Alphonse from Germany
One day I was walking around after school with my sister and we found a porn magazine on the street. It was already a bit wet so the pages stuck together. We worked so hard trying to separate all of them. My parents were traveling so a friend of my parents was looking after us. After school my sister and I spread out all of these wet pages all over the whole room. We just found it so interesting, looking from page to page. Then this friend of my parents came home and we said, “Oh we found something! Come and have a look!” We were so proud. In the first moment she was interested, oh what did you find? But her facial expression quickly changed to disgust and she said, “Oh no, you have to throw it away!” I thought why? It wasn’t sexual to us, it was just interesting to see all of these pictures. Still, I just threw it away and we never talked about it again. I don’t think she mentioned it to my parents either.
Not long after, we were visiting a friend of my parents who was gay. I was bored while the adults were in the kitchen talking, so I started looking around his flat. I found this big library and between the books, I found another porn magazine but this time it was a gay porn magazine.
I looked at it and didn’t like it somehow. Then I looked further and I found a heterosexual porn magazine. It was called Pleasure.There were thee erotic stories in the magazine and I can still remember all of them. So I took it home. I stole it. I found it so interesting I had to look at it more.
In German school we had actually a really good sex education. I think it started when we were in 5th grade. It was also common to have this book at home to teach kids about sex and it was quite explicit. I remember there was this photo of a penis and a vagina and part of it was funny to us but it was explained really well. What was missing is maybe the emotional part of sexuality but that’s maybe difficult with kids. Anyway, I knew the technicalities of sex from quite early on but seeing this porn magazine was really interesting and forbidden so I had to take it home with me.
I had experiences with erections before and I had touched myself, but I always felt there was a bodily reaction that was too intense so I didn’t continue. It was just too much. But then I had this porn magazine and I was really excited so I started to touch myself again. What once was too intense, was now really exciting. The energy was rising and then suddenly I had my first ejaculation. It was really scary because suddenly it just happened.
I was aware of the concept of ejaculation but I had read in books that it usually happened during sleep. I was really looking forward to wet dreams but then when this ejaculation happened, it was almost scary, like something broke. I felt a bit guilty because I thought that because I had my first ejaculation with pornography, somehow my system was messed up. I thought maybe I didn’t experience wet dreams like other boys because I had broken something.
Unfortunately, the porn magazine kind of got lost after a while. It was cool to talk in school about this stuff and say, “Oh I have a porn magazine.” Of course all of my friends wanted to see it and borrow it. Then one friend gave it to another friend and then it was just gone. I felt so stupid, for five minutes you are the cool guy because you can say here is this magazine but then it’s gone.
I always had quite an interest for porn. I often felt guilty for that but also somehow joy. My relationship with my parents was a bit twisted or complicated and I think that was very much intertwined. I felt really guilty having sexual urges at all. I had been taught that it was ok to have sex if you are in love but the wish to have sex without being in love was practically abuse. I didn’t allow myself the thought of wanting sex, which made masturbation kind of weird. I wanted love but with hindsight, I think I just confused the two things. I really wished to love and to be loved, but it would have been more honest to say that I just wanted sex. It just wasn’t possible to allow myself to have those thoughts.
My mother was abused as a child and I think she gave me a real messed up self-image and idea about sexuality. In this self image, male sexuality equaled rapeism and aggressiveness. Because of this, I didn’t end up actually having sex until I was 22. I couldn’t let myself want to touch someone or want to be physical with someone because I wanted to be loving and not like all of the “other guys.” I think that mostly came from my mom and it was really hard to get around this idea. This idea manifests in how you act and then it becomes your reality.
My father was absent at times and then when he was there, he wasn’t really present so he wasn’t a good role model. The main emotional influencer was my mother and I think she was really messed up. When my sister started having boyfriends, my mother was often so tense and scared of what would happen. One time when my sister’s boyfriend was at our place, my mom called me into her room and told me I had to go up to my sister’s room and kick her boyfriend out. They were just kissing but for my mom, they were doing terrible things. So I had to go in and say, “Hey I’m sorry but you need to go now.”
My mother was a really intelligent, structured type of person but not very physical or emotional. As soon as things crossed over into this physical or emotional realm, it was just a bottomless pit. This was the atmosphere in our home. These topics just didn’t exist. It was like there was a rational world that was in a way open-minded but as soon as it came into this body world, it’s danger and panic mode. I think this really shaped me in a way. I enjoyed al of my first sexual experiences, but they were always followed by immense guilt. Years later I finally understood that I was actually feeling guilty about being a man or being male. It’s kind of messed up.
Even now almost at forty, I haven’t figured out this balance between masculinity and sexuality. Eventually I managed to acknowledge that I really enjoy sex and that that’s ok. It was really hard for me even to do that though. I really had to fight this feeling of being guilty just for being there or for the act of wanting sex itself. Wanting sex seemed aggressive in a way. This was really the first step.