You Are Your Story - In Defence of Intergenerational Love

 

 "... Sometimes it feels like you and me against the world. And when one of us is gone, and one of us is left to carry on, then remembering will have to do -- our memories alone will get us through -- thinking bout the days of me and you, and you and me against the world."

Helen Ready, 1974

Dedicated to Seth Walsh and Asher Brown, both 13 years old, who took their own lives in September 2000 and after being bullied and harassed relentlessly at school for being homosexual. Know that your lives, contributions, and terrible plight will never be forgotten!

Table of contents:

Introduction

1. Finding love in an unlikely place

2. Becoming your big brother

3. Little brother and me are family

4. Navigating the adult world on your behalf

5. The main objection to intergenerational love

6. Addressing the horrible, terrible issue of sex

7. Public displays of affection

8. A visit to Six Flags

9. One journey ends, a new one begins

Conclusion

Introduction

It has been referred to as "the love that dares not speak its name". We are speaking, of course, about intergenerational love relationships -- particular, those between adult men and boys. A society's acceptance of these relationships varies greatly over time, and from place to place, but usually corresponds with the degree to which a culture is "open" -- and its people enjoy personal freedoms in general. Human societies undergo slow but continuous change over time. Advancing or retreating, like a giant pendulum, they swing toward one extreme or the other -- sometimes in the direction of greater trust in human nature and innate goodness -- an increase in personal freedom and prosperity for all... only to retreat once more into an era of fear and mistrust -- of the future, of government, of one's fellow man. It is at this end of the social spectrum that things formerly allowed become taboo. The state seeks greater control over its people in uncertain times. Any minority, including any sexual minority, becomes increasingly suspect and vulnerable to prosecution. Intergenerational love is highly sensitive to these changes in a society's belief system over time. Contrast the difference between how the practice is treated in modern-day America with that of ancient Greece, where love relationships between men and boys were celebrated as "love on an elevated plane".

Yet despite various attempts to eradicate the practice, it has always steadfastly remained as if it were a necessary part of the way human civilization has formed. Throughout recorded history, until the present day, examples of highly regarded intergenerational love relationships can be found in every country and corner of the world -- and amongst every racial and ethnic group of people on the planet! Why should this be?

One answer is to look at how humans have organized themselves into extended family and social groups over the centuries. Alliances of like-minded people with a common objective were often formed to address a particular problem or meet some need within the community that had been going unmet. If it was successful in this effort, it would eventually become a permanent part of the culture and, through tradition, be handed down from one generation to the next. The "alliance" persisted because it advanced the group's survival prospects by providing somehow for the common good of its individual members. It is precisely in this way, that intergenerational love relationships evolved to become an integral part of nearly all human societies: they are an ideal solution to meet an important need within a community -- and thereby advance the cause of the greater society.

The main purpose of intergenerational relationships is to catch, and provide one-on-one mentoring to the lost, unsupervised, disenfranchised, and self-destructive youths that exist within every culture. These relationships are the safety net of last resort to give companionship and guidance to troubled and delinquent boys whose parents are unable, or unwilling to do so. Intergenerational love relationships don't depend upon "referrals," some distant bureaucracy, or state funding to do what they do. They're available to a boy in the neighborhood where he lives and sometimes struggles to survive from day to day -- an immediate help in times of trouble. They work through the natural "affinity" that exists between a man and a boy. Such relationships have elements of student/teacher, father/son, big brother/Little brother relationships, and they build a road from childhood to adulthood that the boy can then travel successfully.

These relationships aren't designed to meet the needs, or address the problems of, every boy, and they may not be the best solution in every situation. But occasionally they can be the most cost-effective, workable, and practical alternative to more conventional forms of help. Certainly no one is suggesting there aren't other ways to help the boy to achieve the same objectives -- only that the intergenerational love method may be the most natural way, and the option a boy would choose for himself if given a choice. To allow such relationships to flourish, especially when other forms of help are unavailable, only makes good sense.

Even in today's climate of fear and mistrust, the potential benefit of intergenerational relationships is acknowledged and recognized -- hence, the existence of such organizations as big brothers/big sisters, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, and other similar mentoring programs. The main objection to "boy love" relationships is not simply the inclusion of the word "love" -- but that these relationships often also include some type of sexual intimacy between the two. So I will address the issue of sex in an upcoming chapter, and try to show why there may be a legitimate purpose and place for sex with in some of these relationships -- and, why it probably isn't as harmful as is commonly believed.

How then does one go about proving that an intergenerational love relationship is capable of having a healthy, positive influence on a boy's growth and development -- and isn't simply another form of abuse heaped on top of whatever he may have already suffered? It is difficult since it is possible to make a case either way! It just depends on which of these relationships you choose to hold up as examples of the practice -- and focus all the media attention upon. As with all fallible human endeavors, there are good ones... and some not so good. In today's society, only the most exploitive and abusing relationships are given media attention and coverage. As a result, there is no longer any distinction made between those that are clearly harmful, and those that arguably might have been beneficial in some way. The mainstream media outlets, increasingly ratings-driven and under pressure from the authorities, have been so successful in attempting to "socially-engineer" intergenerational love out of existence, that most people are unaware positive examples of it even exist!

One can think of it in this way: each year in this country, there are children who suffer great harm, some even killed, at the hands of their parents. Now, for the media to focus attention solely upon these examples of horrific parental abuse and neglect, without including any examples of responsible, loving parenting, then an outsider looking in, with no prior knowledge about the issue on the basis of which to form an opinion, might well conclude the traditional family unit is an unsuitable way to raise a child! Well, it is mostly the same dynamic at work which is giving intergenerational love such a bad name.

In this article, I will take the role of a lawyer trying to defend a client everyone already assumes is guilty, I will present my case for why my "client" (intergenerational love) should be acquitted. I will try to show that it is a misunderstanding to characterize these relationships as simply the means by which an adult befriends a boy so that he can "groom" or manipulate him into a sexually abusive situation. Critics of such relationships frequently point to the “unequal balance of power” between the boy and the man. Yet the balance of power in an intergenerational relationships is not as lopsided as is claimed, for it is often the boy who calls the shots and has the real power! Any parent can tell you how perceptive and shrewd a kid can be in playing one parent off against the other to get his way. He is intuitive, and cannot easily be fooled. A boy will sense early on in the relationship if part of an adult's interest in befriending him includes a sexual interest in him. Yet this awareness seldom repels or frightens him away. Why? Because he senses an opportunity to gain from this situation. To have an adult “wrapped around his little finger” gives him real bargaining power! So yes, he may be chosen by the adult... but he also chooses for himself whether or not to enter in to an intergenerational relationship with a particular adult.

*******

During the 1960s, and even into the 70s, intergenerational love seemed to be quietly gaining a wider acceptance in most societies. The practice was debated and discussed openly in academic circles, while surveys conducted by social researchers, interested in the subject, revealed a surprising finding: when thousands of college students from campuses across the country were questioned about their sexual histories, of those who reported having had sexual encounters with adults while they were still children, the majority remembered these experiences fondly and considered them a positive influence overall. Researchers began to consider such experiences mostly harmless as long as they weren't forced on an unwilling victim. In this era of great personal freedom, as long as adults could be trusted to act in a responsible manner toward children, and no real harm was done, many “unofficially” adopted a live and let live attitude toward the practice. Papers were published which cited evidence that children were fundamentally sexual beings from birth, and should have rights over their own bodies and the freedom to satisfy their natural curiosity about such things if they wanted to.

Advocacy groups like NAMBLA were formed to educate the public and seek further legitimacy for intergenerational love relationships, by removing the veil of secrecy that had surrounded the practice for so long. In those days boy lovers were welcomed into the larger gay rights movement in general – and often brought up the rear in “Gay pride” parades and marches. The “age of consent” was a mere 12 years old in some states, and just 14 in most others – for both males and females – and the world didn't come to an end! In fact anyone who is old enough to remember that era will tell you children were much safer back than. So what happened?

Beginning in the mid-1970s great social change, accompanied with uncertainty about the future, swept the land. This rapid change corresponded with a breakdown in civil society. In general there was an increase in all categories of crime. About this time there emerged a new kind of sexual predator who seemed to have no conscience, and who thought nothing of molesting scores of children, causing a great deal of harm. The kidnapping of a six-year-old boy, while on his way to school in New York, gained national attention and shook the country. This was followed soon after by news of another young boy taken from a South Florida shopping mall. A panicked public, unable to tell by looking who these monsters in their midst might be, simply began to mistrust all adults... convinced now that many were intent on harming their children. The seeds were being planted for the backlash against intergenerational love that exists today. Even though boy love relationships had nothing in common with these criminal acts, the practice nevertheless began to fall into disfavor through a kind of “guilt by association” factor. Furthermore, even though these crimes were always relatively rare, the media did its part to fan the flames of hysteria by sensationalizing the few that did happen, and making it seem as if terrible danger awaited children around every corner!

Boy lovers, with the means to do so, fled the United States with its increasingly draconian laws for more enlightened places. Arthur C. Clarke, the noted science fiction writer who wrote "2001, A Space Odyssey," moved to Sri Lanka. There he lived out the rest of his life taking in homeless and destitute street boys and teens, giving them a safe, loving home and a college education. But even there he wasn't safe from the long arm of the United States law. They learned of his activities and became suspicious of his intentions with the boys he was helping. Authorities here pressured the Sri Lanka law enforcement officials to arrest and investigate him for his so-called “crimes.” Little known is their response to this pressure: they told the US government that his work with youth was a helpful and important contribution to their society. He was a citizen of their country – and therefore under their protection. The US should butt out of the internal affairs of another sovereign nation! It is the good deeds of a man like Arthur C. Clark that represent the true nature of intergenerational love – not the criminal acts of a few.

*******

Not long ago I read about a boy in Florida who was just 13 when , along with two older teens, he broke into the home of an elderly woman. The three robbed her and left – but the boy returned later that night and raped the woman. He was easily identified after he left a palm print on a plaque above the woman's bed. Before sentencing him to life in prison without parole, the judge told him “I believe you are beyond help, so I'm going to send you away for as long as possible." The thing is, he had already accumulated several serious felonies on his record during the preceding year. There had been opportunity and time for someone to intervene in his young life before this terrible crime was committed – yet, apparently, no one had. Some other influence in his life besides the negative one of the older teens could have made a difference though.

This is a perfect example of a boy who might have benefited from an intergenerational love relationship with a responsible caring adult. For this was the original purpose of intergenerational relationships and why they evolved in human societies: to address the needs and provide one-on-one “mentoring” to emotionally damaged and behaviorally-challenged boys such as this, and then, through undivided love and attention, heal and restore these youngsters and return them to the fold. Who else is going to help a difficult delinquent boy when even his own family cannot? As we see from the above example, the answer is often no one. Professionals who work with troubled youths for a living usually have families of their own – plus many other demands on their time and resources. Because their attention is so divided they remain forever on the outside of a boy's life – and therefore never really get to know him. Let me assure you, it will take more than one hour a week in some group therapy session, or office visit, to change his behavior. One must develop a close friendship and bond with the boy through sharing experiences with him over time, and helping to carry his burdens and sorrows, before he will trust you enough to grant you full access to his psyche, and become emotionally prepared to receive your help. One should be integrated into his life, and work with him from the inside where he lives day-to-day... but this kind of relationship and trust must be earned. It does not happen overnight.

A counselor's or therapist's caseload generally makes developing this kind of relationship with a boy impossible. In addition, because the need for this kind of assistance always exceeds the resources available to meet it, treatment costs more than many can afford. But this is not the case with the boy lover. He is often in a position to dedicate himself entirely to helping a boy and meeting his needs. Since he also pays for the most of the boy's expenses himself, the financial burden is lifted as well. Is it any wonder then, that frustrated parents and caregivers, often at a loss as to how to help their troubled offspring's, will usually welcome outside assistance from a responsible caring adult?

So what is the answer? While not every intergenerational relationship has a “sexual” element to it, many do. Just let me say, I do not suggest anyone should break any existing laws against such behavior. I am living proof the punishment can be very severe. And living anything close to a normal life again after the punishment is next to impossible. What I do encourage is working within the system to bring about a more intelligent, rational approach to how the legal system prosecutes these offenses. I say, leave in place all existing laws against using any kind of force, rape, or the abuse of position of power and authority, to manipulate someone into a sexual situation. Instead of the current “one-size-fits-all” approach to punishment, which treats all of these “crimes” equally, when they are not, I would suggest taking into greater consideration the unique circumstances of each individual case: the reasons the two were together and, especially, how the boy felt about the relationship and whether it was meeting his needs. Two boys of the same age can vary greatly in their level of maturity, intelligence, and life experience – and hence, in their ability to give “informed consent” to a sexual experience. This should be examined on an individual basis as well. With widespread access to the Internet and other forms of instant communication, it is entirely likely that youths today are more knowledgeable and aware, and maturing at a younger age than ever before.

I would advocate for an age of consent that isn't so inflexible or set in stone, but is “floating”... so that it takes into consideration in individual boy's ability to give consent. So how would that be measured? Well, there is already a standard in place the courts use to evaluate whether or not a particular boy is “culpable” when he commits a crime. Judges use it to determine if a boy of 14 has reached sufficient intellect and maturity that he can be held responsible for his actions or crimes. While it varies from state to state, courts generally begin to hold children “accountable” for their crimes beginning around 10 or 11 years of age. But, the standard they apply sounds very much like what we might also call “consent". So it isn't a perfect solution it might be one approach that could preserve the best intergenerational relationships have to offer while still outlawing real abuse.

I would suggest intelligent laws which place the balance of power within the relationships squarely into the boy's hands. Since he is the younger and more vulnerable of the two, this only seems fair. This way he can get help quickly to end an abusive or exploitive relationship should an adult's actions become harmful. Existing laws do a pretty good job in this respect – but they could do more to allow the option of choosing to continue a relationship that has been valuable and important to him, and is meeting his needs. And believe me he does know the difference!

So here are a few of the questions we will try to answer in the upcoming chapters: What can we say about the type of boy who is commonly available, or it is willing to make himself available, for an intergenerational love relationship? If these relationships are as abusive as everyone claims, why does a boy willingly, even eagerly, enter into one, knowing full well in advance it is the very thing he has been warned against? What are the possible “benefits” from these relationships – either for the boy or society as a whole? Is there a legitimate purpose and place for a degree of sexual intimacy within some intergenerational relationships? And, if so, do the potential advantages of it outweigh the risks or harm? We'll see if the truth of what actually happens in the bedroom merits all the fear and hysteria it generates. And finally, we will try to answer this burning question: why would any man in his right mind, risk so much to enter into such a relationship, when his motives are going to be questioned and his intentions misunderstood?

Along the way, we will examine an actual intergenerational love relationship as it existed, and played itself out in the real world. We will use it as our example because it is fairly typical of these relations. I hope the reader will find it informative and enlightening. This entire work is mostly aimed at those who know nothing about intergenerational love except for what they read in the paper or seen on TV shows such as “Law and order”. It is written by a boy lover, and contains everything I have learned about the subject, either through my own direct observation and experience, or that of others like myself I have known over the years. It is in short, my defense of this love, which has been a great blessing to me. It filled my life with grand meaning and adventure.

There will be no authorities here to tell you what you're supposed to think about these things. You will have to use your own judgment and decide issues of right and wrong for yourself. What I do hope is that you'll find some merit or redeeming quality in what I was trying to accomplish with CJ. Thank you.

Chapter 1: Finding Love in an Unlikely Place

Intergenerational love relationships always tend to form through mysterious coincidence, or, by “accident”. You cannot set out intentionally to find someone. You have to allow that individual to find you. For it is only when you give up the search and get on with the business of living that your partner will appear – often when you least expect it! It might happen when you stop off unexpectedly at the grocery store or on the way home from work one night, or when you're forced to take a bus to work because the car broke down because God works in mysterious ways and he brings people together in this life to suit His own purposes. There is an ancient Chinese proverb which truly applies here: “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” As soon as you meet, you'll both have a sense that “it was meant to be” and that a divine behind-the-scenes, intervention was at work that arranged it all, once the time was right. For as the old African saying goes, “it takes an entire village to raise a child.” It may well be, the need of a particular boy – the lessons he is here to learn – can be taught most effectively through you. But the chemistry between you is immediate and undeniable. For the adult, there is a sense that the boy has “latched onto” you, and found you out. For the boy, he senses “this adult is different from the others. He is partial to boys like myself. I can tell. Because of that, I know he will be good to me and stick by me, and not abandon me”

I was working at the University of Texas with a company named “Texas Interiors”, when I first met Chris. We were turning the old petroleum and engineering building into additional office space for the college administration which had outgrown its previous quarters. I had become friends with a co-worker who had recently become divorced from his wife. He was having a tough time adjusting to being alone, so when he invited me over for a couple of beers after work, I gladly accepted. Being by himself, he had rented the cheapest, first available place he could find – an apartment in a rundown complex that was mostly minorities and welfare recipients. But it would be good enough for a single man he figured.

After some searching, I finally found the place. I found a note attached to his door that read “went to the grocery store. Be right back.” So I decided to wait. I walked back to the parking area by my car and looked around. There wasn't anyone loitering about and it seemed quiet enough – so I popped the hood to kill some time by checking my belts, hoses and fluid levels. I was bent underneath the open hood fishing around for the transmission fluid dipstick when I heard the sound of footsteps behind me. Someone was darting between the cars! It startled me and I glanced around quickly to find a boy of about 11 or so standing there watching me intently. I breathed a sigh of relief. He had his hands clasped behind his back and the cutest most mischievous little grin on his face. “What's wrong with your car?” He asked in the high-pitched voice of a kid.

Oh nothing is wrong,” I answered. “I'm just checking the oil and stuff.”

He wore a threadbare, light blue T-shirt that had some kind of cartoon character on the front, only it had been washed so many times you couldn't tell what it was anymore, frayed blue jeans with a large hole in one of the knees, and scuffed up, badly worn tennis shoes.

He stepped up to the car alongside of me and peered under the hood. “You're lucky,” he said. “I was going to scare you by reaching into your window and honking the horn.”

Oh yeah?”

What's this for?” He asked pointing to the radiator overflow reservoir. I used the opportunity while he was distracted to get a better look at him. He was a white kid which made him seem out of place in that neighborhood. But he was obviously from a poor family by his appearance, which made sense. They were probably ADC and section 8 “subsidized” housing dependent – which meant they had to live pretty much wherever there was room. He was adorable! He had light blond hair which was baby fine but unruly and need of a wash and a trim. He wore it long and parted down the middle like a little hippie. His skin was pale white as if he spent too much time indoors in front of a television – which also made sense. It was just too dangerous in that place to be out and about this at his age.

