Open menu


Open menu


Open menu
three pairs of lovers with space



The following is one of the sections of the eleventh chapter of Dr. Parker Rossman’s Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys (originally published in 1976), which he entitled "The Consenting Boys" since, as he explained in the introduction to it, most of the three hundred boys he interviewed had taken the initiative and most of the rest had already imagined themselves ready and willing. The experiences described would seem all to have been then recent ones in the U.S.A.


Types of Pederast Relationships

Before discussing why boys become sexually involved with men, we here note the most common types of man-boy relationships. It is important to point out that these relationships exist and are not noticed because for the most part they are natural, platonic, and take place with parental sanction.

Most man-boy sex is episodic, an occasional experience as a part of a meaningful relationship which essentially is not sexual at all. It is characteristic of boys to minimize the sexual aspects of a relationship even when its intent is largely erotic.

1. Most common is what has previously been called the sports comrade. A man and a boy spend a great deal of time together because of some enthusiastic, common interest, such as baseball, fishing, or stamp collecting. Most such relationships are platonic, rarely involving intentional sexual activity, and certainly no seduction. Programs like the “Big Brothers” seek to encourage such platonic relationships, to make constructive use of the possibility. Once in a while — no one knows how often — some sexual activity develops as a result of mutual affection.

2. The employee-employer relationship is the second natural structure for man-boy sex play. The pederast who goes overseas seeking an erotic relationship with a boy is likely to employ the youngster as servant or guide — as the medieval gentleman had his page or squire; as early businessmen in Brazil brought boys from Portugal for bed companions by hiring them as shop boys; as master craftsmen have sought apprentices who interested them sexually. While more true overseas than in the United States, and more true on the Continent than in England, the largest single category of boys we interviewed were those who were employed in some capacity by a pederast. Not all were grocery delivery boys or yard-workers by any means. Some were actors, models, vendors at sports events, or were involved in other unusual and enticing work.

3. A traditional form of pederasty is the “patron” relationship, whereby a man sponsored a boy, trading his help in getting an education, learning a trade, or advancing in a business in exchange for sexual favors. Patronage continues in many forms even today, especially with disadvantaged boys. Sometimes such an arrangement begins with a sexual contract, more often the relationship is authentically what it seems to be, with sexual incidents developing later, and perhaps only occasionally. We found it true over and over again that when deep friendship and affection developed in such a relationship, the boy often took the sexual initiative as an expression of appreciation, not knowing any other favor he could return, when and if he became aware that the man was sexually aroused or interested.

4. Another pederast structure is the club of one sort or another — and it may be a delinquent gang or a baseball team — where a man becomes a volunteer leader of a group of boys. More often the pederast is an older teenager who takes a group of younger boys under his wing and plays with them as an equal, including their sex play. One such group, in which the sexual activity gradually descended from group masturbation to mutual masturbation, and then to oral and anal intercourse, began when the pederast was only sixteen, but has continued until the present across fourteen years, with boys dropping out as they reach the age of fifteen or so and younger boys continually taking their place. This sounds like a slum gang, when in actual fact it is an underground group in a wealthy suburb, and the sex is apparently incidental — the boys are really attracted to one another by a common interest in playing rock music and glue-sniffing.

