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

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.

SIX (i)

Espionage was a theme of the 70s. One Christmas we all seemed to get spy kits: toy binoculars, cameras with real film, false moustaches and glasses, and black and white tubs of powder for finding finger prints. Secrets were the theme: an individual or a small group could know something which nobody else knew, and could try to keep it that way.

We knew that the fictional James Bond hinted at contemporary international realities of the adult world. Suddenly the secret network of boys who played Rood seemed like a terribly sophisticated, very adult arrangement, about which we all knew, but about which nobody else need ever know.

It was Stephen who made the connection. None of my arse partners had ever played arse with anybody else but me - not even with each other. Suddenly Stephen wanted to know the full extent of the network - our secret society, like a terrorist gang or an espionage ring. He named us the Rood Club.

And so I listed the membership: Adam, who had started it all, but had somehow disappeared from the scene; and then Daniel, who had now moved away; and then himself, of course; and then my brother, though he was very irregular, and would not want to talk about it, would not want to be acknowledged by the rest of the gang; and then the most regular and committed member, Andrew, with whom I played Rood or The King And The Wishbone pretty much every week if not more, incorporating everything that Brother's or Stephen's creativity had first introduced - drama, different positions, tails now a part - in contrast to Stephen who was hardly ever around and consequently got Rood only half a dozen times a year, though always then the most thoroughly in quantity and quality.

He was fascinated, having only ever had me. It became his obsession: the Rood Club had to meet.

I rose to the occasion and took the natural role of conspiracy leader, rallying the troops - well, Stephen and Andrew and myself any way. As Stephen and Andrew sat side by side on the edge of my bed, on my bedroom blackboard I laid out in code the details of our secret network: the initials of the people who had been involved in year one, in year two, and in this, year three. Stephen suggested that year one was just Rood, year two was Rood Club, and year three - now - could be called Secret '73. I added the codes to the chart: R, RC, S73. And then there were diagrams of our secret operations: rudimentary pictures of The Secret Things We Did.

Now it was us against the world: Secret '73 bound by honour to each other and pledged to keep the killjoy enemy at bay. We knew that the people of Kids' World all wanted to play, or at least would not mind about the fact that we did; but that for some unfathomable reason, Adult World objected. Now, like the Secret Service or a terrorist gang, we could carry on our whole operation even surrounded by the enemy, and nobody would know, such was the power of the bond of Secret '73.

It never occurred to me to have them there and then. I had them both regularly enough, and this was a different game: this pledge of faith to our doctrine and our cult was an excitement all of its own. But something different was happening for Stephen. He was still reeling at coming to terms with the idea that I had had so many arses, that so many people had been involved - for him it had just been the two of us. And there, right next to him, on the edge of the bed, was another potential partner, someone who already did it regularly with me. Rood Club not only had to meet, it had to meet to do what Rood Club did. He contrived to arrange a meeting at his place, at a time when he knew we would not be disturbed. Andrew and I - long time daily companions - met first and turned up together.

In his own room, Stephen took charge - host and therefore gang leader for now. Standing in a circle facing each other, we all solemnly dropped our trousers. Looking down into the ring, there were three neat erections. I crouched to inspect first - examining Andrew, and Stephen. Andrew crouched next and had a cursory glance each way. Then Stephen knelt down where Andrew and I both faced him and pushed the two of us closer together, his right hand on my left buttock, his left hand on Andrew's right buttock, until Andrew and I were side by side, hip to hip, facing him - and there he nuzzled each crotch in turn: erect penis, ball sack, the lines of the groin, and each erection by turns, nose and lips.

He stood up. "Right. What else do we do?"

"Bum to bum" suggested Andrew - this was one of his favourites.

"All right," said Stephen, and he and Andrew both shuffled round (trousers round ankles) until they were close together back to back, and they stuck out their bums, and rubbed them together, side to side, buttocks bouncing off buttocks. And I shuffled to take a turn with each of them as well, until for a moment we were all back to back in a circle, bums in the middle, six buttocks pressed together enjoying each other's softness.

I still enjoy this - bum to bum - as I pass my partner in the shower, which is mounted over the bath. We move past each other, back to back: plop, double plop, plop. Lovely.

I was thoroughly enjoying having two partners at once. It was really creative. What never occurred to me at the time was that for each of them this was not only their first experience of a three-some, as it was for me: it was also, for each of them, their first time with a new partner, their first time with any partner other than me, their first time with each other.

