"Memoirs of an amazon lover" is the preliminary title of an autobiography I'm considering writing. This is a first draft fragment from the manuscript. I'd love to hear your feedback about it! Does it speak to you? Is it recognizable? Did you have similar experiences? Do you think this could be appealing to a mainstream audience...? Any feedback appreciated, in comment or at email@example.com
- “I did it!” Phil said. I had been sitting on a bench in the hallway next to the auditorium, and he had come to me, all smiles.
- “What?” I believed I knew what he was talking about and felt the dread rise up inside me, almost like a rocket.
- “I asked her out!”
Okay but still... she might have said...
- “What... did she say?” I asked, wondering if on my face he could see that I hoped the answer would be no.
- “She said yes!”
- “Oh wow!” I said, trying to fake some enthusiasm as I felt utter dispair.
His face was beaming. He was my best friend. I should have been happy for him. As it was, all of this was the reason for my little breakdown, the next morning. More about that in a minute.
This was my first year in college. I was studing English language and literature. I had come straight from a high school that was boys only. Those were the norm rather than anything else, at the time, and I had never questioned it much. But for a shy guy like me, it meant that I hardly ever got to see any girls. I had never gone out after school. I spent most of my time playing computer games, and reading. Girls were very scary. They were an alien species to me. I was afraid they’d laugh at me. Not without reason. I was very short. The shortest person in high school. And I looked very young. I’d heard people wonder what I did at high school on more than one occasion. They just couldn’t believe someone like me belonged there. I didn’t look old enough to be there.
By the time I got to college, I had never kissed a girl. Not even touched one. And so, to get closer to a girl was project number one. I wasn’t even thinking of sex. I was thinking of just kissing! That would be progress enough. Sex was actually... one of the reasons I was so shy and hesitant. I’ll come back to that. In any case, I remember that, during one of the first days at school, through a friend we ended up playing pool with a girl. A few hours later, that girl was coincidentally on my bus on my way home. She came to sit next to me and we talked. I think it was the first time in years that I was having a longish conversation with a girl who was not family. It was only after she’d gotten off the bus, a few stops before mine, that I discovered that part of my thumb was bleeding at the nail. It’d been scratching myself from sheer nervousness.
My friend Phil, he was somewhat in the same boat. Single, inexperienced, desperately looking. But neither of us were looking just anywhere: we had targets. Very concrete targets. His was Kate, a blonde that he had given a score of eight out of ten. The only woman he had identified as higher (a nine) had turned out to speak with an accent that was a turnoff to him.
My own target was Miriam, a brunette of an – at least in my eyes – unearthly beauty. I had been only temporarily disappointed upon finding out that she was doing her first year for the second time. Maybe she just hadn’t put in the effort. A more important corrolary of her redoing the year was that she was absent from a lot of courses, and I didn’t see her all that much.
Not that I did a lot when I saw her, except for secretely looking, inhaling her beauty. I was too goddamn shy. I knew how I looked. She couldn’t possibly be interested in me. Phil had given me a French song on a tape, called Le Premier Pas. It was about a guy being interested in a woman and wondering about the first step. I was that guy.
The first step. I did wonder about it. All the time. And it has to be said, I took little baby steps. I ended up talking to Miriam and I remember – very fondly – a wonderful smile that she threw at me afterward, when she saw me in the corridor, waiting for a course to start. Phil was flabbergasted at my success and said I stood a serious chance...
But in the end, I never told her. Phil, on the other hand, he’d done it. And I was miserable. It wasn’t because I was jealous, it was because I was desperate. Because of the big secret I had been carrying with me for years. No one knew about it. But that was about to change. Phil’s asking Kate out was the catalyst for that.
It had been a restless night, and I had been worrying a lot about my situation since Phil’s courageous deed. And yet I didn’t see it coming, the thing that happened at the breakfast table at home. I had gotten up later than my parents or brother. It was only my plate that was still on the table, but my mom sat opposite me when I sat down, just to keep me company for a bit. I tried to make a sandwich and suddenly felt my hands shake. The next second, I was crying.