Hitchhikers, 1970s

5. Hustling and hitchhiking — with the former more likely to be lower-middle-class and ghetto boys, and the latter upper-middle-class boys — are two forms of the same adventurism. Some boys seem to have an undisciplinable desire to explore what lies beyond the rim of consciousness, to have new experiences, which, according to Zweig,[1] is not tamed by duty or law in their quest. Apparently they are spurred on in part by a sexual restlessness which in a sense makes every adolescent a pre-delinquent. Such desires and drives lead boys into sex games with girls, prostitutes, older women, other boys, men, into “beating up queers for kicks,” smashing windows, stealing. As one boy said: “My parents tried to keep a close rein on me, but I broke loose when I was about fourteen, and now they’ve given up. All they ask is that I stay away from hard drugs and keep out of jail. My dad plays around some with girls, just like I fool around some with my uncle. Mostly I hitchhike for the excitement. You never know who you’ll meet next, or what will happen when a driver asks: ‘Where are you going?’ and I answer: ‘I don’t know. You got any good ideas?’ I get wined, dined and you know what, but not until I’ve been to the races, or skydiving, or to an amusement park.” This seems to confirm what a pederast said of such boys: “Like teen-age soldiers at Times Square, they go prowling not merely to meet sex needs but also to have a good time in the spirit set by the entire entertainment industry, which glamorizes sex games as the sport of the glamour set — the movie stars and others who are the idols of youth. Those who are adventurous and loners prowl around, at least in their imaginations, looking for adventure, excitement, sex, anything. Increasingly they constitute a subterranean society, another world of their own that no one knows is there.”

6. The hustling boy who directly or indirectly solicits men is often seeking a relationship as an adventure. Duvert[2] points out that it is true that such adventuring may have sex or other varied experience as its goal in some cases, but that more often a boy is seeking money to take a girl out, or simply wants to exchange his favors for tickets to sports events or a trip. Such an adventuring boy would be horrified at the thought that he is a boy prostitute, for what most of them are really looking for is an uncle relationship, which is Duvert’s phrase for the “secret friend” who will take a boy to exciting places which his parents either forbid or cannot afford. On the East Coast of the United States, such an “uncle” is more likely to be called a “steady” and, as Duvert says of Europe, it is by no means only poor boys from broken and deprived homes who seek such relationships. Boys from good middle-class and upper-class families also seek out such “uncles” as a way to escape from the close supervision of parents who forbid masturbation as well as intercourse with girls. Such an “uncle” is often the relative who takes a young boy to a prostitute, who lends him a car before he is old enough for a license, or who in other ways becomes a conniving co-conspirator. More often, however, with middle- and upper-class boys the “uncle” is himself a boy who is only a few years older than the younger boy, who may provide drugs, sex experiences and instruction, and exciting adventures such as hustling or fast driving. The susceptible boys are most often seduced either by this first older male friend or by someone they meet through this friend. Such is, in fact, also true of those lower-class boys who are involved with pederasts. Through an older teenager who may take him hustling, or introduce him to a friend he met while hustling, a young teenager meets the “dirty old man” his parents and school have warned him against. His break with the sexual morality of his parents and society, and their authority, begins when he finds that the man he was warned against is in fact the understanding and trusted friend he desperately needs.

Such a “steady” or “uncle” relationship is more often sexual, in contrast with the employer, patron, or sports companion relationships listed earlier, which might be so only occasionally or incidentally. For example, there is a medical student who takes a 14-year-old boy on a trip every other week end, and for two years has also taken the boy on a one-month camping trip in the summer. The boy says: “Of course I do whatever he wants in bed. I’d be a heel otherwise. Why else do you think he takes me?” Or, to take another example not essentially different from the one Paul Goodman describes in a novel,[3] there is the relationship of an businessman with a young Puerto Rican boy upon whose family he lavishes expensive gifts. The family has made it clear that it understands and tolerates the sexual relationship as long as there is no anal intercourse. Of all the possible illustrations, these two are mentioned here because in both cases the boy solicited the relationship by asking an older boy, who had a “steady” to help him find such a friend also.


[1] Paul Zweig. The Adventurer. New York: Basic Books, 1974. [Author’s footnote]

[2] Tony Duvert, Le Bon Sexe lllustré (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1974) p. 106. [Author’s footnote]

[3] Paul Goodman, Making Do, (New York: Macmillan, 1962). [Author’s footnote]




If you would like to leave a comment on this webpage, please e-mail it to greek.love.tta@gmail.com, mentioning either the title or the url of the page so that the editor can add it.