From 4 to 14
- a memoir and a reflection - Part 2

This story contains detailed reminiscences of childhood sex play between boys. If you do not wish to read such material, go away now.
I am happy to receive correspondence as (take out the nospam.) - please do send your comments and your own stories.

FOUR (v)

The game I played with Adam seemed a perfectly excellent game: fun, and stimulating, and somehow directly related to friendship rather than merely alongside it. If it had a strange element at all it was the partial nakedness factor, rather than anything about what we did once that partial nakedness was established.

That was the wonderful thing about being four: the only categories I had for the excellent things that we did once our trousers were down were positive ones, like "game", and "play", and "friendship". Existing only in these categories, our intimate play was defined and therefore happily enjoyed as an entirely positive and praiseworthy thing.

The question of the partial nakedness was an interesting one, at four. Only a year or two before, nakedness was acceptable just about anywhere - certainly the house and the garden and the beach. But increasingly, clothes did seem to be the norm in most places. The clothing requirement was expanding its territories, leaving for nakedness only such areas as the bedroom, and the bathroom, and perhaps changing at the beach provided there were not too many people around. The whole thing was one of those inexplicable adult mysteries with which you just had to go along. It was never explained. You just had to try to pick up the nuances of expectation: nakedness still accepted here, clothing expected there - and the rules seemed to be changing as we went along, just at the moment, being four.

In my mind it was a clothing code, not a nakedness code. Nakedness was not a "thing": clothes were "things". The rules were about clothing, not about nakedness. Clothing was an issue. Nakedness had not been, and still was not, now.

And so it was no particular shock when Adam uncovered himself that day behind the oil tank. I was still not clear about the details or the purpose of the clothing code, and Adam was five, so he must have known what he was doing. It was like at the beach, where nakedness is fine in the open air as long as there are not too many people around - and there were none, just the two of us boys. Or it was like the permanent den of a child's bedroom, where nakedness was fine, so it seemed, so it must be fine in this den here as well. And so this was just fine: no problem, no issue. I trusted Adam to know what he was doing, to be doing the right thing. That's fine, Adam, and here's mine: not a problem. The joys of being four.

I remember going on holiday that summer and playing with paper and pens, as you do. I drew a whole page of bottoms: circles with lines down them and a blob just over half way down the line. Quite without embarrassment. The idea still gives me a thrill now: a whole page of bottoms!

Yes, the joys of being four. When else in life are you old enough to enjoy the carnal pleasures which Adam had shown me, but young enough not to have a complex, or at least a set of preconceived ideas?

I must tell you the story of the rest of that unique and wonderful year.

FOUR (vi)

The same summer that I met Adam, I met Daniel. We lived only a few doors apart, and we were deliberately introduced by our parents. I think he may have been considered a more suitable friend, though I was not desperately struck myself. We were both the same age.

Daniel had an impressive fort which he would fill with toy soldiers. This was not really my thing at all, but he also had a white mouse, and the fort made an ideal mouse run, which was fun. Our friendship followed conventional lines: we played indoors and out, the usual childhood games: toys, tag, hide, Pretend.

Neither of us really liked his bedroom. It was a ground floor room on the front of a single story house. It felt permanently overlooked, and this totally destroyed the natural secrecy and separateness which characterise the proper world of children's play.

His hide-away, therefore, was elsewhere. The bungalow's bathroom was in the house amongst the bedrooms, but there was another concrete-floored toilet room in the back of the adjoining garage, with a door which opened into an exposed back porch, opposite a door into the kitchen. This was Daniel's only secret place, and to relieve the sense of being watched all the time, he - we - would play there, the door locked. It seemed to me that this was an OK place for nakedness, and so maybe I could introduce him to Adam's game here. We were playing Pretend, with themes drawn from our surroundings. We were little creatures living at the bottom of the plug hole, or we were prisoners locked in a tiny cell, or - this was the opening - we were goblins that lived behind the toilet seat, and sprang out to surprise people. And of course, what these goblins liked was...

This was quite an achievement, really. It is not easy introducing people to entirely new games: there are too many new rules at once, and at four, a squabble and a falling out can result. I was not the natural seducer, like Adam, who simply got on with it with me, convinced by some accurate intuition that I would indeed be completely seduced: both like it and reciprocate. Outside of my affair with the five year old Adam - which had a dynamic all of its own - I was more of the bossy control freak, and I was not minded to give away the prize of my favourite game without first guaranteeing fair exchange. That basically meant Me First: the challenge, therefore, to get his trousers down to get my fix of arse - though of course I would then offer him the same favour. Fair's fair. But I had to weave in this new game as a minor variation within an old one - or risk a falling out, never getting to play the game at all.

