My younger cousin, Randy was/is four years younger than me (actually 4.5 years younger; his birthday is in January, I'm in August.) Randy was a devastatingly cute boy. Almost-black hair and deep blue eyes and a terrific smile and really nice body. He's still pretty damn good-looking in his mid-30s, for that matter.

I think of Randy as "me in an alternate universe." Why? Because Randy's boyhood was very similar to mine, sexually... except in his case, it was with girls. Basically, he was and is totally straight (assuming, of course, he hasn't been leading a double life.) In a sense, I guess he answers the "what- if" question I ask myself sometimes: "What if I had been the same horny kid in all respects, except I had no attraction to other boys?" I don't want to push the parallels too far; Randy wasn't by any means similar to me in all respects. But it's interesting to see how somebody did it on that side of the fence.

Randy and I went to the same college, where he came in as a freshman while I was a senior. (He was five years behind me, but I quit for a year before graduating.) I hadn't seen much of him the preceding few years, but that year, we renewed our friendship. We got together around once a month, just hanging out and reminiscing about a bunch of stuff--family, friends, our hometown... and, on one occasion, sex. I knew he'd been pretty active, and he knew I had, but with one exception that I'll mention shortly, we'd never spent much time discussing it directly before that night.

This particular time, we sat up till around 5 o'clock in the morning in the kitchen of his dorm, just the two of us after everybody else went to bed, drinking beer (legal drinking age was 18 back then) and talking about sex most of the time, which is when we found out details. It wasn't a big secret in the family that I had done stuff with other boys, although they thought it was just the usual experimenting. Anyway, we sort of compared notes, and came to discover how parallel we'd been, sexually.

Randy and I shared the same outlook on life. He was confident and outgoing and always surrounded by a bunch of friends and was really busy all the time. He wasn't as good in school as I was (and I wasn't the hottest academic star myself); he got mostly C's. On the other hand, he was a much better athlete. He was more well-rounded. I concentrated on and excelled at my two best sports, soccer and swimming; and was fair at most others except basketball and football, at which I sucked. Randy played everything and was really good at everything. Like me, he played soccer; and although he didn't play nearly as many seasons, and was younger too, he could and did beat me one-on-one or in pickup games. His starring role was in baseball. He was sufficiently good back then that you can find his name in print today.

Randy had my prepubescent sex drive, too. (The name "Randy" is of course a pseudonym, but I picked it for a reason). His first experiences were just like mine--playing doctor (girls and boys) at age 5 or thereabouts; discovering masturbation not long after. He, too, first had sex before puberty. Like me, he lost his virginity at age 10. Unlike me, it was with a girl. His best friend's older sister, to be specific.

Randy's first time is a cute story, I think. The short version is that he was sleeping over at his best friend Cal's house after a baseball game one evening. He spilled some grape juice on his white baseball pants. Cal's 16 year-old sister, who was babysitting them for the night, hustled him into the laundry room and made him take them off quick, so the stain wouldn't set in. Randy was wearing his jockstrap underneath. Apparently Sis had never seen one before. She pointed at it and said "What's that?" Randy got embarrassed. He also got a boner.

Incidentally, besides being really cute and gorgeous eyes and smile and all that, Randy also had a big weenie. I saw him naked many times before puberty, and he was a well-endowed little boy. I don't recall seeing it after he entered puberty, but I saw him in his underwear as a teenager several times, and it was obvious. Some guys get all the luck. Speaking of underwear, Randy was one of the very few 13-14 y/o boys I knew who wore bikini briefs, which were a big fashion trend for men, and boys too, back in the 1970s. I liked boys in boxers, but that always seemed sort of cool.

Anyway, back to the story. Randy's erection was poking out of his jock, and Sis saw it, and one thing led to another. I'm not sure how it went, but they ended up screwing in the laundry room, while Cal watched The Brady Bunch in the living room.

Another parallel to my juvenile sex life, as I found out: Randy's partner also didn't realize he was prepubescent until they finished, and there was no "evidence". She asked him why he didn't come. He said that he did. She asked where the white stuff was. He told her he couldn't do that yet, and she nearly had a blue convulsion. Just like Brad after he sucked me off. Sis wasn't a virgin, needless to say, so I don't know how she missed the basic fact that hairless 10 year-old boys aren't ready to shoot. I would guess his penis size might explain it. Or maybe she and Brad took the same sex-ed class, and they both flunked or something.

