The word “orgasm” has been around for centuries. Personally, I prefer the wonderfully evocative phrase “the voluptuous acme”, as coined by Albert Moll, the great pioneering German sexologist whose 1912 book The Sexual Life of the Child still has much to tell us.
Like his eminent rival Sigmund Freud, Moll was in no doubt that children do indeed have a sexual life, from infancy onwards. In more recent times, though, while lip service is still paid to this view, it is being downplayed in scholarship. The recent Cambridge Handbook of Sexual Development: Childhood and Adolescence, for instance, focuses on the adolescent minor, swiftly passing over the sexuality of prepubertal children as though with some embarrassment. And I was dismayed late last year to see psychologist David Ley telling us in an article on trans youth that “whether orgasms are even possible pre-puberty is it itself somewhat unclear in research”.
Ley is a careful and generally very sex-positive scholar. So, could he be right? For my own part, I know with absolute certainty that prepubertal orgasm is possible because I experienced it myself as a child, some three years before any visible signs of puberty. But could it be that modern science has still not established the matter to its own satisfaction, beyond doubt?
Only one thing to do: check it out – dig into the various kinds of research and see what it amounts to. Ley’s main source turned out to be semantic scholar Diederik Janssen’s deservedly much cited paper, “First stirrings: cultural notes on orgasm, ejaculation, and wet dreams”, from 2007. Janssen identifies nine types of relevant information, which I feel can be consolidated into just three main ones: (1) direct observations (medical, ethnographic, parental, teacher); (2) retrospective (surveys, autobiography); (3) physiological research.
Some accounts are rightly dismissed as mere anecdote if the reliability of the source is in question, or the report lacks relevant detail. But that does not mean the only reports that count must be in scientific journals. Personal accounts, such as this one by Katie Tandy in the Huffington Post, about her first orgasm, when she was eight, deserve to be accorded evidential value. Modern science tends to demand quantified studies, with rigorous statistics. Rigour of this sort is indeed vital when we want to know how prevalent a phenomenon is; but qualitative, rather than quantitative, rigour is what is required in order to establish that a phenomenon actually exists: we need detailed descriptions of what happens.
Actually, the reliability of even the largest and most scientifically prestigious quantitative studies may sometimes be put in doubt. A relevant case in point is Alfred Kinsey’s famous studies more than half a century ago. His data showed that children of all ages down to infancy could experience orgasm, but the findings were compromised by his reliance on MAPs who had reported seeing orgasm in kids they had sex with. Some of these MAPs, he wrote, “are technically trained persons who have kept diaries or other records which have been put at our disposal; and from them we have secured information on 317 preadolescents who were either observed in self masturbation, or who were observed in contacts with other boys or older adults.” Amazingly, it was only much later that this became controversial!
These MAPs could well have been entirely correct in their observations but their findings must be considered highly subjective. What about more objective reporting? Traditionally, medical professionals have been trusted in this regard and I feel that is reasonable: their bias (no one is without bias) on sexual matters generally leans towards the conservative – witness the medical world’s long reluctance to give up the view that homosexuality is a disease. So, if even they are forced by the facts to admit the reality of early prepubertal orgasm, their findings should be accorded high credibility.
Janssen tells us that as far back as the 18th century clinicians have offered “quite incontrovertible descriptions” of infant masturbation to orgasm. The earliest was perhaps that of Samuel Gottlieb von Vogel, a physician famed in Germany as the father of the seaside resort. Doubtless he championed the healthiness of sea air and bathing, which is more than be said for his opinion of masturbation. The title of his 1789 text on the subject translates as Teaching parents, educators, and child caretakers how to most safely discover, prevent, and cure the incredibly vicious vice of destructive self-abuse. Hard to beat that for conservative bias!
Likewise Moll, qualified in neurology as well as psychology, was another leading medical man. He too writes of cases “reported to me” of orgasm in infancy and “still more frequently in respect of somewhat older children, for example, at ages of seven or eight years”. But for authoritative reports of directly observed orgasm in childhood the best sources include those made by medically trained people who have actually witnessed prepubertal orgasm for themselves, in the course of clinical sessions with child patients.
A good example from relatively recent times comes in the form of a lengthy, extremely detailed 1993 psychoanalytical case report from psychiatrist Rhoda Frenkel, who astonishingly appears to be still in practice as a psychiatrist more than 60 years after graduation. The case in question was that of a 6½-year-old girl who was seen as a patient four times a week for 2 years and 8 months, until she was 9. The data from the analytic sessions, Frenkel says, “demonstrate a young girl’s capacity for intense genital pleasure and orgasm, achieved by self-stimulation of the clitoris and vaginal introitus.”
We hear that during psychological testing, “Erica was uncooperative, responding to queries with the first thing that came to her mind. Her precocious seductiveness made the male psychologist uncomfortable.”
In one session:
She started rolling on the floor, first saying she was angry with me, then laughing and wiggling her whole body in a clearly erotic fashion. She said she had gone to the fair with her daddy and did the monkey dance. When I asked if she was doing the monkey dance now, she said she would show me. Taking a cylindrical building block, she affixed a sphere of playdough to one end of it, labeling it “a thing” (a clearly phallic object). She began the monkey dances standing on a chair, sensually gyrating her body while caressing the “thing” against her chest. Moving to the floor, she continued to move her body seductively.
She seemed unaware of my presence as the tempo escalated, and breathing heavily she began to masturbate, rubbing the “thing” around her clitoris. Throwing it aside she used her hand to stimulate both her clitoral and vaginal areas. As she seemed to be reaching a climax, she stopped abruptly. Appearing fearful, but unable to verbalize her feelings, she insisted on going to the bathroom to avoid having an accident.
Later, we hear:
In the next two months Erica intermittently masturbated during her sessions, usually following visits with her father, which were now restricted to daytime and only with her sisters. Most often she would interrupt her excitement and go to the bathroom, but several times she seemed to reach a climax in the session. Using her hand she would begin in the clitoral area and, with increasing frenzy, she then reached into her vagina. Sometimes using one hand on top of the other, she tightly squeezed her perineal area, both intra- and extravaginally, held her breath for a few seconds, and then made a pleasurable sigh. Releasing her hands, she remained on the floor for a few moments with a dreamy look in her eyes.
From the full case report, running to nearly 10,000 words, we see that Erica clearly had emotional problems that owed much to her parents’ divorce, for which she blamed herself. This is not the subject of our present concern except to say that her uninhibited behaviour makes a lot of sense when seen in its full context. One can only reasonably conclude that this is a painstakingly authentic account, and accurate in its description of the sexual behaviour.
Still, Erica only “seems” to have reached a climax in several clinical sessions. Is Frenkel being excessively cautious in her wording? Bold research undertaken by Ernest Borneman, whose daring exploits were reported here last year, was just as restrained in his wording, but his more extensive findings add weight to his interpretation. As well as having read close to a hundred reports of orgasms among infants and preschool children, he and his colleagues “found six children under two years and seven under four who seemed to be able to produce bodily states which we would have termed orgasmic had they occurred in a grown-up”. These were clinical observations. He even wanted to film such activity which would have given permanent visual proof, but the parents objected! I suspect (but cannot personally confirm) that “CSEM” footage out there on the dark web includes at least a certain amount of authentically comparable material.
Never fear, plenty of confirmation comes from adults reporting in surveys on their own prepubertal orgasms, often referred to as “dry orgasm” in the case of boys because all that is lacking in the intense pleasure of “the voluptuous acme” is the ejaculation of sperm – although “pre-cum” wetness has been noted in the course of clinical observations of infant and early childhood orgasm from Vogel’s account onwards. This has been attributed to discharge of “Cowper’s fluid” from the bulbourethral glands, homologous to Bartholin’s glands in females. Still on fluids, Floyd Martinson noted that both male and female infants display evidence of sexual arousal at birth, with erections continuing for male infants and female infants displaying vaginal lubrication (reported in this book, pp. 47-8).
Now, some number crunching on those retrospective surveys. Van Wyk and Geist (1984) found that more than 25% of boys, as opposed to 10% of girls, masturbate to orgasm before puberty. Of a sample of Swedish high school students, 44% of men and 23% of women had masturbated to orgasm prior to age 13 (Larsson & Svedin, 2002). Nine percent of a group of Spanish students reached orgasm before 11 years of age (Lopez Sanchez, 2002). Bancroft et al., (2003) reported that “One hundred and six women and 124 men gave their age when orgasm first occurred as a result of prepubertal masturbation. This was significantly earlier for women than for men (9.2 vs. 10.4 years).” Further support comes from observation by teachers in kindergartens: Gundersen, Melås and Skår (1981) reported, that “twenty-three percent of the preschool teachers [N=60] had observed orgasm in masturbating children”.
These numbers are impressive, confirming a substantial amount of prepubertal orgasm, and thereby incidentally also confirming that Kinsey’s “unreliable” MAP sources were pretty much correct! In his Human Male volume, he wrote: “… it is probable that half or more of the boys in an uninhibited society could reach climax by the time they were three or four years of age, and that nearly all of them could experience such a climax three to five years before the onset of adolescence.’ (Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male, p. 178.)