Back in the circle facing each other: "Right. What else?" Stephen, in charge again, answered his own question: "Dick to bum."

He watched as I ran my dick from side to side across Andrew's bum - the same side to side action as bum to bum - and then we shuffled around, still standing, trousers still around ankles, and I felt Andrew running his erection across my buttocks, dipping briefly into the arse crack as it passed each way.

Then Stephen pushed in between us and turned Andrew around, and I could see he was doing dick to bum on Andrew, and then he turned around to do dick to bum on me.

I was intrigued. Stephen did it differently. The tallest of us, he stood very close, so close as to be touching, and now laid his erection in the middle of my lower back, and then his far smaller side to side motions served to nestle his penis comfortably into just the very top of my arse crack . I could feel the ball sack at the valley top on my arse. And there he rested. It. Then he peeled himself away, shoulders first, cock last. I guessed he had done the same to Andrew. It was good. But Stephen was taller: Andrew and I could not reach up there on him. He let me and Andrew in turn rub our dicks from side to side across his bum. Then we were back in the one circle, facing each other, feet and socks and shoes covered by crumpled trousers, each topped by dropped underpants, above them bare legs and the three erections.

Stephen: "Right. What next?"

It occurred to me that if there were enough of us we could all do dick to bum to each other, simultaneously, standing in one big circle. Certainly not practical with three.

"Smelling bottoms?" - my suggestion.

"OK, you two lie down first." - Stephen, indicating the edge of the bed, back in charge. Andrew and I shuffled across - ankles still shackled by trousers - and knelt down and leaned over the bed side by side. Stephen performed absolutely in character, taking long deep inhalations from one arse then the other - savouring, I realise now, the familiar scent, and then the new one; the familiar one again, the new one again; the customary one, the modish one; his regular one, and today's speciality. After several deep drafts from each flavour, he lay next to Andrew: my turn.

It was extremely pleasant having two scents together, one and then the other, but most of all it was the sight which inspired. After that day I had dreams of rows and rows of boys leaned over huge endless beds, their arses exposed, line upon line of them, for me, all for me ... start at the beginning and just work along...

Andrew took his turn equally in character. Stephen and I lay side by side grinning at each other, our arses in the air, whilst Andrew ponderously took his familiar scent and touch first, at some gentle and appreciative length, then moved across to his regular partner's older, taller, better developed hero, and took a drag, and some more, and some more, and touched, and took some more.

We had done all that we were going to do. We pulled up trousers, straightened clothes, and spent the rest of the day together, strangely happy. Secret '73 had been bonded together. As Stephen had intended and planned, Rood Club had met, all three members had been there, all three members had enjoyed.

And although it was often spoken of, it never did meet again.

I had Stephen's arse just one more time much later that year. That side of our relationship just seemed to fizzle out. If I ever asked him he would give a half-engaged No and be on to some other idea straight away. I would very much have liked to do it more, but I had no just cause for complaint: Stephen was predictably unpredictable. It probably amused him to see me really wanting it, and to have the power to say no. I stopped asking.

In fact, I saw Stephen less and less often at all. He was just never around, or else he was being kept in with extra studies, extra coaching, music practice: constantly being fed with hearty over anxious middle class things.

Andrew remained the faithful and loyal companion. Whilst Secret '73 was a mere concept, our regular arse play was a pleasant weekly reality called Rood Club or Rood or The King And The Wishbone, now passing its second anniversary and heading into its third year, ever more gentle, ever more creative, ever more affectionate, ever more mature: the unique bond of our precious friendship.

SIX (ii)

It turned out that the family of somebody I knew vaguely at school was friends with my family, and, further, that by climbing through my own back garden fence, and across one or two other gardens as well, I could reach his back garden and his house. Our parents deemed it good that we should meet, and cleared the arrangements with the garden owning neighbours.

This was Jeremy. Jeremy was stunning: stocky and muscular, long wispy strawberry blond hair, blue eyes, perfect fair skin, and an arse in trousers which had the same effect on me as 1T boy some time before. We were the same age, we were being encouraged to meet: here was my chance.

He lived in a crazy 1970s house. Inside, despite being new, it looked like a barn conversion. The downstairs was one huge open plan room, most of it as high as the house, wood on all sides. Two open tread stairways led up to bedrooms mounted on balconies round the walls. I took it in, had my formal welcome with the family, but none of this mattered to me: all that mattered was getting to his room and teaching him a very special game.

