Bo from Belgium
When I was thirteen, I found a book on my mom’s nightstand called Mieke Maaike’s Obscene Youth by Louis Boon. He’s a great writer and well-respected in in Flemish culture. Most of his work is quite serious except for this particular book, which was a satiric, pornographic story about a girl named Mieke Maaike from the time she is nine to nineteen.
The cover was nice and caught my eye, it was pink with a picture of a woman posed seductively. I didn’t know what the word obscene meant so I asked my mom. She said that it is something that you are not supposed to talk about. So you can see how that peaked my interest. I asked her if I could read the book and since she was very sleepy, she said yes. Immediately my dad, who was also in the room, almost lost his shit and yelled “NO!”
As to be expected, whenever nobody was home I would sit in my parent’s bedroom and read the book. It contained among other things, a lot of pedophilia. Then there was bestiality, a lot of violence, consensual and non-consensual, there was incest, forced incest and all sorts of other things. It was really driven from the character herself though; almost every situation was something that she really pushed for.
(EDITORS NOTE: for brevity I have cut most of the description of the book but it is actually really shocking, interesting and worth checking out. Check out the Wikipedia article.) Or, you can watch this very confusing and funny Youtube I found of what I assume is these two women reading from the book.
The whole book is about Mieke Maaike trying to go out and have more intense sexual experiences. As soon as she does one thing, it’s no longer exciting so she has to push the boundaries further. It starts off pretty innocent but then it escalates incredibly quickly. Soon sex is not enough and that’s when it goes from downright problematic to insanely problematic. She needs it to be provocative, cross peoples’ boundaries and hurt people.
Reading the story, parts of it gave me the tingles. I knew it was not real but I got confused by what I would get tingles from. If I was getting turned on by things like non-consent or bestiality, what does that say about me?
By that time I had had a little bit of sex ed in school, but not enough to really understand a lot of elements about sexuality.
My brother and I used to go online and play games where we would like run a restaurant or something random. There was one game though that we never really cracked, though, we attempted it a lot. It was called Orgasm Girl. You get this anime girl wearing clothes and you have toys you can use and your goal is to go from the situation you are in, to making the girl orgasm without waking her up. If the nipples get hard, you get points and with those points you can buy things like scented candles. There is this meter of how asleep she is and another meter of how turned on she is. It was exciting but also I think we just didn’t realize yet that it was something that most people would be embarrassed about or keep to themselves.
The only person I think I told was a neighbor boy my brother and I played with a lot. He was usually involved in a lot of the things we got into. He was the only kid on our street and he was one year younger than me and one year older than my brother, so that worked out. The three of us used to play together a lot but I stopped when I was around thirteen. They still played together, but I kind of kept away. When I noticed that I wasn’t playing with them any more, I wondered why I had stopped.
I was bored one day and wanted to revive that relationship so I went to go and play with the two again. The neighbor kid said that he wanted to play doctor. I already knew, no, this is not gonna fly. I kept trying to play something else but he kept pushing. So I told him ok, but I would be the doctor. He pushed back and demanded that I be the patient. He wore me down until finally I was the patient.
I laid on the bed. I had this turtleneck sweatshirt on slightly pulled up and he told me I had to pull my sweater up more.
“Why?” I asked.
“You just have to.”
“Why? I told you I am not doing it, why would I?”
Then my brother of all people, blurts out,
“Otherwise we can’t touch your boobs.”
First of all, I think they were between grape and kiwi size. I know some girls hit puberty earlier but that was not my case.
I stormed off angrily and ran into my neighbor’s mom on the way. I blurted it all out and she got really angry with him. Rightfully so. I think she also felt that I was too naive, which I guess to a point, I was.
I understood the concept of playing doctor and knew it was something that I wasn’t interested in. I think maybe they made jokes about playing doctor or something like that in some TV series. I don’t know where it came from but I had this instant no.
Whenever I would get bored, I would go onto these chat rooms where basically everyone is in this common chat but if you wanted you could enter a private chat with someone. I think I started doing this around fourteen, but of course I would pretend I was older. Just a few years to make it a bit better to talk about sexuality with me. Guys would always ask me to go into a private chat with them. We would start out just talking, then, after a while, they would always ask to meet up. I always said no because it felt very “stranger danger.” I didn’t want to meet up with someone somewhere, especially with an older dude.
