Max’s Freudian Slip - Chapter #8
This is the fictional account of a relationship that develops between a man and a teenage boy. It might involve some sex at some point, so if that sort of thing offends you, move along.
If you like my writing, links to my other stories on nifty are at the end of the chapter. Some of those get into sexual escapades much more quickly than does this one.
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Chapter 8 – The Accidental Snap
For the three weeks since the movie, Max has been as happy as I’d ever seen him. This was no doubt fueled by his clandestine relationship with Cam. It couldn’t have come at a better time. His dad was finally remanded into custody to begin his prison term for his indiscretions. I thought that saying goodbye to his dad would knock the wind out of his sails, but he bounced back incredibly fast. He had his last supervised meeting with his dad on a Saturday and I came to visit him on Sunday afternoon. He was moping some when I first got there, but after a couple hours of watching a movie he begged me to go eat and by the time we returned from dinner he was cheerful again.
His mom texted me the next day. She couldn’t believe how well the weekend had gone and credited me with making the difference. “I am sure he’d have been down for days if you hadn’t been here for him. Thanks so much Craig. I don’t know where we would be with you. You truly are a saint.” I knew I had played a part, but I also knew Cameron deserved credit. But I couldn’t tell her that.
I had told her of course about Cameron coming to the movie with us and made sure she understood that the two boys were definitely no longer enemies. I even dropped a couple hints that it would be better for everyone if both sets of parents followed suit. I had told her about my various discussions with Jeanine (Cam’s mom), so she knew that I understood just how challenging that could be, but she told me she would try.
The downside for me of Max having a boyfriend was that most of our time together was now spent with Max talking about Cam: his struggles with his parents, how he doesn’t like his private school very much, the new rings dismount that Cam was working on. I felt like I almost knew Cam as well as I did Max. I could hardly be bitter though, given how happy Max was. I thought their relationship was quite cute but I of course couldn’t use that exact phrasing with Max. I didn’t want him to think I thought their affair to be juvenile. I knew it was quite serious in his eyes. And maybe it was?
But I was worried too. I wondered how long the two of them could keep their relationship a secret. It seemed to me that sooner or later one of their parents or some of their teammates would start figuring it out. What would happen then? And what would their parents think if they found out that I had known about it all along, and even helped facilitate it? What would happen if they broke up? Would things be unbearably uncomfortable at the gym? We talked about some of my concerns last Thursday over dinner. I was hoping these were things the two of them were talking about, even if it was over text. “Max, have you and Cameron talked about how you would handle things IF word got out about you two?”
“We’re keeping it a secret Craig. Don’t worry!” he assured me.
“Yeah, well, sometimes things happen. People that are around you a lot will notice things you might not think of. Your mom already thinks it’s a bit strange you didn’t get more upset about saying goodbye to your dad. She thinks that’s all because of me.”
“Well it was because of you! And Cam. I mean I just can’t be unhappy when the hottest boy in Minnesota likes me and I like him back.”
“Well, be careful. Sometimes the excitement of a new relationship gives you a high that can wear off and then you get tired of each other.”
“Tired of Cam? No way. I mean we’ve still not gotten to really spend time together. How can I be tired of him? We text… well Snapchat, because he doesn’t want his mom to read his texts….. all the time. We never run out of things to talk about.”
“Nice. Have you two come up with any ideas to get to spend time together?” I had tried to get Cameron to come eat with us the past couple of weeks after practice but Jeanine had good excuses to deny me both times. Cameron had a big homework project to finish one week and he was fighting a cold the next.
“Actually, YES!” Max told me, suddenly excited. “Cam wants to invite our whole elite team to spend the night at his house as like a team building thing. It won’t just be him and I but it’s still better than nothing. And he thinks while I am there I can work on being nice to his parents so they like me more.”
“That’s actually pretty brilliant. Then you could tell everyone that after hanging out you are good friends now. I think after the movie Cam’s mom has gotten the message that you two at least get along. You’ll still have to work up to letting people know you are boyfriends. That will be a lot harder you know?”