Well” I explained “when the radiator water gets hot, it expands and overflows into that container, so none is lost. Then once the engine cools, it creates a vacuum that draws it back inside to refill the radiator.”

Cool,” he said looking up at me. He had soft features and a smooth complexion – with just a few freckles scattered about the bridge of his nose. He was a bit on the thin side and somewhat small for his age, I was willing to bet. But it was his eyes that really grabbed my attention! They were the most unusual blue-green shade I'd ever seen! Exotic intense eyes that sparkled with intelligence and curiosity. But I detected a sadness in them to, and sensed a loneliness in the boy that he was trying desperately to hide.

That makes two of us, little fella, I thought, feeling an instant kinship and affection for the brave little guy who had so fearlessly approached the total stranger. Was it because I was white too, like him? Or because my car was nicer than the others nearby? Or was he just curious? I'd seen this behavior before in boys who were down on their luck and looking for an adult friend like myself. If they are desperate enough, they will take a risk on somebody they barely know. Could this be it, I wondered? It'd been a while since I'd had a boy in my life to love and care for, and he seemed in need of a little help I thought. Could I dare hope? Finding another little brother would be heaven to me. I leaned back against the car and wiped my hands on the rag.

Look,” he said digging into his pocket. “I found these when we moved in.” He extracted about 10 Pokeman cards.”I like this one best,” he said, holding up one with the hideous looking creature on it.

Yikes,” I exclaimed drawing back. “The scary! You're not afraid?”

He flashed me a heart stopping smile. “I don't think so,” he said. “Do you live here now?”

I explained the purpose of my visit – to see my friend. Was it my imagination, or did he seem disappointed I wouldn't be staying? But he had seen my buddy around the apartment a few times, so this seemed to give me some legitimacy for being there. He didn't seem very enthusiastic about the guy, however, and I understood why. I knew my friend had little patience for kids. Chances were he had given the boy the brush off when he tried to introduce himself. It was inconceivable to me that anyone would treat that precious little “a skateboarder,” as a pest, or not want to make time for him. But loving boys certainly isn't for everyone.

I'm Richard, but please just call me Rich,” I said holding out my hand. He looked at it disdainfully holding up his palm. I brushed my palm across his. Consider yourself 'fived' I said. He nodded approvingly.

That's better. My name is Chris, but call me CJ. It's my nickname”

I slammed down the hood of my car and looked around. “Okay, CJ. Is there a Coke machine around here?”

He screwed up his face and stared off into the distance. “Not that I know of. But there's a little store about a half block up that street on the corner,” he said pointing to a side street.

I'm thirsty. Would you like anything?” I ask him.

He shrugged. “How about if I come with you? My mom knows that guy you're here to see, so she won't mind.” And just like that, we set out in the direction of the store together.

We bought Cokes, candy bars, and skittles – for CJ to enjoy later. I did manage to learn a little more about him along the way. He was in fact just shy of his 12th birthday and about the smallest kid in his class. He was in a special education class room, which explained my nagging suspicion that he was just a little “slow,” or developmentally delayed. It was just him and his mother – she struggling to provide for the two of them on a waitress's salary. It hadn't been easy. They had no extended family to help them out. No child support. No nothing. They weren't on welfare, and the apartment where they lived was just all that she could afford. It seemed as if they were constantly on the move from place to place his mother paying a month or two rent – and then they'd stay until forced to move. CJ hated the apartment complex where they currently live. “I'm like, one of maybe four white kids in the entire place,” he complained. “And no one likes me.” I could do little but listen and sympathize with him – wondering how I might tell him how I felt without raising too much suspicion and too many red flags.

Upon our return, I discovered my friend still had not made it home. Probably he had stopped off at a bar on the way back and got sidetracked, I decided. “Listen CJ,” I said reluctantly. “I may have to come back another time. It's getting late and I haven't eaten yet.”

Yeah, me neither,” he said without thinking, and then caught himself. “I mean, I understand. It's cool.” But he looked down at his feet and seemed rooted in place, not wanting to go. He was all alone I thought. He'd been with me nearly 45 minutes, and not once has anyone called to check on him. It was unbelievable. He looked up at me, a plea in those sad eyes of his. “When will you come back?” he asked. This was a boy who was used to being disappointed by the adults in his life, I thought. I could not leave him like that here.

CJ, I was thinking about stopping for pizza on my way home. I sure wish we knew each other better. I'd love to invite you along.”

He brightened up immediately and the smile returned. “I can go! I know my mom would let me because she knows your friend.”

I was just as excited as he. “Would it be better if I ask her?” I offered hopefully

No, I'll ask. I know what to say,” he said over his shoulder. “Just wait here. I'll be right back.” And with that he disappeared into the last apartment door – closest to the parking area.

I immediately had doubts. I can easily visualize his mother scolding him with, “Chris, how many times have I warned you about talking to strangers?” Or something similar. I climbed back into my car and waited. Then to my utter amazement he came running back and opened the passenger side door. “My mom said I could go.” He said breathlessly

That's great,” I said, wondering what he had told her to get permission so quickly. As we were backing out she opened their doors stuck her head out and gave me a little wave – getting a good look at me and the car in the process. It looked like she'd been sleeping and CJ had awakened her to ask. I smiled and gave her wave back, silently thanking her for allowing him to go and promising to take excellent care of him.

Bye mom,” he yelled out the window as we pulled away.

We went to Chuck E. Cheese for pizza at CJ suggestion. His mother had taken him once for his birthday and he loved the place. And who could blame him? It was virtually a kids paradise, with games and amusements galore. The one we visited had a darkened auditorium where you could watch movies, or sometimes live stage performances while you ate. I placed our orders, and then bought tokens to play the games and kill a little time while we waited for our pizza. Since I wasn't all that good at them, I mostly just watched him play. He had a kid's excellent hand eye coordination and split-second reaction time. His fingers were lightning quick on the machine buttons. He tried to encourage me along the way. “See how I'm doing it?” He said. “You just have to practice, that's all. I'm not really that good either”

When our number was called we picked up our food and drinks and carried them into the darkened TV auditorium. There were people dressed in animal costumes dancing and performing little skits on the stage, and I thought CJ might enjoy watching them while we ate. We chose a semi private booth setback against a low wall, and sat across the table from one another. We were both famished by then, but I couldn't shake off the impression it was the first real meal of the day for CJ. For someone his size he could put away an amazing amount of food, and it was fun to watch him.

Once we had finished eating, and while we sat sipping our sodas and giving our meal a chance to settle, CJ began feeling playful. Ever so often when my attention was diverted he would kick me gently under the table. When I look at him, he'd giggle and raise his hands in mock innocent. “I'm not doing it. My leg is doing it on its own,” he'd plead. It was a test of sorts. All boys do it. It's how they conduct their own little investigation into your big brother potential. Your reaction to this kind of playful teasing tells them a lot about you. If you get mad or aggravated, a red flag is raised. “This guy gets mad too easy. Not good.” A boy has to be able to play with you for its in his nature to do so. This is one way they can check you out ahead of time.

So what was my response? I waited until I felt the next little kick, then quickly reached down and grabbed a hold of his foot. I pulled until he began to slide off his seat playfully twisting the offending leg back and forth a few times for good measure. “This leg seems to have a mind of its own,” I teased. “I think maybe I'll just pull it all the way off.”

He gripped the edge of the table and giggled. “No. I didn't do anything. It wasn't me.”

I eyed him suspiciously. All right,” I teased. “But I'm watching you.” I lowered his foot onto my lap looked off his tennis shoe. With my hand hidden beneath the table I used this quiet moment with him to gently massage his foot, and the lower part of his leg. This, of course, was the correct response to his teasing. I passed the test with flying colors. CJ now intently watching the dancing bears on stage thought nothing of leaving his foot on my lap. He wasn't the least bit concerned about being massaged by me. Actually, I have found this kind of contact with the boy early on relaxes him and eases his mind. He interprets, correctly, that this kind of touch is evidence that the adult friend is beginning to lay claim to him, and is quickly developing real affection toward him. It removes any uncertainty he may have had about the nature of his relationship with his new adult friend, and what his role in this relationship will be. For he will intuit that this kind of affectionate touch is his due as the younger partner. He will receive it in the spirit in which it has been given, for it is a comfort, and indulgence to him.

Intergenerational relationships are unique in that the role of each partner is pretty straightforward and clearly defined. Both partners can slip into their roles quite naturally, and without giving it much thought, because the dynamics of these relationships are simple and easy to understand. Therefore if a boy is new to the intergenerational love scene, but wants to try one on for size, he can do so simply by being teachable. If he has previously been involved in an intergenerational relationships that he benefited from and valued, and if he had formed a deep attachment to his adult friend in that relationship, then he will be actively seeking a replacement – another adult friend to fill in for the one he misses. If a former intergenerational relationship ended prematurely, then the boy will be filled with a desire repeat or reenact the same relationship scenario with another like-minded adult in order to find closure. This attempt to re-create the original is more common than the reader might imagine, and we'll discuss this phenomenon in greater detail later. For now let's just say should he find a suitable replacement he will assume his place within the new relationship quite easily for its a road he's been down before, and his role simply does not change from one relationship to the next.

But he soon finds that the adults who are interested in developing such a relationship with him are nearly as rare as boys like himself. Fortunately for him he has a tool he can use to narrow down the choice and effectively pick out the boy lover from the crowd. Actually it is the same sixth sense, or intuition, all kids have about the adults around them. This intuition apparently discerns the spirit a person possesses, and reveals the true intentions of an adult's heart. They use it to determine whether a particular person is trustworthy, or comfortable to be around. But it can be amazingly accurate in picking out someone like myself from among scores of other adults, if that's what the boy is looking for.

Here's how it works. If a boy is from a loving fully functional family that is providing for all of his needs at home, he will not usually enter into an intergenerational love relationship with an adult, simply because he has no use for one. When his intuition senses an adult like myself, he is not interested and will go on about his business without acknowledging it. On the other hand, if he is looking to really experience or re-create a former intergenerational relationship that he misses or if he is making himself available for such a relationship to try one on for size, then this same sixth sense he has can be very effective at pointing out someone like myself and will draw him in like a magnet. I know this is an area many don't know even exists, or they may have a hard time believing it does.

For this reason I am no longer so surprised if a boy suddenly materializes out of nowhere and latches onto me as if we were old friends. But before I understood the dynamics at work behind it, the phenomenon completely unnerved me, not because I wasn't thrilled (I was), but because the potential for trouble – legal or otherwise – seemed great. Let me give you an early example. I was standing in a line of people in front of a display case waiting to make my purchase, when I noticed someone standing next to me. I looked down to find a boy of about seven or eight standing there. I figured he belonged to someone behind me, so I didn't give it much thought at first. But as I moved up in line he stayed right with me, occasionally giving me a big smile when I looked at him. I glanced all around but didn't see anyone that appeared to be with him. Curious about him now I reached over and tousled his hair. Then I took his hand into mine and held it. He gave no visible reaction to this whatsoever, but looked around us at other customers inside the store as if he were there shopping with me that day. This has to be one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me, I remember thinking. But by the time we reached the front of the line I was becoming alarmed. The last thing in the world I wanted was to be accused by some frantic mother of trying to kidnap her son.

Unsure of what to do, I decided to keep him safe with me and wait for someone to reclaim him. So I ask if he would like anything, and he pointed to several donuts in front of us. I bought his choices, and picked out a few for myself. Then I followed him to one of the empty tables. We sat and ate. Just me and my silent companion, while I watched for his caretakers. When he finished his donuts, he held up the sticky fingers to show me. I moistened several napkins and wiped his hands and mouth as best I could. About this time two women arrived to pick him up – one obviously his mother, and the other possibly his grandmother. There was no big scene or anything. They just shot me an exasperated look, and called him over. As they were leaving he looked back at me several times and waved goodbye.

What is so remarkable about this and similar incidents is that of all the adults milling about in the store that day, somehow or another he had picked me out – one of the few adults willing or even glad to hang out with him and keep him company while his family shopped, and all this without ruining everybody's day by alerting the stores security or reporting him as lost. Perhaps even more strange is that of all the times it happened, I don't remember ever any angry confrontation with a worried or hysterical parent. So that, when it happened another time in a movie theater, I was learning to take such incidents in stride. I simply did what came natural to me. I took the boy under my wing and fed him quarters while he played the video games. Then I bought him popcorn and sodas and we watched the movie together in the darkened auditorium side by side. After it ended I waited out front with him about 30 minutes until his family arrived to pick him up, just to make sure he got home safely. No nervous conversation between us and barely any need for words. We may have been strangers, but we were completely comfortable together. It was as if we already knew and understood one another. It's a funny thing about men and boys in intergenerational love – this natural affinity that exists between the two.

The last thing I had to say about these incidents is this: being selected by a boy in this manner and graced with his company, even if only for a short while, is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a boy lover that I can think of. If this is a part of our purpose and responsibility – to give this kind of comfort and assistance to a boy whenever it's needed – then I cannot imagine anything I'd rather do, or that is more important.

To sum it up, finding a boy to love like CJ is a rare and precious thing – a joy like no other. It is like finding a valuable and priceless treasure buried in a field you pass by every day. You are amazed to discover that it was there all along, unnoticed, but practically right under your nose. When you do finally find one another the encounter has the proverbial finding a needle in a haystack quality to it – with a healthy dose of remarkable coincidence thrown in for good measure. Because he is so rare, the boy lover will usually fully accept any boy who comes along who needs his befriending and has secured the, (Oh so important!) permission from caretakers necessary to make the intergenerational love relationship even possible. A boy on the other hand relies much more heavily upon instinct and his gut feeling when evaluating the adults around him. He is not merely "chosen" by an adult. Nor is he above pursuing a relationship with one on his own by making himself available to a particular individual. The adult, or boy lover, he will be most drawn toward, and will choose above all others every time, is the one he would most want for a father. The perfect father figure is what he is really searching for.

*******

After we finished eating we started playing a bowling game together. The object was to roll a rubber ball down a short lane, where it bounced near the end into a target shaped structure to earn points. At the end of each game the machine automatically dispenses tickets, based on how many points you earn. Then, afterwards, the tickets can be redeemed for prizes. We were competing against each other, and accumulating tickets like crazy. Having so much fun I completely lost track of time. I didn't get CJ home until after 10 pm.. That was pretty late for our first time out together. CJ hadn't mentioned the curfew, but I knew his mother would be worried. She'd barely even met us. I wanted to kick myself for being so stupid that night. Now she'll probably never let us see each other again, I thought sadly. CJ said, “Don't worry. I know how to talk to my mom. It'll be okay.”

I wasn't so sure. “Would it be better if I explained what happened? I offered.

Nah, ,” he insisted. She is not going to be that worried anyways. Heck, she probably wishes someone would kidnap me.”

In the dim interior light of the car I could see him playing with the key chain and other prizes we had won at Chuck E. Cheese that night. He looked over at me. “Are we going to see each other again?” He asked as if afraid of the answer. This was a boy used to disappointment and adults who quickly lost interest in him, I thought. And not for the first time that night, I sense the loneliness and sadness in him that he tried desperately to hide, not always with much success.

Absolutely!” I said cheerily. “You're my little buddy now. I'd love to see you again. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun with anyone as I did with you tonight.”

The beautiful smile returned. “Yeah. Me too,” he agreed.

We pulled into the parking area and I stopped by their in department. “Come back soon,” CJ warned, “because we're moving – and I'm not sure where were moving to.” And with that he was gone.

Chapter Two: Becoming Your Big Brother

Now, before we continue our look at the friendship CJ and I are developing, I'd like to say a word or two about how someone like myself becomes a boy lover. Since I am completely normal in every regard except that one, it is something of a mystery even to me. But I'll begin by debunking the clam most often cited by the authorities: that we ourselves were sexually abused as children. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I wasn't sexually abused growing up, and neither were most of the other boy lovers I've known. I think that theory was advanced to make intergenerational love seem as sordid and pathological as possible. So if it isn't because we are somehow pathologically compelled to inflict abuse upon some poor unwitting victim, because of some terrible ordeal we ourselves suffered through, then how does it come about?

We can be nearly certain that becoming a boy lover is rooted in some kind of childhood experience. I think everyone would agree on that. Everyone's childhood, boy lover or not, can be thought off as a lengthy mathematical equation that contains several variables. Now, think of each variable as some childhood experience – good or bad. Each time you plug a different variable into the equation, the final result (or answer) will be different. So it is with how our childhood experiences helped shape the kind of adult we eventually become.

I think there is evidence that physical abuse – harsh disciplinary methods such as severe spankings whippings and/or beatings – during one's childhood can produce the adult boy lover. Think of it in this way: if a boy is brutally disciplined growing up, he may well develop an anxious, fearful, hyper vigilant approach to the world. This internalized timidity may make forming adult relationships with women difficult, and facilitate relationships with children who are seen as less threatening. Transitioning from childhood sexual expression, which for boys is primarily experimentation with same-sex peers, into heterosexuality, involves moving out of one's comfort zone and into the unknown. The traumatized boy becomes stranded in this childhood stage of sexual expression, unable to move on. Instead of transitioning into adult heterosexuality, he grows up still falling in love with the same-sex peers whose friendships had brought him such great comfort as a child – only now they are much younger than him.

If this adult befriends a boy who is undergoing similar bullying or physical abuse, he will be highly empathic and understanding of the boys plight, because he has been there himself. If he reaches out to help the boy he is only doing those things he wished someone would have done for him growing up. If he can succeed in helping the boy, and making a difference in his life, he has also begun the process of healing, and reconnecting with, his own wounded inner child. Because of his relationship with the boy, and in the process of helping him, a scenario is re-created through which his own inner child receives the healing and comfort it needed, but lacked growing up. This process is also known as “transference” – with the boy acting as they “stand-in”. It occurs mostly at a subconscious level.

Now if you extend the same line of reasoning to include other boyhood plights such as poverty, neglect, poor self-esteem arising out of a struggle with sexual orientation issues, or whatever the case may be, then I think you will have found one of the main root causes of most intergenerational love relationships. There's something inside of the boy lover that is keenly responsive and sensitive to a boy's plight or perceived needs.

With regard to any long-term damage or negative consequences resulting from sexual contact between the two in these relationships, let me say this: no one would deny that forcing unwanted sexual activity upon an unwilling victim to them causes long-term harm. But there is a big difference between that, and the sexual intimacy that occurs within the confines of a relationship that is based on mutual love – where deep friendship of bounds and an emotional bond exists between the two. When the boy is a willing, even eager, partner, and finds pleasure in the sexual encounter he has with his adult friend, then the entire experience closely resembles that which he might normally have with another boy of his same age during a sleepover. In this instance, the sex issue really becomes a none-issue. It simply assumes its place as one experience among many others that the two share together, and it actually facilitates the bonding process between them by lending their relationship and air of exclusivity. The course their friendship takes closely resembles one a boy might enjoy it with a same age buddy.