As for physiological evidence for prepubertal orgasm, we have already touched on signs of “pre-cum” lubrication, but the most startling findings have come – remarkably – from before birth. As noted in a recent textbook published by Oxford University Press (suggesting substantial academic endorsement):
It is now commonly accepted, if not universally known even among professionals, that the neurological and genital capacity for sexual arousal to orgasm exists in children from before birth. Ultrasound examinations have demonstrated that fetuses suck their toes and fingers and male fetuses touch their penises. Erections are commonly seen in ultrasound images (Hitchcock, Sutphen, & Scholly, 1980), and masturbation in utero has also been observed in sonographic studies. Of a seven-month fetus (Meizner, 1987). Giorgi and Siccardi (1996) observed on sonography what appeared to be masturbation to orgasm in a 32-week female fetus, noting that she touched the region of her clitoris with her hand repeatedly for 30- to 40-second intervals, displaying short, rapid movements of her pelvis and legs, after which she stopped for a few minutes. After approximately 20 minutes of this behavior, which was also observed by the mother, the fetus displayed contractions of trunk and limb muscles, followed by tonic-clonic movements of the whole body, after which she “relaxed and rested. ” While such apparent masturbation to orgasm in utero may be phenomenologically quite different from its homologs in postnatal life, Giorgi and Siccardi point out that female sexual response is distinct from reproductive function and “does not need a full sexual maturity to be explicit”.
We began with David Ley’s assertion that the research evidence for prepubertal orgasm is unclear. We might feel this claim is refuted by the sources presented here, but let’s stick with Ley because he came up with some striking research information of his own on a related matter – not prepubertal orgasm but the mechanism that triggers sexual orgasms in general. He alerts us to stunning findings published only last year by Kevin McKenna, a professor of neuroscience and urology. McKenna’s paper, “What is the trigger for sexual climax?”, highlighted the role not of hormones, or the genitalia, but the spine. He described how lumbar spinothalamic (LSt) cells are innervated by genital stimulation and generate sexual climax. He argues that these same neural mechanisms underlie climax in human males and females, as well as rats. By email, he told Ley that his research views orgasm as independent from hormones… (my emphasis).
If correct, this would appear to explain why orgasm need not wait for the hormonal surge that both sexes experience at puberty. The mechanism is already in place. The motivation is another matter. Hormones play a major role in sexual “libido” or “drive”. Note, however, that even in this regard puberty is not the only significant hormonal development in childhood. There is also adrenarche, starting several years earlier, which is another big story.
Finally, though, I am aware that some heretics here may feel my focus on orgasm misses a major point about child sexuality: its pleasures and significance to children might not depend on having orgasms or even possessing the capacity to do so. After all, Freud himself held that child sexuality is initially focused orally, via its connection with the pleasure of breast feeding; depending on how individual development proceeds, any part of the body might later become an erogenous zone.
And in the course of researching this blog, I chanced upon a fascinating account by the now veteran anthropologist Robin Fox of his own prepubertal sexuality, in which he looks back on it nostalgically as a lost paradise of marvellous sexual pleasure – marvellous not because of orgasm but because of the capacity he then enjoyed to experience long-lasting pleasure that he compares with Tantric sex. “The Tantric Buddhists,” he wrote, “may well be trying to recapture in adult life the pleasure that was lost when puberty with its vast increase in testosterone production brought on the quick-fix, ejaculatory orgasm.” He says his own prepubertal masturbation could be “lengthy and blissfully pleasurable”. Well, whatever turns you on! I am guessing, though, that most of us, at whatever age, would settle for a “voluptuous acme” of the plain vanilla sort!
KEY REFERENCES NOT ACCESSIBLE ONLINE FROM LINKS GIVEN ABOVE:
Gundersen, B. H., Melås, P. S., and Skår, J. E. (1981). “Sexual behavior of preschool children”. In Constantine, L. L., and Martinson, F. M. (eds.), Children and Sex, Little, Brown, Boston, pp. 45–61.
Lopez Sanchez, F., Del Campo, A., & Guijo, V. (2002). “Prepubertal sexuality”. Sexologies, 11, 42, 49-58. [Early volumes of this journal are not available online]. Cited in deGraaf, H., & Rademakers, J. (2006). “Sexual behavior of prepubertal children”. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 18, 1–21.
DON’T FALL FOR THE FAKE NEWS FROM MEXICO
A few days ago, Prue drew attention in a comment here to the arrest of Dutch MAP activist Nelson Maatman. The story was given dramatic coverage in the Daily Mail. Most of us will probably not have been very surprised by the arrest itself following the circumstances in which Nelson fled his native Netherlands following persecution by the Dutch state – a situation given extensive coverage at Heretic TOC, most recently here, in March.
So, the arrest was all too real but statements put out by the authorities in Mexico and uncritically relayed by the media should be taken with a truckload of salt. I am pleased to see that Newgon is carrying a fake news alert at the top of all its pages. It says Nelson is being defamed and invites readers to visit their biographic entry on him, where they can find “material you can use to counter this defamation on social media”. I heartily endorse this initiative. The page is here.
Contrary to the impression put out by the media, which makes Nelson look like an international gangster, from what I have seen he is a courageous and principled activist. The worst that can be said about him based on reliable accounts is that he has been rather too brave and incautious.
HERO GERT HEKMA WAS AN INSPIRATION
News is piling on top of itself. Heretic TOC should be a daily newspaper, not a monthly blog. A daily paper would have reported long ago the death in April, at age 70, of Dutch anthropologist and sociologist Gert Hekma, who specialised in the history of gay and other unconventional sexuality and who was outspoken in his support of MAPs. His work has been mentioned a number of times on Heretic TOC, most recently here.
I once had the pleasure and privilege of a long conversation with Gert at his elegant Amsterdam apartment on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal, overlooking one of the city’s picturesque canals and with a delightful roof-top garden. He was a wonderfully friendly, congenial host, and every bit as erudite as might be hoped for in a professor with what must have been thousands of books in his home, in floor-to-ceiling shelves. I also met Mattias Duyves, Gert’s partner and a fellow academic, who was likewise very welcoming. Even then, a few years ago, the pair had been together for forty years, as described in an excellent “at home” profile article in which we are told that Mattias “could explain the work of philosopher Michel Foucault as intimately as if he had still been sitting on the French philosopher’s lap” – which had actually happened: Foucault had been his lover when the famous – and controversial – intellectual was living in Amsterdam.
And now I learn that Gert’s outspokenness on paedophilia has been an inspiration for Nelson Maatman’s activism. Amidst all his troubles, Nelson found time to write an appreciation of Gert. He posted this obituary on Free Speech Tube, here.
RODGER THE DODGER, WHO BEAT THE RAP
Very sadly, there is another death I should tell you about. At my age you tend to find old friends and acquaintances dropping out of circulation at a rate you might expect on a battlefield.
This time I must report that Roger Moody has left us. His name will be familiar to older London-based heretics and others with an interest in his internationalist pursuits, especially his editorship of Peace News and his decades-long battle against the ravages of global corporate capitalism, especially as regards the impact of mining on the rights of indigenous peoples. In this regard he was a well regarded expert and the author of many books, including Rocks and Hard Places: The Globalization of Mining.
But it is a very different book, Indecent Assault, for which he will be most remembered by MAPs. Published in 1980, this was Roger’s account of a rare victory against oppressive anti-MAP tactics by the police. He had been charged with indecent assault after a number of boys, if I remember righty, had been put under immense pressure by the police to make statements against him. Tactics included telling these boys – who were supposed to be victims, remember – that they would not be allowed home until they “admitted” that sexual things had gone on, and tricking them by falsely claiming Roger had already confessed.
One or more statements were duly extracted in this way and a case was brought to court. Bravely, Roger admitted he was sexually attracted to boys but pleaded he was not guilty of any criminal offence. His rare candour in the witness box over his sexuality must have made a great impression on the jury because they accepted his version of events and acquitted him.
Roger and I had our differences. He never joined PIE. Our policies and organisation were not to his liking, for reasons I found hard to fathom. We were both on the left, albeit he was doubtless more active and committed in a range of left-leaning causes than we were in PIE, where we tried to cater for all. But at a personal level he was friendly and I was hugely impressed by the love and care he showed for his brother, Peter, who had Down’s syndrome and who predeceased him in 1998. Roger was born in March 1948. His departure at age 74 will be a great loss to a number of important causes. An interesting obituary appeared online just yesterday.
Much talk of Laddie ejaculations, but no note of Loli natural lubrication?
Tom, your article “Being a pedator is child’s play” is not available anymore.
This is the correct link:
Auto-eroticism – No Subject – Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysishttps://nosubject.com › Auto-eroticism
By this he means that very young infants gain sexual stimulation through their own bodies. There is no sexual object as such, but they achieve satisfaction …
Eroticism in Infancy and Childhood – JStorhttps://www.jstor.org › stable
by FM Martinson · 1976 · Cited by 54 — As with autoerotic experiences, so also with sensate encounters between an infant and another person, the experience predates the onset.