“For sure! Cam says his parents don’t like gay people.”
“Yeah, I got a sense of that when I had a beer with his mom. And what do you think your parents think?”
“I know my mom doesn’t really have a problem with gay people exactly, but I think she’d have a problem with ME being gay. Does that make sense? My dad, well I guess it doesn’t matter what he thinks for a while.”
“No. And I hardly think he’s one to be judging anyone’s sexuality.”
Max looked at me with a blank stare.
“Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.”
“Yeah, well, I guess it’s true,” he said solemnly.
“Well, I doubt you want to pretend to be something you’re not your whole life. At some point you will have to spill the beans.” It was kind of ironic I was giving Max this advice, considering I’d spent an entire life burying my own desires. Not that I had any regrets, I love my family dearly, but I would do it all differently if I had another shot at it.
“Yeah, I know,” he mumbled. “That’s the same thing my therapist says.”
The following Wednesday, I was at work suffering through my last meeting of the day and then I was cutting out a little early. A regional theater was doing a production of Billy Elliot and I bought tickets for Max and I to go see it that night. “A stupid musical?” he whined when I first told him about it. “Like with singing and dancing and stuff?” he asked, making a face. Obviously he was in need of some culturing.
“Yes Max…. singing and dancing,” I had told him. “But some musicals are not so stupid. I think you’ll like this one actually. The main character is a boy your age. I think the message will really resonate with you.” I should also note the boy playing the lead role was actually really cute too. I had looked up his bio on the theater’s website. He was a local 13 year old singer and dancer.
“What does that mean? Resonate?” he asked.
“It means you’ll be able to relate to some of the situations in the story. Just keep an open mind and we’ll talk after the show. We can even go somewhere special for dessert afterwards, ok?” I hoped Max was mature enough to enjoy it. There was so much about the story that should be relatable to him. The theme of show, if you haven’t seen it, is all about being allowed to be yourself, whatever that may be. For Billy, it’s about being a ballet dancer in a family of blue collar coal workers. Of course the parallel for Max is about liking boys. Billy also has a friend that likes to dress in drag and is probably gay (though it’s not stated explicity). I also thought Max might relate to Billy’s mom being deceased and absent. It wasn’t exactly the same circumstance with his dad, but there were certainly some parallels. There was lots of good stuff Max could benefit from.
I was thumbing around on my phone while the meeting drug on. I was half tuned out. It’s a bad habit I have – playing with my phone during meetings. I get so bored - things move too slowly and I always multitask. A notification popped up that I had a new snap chat from Max. It was about the time he got home from school and it wasn’t rare for him to send me a message about that time of day just to say hello. When I opened the Snapchat app, I saw it was actually a picture snap instead of just a message. Max doesn’t usually send pictures, but when he does it’s just usually a picture of a good test score that he wants to show me, or of him smiling with a nice message. Imagine my surprise when I opened his snap and it was a close-up picture of his hard cock. Well at least I presume it was his cock. The message on the picture said “omg been thinking of u all day”.
I was so shocked that when I went to hit the home button to clear the screen – quickly - I actually knocked my phone off my notepad and sent it flipping to the floor. In a panic, I gasped outoud and tried to catch it but failed. I made quite an unexpected ruckus. Thankfully the phone landed face down on the floor because everyone turned to look at me. Thankfully, I was sitting in one of the chairs around the edge of the room and not at the main table, so there was nobody looking over my shoulder that might have seen the screen.
I quickly apologized and reached over and grabbed my phone, making sure to hit the power button before picking it back up. My boss was in the meeting and gave me a dirty look. I slipped it into my pocket and managed to get through the rest of the meeting, sweating bullets about the near disaster. That was a close call. What was Max thinking? As great as it would be if Max were sending me those kinds of snaps, I knew there was no way he intended to send that to me. I assumed he meant it for Cameron. I had seen the picture well enough to be aroused, and angry. I ignored the constant buzzing of my phone until the meeting was over. I didn’t think getting it out again in front of my boss would be wise.