Evidently this chick didn't consider Randy's lack of sperm to be a drawback. (If I could get pregnant, I'd probably feel that way too.) At any rate, they did it again several times over the next few weeks, before they got caught, literally in the act, by my uncle, Randy's dad. I'm a little hazy on the details. I didn't ask Randy about this part. Figured it might be a sore subject. But as I recall, they were in Randy's living room in broad daylight, not even trying to be careful. In the middle of the whole thing, my uncle just walked in on them. He was fucking Sis in the rear-entry position (doggie- style), so it was sort of obvious. Incidentally, I can testify from experience that rear-entry is hard to sustain if (like me) you don't have a big penis. It must be damn near impossible as a prepubescent boy, unless you're really hung. I guess Randy didn't have any trouble.

The whole incident was a minor family scandal at the time. The grownups talked in low voices and used euphemisms, but of course we kids figured it out quickly, those of us who were old enough to have a clue. I was 14 then, and I remember thinking, "All right! Way to go, Randy!!" Even though I thought he was a dumbass (in the damn living room? Hello?!?), I admired him for having the balls to do it.

Amusing story about the rear-entry position: Randy told me that after they got caught, when his dad sat down with him for the mandatory Son-We-Need-To-Talk- About-This conversation, he asked, "What were you doing, exactly?" Randy said something like, "Aww... you know..." And my uncle--who was and is a blunt guy, and will surely have to answer for some stuff before they'll let him into Southern Baptist heaven--said, "I mean, were you in her pussy? Or in her asshole?" Randy told me he turned as red as a beet. The idea of anal intercourse had never occurred to him, till that point. He was so embarrassed he couldn't answer. His dad went on with some stuff about "either way, you oughta know better..."

Randy said his dad didn't seem very upset about the whole thing. Looking back, it was a lecture more out of parental obligation than real dismay. I suspect there are more than a few dads who would be secretly pleased if their boys turned out to be like Randy, as long as nobody got hurt or pregnant or an STD. It's a guy thing.

Sis's parents were told, and she caught seven shades of holy hell, since she was older and presumably "knew better." Same old crap. It didn't wreck his friendship with Cal, but it put a strain on it, obviously. I don't know how much the whole thing upset Randy--I'm sure it did, but he didn't say. It didn't stop him from trying again with other girls, though. At any rate, Randy stayed busy with girls from that point on.

Our parallels were many. Just change the names and (sometimes) genders. During and right after puberty, he went through a promiscuous phase for a few years like I did. I remember that very well. It was around my junior and senior years in high school, and I was old enough to buy condoms without raising too many eyebrows in the drugstore (something which has never embarrassed me in the least). Randy used to ask me to buy him rubbers, regularly and often. I was happy to oblige. (I assume his weenie got even bigger proportionally through puberty; if a 13 y/o boy can wear rubbers without them falling off, he's clearly got some size on him. Of course, maybe he just blew them up for party favors. I didn't ask.) His rep wasn't much of a secret. Several of the less-uptight family members would semi-jokingly refer to "Randy the stud", and I heard it from kids outside the family, too.

This is the period on which I'm basing my observation that his dad was sort of secretly pleased with him. I remember one Saturday evening when I was 17 and Randy was 13. I was over at their house all afternoon, helping my uncle and Randy and his older brother Joey (a really shy kid, incidentally, the polar opposite of Randy) install a new TV antenna on their roof. Randy had a hot date that night. He had already asked me for a rubber, which I gladly supplied. He took his shower and changed clothes and all that--to take his date to Burger King! (Well, hell, when you're 13 years old, and walking, the choices are kind of limited...) As he was getting ready to leave, my uncle said, "Be good, son." Randy said, "Okay, Dad, I will." And his dad winked at him, and said, "And if you can't be good, be careful." Randy flushed and grinned a fleeting, embarrassed grin, and left rather quickly. Old cliche, granted, but not too many parents would say that to their 13 y/o sons if they disapproved...

Around 15 y/o, Randy settled down with a steady girlfriend, and serial monogamous relationships were his pattern from then on. I told him about my steady relationship at 15, too. I didn't tell him it was with Kenny; instead, I mentioned my girlfriend Stacy from that time. Randy said, "Gee, I never realized y'all were that serious." I felt guilty at the time about letting him think that; I still do.

We didn't talk numbers. I got the impression his boyhood total with girls was somewhere in the twenties--quite a few down South back then. Not like my total with boys. But let's face it, boys are easier. I know--numbers don't matter, and it's crude to talk about it. What can I say? We keep score unconsciously, whether it's baseball or sex.