*******

As far back as I can remember I have, with few exceptions, been primarily attracted to other males. An incident in the fifth grade sums it up nicely. I fell in love with the boy in my class at school, and actually got up the nerve to write him a note telling him so. I still remember how amazed I was when he wrote me back, and essentially said we could get together after school and play at either his house or mine, and become friends. I was so thrilled. I held his note to my heart and even slept with it. Needless to say we did become friends. He was a tougher boy than I – good at several sports. So I let him call most of the shots. He got me into a lot of trouble, including skipping this school the final two weeks before the summer break that year. But he was my best friend and I loved him dearly. I would've followed him anywhere.

Our sex play didn't amount to much. I will share with the reader one incident I recall vividly. During one of our adventures we had stumbled upon a vacant house in the neighborhood next to arms. Finding an unlocked window in back, we sneaked inside to have a look around. The former occupants had left behind clothing, pieces of furniture, and other belongings scattered around. In one bedroom we found a bare mattress laying on the carpeted floor. We romped through the messy house that day like we owned the place, examining all their discarded personal property for anything of interest, and shedding our clothes along the way. We chased one another around completely naked from one room to the other, finally ending up on the mattress wrestling each other. He was the stronger, and succeeded in wrestling me over onto my back. He climbed on top of me, and stretched himself out full-length on me to hold me down, then pinned my arms back against the mattress by the wrists. “Now I've got you,” he teased while trying to kiss me. I remember twisting my face away from his, pretending that a kiss from him would be the most disgusting thing in the world. Then after the briefest of struggles, giving up, and allowing myself to be kissed, secretly enjoying the feel of his mouth and lips on mine, the weight of him, the warmth and softness of his skin, on top of me.

But he was only practicing up on me for what would come next, for by the time he hit sixth grade he was already “making out” with girls, and had girlfriends. So clearly, as nice as these childhood sexual experiences can be, they do not, in and of themselves, seem to predict adult sexual orientation.

I waited until I was 14 to decide I didn't want to be gay any longer. I started dating girls exclusively and had some success. I had my first child, a girl, at 16 when I accidentally got my girlfriend pregnant. I married in my early 20s and had my second child, a boy, with a woman in New Mexico. After my divorce from her, I moved back to Texas where I stumbled into my first intergenerational love relationship (since becoming an adult) with a boy. Here's how it happened.

I had rented an efficiency apartment inside of an old Victorian style home on the south side of Fort Worth. At one time the neighborhood had been one of the nicest in the city, but over the years the condition of the huge old stately homes had deteriorated. Many were subdivided into duplexes, small apartments, or rooms, and rented out cheaply, sometimes by the week. The area began to attract a lot of transients, and those down on their luck. The place I rented had a huge, wraparound, front porch, with chairs, an old couch, and concrete steps to sit on. It was a perfect place to relax after work.

However, I soon learned the porch had become a gathering place for nearby teens who, along with a few of my fellow renters, would sit out there at night to drink beer, or get high by sniffing paint if they had some. I pretty much just kept to myself, and sat on the other end of the porch drinking my beer and just enjoying the night air. On one such night, while I sat there smoking a cigarette, a boy of only 12 approached me. Slurring his words he asked for a cigarette. He was carrying a plastic bag with silver paint sprayed inside, and had a ring of paint all around his mouth. I could see he was higher than a kite. I handed him a a cigarette, and invited him to sit and talk awhile. Over time, this boy and I developed a deep friendship that eventually became love, and I was able to make a big difference in his life. It was through this first intergenerational relationship with him that I discovered these relationships could accomplish a lot of good, and serve an important purpose in someone's life. I found that a boy was, in many ways, a perfect fit for me, and that mentoring one came natural. Whether I was taking him camping or fishing, to the zoo, museum, or amusement park, or to football games and WWE Wrestling at Rogers Coliseum, I was introducing him to things he had never experienced before and to a whole new way of living. I knew then I had found my niche in life.

Other intergenerational relationships would follow. Here then, are a few ways I have met boys whom I would come to know and love: late at night, in front of a gay bar, a 13 year old looking to earn money by turning tricks; sitting behind a convenience store a 12 year old, completely intoxicated on shoplifted wine; panhandling for spare change in front of a pool hall at only 11 years old, after running away from home to flee an abusive situation. All true – I swear! I befriended boys from every racial, or ethnic categories you can imagine: White, Black, Hispanic, Indian, and Asian (Vietnamese to be exact) and I can tell you, at least up until a certain age they are remarkably alike. But this was not intentional by any means. I simply accepted any boy who needed me, and wanted me in his life without regard to skin color or any other consideration. Any boy that wanted me, could have me.

 Now the authorities would have you believe that I callously took advantage of a boys desperate situation, using the opportunity (under the pretense of helping them) to groom or manipulate them into some kind of sexual activity later on. Now if what you mean by “grooming” is bonding with the boy through shared experiences with him, then I admit I'm guilty of that. It is easy to pass judgment and assume to know another's motivations when you occupy a lofty an unassailable position of moral authority and certainty in all matters. Unfortunately, in the real world where some must struggle to even survive, life isn't so pretty, nor exactly as we would have it to be. Idealistic thinking goes out the window, and issues of right and wrong are not always so obvious, or easily defined. Sometimes it simply becomes a matter of what works and gets a person from point A to point B.

These were often boys who walked the mean streets of the intercity alone, in neighborhoods where people mistrust the police and authorities, and you would never consider calling Child Protective Services or some other state agency for help. It is in these places, where real danger and exploitation can find an unsupervised boy, that the true purpose and place of a boy lover and society becomes apparent.

*******

Whenever you want to remove or eliminate a certain behavior from society (whether it be cigarette smoking, drug use, or what have you) you must first demonize the practice by making it seem a disgusting and loathsome as possible. In order to accomplish this, a steady stream of news articles and information must be released to support the particular viewpoint or mindset you're trying to create within the population. Any opinion or viewpoint that is contrary to it must be shouted down immediately less to take hold and influence people in the wrong direction. These efforts to socially engineer the public through a system mostly based upon shame results in a very biased one-sided misrepresentation of the facts. However, some people, if they think something through for themselves and arrive at a different conclusion from others, will "stick to their guns" and defend their difference of opinion as long as they have good reason for believing as they do. So it is with me.

A few years back I ran into the boy (an adult now) that I mentioned earlier: the 12-year-old who was sitting behind convenience store intoxicated on wine he had shoplifted from the store. At the time a barrage of negative publicity surrounding intergenerational love had me questioning myself: could the authorities be right? Am I just trying to rationalize and justify something that shouldn't be done? Am I really inflicting lifelong damage on boys that I profess to love and think I'm helping? I thought running into this man whom I had had a relationship with when he was a boy might help to answer a new question. He had actually lived with me for some years, so I undoubtedly had an influence on him growing up. I remember the encounter well – including every word spoken.

He recognized me right away and we hugged for a long while. “Listen,” I said to him, “I'm terribly sorry for being a bad influence on you when you were growing up, and for anything I did and exposed due to that I shouldn't have. If you are having problems now in your life, I take full responsibility.”

I remember how he looked at me as if I had lost my mind. “Are you kidding?” He asked. “You were the best friend I had growing up. Don't think like that. I wouldn't trade the time I spent with you for anything. If you'll remember, both my parents were bad alcoholics, and the problems I've had were because of that.” He went on: “I'm doing fine. Got into a little trouble with the law and did a few months in the county for breaking and entering, but I straightened up since then. I've got a job in an apartment now.” And so that was that. He didn't blame me for anything. He was fine.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of men and women who were victims of severe sexual abuse as children and are ready to be paraded out in front of the camera to tell their terrible tales. But this is not the whole story. Were they to interview the young man above about his experience as a boy in an intergenerational love relationship with an adult, his account of it, and its impact on his life, would differ greatly from what one normally hears. It's a side of the story seldom heard.

*******

I already missed to CJ and couldn't shake the feeling that he really needed me. I decided to go back over to the apartments after work that next afternoon, not knowing what I might find. I prepared myself for the worst but figured I could salvage the visit by apologizing to CJ's mother, then seeing if my friend was around. However, when I pulled into the parking area I was surprised to find CJ sitting outside their door. As soon as he saw me, he broke into a smile and jumped up. He jogged over to my window and said excitedly “I knew you'd come back. Come inside. My mom wants to meet you.” Then he lowered his voice and added, “she needs someone to watch after me while she goes out tonight. I told her you wouldn't mind. Please say yes so she'll let you. Okay?” I followed him to their apartment, relieved that everything was all right.

I'd be glad to watch him for you,” I announced walking through the door. She was applying makeup in front of a mirror but shot me a relieved look.

Thanks. He said you wouldn't mind, but he didn't know for sure if you would be coming back tonight. I hate to leave him alone in the apartment in this neighborhood. Know what I mean?” I could see packing boxes of various sizes scattered around, most only partially full. “I can't afford to pay you,” she said. “But there is beer in the fridge, and cable TV here, so just make yourself at home.” She was very pretty and I could see where CJ got his blond hair and good looks now. But what really surprised me was how young she was. She must've had CJ while just a teenager herself, I thought. She was rummaging around inside one of the boxes in search of something. “I guess he already told you were moving. Right? We've got to be out of here by the end of the month.”

CJ spoke up: “Mom, I want Rich for my big brother. You said I could have one.”

She gave me an exasperated look, and said “well did it ever occur to you maybe Rich has better things to do with his time than hang out with you?”

It was my turn to help out: “I'd love to be a big brother to CJ,” I said. “He's a terrific boy.”

She stopped darting around for a moment and took a deep breath before replying. “You don't know what you'd be getting yourself into. I was going to enroll him in the big brother's program at one time but he has so many behavioral problems I didn't think anyone would be able to handle him. He has ADHD which is hyper activity disorder, and he can be very difficult to control. You just haven't seen that side of him yet. I glanced over at CJ who sat rigid. He had his arms crossed in front and was frowning at this disclosure. Clearly he had not wanted me to hear all that.

I spoke up in his defense: “he behaved very well for me last night.”

Well,” she said, “it wouldn't be fair not to warn you ahead of time. They took him out of regular class at school because he was so disruptive, and put them into a special education class where I don't think he's learning anything at all. He's been diagnosed as being developmentally delayed which I don't understand at all. It can be really smart when he wants to be.”

Hmmm, I thought. That would explain the feeling I had at first – that perhaps he was a little slow mentally for his age.

I don't know,” she said with a sigh. “Perhaps that's what he needs – a male role model in his life. Someone to talk to about his temper. He pulled a knife on me once and I told them if it happened again I would put him in the juvenile home.

CJ who had been quiet up until then suddenly erupted in anger. “I did not!” He yelled.

She ignored him and turned to me. “I've got to run. This guy I'm going out with doesn't even know I have kids yet. I'll try to be back by 11 p.m. Or so. Is that okay with you?”

That's fine,” I assured her. “Go enjoy yourself and don't worry about a thing. I'll take good care of him.” And with that she was gone.

The place was a mess, especially the kitchen. I went about straightening things out, and throwing out trash, hoping to surprise her when she returned. “CJ, bring all the dirty dishes into the kitchen,” I instructed, filling the sink with water. There was no food in the apartment so we walked down to the little store and bought milk, cans of spaghetti and ravioli, and a six-pack of beer. I fixed as both a light supper and then cleaned up afterwards.

We walked to my friend's apartment, and CJ watched TV in the living room while he and I sat at the kitchen table and drank beer. He recognized the CJ, but as I suspected didn't seem too fond of him. “Yeah, the kids a brat” he whispered. “Seen him running out of their apartment one day, yelling at the top of his lungs. Needs a good whipping if you ask me. Mother is verfy pretty though.” Then a thought suddenly occurred to him, and he grinned, slapping me on the shoulder. “Yeah I know what you're up to. Trying to get in good with her through her kid. Hmmm. It just might work,” he said thoughtfully I smiled and nodded, as if he had found out my secret. After a while we left.

Back at the apartment CJ dug through one of the boxes and pulled out a game. “Play Monopoly with me,” he begged. He set the board up on the floor in front of the TV. While I counted out the money both of us were to have, he checked to make sure all the property deeds were there. As we threw the dice and moved around the board buying properties we joked and talked. A couple of times I caught him trying to distract me long enough to snatch an extra $500 bill from the bank. “Look!” He said pointing at the TV area I glanced around at the screen, realizing an instant too late that it was a trick. I turned back just in time to catch them in the act.

Put it back, CJ. I saw you.” I warned.

He held the stolen bill high in the air and giggled. “Come take it from me. That is, if you think you're big enough.” He challenged. I playfully tickled and wrestled him onto his back holding his arm by the wrists and working to pry the little fingers apart.

Hey,” he wailed. “Quit trying to hold my hand.” I finally did manage to get the bill away from him but only after an exhausting struggle. He was remarkably strong for his size, and nearly too squirmy for me to hang onto.

Later on I tried talking to him. “You pulled a knife on your mom, buddy?” I asked.

He immediately became defensive. “Because she was being a bitch,” he blurted out. “I wasn't going to stab her in anything. I just wanted her to listen to me.”

CJ, listen,” I said trying to make eye contact with him. “You have to try to behave okay? It sounds like she might let me become a big brother to you. That means we could start spending a lot of time together. But if she puts you in a juvenile home, we'll never get to see each other than.”

He looked away. “Oh you'll get tired of me. Just wait. No one can stand to have me around for very long,” he said sadly.

I took him into my arms and hugged him against me then – for the very first time. “Listen, CJ, I care about you. There's no way I'm going to get tired of you. It just ain't in it happen. Okay? I'll be there for you as long as you want me to be”

He didn't seem completely convinced, but said “okay.”

We fell asleep at opposite ends of the couch, while watching a movie. I heard his mother's key in the door a little after 11 p.m. She smiled when she saw us. “He really likes you. I can tell,” she said in a quiet voice. “Did he behave himself?” We both glanced over at CJ who was still sound asleep. He looked like a little angel lying there – so peaceful.

Oh yeah,” I said truthfully. “I've never had any problems at all with him.”

I'm surprised,” she said quietly. “I've never seen him make friends with anyone so quickly. He would've run most people off by now.”

He's a great boy,” I told her. “I already think the world of him.”

She talked me into spending the night with them. “It's too late to be driving back. I'll set the alarm. I know you have to get up for work in the morning,” she said. “Do you smoke pot?” She retrieved her stash and rolled us a joint. We smoked it and talked in low voices while CJ slept only a few feet away. “Don't worry about him waking up for anything,” she said “I allow him to smoke pot at home. It is the only thing I found that calms him down so he doesn't drive me crazy.” We both had a quiet laugh at that.

Beginning with that night, details of their lives together slowly emerge. His father had deserted them shortly after CJ's birth and had little contact with them over the years. She had tried to keep a roof over their heads, but working only as a waitress, sometimes just part-time, it had been difficult to make ends meet. She was estranged from her family and parents, so they had had virtually no one to help them out all these years. When CJ started developing behavioral problems, it had made matters worse. He had gotten kicked out of several places. Once by setting a vacant lot across from the motel on fire. So they had been forced to move around a lot – sometimes staying a few days or weeks with friends, or one of her boyfriends, most of whom had little patience or time for CJ. “I guess you could say he's been through a lot,” his mother admitted wearily. “I blame myself for most of his problems. I was doing a lot of drugs around the time I had him, so that's probably got something to do with it.”

His home life has certainly been chaotic and uncertain to say the least, I thought. Still my heart went out to his mother. It could not have been easy to raise him by herself, yet she had done her best under the circumstances. After our talk that first night she had shot me an exhausted look and confided, “he needs more supervision than I can give him. I wondered if it would be better for him,” she nodded in CJ's direction, “to put him into one of those residential facilities for emotionally disturbed children, where he could at least receive some counseling or something.”

I took a moment to gather my thoughts and then responded. “I understand how you feel. But sometimes those places can do more harm than good. Since you're going to let me be a big brother to him, why not give me a chance to see if I can't make a difference? I have some experience working with boys like CJ, and I might be able to help.” I was relieved when she agreed giving me a chance was a far better solution.

So over the course of the next two weeks, I picked CJ out for some kind of outing nearly every night, even if he only went with me to grocery shop and pay bills. I wanted to keep him out of his mother's hair as much as possible. I was determined to help out with him so that she would not send him away, or put him in some kind of home. He was generally better behaved with me than for just about anyone else, but I did catch occasional glimpses of what his mother was talking about. CJ did have a terrible temper. If he was overstimulated or became agitated, he could be quite unpredictable – hyper and difficult to control. I remember once when we were in a store together, he got mad about something and just started walking home. Let me tell you, you don't know what unwanted attention is until you're driving alongside a determined boy, trying to coax him to get into your car.

But I was already beginning to fall in love with my very spirited little companion, so I took such incidents in stride – never even raising my voice to him. Instead I would hug and stroke CJ to calm him down, and then try to reason out what was going on. What did he need from me? I had a feeling he was dealing with a fear of abandonment in the only way he knew how. He was so certain I would dump him or lose interest that he was trying to run me off before he became too attached to me. It was a way for him to protect his feelings from being hurt. It would take time, I thought, to convince the CJ I was in this thing for the long haul. That I really cared for him.

One Friday night, toward the end of the month, I had taken CJ out to see a movie and eat at Burger King. By the time we arrived back at the apartment, his mother was in a good mood. Having him out of the way she'd been able to finish packing the rest of their belongings. She rolled a couple of joints, and the three of us smoked them together. It was the first time I'd ever seen CJ high, and I soon learned he loved to mess with people's minds when they were stoned. He sat on the arm of the chair where I was sitting and teased me relentlessly. He'd wrap his arms around my neck, then giggle and fall over into my lap, pulling me down at the same time – egging me on until I would finally tickle and wrestle him. I looked at his mom helplessly, wondering what she thought about us being so affectionate and touchy-feely with each other. She pretended to pay no attention but I could tell she was watching closely to see how we interacted together. What I didn't know then, was that his mother believed that when a person was “high” they couldn't hide their true nature or intentions. Their real self would come out, or become apparent, so from that perspective I did okay that day because what she saw and cared most about was how happy and comfortable CJ was with me, and how patient and good I was with him. I had passed her test that day even though, at the time, I was afraid we'd blown it.