As soon as the meeting wrapped up I darted to the bathroom and locked myself in a stall. I still had Snapchat open and there was another message from Max that just said “oh shit”. The “press here to replay” message sat there below his last picture snap. I wanted so badly to replay it and gaze at his teen dick in relative peace, but I was pretty sure Max would get notified that I did that. I cursed myself for not knowing more about how snapchat functioned! It was one thing to have opened it once, but to replay it would send up red flags.
I had three text messages from Max and 4 missed called from him. The text messages were:
OMG! DON’T open that snap pic, I’ll explain later
Three of the four calls were hang-ups. On one of them he left a short voice message. You could hear the urgency and panic in his voice. “Craig, pleeeasee… don’t open that Snapchat picture. It wasn’t for you. Call me back please. Please!!!!”
I went back to my cubicle and dropped my stuff. I had barely sat down when my boss came by and motioned me into his office. “Close the door,” he said. Crap. I could tell he was angry.
He proceeded to tear into me for five minutes about being professional at meetings and how I just made our whole department look like amateurs. “We’ve been trying to get the finance and marketing people to respect us and it’s hard when you’re jacking with your fucking phone and tossing it all over the room. It’s already looks bad enough with you leaving early every Thursday to be Ronny Role model to that kid.” I thought he was going a little overboard considering all I really did was drop my phone, but I really didn’t have place to argue. But Jesus! The prick was totally on board with me leaving early to spend time with Max. He told me it was very noble of me when he approved it, and now he was holding it against me? I was livid.
But still, if the phone had landed face up I might be sitting in HR getting canned, or worse! More than anything, I just wanted to take my medicine and find a quiet place to call Max. I knew he was probably dying - waiting to hear something back from me. But for the first time ever, I was also angry with him. He could have caused a lot of problems with his screw up. And he’s sexting with Cameron (presumably)? My god that could screw the both of them over!
“I’m sorry sir. It was an accident. I’ll not let it happen again,” I told my boss, swallowing my pride just to get out of his office.
I walked back to my desk, fuming. I was angy at Max and even more pissed at my boss for making a big deal out of what was probably nothing. I pushed my rolling chair under my desk and grabbed my phone and jacket.
As I walked out, I called Max.
“Hello,” he answered in a soft mumble.
“Hey,” I said.
“Did you get my messages?” I’d never heard him so down.
“Yeah buddy….but…um… not in time. I saw the snap.”
“Thought so,” he answered so softly I could barely hear him.
“And were gonna have to talk. I’m coming straight there.”
“You’re pissed aren’t you?”
I had just made it out the door to the parking garage. With nobody around me, my frustrations boiled over and I suddenly raised my voice. “You’re damn right I’m pissed. I just got in huge trouble with my boss thanks to your fuck up.”
“I’m sorry!” he pleaded. I could hear him starting to sob.
I tried to calm myself. “I’m sorry I yelled at you Max, but god dammit! What were you thinking?”
“It was…an…accident…” I could barely make out his words between heavy sobs. Jesus Christ. Now I was feeling guilty for losing my cool.
“Calm the …heck…down Max,” I said, trying to arrest the anger in my voice. “I’ll be there in 25 minutes.”
“O-O-Oh-Okay,” he replied.
I hung up and climbed into my car and started the drive to Max’s house. The drive wasn’t stressful thankfully and it gave me adequate time to calm down. I went through what I was going to tell Max. I remembered my own daughters getting the ‘dangers of sexting’ lessons from school. I recalled all the threats about pictures posted all over the internet, about the potential for getting arrested for possessing child porn, about having to go on sex offender lists, etc. I also remember thinking how so much of that was absurd! My fear with my own kids & sexting was that their pictures would be passed around between the boys at school and the shame and embarrassment that could potentially cause them. According to my daughters, despite all the warnings, kids still did it all the time anyway.
