Saturday, 21 February 2009

Early desire...

I have spent a large proportion of my life thinking about sex. This goes back long before puberty. I remember lying in our back garden in a tent. I remember the particular garden and it was of a house I left when I was 12. This was long before my first pubic hair and even longer before any need to shave. I was a boy - with the undeveloped genitals of a boy - with absolutely idea of how a woman's genitals were formed byond a vague extrapolation from my younger sister. But I lay in the tent and imagined naked women. it was raining and this added to the magic of the moment. I cannot remember how I imagined vulvas - I think there was a sort of vague mist in that area- a feeling of unknowing and mystery. All that was clear was the shape of the buttocks and the hips. What I remember was a desire to kiss. That is all. I wanted to kiss the area of mystery. To honour it with my lips.

I suppose I was about 11 and this period of my life was deeply traumatic. I was very unhappy and stayed that way for many years. Although adult desire was not yet a part of my own experience I was aware of its power as my mother had fallen deeply and passionately in love with a man who was not my father and this effectively destroyed my own security. Although in those repressed and distorted days of the mid 50s, sexuality was unspoken - at least in the polite, uptight and hypocritical middle class environment in which I grew up - I was to become fully aware of its power. My mother glowed and shone with the desire that this new man had awoken. i could see that although I had no way of knowing the whys and hows.

After all these years I cannot recall the exact chronology but am sure that the evening in the tent - the details of which are still vivid - happened around the time that this affair blossomed and before my father knew about it.

I lay in the tent. And imagined naked women. Not girls - women. And wanted to kiss them in that vague and undefined area between their legs. I did not even know of pubic hair - the area was shrouded in mystery. I had seen, at that point, no porn of any description. That was to come much later. But, at that moment, I knew my desire was fixed. I lay there, listening to the rain beating against the canvas and knew something deeply important about myself and that was that i was fascinated by women and wished to spend my life striving to find out more.

It is strange to look back now after more than half a century and realise that I am still that boy. Sure, I am not as ignorant of basic anatomy as I was then, but the emotional drive remains the same. Very, very little has changed. What i had then was not, and could not be, a desire to penetrate and to possess. I did not even know what there was to penetrate. What I felt was a desire to kiss. That still remains and will, I trust stay until the coffin is nailed down. Yes, now I know how it feels to be enfolded and have had my share of sexual experience. But deep down I am still the boy in the tent in the rain in the garden who simply wanted to press his lips on an undefined but wonderful area.

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