Reconsidering parental sexuality, and infant sensual …https://perspectives.waimh.org › Archive
15 Jun 2011 — By ‘parental sexuality’ we mean that quality in a parent of being sexual and capable of sexual feelings. By ‘infant sensual excitement’ we mean …
Autoerotic head banging: A reflection on the opportunism of …https://psycnet.apa.org › record
by RM Silberstein · 1966 · Cited by 23 — Concerns the etiology and treatment of autoerotic head banging, a syndrome similar to rocking. Some degree of maternal stimulation is necessary for these …
Sigmund Freud s Infantile Sexuality and the role in … – CCRMAhttps://ccrma.stanford.edu › SigmundF
The auto-erotism characteristic of the infantile sexuality also shows how the sexual instinct inherited in living things tend to restore the earlier state. Here …
Psychoanalysis – Infantile Sexuality And The Oedipus Complexhttps://science.jrank.org › pages › Psychoanalysis-Infan…
… to understand the sexual desires (and autoerotic activities) of infants, … biologically determined culmination of the infant’s progress through the …
Signs of Autism in Infants: Recognition and Early Interventionhttps://books.google.be › books
Stella Acquarone · 2018 · Psychology
This third phase is necessary to allow the second one to become “auto–erotic“. Babies who will become autistic can have sucking movements that are pacifying …
Sucking/Thumbsucking – Encyclopedia.comhttps://www.encyclopedia.com › psychology › suckingt…
Sucking itself is defined as a sexual autoerotic pleasure, “as a sample of the sexual manifestations of childhood” (p. 179). From this point on, the infant’s …
The Collected Works of D.W. Winnicotthttps://books.google.be › books
Donald Woods Winnicott, Lesley Caldwell, Robert Adès · 2017 · Child psychiatry
Then the infant finds other parts of the body. Notably the boy child finds the male genital and discovers a new zone for auto–erotic experience.
Attachment and Psychoanalysis: Theory, Research, and …https://books.google.be › books
Morris N. Eagle · 2013 · Psychology
And by autoerotic he means that the infant “finds its object in the infant’s own body” (p. 197). (Freud refers to thumb-sucking and masturbation as prime …
Do all these texts have anything to do with pre-pubertal orgasm?
That’s what I thought, Cyril. Good point. But they are not totally off topic and may be of interest. If you or anyone else digs up something important from them, do let me know!
Surely, if no penile ejaculate is produced, or vulvic/vaginal spasm observed, then a pre-pubertal ‘climax’ can only be subjective?
E.G. “Gee! That was GREAT let’s do it again!!”
Diagnostic Value of the Urine Mucus Test in Childhood Masturbation among Children below 12 Years of Age: A Cross-Sectional Study from Iran
What leapt out at me from the linked paper was this:
This paper is from Iran. Any parent making making video recordings of their child masturbating in the UK or US would be putting themselves in extreme peril of prosecution for taking indecent images of a child.
Any claim for exemption from prosecution on grounds of legitimate medical reason would need to be firmly in black and white with offical, signed acceptance from the prosecutor’s office. Without that, it would be most unwise to film.
They will still be able to seek political asylum in Iran, or perhaps in Russia like Snowden…
Except that increasingly more and more parents do just that- putting in video monitoring security systems sold to them to “keep them safe”- recording everything in and around their house, including in bathrooms and bedrooms. The surveillance state has eliminated privacy, and people now willingly, out of misguided fears of crime, implement the surveillance state in their own homes. Everything is being recorded in those homes now. And yet that is somehow legal.
Marthijn Uittenbogaard was arrested in Ecuador:
And he is predictably subjected to a barrage of unsubstantiated, incoherent and hysterical accusations by a vigilante NGO cited as a prime source.
This is the first time I have joined in a discussion on here and I just want to add my ten cents worth to the discussion about this subject. Firstly, adults who insist that young children have no sexual feelings until one second past midnight on their 18th birthday are suffering from a kind of selective amnesia in that they have forgotten, or seem to have forgotten, what they did sexually when they were young children. Like most English boys, I wasn’t cut or sexually mutilated as an infant as the Americans and the Jews do to their infant boys and this may well be the reason why I discovered masturbation at such a very young age. Today, at 75 years of age, I’m way past such things now…a sign of ill health and physical ageing. But I was certainly a very early starter. I can remember back to when I was three years old in 1950. That’s now 72 years ago and I was certainly holding and rubbing myself to intense if dry orgasms even that far back. I had my own bed in my own room and was often left alone for long periods and would be at it under the bed sheets, bouncing up and down in my bed as I experienced one intense orgasm after another. How it all began, whether through self discovery or seduction, I don’t know. It was probably the former. But perhaps both things were happening at around the same time.
Fascinating. I am sure this activity started just as you say it did, in early childhood, but my understanding is that few of us remember much, or anything, in later years before the age of four. So perhaps you can tell us what it is that makes you sure you were only three at the time, and that the year was 1950?
Just to emphasise how very long ago this was, I would point out that it was in the reign of King George!
Although my short term memory is pretty useless these days, my memory of certain incidents in my childhood, especially my early childhood, are still pretty vivid. Some things have just stuck in my mind. I have a photo of me as a toddler taken in the back garden on my third birthday in April, 1950, by an elderly man with white hair who was a friend of the family. I can’t recall his name now, but I do know I was masturbating at that time because of a memory I have of him from the time the photo was taken. When he visited us, he used to pick me up and hug me and make a big fuss of me and always had a little bag of Dolly Mixtures for me, which was a real treat with sweets still being on ration after the war and for some reason now lost in the mists of time, my parents used to let him take me to spend the night at his house, where he lived alone and there, in situations of intense sexual excitement and secrecy, he would play with me sexually and encourage me to masturbate in front of him while I, naked from the waist down, lay in bed with the sheets pulled down, as he urged me on in my self-pleasuring with much infectious enthusiasm while he did the same while looking at me doing it. I’ve never met anyone to whom anything like this happened at such a young age. But I doubt very much that I was the only one it ever happened to.
I never told anyone about this at the time. I don’t know why I didn’t tell anyone and I can only assume it was because I found it very pleasurable and didn’t want it to be stopped. So yes, this would have been in 1950. As to what else happened in my life during that year, well, I haven’t the foggiest idea. My memories of 1952, when I started school, or 1953, the Coronation and all that, are much more than those of 1950. This begs the question as to what else was going on regarding myself and this man in 1950? As only a few seconds of memory remain from those days, it’s impossible to say. How long had he been taking me to his house and playing with me? Why did my parents let him do that? We’ll never know.
Well, I am mighty glad I asked the question! Thanks for this wonderful info.
This is very convincing detail as to the date, I feel. As for the rest of your account, it is an unanticipated bonus! 🙂
Although I’m well aware that certain children are, for whatever reason, harmed by having sexual experiences with adults, and I do respect that some were traumatised, the fact is that everyone is different and, although I had sexual experiences with certain men when I was a youngster throughout the 1950s (and as far forward as 1960), such experiences did me no harm at all. I enjoyed what we did together very much. None of them attacked me or buggered me. It was all about caressing and fondling and mutual masturbation. This may have been because my very early sexual experiences with men were positive and happy ones. Some may say I was sexualised by early experiences such as those with the elderly man in 1950 and this in turn led to me welcoming the attentions paid to me by other men later on. Yes, this could be so.
When I first went on the Internet 23 years ago, there were plenty of forums, long since hacked and closed down, where you could talk about your childhood sexual experiences with other members and ask advice about them. One question I asked was why did such men find me so attractive and want to make love to me and one of them replied “Some boys, like yourself as you were then, partly consciously and partly subconsciously, give off signals in their body language and demeanor that only a Boy Lover would recognise and that told him you were ‘available’ for such activity”. One thing is certain about those far off days. I wouldn’t go with just anyone. I had to like the man or be sexually curious about him. Some people would say I was playing with fire doing things like that with strangers. But I don’t think so. I understood them and we were very happy together. They were gentle and desperately lonely men who needed physical love and sexual intimacy with young boys very much. I don’t think you could describe such love as romantic love, but it was definitely a kind of loving. Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion about this much debated subject from my own point of view.
>Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion about this much debated subject from my own point of view.
My privilege and pleasure, Moonfleet Boy! Incidentally, was your moniker inspired by Jon Whiteley, the boy star in the 1955 film Moonfleet?
In a word, yes.
>In a word, yes.
This has prompted me to look up John Whiteley’s child star roles on his Wikipedia biog page. I see he was born in 1945 (same year as me) and there were five films in as many years, from 1952-6: Hunted (52), The Kidnappers (53), Moonfleet (55), The Spanish Gardener (56), and The Weapon (56).
Bizarrely, even by the age of 10 he could have been worrying about being typecast: in all of his first three films he was playing an orphan! But at least these orphans found themselves (or himself) in interestingly different stories. In the first of them, Hunted, his co-star was Dirk Bogarde, no less, in a man-boy bonding movie. The pair were later united again in The Spanish Gardener. This time Whiteley was no longer an orphan but, as in Hunted, the theme was very much one of man-boy bonding.
More famously, Bogarte was arguably at risk of being typecast himself, when he played a famous composer obsessed by a boy (played by Björn Andrésen) in Death In Venice, although that was many years later, in 1971.