As I drove, I also realized I didn’t philosophically have a problem with teens sexting with other teens. They could legally have actual sex but sending pictures was somehow awful? Hell – I’d rather they sent pictures! It’s safer. No unplanned pregnancies. No diseases to worry about. It is always the sharing of the pictures with others that causes all the problems.
I knew for a fact, that had the internet and phones existed when I was a teen that I would have been doing it. And doing it a lot. I could hardly fault Max for exploring his sexuality digitally could I? How else can a closeted gay teen boy safely explore his desires? It’s what I would have been doing if chat rooms and Skype existed when I was his age. I went over in my head what I would say to him. Most of all I wanted him to understand the dangers of what he was doing and that he had to be more careful. What if he had sent that snap to someone else?
I pulled into his driveway, and grabbed my phone from the charger. While I was driving Max had sent me another text message that I hadn’t noticed. “I’m really sorry, really. If you don’t wanna do stuff with a dirty pervert like me anymore, its ok.” I couldn’t tell if he was being sincere or if it was an attempt to evoke some pity.
I rang the doorbell but got no answer. I knocked loudly and waited several seconds - still nothing. I tried the door and it opened. “Max,” I yelled stepping inside. I walked into their entry way & their cat Scooter greeted me by rubbing against my legs. “Where’s Max Scooter? huh?” The cat wasn’t much help. The living room was empty so I headed upstairs. I was suddenly worried Max might have runaway or even worse, tried to hurt himself. Neither possibility had entered my mind before that moment. I picked up my pace, now panicking almost, barging through his partially closed bedroom door. “Max!” I yelled, my voice showing some urgency. There was a lump on his bed under his blue comforter. I ran to it and pulled the covers back.
Max was lying face down with both arms covering his head, trying to hide his face. “Oh thank god,” I said, my fears allayed at least. I sat next to him and placed a hand on his back and gave it a rub.
“Go away,” he mumbled, though it didn’t seem sincer.
“No Max. I’m not going away. You’re not getting rid of me that easily.”
“I’m a dirty sicko just like my dad!” I recognized the tactic he was using. I think I did the same thing when I was a young boy and throwing fits. I was always wanting my mom to feel sorry for me to minimize her anger, but I was also seeking reassurances of her love.
“Not hardly. Now roll over so we can get to the bottom of this.”
He didn’t move for several seconds but finally he rolled over. His face was puffy and red. The lines he had spewed to evoke pity might have been a ploy, but the tears were clearly legit. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to,” he whispered.
“I know that,” I said before some anger resurfaced. “But still Max, you have no idea how much trouble that little screw up could have caused. I opened that snap in the middle of a meeting. A god damn meeting! Do you know how much trouble I could be in, WE could be in if someone had seen it? It shocked me so much I dropped my phone on the floor. Oh my god if that had landed face up I’d probably be getting fired for looking at porn at work or worse.”
“Sorry,” he said, looking away. I could see new tears forming in his eyes.
I calmed myself and lowered my voice. “As it was, I ONLY got yelled at by my boss. Which ain’t great but at least I still have a job. My next review might suck though. But you know what Max?” I asked, my voice softening even more as I asked. It was time to start helping him feel better.
“What?” he said, rolling back towards me.
I grabbed ahold of both his arms and looked him in the eye. “I still love you buddy. Everyone is allowed to screw up and get another chance.”
I was a little surprised when he suddenly dove into my chest and wrapped his arms around me. “I love you too Craig,” he practically shouted. It dawned on me that I had never voiced the words “I love you” to Max, even though I had felt it in my heart for a while now. The unexpected moment was touching and I realized that now I was now tearing up. (Yes, I’m a sap).
I rubbed his back for a few seconds and then he pulled away. He looked up at me when he did. “You’re crying?” he observed, clearly surprised.
“A little. I’m not sure why.”