Randy and I did talk about boys, too. (Been waiting for this, haven't you?) I can't recall now how the conversation drifted in that direction... maybe it was via a discussion about some friend of his or mine. I told him about a few events, like mutual masturbation with Ricky, and doing it with Alex on the roof (I'll confess I was vague about what we did up there), and circle-jerk stuff. He already knew about some of it, like fooling around with my friend D.J. (whose younger brother was a close friend of Randy's), and my notorious erection-in-Speedos incident, which my cousin Bill witnessed and told all the boys in the family about.

Randy did have some boy-experiences himself, too. I didn't know that before college, but it didn't surprise me--he had that high sex drive, and boys are curious, regardless of orientation. In fact, I think of Randy as a good example that demolishes the old myth held by many homophobes: "Having sexual experiences with other boys means you're gay, and/or makes you gay." Randy's no more gay than the Pope. (Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't be so hasty about the Pope...)

Randy's first experiments with boys were playing doctor, as I said, and he played show-you-show-me a few times. The furthest his boy-experiences ever got, apparently, was some circle-jerk type stuff. If he went any further with anyone, he didn't tell me about it.

Randy had a summer-camp story like mine, too. (Okay, not really like mine--I don't think too many others are like mine--but he did fool around with some boys at camp.) He went to a camp run by the Episcopal church. I'm not sure why he went there--nobody in the family was Episcopalian. The camp wasn't big on the religious aspect, though; and sports were emphasized--maybe that was it. Randy went to Camp S______ either two or three summers--12 and 13 y/o, or 12 through 14--I can't remember now about 14; I was away at college that summer. Anyway, the following camp story was about as explicit as Randy got in describing his boy-sex experiences to me.

I think this was his last year there, so Randy would have been either 13 or 14 y/o. As he told the tale, there was a boy at camp who liked to jerk off, and liked company when he did it. (I could understand that...) This kid organized at least two circle-jerks during the two weeks at camp, with four or five boys each time. The boy had smuggled a Penthouse into camp, and used that as a lure to entice the other kids. Randy said that he went along just for the hell of it both times, because the boy kept flashing the Penthouse at him and he got horny, and... you know, why not?

This kid was organized. He got everybody to meet way out in the woods at a pre-arranged time after dinner, got everybody lined up in a row (rows were a lot more common than true circles, in my CJ experience and knowledge), laid the magazine out in front of the group, and then got things going by example. Sounds like a born leader to me. The kid even announced a set of rules before they started. I can't recall ever attending a CJ with a set of official rules, but I guess there's a first time for everything. Randy remembered several rules: don't make too much noise; don't fart (probably a good rule, actually); don't "do anything queer" (I assume that meant touching.) And most importantly: Don't shoot on the Penthouse!

Randy said this boy got completely pissed off during the second CJ, because one boy didn't aim carefully and--you guessed it--shot sperm all over the magazine. Penthouse Boy told Misfire Boy to wipe off the pictures with his shirt, and Misfire Boy told him to fuck off or something, and they almost got into a fistfight, shorts pulled down and everything. Gee, none of mine ended like that... Randy mentioned that he himself didn't come that time, due to the premature disruption. I asked him, "Well, did you finish later?" He couldn't remember(!)

He mentioned a handful (pun intended) of other boy-incidents, I think, but I'm a little hazy on details. We were drinking beer that night. As I recall, they were standard experiment-type things during sleepovers and campouts. He didn't give any details, and I didn't ask. All this discussion was couched in terms of "experiments" and "fooling around", by both of us. I was in deep denial by then, and I had quite successfully convinced myself I didn't care to know more about the boy+boy aspect of his life, or mine. We spent the vast majority of that night talking about sex with girls.

One curious side-note: Randy asked me at one point, out of the blue, if I'd ever messed around with anyone in the family. I answered (honestly) that I hadn't, but (honestly) that I had the hots for our cousin Nina at around 14-15 y/o. I asked, "Why? Did you?" He said, "Ummm... well... not really." I asked, "Aww, come on, man! What's that supposed to mean?" But he wouldn't elaborate. I still don't know what, or who, he meant.

At that time in my life, I would've done it with Randy in a heartbeat, if we'd been closer in age and he'd been willing. I damn sure would've explored the possibilities with him. Unfortunately, he was too young when I was into boys; and by the time he got old enough, I'd quit and was telling myself I liked girls only. I had a sort of incest taboo about my brothers. I had no such barrier about cousins. I never did anything with any of my cousins, but that was age-difference more than anything.

For the sake of closure: Randy today is married with two beautiful little kids, a girl and a boy. We're not as close as we were as kids, or in college, but when I go back for visits I always try to look him up. We go fishing or kick the ol' soccer ball around with our own kids. Nothing's come up since then concerning sexuality, which is perfectly okay. But it was an illuminating night of conversation, back then.