Transport wise, I wasn’t super mobile either and if this guy had a car or a motorcycle, I’m fucked, or I could be. I mainly just wanted to text. Sometimes there were guys who, after a while, would freak out about me not wanting to meet up and say things like,
“Well, I want to meet you and talk! Don’t you like me?”
I would say, “yeah, I like you, but respect what I am saying
Sometimes they would blow up at me. Sometimes after a while, they would start to use emotional blackmail. I sent one guy cover art I had made for a school assignment and he said it wasn’t good. I asked why and he said, he wouldn’t tell me unless I agreed to see him. I told him I wasn’t going to do that, and he knew it. So he said, fine, I guess you will never know. It was just a stupid school thing, I didn’t actually care. I don’t know what he thought he had on me but that was not it.
Some of these people lived really close to me and it started to get scary after a while. The worst was when for some reason, I told this guy who really wanted to meet up, which house I lived in. I would see him bike by through the windows sometimes. I knew he couldn’t see me because we had really reflective windows but it got a little bit too far. I didn’t know what to do anymore.
At a certain point, I was in the computer room chatting with him and there are these things in messenger where you can type a certain key combination then a GIF or emoji that you assigned to that combination will appear. This guy, I think accidently, sent a GIF of this animated couple in a naughty position with the dude just smashing into her.
My dad was in the room and I knew that first of all, my dad could see this and might be angry at me for not doing anything about this. Then I also realized, this is my shot.
I went, “Eew dad, look what the dude sent!”
My dad got on the keyboard and said it was Bo’s father and that he better stop and leave me alone.
I didn’t really mind the animated thing so much. I can handle two people having sex on the screen. But I knew that my dad would be offended and I knew I didn’t want any contact with this dude. I just didn’t know how to approach it because I didn’t want to be a dick.
He never contacted me again.
The sex ed we got was pretty good overall. I first got it when I was twelve and then each year of high school after that. Somewhere around 6th year, there was a weekend where we all went away with the teachers to this Abbey and there was sex ed there as well. I remember seeing a model of a uterus right before we went to lunch. I did not like that. Actually it wasn’t so much the uterus, the uterus was ok, it was just a plastic thingie but the guy showing it had so much junk coming out of his ears. That is what really disgusted me. I lied though and told everyone it was the uterus.
Then later in our sex ed, I think when I was seventeen, there was a picture of a penis in one of our handbooks. One of my male classmates said it was a really ugly penis and I was like it is? I didn’t think it’s ugly. I mean it’s not pretty but it’s not ugly either. Then I started wondering what other penises looked like. I wasn’t sexually active yet so I had no idea.
I went to a Catholic School and so we had religion classes. It wasn’t just blasting about Jesus, we also learned about different religions. Mostly Judaism and Islam. Then there was also morality. In this class, we would also have assignments where we would have to think about a certain situation and what it would do to us.
I only remember one particular one which was; if you are in a relationship and your partner still masturbates, do you think that is ok?
I hadn’t even kissed anyone so I didn’t know. In a way it seems kind of gross but in another way, I am not involved, he’s not doing it with someone else, it seems pretty ok. I was having that inner discussion, while not wanting to really say anything to the group. Eventually, a loud and obnoxious girl in my group told the teacher that I didn’t have an answer. The teacher came and said it was fine if I didn’t have an answer; the assignment was to think about it, not to get the right answer. I was like fuck, thank you.
Overall we got taught quite a lot about sex in school. I think it’s also a little bit about us being the prestige school. We were one of those schools where everybody leaves with a bigger ego than they came in with. We would learn way more than the curriculum dictated. If we were supposed to learn 3,000 words of French, you could bet your ass we would all know at least 4,000. We were supposed to be the cream of the crop, and you can’t have the cream of the crop getting pregnant.
I was really surprised when I had my first sexual partner because he didn’t know a lot of the things I had been taught in sex ed. We went through the same system kind of but in Belgium we have a three path education system.
First path prepares you for university, second is more technical so you could study further but you could also just get a job after school and third path prepares you for a certain profession. I went to the one that prepares you for university and he went to the lower one so I guess there might be a difference there. It was confusing for me that he didn’t know these things. I had to teach him a lot about things like birth control and safe sex. I guess not everyone in Belgium got as good of a sex education as I did.