He hugged me again. “I guess hearing you say you love me just kinda gave me the feels,” I told him as I kissed him on his forehead. His scent filled my nose. I loved being this close to Max.
“I’ve wanted to say that to you that for like 2 months now but I was afraid you’d think I was stupid or weird,” he confessed.
“I don’t care if it’s weird Max. Some people might think so, but I really don’t care what they think. Do you?”
“And we can keep that more between us anyway, right?”
I pushed him back away from me. “Ok then, now about this Snapchat picture.” We still had issues to discuss.
Words spilled rapidly from his mouth. “Oh god, I’m so stupid. My mom’s gonna kill me and then she’s gonna find out about Cam and I and then his moms gonna know and now everythings ruined,” he spewed.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Who said anything about telling your mom?”
“You mean you aren’t going to tell her?” he said sitting up straighter. “I thought everything was ruined for sure.”
“I don’t really see what good telling her would do anyone.”
“Seriously? Oh my god, seriously? If you don’t tell I promise I’ll never send another picture like that to anyone ever again.”
“That probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for a lot of reasons, you know.”
“Yeah, I know.” He sighed.
Just then, we heard the garage door opening. “Oh shit, my mom’s home,” Max said, jumping up out of bed. I hadn’t noticed he wasn’t wearing pants. He had on some gray Hanes boxer briefs that were loose on his slender frame.
“Go get dressed,” I commanded. “And put on something decent. I’ll go tell your mom I was helping you pick out something nice to wear to the show. Splash some water on face too. You’re still all red from crying.”
“We’re still going to the musical?” he asked.
“Of course. You don’t get out of it that easily. We’ll talk more in the car. Plan on that, buster.” I wanted to make sure he knew he wasn’t off the hook. I wanted to give him some advice about things, but I also desperately wanted to hear about the things him and Cameron were up to via Snapchat. It’s being a voyeur at its finest.
I went downstairs and ran interference with Max’s mom while he finished getting ready. “The dork was trying to wear sweat pants,” I complained to her shaking my head.
“Figures,” she said. “I still can’t believe you actually got him to agree to give up his one free night of the week to go to a musical. It’s usually his night to overdose on Fortnite.”
“I guess he felt sorry for me,” I joked.
Max came bouncing down the stairs and gave his mom a quick hug. She didn’t notice his still slightly-reddened face. Her attention was on the mail she was opening.
“We better get going if we’re to get dinner before the show. We’ll be back around 10:30,” I told her.
“OK,” she mumbled, her head still in her mail, as we escaped out the front door.
Once I put the car in drive and took off down the street, I resumed our conversation. “OK, I want to know everything. And I want complete honesty. No bullshitting me.”
“OK. What all do you want to know?” he asked. There was some hesitance in his voice.
“Well, first, who were you sending that to?”
He looked at me like I was crazy. “Who do you think? Geez! Cam. Who else would I send that to?”
“I dunno. I mean Cam was my first guess. But I thought it could maybe be Benjamin? Noah? Some other random kid you met on the internet.”
“OK well, it was CAM! Benjamin and I have shown each other stuff but that was just comparing and being curious. It was NOT sexting. I wouldn’t send him a sexy photo like that, he’s totally straight. And Noah? Oh my god no! He’d never sext with a girl, and especially not with a guy, and definitely not ME!”
“But you did show Noah how to jerk off?” I replied. I hadn’t told Max that Noah had told me that after the whole wet dream incident in Colorado. I figured now was as good as time as any to lay more cards on the table and get Max’s reaction. Plus, I thought it only fair that he knew Noah had told me.
Max looked at me puzzled. “How…how did you know about that?”
“It’s a long story, but obviously Noah mentioned it.”
“Ok, but that was different. I was just showing him, for fun, well sorta. We were talking about stuff and he didn’t understand what jerking off was, so I was doing him a favor.” He paused for a couple seconds before admitting, “And ok, I did kinda wanna see his dick, but please don’t tell him I said that!”
