My parents told me the facts of life very young, with frogs and dogs as prime examples. The result: when I was about five my mother and I were walking past a church when a bride and groom and their guests came out. We stopped to look and I asked in a loud, clear voice: ‘Mummy, when will the mating be?’ She blushed scarlet and hurried me away.
If I could have gone to school with girls I think I would have related to them very naturally. Until I was eight I was at a mixed school in the village. I thought boys were rough and noisy and silly, so during break, while they played at jumping on an old car at the bottom of the garden, I sat on the grass with the girls making daisy chains and telling stories. Then we moved to London and I was sent to a boys’ school. Calamity!
When I was thirteen, at my own request, I was sent to a boys’ boarding school in the country. I had a heavy crush on an older boy in the first year, and on a younger one in the second year. If some authority figure had told me at that time that I had to ‘accept my sexuality’, I might well have decided that I was homosexual. In the third year I met my little friend’s sister and transferred my affections to her, but she always seemed like an unattainable goddess.
Out in the world I longed for a young woman, but I could never ask one for sex. It was not that I did not know the theory; as Richard Feynman said ‘You just ask ‘em.’ But I was always interested in women as whole people and not as sex objects, and I felt as though asking would demean them. For that matter, when women offered themselves to me I ran a mile. So I arrived at thirty a virgin and then got married. Very boring! I just thought I’d say, in case anybody wondered.
I attach a short article about sexuality.
P J Stewart,
16 Feb 2010, 02:49