The game of Pretend was the perfect vehicle. It develops and runs by a shared task of acting and directing. Let's play cops and robbers. OK, you be the robber, I'll be the cops. I'll go this way, you go that way - you've got to find me. OK, you hide, I'll count to ten. And so on.

Daniel started this one: "We could be goblins that live in here."

My big idea developed at once: "We could live up there behind the pipes."

"We could come in and out through the crack in the window."

"We could watch people when they come in."

"We could jump out at them and scare them."

"We could make them do things."

"Yes. Like what?"

"I'll be the goblin hiding, you come in. You come in and pull your trousers down."

We were actually in a real toilet so there was no problem acting it out. He just did it. Right there. No pause. Straight away.

"Right, now lie down across the top of the toilet lid." And he did. "Now, stay still..."

And so it was, that in the least salubrious surroundings so far, I got my second arse. My first seduction.

Yes: it was good to look at. Yes: it had the scent. Fantastic. But much as I wanted to, I could not hang around. This could not become a thing in itself just yet. I had successfully established the key precedent, but for now, in order not to lose it, the pace of the game had to continue. Now, you be the goblin, and I'll come in: you do the same thing. And he pulled his trousers up and straightened himself, and I pulled mine down, and I lay down, arse exposed, across the top of the toilet lid, and he did exactly what he had just seen: put hands on buttocks and sniffed at the heart. I knew straight away that the transaction was complete, that the bond had been made, that he was now a member of my new religion. Suddenly I did have Adam's cocky certainty - that one sniff did make an addict. A convert.

Hesitation and hurry were now happily forgotten. We took it in turns to come in, we took it in turns to be the goblin, and we each took our time to enjoy. He was hooked, and so it was that I had found and secured a second source for myself: a second beautiful vision, a second well of the beautiful scent.

Was it the sight that drove me on? Was it the scent? It was certainly both of these things, and more besides. It was the whole arse experience. Oh the joys of being four.

>From that day onwards, my reluctant acquaintanceship with Daniel became a significant emotional friendship. All the aspects of childhood play suddenly flourished between us as our friendship was now nourished and supported by the wholesome and vitalising power of pheromonal, visual and tactile bonding. Not every session of play included it - but most did, and its influence was always there. Amongst our other games, indoors or out, we would find a secret place, and spend a quarter hour or more taking our turns at taking our fix of blissful sight, consoling touch, and chaste, animating, dominating fragrance.

So as that summer holiday came to an end, I had two regular arse partners, each with their own pleasing sight and exquisite scent, and I was happy for each of them to take their turn somewhere behind me as I lay over the bed myself. Adam was older, taller, slimmer, darker, classically good looking but raunchily scruffy, with slender thighs and excellent definition around the details of his arse: clearly shaped buttocks, smooth cheeks to the hips, a neatly drawn curve for the crease marking the end of arse and the beginning of leg, and there at the heart a deep dark well of countless soft rippling folds disappearing into the unknown beyond. Daniel was my own age, slightly shorter than me, lighter coloured, carrying hints of puppy fat still under consequently softer skin, so that supple folds formed the heart of his arse: proper folds where arse met thigh, and fuller, softer buttocks which yielded gently to the touch, and which had to be caressed apart to reveal the lighter, more tightly scored moist central mark.

Adam's scent was a glorious, breath-taking, satisfying and controlling ambrosia, in its inhalation awesome, gratifying, inebriating; in its effects healing, stirring, assuring; phenomenal to be almost intimidating; source of unmeasurable fulfilment; dependable, reliable, true. The flesh surrounds of its source were a fetching, diverting, even poignant form. And he, a year older than me, was affirming, considerate, generous, permissive, and warm; and, out of character, I responded in kind. Daniel's scent was sharper, both sweeter and more sour, penetrating, robust, sparkling, restorative, refreshing, source of distinctive but equal pleasure, its setting full of individual character, equally bonding, its owner a rounded friend as well as, now, a co-religionist. Adam had introduced me to this faith. Gambling an inconsequential acquaintanceship, I had introduced Daniel and created a best friend. Yes, Daniel was my best friend, the one who mattered in the evenings and weekends of that autumn, ahead of the pack at the top of the first division; but Adam was in a different class all his own: sole member of the premier league.

