, smart and friendly, I have no problems communicating with kids, mostly 12 to 15 years old. And most of the boys I get to know will share their troubles with me. I really enjoy myself helping them. It's really an achievement when you help someone turn their life around...

But sometimes, it really troubled me, I'd see myself as abnormal and sometime pretentious, Because the only reason I'd want to help them is because I was (and still am) attracted to them. But it is because of this abnormality that makes me very good in understanding their problems and helping them solve it! It is this abnormality that I'd even give my life for them if need be. (Yup, that's how much I love them, and I'm sure all of you do)

When I was 22 years old, I got heavily involved (emotionally, not sexually) with a 14 year old boy, named C. He was smart, handsome and very sensitive. But he had some problems of his own, which caused him to be very rebellious, to his parents and to the school authority. Anyway, our relationship began to develop, we'd talk over the phone for 4 to 5 hours every day, because I was studying in another place. And every weekend when I came back to my hometown, we'd be together all of the time. We'd be just like a couple, holding hands when we go out, we both enjoyed basketball, he'd see me off to the bus stand when I had to head back to continue my studies. He'd even call me every morning just to make sure I woke up to go for my lectures. Nobody here thinks this relationship is weird, because I'd help him to be a better boy. Even his parents thank me and encouraged us to hang out together in spite of the fact that I am 8 years older than him, and of course the telephone bills! I'd never felt so loved before by a boy, and maybe it's because of this, that I treat him more as my 'spouse' than a boy. So soon our relationship began to have problems, maybe he was confused, but mostly I am the most confused one. I just don't know how to handle such a relationship, plus the pressure of society (yup, some of my friends were beginning to ask why I was so close to C), my own devil (I began to start fantasizing having sex with him). Fortunately, our relationship stopped before I could do anything to harm him.

I stopped helping boys after this incident as I was so hurt, it was just like breaking off, but it was much harder, because no one understood, and no one must know. My world turned upside down, until one day I met another boy, H. He was heaven-sent, so beautiful, everytime I looked at him, I'd forget all about my troubles. H was there just long enough to help me realize that by helping boys, I could forget about my own problems.

Anyway, it was another half a year before I met H again, he was 14 then, and needed help to bring himself back on the right track. (He was involved in gangsterism, truancy and most problems that any adolescent here will meet with.) Of course, I'd helped him turn his life around, and now, I'm sharing a good relationship with him, he is like my best friend, we spend almost everyday together. But now I'm coming to a point that's almost like the case with C. I can see trouble coming if I continue this relationship with H.

So, I'm writing to you people today because of this. It is really troubling me, because if i am to continue this relationship with H, it would really end up the same way as C, and I'd end up feeling so terrible for a long, long time, so terrible that I don't wish it would ever happen again. But if I am to end this relationship now, I know that I would hurt H. I'm really at a loss. I already tried to distance myself from H. He didn't complain much, until today, where he SMS'd me saying he really appreciates me as a very good friend, and ask me not to get angry with him (he thought i was angry with him, actually it was just an excuse, so i could distance myself from him, not that i want to, but....).

Can anyone help me?

Espen (23)

Our answers
Submitted 29 Feb 04

FROM THE AGETABOO STAFF: The following response from a reader includes a controversial opinion on sexual behavior. The Agetaboo staff presents it as one person's viewpoint which is worthy of discussion, but neither endorses nor rejects it. Agetaboo does not condone breaking the law. Doing so risks harm to those involved.
I'd like to take this opportunity to comment on a disturbing trend I see in the writings of some boylovers. The tendency to see sex in a purely harmful light.

When you fantasize about having sex with the boy you love and cherish, do you dream of hurting him? Are your dreams filled with his screams for you to stop? If this is so, then you should seek some help, because this is not sex, and has nothing whatsoever to do with sex, or sexuality.

Sex is a physical, wordless way for two people to express deep love and devotion to one another. The bond it forms is permanent and important. The trust it builds immeasurable.

In my experience, sex is only harmful when one or both parties is dishonest, OR, when a third party invades the sanctity of the intimate relationship and passes judgement.

Certainly, as boylovers, we cannot be overly cautious about that latter problem. We are the new "witches" hunted by every facet of government. Schools have trained individuals taught to identify the "Sexualized" children, and send them for more detailed questioning. We have, as a culture (many countries), devoted more energy to punishing the natural sexual evolution of children than we have to curing any dread disease, or combatting any class of true crime.