“I won’t. So how was it?”
“How was what?”
“Noah’s dick?” I said, grinning, stifling a laugh.
“Arrrrrgggh,” he groaned at me and pushed my shoulder. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” he replied, undoubtedly thinking he was being clever. Well yeah, Max, as a matter of fact I WOULD really like to know. I’ve been around the kid for 12 years and I’ve never seen his cock and I would definitely like to know what it is like.
“Anyway,” I said, changing the topic back to the snap, without getting a reply to my question. “You were sending it to Cam. Does he send those kinds of pictures to you?”
“Yes, of course. I wouldn’t do it if he wasn’t.”
“And how long has this been going on?”
“Since the night we went to the movie. You know when we held hands and stuff.”
“And stuff?” I asked. “What stuff?”
“No, I don’t. Really. Out with it. “
He took a deep breath. “We were just touching each other a little bit under our coats.”
“Seriously? In the middle of the theater?”
He shrugged. “What I really wanted to do was just kiss him but I figured the lady next to him would freak. We really just like rubbed each other’s legs and stuff. But we ..um..well… you know also, kinda….”
“Felt each other’s boners through your pants? Wait! I hope to god it was through your pants.”
“It was! Geez. I’m not that crazy.”
“OK, so that night you started with the sexting?”
“Yeah, as soon as I got home. We both had wet spots on our underwear. I thought I had a wet dream during the movie, but Cam explained about precum and showed me a picture of his wet spot…and well… then we just kept sending pictures. Until we both sent vids of us shooting all over the place.”
I was in shock. Even though I’d had a few fantasies about my two cute young friends doing things, I hadn’t suspected they had actually gotten this sexual this quickly. Max had always seemed quite naïve and innocent. I suspected that Cam wasn’t so innocent. “So, it was Cam that sent the first picture then.”
“Yes. But don’t blame it on him Craig. It would have happened anyway.” It was cute how he was defending his boyfriend.
“Oh, I’m not. I mean if he were making you do it or twisting your arm I would, but he’s not. Is he?”
“No, no, definitely not,” he assured me.
“Well, I’m just a little surprised you guys went straight to sending nudes.” I told him. “How often does this happen?”
“Well,” he stuttered, “not EVERY day.”
“Oh great, THAT makes me feel a lot better about it,” I said sarcastically, shaking my head.
“Most of the time they aren’t even naked! Honest! He likes to send me a pic in the morning of him in just his underwear. He has all these cool ones. Not lame like most of mine.”
“What’s wrong with your underwear?”
“It’s mostly just cheap stuff from Wal-mart. His are all Under Armour, American Eagle, Calvin Klein, stuff like that and the colors of his are awesome. They look so much better. Mine are old and loose and just not very cool looking. His are all so.” He cut himself off.
“Hot,” he answered suddenly getting shy.
“Well, that at least gives me an idea of what to buy you for your birthday,” I joked.
“Really? You would buy me cool underwear?”
“Well, unfortunately I think that would be a hard thing to explain to your mom don’t you think? But if we bought some other clothes, maybe we could sneak in a pair or two.” Of course if I bought him some nice underwear, I was thinking maybe I could see him in them at some point if I was lucky. “But back to your snap pics. I assume when you send naked ones you guys are talking about things you’d like to do?”
“A little bit.”
“I dunno. Just that we wanna make out and play with each others ..you know.”
“See, that’s what worries me. You guys are only 13. You seem to be moving pretty fast.”
“But were not. They are just pictures Craig. All we’ve done in person is kiss a couple times.”
“Where have you managed to do that?”
“In the bathroom at the gym. Just really quickly, a few times. Ian almost caught us once. But Cam thought fast and told him he was helping me try to see if my contact was in right.” Ian is the younger boy on their team, the one with red hair.
“You wear contacts?” I asked. I’d never seen him wear glasses or talk about contact lenses.