Chapter 3: Little Brother and Me Are a Family

By now you are probably getting a pretty good idea of the kind of boys who are available, or willing to make themselves available, for an intergenerational relationships with and eligible adult. Some are runaways, including those who are fleeing abusive situations at home-- often times physical abuse at the hands of an alcoholic parent or stepparent. When you do find them they're usually in even worse danger than they were at home, running the mean streets alone. These boys sometimes have severe emotional and or behavioral problems that have made them extremely difficult for parents, teachers, and others to care for or work with. Some have already been in legal trouble, perhaps even spending time in a juvenile facility where they often suffered further abuse. Some are affected with one of the many autistic spectrum disorders, but due to poverty and neglect or outright indifference have never been professionally diagnosed or received any help for the condition. When society talks about throwaway kids, these are the ones they mean.

In short the boys available to form an intergenerational love relationship with are those who are experiencing significant problems in their young lives, and their bad behavior is often nothing more than a cry for help. They are mostly from very dysfunctional family backgrounds, and have been neglected or even abandoned by parents or caregivers who could not, or would not, deal with their many issues. Sometimes the parents have so many problems and issues of their own to contend with they are simply not capable of helping the child in any meaningful way. As a result, the boy ends up with much more personal freedom to come and go as he pleases than most boys of his age. But he senses his need for help, and will look outside of his family to get his needs for love, security, and and sustenance met. In the absence of any reasonable alternative he will gladly enter into an intergenerational love relationship with an adult simply for the help it may provide. This was part of the original intent and purpose of these relationships: to provide caretakers from outside the family who were sufficiently motivated and willing to fill in, in an emergency, no matter how difficult the boy or his problems were.

There is, perhaps, another category of boy we should briefly mentioned here. The young homosexual, who is struggling with his sexual identity – who is seeking an older gay adult to teach him how to function successfully in a largely straight world. He may come from a good family, but he may have parents who cannot accept his homosexuality. Sometimes, in addition to this, he will have problems being bullied at school, or even by older brothers, and will feel alone and isolated. Then there is the occasional boy who is gay, but who is also highly mature and intelligent for his age, who simply prefers an older man to someone his own age.

I once knew a highly successful gay man who lived with his long-term lover in a nice home in an upscale neighborhood. He became perplexed when a 13-year-old neighborhood boy confessed to already knowing he was gay, and started hanging around the two, trying to make friends. My friend felt sorry for him because he seemed lonely but he wasn't sure how to help. For one thing he already had a lover, but for another he just wasn't particularly interested in, or that fond of, younger boys. Still he was open-minded enough to want to help in some way, so he did the only thing he could think of: he introduced him to me. Helping a young teen like him accept and embrace his sexuality is often one of the more rewarding aspects of being a boy lover.

So, for those boys who fit to one of the above-mentioned categories, when you enter their life and take an interest, frustrated caregivers who may have all but given up on the boy will usually welcome the outside help and influence. Since most of these boys are already thought of as damaged goods, from their perspective there is little to lose in giving you a chance to improve the situation. It is a relief to find the boy in the intergenerational relationship is receiving the attention, and closer supervision and monitoring, that had been lacking. He is happier, better behaved, and safer than he was before. So it becomes a workable solution, and preferable to placement in some residential facility.

*******

The end of the month arrived quickly. It was only at the last minute that his mother was able to make arrangements for them to stay temporarily with the lady she worked with. I would be helping them move the rest of their stuff after work. She had an old beat up Toyota, which still ran, but didn't have much room inside to carry boxes. I had a hatchback with the rear seat that folded down so I could hold more. I would follow behind them fully loaded, with the added advantage that I know exactly where to pick CJ out for our outings.

He had been begging all week to spend Saturday night with me. I heard him tell his mom, “Rich has his own apartment and everything. He would take good care of me.” I had already taken his mother to one side and offered to let both her and CJ stay with me if it would help.

She hesitated, thinking about it for a minute, and then said, “well, finding a place for myself isn't any problem. It's finding someone willing to take CJ in too. Like this lady we're moving in with? She has no problem with me staying there and sharing expenses, but CJ is a little more than she bargained for. He is too hyper and and in need of constant supervision. It's a lot to ask of her.

I took a deep breath and said, “listen, I have plenty of room. It wouldn't be any problem at all for him to stay with me, at least until you can find another place. Heck, I'd enjoy having him around. He'd be good company for me.”

But she wouldn't hear of it. She looked apologetic and said “look you've been a good friend to CJ, and I appreciate everything you've done for him. I can see a difference in him since he's been spending time with you. But I couldn't impose on you like that. I don't want you to think you're stuck with him or something.” So I dropped the idea for the time being, asking her to just “think about it”.

On Friday afternoon we started loading boxes into the cars. For a family, they didn't have much stuff, I remember thinking. We joked around and tried to keep things light hearted, but everyone knew it was a definite step down – a move that no one was happy about. It became even more apparent once we started unloading boxes at their new address. The lady they would be staying with stood around with her arms folded looking glum. She appeared really put out, and having second thoughts about letting them move in. She frowned at CJ as if he were a puppy not yet housebroken.

I wanted his mother to see where I lived, so I had her follow behind me while I stopped by my apartment to “pick something up”. Once inside, I showed her around. “See if CJ spends the night I can either put him on the couch, or have an air mattress I use for camping if you'd prefer that. Meanwhile CJ made himself right at home. He explored the bedroom and bathroom, stopping off in the kitchen to peek inside the refrigerator. He settled into my lazy boy recliner in the living room, pushed back on the arm so that the footrest popped up, then closed his eyes as if asleep. Then he jumped up to examine my stereo. “Hey can I listen to some music?” He asked, searching for the on/off button.

His mother yelled “CJ! Leave stuff alone that doesn't belong to you.”

It's okay,” I said with a laugh. “He can't hurt this stuff. I'll show him how to operate everything.” I was so happy he liked the apartment and felt comfortable there.

We finished unloading the rest of the boxes. Those not immediately needed were stacked inside an out-door closure where some of their few belongings would be exposed to the elements. I hesitated before leaving, reluctant to leave CJ behind. He gave me a hug. “By. Don't forget to come pick me up,” he said in a small voice.

His mother sighed and gave me a smile. “Hey, I thought you were going to spend the night with Rich tomorrow?” She asked hi.

He got excited then. “Can I? Oh man – thanks Mom!" He nearly yelled.

She turned to me. “How about if I just take him to work with me in the morning, and you can pick them up there, say around 9 am?”

That be fine,” I said. “I was planning to hit a few garage sales for flea markets in the morning. We might be able to find him some school clothes, or something you can use along the way. I'll just bring him along with me.” So after getting directions to the restaurant where she worked, I returned home.

*******

The next morning I pulled into a strip shopping center just before 9 am, and found that the restaurant about midway down. I entered the place, and spotted CJ immediately. He was seated at an "employees only" table in the rear – next to the swinging kitchen doors. His blond head was bent up as I approached, and broke into a wide smile when he saw me. He thrust a piece of paper at me. “Look.” He said proudly. “I made a picture of me and you going to the movies.” He had drawn two people, one larger and one smaller, walking hand-in-hand toward a set of double doors. A huge sign across the front of the building said “movies.” I pronounced it excellent – then folded the paper and slipped it into my pocket.

His mother finished taking an order, then came over. “We're going to be pretty busy today,” she said looking around. “Listen,” she continued, looking directly into my eyes. “Maybe it would be better for him” – she nodded in CJ direction – “if he did stay with you just until I can get on my feet and find another place. He made a mess in the ladies kitchen last night, then back-talked her when she said something about it. She's not used to having kids around, and CJ makes her very nervous.”

I glanced over at CJ who knew something was up, and was straining forward, trying to hear our conversation.

I'd be more than happy to look after him for you,” I assured her. “For as long as you'd like me to. Don't worry about a thing. I'll take excellent care of him.”

She looked relieved, and called CJ over. “CJ, if I let you stay with Rich a while, would you be good for him?”

He edged close and leaned against me. “I will Mom, I promise,” He said excitedly.

A look of uncertainty crossed her face. Then, “but how will he get to school?”

I thought for a moment, working out a quick schedule on the spot. “No problem, I told her. “I can drop him off on my way to work in the morning, then pick him up in the afternoon. He may have a little wait in the afternoon, but I'll make sure he stays inside the schools until I get there.” And that seemed to seal the deal for us. She promised to bring his school clothes by later that evening.

Back out in the car CJ and I were both in a state of shock – and unbelievable joy. “Wow! I can hardly believe my mom actually said I could stay with you,” he said incredulously. “Let's get out of here before she has a chance to change her mind.”

The same as him, I figured it would be only a short while before she showed up at my door reclaim him. But for the time being we were on our own.

Chapter 4: Navigating The Adult World On Your Behalf

So while the news media outlets and authorities would have you believe it's always the adult who seeks out the child, then “grooms” or manipulates him into an intergenerational relationship to serve his own purposes, we see that this isn't always the case. There are boys who will go to great lengths to form such a relationship on their own. If they have previously been in an intergenerational relations with an adult they will often even use their natural kid's intuition or “sixth sense” to help in the search for a suitable replacement. And once they are in a new relationship with the right person it becomes so important to them, that they will not give it up without a fight. I've known boys to beg plead and cajole caretakers for permission to spend time with their adult friend and, if all else fails, to run away from home to be with this person. How is it then that a boy can come to depend so heavily upon such a relationship? Is it simply because he doesn't know any better?

On the contrary, he knows plenty. For even if he hasn't learned already through previous experience, he discovers quickly that there are big advantages in having an adult for a friend. He is thrilled to find that part of the adults role in their relationship to introduce him to new experiences he otherwise would not get to enjoy: trips to the carnival, zoo or amusement park, learning to fish, or camp out in the wilderness, or taking in the occasional basketball or football game, are all now his for the asking. The same goes for those electronic gadgets and material things he could only dream of before: Game Boys, i Pods, and laptops are now within his reach.

If he is experiencing significant problems in his young life, he is relieved to discover that another adult responsibility in their relationship is to navigate through the adult world on his behalf and access those resources that will help him the most. If his problem stems from gross neglect or lack of supervision, or affection then his greatest unmet need may only be to be treasured valued and loved unconditionally, with plenty of one on one attention, for who and what he is. For the man who loves boys, providing this kind of love and attention comes naturally, and a boy responds to it the way a parched and wilted flowers spring back to life and blooms once it receives the water it needs. So while he is a rare and precious gift to you, you become a rare and precious gift to him as well.

A boy senses how his role in the relationship is equally important. He learns early on that it is his mere presence that is so cherished and sought after. He is adored for who and what he is, and there is no need for him to try to be something he is not. All that is really required of him to please his adult partner is that he be a loyal and trustworthy companion.

If a boy has been in a previous intergenerational relationship that ended prematurely for whatever reason, then he will be actively looking for another adult willing to form a new intergenerational friendship with him that closely resembles or re-creates the original. This desire on the boys part to re-experience or relive the same scenario all over again with someone else runs deep and is nearly universal. While I don't understand all of the psychological motivations behind this phenomenon, I'll take a stab at explaining it.

It could be that the issues of his life and led him into the first intergenerational relationship have not yet been resolved. A simpler explanation is that he just plain misses the fun and many other advantages that came with having an adult companion. But probably the most common motivation is also an unconscious – the desire to find closure. See, these relationships have a natural endpoint. They will end naturally on their own once a boy reaches a level of maturity or stage in his development where he no longer has any need for one. At that time he will be ready to close the door on that part of his life and move on into the next stage of his growth and development. Now let's say the intergenerational relationship is discovered and forcibly ended by well-meaning but misguided outsiders who often way underestimate the depth of love and bonding that may have developed between the two. If the relationship ends prematurely, before it's had a chance to run its course, then a boy is set adrift with a lot of unanswered questions: all of the “what ifs?” And “what could have beens?” had the relationship been allowed to play itself out. It is a feeling of having unfinished business hanging over one's head, and it will drive a boy to seek out another intergenerational relationships similar to the original in the hopes that this time it will be allowed to end naturally on its own, and answer his question. This is how closure is obtained.

But why is closure so important? Because the intergenerational experience became an influential and important part of the boys stage of development. In order for him to continue growing into maturity he must be able to close the door on that stage of his development. Then the new door into the next will open. For this to happen all the loose ends left over from the previous stage should be resolved first – one way or another. In other words, it's very hard begin a new chapter in one's life without knowing how the previous chapter ends.

A boy passes through several stages of growth and development as he ages. There is a phase most boys pass through during which they are naturally more open to sexual experimentation – including homosexuality. It is during this window of openness that most intergenerational relationships occur. Now if closure is obtained at the end of the stage the boy simply closes the door on the homosexual phase of his developmental course which opens the door into the next more mature stage of emotional and/or sexual development which in most cases is heterosexuality. Any inability to do so is called “arrested development” and it may be one root cause of adult homosexuality, since it means the individual has become stuck in earlier more immature stage of sexual expression and is unable to move on.

*******

We have looked at the adult's role and responsibility in the intergenerational relationship, and discussed briefly the appeal and benefits of having an adult friend and mentor from the boy's perspective. But is there any way to describe the appeal of a boy from the boy lover's perspective? Is not the boy a study of contrasts? Unlike the girl, who fully inhabits and expresses her gender from earliest childhood, the boy is neither masculine nor feminine, yet he somehow manages to display the best qualities and characteristics of each within himself. A boy is a rambunctious, boisterous, and exuberant. His life is filled with grand adventure, and feats of daring -- climbing trees and skinned knees, and impromptu street games of kickball, or roughhouse games of tag long after dark. But he is also a vulnerable, even fragile little fellow. For the skinned knee must be kissed before it'll get better, and he must be held and cuddled, loved and protected, for one must tend to a boy with great care. He is a sensitive soul who is easily hurt.

He may be a fierce warrior on the school playground at recess, or a formidable appointment on the soccer field, so one does not expect to find that the scrappy little skateboarder also possesses a remarkably feminine physical beauty and "looks" that are unique to the boy alone. There is a perfection there in the smooth softness of his skin and the delicate features that aren't merely cute – but rise to the level of pretty. There is an appealing mixture or blending of the genders in a boy as if nature hasn't quite decided yet what she wants to do with him, for he is an unfinished product in the process of becoming. He has not yet become that which he will.

A boy is capable of great acts of cruelty, especially in the company of other boys. Yet he will then amaze you by painstakingly nursing an injured baby bird back to health, and shed tears should the little creature die. When you hold him in your arms he is an angel sent from heaven – but, you think to yourself, something of a dark or fallen Angel. At that very moment behind the closed eyes and contented smile he may be plotting how he might leave with your wallet or whatever else there might be at hand that could be pocketed and later sold or traded for a Game Boy. Yet for those of your who have earned a boys trust and love -- if he has ever given you his heart, – then you will already know that there is no truer, more sincere, or loyal friend in the world. He is an incredibly awesome and awe-inspiring little individual and to touch him is to touch the face of the divine.

*******

CJ and I set out that morning in search of the most promising garage sales and flea markets. In a local paper I found a listing for a multi-family one in a very nice neighborhood, so we headed in that direction. Over the years I have acquired most of my tools, kitchen utensils, and other small items from such sales, and I hope to get CJ interested to so I'd have a treasure hunting companion to bring along. For that reason I was glad we got lucky on our very first time out together. One of the families had a boy a year or two older than CJ, and were selling some very nice dress clothes he had outgrown. We picked up two pairs of corduroy pants, and three shirts for school, that fit CJ perfectly.

In another nearby sale we found him jeans and colored T-shirts one of which read “Trust me – I'm a Skateboarder.” I picked up some extra plates, bowls, and iced tea glasses for the kitchen at the same time, along with a few knickknacks to set on a shelf. CJ was beginning to see it as a kind of scavenger hunt and started getting into the spirit – especially after digging through some boxes in finding a set of Transformers. He was thrilled. “I know I'm a little old for them, but I always wanted some. My mom just never could afford to buy any.” So we picked those up as well.

Our only visit to a flea market that day resulted in another great find for CJ. I remember we bought Cokes and were sipping them while walking along the rows of tables and booths, pausing here and there to examine some item on display. I did pick up some sockets, and a set of Allen wrenches for the toolbox, but little else caught our eye. That is until we came upon an elderly Mexican man who was selling an assortment of auto parts and hubcaps spread out on and underneath to large folding table. I moved on barely noticing the used bicycles lined up in a row behind him. CJ however had been paying more attention. As soon as we got past the table he tugged my shirt and leaned close. “You should see what he wants for that bike,” he said pointing.

CJ,” I told him. “You don't want that. It's a piece of junk. I'll buy you a new bike.”

No, you don't understand,” he pleaded. “See that little diamond is cut into the frame? It's a diamondback. Heck, the frame alone is probably worth $150. I'd love to have it just to fix a period”

So I went back, negotiated with the guy, and we walked off with the bike for $25. “CJ,” I told him. “It'll be your project – I'll supply whatever you need. But it will be up to you to do the work.”

Our last stop that day was the grocery store. I let CJ push the cart around and told him, “since you are my honored guest, pick out what you'd like to eat.” Big mistake! Here is a partial list of his choices: boxes of Kraft macaroni cheese, fruit loops and Captain crunch cereal, frozen pizza, and the corn and Spaghetti-Os, Doritos, cans of grape flavored sodas, and giant sweet tarts and skittles He unscrewed the lid on a bottle of strawberry scented shampoo, and snipped. “Cool,” he said dropping it into the basket. Hmmm, I thought frowning at the assortment. I guess we can work on improving his diet later. CJ rounded out our purchases with milk, bread, lunch meats, soups, frozen vegetables, and a variety of breakfast foods. It would be enough to get us started, I decided.

Upon returning to the apartment, we carried everything inside. I was overjoyed to have CJ there with me, and I immediately went about creating some personal space for him to call his own. I cleared out one side of my huge walk-in closet for him, and transferred everything from the dresser into a chest of drawers, giving him that as well. I told him, “CJ these are your private areas of the apartment. You can put your stuff up however you like. I promise I won't touch her go through your belongings. Okay. Put your Transformers on top of your dresser, or wherever you'd like.” Lastly I laid newspaper over the carpet in the living room, and turned his bike upside down on top. I set the toolbox next to it, along with some sandpaper. He would be able to see the TV from there while he worked on the bike, I thought, looking around. I hoped it would be enough to make CJ feel comfortable and at home there with me.

CJ quickly claimed the recliner for himself. I had called him over and sat him in it that first day. “Check this out.” I said switching on the built in back massager. That of course made the chair irresistible to a boy like CJ. He would sit with the foot rest in the upright position and the massager on humming “ahhhh” – enjoying the way the vibration distorted his voice. I gladly took a place on the couch.

We watched a movie that first night. When it ended he went into the kitchen and returned with one of the giant sweet tarts in hand. He came over to the couch and sat next to me. “Thank you for my bike and the other stuff you bought me today,” he said leaning over against me, and giving me a hug.