I guess the usual assumption is that Bogarde was straightforwardly gay, as he shared a home with a guy for decades. But he never came out publicly as gay, and he burned a lot of papers and correspondence late in life. So he seemed keen to keep his private life very private.
My inside information is that he was a BL. A BL friend of mine met him in gay company, when Bogarde quietly let on that he was interested in younger males. My friend pressed him: How young? “Pups” was the answer. He would not elaborate further. “Pups”, he repeated when asked about actual ages.
So it seems more than likely that he would have found Björn Andrésen attractive, shall we say. Andrésen would have been 16 when he played the 14-year-old Polish boy Tadzio. But John Whiteley would have been even more a pup, aged around 11, when acting opposite Bogarde in The Spanish Gardener. In his first bonding movie with the big-name star, though, he would have been only around 7 – a very little puppy indeed!
Actually, Jon Whiteley’s penultimate film, “The Weapon”, gets a rare television screening tonight (July 2nd), on Talking Pictures TV (Freeview channel 82), at 9 p.m. Although it was filmed in 1955 when Jon was 10, it was not released until 1956 and is well worth watching. Dirk thought the world of Jon when they first met on “Hunted” in 1951 when Jon was six and a half, and I have a charming candid photo of them playing together at that time in the garden of Dirk’s house and they look really happy together. Dirk wanted to adopt Jon, but his friends persuaded him against it.
“Death in Venice” was actually filmed in 1970, when Bjorn Andresen was 15, and released a year later. There is an amazing scene in it where Dirk’s character, who is infatuated with Bjorn’s Tadzio character, is in a lift in the hotel in Venice when Tadzio and some of his friends enter it. Dirk looks so longingly at the boy that Tadzio’s friends notice it and tease the boy about the man’s only too obvious interest in him and Tadzio smiles in embarrassment. The lift door open at Tadzio’s floor and the boy walks out, and turns to look at Dirk as if to say “Would you like to kiss me and play with me?” Dirk gets out on the next floor, goes to his room, sits down and covers his face with his hands and sobs for the boy. Only an actor who knew what it was all about and had been through a similar situation himself could have played the part so well and anyone seeing that scene who had been unrequitedly attracted to a young boy would be able to identify with the situation only too well. It’s beautifully done and so true to life.
“Dirk wanted to adopt Jon,” you tell us, “but his friends persuaded him against it.”
They didn’t need to persuade him, though, because the boy was already well and truly spoken for. It looks as though Dirk, under the spell of infatuation, was mentally still inside the film, in which Jon was an orphan. In reality, though, young Whiteley had two parents who were both very much alive and deeply invested in their child’s future!
His father was a village headmaster. He and his wife were keen to make sure Jon got a good education and did not have his head turned by the glamour of stardom, as is so often the sad fate of child stars. This is why he left films behind, in due course got into Cambridge, and later enjoyed a very distinguished career as a leading scholar and top-of-the-range museum curator.
Thanks for alerting us to last night’s TV screening of The Weapon, which I think will stay available online as a podcast for a while.
I saw it. My only complaint is there wasn’t enough Jon in it! Plenty of adult hero/villain thriller action, with some fine camera work in bomb-ravaged post-war London, but Jon’s role was largely confined to just making himself scarce, at pace!
Yes, Tom, I remember reading an interview with Jon in John Coldstream’s 2004 biography of Dirk Bogarde in which Jon said that he was at home watching a Channel 4 documentary on television about Dirk (that would have been “Dirk Bogarde: By Myself” in 1992) in which Dirk was talking about how he’d wanted to adopt him and had even had the adoption papers drawn up and Jon was amazed. It was the first he had ever heard of it. Dirk probably wanted a son very much and I think you’re right in your assumption that he was confusing the real Jon with the character Jon had played in “Hunted”.
Yes, there should have been more of Jon on view in “The Weapon”, but there was certainly more of him on view in his next and last film “The Spanish Gardener”, in which he got co-star status with Dirk. An odd scene in “The Weapon”, where that old fellah appears to be chatting up Jon in the restaurant that came to nothing. It would have been interesting to see it elaborated on.
>that old fellah appears to be chatting up Jon in the restaurant
Reminds me of the fabulous Mae West line, “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?” In this case, though, there really was a gun in Jon’s pocket. Sometimes, as the old Freudian joke has it, “A snake is just a snake.” 🙂
As for adoption, Dirk’s plainly serious interest in adopting the unavailable Jon is very revealing and remarkable. Also remarkable, in its way, is that Jon himself, while still a young child, “adopted” a baby! As I am sure you will be well aware, I refer to his role in The Kidnappers. He is the older of two orphaned brothers living with their crusty old grandfather who won’t let them have a dog. But they find an abandoned baby and decide to keep that for themselves instead.
In his marvellous encyclopaedic volume The Moving Picture Boy, my late friend John Holmstrom has an entry on Jon Whiteley. He writes:
Feel it if you crave to! LOL! Shame he didn’t say that to the guy in the restaurant, with reference to the gun in his pocket! 🙂
Excellent comment, Tom. It had also occurred to me the irony of that line of dialogue in “The Kidnappers” fitting that scene in “The Weapon”. I can identify with that scene with the old fellah because someone like him chatted me up once when I was eleven…although it wasn’t anything to do with a gun, but it was at a bus stop and was regarding the new pair of jeans I was wearing.
I just want to add to my comment about men taking me in to the cinema to see ‘A’ certificate films. Although it was a common practice in the 1950s for young boys to ask a man to take them in to the pictures with them, oddly enough, you won’t find anything about this on the Internet. Websites that feature people’s childhood memories of going to the pictures never mention it. Also, I never saw a girl standing outside the pictures waiting to ask a man to take her in. Maybe the idea in those days was that boys could look after themselves and girls couldn’t.
>Although it was a common practice in the 1950s for young boys to ask a man to take them in to the pictures with them, oddly enough, you won’t find anything about this on the Internet.
Well, now you will. Right here! 🙂
Another practice of this sort was kids (perhaps only boys) hanging about at the entrances to Central Park, New York, waiting for an adult to take them in. I have a feeling I read this online somewhere. But you are right, such references are rare. Many older guys might be embarrassed now, and reluctant to “fess up” to such supposedly dangerous or deviant early behaviour.
Another thing there seems to be some embarrassment over these days is child mascots taken onto the field at the start of sporting events, especially football matches. The kids and their proud parents love it and I gather it is a money-spinner for the clubs. But when I last investigated there was very little online information about this aspect of our culture. See my blog “Mascot history, masked in mystery”: https://heretictoc.com/2015/09/28/mascot-history-masked-in-mystery/
>I have a charming candid photo of them playing together at that time in the garden of Dirk’s house and they look really happy together.
Might I see that? Are you able to scan it into a photocopier, or even take a pic of the pic from a smartphone? If so, it would be receivable as an email attachment. Just send to email@example.com
Your knowledge of a previous era and classic boy films could be good material for a guest blog if you would be interested in doing one. The “charming candid photo” could possibly be included in it. I cannot guarantee publication, that always depends on whether the submitted piece strikes me as suitable. But I suspect you would do a good article if your comments are anything to go by.
I have just sent you a scan of the photo, Tom and I hope you like it.
Thanks, but I can’t see it in my Yahoo inbox. Did you use correct address?
Yes, Tom, I just checked. I sent it to the address you gave and it hasn’t bounced back, so I don’t know why you didn’t receive it
I’ve been away in the hills all day so sorry about delay in replying. Just found your two emails in my Spam folder. Yahoo’s algorithm was just being cautious over email with attachments from an unknown source as attachments “may contain harmful content”.
Anyway, what a delightful photo! I am really glad I asked you about it. Thanks!
Image file probably too big for your email server, so I will try to attach it here instead.
Wonderful! I had forgotten it is possible to attach photos to comments. Also, anyone who wants to see the image full size need only right-click and open in a new browser tag, then (if so desired) save a full-size copy from there.
I’m pleased you like it, Tom. I bought it off eBay many years ago, along with other splendid photos of them together, having tea on the lawn, feeding the ducks, etc. May they both have been reunited in spirit now. I tried to open a Yahoo email account, but unfortunately, they wanted to send a conformation text to my mobile phone, and, as I’ve never had a mobile phone, it couldn’t be done. They don’t cater for those who only have land line phones, of which there are still many. Another way to save the photo is to copy and paste it into the pictures folder on your computer and enlarge it from there.
>I’ve never had a mobile phone
Landlines are much better. The signal is so much more reliable. I love my laptop, so it is not as though I am against new tech in general, but I hate mobiles. I do have a smartphone now, but that is only because it is becoming increasingly difficult to live without one with so many corporate outfits demanding we use these wretched OTPs (one-time passwords).
Fascinating account. In today’s day and age, the best outlet for minor attraction seems to be fantasy. So, although I meet many little girls in the course of my everyday life, I would never dream of impinging on their existence. I believe that Instagram and YouTube offer the best opportunity for someone like me to gain an appreciation of little girls. It’s interesting, as although I was in a restaurant recently and a little girl sat nearby, I could not so much as look at her face. She remains a blank shadow to me. I don’t feel I ever have the right to impinge on a child’s existence. But on visual social media, children give me that emotive link that I am otherwise lacking. Child social media is my Shakespeare or Dante, because it gives me that vital link to the culture that I would otherwise be lacking.