These two friends, these two arses, these two wells of fragrance: I was addicted to them both. I drew inexpressible pleasures from them both. And I was happy for each of them to take their turn with me, to take their time and their touch, to drink in whatever it was that enchanted them there.

They never met. For each of them it was for them and for me a private, individual, heart to heart, one on one affair. And looking back, I think I loved them both.

FOUR (vii)

That winter, removal vans were in our street. Suddenly Daniel was not there any more, his family replaced by some childless retired folks. But into the house opposite came two new boys, six and eight: I was first properly aware of them through school.

Stephen, the younger, entered late into the school year above me. He sang sweetly so he was put in the choir: at assembly he sat with others at the front, facing the rest of us, cross-legged on a square of carpet whilst the rest of us sat on the floor. He was tall and dark and slim, blue eyes, a scruffy mop of wavy brown hair. His eyes sparkled with affection and mischief; his expression was always on the move; he flashed his smile this way and that. I admired him from the body of the hall and felt a strange reaction inside which I could only rationalise then as: I want to BE him - though that did not quite capture it all.

I assumed that nobody so plainly wonderful would ever want to speak to me: too young, too quiet, altogether too dull. So I just went on admiring him from afar, wondering what he did, where he went, and what he thought, and who had the privilege of knowing him. Seeing him was a thrill, in school or in the street at home, always wondering: where is he going, what is he doing, does he care that I care; I want to be him - or something.

With Daniel gone and Adam too many streets away, I was bored in the house and mother was frustrated: Go and introduce yourself to Stephen. I would never have dared without the instruction, but over I went, in trepidation. Is Stephen playing? And his mother fretted over us a while to ensure that a friendship was made, and then she left us all alone. I was in heaven.

Stephen was the original extrovert. He did virtually nothing for its own sake alone: everything was crafted to provoke a response. It was the response that entertained him, and he would do whatever it took to give rise to another and another and another. He was an archetypal member for the T.A.O. club - Try Anything Once, just to see, just to know, because it's there. He was a performer: performing for you, performing for himself, performing for anyone who was near. He was a dangerous brew: mischief and affection.

To provoke a response: the inevitable tickling game, like wrestling except that the only attack is a handful of wriggling fingers, and incapacity is brought about through not injury but laughter. The sufferer would try to launch a counter-attack, and first one and then the other would have the upper hand, whilst near painful breathless grinning left the first overcome.

It was not just a battle: there was an amount of fair turn taking too. The provocateur wanted to see my responses: both to his touch, and to his simply lying there. Under the chin, under the arms, the sides, the backs of the knees, the soles of the feet: all this was fair game; but Stephen reached for somewhere on me that nobody ever had given attention to before: between the legs in front, the crotch, the tail. This certainly tickled, like anything else, but it was quite distinct from the rest of the experience: a bit too much, over the top, and surely not the done thing. He rolled over and lay back for me to touch him, and I tickled around but not there. Turn taking; and he did the same thing again, it was not a mistake, so, turn taking, I tickled him there, embarrassed, intrigued, but doing it; and his laughter became almost a shout of delight.

His boredom threshold was incredibly low: let's do this, let's do that, let's be somewhere else. One wet afternoon, stuck in his room, he demanded, abruptly, "Do you know any games?"

I already knew that he would try anything once, but equally, that given a suggestion, he would just as likely shout "No" and make a scene, just to watch the reaction. There was no point making the suggestion: I had to jump straight in with a scene he could never have imagined: me first.

"Try this", I said, lying over the edge of his bed, and pulling down my trousers and underpants. I looked round back at him. A pause, and: "Smell it." For once I had topped his constant stimulation level.

There was no witty come back, just silence, and over he came, on his hands and knees, and placed his nose by the valley of my arse and inhaled, and again, and again. "Wow. What game is this?"

But I just said, "Now you do it." And he did. Straight away. Over the bed. Trousers down. Looking round.

More than a year older than me, he was beautifully formed: tall, slim, and filling out nicely with muscle, attractive rounded buttocks, a smoothly sculpted curve rather than a crease where arse became thigh, a pleasant deep but open valley, a dark enticing heart. As I approached him from behind on all fours that first time, I knew that another incredible bond had been successfully made - and with Stephen, my idol! But he was catching up with his next witty come back, something to say just to provoke a reaction. As I put my hands on the two mounds of his obliging arse and took my first deep inhalation of the privileged perfume of my hero, he said - without any hint from his proffered arse that he believed it - "You can't do that! It's rude!" I did not react. I carried on. He made no effort to move away. He lay there and watched and enjoyed as I took my time to admire and to breathe.