But, despite this, wonderful, secure, beautiful relationships still continue, day in and day out. Boylovers still grow old, with many boys in and out of their lives, and beds. Boys still grow up, stronger and more emotionally secure for the deep bond they've shared in their formative years.

Why? Why, if sex is so harmful, and such a betrayal, would ANY boy keep it a secret? With their teachers, parents, television, strangers, government and police BEGGING them to speak, and offering rewards and loads of positive attention for them to do so?

Because, dear sir, they are not victims. They are partners in a relationship.

If you feel sex is harmful, and have nothing but guilt about it, then you have emotional issues, and you should NOT burden your young friends with this. Why ruin their sex lives, by passing your own disturbed guilt onto them?

If, on the other hand, you can share with them whatever they are comfortable with exploring, AND pass on positive images and concepts about their bodies, sexuality, and intimacy, then why not?

They WILL grow up, and move on. And whether or not sex was a part of the relationship (at least in my experience) will have absolutely nothing to do with their future sexuality. None of my intimate boyfriends have evolved as gay men, and all are active with women, or married.

What WILL be different between you and your intimate boyfriends, versus those you did not make love to, is the level of honesty. With a healthy sexual relationship of that sort, there is a kind of bond that forms. A level of trust that goes way beyond anything that can be found in any other kind of relationship. You will find, even at 30, he's still coming by, to talk about any problem's he's got, and still as open with you as when he was 12.

People will go out of their way to invent things that are wrong with sex. And, in most English speaking cultures, sex has been treated as an act of violence. Children are said not to be able to consent to it for that very reason. HOW could anyone in their right mind "consent" to such a horrible thing, anyway?

But, the reality is much simpler. It's a beautiful, giving act of love. The man is using most of his energy to GIVE pleasure to his young companion, not to take anything. Pleasure the boy actively returns is by his own choice and desire, of his own invention. Sometimes, such relationships are as carnal and mutual as any pornographer's dream. Sometimes, from an outsider's point of view, they are very one sided, with the boylover providing 90% of the pleasuring. Both have the same outcome. Both are an enrichment of a relationship.

There is no betrayal of trust to express a desire for sex. There is only a betrayal to DEMAND it. Sex is not a monster, nor is your sexuality. And being sexually attracted to a boy cannot EVER dimish the wealth of your heart.

To say, "Because I want to sleep with him, all my good will is invalid" is to deminish YOU, him, and your relationship.

I find all boys attractive. And, to be honest with you, could easily say, "I want to sleep with" every cute boy I see at the mall. Just as a heterosexual male finds most women hot, and would kick very few out of bed for eating crackers.

Having this attraction is just another level of observation. When I look at boys, I see more than a non boylover does. Period.

Those boys I have a relationship with, too, I want to sleep with. I'm a boylover, for Christ's sake.

I've had physical relationships with, maybe, half of the boys who I count as my "boyfriends." It really depends on them. All of them learn very early in the relationship that I'm a boylover. When, if and how they decide to share intimacy with me comes from them, and is different every time.

The outcome is always the same. They try, they like, and we become intense lovers for a time.

Then they outgrow it. They always do. Sometime about halfway into puberty, they start to become less giving. They still want me to give them certain pleasures, but are no longer totally free with themselves, sexually.

The minute I detect this, I start to counsel them about it more carefully. I tell them from the beginning they will outgrow it, BUT, once I see they have a conflict, it's time to help them resolve.

And, within weeks, sometimes months, they are no longer my lover. And, usually, to my emotional sadness, have a girlfriend.

Why am I sad? Well, because now they are with their girlfriends all the time. Now this person who was my daily, constant companion, has someone else he MUST be with. I'm jealous. Hey, I'm human.

But, they still need me, every day. I hear all that's going on in school, relationships, etc. I'm the go to guy for weekend fun. The one to hang out with when bored, etc.

And it all works. As he faces questions of drugs, sex, etc., he trusts me, and seeks my counsel and approval. I'm not dishonest with him. I don't freak out of he gets drunk, but DO always stress responsibility in all things. He is ready for any step, so long as he can be responsible. And, hearing this, and trusting it, he respects it.

Thus far, they've grown up strong and proud, and not a one with any expressed negative feelings. Those with children also have no reservations about my being with them, even alone. I'm no rapist, or molester. Despite what the world says.

