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three pairs of lovers with space



Presented here is the introduction to “Boys and their Sexuality”, the third and much the longest chapter of Loving Boys, the encyclopaedic study of Greek love by the eminent Dutch lawyer, Edward Brongersma, of which the first volume (including this) was published by Global Academic Publishers in New York in 1986.


TO BE A boy means first of all to change. In certain periods of his life this happens with surprising rapidity.

You go with a family of friends to the nudist beach. Their 12-year-old son is along: attractive, vital, exuberant. His hair is white-blond, his voice – continuously shouting and laughing – is clear and high; he is in constant motion, running and hopping among the adults; he is merry, full of the joy of life. When you look at him or speak to him he smiles immediately. Physically, everything is grace and charm: the small appendage underneath his tummy, between his legs, calls little attention to itself and, since the boy is in the habit of going about naked, he is hardly self-conscious of this organ.

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Three years later you make the same outing with the same family, and their son agrees to come along, too. His hair is now considerably darker, his voice is deep. He is much quieter, walks beside the adults and enters into their conversation. You see his nice smile much less frequently now, for he’s more serious. His body is big and strong, the musculature setting it off beautifully. On his chest the dark nipples stand out in profile. And between his thighs, where coarse hairs have appeared, nature has done everything in the past three years to make his sex conspicuous: the dark bush of hair on the lower abdomen points to it; penis and scrotum, more darkly pigmented than the rest of the body, have grown so big that they dangle of their own weight and, as he walks, take up an independent motion. Perhaps the glans, with its alluring, deep purple shine, protrudes a little from the foreskin. The boy is now quite conscious that, naked, he is displaying himself as a sexual being, that he carries his maleness in front of him almost as an advertisement. Depending upon the set of his mind, this will make him proud or shy.

It is profoundly symbolic that in the newly born boy the navel is his body centre (he must feed himself and grow) and in the mature boy it is the penis. The long lines of the boy’s body all point to it, now: in nature’s scheme of things, what he does with his penis will be the most important activities of his entire life.


Continue to Physical Maturity: Growth of Genitals