I’ll never forget how my mom reacted: as if she could read my mind. This is almost literally how it went.
- “What is it? Do you have a problem?”
I didn’t respond to this, but right away she added: “Does it have anything to do with sex?”
I think I may have nodded slightly. Then she asked “Are you afraid of not being able to get it up?”
You have to know, we never discussed things like these. My mother was being uncharacteristically candid here. The word sex had hardly ever turned up in our conversations. But I suspected that, me being nineteen at that moment and never having talked about girls, much less taken someone home, she must have suspected I was gay. That suspicion might also have been strengthed by the fact that I was never very manly. I could have been gay, I guess, and among my friends in those years I was actually known as some sort of gay magnet. It was a bit of a running joke, based on reality. Gay men seemed attracted to me, maybe partly because I looked very young. I suppose for some of them I was exactly their type.
But I wasn’t gay. It was much worse than that, or so I thought.
- “Do you want to see a psychologist? I can make you an appointment?”
This was all going very fast! But I felt I had to get this over with. I had to go through it. I had struggled with it for many years now, and I knew that if I ever wanted a woman in my life, I needed to take some action. And it would be good, I thought, to at least talk to a professional.
- “Yes,” I said meekly.
- “If you want I can check if someone in town can see you. She’s a friend. What do you think?”
It was a small town, tiny even, and the fact that my mom had a therapist who was a friend… it was quite a coincidence. Again I said yes.
She disappeared for a bit and then told me her friend could see me that very morning. And so half an hour later, I was sitting in front of a therapist. It was the very first time in my life, and I felt that I should have done it much earlier than that, given how I struggled. This was my big secret and it weighed on me like nothing else.
Still it was hard to talk about it to the therapist. She was a young woman who seemed eager to help, but when she asked me how she could do that, I could hardly utter a word. After a few minutes of silence and stammering, I spoke.
- “It’s about… what I get excited by. S-sexually.” It almost physicallly hurt to say the s-word.
- “Okay…” She looked expectantly but it was so damn hard to proceed.
- “Could you… maybe try to guess what my issue is?”
- “Guess it? Why would you want me to do that? Is it so hard to say it?”
- “Yes, I said. “That, and also… I think that… if I see you can come up with it… that would show me that maybe it’s… less abnormal than I think.
- “You want to see if it’s something that I can spontaneously think of? That would be a relief to you, if I could?”
- “And if I can’t…?”
If she couldn’t, that would make me feel terrrible, I thought. But I wanted to risk it.
- “Can you… try?”
- “Sure. So let’s see… Do you think you’re gay?”
I was pretty sure of that.
- “Are you attracted to… girls much younger than you?”
- “No.” I was so relieved to be able to respond negatively to that. I think she was too. And certainly my mom would be.
- “Are you turned on by prostitutes, maybe?”
I’d never heard about people being attracted specifically by prostitutes. Weird, I thought.
- “Hmmm.” To my discomfort, she already seemed to be out of options. She looked at me, trying to hide her hesitation with her smile. Then she said:
- “Is this actually about the type of person, or rather about what you do with the person, or what the person does to you?”
This seemed to me to be an interesting distinction that at that moment I hadn’t given all that much thought to.
- “Ehm, it’s the second,” I said.
- “You get exciting by certain things people may do to you, or you to them?”
- “Yes, always girls.”
I walked home after the session. It was only two miles anway. My mom asked me how it had been. She was visibly nervous. I said that I didn’t really want to talk about it, but that if she felt like it, she could talk to the therapist. I had told the therapist I’d be fine with her telling my mom. And so my mom drove back to the therapist right away. She was too worried to just let this sit until I was ready to talk.
Half an hour or so later there was a knock at the door of my room. It was my mom.
- “I’m actually glad it’s only that,” she said.
It felt good to hear her say that, but her next words immediately countered that feeling.
- “Is this like… you want to tie girls unto a chair or something?”
I stared at her for a second, not understanding. What had she understood from her friend? Or had I not made myself clear to the therapist?
- “Ehm… no. It has nothing to do with that. Well it’s actually… it’s rather the opposite.”