I think that the most striking thing about my experiences in the 1950s, seven decades ago now, is that in those days, adults and children mixed freely together without any concern or fear on the child’s part. You can see this very different society portrayed on British films of that time. It was very easy, for instance. for a man who was that way inclined to befriend a young boy he found when the boy was out playing on his own. There was no paranoia and Stranger Danger about paedophiles back then like there is now. No one bothered about friendships between boys and men if no obvious violence took place. In fact the word paedophile was largely unknown back then except by academics. But things are very different now and have been getting steadily more and more paranoid since the mid 1980s. Such men could not befriend a boy these days, for to even talk to a child who is not a relative risks arrest for the strangely named crime of ‘grooming’. Those of you on here who weren’t born until the 1990s will have never known a time when the modern paranoia about paedophilia didn’t exist.
When I was 10 years old in 1957, I began going to the pictures on my own and, if an ‘A’ certificate film was showing and I wasn’t allowed in without an adult, I used to stand outside the cinema and ask a man who was on his way in “Will y’take me in, mister?” This practise wouldn’t be allowed today, but 65 years ago it was regarded as quite normal. Sometimes, when we got in, the man would leave me to it and go and sit somewhere else, or sit alongside me and share a bag of sweets with me. Occasionally (very occasionally), a man sitting next to me in the pictures would start fondling me, which I liked very much. I liked the attention. It made me feel important and wanted. When sitting on my right, for instance, they would start by squeezing my right leg just above the knee with their left hand, and, if I didn’t object, which I never did, moving their hand further up my leg, squeezing as they went, until they reached my crotch, and going even further with their exploration by getting their hand into my pants and playing with me. With me not objecting to this, the ice had been broken, as it were, and the man had found a kindred spirit and an outlet for his feelings. It only happened to me three times in the pictures. Once in 1958; once in 1959 and once in 1960 (each time involving a different man).
Such meetings with youngsters in real life couldn’t happen today. Instead, such men have had to resort to trying to meet them on Internet chat rooms, not knowing whether the person they’re chatting to is actually a child or an adult posing as one to entrap the man (which it usually is). This shows how desperate they must be to take such a risk and also shows that in this respect, the Internet is definitely a double-edged sword. So we have a situation today that is the polar opposite of what it would have been in the 1950s and there are men out there who want to be with children and love them but are not allowed to even speak to them. There is no outlet for their feelings and they must feel very lonely and isolated, hiding their light under a bushel. More of an existence than a life.
A wonderful evocation of a time really not that long ago but which is deeply remote in terms of the distance society has travelled. Truly, MB, the past is a foreign country.
Yes, Tom, a different world back then, where kids were allowed far more freedom to roam than they are today, where they mainly stay in their bedrooms, playing on their computers and having a very confined life where they only interact with their peers or authority figures such as teachers. Men mentoring boys doesn’t happen any more and children are taught from infancy to fear all men. It’s a shame, really.
Well, Western societies in general have been moving from a high trust to a low trust(or mercantile) standard over the decades, and I think one of the cultural symptoms of such a change has been the proliferation of the idea that it’s always more beneficial for the individual to assume malicious intentions of someone they don’t know.
Adults, or rather men, being unable to freely interact with children without appearing suspicious is I believe just one manifestation of this trend.
Just to demonstrate how much things have changed, I have a local newspaper cutting from half a century ago involving a then 46 years old delivery driver who indecently assaulted two eleven year old boys who were helping him on his round. The prosecution said that the offences took place as a result of “horseplay” between the three of them in the back of the van. He had to pay a fine and court costs and was released, probably after having been given a ticking off from the magistrate. The report was printed at the bottom of an inside column as if it was of no great importance. The word ‘paedophile’ wasn’t mentioned. If it had have been, the readers at that time wouldn’t have known what the word meant (how different things were then). Later on, I was told by someone that the boys didn’t complain about the man and it only got to court because one of the boys told a school friend, who told his mother, and she told the boy’s mother and it all came out.
“Like most English boys, I wasn’t cut or sexually mutilated as an infant as the Americans and the Jews do to their infant boys and this may well be the reason why I discovered masturbation at such a very young age.”
As an American who was circumcized, I can confirm that circumcision in no way prevents masturbation. That was a very nice medical myth invented, but it never had any sound basis.
Here is a testimony that I found in the e-book “Amour Enfantines” by François Lemonnier. It cites as source Med Help International (http://www.medhelp.org/), in the foru “Questions in The Child Behavioral Health Forum are being answered by Dr. Kevin Kennedy of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Greater Boston.”
Question Posted By: lozi on Saturday, June 14, 2003
My daughter (who was adopted) came home at 1 years old rocking and eventually discovered a blankie to rock on and enjoyed it. It was frequent at first and I asked our pediatrician who indicated it was normal and not to call attention to it. If it continued to ask her to do it in private. We have done that. Over time it has come and gone. I noticed more if one of us was away or she seemed stressed.
Now I hadn’t seen this behavior in a long while, or she was doing it and I never saw it. However, she is 4 1/2 now and within the last two months she has begun masturbating again on her big dog. She does it in private, but I catch her, she stops and asks me to leave. It is hard to see your child do this, but my heart tells me it is normal. I want her to feel good about herself and body. Only thing I can attribute it to now is we had to stop her finger sucking as she had an unusual suck and was bending her finger. Since her fingers have been taped (by orthopedics orders) she has returned to the other. My question is, is this related to stress with her especially since she comes from an orphanage and when does the behavior stop or become a concern? Should we continue ignoring and asking her to be private?
Answer Posted By: HVMA-Ph.D.-KDK on Monday, June 16, 2003
It is always risky to generalize, but having said that it is worth saying that children who have been institutionalized at a very early age often display deficits in their ability to estanlish secure and trusting relationships. Such difficulties are referred to as attachment disorders. It is not unusual for such children to develop physical ways to soothe themselves, and to have to rely on those methods to an extraordinary degree. Now, it is beneficial for all children to develop self-soothing behaviors, so in and of itself that is not abnormal. In fact, it is to be recommended. But the particular behaviors and the frequency/intensity of displaying them can be problems. Your daughter has likely developed her ways to soothe herself, and thumb sucking in young children is a commonly observed type of self soothing. In the absence of this, she may well return more often to masturbation which can be viewed as serving a similar function. She is to be commended for asking you to leave and to allow her some privacy. This should be respected. You are correct in telling her that the behavior should not occur in front of others. And do not interfere when she is adhering to this guideline. All the while, be sure she is engaged in pursuits of a play and social nature that are normal for her age.
>she has begun masturbating again on her big dog
Cool! It’s often the other way around: dog humps human leg. But I’m guessing a big soft-toy dog is referred to here.
I’m guessing the core info of this article is true, ie the arrest of Uittenbogaard, although I suspect there is quite a bit that isn’t.
Well, insofar as the law goes- all sex with children is innately abusive. So, yeah, it is sexual abuse.
It would be incumbent on you/your movement to prove not only that it is not abusive, but beneficial. It won’t be enough to just demonstrate that no harm was done, you would have to demonstrate a measurable benefit to children. Public opinion and lawmaking do not follow the rules of court- burden of proof lies with the defense, not the prosecution, in the grand scheme of things. I don’t even know if it’s possible to do, frankly. And I don’t think anyone can fault society for wanting to err on the side of caution, rather than the side of change. In fact, I think it is wholly warranted.
> It won’t be enough to just demonstrate that no harm was done, you would have to demonstrate a measurable benefit to children.
I agree, although it is hard to see what evidence would satisfy the sceptics given that the research world has no incentive to investigate and a great deal of disincentive in terms of reputational risk, difficulty of getting research grants, etc. But there are some studies that have included the whole spectrum, including the benefit side. It sounds from your comment as though the results might surprise you.
I think that as/if kids are able to have greater bodily autonomy, and taboos surrounding bodies and nudity are shed, and greater freedom of self exploration is afforded to children and adolescents, that it will start to bear itself out. Generational turnover will facilitate a shift in cultural norms, which will eventually root out any irrational anxieties we currently possess. And some fears may prove rational. Either way, I anticipate we’ll have a far greater understanding and grasp of these issues by mid century.
>taboos surrounding bodies and nudity are shed
I never understood the philosophical logic of why adult nudity is “decent” and child nudity is “indecent”, but I keep scrupulously to the law because the alternative is too horrible.
However, let it be said that things without a sound philosophical foundation, i.e. built on sand rather than rock, have a habit of collapsing after a “wave” of cultural reform.
Adult nudity, at least in the Anglosphere (which, let’s face it, controls what Western societies do/don’t do, even though continental Europe is far less puritanical about things), is hardly considered decent. Nudity in tv and movies is still controversial in many parts of society (it’s changing, but…still considered “indecent”). Indeed, in a weird twist, adults are more likely to be punished for nudity than children. Again, the assumption is children are innocent and therefore don’t know what they’re doing and need to be “civilized” and taught to wear clothes before the come of age and their bodies start tempting the opposite sex. I anticipate as religion loses its hold in the US, as it rapidly is, that nudity, regardless of age, will become more acceptable, at least in some contexts.