Oh, it's okay buddy. I'm glad you like everything,” I said in a soft voice kissing the top of his head. “Come here. I need to talk to you for a second,” I said pulling him into my lap. He leaned against my chest and I gently wrapped my arms around him, resting my cheek against the top of his head. He had used the scented shampoo when he took a bath earlier and his hair smelled like strawberries. “Are you happy so far?” I asked..

Hell, I just wanted to live with you,” he said.

That's good, CJ,” I assured him, “as I wanted you to live here too. As far as I'm concerned you're at home right now, and you're welcome to stay as long as your mom will let you. I'll never, not in a million years, get tired of you, or want you to leave. Okay? I don't expect you to be perfect so just relax here and be yourself.” I shifted him around on my lap so his back was to me and began lightly massaging his back and shoulders, working my way down his spine. I could feel him going limp as the tension left his body and I continued speaking to him in a soft voice. “Everything is going to be okay now Buddy. I love you so never be afraid to talk to me. You can tell me anything. Okay? I have to know if someone is mean to you – or bullies you at school – before I can help. See? And just one more thing. There are no rules here except one. You can't just take off out the front door anytime you want, like you did with your mom. You have to let me know before you go anywhere. Okay? You have any questions,” I asked.

When can we go get the rest of my stuff?” He asked.

Your mom is supposed to bring most of it over tomorrow,” I assured him. “If she doesn't, we'll go pick it up.”

I leaned him back against me again and held him snuggly a few minutes more in my arms. It'd been my goal in having that little conversation with him to ease his mind of any worries he might have and give him a sense of security and stability in life. But more importantly even than that in those few moments I had begun to bond and connect with him in a meaningful way. And in that instant I felt the great sacredness, and awesome responsibility, of caring for him. The honor, and sheer joy, of being entrusted with someone so precious and beautiful!

I bedded CJ down on the couch those first few nights. I was determined to do the right thing by him, and that meant not putting him under any kind of pressure, for giving him the wrong idea about my reasons for letting him stay. I hope he understood that nothing would be expected of him, nor would he be asked to do anything he didn't want to do. I genuinely cared about him, and it wouldn't have been fair to take advantage of his circumstances, or his need of a place to stay. When, or if, we did eventually do something sexually together I wanted the experience to be special and as nice for him as possible. It would happen on its own when the time was right, and he felt comfortable enough with me to actually enjoy himself, I knew. And if not, then it had still been wonderful to have him around to love, hold on my lap once in awhile, and give little massages and hugs. I could be satisfied with just that if need be I decided.

But in the morning when I awakened CJ would be sleeping next to me in the bed. I figured maybe he was just lonely, so I tried leaving the television on for him in the living room. But within 30 minutes he'd appear at the bedroom door and ask, “is it okay if I sleep with you?”

And I'd say, “sure,” patting the empty space next to me. Like a little kid he'd run and jump into bed and quickly burrow down beneath the covers and, oddly enough, fall right to sleep. I was overjoyed because, truth be told, I loved having him in the bed with me. So I gladly gave up on the couch idea after only a few nights.

I had the necessary talk with him. “CJ, you can't let anyone know where sleeping in the same bed together,” I warned him.

Why,” he asked. “Would they take me away from you?”.

I sighed. “Yeah, buddy. They probably would. See they don't understand our friendship and would think they were protecting you from me.”

He screwed up this face and thought for a minute. “Yeah, I know. They told us about all that stuff in school,” he said. “Don't worry I'll never tell anything that would get us in trouble. If anyone asks, I'll say I sleep on the couch. That you're a friend of my mom's, and I'm staying with you while she looks for another apartment.” That was our only conversation about the need for secrecy.

After sleeping alone for so long, it was sheer heaven to awaken in the morning CJ's warm body snuggled close to me. His arms and legs would be splayed out in every direction and his skin exquisitely soft anyplace it came to lay against mine. After shutting off the alarm, I would lie still in the early morning quiet, not wanting to awaken him just yet. I'd watch him sleep for a few minutes – that deep dreamless “dead to the world” sleep of a young boy, while breathing in his clean scent and marveling at his beauty. His blond hair would usually cover one side of his face, so I carefully combed it back into place with my fingers, enjoying the silken feel of it beneath my hand. Then at the last moment I awakened him with a kiss to the cheek or forehead. “Hey buddy it's time to get up for school.”

And he groaned, stretched himself all the way out, and murmured, “Okay, just five more minutes.”

But has nice is those mornings were with him nights were even better. I found those few moments alone together, lying side by side in the darkened bedroom before we drifted off to sleep, were an excellent time to talk with him.

Me: “Do you miss your mom Buddy?”

CJ: “Not, not really. I mean it's not like I can't see her anytime I want. Besides I like it here with you. You don't yell at me all the time.”

Me: “Well, CJ, you haven't given me any reason to yell at you."

CJ: “Are you going to help me with my science project for school?”

Me: “Sure. What do you want to do it on?”

CJ: “I don't know. I was hoping you had some ideas.”

Me: “When is it do?”

CJ: “Monday.”

I cringed in the dark next to him. That gave us less than a week.

CJ: “Would you teach me how to drive a car?”

Me: “Yeah. I can't see why not. We can drive out to Buda or Wimberly, on the weekend and look for some back roads for you to learn on."

CJ: “Cool!”

He didn't shy away from asking the tough questions either.

CJ: “I do have a question. But I'm afraid you'll get mad if I ask.”

Me: “CJ, I'll never get mad at anything you tell me, or questions you ask. I promise.”

CJ: “Well. My mom trusts you with me in everything, but she thinks you might be gay as you didn't ask her to go on a date or anything.”

I glanced over at him in the faint light that seeps through the crack in the bedroom door. He was stretched out with his hands behind his head staring up at the ceiling.

Me: “CJ. Listen. I'm not sure it's always a good idea for people to label themselves and say I'm “this,” or I'm “that”. Because when you do you put yourself in a box and limit your future growth and capacity to make other choices. People change over time. One's life experiences and education have an effect on one's likes and dislikes. So the label you put on yourself today may no longer fit ten years from now. What I mean is, let's say you have a best friend you hang out with all the time. And you do end up “messing around” together when you spend the night at his house. Now just because of that, it doesn't mean that you're gay, or that you won't go on to have girlfriends and all that. It just means that you guy's friendship was special and you cared enough about each other that it seemed like the right thing to do at that time. Most guys have some kind of homosexual experience during their lifetime, but it doesn't make them gay. Besides sometimes what people call “sex,” isn't always about sex at all. It's only an attempt to express love and affection toward a person in a more demonstrative physical way – a kind of giving and receiving of physical comfort and enjoyment that can really deepen a friendship. You see what I mean DJ?”

CJ: “Yeah. I already know all that stuff anyways. Besides I knew you were gay before my mom.”

Me: “How did you know?”

CJ: “Well, remember when you asked me if I wanted anything from the store when we first met?”

Me: “Yeah?”

CJ: “See, most adults wouldn't have done that, so I kind of knew then”

Me: “But you went with me. You weren't afraid?”

CJ: “No. I always knew you were okay. And that's funny because my mom will tell you I never made friends with someone so fast. I think you hypnotized me or something!” He giggled when he said this.

Me: “CJ, I did not hypnotized you!”

I remember he grew quiet after that and I thought that I knew what was troubling him.

Me: “CJ, I know what you're thinking but don't worry. You won't have to do anything sexually with me if you don't want to. I'll still love and care about the same. Okay? Besides, it's just as nice to have someone keep me company and take to the flea markets and stuff. It means a lot to me that you let me hug you, and hold you on my lap, and things like that. So I'm happy CJ.”

CJ: “No. I wasn't worried about that at all. Do you really want to know what I was thinking?”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

CJ: “Well...”. He hesitated for a long moment. “Man, I don't know how to say it,” he said exasperated.

Me: “Just relax and tell me what's on your mind,” I encouraged him.

CJ: “Okay. This is only if you want to, but there's something I've always wanted, but my mom could never get me one. What if I let you do “anything” you want with me, and I'd never ever tell anyone. All you have to do is apply it for me?”

I was in a state of shock. It was the last thing in the world I expected. Oh the wonderful unpredictability of a boy! I reached over in the dark and took his hand in mine.

Me: “Now that sounds like an offer I could never refuse. What is it?”

CJ: “A Sony's Play Station.”

Me: “How much do they cost?”

CJ: “I don't know. A lot I think.”

I brought the back of his hand to my lips and kissed it.

Me: “I'll do my best, CJ. But you don't have to do anything to “earn” one. Let me see if there's any on sale. Okay?”

He scooted over closer to me and rolled onto his side, patted my chest, and gave me a little squeeze.”

CJ: “You're the best friend I've ever had.,” he said softly.

Me: “Have you ever messed around with anyone before?”

CJ: “Are you kidding? I've never even let anyone see me with no clothes on before. I never even let my mom see me naked.”

I laughed at that.

Me: “Oh, I'll but your mom has seen you naked before.”

CJ: “Yeah, I guess you're right. So put it this way. Not since I can remember.”

*******

We quickly established a routine that not only got CJ to school and home safely, but got me to work on time as well. His mother came by the apartment a few times to bring the rest of his stuff, and see how things were going. Each time she showed up at the door, CJ worried she was there to try and take him back, so he'd always say, “Mom, can I stay with Rich? Look, he's taking good care of me.” And he pat his stomach or show her new school clothes. I became less concerned as time went on. I knew her living arrangements hadn't changed, and I noticed the look of relief that crossed her face each time CJ asked to stay. In fact she seemed amazed that he was doing so well with me.

You mean he isn't driving you crazy?” She gasped in shock. And I'd answer, “believe it or not, he's really been a good boy for me.” So I slowly came to realize she mainly just wanted CJ to be happy, and that as long as he was doing okay with me, she might just leave things the way they were.

In time our greater concern became nosy neighbors, or school officials, causing trouble for us. So we've tried to lay low and draw as little attention to ourselves as possible. CJ did his part by dramatically improving his behavior both in and out of school, knowing that creating too much mischief might bring in the authorities. I found CJ to be a quick learner and actually highly intelligent. I came to understand that most of his behavioral problems, and even his developmentally delayed diagnosis, stemmed from an unstable and chaotic home life, and the rather stressful and dysfunctional relationship he had with his mother – his primary caregiver. He felt more secure and relaxed with me and, I think it helped that I was able to give him my full undivided attention and love. It was the extra effort needed to really bond with him. I resolved to get him out of special ed, and back into a regular classroom at school, if he was still with me in the fall.

We explored the neighborhood around the apartment, and found a small park tucked into a side street well within walking distance. It had a small basketball court, and softball diamond, which were seldom used. It was a perfect place for us to occasionally while away an afternoon shooting baskets or playing catch there on the grass. CJ had the natural agility and coordination of an athlete. He improved quickly at anything I introduced him to, whether it was a sport, a card game, or shooting billiards down at the pool hall. With sheer joy I watched his self-confidence and esteem grow with each new accomplishment, as he realized he was capable of so much more than he ever imagined.

One thing he really loved, and seemed to have a natural affinity for, was driving. We would head out early on a Saturday morning and search outside the city for the perfect back roads for him to practice on. I had started with him just sitting on my lap and steering the car first. But like everything else he tried, is skill level improved quickly. In no time at all he was sitting behind the wheel on a thick cushion, with the seat adjusted all the way forward, and driving by himself. He would drive the car for hours on nearly deserted, country farm-to-market roads, while I sat in the passenger seat smoking marijuana and blasting old Led Zeppelin and deep purple on the car's stereo. “Okay CJ,” I'd instruct. “Come to a complete stop at this intersection, and look both ways before you pull out."

And he'd say, “I already know what to do. Just chill.” I've often thought, when he looks back, you can tell people he had a big brother who taught him how to drive while sitting in the passenger seat getting high and listening to classic rock.

*******

As a boy lover, the greatest gift a boy can give to you, and the one thing you cherish and hope for above all else, is his love. For a boy's love is a wonderful thing – bestowed not upon many but only upon a very blessed and select few. It is not a love given out freely. It is one that must be earned. For one must prove himself worthy of receiving such a rare and precious gift. A boy is fiercely protective of those he loves, and his friendship is loyal and steadfast to a fault. In love he will stand with you through the darkest times, then celebrate along with you when it passes. When I love a boy I live to hear those three little words that mean so much. I still remember the first time I've ever heard them from CJ, and how unexpected it was. We were running late that morning and to make matters worse the traffic had been even heavier than normal. By the time I pulled up in front of CJ's school to drop him off, my nerves were a rat. I remember how he reached for his backpack, and had that door halfway open when he hesitated like a thought suddenly occurred to him. Glancing all around us, he quickly leaned across the center console and gave me hug. "See you tonight. Love you" he said.

Oh. I love you too CJ. Be a good boy at school,” I said hugging him back and there it was. Somehow or another, despite all the mistakes I had undoubtedly made with him, I had still been rewarded with his love.

Chapter 5: The Main Objection To Intergenerational Love

The main objection raised against intergenerational love centers around the sex issue. It is the thing, we are told, that will damage and scar a boy for life. I struggled when writing this whether to include any description of a typical intergenerational sexual encounter, since it is certain these relationships would find a much broader acceptance without it. But then I decided that to ignore the issue as if it didn't exist would be fundamentally dishonest. If my goal is to educate people about intergenerational relationships, and present a defense of them to their many critics, then I will have to address the sex issue head-on.

When most people imagine an intergenerational sexual encounter, they picture anal intercourse being forced on a helpless, struggling boy. But that is a misconception that has been manufactured by a media complex intent on making the practice seem as sordid and loathsome as possible. When forced anal sex does happen, it is usually a heterosexual relative or family member, using the boy as a substitute girl when the real thing isn't available. This has nothing to do with genuine love relationships in typical intergenerational encounters. There are many other very pleasurable sexual activities that the two can enjoy together. Intercourse carries a higher psychological risk than anything else, and the boy isn't likely to enjoy it. So what good would that be? It would be counterproductive if he disliked a sexual encounter with you so much he never wanted to repeat it. I've known several boy lovers over the years, and I can tell you it is probably a rare occurrence.

It is important to remember that the intergenerational relationship isn't designed to meet the adults need for emotional support for sexual gratification. It exists to meet the boys needs and do those things that will benefit him. If adults could be trusted and relied upon to consistently act in a responsible manner in this regard then these relationships might stand a fighting chance of gaining acceptance. The boy should learn to feel comfortable being physically and/or sexually intimate with another human being and developing a healthy attitude toward it. The boy lover is helping the boy prepare for the wife or girlfriend he will soon have, and that's important. Here, then are a few ways the adults can act to make sure there aren't any long term negative consequences to a boy from their intergenerational experience.

Number one: the relationship must never become just about sex. That is it shouldn't revolve around or focus upon sexual activity of any kind. Sex can have a legitimate place within a love relationship, but its role is minor. Physical and/or sexual intimacy should never be more than that – one experience among many other experiences the two share together. It would probably be a terribly damaging message to send a boy, that he is loved and valued mainly as a sex object. As sex loses its importance and centrality within a relationship, it also loses its ability to cause any negative long-term consequences. This is how the sex issue really becomes more of a non-issue. What CJ later remembered about our relationship are the nights I spent helping him with homework at the kitchen table – not anything that happened in the bedroom.

Number two: it is important a boy learns to associate sexual intimacy with pleasure, and feel comfortable, so he shouldn't be rushed into it before he's ready. A close friendship and emotional bond with him should be established first, and that takes time. Trust in someone develops when the friendship undergoes trial and is put to the test through shared experience, and found to be true. This is the process authorities often mistakenly call “grooming” because in a genuine love relationship grooming someone simply isn't necessary – and implies far more "mal-intent" and manipulation than you are likely to find.

Number three: intergenerational relationships should be based upon love. If sexual attraction or desire for sexual activity is the primary motivating force behind everything and adult does, then the relationship will be of no benefit to the boy. If something sexual does eventually happened between the two, it is best if it arises naturally, on its own, out of a progression of ever increasing intimacy and affection that has been developing over time between them. Love and physical intimacy are all closely related, so that one will often arise out of the other. What begins as a friendship can deepen into love, which is then easily manifested as physical and/or sexual intimacy. In this case, the sex play becomes just an additional avenue through which affectionate feelings from the heart are put into action toward the person. It is a more physical way to demonstrate or express affection and love.

To see this principle in action, look at how boys will sometimes satisfy their natural sexual curiosity with one another if left to themselves. Don't they become best buddies first? They bond through the many experiences they shared together. Their sex life, when it does happen, simply arises naturally, as the logical next step within a relationship that has already become close in virtually every other way. Their comfort level with one another is high enough at this point that no shared experience would be forbidden or off-limits between them. With regards to introducing sexual intimacy into an intergenerational relationships, this same natural progression of affection should be the goal.

*******

I will give the reader a detailed account of the very first sexual experience between CJ and me, and use it as an example of a fairly typical intergenerational encounter, which it was. Keep in mind, as you read it, that it is common for a boy to exert some control and influence over when and where any sexually experience takes place. Making this decision for the two of them shifts the balance of power within the relationship more into the boy's favor, and the sense of control he gains, especially over his own personal body, enhances his enjoyment of the encounter. It is normal for him to connect giving his permission for the experience to an exchange for something he wants. This absolves him of all responsibility for making the choice to participate in a forbidden, or “gay” activity – since from the boy's perspective, it then becomes a shrewd business decision – a win-win situation with real tangible benefit for him. He now has a legitimate reason to participate that is simple and makes good sense.

*******

As was my habit, I awakened about 10 minutes before the alarm was set to go off, and hit the button. CJ was still deeply asleep beside me, so I crept into the bathroom and used it, then quietly slipped back into bed, careful not to awaken him. It was still nearly dark in the bedroom and I heard no sound outside of the apartment. I would use those few moments of early morning quiet to plan out the day ahead. We would stop off at the store on our way home, I thought idly. CJ stirred around a little next to me, drawing one leg all the way up at the knee. I waited until he settled back into the, rhythmic breathing, then reached between the comforter too lightly stroke the length of his thigh. His skin seemed like warm satin to the touch. He was very modest about his body, careful not to let me or anyone else see him completely naked, although I did catch the briefest glimpse of him once when he was in the shower and I brought him a towel. But even then he had placed one hand over his private parts while reaching for the towel with the other.

I'd taken him to a hair stylist who had cut his hair so that it was layered in the back and on the sides. Then I'd shown him how to use conditioner, and a blow dryer, and styling brush. The result was stunning. His blond hair now seemed to glow with warm brilliant highlights. I looked at him and then took a moment to brush a few loose strands back that covered one eye. I had fallen completely in love with him and I thought, with a smile, he knew it. He knew he had me wrapped around his little finger. He had been abandoned and hurt by adults who had breezed in and out of his life – mostly only sticking around long enough to discipline him harshly and sponge off his mother until she got fed up and forced them to leave. So gaining his confidence and trust had been a slow ongoing process. But lately I had begun to notice the change in him. He began to realize my love was genuine and that I would be sticking by him for the long haul. He started letting his guard down. I sensed that he was beginning to let me into his heart and life, finally allowing me to penetrate the many walls he'd built around his feelings to protect them.