It worked first time. That is one of the things about being with a new friend for the first time: you do not expect to know all of each other's games, to know all of each other's rules; you just listen and you go along. "I'll show you a game. Called Rood. You lean over the bed and pull your trousers down." I helped him with them. Down they came, one layer at a time. And out came those beautiful fair cheeks. And I touched. And I spread. And I went straight for the heart. And just like somebody learning a new game, he waited to see what happened next. I had as long as I wanted.

His odour was sweet and fair, praiseworthy and pure, positive and complete. Inhaling, as ever, was the moment of joy, though the touch and the sight were wonderful as well: the beautiful Jeremy, arse in my hands, arse in my face.

"Now you pull them up again, and you do the same thing," I said, pushing down my trousers and lying over his bed. And he did. The same thing. Another one. Hooked. Only this one was the beautiful Jeremy.

I told him that it was called Rood, that there was a Rood Club, that it was a secret. We found some paper and I drew diagrams of all the things we did. We did some more of those things. We did the first things again. We put the papers in an envelope which he said he would hide in a secret place. He did want to be a member. We would play again soon.

The next time I visited, only days later, we sat by the open plan kitchen, and I asked if he wanted to go upstairs and play what we had played the other day. He said that he really wanted to, but that he could not, because: his mother had found out.

This was a serious tragedy. He wanted to - sheer elation - but he could not - bastard adult world.

Did he blab? Was it the pictures? What ever did she say? I slunk away and I never went back. So far I had only loved him for his arse and for his arse play. I was far too embarrassed now to be his friend. But I remembered him.

SIX (iii)

Richard had been my best friend from my first week in school - fully two years ago now. My best friend in school, that is: for some reason, home life and school life were very separate. We would spend every play time and most of the lessons together.

Richard was my manageable bit of rough: occasional mischief, but unstintingly loyal and companionable. He had carrot red hair, freckles, and green hazel eyes, and he was small - cute - for his age.

As I had been their Richard's best friend for fully two years, it seemed good to his parents to invite me to tea. They were a respectable working class family, running a shop, living behind it and above it, doing as well as they could. They were genuinely amused by Richard's occasional mischievousness. One of our school dinner ladies was the hugely over-weight Mrs Hitchen: Richard had taught his two year old sister to say "Mrs Hitchen's scratchin' 'er bum," and the consequent laughter delighted the sister, who would repeat the saying at length.

A return invitation followed, and Richard - from school - for the first time entered the world of my home. Now all my home friends had one thing in common: we all played Rood. With Richard - best friend - in my bedroom - secret place - it was obvious what game I would show him, just as he had shown me various games at his home. As soon as we were in my bedroom I closed the door and said, "OK? I'll show you something. Pull your pants and undies down and lie over the bed."

Without even a flicker of hesitation, he pulled his trousers and underpants down and launched himself onto the bed, hitting it with a grunt, landing fully prone, on top of the bed, with his very cute, very round, very pink arse standing out all exposed between a bright nylon top and dull nylon long trousers pushed down - and a glimpse of soft cotton undies ruffled up (ruffled down). This was simultaneously wonderful and awkward: wonderful because he had done it straight away, exposed his arse, and so now I had my best school friend's arse, at last, after all this time, willingly exposed right there and waiting for me; and awkward because despite getting that bit so very right he had the position all wrong, fully prone on top of the bed instead of being conveniently over the corner. I did not like to say anything because he had been so totally, unhesitatingly, surprisingly willing to uncover. But now his feet were in the way, hanging in the air over the edge of the bed. And I could not approach between his legs because they were tied together at the knees by lowered trousers. But there was his arse and I was certainly going to get there somehow.

"OK, stay there." And I approached clumsily from behind, my feet on the floor and his feet between my knees. I leaned over and put my elbows down to either side of his thighs by his waistband, and from there my fingers touched his arse.

Cute. A miniature. Very firm. White. High mounds: generous confident curves. At last: a real sense that a profound fulfilment was approaching; a fitting consummation now imminent with my best friend of fully two years - pheromonal bonding with prone red-headed Richard's pert white naked proffered arse.

I touched; then I stroked; then I fondled; then I spread; then I lowered my whole body to place my face by his arse. The centre was a tight closed-off tunnel of light pink creases, moist, and deepening with the gentle spreading of cute and firm and generously deep buttocks. I moved my nose right in and inhaled. Marvellous enlivening scent, Version Richard: uniquely potent and pungent; bitter sweet, rich and sour and fabulously satisfying; quite breath-taking, glamorous, glorious. A second inhalation, and then it was time for reciprocation, to seal the sacred bond.