I did hear what he said. But "You can't do that" was plainly untrue: I was doing it, and he was letting me; indeed, moments before, he had been doing it, and I had been letting him. And a few moments later he was demanding, and being more than willingly allowed, to do it a second time, more thoroughly this time, more slowly, more luxuriously, more weightily, more inquisitively. But he had also said, "It's rude," and this did two things. Firstly, for the first time ever, it gave this game a name: Rood. Let's play Rood. Negotiating the game had been strange while it had no name. Now it had a name. Let's play Rood. But secondly it placed the game into the forbidden zone. This had never occurred to me before. Adam never mentioned it. Daniel never mentioned it. But Stephen must know, as he is older than either of them: this game is prohibited under the adults' contraband category of 'Rude'. Rude things happen, of course - people do them all the time - so it was no problem amongst those of us who knew better and wanted to play; but for the first time I became aware that this was something never to be mentioned in the adult world, and over which even greater care must be taken even in the (usually) entirely separate world of children's play. For the first time it was clearly a forbidden pleasure.

Stephen's scent was the most compelling of them all: pure musk, dark, rich, full of flavour and power, curative, gladdening, mature; the sovereign elixir of arse. In my new religion, Stephen's arse was god of gods: bountiful, commanding, supernal, ethereal; consolation to the needy, comfort to the lonely, gift to the faithful, goal of all devotion, source of life. I adored him.

FOUR (viii)

Now that the game had a name, there was something sensible to say, stuck indoors with Andrew on a winter's evening.

Andrew was a playmate since before I can remember. We were in his large bedroom which for no reason had two beds - though I never stayed over there. He was a good friend. We enjoyed each other's company. We would chat about whatever was going on, and make leisurely play. I certainly liked him and he seemed to like me. We were very similar: in looks, in build, in character; if anything told us apart it was that I was more often the one who came up with the ideas of what to do, but he was thoroughly accommodating of each suggestion, as I was of any of his. We just liked to be together, lazing around.

"Do you want to play a new game?"

"Yes, OK."

"I play it with Stephen and Adam. It's secret."

"OK. What do you do?"

I may well have had his jealousy on my side here - an extra subtle motive for assent. But he was always accommodating. That was how we were. "You have to lean over the bed and pull your trousers down."

"Like this?"

"Yeah. Stay there." Secret game. Fourth arse.

Remembering the look of Andrew's arse that day, it looks cute: a carefully reduced version of the beautiful thing that I was still familiar with years later. Exemplary, flawless, and cute: a scale model, an ideal; the prized trophy of my older childhood, and just as precious that very first time, when it seemed just ordinary full size, like myself; and warm, and obliging, and welcoming; it was my friend Andrew, focused in one beautiful sight - and then scent.

The scent of Andrew. Its setting had perfect lines, perfect forms: smooth back, gentle valley, round cheeks, beautiful curves pointing inwards to the heart; and there, quite high in the valley, the sudden soft deepening cone of folds towards the slot of an entrance way which deepened when buttocks were spread, and valley carrying on beyond before folding out into legs and groin. The scent of Andrew ... was the most fragile, the most mild, enigmatic as though romantic, like an echo of heaven which you could listen to all day and yet never fully capture: an easement, a solace, a remedy, a relief; virtuous yet heart-rending in its gentleness; the most subtle and handsome of addictions.

"Like this?"

"Yeah. Stay there." And I touched, and spread, and inhaled.

We never hurried over anything. He just watched, as I took my time, as I did what I did. Eventually he said, "What's it called?"

I took one last full nasal of Essence of Andrew - for now - and sat back, taking the waistband of my own trousers. "Rood. You try." And I pulled down my trousers and leaned over the bed, and he did exactly as he had just seen, slowly at first - we never hurried anything - and then with increasing confidence. And the bond was made. And our quiet, confident friendship was enhanced. And we played the game, taking turns, for the whole of the rest of the day.

Andrew, the next day: "Can we play Rood again?"


"Can I go first this time?"


And I pulled down my trousers and assumed the position. And he touched and fondled and explored and inhaled. We never hurried anything.