Capitalism- the commodification of bodies- that presents a greater challenge. As long as capitalism is the economic system there definitely won’t be any room for pedophilia or pederasty because people, left, center, and right, will object to the sexual commodification of children’s bodies- even if they tacitly accept it in the ways it manifests now. People will double down against exploitation in that manner. To be fair, I think feminists are correct to demand the decommodification of women’s bodies, and I think that goes hand in hand with rejecting market systems, and the decommodification of everything.
The Reduxx article came out on 27 June. On checking today, I see there was a report by ANP, an international news agency in the Netherlands, that was carried by NL Times on the previous day, the 26th:
So it looks as though ANP was the original source, with Reduxx adding their own embellishments, some of which are highly dubious. Indeed, beyond the arrest itself, which I think we can take as a reality, the ANP report contains its own dubious additions attributed to the “Free a Girl” foundation.
I am interested to know where/when the idea that children do not/cannot orgasm came from. My earliest memory of masturbating when I was 5 (I missed the bus to school because of it). I loved feeling orgasms as a small child, and no doubt I had never not masturbated in my life. Some people, when I first mention that, are quick to ask if I was molested or abused as a child. I wasn’t. I just really liked how it felt.
Personally, I think orgasms before puberty are better than after, they felt better, I think they felt more explosive, and you can keep going and going- no rest period between sessions required.
I think many people have confused ejaculation with orgasm- they’re not the same, even though they’re largely concurrent from puberty on. Children can’t ejaculate, but they can orgasm. And they can have orgasms again and again and again. I often would masturbate to orgasm twice in the same “session” as a child, and if I was alone and time was long, I sometimes just kept doing it again and again again.
I’m shocked that so many people will seriously assert they didn’t start masturbating (or experience an orgasm) until puberty or thereafter, and it is perplexing to me that some so-called child experts, social scientists, and medical experts can say with a straight face that children can’t orgasm before puberty. It is a flat out lie. Not only can they, they have a greater capacity for it than adults do- who have to have rest periods after orgasms before attempting to have another.
If people’s delayed experience with orgasms until puberty is the result of religion and social conditioning, or just ignorance- only experiencing maybe some pleasurable rubbing without climax- I find that sad. If people are merely conflating ejaculation with orgasm, then people are in need of serious education (well, I suppose people are in serious need of education regardless).
As a side note- the standard, conventional notion that puberty begins around age 11-15 is also not correct. That’s when secondary sex characteristics begin to develop, but the pituitary gland starts dumping hormones into kids systems around ages 7-10. Kids start getting hormonal well before age 12 or 13.
>it is perplexing to me that some so-called child experts, social scientists, and medical experts can say with a straight face that children can’t orgasm before puberty.
I guess this justifies your chosen moniker, Perplexed, but your childhood experience suggests this is a topic on which you are justifiably sure of your ground, hence not at all perplexed about it.
>Personally, I think orgasms before puberty are better than after
When I discovered that Robin Fox had written along similar lines, I was amazed. I had no idea. My own early experience was of orgasm being exactly the same before and after puberty (except for dry v. ejaculation), so to hear about experiences like yours (and Fox’s) is a real revelation to me. We live and learn!
I will say that one thing going against any potential destigmatization of pedophilia and pederasty is that masturbation, more often in children, isn’t sexual in nature. Which many people will take as a license to reiterate that children can’t/don’t have sexual feelings. That is utter nonsense, however it wasn’t until I was 15 that I learned that masturbation was something most people associate with sex.
I learned from an unwitting ecclesiastical leader, during a “worthiness interview”. I grew up Mormon. It was the part of the interview when he was asking me if I keep the law of chastity. Basically the church wants leaders to grill kids, and adults, on their sex lives and sexual habits, and especially hone in on whether kids are masturbating or looking at porn or not. Which I now consider to be child abuse, and sexual abuse at that. No, not hands on, no not sexual exploitation or child porn, and not as “serious”- but I definitely count it as sexual abusive now, even if the law doesn’t.
He basically assumed I was whacking off to girls (I wasn’t, and frankly, it reveals more about him than about me), and that’s how I learned that people masturbate TO things. I’d only ever just done it because it feels good, till that point. Oh, sure there are some cases I now know in hindsight were me masturbating TO something, and I just didn’t put that together at the time, but by and large, it was just a feel good thing and not attached TO anything.
I actually had this conversation when I was talking about asexuality on Discord with other people- who did not believe it was possible to masturbate without some kind of fantasizing or sexual stimuli. To which I responded that my best orgasms have all been absent fantasizing and stimuli. I didn’t bother to try and introduce the concept of aegosexuality to them, as that would have just made them more insistent and belligerent against my asexuality. Aegosexuality is basically where you can watch porn, read stories, or otherwise fantasize, and even get off to it, but that it doesn’t translate to what you want to do in real life, and doesn’t translate to real world attractions. It’s just a fantasy alone, and nothing more.
But, yeah- the often asexual nature of early masturbation is definitely something that people can and will use to argue against child sexuality, and against pedophilia.
Could it not just be your personal experience, since you call yourself asexual? As an example: Last year, I saw a video on YouTube that showed a couple of parents (probably Chinese) that were watching something on their i-phone. They had a toddler boy next to them, and he shouted and waved because he wanted to see what his parents were watching. As usually happens in the East, the toddler only wore a shirt and no underpants nor diapers at all. As he continued to play the fool, they finally showed him the phone – it was some porno with a close-up of a naked woman that “rode” a man. The toddler calmed down immediately, and within a few seconds he had a visible erection and began to touch his penis (I want to stress again that we are talking about a boy that could not even really speak yet, so probably around 2 years old). Needless to say, the video was quickly removed from YouTube.
I fully admit it could just be natural ignorance and lack of experience/education or, rather, opportunity, that confines early masturbation to a non-sexual attraction/fantasy realm. I did have a few arousal related masturbatory sessions (that I recognize in hindsight, but not at the time), but they were as an older child, not a small one- when I was 7+.
My point still stands that masturbation isn’t always sexual in nature.
The adults have occupied sexuality as an ageist sign of their suprimacy. In early childhood, sexuality is devoid of privilege and is perceived more naturally. Gradually, the ageist and phobic stereotypes of adult society are inherited by the young for adaptation in the surrounding orders.
This is for the person (who may wish not to be named here), who used the Contact link at HTOC to email me regarding the hate speech laws. I replied to your email but the message bounced back as not deliverable. Perhaps you would kindly write again from another email address? Please do send me the correspondence you mentioned. Thanks!
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) includes Article 34 – freedom from sexual abuse or coercion.
However the UN has shifted focus in recent times and talked a lot about the “sexual rights of the child” – something which has upset conservatives. I don’t have any documents to hand but I expect this concerns the right of the child to experience sexual pleasure. If anyone can find any UN documents on this I would be grateful.
ZT, you wrote:
>However the UN has shifted focus in recent times and talked a lot about the “sexual rights of the child”.
Unfortunately, I think this perception arises from a somewhat dubious claim designed to discredit the Scottish National Party, would you believe. See here in Scottish online journal, The Ferret:
The organisation talking about children’s (actually adolescents’) sexual rights was a pressure group (the Women’s Rights Caucus), who have been trying to influence UN policy. Thus they could well be affiliated to the UN, but their policies are their own, not the UN’s. The WRC clearly has a number of pro-sex ideas (supporting sex workers, for instance) that might not be supported these days by most people who identify as feminists.
The report in The Ferret includes a fact check on the claim and damns it as false, indeed maximum false on their own six-point scale. However, on the facts disclosed, I would say it is at least half-true.
The document on which The Ferret‘s claim is based is the WRC’s declaration in 2020 marking the 25th anniversary of the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, which had produced a document dubbed the Beijing Declaration: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing_Declaration
The 2020 declaration was described as a document drafted “by the Women’s Rights Caucus: a global coalition of over 200 organizations working to advance women’s human rights internationally, regionally, nationally and locally”.
This 2020 WRC declaration includes two quite radical paragraphs. Note that clause 14, below, speaks of the sexual rights of all individuals, not just all adults. Sub-clause g. of clause 14 refers to adolescents. In the WHO definition, adolescence extends from age 10 to 19. Hence the clause is reasonably capable, in my view, of being interpreted to support an AOC down to 10 with respect to sexual contact with “adolescents” aged up to 19:
Thanks for this excellent information Tom.
I actually based my post on a conservative American perspective: a UN insider called Kimberly Ells was on Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night, and she has just released a book:
The blurb is as follows:
Socialists and feminists have long targeted the family as an enemy, even the enemy. For socialists, the family is an obstacle to the full power of the progressive state. For feminists, the family denies female independence and equality. Today, however, the battle has grown even fiercer, as socialists and feminists have found a global ally in the United Nations…
And the author:
Kimberly Ells is a Policy Advisor at Family Watch International where she works to protect children from early sexualization…
Now there is probably an unhealthy dose of conservative exaggeration here, but Ells did claim on Tucker Carlson that insider UN groups were heavily into the sexual rights of children, hence I wondered whether there were any substantive documents on the internet.