"OK, stand up." He was already straightening his trousers. "Now you do the same."


"You'll like it. It's really nice."


"It's really good. All my friends here do it. You'll really like it."

"I don't want to."

I was shattered. Nothing remotely like this had ever happened before. I could not believe that he was turning down my offer. To me, it was as though I - a good friend - was offering him a totally desirable free gift with no strings - and he was refusing it. It made no sense whatsoever. I could not conceive of the arse as anything other than utterly appealing, seductive and attractive. How could he possibly be saying no to my offer? I was totally bewildered. Dumbfounded. Lost for words.

"Are you sure?"


"It's really nice."

"I don't want to."

He had dropped his trousers without a moment's hesitation. It felt as though he had done it even before I had finished the sentence asking him to; as though he had wanted nothing more than to bare himself and let me breathe his passionate essence, to give himself naked to me, to consummate what we already had, totally trusting, totally involved. No-one had ever been so keen, so responsive; and he had laid there in intimate trusting silence as I looked, stroked, fondled, spread, inhaled, twice. And now from that extreme to this: the fastest person ever to say yes was within moments the first person ever to say no. I could not believe it.

He kept the secret. We did not do home visits again. We remained best friends. We were still best friends when we parted to separate schools at eleven. But it could have been so much more.


As another winter gave way to another summer, I was becoming increasingly aware of the precarious nature of our secret society, and therefore of my own vulnerability to the possible loss of the intense pleasures which it brought.

Stephen, I feared, was treating me as though he had grown out of such childish things: any rare references to Roodery tended to be teasing and demeaning ones - when I saw him at all.

Brother had not given the nod for well over a year, and even when he had, he would now indicate his own theoretical disapproval of our shared pleasures by saying, "It's all right because we're brothers" - as if he thought he had to persuade me to go ahead, and as if it were just understood that this was a bad thing to do, but we could do it, because we were brothers, and between brothers only, he wanted to persuade me, it was OK. I guess that made it easier for him to handle, for himself. It made no difference to me. Arse was arse.

Andrew would still play, but rather less often now: the direct words of suggestion were awkward embarrassing words, and the Pretending games perhaps seemed increasingly childish. He would go for it with zeal once the consent was negotiated, but that became increasingly complex, and sullen silence between us became common - though that very sullen silence itself was often the precursor for a nod, a raised eyebrow, and a sudden enthusiastic dash for the bedroom and the mutual dropping of pants. We did carry on right through the winter.

But my experience with Jeremy had been a warning: the adult world, unaccountably, inexplicably, really was out to suppress and destroy our perfectly happy secret society. The shock of the experience with Richard had also left a sense of impending gloom: that some boys might mysteriously say no. This saying no was completely incomprehensible to me and therefore frightening in itself. And there was the very serious added danger that with these decliners the cherished secret might not be safe.

The fantasy was beginning to look frayed. I was not the King. And Wishbones did not work. It was a dangerous world.

The thing which sealed the gloom was the move at the end of that summer from the mixed infants' playground to the junior boys'. The junior boys' playground was full of ribald talk, all of it frighteningly suffused with disapproving Adults' World attitudes - something totally unknown amongst Kids until then, every single one of whom had positively relished and delighted in our very Rood games - Richard the only half exception. Now, "wankers" - boys who played with other boys' willies, apparently - were utterly despised by the ribald talkers, and so were "poofs" - boys who kissed other boys, apparently. I was not sure where I fitted in to all this, but I was sure I would not be approved. "Bum chums" sounded really friendly to me, but were apparently (both) to be detested. Might that be me and my precious partners and our beautiful play? I did not know. "Bumming" was the most heinous crime of all. I had no idea what it might be. With these attitudes becoming common currency all around, Rood play was no longer going to be an easy thing to suggest. Even with Andrew the words which were required were becoming a serious embarrassment. It was suddenly a very frightening world.

The worst thing was the sense that Secret Society members - Kids' World people - were beginning to break ranks, to go over by choice to the disapproving enemy side. I just could not comprehend why they were doing it. The Adult World held no attraction for me. If I had to grow up, I wanted to do so surrounded by people who would remain true to the ideals of our Secret '73 pledge, and enjoy Rood Club together for ever, a secret sect of rebel adults amongst but unseen by the people of tedious and censorious Adulthood.