FOUR (ix)

Stephen, the next week, back in charge, performing: "We're going to play Rood again," - his belt already undone.


"I'll let you go first."

"OK." And he was already over the bed with his trousers down and his arse exposed, waiting for attention.

Andrew and I were together day after day, and Rood was now amongst our favourite games - and special, as both the most beautiful and the most secret: our precious game. We certainly played two or three times a week, for a good half hour at a time.

Stephen was hardly ever around, always being carried from Elocution to Ballet to Piano as his parents tried to keep pace with their aspirations and with his endless energy and demand for stimulation. I imagined other friends, other commitments, and his interest in me as only peripheral. Compared to my time with Andrew, I hardly ever saw Stephen. But when I did, it was ... amazing.

FOUR (x)

My brother and I were in disgrace. We had been sent upstairs for squabbling. We never got on: he and I were always rivals, never playmates. We bristled with negative energy in each other's company, sparking off each other, sparring against each other. But there is nothing like a common enemy to bring rivals together, and that day we were in disgrace together, so we were united.

Being two years older, he had the slightly larger room, so we sat in there. We were trying to outdo each other in boasting how bored and annoyed and fed up we were. Then it was all about how we would stop being bored, how we would make entertainment despite everything, and which of us would be better at that: still sparring. We agreed to think of a game, and then play it: but what game, given that we never played, and whose game - who would explain the game, make the rules? He challenged, confident: "I bet you don't know any games I don't know."

I thought of one very particular game immediately. "Bet you I do."

"Go on then."

"You have to lean over the bed and pull your trousers down." He leaned over the bed looking puzzled. I helped him to get his trousers down. My primary motivation was proving that I knew a game that he did not know - getting one up on my brother who was two years my senior. I was demonstrating more than enjoying. I pushed his trousers and underpants right down to the floor, around his knees, then raised my hands to his buttocks, spread them, and sniffed at the core. "There," I said, triumphant.

He was reeling from multiple levels of surprise: that I did know a game that he did not know; that this was a game; that I should know this game. I was busy sniffing again. Part blustering, part proving himself, part determined to know more: "Let me have a turn." And I did, no problem, triumphant.

He was hooked, of course, straight away.

I just lay there, feeling like the conquering hero, clear winner in our first decent spat for months. He was just taking his time, transfixed by what he was discovering: irresistible things strangely located in the little brother he feigned to despise. He carried on despite himself. He was vanquished, paying homage now in my religion. Firmly in the grip of the experience, he sat back after a while and without a word moved to offer me a proper turn, and so we exchanged and exchanged for the rest of the hour. We did not talk about it: it was bad enough that I had won the fray, without rubbing in the details behind it all. We just mumbled instructions to each other, and discovered more of the details of brotherly flesh.

It was strange, doing it with my brother: quite different from anyone else. At some inexplicable gut level, the scent was recognisably very nearly my own: there was a short-circuit in the pheromonal process, which normally makes two creatures dance one intricate dance. Instead this was more of a wank: pleasure for its own sake without the complications of relationship. And pleasure it was: my fair-haired brother was lanky and skinny, but his arse was a decent size because of his age; not much flesh but a reasonable form, hips, legs, a light tan heart with generous folds, and the odour of Brother...

The scent was half me, half other; half wank, half sex; half simple indulgence, half strings attached. It was entirely pleasure, like every other arse I had had, but it felt only half involved, only half as complex, only half as entangling. It was Brother. It fitted the way we were. But it was still an addiction, and as the one with only one source, he was by far the needier than me - and I had the power of his only supply. From that day we still never played anything else together, but at Brother's request - with him pretending as much indifference as he could manage - we played Rood, and I never said no.

Last year, Vulcan magazine ran a fiction piece which they flagged on the front page as Incest is Best: younger brother spied on older brother getting off with (male) date, then got spotted; Date insisted he come in and join in, a three-some. Without my repeating the hundreds of words of description, there came a point amongst the already satisfactorily knotted limbs where one brother's arse was only inches from the other brother's face. Brother Face considered for a moment, then pulled the arse closer and reached out with his tongue, placing its tip right on the softest centre point, the very heart, of his own brother's arse, the entrance way. The reaction from Brother Arse was wholly positive, so Brother Face pulled the arse right into his face and pushed his tongue deep inside, as far home as it would go - to more brotherly approval. The image - and the concept - are etched on my mind.