I glanced over at the clock inside. “Hey buddy,” I said rubbing his arm, it's time to get up for school.

He groaned out his response. “I don't feel like going. Let's take today off.”

Hey, it's Friday.,” I reminded him. Just one more day than we have at the whole weekend.”

He climbed out of bed and staggered toward the bathroom. “I got to pea,” he said.

I didn't pay much attention when he returned only moments later and quickly slipped back into bed, pulling the comforter up to his chin. He glanced over at me with a grin on his face and whispered, “Hey, do you want to see something? Look.” He lifted the covers high enough to give me a peek. In a strange light that was now filtering in from around the mini blinds, I could see he had an erection. It was straining against the front of his white cotton briefs forming a good-sized tent right there.

Oh, CJ,” I whispered. “Can I touch it?” I reached down beneath the comforter and lightly rubbed along the length of it. As I did I heard his breath catch and felt him press himself into the palm of my hand. I was shocked. This was definitely a side of him I'd never seen before. But he reached down and pushed my hand away.

Can't right now. I have to get ready for school. Remember?” He drew out the word “remember” into several long syllables. “That is, and less you want us to take the day off. Then we can take our time,” he added.

Damn, I thought. He had me. He had devised a plan to play hooky from school that day, he knew couldn't fail. Just then to make sure I understood the significance of what was being offered he added for good measure. “If you want to mess around together it's now or never. I don't get into moods like this very often.” He said it matter-of-factly, then looked at me expectantly waiting for an answer. There was no way I could turn down the offer.

Why aren't you something?” I teased him tickling him on the size. He giggled and thrashed around. “Okay buddy, you win. We'll take the day off.

That's more like it,” he said in acknowledgment. “So what is it you want to do? Is yours hard to?” He asked searching down between my legs for it down beneath the comforter. He squeezed gently a few times then rubbed along the length of it with his fingers through my boxers. “How's that?” He asked searching my face. “Am I doing it right?”

I close my eyes and leaned my head back. “That feels wonderful CJ.”

Satisfied, he stretched out on his back, with both hands behind his head and said “Okay you can do mine some more now, if you want to. I'm ready.”

I edged closer to him and slipped a couple of fingers into the waistband of his underwear. When I tugged at it, he lifted up his hips so that I could slide them all the way down, and all. Then taking my own off as well, we were both completely naked together, for the very first time.

I drew the comforter back to get a better look. He was as beautiful as I'd imagined. His body was still completely smooth and hairless except for the slightest dusting of tiny blond hairs on his arms and a little peach fuzz scattered here and there on his legs, below the knee. Beautiful skin, delicate and thin, very pale white and exquisitely sensitive and soft looking. If I looked close enough I could detect the faint tan lines on the upper part of his arms and that was all.

His body was typical for a boy his age – slender and athletic looking with a compact little chest and flat tummy. I could just barely see the outlines of his rib cage through the thin nearly translucent skin. His penis was circumcised and about 4 inches in length I estimated -- not bad for someone his age and size. It was rock hard and angled slightly toward his stomach. I slipped quickly into the bathroom and returned with the baby powder. I sprinkled some on his body from head to toe. Then I began to spread the powder around on him, my hands gliding lightly and easily over his skin. I gently kissed, stroked and caressed the silken flesh trying to make the experience as pleasurable for him as possible. With my fingertips and nails I traced lightly over his smooth chest and belly, up and down both arms, and along his side, using long featherlight strokes, my hands barely making contact with the skin. I looked up to find him completely relaxed eyes closed, obviously enjoying the new sensations in his body. There was no doubt that it was the first time he'd ever experienced it. He was quiet and still, allowing me to explore him however I wished, not wanting me to stop. When I caressed the exquisitely sensitive area around his private parts and lower abdomen he shivered and grabbed my hand “Oh! It is tickling me.” He giggled. He held my hand still a few moments, then released it. I continued down to his legs parting them slightly to trace along the silken inner thighs with fingertips and nails.

CJ you are a very beautiful boy,” I whispered to him.

He lifted his head and looked down at himself. “Did you see my scar?” He asked pointing to it spot just below his left knee. “I fell off some monkey bars when I was little.” Upon close examination I could see a thin white line there about an inch long.

Ouch. That must've hurt,” I said, kissing the spot. Then I moved on.

Put some of the powder on my back to,” he whispered flipping over onto her stomach. “You can do my butt if you want to,” he added. Pointing at his bottom. I sprinkled some powder along the length of his backside and began again to smooth it all over him, my palms light as a feather on his skin. With long gentle strokes I massaged his back with my fingertips, slowly working my way down to caress and massage the perfect pale white cheeks of his butt, working some of the powder down into the smooth track in between them, and enjoying the feel of skin that was soft as a baby's beneath my hand. I continued on down to do the backs of his legs, and even his feet which sent him into hysterics. Then to finish up I straddled his body my knees on either side of him and started giving him a full body massage. I worked my way up his legs, worked out any remaining tension in his lower back, and along his spine up into his shoulders and neck and arms.

Does that feel good to you?” I ask him.

Uh huh. I like it,” he murmured into the pillow. “It's putting me back to sleep.”

After that, I stretched out next to him on the bed and pulled the comforter back over to cover us. “CJ,” I asked him. “Would you like to try something else that feels kind of good?”

He rolled over onto his side facing me and said, “sure,” with a grin. “What should I do?”

I edged close to him on the bed and whispered “Can I hold you?” Taking him into my arms I hugged his body full length and naked against mine. His skin felt unbelievably warm and baby soft – the finest silk from head to toe. I lay still with him a few moments, lost in the marvelous nearly breathless sensation of his skin pressed against mine. CJ slipped his hand in between our bodies and grasped my erection, squeezing and stroking the length of it a few times. Then he scooted up on the bed a little and replaced my penis so that it lay along the front of his upper thighs -- nestled into the shallow groove between them near the top. He withdrew his hand and we pressed our bodies together again. It was an incredibly smooth and friction free place to rub myself against him. I was already close to ejaculation and could wait no longer. I began to slowly work and press my hips and private area into his. CJ, wanting to participate but unsure of what to do, simply copied my movements and pressed back against me in return. This created a kind of back-and-forth rubbing of our bodies together which was exquisite. I could feel CJ's erection pressing against me, close by my own, as I ejaculated moments later.

Afterwards I continued to hold him in my arms just a little longer. I gently kissed his cheek and stroked his head, using my fingers to calm and smoothed his hair back into place. “I love you,” I whispered into his ear.

I love you too,” he said softly in return. I caressed and stroked his backside and butt with my free hand and rested my cheek against his. I could feel his breath against my neck and smell the strawberry scented shampoo in his hair. He had his eyes closed, as if asleep, but the hint of a smile played across his features, and gave him away. He was wide awake – just completely relaxed and contended in my arms.

This kind of intimate cuddling with the boy is essentially harmless because, while it is sexually stimulating to him, he doesn't interpret the experience as being strictly “sexual.” In many ways it mimics and re-creates the way a mother might hold and bond with her son as an infant, so important for his healthy development and well-being. For a boy like CJ who did not receive enough of this kind of mother child attention during his early years, the emotional connection he makes with you helps fill in the gap. He receives the message in your embrace and through your tender touch, loud and clear. He is cherished, highly valued, and loved, and he will begin to see himself the way you do. A boy like CJ will soak up this kind of attention like a sponge, as if he's making up for lost time. When you tenderly stroked him you are also giving strokes to his young developing ego and affirming a neglected boy that he is a worthy individual, deserving of love and respect.

CJ nudged, then eased one of his legs in between mine and tickled lightly along my side with his fingers, just like I had done to him. It is a reciprocal gesture a boy will make to indicate he is in full agreement with what the two of you are doing. He senses me watching him and his eyes flickered open. The smile grows wider. “Are you finished?” He asked, beginning to stir around a little.

I smiled and touched the tip of his nose with my finger. “Yeah, I'm finished,” I whispered.

Hey, I know,” CJ said. “We could play Truth or Dare.”

Oh, I'd love to CJ. But I think I know something you might like better.” I eased him over onto his back.

I returned to his erection and gently stroked the length of it with my fingers. He was still hard, and the head of his penis looked red and swollen. I kissed it and slowly began to suck him into my mouth. I could hear his breath catch and felt his body become tense. You could tell it was a new and unfamiliar sensation to him, but one that he enjoyed. As I sucked, I stroked and caressed his abdomen and sides which sent shivers through his body. He seemed exquisitely sensitive, and squirmed around on the bed arching his hips upward and pushing all the way into my mouth several times. I kept at it quickening the pace, when suddenly I felt the head of his penis enlarge. He instantly set straight up in the bed and pulled himself out of my mouth.

Stop for a minute,” he said an alarm. “It feels funny.”

I stopped and glanced up at him. “It's supposed to feel funny, CJ. You're fixing to ejaculate, like I do.”

He had a look of genuine surprise and shock on his face area “next time it feels like that just keep going, I continued. “I know it's intense, but it'll feel good afterwards.

Okay,” he said playing back down on the bed. “Let's try again.”

I stroked his erection by hand before taking it back into my mouth. In no time we had established the same rhythm and pace as before. At first he lay still on the bed, lifting his head several times to peer down at me. But his body became more rigid and intense as he began responding to the growing sensation building up inside of himself. He pumped his hips in an up and down motion, pushing in and out of my mouth – encouraging me to go faster on him. Then at the last moment he arched his hips up high bearing his erection full length inside with the head of his dick just pressing against the back of my throat. His penis throbbed again and again as he flooded my mouth with his clean sweet tasting cum – his breath coming in quick gasps. He placed one hand on the back of my head and pressed gently as he momentarily lost control in the ecstasy of his first orgasm.

I kept him deeply inside my mouth, making sure he was completely finished, and stroked his body. I could feel the tension begin to leave, as his breathing returned to normal and he relaxed. He raised up into a semi-sitting position on the bed, looking a little stunned. “I did like you said, and kept going,” he said. I scooted up and sat next to him on the bed, kissing the top of his head.

It feels good doesn't it, CJ?”

"Yeah. I don't know how you got me to do that, but it was nice.” He smiled at me and held out his palm for me to give him five.

I slapped my palm across his hand and said, “Well buddy, you're 12 years old. That's about the same time I was when I came the first time. But you won't be able to do it every time just yet. You'll have to wait until 13 or so for that. Then you'll get off just by using your hand.

Cool,” he said.

CJ,” I continued. “Just remember. If we ever do something you don't like, all you have to do is tell me. Okay?”

Sure thing.” He said. “Well there is one thing.” He reached over and rubbed two fingers across my cheek. “Next time it would be better for me if you shave first. It's kind of scratchy” I felt the morning stubble on my face and replied, “okay man. Sorry about that.”

How 'bout me?” CJ asked. “Am I fun to do stuff with?”.

Oh, CJ. There is no one in the world I'd rather do things with than you. You're smart and funny – you can make me laugh,” I told him honestly.

Oh, I almost forgot,” he cried climbing off the bed, and heading out the bedroom door. “Be right back,” he said over his shoulder.

I sat on the edge of the bed, and lit a cigarette. CJ returned in a moment with a can of grape soda in one hand, and his backpack in the other. He sat next to me on the edge of the bed and set the can on the nightstand. He unzipped the backpack and rummaged around inside. Finally he withdrew a single sheet of paper. He held it out for my inspection. It was a math test, and he had gotten a B+ on it. “CJ, this is great. I'm so proud of you,” I said leaning him over against me for a quick hug.

I'm doing better, huh?” he said, beaming with pride

Yes you are. See all that hard work is paying off. We'll put it on the refrigerator,” I told him.

He looked around, and then said, “I'm hungry. Are you going to make us breakfast?”

Tell you what," I said tossing him his underwear and starting to put mine back on. “Let's get dressed. I'll call in to work, and then call your school, and we'll go out for breakfast someplace. Would you like that?”

Yeah,” he said getting dressed quickly now. “Would you take me to the House of Pancakes again, so I can get those pancakes with the maple syrup?”

CJ, that purple syrup is blueberry syrup,” I informed him.

Yeah, that.” He said.

Chapter 6: Addressing the Horrible Terrible Issue Of Sex

We did go to the international House of Pancakes that morning. CJ ordered pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream – which he partly scraped off and ate separately-drenching the remainder in blueberry syrup and finishing every bite! It was a meal only a 12-year-old boy could love! I had a more traditional breakfast of eggs, sausage, hash browns,” – my favorite. While we ate, CJ kept me laughing by doing “impressions” of people around us. He could be extremely good at it when he wanted to be – imitating people's gestures and mannerisms with a dead-on accuracy. He did a nearly perfect impersonation of a woman sitting nearby. He crossed his legs at the knee and sipped from his cup in a very feminine way, holding his pinkie straight out, while he batted his eyes at me, and spoke in a soft high-pitched girls voice.

C. J.”, I whispered, trying not to laugh at it “stop doing that.”

He looked at me all innocent and shrugged, saying, “What? I'm not doing anything.”

We drove out to the mall after that. C. J. ended up playing video games at an arcade called “games galaxy”, that was tucked into a corner at the far end. Since it was a school day, the place was nearly deserted, but we still had a blast. Taking an unplanned, spontaneous break from our normal routine of school and work to spend the day together made it seem special. The physical intimacy that had brought us such great pleasure earlier that morning had become a delicious and wonderful secret we now shared between us. And, because of it, our love for each other seemed more real than ever. In walking down a road together, rarely traveled by others, we found to our joy that it led to a heavenly place. But it had also turned us into renegades or outlaws of a sort. We had dared to rob the bank together. Then we'd somehow gotten away with the loot. The experience had given us a comfortable feeling of closeness, camaraderie and deep commitment to one another.

As we got ready to leave that day, I told C. J., “I need to pick up something at the target before we go.” I didn't tell them why we were going, but he had looked at me quizzically when I asked where the electronics department was as soon as we entered the store. When we got there I asked the salesclerk where they kept the Sony Play Station, and he walked us straight there. I picked one of the boxes off the shelf and handed it to CJ. “Thank you very much for this morning,” I said glancing around before giving him a hug. He was excited but eyed the price tag and decided it was too expensive.

Thanks,” he said “but you don't have to buy it for me. I was only kidding when I asked for one. I just wanted to see what you'd say.

Well”, I said “would you rather have something else? I want to do something nice for you. After all you were nice to me.”

Oh I'd love to have one!” He said turning the box over in his hands.

Well then let's pick out a couple of game cartridges so we can head home and work on hooking it up to the TV, I said walking him toward the counter. He leaned against me, and whispered “thanks” on the way there.

*****

Now, as promised earlier, will take a closer look at the main objection to intergenerational love. By examining the issue of sex between the two we will see if there's a legitimate purpose and place for introducing some sort of physical and/or sexual intimacy into the relationship, and if so what the benefits of such intimacy might be. We will begin with a few words about sexual attraction itself.

A lot has been said about the unnaturalness of the man's sexual attraction toward the boy, but it serves a purpose: it is the very thing that sets the boy lover apart from other men, most of whom would have little interest in forming a love relationship with the boy who might benefit from one. It is the sexual attraction factor that lays the foundation, and provides the driving force, through which the adult falls in love with the boy, and thereby becomes sufficiently motivated and willing to do whatever is necessary to help him. Furthermore, whatever it takes to meet the boys needs, will not be a problem for the boy lover, since apart from the boy he may have few other demands placed on his time, or financial resources. So why is this important?

Remember, as we mentioned earlier, those few boys who are available for an intergenerational love relationship almost always come with a pre-existing set of problems or issues that require extra love and often one-on-one attention and mentoring to solve. In fact the very reason they are available in the first place is because they have largely been granted their freedom by frustrated parents or caregivers who cannot deal effectively any longer with their psychological and/or behavioral issues. Because he loves the boy and wants him in his life, problems at all, the boy lover has developed some pretty effective strategies to deal with these issues. But when one enters into a boy's life one is up against the clock so to speak. There is a window of opportunity to work with a boy that lasts only until he reaches the age of 16 or so. After that his patterns of behavior are too habitual and firmly established to be changed very easily. So you may have a lot of ground to cover in just a short time, for you weren't around when he needed someone most. You couldn't help that he was being abused or neglected (if that was the case). The problem is, it takes years to develop the close bond and deep connection with a boy that will be needed before you'll have enough influence over him to help or change any unwanted behavior, and make a difference in his life. So there it is in a nutshell: one of the most effective means of gaining access to a troubled boys psyche, and develop this deep connection with him in the shortest amount of time is physical and sexual intimacy. It's not that there aren't other ways to accomplish the same thing, given enough time. I'm only saying that because sexual intimacy is so closely connected to emotional intimacy, the one arises naturally out of the other. Because sexual love is such an affecting and singular sort of experience, it is a very effective means of breaking down barriers and walls a boy may have built up around his feelings, to protect himself. As a result the boy becomes more open to adult mentoring and intrusion into his affairs. When you become naked together, you uncover more than just your bodies to one another. You also uncover whatever has been repressed emotionally at the subconscious level as well. Those things the boy has kept well hidden and secret from everybody else are revealed and brought into conscious awareness with you, where they can be dealt with. This is the place where healing and restoration can finally begin. When you hold and cuddle him in your arms you also are giving love and comfort to his wounded inner child (that small toddler still residing someplace inside of him). It begins the process of healing by affirming that the small child within is a valuable and cherished individual worthy of being loved and cared for. This has the added benefit of being a very tangible and physical way to express feelings of love and affection. It is a very effective means of communicating heartfelt feelings to the naturally more demonstrative, or action oriented, boy. He places more value on feelings communicated to him in this manner because they seem more real to him. In other words, he sees your message loud and clear, and will respond in kind.

This then is how you show genuine love for a boy. You set an example he would feel proud to follow. When a boy has developed love and respect for his adult friend a natural learning process sets in that is often referred to as hero worship. All it means is that the boy will begin to imitate the behavior of the adult, wanting to become like him. With a troubled boy it is an excellent opportunity to try out more acceptable ways of behaving and interacting with the world. He may begin by simply pretending to be good, but through practice and repetition the new behaviors slowly established themselves until they become permanent

I would submit to you that the threat of negative consequences from sexual contact with the boy, if it occurs within this context is minimal or nonexistent. You have to remember a very profitable industry has sprung up around the supervision and treatment of sex offenders. Many have made a career out of it, so there are livelihoods that depend upon fanning the flames of hysteria and fear that surrounded the issue. Therefore, we have the odd situation where, at a time when actual sex offenses against children have been decreasing for years, and the rate of those who ever commit another similar offense after undergoing treatment is only in the 3% range, the perceived threat from sex offenders seems greater than ever. How can that be? The media focuses a lot of attention on the few instances where it actually does happen while completely ignoring the fact that far, greater numbers of children are brutalized at the hands of their parents each year. For some reason this doesn't provoke nearly the same level of outrage.