- “You would like to be tied to a chair by girls?”
- “Not exactly…”
She was silent for a second, visibly wondering if she should go on asking for more details. Then apparently she decided against it.
- “Well… maybe you should stop reading those books you read?”
She was referring to Stephen King’s horror novels that I was a fan of. It was silly of her to say that but she couldn’t know that.
- “That has really nothing to do with it, mom,” I said, feeling entirely convinced that that was true.
That same day, my father took me apart and said that he had heard about my issue and had said that there was absolutely nothing to worry about. He sounded convinced and, one way or another, convincing. For a moment I wondered if this thing was inherited, and if he had it too and that that was why he could say with certainty that it wasn’t an issue. I didn’t ask.
The topic never came up again, neither with my mom nor with my dad. On the occasion when I was visibly sad or depressed, they might ask me if my “issue” had anything to do with it, but other than that, it was ignored. That was the way I wanted it.
I don’t remember how I felt that day, but I’m sure it was the beginning of a very long process of solving a problem that had started many years earlier.
It’s abnormal. That much I know. Some would think that that’s an ugly word to describe a quality, an affliction, an orientation, but honestly, that’s just what it is: ab-normal. Not according to the norm. I have no problem with that word.
Many things are abnormal though. You can be abnormally tall. Abnormally smart. You can have body parts that are functioning abnormally. You can have an abnormal fondness for chocolate.
You can also have abnormal desires. Abnormal sexual desires. How do we call these, these days? I guess it depends on the object of one’s desire. Some of those objects are ok for you to desire. Some are not. If they’re okay – if you’re a woman, for instance, who desires only sex with women – then political correctness has made sure we use terms that are not offensive. In that sense, it seems we can’t call being gay anything other than a sexual orientation. It’s the same term we’d use for being straight.
It seems that the correct term these days is paraphilia. Wikipedia describes it as the “experience of intense sexual arousal to atypical objects, situations, fantasies, behaviors, or individuals”. Former words for are sexual perversion and sexual deviation. Wikipedia also notes that “no consensus has been found for any precise border between unusual sexual interests and paraphilic ones.”
There also are paraphilic disorders. That’s when one’s fantasies, desires, urges… become problematic. Some kinds of desires, depending on the subject, are always problematic, it seems, independent of how intense they are lived.
Anyway, I’m quite okay with paraphilia. It doesn’t sound too bad at all. Do I have a praphilic disorder, though? I’ll let you be the judge of that, after reading my story.
What I had told the therapist was that I thought I was a masochist. I wasn’t especially into pain or whips or anything typical like that, but I loved to be physically controlled by women. From a very early age, this whole concept had shown up as an excitement about girls who were stronger and mostly taller and heavier as well. I don’t know exactly when this started, but I have three candidates for the first time I noticed it. I remember these three instances as moments where I was discovering the idea, which is to say, I didn’t feel actual sexual excitement in these particular cases – even though that was to come soon as well.
Candidate one might be the earliest episode. I must have been five or six. Our class of boys and girls got an initiation into judo, by a female judo teacher who was a national chamption. I was paired up with a girl heavier than me, and when we had to practise the basic ground hold in judo – hon gesa getame – she could escape my hold, but I couldn’t escape hers. That stirred something in me.
Candidate two was seeing a certain picture in a children’s book. It was a drawing of a person throwing another person – maybe it was a comic book, I’m not sure. The thing was that the thrower had long hair, and I thought was female. I remember asking my aunt the question: is this a man or a woman? I even remember asking it in a kind of childish way, to avert any possible suspicion. I guess no one else could have seen the hint of excitement behind my question – because hardly anyone is like me – but I didn’t really know that at the time. In any case, the fact that a woman would be throwing a man around felt exciting. At that moment I’m not sure I felt actual sexual excitement, but there was definitely the interest.