Not sure it’s worth wading through her book though.
>Now there is probably an unhealthy dose of conservative exaggeration here, but Ells did claim on Tucker Carlson that insider UN groups were heavily into the sexual rights of children
My strong suspicion is that she is indeed exaggerating by referring to “insider UN groups” when she means just one group, the Women’s Rights Caucus, and that a phrase such as “insider” is meant to give the false impression that the caucus is more influential than is really the case. I would not accuse her of outright dishonesty, though, because the the Women’s Rights Caucus, as the name suggests, is an assemblage of many groups coming together around a single theme.
Yeah, pretty gutted about this. Always difficult to know just how much conservatives exaggerate, but the likelihood is that they massively exaggerate. This is somewhat annoying when trying to get hold of accurate and objective information. As far as I can tell, gender identity is now a major element in schools, right from pre-K, but specifically sexual issues are more on the margins at present. But still, the pace of change has been significant.
Feminism and leftist ideologies are not about being anti-family. They may be opposed to the institution of marriage and patriachal systems of organization, but they’re not anti-family. I would argue the nuclear family is anti-family and responsible for the breakdown of social bonds, because the nuclear family model was never sustainable, and is anti-human. Of course it was going to fall prey to divorce, and separation, and shirking of parental responsibilities, and single-parenting, and burnout.
Yes, conservatives have fetishised the 1950s, and their ideal is actually anti-traditional. The nuclear family is an atomised caricature of a true traditional extended family structure. The failure of the nuclear family has indeed led to high divorce rates and single parenting, and the breakdown of society.
We talk about a Thatcherite individualistic mentality, where “there is no such thing as society”. Well this is just the next logical step to the nuclear family ideal, which has been corrosive to social and cultural values. The traditional model, as was (or is still) found in Mediterranean families for example, or still remain in parts of the developing world, is much more cohesive and representative of a healthy society.
Conservatives love the nuclear family, because conservatives are not traditionalists. They are fetishisers of a particular point in the recent past, wanting to reverse the clock impossibly to bring about recent historical conditions. True traditionalists are much more friendly to minor attraction – the historic norm for marriage limits has been twelve. The “paedophile menace” is also a gross and obscene conservative invention, affecting society down to its smallest detail, for example in this article by Forbes:
Yes my beloved Instagram, part subject of my recent guest blog, is coming under conservative attack, with idiotic lines such as this:”even without illegality, there’s a cringe factor that bleeds into similar Instagram activity”. The idiot author also tried to show the IWF Instagram posts of children, to which they replied: “er, we can’t comment, as it’s legal”. Conservatives won’t be happy until they’ve imposed their 1950s fetish on society at large, but they are doomed to failure. Child Instagram isn’t going anywhere, it’s too big.
I recently saw a mother post about haters sending her messages: “why do you dress your child in a crop top? You should be ashamed!” etc. Yet common sense will win. If a child in a bikini becomes a banned or prohibited thing, that creates the absurd situation of outlawing most of the world’s beaches and poolsides lol! Conservatives have become greedy, and they’ve overstepped the mark.
Certainly it is an irony lost on them that it is they who actively sexualize the body, and also, through their childhood innocence complex, fetishize the child. Opposites are generally two sides of the same coin, I’ve found. The liberation of women is good for men, patriarchy hurts men. Modesty/purity culture generates oversexualization. Commercialization breaks down traditional values. I’m shocked that conservatives haven’t made the connection there yet- their love of capitalism and atomic individualism undermines their cherished traditional values.
I would even argue that conservatives aren’t in fact traditional – they merely conserve a very recent point in history.
Now I’m not left wing, but I’m certainly not socially conservative either. I like the fact that Kit (who occasionally posts on here) believes in a kind of neo-feudalism. Many traditional societies allowed child marriage and certainly didn’t have a neurotic complex about vastly overblown “paedophile threats” in society.
Modern conservatism is undoubtedly ugly. I would describe myself as an economically liberal, spiritually and culturally traditional, and socially tolerant individual.
I also believe that in many respects Medieval Europe had a superior culture to contemporary Americana, but that is another topic altogether.
See Children and Sexuality: From the Greeks to the Great War (2007)
Exactly. This is an excellent example of the use of apagogical philosophy (“Reductio ad absurdum”). I suggest conservatives and wokists a way to protect children from sexualization – the obligatory wearing of the burqa until 18. Lol.
A quick google using the keywords ‘ictal masturbation children site:nih.gov’ should clear up any doubt that very young children can and do have orgasms. Many medical studies have examined this question, in an effort to prevent the ‘voluptuous acme’ being mistaken for a seizure and triggering unnecessary neurological investigations.
Another term returning many medical research papers is the somewhat glum “gratification disorder”.
This could be great, although my first couple of Google searches using suggested terms and specified site leave me with, well, lots more searching to do. Many of the search returns are papers that potentially address/answer the key issue, but which? If you know, Traction, please tell us.
Sorry Tom, my mistake. Results are better without the site restriction, eg:
There’s endless further material referenced from these.
By the way, kids do have a right to a little privacy. Sometimes it feels a bit creepy and intrusive to be paying too much attention to their sexual habits.
I think it’s important to understand that kids have sex lives, but I don’t think I need to be personally involved. I’m interested in this topic because I feel very strongly that children’s sexual rights need to be protected, and are under increasing threat.
There are papers, especially from conservative cultures, that pathologise childhood masturbation, some going so far as to use antipsychotic drugs to ‘treat’ the ‘condition’. This, in the 21st century, doesn’t seem that far ahead of “ferrum candens ad clitoridem”.
This is an important although potentially embarrassing or unspoken topic. It goes far beyond a “low curiosity” though as establishing that children are sensual beings has implications for our basic attitudes towards current social and cultural issues. It demonstrates, against the social conservatives, that starting sex ed at ever younger years is not a corruption of society but instead an accurate reflection of child psychology and their interaction with a very liberal environment. The drag queen controversies are difficult because it arguably introduces an element of deep unconventionality (I will not say perversity) into children’s early experiences, which could skew an otherwise healthy sexuality. But masturbation at any age is entirely normal according to many reliable sources, although one that was missing from my own childhood (not sexual fantasy, which began at seven). I see no reason why orgasm or at least a climactic sexual feeling should not be possible at any age. However I think the psychological community have a long way to go to acknowledge the true hidden depths of children’s sexuality. One must remember that in Victorian times a similar reluctance engulfed acknowledgement of sexuality generally, so it is something of a cultural hangover from an earlier historic time.
Exactly. Already in the second year of life, children are taught to walk. Nobody says “it’s untimely”, “it corrupts them and let’s wait until 5 when they are psychologically ready.”
They are given a tricycle. Later, they ride on the streets and follow the rules of the road. No one says “let’s forbid bicycles untill 18 because there is a risk of an accident.”
20 years ago, teenage girls could criticize the state of sex education in the UK.
Given the propensity of many small children to (at least want to) wear clothes of the opposite gender, to do activities and behave like the opposite gender- I doubt very much that drag queens are “messing up” anything. Indeed, it serves as an adult representation of what many kids themselves like/do. The right is freaking out over trans people for no good reason.
I want to direct everyone’s attention here to a blog of Mikhail (Misha) Verbitsky, a Russian (well, formerly Russian – now he lives and works in Brazil) professional mathematician and devout anarchist and free-thinker who always was, and still is, an open supporter of the consensual intergenerational sexuality, child / adolescent sexuality and paedosexuality. His support was more than mere words: his free speech blog platform LJ.Rossia.Org is the one that allowed Russian MAPs and MAP allies, as well as child liberationists, to publish their views there. Some years ago, this lead to a barrage of hysterical and hateful attacks directed at him and his platform, that (among other factors) forced him to leave Russia and move to Brazil.
Verbitsky’s blog concentrates on many topics, but, with a relevant tag, one can see all his pro-intergenerational-sexuality posts:
Well, the single problem with the blog is that it is written in Russian… but, with the help of Google Translate or some other similar utility a non-Russian spreaker probably can obtain a readable translation of his writings there.
Gert Hekma was a hero. A true inspiration and exactly what scholars should aim to be. Brave, bold, open-minded, thought-provoking, and of course, learned, as Gert was, to an exceptional degree. His writings in Paidika remain immensely valuable studies on MAPs who would’ve otherwise remained obscure figures.
Truly a brilliant man…
Will have more to say more later :p
Re: Roger Moody:
Everyone here, if you’ve not seen it, check out the brongersma website where you can find Moody’s famous Indecent Assault book as a pdf here: https://www.brongersma.info/Indecent_assault
I can tell you this is very rare. I recently made some efforts at archiving books myself, which led me to scanning every page of Moody’s book only to subsequently realize it was on this site!!! So, don’t make my mistake – take the easy route and save a copy for yourselves!
For interested persons, other than his book, I know that Moody authored the following:
Child protection, English style, in PAN issue 5 (1980) https://www.brongersma.info/PAN-05
Man/Boy Love and The Left, in The Age Taboo (ed. Daniel Tsang, 1981).