He laughed. “No, but Ian doesn’t know that.”
“Cam’s pretty clever isn’t he?” I was thinking it was almost a sign of being too clever. But with a controlling mom, I’m sure he’s had to figure out how to tell a few white lies. But I could also see him maybe manipulating my young friend a little.
“Yes, he always thinks of things. Like having a team sleepover, just so we can be together.”
“And what do you think the two of you would do at the sleepover?”
“Play video games mostly. Hang out. He said we could use his hot tub.”
“Max,” I said, getting his attention.
“That wasn’t what I meant. I mean how much of the sex stuff you guys have talked about would you be willing to actually do.”
“I dunno,” he shrugged. “It’s not like we could do a lot with his parents around anyway.” I loved that he was that naïve. I’m sure they could manage a lot without being caught if they were smart. Especially given how large Cam’s house is.
“You could probably get away with a little. I mean you felt each other up sitting right next to me in the theater! Would you make out with Cam?”
“Duh! For sure.”
“Play with his dick.”
“Ok and what if he wants you to do more than that?”
“What else do you mean?”
“Max, you are pretty innocent…I think…but are you really that innocent? I think you know what I mean?”
“You mean… blow jobs?”
“Yes, Max, I mean blow jobs. Would you do that?”
“I dunno. Maybe?” he said, clearly uncertain. “That seems kinda gross. Cam has told me he wanted to do that a couple times when we were sexting.”
“Well Max, all sex things seem kind of gross until you’re in the midst of doing them and then suddenly they can be quite exciting. I just want you to promise me a couple things. OK?”
“Well, I probably should be telling you guys you are too young to be doing ANY of this. But I’m not that naïve. So. One - take things slow. Don’t be in a rush to do everything there is to do. You’ll thank me later. Part of the fun is in slowly getting to know what makes the other person feel good. If you let the anticipation build, it will make things more fun later. Does that make sense?”
“Yeah, sorta. What’s the other one?”
“That you aren’t afraid to say no to something if it doesn’t feel right. And if Cam tells you NO, you respect that.”
“You mean NO means NO?”
“Exactly. But the most important thing is you aren’t afraid to say NO yourself.”
“OK,” he agreed. “I promise. Cam wouldn’t try to talk me into doing stuff I didn’t wanna.” I wasn’t 100% sure of that though, as he seemed to be the instigator.
We had arrived at the BBQ joint that we were eating at before the show. “You probably couldn’t be happier to be here so you could stop listening to me lecture you on sex, huh?”
“Yeah, sorta,” he answered. “Really I didn’t mind so much. My dad never would talk with me about this kind of stuff. But we still haven’t talked about the sexting even.”
“Yeah, that will have to wait until were back in the car.”
While we ate, I tried to prep him for the upcoming show. I tried to give him some of the background info that would help some of it make more sense. Needless to say, compared to talking about underwear, sexting and sex, Maggie Thatcher and the English coal strikes of the 1980s wasn’t nearly as exciting.
We had a 15 minute drive to the theater, so we resumed our prior conversation, this time focused on the sexting that Max and Cam had been doing.
“You do realize how much trouble you can get in with that stuff right?” I asked.
“We could get arrested and stuff huh?”
“Yeah. I mean I’ve heard of a few cases where teens have been. Because since you’re not 18, any pictures of you are kiddie porn so if you have them on your phone that’s REALLY illegal. I mean grown-ups go to jail for a long time for having stuff like that.”
“I know,” he said solemnly. “My dad had some pictures on his phone. But Cam and I never save the snaps, I swear.”
“Well, that’s smart at least. I believe you, but are you 100% sure Cam hasn’t been screenshotting your pics?”
“Pretty sure. I mean snapchat tells you when someone does that.”
“Yes, Craig,” he said, insinuating I was clearly a dumb adult that doesn’t know how Snapchat works.
“Ok that’s good. So how did that end up getting sent to me instead of Cam?”