Appallingly, Stephen - in the year above me - welcomed me to the juniors' playground by announcing loudly to an acquaintance of his: "Don't play with him. He pulls down your trousers and plays with your bottom." It did not sound good. He only did it for the rise. I just went away. The hearer probably dismissed it as totally incomprehensible. Stephen never did that again, but I kept well away from him. He was just too unpredictable.

Into the gloom of this year came one wonderful gladdening sight: a bright orange tent, a serious camping tent, with A-frame and flysheet and guylines and vents: this was the place which helped the year to be wonderful after all.

It arrived in spring and Andrew and I were keen to try it out straight away. A camping trip all the way to my back lawn was treated like a major expedition: sleeping bags, sleeping mats, blankets, changes of clothes, washing equipment, cooking equipment: it all tumbled out into the garden, and then, once the tent was up, into the tent. We managed to cook some token food outside on a camping stove, and a hot drink as night fell; and then we retreated into the tent, and eventually the house fell quiet, and our outdoor overnight camping adventure had begun. But then as if that was not all exciting enough, something amazing happened - which we could have predicted if we had thought it through, but we had not. Deciding to call it a night, we were undressing to change into night clothes. When our eyes met, we were both completely naked. We froze, because we both knew. It was time for Rood.

No words were needed to begin this game: no awkward asking, no embarrassing pleas, no "will you", no "shall we". And best of all, we had guaranteed privacy, and we had all night. It was a breath-taking combination. And we went for it.

I could recount what we did but I have told you before. The most wonderful thing that night was the nakedness. We had always had clothes pushed awkwardly aside before. Now there was just beautiful human flesh, uninterrupted from head to toe.

We camped one or both nights of many weekends, and the pattern was always the same.

One weekend Andrew decided he did not want to camp out, or play Rood, and I was seriously desperate for some arse, so desperate in fact that it took me across the road to knock on Stephen's door - Stephen with whom I had not spent time all year. I just knew that if I could only get him into the tent, outrageous Rood play would ensue.

His mother answered the door, and she clearly did not think of this as a good move.

"Would Stephen like to camp out in a tent tonight?"

"No, I don't think so. Not really."

Pleading: "It's got a sewn-in ground sheet."

"No. He's very busy. Goodbye."

I was desolate. But in the end, Andrew relented, and it turned out to be a very special night. It was so warm that we slept out "under the stars" - outside the tent - and the sky was full of shooting stars all night, a major meteor shower. And with the house lights all out and every curtain shut, we dared sniff bottoms lying prone in the open air: our special sacred bond.

Stephen's mother must have relented too, because once - only once - big tall Stephen did sleep out with us, but half fearful inhibition was the order of the night. At least two of us deliberately timed things to ensure that all three of us were naked at once, and so some playful looking and touching did occur - but it was all performed in a very detached way, not with the compassion which used to characterise our interaction. We moved naked around and over each other within the confines of the tent, and there was some close looking and some tentative touching and the odd unmentioned stolen sniff - all surrounded by pretended protestations of offence. But it was lovely just to see him naked again, so tall, so beautiful, and that lovely arse, and that stolen breath of perfume. It was lovely to be the naked three again, however very different it was just one year on. It was lovely to be sleeping cocooned with them both.

That day and night was the only time I spent with Stephen all that year. His disinterested superior detachment resumed - and there was the playground incident, of course. Andrew and I continued our camping into the cooler nights of late summer. We could do Rood, in the safety and security and unspoken mutual understanding of the tent - but we could not talk about it at all. And that meant that when camping ended for the winter, that precious bond - which had held us together now for a major part of our lifetimes - was gone. Was it a coincidence that that was when we had our big falling out? We fell out over a broken bicycle milometer, of all things - and we did not speak for nearly a year.

I was an addict. My drug of choice was pheromonal ecstasy. There was only one known source: boys' arse. For the first time since my first life-changing inhalation with Adam, I had no current source, and I could not imagine how I would ever find one again. Adam, Daniel, Stephen, Andrew, Brother, Jeremy, Richard: seven sources, seven scents, all once willingly offered (for a fair exchange), all now apparently lost. Securing a new supply would involve unspeakable risks: a gamble on humiliation, rejection, public ridicule. I threw myself into my work, into school, where I did have friends, and into activities of various kinds - but I really did miss my regular fix of arse. I saw no way forward, but somewhere inside I dared still to hope. I knew there were others like me out there. It was just a case of waiting for one to come along. Or so I dared to hope - to keep my sanity.