‘Ends and means: how to make paedophilia acceptable…?’ In the book, The Betrayal of Youth – Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People (Ed. by Warren Middleton; CL Publications, London; 1986). https://www.brongersma.info/Ends_and_means:_how_to_make_paedophilia_acceptable…%3F
It’s also possible that Moody authored much more in the journal PAN. See https://www.brongersma.info/Category:Roger_Moody
I have to go right now but I’ll be back, will have a look over Moody’s work and give some commentary on this thoughtful man and his writings.
The source is said to be this:
though the date 1997 seems more probable.
Good work, Cyril!
I see that the material from Volbert is in a huge PDF of 1145 pages by Mark Norlic, titled Tabu Zone, which appears to be focused on child sexuality and paedophilia plus related public concerns, notably “child abuse”, pornography, and criminal law.
The studies by Klein and by Volbert and Zellmer add new information on orgasm. I already knew about the Gundersen study, which I cited in the blog.
>though the date 1997 seems more probable.
Yes. I have seen this:
Volbert, R. (2005). Sexuelles Verhalten von Kindern: Normale Entwicklung oder Indikator für sexuellen Mißbrauch? In G. Amann & R. Wipplinger (Hrsg.), Sexueller Missbrauch (S. 449 – 465). Tübingen: dgvt-Verlag. [Überarbeitete Auflage der Publikation aus 1997]
This reference to a revised edition of the 1997 publication is in what appears to be a full listing of Volbert’s published works:
Also, numerous references here to 1997:
it seems that you can email her:
The quote from Mark Norlik’s Tabuzone (2013):
It means that child sexuality is acknowledged even by those specialists who condemn and struggle against it.
Very interesting, Cyril, but in future please translate into English. See Google Translate version below.
This particularly caught my eye: the girl who “committed the greatest atrocities at the age of ten (…) and with the clergyman’s cassock , admonishing her to get better, masturbated.” Either clergymen’s cassocks have hitherto unknown aphrodisiac properties or this is the same child as in Krafft-Ebing’s account! 🙂
(… source:) Wulffen, Erich (1993): The woman as a sexual criminal. First publication by Dr. Paul Langenscheidt, Berlin, 1923. Orion Verlag, Flensburg.
Why translate? Anyone who needs it may use Google Translate on one’s own. Original text is more important
Interesting point, Cyril, and academically a strong one.
However, a Google translation will usually be adequate for most purposes. It is more convenient for the sender to use Google once than for everyone to be obliged to do so individually. Your scholarly point is best dealt with by including a link to the source in the original language.
Craft Ebbing testified:
The fact is that the medical authority that was the first who pathologized pedophilia, that was the enemy of masturbation, he actually admits the existance of child sexuality!
Bizarre as it seems to us now, childhood masturbation was seen as a terrible form of “self-abuse” but little consideration appears to have been given to the appallingly abusive nature of the remedy, which in the case described by Krafft-Ebing was “ferrum candens ad clitoridem”, or “hot iron to the clitoris”. In some cases, a red-hot poker would have been the instrument of torture: the intention was to burn out the pleasure-giving nerve tissue.
It is indeed contradictory, Cyril, as you imply, to condemn paedophilia on the grounds that children are “innocent” and asexual, while at the same time using violent methods to suppress the sexuality that they insist does not exist!
When I was a little boy from ages 6-12 I would dress up in my sister’s clothes and play with myself as I looked in a mirror. It’s not because I wanted to be a girl, it’s just that I found girls so beautiful and attractive that I wanted to manifest their presence through myself. As I became a teenager this went away and I stopped doing it. My desires for prepubscent girls didn’t go away, it’s only that I was no longer able to adequately portray myself as one. Had anyone found out about it I might have been wrongly diagnosed with gender dysphoria since that seems to be the assumption for cross dressing, especially for kids whose sexuality is dismissed as being non existent.
Most informative, GL. Thanks!
>I found girls so beautiful and attractive that I wanted to manifest their presence through myself.
I have never heard this expressed so clearly, concisely and persuasively before, even though the experience of many cross-dressers could be quite similar, I imagine.
>Had anyone found out about it I might have been wrongly diagnosed with gender dysphoria since that seems to be the assumption for cross dressing, especially for kids whose sexuality is dismissed as being non existent.
This seems all too likely.
More research in the field of prepubertal orgasm is quite easy to conduct, especially if one has an internet connection. Here is an account from a man who is downright disappointed that he has lost the orgasm capabilities that he had as a child:
Interesting link, SB. Thanks.
I see this Reddit post was made 10 years ago and that comments have been closed. That’s a shame. Is is usual Reddit policy to close threads down? How long, I wonder, did this one stay open? I ask because there were only two reply comments whereas the responses to more recent posts on the same subreddit run into hundreds. Is that perhaps just because Reddit is now much more well known and popular than it was 10 years ago?
Actually, I don’t know. It’s more or less coincidental – some topics have a lot of replies, other just a few ones. But if you have nothing to do in the next three weeks, you can read this:
Where do you think I got quite a lot of the info for my blog? 🙂 GUS is fantastic. This archive is already on HTOC’s blogroll (“Hotspots”). It was compiled by Diederik Janssen, whose article “First stirrings” in mentioned in the blog. The blog also includes the word “ethnographic” with reference to cross-cultural sources of info on childhood sexuality.
I did not pursue this line of inquiry, as I feel sources closer to home are stronger on the matter of orgasm. However, when researching primarily cultural matters, rather than biological ones, I am pretty confident that GUS is the best bibliographical source we have. So I endorse your implied recommendation, SB.
OK, did you know this too?
>OK, did you know this too?
No. More good stuff! 🙂
By the way, our friend Eivind Berge has already discovered this last blog of yours, and (as is customary for him) he does not mince with words when it comes to David Ley:
And seriously, how is it possible to be so ignorant when you even claim to have a clinical practice related to sexology? Granted that he might not have experienced it himself like me and TOC, and it is possible to shirk on academic reading and still be a decent person, but you only have to speak to less than 10 men before statistically encountering someone who can tell you they orgasmed by age 7. So Ley is a gigantic, ridiculous fraud. He has also blocked me on Twitter now because he is afraid of the truth.
As for the difference between prepubertal and postpubertal orgasm through masturbations, here I can tell a lot from my own rather vast boyish experience, since I literally masturbated as long as could remember myself!
Much like as Robin Fox, as quoted by you, described, the crucial feature of my non-ejaculatory sexual satisfaction, one that I experienced so much in my childhood years, was its continuous, flow-like nature: as long as I excited myself into pleasure by my own hands, it simply lasted as long as I proceeded with the process. This changed soon after I turned 13, when my usual masturbatory act suddenly – very suddenly! – ended with my first ejaculation, as well as my first “adult-like” – quick and explosive – orgasm. I still recall this time vividly: I was actually quite confused after this incident, not knowing what to do with my stained bedsheet and dirty hands.
Interestingly, as an adolescent, I soon found ways to enjoy both types of orgasm. I could masturbate intensely, quickly driving myself to ejaculation and release – which I learned to do in my bathroom, where I could, well, easily dispose of the product and its marks 😉 – the “pleasure blast”, so to say. And I also could do it more gently, for a lengthy time, constantly feeling the coming of an orgasm but never releasing it fully, thus reproducing “the pleasure wave” of my childhood – this was reserved for the bedroom. So, the child-like “wave pleasure” is not lost for someone who tries, even without the involvement of Tantra or some other somato-psycho-spiritual technique.
Well, this was cool until in my 20s I finally initiated my sexual relationships with actual real-life adult women, preferrably somewhat older than myself… But this is another story, and a substantially different one, since it deals more with emotional and intellectual connections than a purely bodily enjoyment.
Great info, Explorer! Thanks!
When I was 12 in 1959, I had my first ejaculation when masturbating. I was very concerned by this, as I thought I was bleeding white blood and that there must me something wrong with me inside. There was no one to ask about it, so I thought the best thing to do would be to stop masturbating and then I wouldn’t bleed this white blood any more. After a week, the desire to masturbate became so intense and sexually frustrating that I just had to do it. Again, the white stuff shot out. After a few more sessions, I decided that whatever this was, it wasn’t doing me any harm, so I continued to pleasure myself and just stopped worrying about it.
>After a few more sessions, I decided that whatever this was, it wasn’t doing me any harm
A risky deduction (“white blood” sounds pretty damn serious) but fortunately you made the right call! 🙂
In the USSR, children were often persuaded by their (grand)parents that they will become blind if they masturbate – and I suspect that many (grand)parents actually believed it themselves.
Not that it helped – even kids who trusted their elders, still couldn’t stop and decided that putting their eyesight at risk still worthed it!
Masturbation was also officialy considered to be pathological, and to be treated, by the Soviet psychiatry. It was stated in the Soviet academic medical literature that children masturbate because they accidentally observe the sexual life of adults – otherwise, they wouldn’t have an idea how to do it, since they must be asexual before puberty! And it was believed to be derimental for the health. Recommended treatment was going into sport and intense physical activity, both to distract from the temptation and to restore lost energy.
BTW, even simple left-handedness was seen as a pathology by the Soviet psychiatry, and left-handed children was massively “reeducated” into being right-handed.