“I dunno really. I thought I was messaging Cam. Your name is just below his because you are who I snapped recently, and I guess I just picked the wrong one and didn’t realize it.”
“Yeah well that scares me. What if you had sent it to someone else who wasn’t so forgiving? Another friend? A girl?”
“Yeah, that would have been bad,” he agreed. “Do you want me to promise to never do it again?”
I thought for a while trying to decide how to respond. “Craig,” he prompted me, getting impatient.
“Mostly Max, I just want you to be more careful if you DO it. I don’t want it to sound like I’m approving of what you were doing, but here’s what I really think about it. Are you listening?”
“Yes,” he said, attentively.
“Well, I think it’s kind of bullshit that they make such a huge deal out of sending pictures to trusted friends.”
“Yes. Remember back when you were in like second grade and they taught you about good touch / bad touch and all that?”
“Well, wasn’t the big thing they told you was it’s your body and you’re in control of it and not to let anyone do anything that made you uncomfortable? Even if it was someone just trying to give you a hug?”
“Well, it IS your body. And now you’re old enough to decide to want to show a picture of it to a trusted friend and now it’s suddenly not ok to be in charge of your body?”
“Yeah. That doesn’t make sense!”
“And another thing. Think of this. Let’s say you and Cam gave each other blow jobs. Would that be illegal?”
“I don’t think so. Is it?” He clearly wasn’t sure.
“Nope, not at all. Well maybe if you did it in public or something. So isn’t it kind of stupid that you two could actually do sex things and that’s not illegal, but sending pictures is?”
“I never thought of it that way.”
“Don’t get me wrong Max. There’s good reason to warn kids not to do it. MOST kids are stupid and they can’t resist showing pictures around and that leads to huge problems. Can you imagine being a girl whose nudes have been seen by half the boys in her school? Or what if a boy sent a girl a picture and he had a small penis and she showed it to everyone and then suddenly everyone is calling him no-dick. Can you imagine how they’d feel?”
“Oh man, if something like that happened to me I’d wanna kill myself.”
“Exactly. And that’s exactly what happens too often as far as I am concerned. So what I am saying is you damn well better know and trust whomever you are sending pictures too. And it is never a bad idea to leave your face out of the picture just to be safe, in case they get out somehow.”
“I trust Cam though.”
“I know. One more thing. The other thing that happens is kids meet other kids on the internet that really aren’t other kids. And they get suckered into sending pictures to pedophiles who share them with all their pedophile friends.”
“You mean they get catfished?”
“Exactly. So I guess those are my warnings. Even I told you to stop, I think it would be hard now wouldn’t it?”
He thought for a moment. “Yeah. It would. It would be like trying to stop jerking off almost. That would be impossible.”
“So promise you’ll be careful at least?”
“Ok. I promise. Do you want me to delete you from Snapchat to make sure I don’t send anything to you by accident?”
Are you kidding? Hell no! Now that I am prepared for the possibility, I’d love for you to do it again. “Maybe you should leave me in there. That way if you screw up it might at least come to someone who won’t get you into big trouble.”
“Ok. That’s a good idea.”
We were getting out of the car and walking into the theater. “I am a little disappointed to find out you hadn’t been thinking about me all day though,” I joked.
It took him a few seconds to realize what I was getting at. “Very funny. But I do think about you at school Craig. All the time,” he said loosely grabbing my hand. He looked around to make sure nobody was near us and leaned into me. He whispered “I just don’t usually get hard when I think of you.”
Usually? Does that mean sometimes he does get hard thinking of me? Did he really mean to say it that way or am I reading way too much into his comment. I’m sure he meant he never gets hard thinking of me, right? Oh, why do you torment me like this Max????
Sorry it took a while to get this chapter out. I struggled with it – I couldn’t decide whether to just summarize the conversation in the car or include it the actual conversation as I did. I worry I get long winded at times. Let me know what you think (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cameron’s team sleepover will be interesting.
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