*******

There is one concern raised by the sex issue which, for a long time, I shared and thought might be justified – but that is its effect on some one's sexual orientation. After all, it makes sense that conditioning the boy to feel comfortable with homosexuality might somehow influence him to become gay since he will already be familiar with a kind of sexual activity which is enjoyable and fulfilling. Why wouldn't he just stick with what he knows, rather than changing horses is in the middle of the stream, so to speak?

While being gay doesn't have the stigma attached to it that it once did, I still had no desire to saddle someone with a lifestyle they wouldn't have chosen on their own. But oddly enough that doesn't seem to be the case. I've known a number of boys Who were involved in intergenerational relationships with an adult while they were growing up and no greater percentage of them became homosexual as adults than what you might find in the general population. So clearly there must be other factors at work that determine sexual orientation. To give an example, I once knew a boy who I will refer to as Jay. He was a hussler from a young age, regularly engaging in sexual activities with older gay men. He would often seek them out completely on his own. If there was ever a boy destined to become gay as an adult that was Jay. Everyone who knew him thought so. But Jay did not. He grew up to marry and have two beautiful children. The reason I know this is because I've been to his home, met his wife and held his children on my lap. From all appearances they seem to be a normal happy family. Jay seems to have suffered no long-term ill effects from his earlier experiences. This got me to looking at Jay and others like him to see what if anything, separated them from those who we read about who claimed to have been so damaged by similar experiences. I haven't personally seen people damaged by the experience, but there must be ways in which the threat of long-term negative consequences from these esperiences can be reduced or eliminated. Let's take a closer look.

Some factors are probably beyond anyone's control. Just as there is a genetic tendency toward shyness and other personality traits in some individuals, there is almost certainly a genetic basis for the degree to which a person is sensitive to, and influenced by, his experiences is life. You can see this difference between people all the time. The exact same experience might be a traumatic, life changing event for one person, but will be something someone else can simply shrug off and remain largely unaffected by. The hypersensitive boy coming from an abusive dysfunctional family background has metaphorically circled his wagons to protect himself from further attack. He will be more likely to remain within whatever has become familiar and safe, rather than leave his comfort zone and venture out into unexplored, uncharted territory. The uncharted territory in this case would be making the critical leap to dating girls and heterosexuality. Also, whatever homosexual experiences the sensitive boy has enjoyed in his life up until that point undoubtedly would have a much greater impact on his future sexual orientation than they would on a boy not so sensitive.

The type of sexual activity you introduce into the relationship is one factor that can be controlled. Certainly those activities that are closest to what he will experience with a wife or girlfriend one day and that will help you prepare for it ahead of time are best. Take the example of Jay that I gave earlier. Even at only 12 years old he had a very large penis for his age. Because of that it was often the case that older gay men would pay him to perform anal intercourse on them instead of the other way around. Thus he learned how to make love to someone at a young age. This was a skill that came in handy later, once he was married. If a boy learns how to be a tender and considerate lover within the intergenerational relationship, then his wife or girlfriend will have you to thank for it someday. Sensual massage and cuddling will teach a boy to feel comfortable with physical intimacy, and develop a healthy attitude toward it. It is best to always keep things in the bedroom playful and light hearted with him.

But probably the most crucial factor in determining the future sexual health and orientation is one we mentioned earlier: the successful transition from an earlier childhood stage of sexual expression and development into a more mature one. This means leaving behind the phase most boys pass through as they grow up, during which time they are open to sexual experimentation, including homosexuality. Whenever a boy exhausts his opportunities for further growth in one stage of development he will be ready for a new chapter in his life. He already knows how the previous chapter ends. He has matured through his experience and learned everything that was necessary for him to know in that particular state. He is now fully prepared to move on. In this way the gap between childhood and adulthood is bridged. Any inability to transition successfully into more mature stages of emotional and sexual growth is called arrested development. Next to a genetic predisposition, it is probably the greatest cause of adult homosexuality.

When an intergenerational love relationship is discovered by the authorities, and is brutally ended, the authorities invariably underestimate the depth of love and bonding that may have developed between the two. When this happens the natural growth process that includes finding closure is interrupted. In addition to all the loose ends and unanswered questions which loom large in the boy psyche, he has the horrified reactions of those around him to contend with. The message is that he has been horribly, permanently damaged because of what he has been through, and he won't ever be the same again. This whole episode also called into question the boy's judgment and decision-making skills since he had given his consent to the relationship somewhere along the line. So he begins to internalize the message that he is now damaged goods and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in his life. He begins to see himself as others do, and unconsciously will start living up to everyone's diminished expectations of him, including his own diminished expectations of himself. From then on he will always have a handy excuse for every failure, and a sensible reason to avoid taking any responsibility for his life. “Well I was a victim. I was abused. You cannot expect too much from me.” The intergenerational relationship, instead of merely being that means by which he was helped through an especially difficult period of time in his life, now becomes a pivotal, life changing event, that takes on an importance it was never meant to have. The very thing that may have brought joy and relief into the boy's life is now associated with something negative and bad. It is this sequence of events that causes most of the damage and harm to a boy, and not so much anything that might have happened between the two in the bedroom.

******

Years ago I studied psychology in college. We were taught that human beings are by their very nature “ambi-sexual”, or capable of receiving sexual pleasure and expressing their own sexuality in a variety of ways. It is only through social conditioning and prohibitions against certain sexual practices that people are taught to channel their sexual energies into narrowly defined, more socially acceptable outlets. Furthermore if you have a scale that goes from 1 to 10 with one being exclusively heterosexual and 10 being exclusively homosexual, and that 95% of all people fall in between about 3 - 7 on the social scale. Furthermore they also move up and down the scale during their life times. I'm not suggesting that we should abandon all restraint and just start doing whatever feels good. Civilization depends upon making certain practices illegal. What I am saying is that human sexuality is probably much more variable and flexible than is commonly believed. A person's sexual orientation and instincts are apparently open to change and further growth and development throughout the course of one's life time. These matters are not decided once and for ever, or set in stone at an early age, and then forgotten.

So given the great natural diversity and range of human sexual expression, and the seemingly innate ability people have to alter their sexual behavior to fit changing circumstances in their lives, shouldn't it follow that any negative consequences stemming from intergenerational sexual experience would be automatically limited? From my own personal observation and experience, I have found that when you're talking about a neglected or developmentally challenged lad, the benefits that seem to come along with him and a loving man being physically and/or sexually intimate together outweigh any risk of harm to the boys from this activity by far.

Mistakes are bound to happen. In intergenerational relationships, as in all relationships, one can only hope that the positive experiences you've shared together will outnumber and be a greater influence than the negative ones. As imperfect as they may be, it is still a shame that in the future a boy will not have the option of entering an intergenerational love relationship should he decide one might be helpful, because like it or not, until there is a license that requires a set of minimal standards that people would have to meet before they became parents, there will always be a purpose and place for the boy lover in society.

******

Can I steer her?” CJ asked leaning across the center console and looking at me hopefully. We were in the car and headed back to the apartment, after leaving the mall that day.

Sure,” I said dropping my hand from the wheel. He took over and, as always, guided the car almost perfectly centered in our lane. I had grown to trust his driving abilities completely in this regard.

Concentrating on the road ahead, and absorbed in the task at hand, he spoke idly as if it were merely an afterthought. “Oh, I meant to tell you, if you want to put that powder on me again tonight after we go to bed, it's fine. I don't mind.”

He surprised me by saying this. “Really, CJ? That's great.” I reached over and caressed the sides and back of his head, combing his soft baby fine blond hair. “But I'm wondering,” I continued, “is it because you really enjoyed what we did, or are you just trying to be nice to me.

He thought for a moment, and then answered. “Both I guess. I want you to make me do that thing again. I forget what you call it – Jack - late?”

I knew, of course, what he meant. “It's called e-jac-u-late," I told him.

Yeah. That's it,” he said.

I'll be glad to try, buddy” I whispered to him. “I'll sure try.”

Chapter 7: Public Displays of Affection

The days turned into weeks and weeks and months. Still, CJ remained with me. His mother gave us complete freedom to be together, and even seemed relieved not to have the responsibility of trying to care for him. She dated, got high, and asked few question. I always assumed she understood more than she let on about our relationship but was content to allow CJ to make his own decisions regarding who he wanted to live with. As long as he was happy, and wanted to stay with me, she would respect his wishes. This school work continue to improve while a sense of self-esteem confidence and stability grew strong. He became much less hyper and less prone to the violent temper tantrums that had given his mother such grief. I talked to her about getting them back into a regular classroom at school the next school year, and she agreed she would see what she could do. He just no longer needed to be in a special education environment.

Given the witch hunt mentality that existed against the relationships such as ours, we tried to lay low and draw as little attention to our selves as possible. We both knew how lucky we were to be together, then how quickly a school official or other authority could get suspicious and end it all.

CJ did finish the bike, although I did help to sand the frame and showed him the best way to spray-paint it. We chose a bright, windlass, sunny day, and painted it a cool chrome metallic silver, right outside the apartment door on the grass. After installing new tires, a set of wide mag rims, a new seat and front caliper brakes, CJ had the dream bike he'd always wanted. “I'm going to keep it locked in the apartment so no one can steal it!" he announced making a spot for it by the door.

Because our relationship defined easy categorization we moved in all social circles – unsure of where we belonged. We had both gay and straight friends we would occasionally visit on the weekends, but I'd never go anyplace where he would be welcomed with open arms. Our straight friends were mostly guys I worked with. Some were married. And if they had kids CJ could play with when we went to their house, that was always better since it kept him from getting bored. I usually introduced him as my girlfriend's son, and they rarely ask any questions beyond that. But around these friends we had to be careful. Weekend visits involved helping someone move or to fix a car, or attending a barbecue, all of which meant a lot of drinking or getting high during our stay. Once we let our guard down. CJ and I were so comfortable together we forget and become affectionate with each other before we could catch ourselves. That kept me on edge because I knew it would be easy to raise eyebrows and suspicions with this bunch.

With our gay friends we could relax and be ourselves more, because even if it wasn't openly discussed we could never hide our relationship from them. They always knew. But they accepted our love for one another without passing judgment, and for that, I'll always be grateful. CJ liked these friends of ours too. “Gay people are nice," he would tell me. I could understand why he felt that way. They treated him like a king. We'd go to their beautiful, antique filled homes, and they would fuss over him and spoil him rotten. I suppose it was the novelty of having a young boy around – something they weren't used to.

See, CJ?”, my friend explained, showing him an antique telephone. “People used to make calls on these. You had to turn the crank on the side. Then tell the operator what number you were trying to reach.”

CJ just loved the attention. “Awsome!” He would exclaim in wide-eyed wonder. Or if he saw something he really liked, often they would just give it to him. “Here, CJ, you should have it,” they'd say pressing it into his hand. “We can always get another."

But a few would take me aside once in a while and warn me. “He's very pretty, but I hope you know you're looking at prison time there.”

Then I would always thank them for their concern but add “I trust CJ completely. There's no way he'd ever say anything that would get me into trouble.” I was certain of that much, and always said so. One very outspoken female impersonator, who was a friend of ours, once told me, “that boy is going to be gay when he grows up. I can tell.”

It put me on the defensive for some reason. “Why do you say that?” I asked.

Because, look at how he acts. He's feminine and girlie. I was the same way at his age,” he said.

Then I laughed at what a clown CJ could be sometimes. “No he's just playing around when he acts like that,” I informed our gay friend. “He just does that stuff to mess with peoples minds when they're high. He doesn't act that way at home or at school or anyplace else.”

When I told CJ about it, he immediately slipped into his flawlessly accurate gay impersonation routine, laughing hysterically. “CJ, stop that,” I said, laughing also. “Do you want people to think that about you?”

I don't care that people think I'm gay,” He said. “I only do that to let our friends know I'm cool with it always.”

******

I started taking CJ to church. Don't ask me why. It just somehow seemed important -- and the right thing to do. I believe in the Lord, and I know how the power of prayer, and His comforting presence can get one through the toughest of times. I have learned one can depend on God while I was still very young and wanted CJ to know it too. The church we attended was a Nazarene church filled with families and other boys CJ's age for him to make friends with. Before Sunday services we would each attend an hour or so of Bible studies – me in the adult group – and CJ in the class for 12 to 14 year olds. Then we would reunite for the regular service.

The church also had an outreach program and street ministry to the homeless. This effort really appealed to CJ, perhaps because he and his mother had temporarily been in that situation more than once. On most Sunday mornings they would take a bus to the inner city, visit shelters, the Salvation Army, and other areas where the homeless congregate. They would offer them a ride to church, and a home-cooked hot meal after the services were over. The church had a school on the ground with a huge annex. Normally it was used either as a gym or a multipurpose room. But within this building rows of tables and chairs would be lined up into a makeshift dining room. That was here visitors would be fed. The actual cooking of the foods was done by volunteers in the church's kitchen -- mostly older ladies – all members of the congregation. CJ, along with several other boys, would transport plates of food from the kitchen to the tables and serve our guests. This seemed the perfect fit for a naturally friendly and out going boy like CJ. All the church ladies and volunteers were crazy about him. I even got into the spirit of things and helped clean up in the kitchen afterwards.

One of our gay friends was incredulous about it. “You're taking him to church?! he asked, as if I had lost my mind. “Oh my God, that kid is going to be so fucked up when he grows up. At least you could have done you both a favor and taken him to a gay church instead.” But I've never seen it that way. I still pray for boys I knew 30 years ago. So while we cannot examine the issue here in great detail, there are few reasons I can quickly outline for the reader to illustrate why there may be a legitimate basis for my belief.

Let me start by saying there is an important difference between being spiritual and being religious. Religion is more often about tradition – about man-made ideas handed down from one generation to the next. It's about what we think God wants or expects from us. These ideas are usually based upon one individual's interpretation of scriptural passages, which is undoubtedly influenced heavily by the cultural background and historical era in place when the interpreting was being done. In any event these ideas can very greatly from one religion to another, and in fact it is disagreements about spiritual meanings that separate the major religions to this day.

Spirituality on the other hand is more about developing a personal relationship with God and how He speaks to you in your heart through that relationship. It is based upon your own interpretation of Scripture as it's meaning for your life is revealed through prayer, study, and God's own spirit. It will differ slightly from one individual to the next because we all reflect different aspects of the Godhead, and therefore our spiritual journeys do not unfold in exactly the same way, or at the same rate. The love of boys is a spiritual love, because one senses a metaphysical sacredness in the boy. The boy and the boy lover both are important in the grand scheme of things. Both have a part to play in God's grand design.

The Bible is sometimes as note-worthy for what it doesn't say as for the issues it addresses. It is often overlooked that during the time the Christ walked the streets of Jerusalem, the Romans were were firmly in control of that entire part of the world, including all of the modern day Israel. The practice of boy love must have been widespread all around him, and Jesus could not have failed to notice it. He could have easily have addressed the issue head on, and you can bet if he would have spoken out against the practice, it would be mentioned somewhere in the Gospel. But there isn't any record of Jesus saying anything about homosexuality, let alone anything against intergenerational love. Instead Jesus seem to find the injustice, lack of compassion, and religious hypocrisy as far greater threats. Jesus seemed to have a cold hard response toward the more heartless sins like greed, envy, pride and judging another person. For example, contrast his compassion for the woman caught in the act of adultery with his response to the Pharisees whom he considered hypocrites.

In Matthew 8:5-13, the roman centurion comes to Jesus and begs him to heal a servant. Jesus' immediate reaction is to say “I will come and heal him.”

But the centurion answers, “Lord I am not worthy for you to come under my roof – but speak the word only and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority having soldiers under me. And I say to this man go and he goes, and to another, cometh and he cometh. And to my servant do this and he does it.”

Now when he heard this, Jesus marveled at the man's great faith, and says to him “go thy way. As thou hast believed, so it will be done onto thee.” We know from Scripture that the servant was healed. But the interesting thing about this passage is this: the original Greek word, that has always been translated as “servant” was actually “pais” which in Greek culture referred to a younger boy lover of an older more powerful educated man. The passage certainly suggests an intense love between the two. And Jesus' response was entirely positive. It was the man's faith that had pleased the Lord the most.

For a more exhaustive look at the issue of homosexuality and the Bible I would recommend the book “Homosexuality and Christianity” by Rev. Michael Piazza.

******

The apartment complex where we lived had a large fenced in swimming pool surrounded by a cement deck. Several lounge chairs were scared about the yard in case someone wanted to lie in the sun, along with a canopy covered metal table and chairs. Before letting CJ go out alone I went with them several times to make sure he could tread water, should be accidentally fall in. But we used the opportunity to play too. We would wade in until the water was about chest high. Then I ducked under and let him climb on my shoulders. Then holding my hands he tried to stand up and either dive or do a back flip off of me. Or he might just sit atop my shoulders, covering my eyes so I couldn't see, and leaning far to one side, try to topple us both into the water as I walked around. He liked to practice his underwater swimming skills by diving deep and then trying to swim between my legs and emerge on the other side. “You have to reach down, grab a hold of my hands, and pulled me through,” CJ instructed me, coming up for air.

Along the way CJ made friends with another boy his age named David. David had brown hair and eyes, and a face full of freckles. He was a quiet and polite kid, but most important to us we found out early on that we could trust him completely. So he was welcomed into our lives and hearts. Soon enough he became a fixture at our apartment, spending the night or accompanying us on outings etc. Best of all, he turned out to be a perfect companion and playmate for CJ during the summer vacation from school when I had reluctantly to leave him at home when I went to work. I grew to depend upon David's mother a lot then. She always kept one eye on both of them while I was away. In return I watched David for her when I was home.

Whenever I think about displays of affection in public between men and boys I always recall the following incident. One Saturday night the three of us -- CJ, David and I -- were at a bowling alley. We Rented our shoes and bowling balls and were assigned to a lane. I sat at the center console keeping our scores. I was embarrassed that our score card was being projected onto a large display screen above us. It was plain to see none of us were experienced bowlers. But we plodded on, determined to improve our skills.

When it was CJ's turn again he stood in the center of the alley and stared down at the end. With a look of pure concentration on his face, he drew the ball back, but when he tried to release it he found that his fingers had gotten stuck in the hole. So instead of the ball gliding smoothly down the lane, it went up in the air and landed with the thud. He frowned and started to turn away when David pointed and yelled “look!”