I'm not advocating anyone go out and do anything. But I am saying, IF you are feeling that your sexuality is bad, then the problem is yours. Not that of sexuality. And the fact that you consider betraying a relationship with a boy, and abandoning him just because you desire sex with him is something that disturbs me.

Please, think carefully... to help guide a boy through a difficult time in life is so precious and important. Walking away from him at ANY stage in his life is a betrayal he will never fully recoup from. It's the key betrayal he will come to expect from anyone, and can prevent him trusting enough to form lasting bonds in his future life.

This is not some deep dark secret. If you really are concerned, talk to the boy you love about it. TELL him your feelings. You will find he's far more gracious and concerned about your feelings than you give him credit for. And you will find you can be open with him, and more honest in your relationship.

This, alone may be enough for you. The ability to openly express these feelings in the relationship greatly lessens the sexual pressure you feel. I know, as this is a key component in those relationships I've enjoyed that have no intimate component. You do not have to have sex, to be lovers. BUT, having sex does not make you anything less, or more, than lovers.

James, 47

_________________________

Submitted 15 Feb 04

cldb is right. The life of a BoyLover is filled with boys entering and exiting our lives. They have a need that we have the ability to help them with. Once they are "on the right track" and things are going well, they often drift away. This can take place weeks or years after the initial friendship begins. There are very few of us who maintain the friendship as the boy enters adulthood. It does happen but, not as often as we would like.

Our life is not an easy one. It is filled with happy times and sad times. Love and hurt. We did not choose our life as a BoyLover, it chose us. We are born with a special talent to deal with boys and understand them in a way that most adults just don't get. The boys can see that in us. They know it is there and they can see it in our eyes. They just know that this man can understand me. This man can help me. This man can be a real friend. This man may be the only adult to really love me. We need to be there to offer that help they need when they need it. We know the pain is coming. All we can do is brace ourselves. Keep in mind that we were there for the boy when he needed it the most.

We know the boy will think of us when he is an adult. He will think of all the good things we did for him and the fun things we did with him. He may not call us or write us a letter to say "thanks" but, we know. We know he turned out to be a better person because one man really cared about him. One man understood him. One man was his friend. One man really loved him.

Espen, know the hurt can come and be prepared for it. If it actually does happen then you are ready. If it doesn't come, then you have gained a true friend for life. He needs help and he has chosen you to be the one man to help him. I think our purpose in life, as BoyLovers, is to be there for the boy when he needs us and let him grow up and become a good man himself and let him go when he is ready to move on.

Like clbd said, "losing a YF and then feeling bad, then finding another... is one of the things or vicious cycles that happen to a BL." Another will come along. You have already seen that. I have talked with many BoyLovers who tell me they have always had a boy in their life. As one grows up and moves on another appears and needs their help just as much as the last one.

I know it is difficult, been there myself, just accept it as the way things are and go on with your life and your purpose in life. Be the BoyLover that you are and show your boy love.

fntm (38)

_________________________

Submitted 02 Feb 04

I think life is nothing but a vicious cycle. I mean take the waking up and going to sleep everyday, that can get tiresome over time. But seriously, I think you should spend time with H. and be there for him until it comes to that day or moment when your relationship ends.

I know that you would feel "terrible for a long, long time, so terrible that you don't wish it would ever happen again." But losing a YF and then feeling bad, then finding another... is one of the things or vicious cycles that happen to a BL. There's nothing we can do about it. I myself have gone through this 3 heart braking.. wrenching times, but I go on and although I feel bad, that still doesn't mean I don't have enough love for another boy that may happen to walk in and out of my life.

Robert Frost once said "Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length."

Also, in order for people to be happy, sometimes they have to take risks. It's true these risks can put them in danger of being hurt, but thats a part of life and is true for everyone.

I hope this helps you Espen

P.S. Read my poems in the art Section!.. I hope to write more soon

cldb (19)

_________________________

Submitted 18 Mar 04

Thanks for all the advice. We've decided to break up today. It's really a cycle, but to call it vicious, I'm not so sure. Now I am all sad again.

But the only thing that I'm happy with is how their life has change. Just a selfish thought: If I had not changed their way so much I'd never have to endure so much heartbreaks!

But I know that I'll never bear to do that!

Thanks for the advice!

Espen (23)

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