Candidate three is the most special memory I have. It involved a girl I would fancy, soon after. It was at a fundraising dinner – though nothing fancy at all - organized by that same school I had the judo initiation at. After the dinner, which happened at the school, us kids took to the playground. I saw other kids playing there. There were two girls who were swinging around and cradle carrying boys. I remember my fascination – especially because they were doing this to boys their age - as I stood watching, and my surprise when one of the girls asked if I wanted to have a go as well. I said yes. And she swung me around, and craddle carried me. I knew she was my age, she was in the same grade, but in another class. The next year, we’d be in the same class, and for all practical purposes, we’d have a “relationship” – platonic though it was – during several following years. Strangely though, while this relatinoship with this girl started like this, I have no other memories of experiencing this kind of excitement with this girl. It may be that I have forgotten. But it feels like something different was going on. It feels like I was subconsciously avoiding having those kinds of feelings for someone I felt romantically involved with.
- “Have you heard about what they call ‘jerking off?’
I was spending the night in my nephew’s bedroom. I must have been not older than maybe ten, and he was one year older.
- “No, what’s that?”
- “It’s, like, you move the skin of your penis, and it gives you a really nice feeling.”
I tried it, right there, right then, in the dark, under my covers.
- “Is it like… the feeling of rubbing a bag with small stones in it?”
- “Eh, no. You have to think of something that excites you while you do it. Like, a girl.”
It was my first confrontation with the idea of masturbation.
I guess my nephew was a bit too early. It would be several years before I actually took to jerking off, when other kids in my class, surprised that at the age of fourteen I still wasn’t doing it, tried to teach me. I’ll tell you about that later. First there’s more stuff to tell about an earlier age.
I told you I didn’t feel actual sexual excitement during the three episodes I wrote about, and how that changed soon after. Freud first raised the topic infant sexuality. He was talking about things like putting your fingers in your ass and stuff like that, but that’s not exactly what I’m talking about. I’m talking about actual sexual excitement from a very young age, triggered by the same stuff I would get excited by later (so not by putting my finger in my ass). There was no erection at that time – I didn’t know what an erection was – but that couldn’t spoil the fun.
One of the earliest instances I remember was when I played with a niece. She was my age – we might have been nine or ten, but she was more than a head taller. We were playing some game where she sneaked up at me. At a certain moment, I felt her forearm around my neck. When she pulled her upper body back, because she was so much taller, I felt my feet being lifted off the ground. My feet dangled in the air, and my throat almost getting strangled: I gotta tell you I was in heaven.
I remember many other exciting episodes with this and one other niece. The latter was two years younger than me, but a lot taller and heavier. I remember being lifted by them, in their arms, on their shoulders. I remember wrestling, behing held down in the water, armwrestling, them breing able to lift heavier things or to throw them further than I could. Every way and every time they demonstrated their physical superiority was for me cause for excitement.
I tried to get myself into these positions, by teasing them, challenging them. I found ways to compare my height with theirs. I invented playful scenarios where they were witches who got superstrong after drinking a certain potion and then could easily lift me.
These nieces weren’t the only girls these things happened with. Stuff happened at school as well. One early memory, when I was seven, was how I saw how the feet of several of the girls in my class were touching the ground when they sat on their classroom chairs. Me, I was too short for that: my feet were just dangling in the air. The fact they were taller than me was very exciting. I remember seeing a black girl a few years older cradle carrying a boy who apparently had done something wrong. She was bringing him to the teacher who was supervising the playground, with a bunch of younger children in tow. A friend of mine had told me she was the strongest girl in the school: she knew karate, and she was supposedly able to literally chop off someone’s head by with her bare hands. I’m not sure where my friend got that, but I believed him, even as I was thinking that a hand, no matter how fast you moved it, wasn’t all that sharp. Another example that stands out as a bit darker was when one of the older girls was trampling a boy underfoot. In my memory, the boy was crying, trying to escape her feet, while she was casually talking to a friend. Another friend, who had spent a year in the Middle East Arabia because his father had an assignment there as a diplomat, told me about a girl in his class there who was very strong and had kicked a boy into a window, which had shattered. The boy had to be taken to the hospital.
As you can tell, all these things I experienced and stories I heard stuck to my mind and I’ve never forgotten them. They were meaningful, although I have no idea if I was excited by them because there was already something inside me, or whether these anecdotes shaped me and my desires.
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