Unbelievably the ball had landed in the very center of the lane and was rolling ever so slowly toward the pins. We watched dumbfounded as it hit the front pin dead on, and then knocked all the rest of the pins down for one of the luckiest strikes I have ever seen. CJ yelled “yeah,” pumping his fists in the air. “I'm the best bowler of us three.” He ran over to where I sat at a small desk and jumped into my lap saying excitedly, let me see my score now. Add it up for me. I'll bet I'm winning!” David had also come over, and wrapping one arm around my neck, bent over us at the scorecard, this cheek brushing against mine.

Well let's see,” I said, slipping my arm around CJ's midsection and leaning forward with him. The three were so comfortable together I thought nothing of it while I marked our card. But when I glanced over at the people next to us I realized we were drawing a lot of unwanted attention and stares to ourselves because of it. “Better hop down, Buddy,” I said, urging CJ back unto his feet.

What's wrong?” He asked with a confused look on his face.

I sighed and answered, “everyone thinks you are too big to be sitting on my lap.”

Huh?” He looked around. “So who gives a fuck what they think?” he asked irritably. Then he stuck his tongue out at two older women who were watching us closely. I could see one mutter “Oh, my,” before turning away. It tickled me to think that lady must have thought CJ was about the worst boy ever.

But this kind of misunderstanding is no laughing matter. Given the state of near hysteria surrounding our love and relationships, even strangers can pose a threat and cause unbelievable harm. We boy- lovers must present our relationships to the world in a very socially acceptable fashion. We can be his uncle, stepparent or even big Brother. But to become too affectionate with one another at the wrong time is a dead give away the relationship has crossed forbidden lines. Once the two of you been together a while you can easily become so accustomed to physical touch and affection between yourselves that it becomes easy to go too far in public without even realizing it. The boys personal space and boundaries have become enlarged so that now they include you. But while he may have granted you complete access to himself, other adults are not given this privilege, and he will continue to keep them at arm's length.

******

After turning 13 CJ came to me one afternoon and announced “there's a girl in the apartments that likes me. Is it cool if I have a girlfriend?”

CJ,” I said excitedly. “That's great. I think its wonderful in fact. If you want to take her out, I can give you to a ride to the movies or something and pick you up afterwards, and give you some money for popcorn and stuff. Would you like that?”

Yeah,” he said then added with a sly grin “Well, there is one more thing." He hesitated.

What is it Buddy?” I asked like a dope.

I was thinking,” he continued, “since you're not going to be using it for anything, anyways, why don't you let me take your dick when I take her out?”

CJ,” I exclaimed drawing back from him and pretending horror. “I'm shocked.”

He got a big kick out of my reaction. “Hey! I'm only kidding,” he said. But as he walked away he glance back over his shoulder at me and added, “It's not big enough to do that with anyhow.” The way he said the word that left no doubt as to what he was talking about.

Geez, I thought, this boy of mine is really more sophisticated than he seems at first glance.

******

Chapter 8: Our Journey Ends, But a New One Begins

CJ had just turned 14 when I finally lost him. I can still recall that day in vivid detail. His mother's unexpected knock at the door, and both of us knowing right away something was wrong. She came in with a worried frown on her face, and then sat on the edge of the couch wringing her hands together nervously. CJ and I both looked at one another with growing concern as she began to speak, trying to make the news as upbeat as possible. “CJ”, she began. “You will never believe who finally got in touch with me. Your father called me at work and said he'd been trying to find us for a while now. I guess he was able to track us through my job or something. Anyhow, he's settled down now with a wife and family. He wants to see and get to know you before you grow all the way up. He wants you to meet your step brother and sister too. Wouldn't that be nice?”

CJ looked at her incredulously. “No thanks,” he said. “I'd rather just stay here.” She looked over at me helplessly and I knew then she hadn't been given a choice in the matter.

Unfortunately,” she began with a sigh, “he has a legal right to see you CJ. If he were to challenge me in court for custody of you I would lose you altogether then. It would be hard to prove me an fit guardian. Heck, I can barely take care of myself, let alone a boy your age. He doesn't even know about you living here with Rick,” she continued. “There's nothing I can do about it.”

CJ edged over closer to me, tears welling up in his eyes. “But I don't want to go. He never had time for me before. Why all of a sudden now?” He took my hand. “Hey, I know. You could go to court and get custody of me,” he pleaded.

I took him into my arms and tried to comfort him. “Believe me buddy, if I thought there was even a chance of that I would do it tomorrow, but there is no court in the country that grant me custody of you over your natural father. So far it may only be for the summer. Maybe after that, if you still want to, he will let you come back here for school next year. But I promise you CJ, that whatever happens you will always have a place here with me if you need it. But we can still keep in touch and see each other on my vacations and do stuff together. It isn't goodbye forever.”

And just like that he was gone – leaving out of my life as quickly as he had entered it. But memories of him remained in the apartment everywhere I looked. The transformer accidentally left behind on the closet floor, the pictures I had taken of him and me at Six Flags Amusement Park, and the drawing he made of me that day while waiting for me to pick him up. I had rediscovered it in a dresser drawer a few weeks after he left and it brought tears to my eyes. It was a crude child's sketch of two figures , one larger and one smaller entering a set of door double doors. He told me it was a picture of me and him going to the movies when proudly presenting it to me that day. Across the bottom he had written, “to my big brother Rick. Love, your little brother, CJ.”

But phone calls helped to keep a connection of sorts going between us. Our conversations were loaded with code words and references to things that would only make sense to us, just in case anyone should be listening in. But it was the reassurance we both sought and needed – to know that we still cared deeply for each other – that nothing would ever change our feelings. Here is a typical call we would have.

CJ: I miss you. When can you come to see me? I told my dad I have a big brother who really was good to me, and helped me a lot, and he wants to meet you too.

Me: I should be able to come up there soon as we're finished with this three months job buddy. How's everybody treating you?

CJ: Okay. My little stepbrother is fun to play with. But my dad only gives me a little allowance each week. Can you send some money?

Me: How much going to do that?

CJ: Just write me a letter and put it inside. They won't open my mail.

Me: Alright buddy. Start watching the mailbox for letter for me in a day or two. Your girlfriend and David both have come over asking about you several times. Is it okay to give them your phone number so that they can call you?

Then, on and on, it would go. But our conversation always ended in the same way.

CJ: I love you.

Me: Love you too. Be a good boy.

I moped around the now quiet and empty apartment, not even wanting to see any one. I phoned a friend we had stayed with during our trip to Six Flags Amusement Park and he gave me some really helpful advice. “Man, that's tough. I know how much you two cared for each other. It was obvious. Hey, it's natural to miss him, but look at it this way. Just be grateful for the time you did get to spend together. You helped him through a pretty rough period of time in his life, and he'll always remember you for that. He is better off having known you as a friend than he would have been if you've never met. And I think you'll agree that you're better off too. That's the best we can hope for in this life isn't? That we believe that people we cross paths with – the ones who become a part of our life – are better off than when we found them?” I hadn't thought of it that way, and his take on the situation helped me to feel a little better .

Thanks, I needed to hear that,” I told him honestly.

A few weeks later, I ventured out to see if anything had changed at the Southside Recreation Center where I used to take CJ. It was there I first taught him how to shoot pool, and got him interested in the game. He actually became a pretty good shot too. We both have gotten to know the guy who managed to place, and I knew he'd been wondering why he hadn't seen this in so long.

After exchanging pleasantries, I explained our absence then played a few practice games by myself. But everyone else there seemed so preoccupied with their own little groups and activities, I soon grew bored and ended up missing CJ more than ever. It just wasn't the same without my little buddy there, so after about an hour, I got ready to go.

On the way out I barely noticed the young boy sitting on the curb in up front. It wasn't that unusual to see a kid waiting like that for parents to pick them up. But this boy seemed different. His posture was all wrong. He looked dejected sitting hunched over there, his head in his hands. Some gut feelings told me to go check on him so I froze in my tracks and circled back to where he sat. He noticed me standing there and using one hand as a visor to shield his eyes from the bright sun, he squinted up at me. I could tell right away he been crying. One entire side of his face was being red as if someone had slapped him hard. “Looks like you've been in a fight,” I said to him. He looked quickly away, down at his feet.

My step father hit me so I ran away,” he said. I knelt down in front of him and rubbed his arm.

I'm sorry to hear that,” I said. “There, let me take a look.” I moved two of his fingers away and examined the bloodshot eye. “Well it might turn a little black and blue, but it'll be okay.” I said.

I looked around quickly. What could I do? What was the penalty for “harboring a runaway?” I couldn't remember, I was pretty certain it was still a misdemeanor. “Listen,” I said my hand still resting on his arm. “There's a carnival going on right now to benefit the Lena Pope Home for children. I was thinking of going there and checking out the rides and games – and I might stop someplace on the way to eat. Are you hungry? Anyhow, you're more than welcome to come along if you want to. I'll leave that up to you. If you want to go, just meet me at my car, over there. Okay?” And with that I got up and slowly began walking toward the parking lot and my car without looking back. Before I was even halfway there the boy had caught up and was walking quietly beside me.

But that, dear readers, is another story.

Conclusion

This I will remember when the rest of life is through:

the finest thing I've ever done is simply loving you.

Robert Sexton

Well, this effort must end some place, and I guess this is as good a place as any. From the start, a main objective in writing this has been to educate and shed light on a very controversial subject. It is primarily directed at members of the general public whose only knowledge and information about intergenerational love has come through the mainstream media sources, and old episodes of Law and order. This alternate viewpoint has been presented to the reader from the rather unique and often overlooked perspective of an actual boy lover, and represents knowledge acquired through direct observation and experiences, which in my opinion is also rare. If I have challenged or caused the reader to reconsider their long-held beliefs about the practice, then I will have succeeded in my original goal. The Chinese have an ancient saying that goes, “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” I believe that same basic logic can be applied in any battle to change hearts and minds. This is one of many single steps taken in that direction. The forces allied against us seek to erase every trace of intergenerational love from the historical record. That cannot be allowed to happen. From now on those of us who call ourselves “boy lovers,” must act in a responsible manner, and be on our best behavior, so as not to give our enemies further cause to speak evil of us.

To summarize, my main message to the reader is that there are five key points that formed the basis for my defense of intergenerational love area:

One. The boys who are available for an intergenerational relationship will nearly always be those society might call delinguents, and/or those experiencing significant problems in their young lives. Many times their frustrated parents or caregivers have been largely incapable or unwilling to deal with the emotional, psychological or behavioral issues that have made the boys so unmanageable. As a result they may well be suffering from outright neglect, and will have a much greater degree of personal freedom to come and go as they please than is usually given to boys their age. Their bad behavior is often a cry for attention and love, and if necessary they will look outside the family unit to get their needs met. These boys may choose to make themselves available for an intergenerational love relationship simply for the help they might receive if the opportunity presented itself. Parents or caregivers, who oftentimes consider the boy to be damaged goods, will usually welcome the boy lovers outside help and influence, figuring there is little to lose in giving them a chance to make a difference. Reaching out to boys such as these and restoring them through love in a one to one relationship was the original purpose and place a boy love is society.

Two. Many of us have become as capable as any counselor or therapist that's helping boys who are having special problems in life. Along the way we have learned a thing or two about the effect and long term consequences of shared sexual experience with a boy. The boy will mostly be able to give an informed consent to the sexual experience when he has gained a level of intellect and maturity by which he would be considered legally responsible for his actions by a court of law if he were to commit a serious felony. The legal liability varies from state to state but generally begins around 10 or 11. If the sexual experience occurs within the context of a close friendship based upon love, where the boy has welcomed the experience and found it pleasurable and nurturing, then there is little threat of any damage or long-term ill effects to the boy from such experiences. In fact, through such close intimacy they even confer a benefit in some situations. Shared sexual experiences foster a deep physical intimacy and comfortability with one another like nothing else can. Because they are so closely linked together physical intimacy naturally leads to a greater emotional intimacy as well. A deeper connection begins to develop between the boy and the man through which the adult gains and influence over the boy that the parents or other adults never had. This weightier influence is necessary to help a troubled boy. In establishing this kind of intimacy with him the walls the boy may have thrown up around his heart and feelings to protect them come tumbling down. What has been repressed in the emotions and hid from everybody else is finally revealed and brought to the surface where it can be dealt with. It is one of the most effective means of gaining access to a troubled boys psyche I've ever seen. It is in his vulnerability, when he finally feel safe enough to let his guard down, that growth and change can begin. When you hold and cuddle him in your arms you are also giving comfort and love to his wounded and neglected inner child. Feelings that are expressed and communicated to him in a physical manner through shared sexual intimacy seem more real to him and carry more weight simply because the boy is naturally more action oriented and demonstrative in all of his affairs. He knows his adult friend and mentor genuinely loves him and has his best interest at heart and he will interpret the giving and receiving of physical comfort and pleasure as evidence that he is valued cherished and loved.

Three. The intergenerational relationship generally takes place during a time or phase in a boy's life when he is naturally more open to sexual experimentation including homosexuality. If left alone boys will often first satisfy their curiosity about sex with one another, perhaps while spending the night together. In general the friendship a boy develops with an adult in the intergenerational love relationship closely mirrors or resembles the friendship he might develop with another boy his same age. Both take about the same course to. There is a natural progression of a affection that begins with shared interests and mutual affection between the two, which leads into the two becoming best friends or buddies before long. At this point the friendship becomes special and is set apart from the other friendships a boy may have. As their friendship is put to the test through shared experiences, both good and bad, and found to be steadfast, then the bond of camaraderie between them will continue to deepen and grow. As the two become more and more comfortable together they will move into increasing emotional and physical closeness. This is when sexual experimentation will generally take place. In a sense, you could say it is the ultimate expression of their friendship, since it signals that deep level of trust that has been established between them. This kind of deep connection to another person is how a largely neglected boy learns to form attachments to others, if he was unable to form an adequate attachment to his parents as an infant. But even though the course the friendship takes is the same whether it is between a boy and an adult, or between the boy and another boy, there are some major differences. The adult in the intergenerational relationship has the potential to be a much bigger help to the boy than a peer would. For it is the role and responsibility of the adults in the intergenerational relationship to use his accumulated knowledge and financial resources to negotiate the adult world on the boy's behalf, and access whatever is needed to help them in his particular situation.

Four. These relationships are not designed to last for ever. Once the issues that led a particular boy into becoming available for an intergenerational love relationship have been addressed and resolved to his satisfaction he will be ready to begin the process of closure and transition into the next stage of his growth and development. For about 90% of boys this means moving into heterosexuality and dating girls. Closure is obtained when a particular stage exhausted itself, and there is no room for further growth in that area. When all questions have been answered and there is no mystery left to solve, that phase begins drawing to a close. But while one door may be closing another is opening into what comes next. One cannot begin writing a new chapter in one's life without knowing how the previous chapter ends. Most boys transition seamlessly out of the sexual experimentation phase of their growth and development, which includes same-sex attraction and intergenerational love relationships, and move into heterosexuality without any problem. However an inability to successfully transition from one of the stages to the next occasionally does happen, and is called arrested development. That is one of the primary causes of adult homosexuality since the individual becomes stranded, so to speak, in the earlier more in immature stage of their sexual growth and development – in other words the same sex attraction phase. In arrested development the individual continues to grow intellectually and physically but remains stuck at a younger age emotionally and sexually. It is most often traumatic experiences in a young boy's life that causes arrested development and not the intergenerational love relationship. Physical abuse and beating at the hands of an alcoholic stepparent, unwanted or forced sexual activities, or even the upheaval that surrounds the accidental discovery of an intergenerational love relationship could all qualify as traumatic experiences, depending on the individual. Again it has to do with one's temperament. What is a tremendous event for one will be something someone else can simply shrug off. If one is repeatedly overwhelmed by profoundly upsetting experiences, he will circle his wagons to protect himself from attack. It will have become too risky to venture out into uncharted territory, and it will seem preferable to remain within one's limited zone of safety.

Five. The adult incentive to help the boy does not stem entirely from an unselfish or altruistic desire to do something good for someone, for the adult has needs that are met through the relationship as well. Though he is primarily homosexual in orientation, his need to parent a child, or more specifically, to pass on his accumulated wisdom and knowledge to a son, are all satisfied through his relationship with the boy. Though he may be sexually attracted to the boy, that isn't altogether a bad thing, for it is through the sexual attraction factor that the man is thereby enabled to fall in love with the boy. It provides the driving force that keeps the adult interested in the boy's well-being and sufficiently motivated to stay the course with him and do whatever is necessary to help him. He appreciates the natural protection and sheer physical beauty of the boy and cherishes his presence and companionship. He desires above all that the boy will find reasons to stay and not leave the relationship. He has learned however the boy cannot be fooled. He is highly intelligent and intuitive, and he can quickly sense an adult's true intentions, and whether or not he is being used or exploited to make the adults needs for sexual gratification, for some other reason. If he finds the adult does not have his best interests at heart, he will leave the relationship. If necessary he will seek outside help from the authorities to end any relationship that has become harmful or abusive. The threat of losing his young friend keeps the boy lover in line. Thus there is a system of checks and balances within the intergenerational love relationship which holds each to a certain standard of personal morality and conduct in order that the relationship can survive. The boy feels the pressure as much as the man. If he finds that the relationship has been invaluable in meeting his needs, he want to continue and do his part to work on his issues and protect the relationship from discovery. Through the deep connection he has forged with the adult friend, he feels increasingly loved and cared for. A natural chemistry exists between a man and a boy but in the intergenerational relationship by which each stands to benefit and gain from the experience.

******

And now I will close out with a final message for CJ.

I was only a small part of your life but I hope you'll look back on the time you spent with me as the happiest and most worthwhile of your childhood. If someday you should get a hold of a copy of this, and in reading it recognize yourself as the boy written about in these pages, I hope you'll forgive me for sharing a part of our story with others. Believe me, it was only out of respect for our friendship and love that I do so. I believe that our love for one another was as legitimate and real as any other, and deserves to take its place alongside the other great loves that have been remembered and celebrated throughout history. So now I have made a permanent record of it, and I hope you'll find this meager effort of mine acceptable. Without your words and input it could not have been written. So thank you, beautiful soul. I learned so much more from you than you ever did for me. Now. as the winter of my years approaches, and life grows colder, it is my memory of you and the wonderful light, love, and joy you've brought into my life that sustains me and warms my heart.

Be well, do good, and may God bless!

The end

PS: I would like to hear your comments about what I've written. Have I changed your opinion of intergenerational love at all? Would you be interested in hearing more from me on this subject in the future? I welcome your criticisms as well. You can contact me through this web page.

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