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three pairs of lovers with space



The following is one of the sections of the first chapter of Dr. Parker Rossman’s Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys (originally published in 1976), entitled "Dimensions of a Complex Problem", introduced here. His intention in this chapter was to give an unavoidably simplified but general idea of the different types of pederast and their prevalence. Actually, however, his evidence was mostly limited to what was then recent in countries with a Christian tradition.

The Sports Comrade

A third category of pederast, radically different from the schoolteacher type just discussed, is the super-masculine athletic man who sees his role to be that of training boys to be tough and manly. Among the pederasts of this type that we interviewed, for example, was a burly policeman who is one of the most popular men in his community - an ex-prizefighter idolized by the boys, who say that he has never in his life been beaten in a fair fight. It is his point of view that “all boys fool around with each other a bit” and that this should be the occasion for teaching boys to be masculine - that is, sexually aggressive in their pleasure seeking. The idea of oral sex scandalizes him, but he thinks it ridiculous for mutual masturbation to be against the law, and he publicly argues that it is a natural type of sex education. His pederast activity is therefore a sex step beyond the type of dirty roughhouse which is not uncommon among longshoremen, cowboys, soldiers, truck drivers and other he-man types. The policeman’s position on anal intercourse is inconsistent. He thinks that anyone who sodomizes a “normal” boy should go to the electric chair, but he thinks there is nothing wrong with “ ‘buggering’ [his phrase] a ‘queer boy who enjoys it,” especially in a situation where girls are not available — as in jail, on a ship, or “when a sexy teenager is too young to talk a girl into it.” His self-understanding as a pederast is that of a coach, not only in athletics but also in sex. He believes that sex play between boys, and between men and boys, is normal and should be encouraged so long as it is viewed simply as horseplay, with “no romantic mush or ‘queer’ talk.” He tells boys that there is nothing wrong with “hustling” (boy prostitution) as long as the hustler plays only an active, aggressive, masculine sex role for money.

A psychiatrist[1] who has made a careful study of this type of pederasty, believes that the paiderastia of the ancient Greeks often really was of this tough military type, and that their paiderastia had much in common with primitive tribal initiations and the roughhouse puberty rituals of the ancient Norse. The goal of such man-boy sexual relationships was to make a hardened soldier out of the boy, much as the sports culture of contemporary adolescence is based - somewhat unconsciously - on tribal, comradely association. American sports culture is frequently erotic at its base, a sort of substitute pederasty with rough physical contact as a substitute for more explicit sexual activity. Boxing, for example, builds up a tremendous erotic energy, as well as an approved mode of release, among many spectators. Metzel[2] notes repressed homosexual energy in all physical-contact sports, with violence as a sublimated form of sexual release, a homosexuality confirmed by the almost total sexual segregation of sports. The psychiatrist quoted above agrees with Metzel that boys want and need to love strong, masculine men in authority roles. Boys have an enormous affinity with sports heroes, and it is no coincidence that sex horseplay occurs frequently in locker rooms. The “relationship cries out for closeness” between males of different generations, and the sports tribe - perhaps in effective ways - must often play the same sexual role that existed in puberty rites in ancient Norse society.

Sports festival of the Tübinger Hitler Youth in the university stadium, June 1937

Among the ancient Norse, pederasty was a ritual foundation of tribal trust and loyalty, not a love-type of homosexual play. It was perhaps similar to the comradely affection of two boxers or that seen between a football coach and a star player. Among the Norse and Greeks the erotic aspects of a boy’s sexual submission to adult male authority was used for constructive purposes. The use of the body’s “chemistry and molding of erotic energy as a way of maintaining a specific mode of authority”[3] is illustrated by the pederast relation to fascism in the opinion of Sartre[4] and Moravia.[5] This is a thesis also suggested by the prize-winning pederast novel The Erl-King.[6] Nazi society at points had strong overtones of this tribal type of pederasty[7] comparable to the institutionalized pederasty of the privileged warrior class of medieval Japan. In its more comradely aspects, such he-man sex play is frequently associated with the military, as is seen in the novel Mario,[8] which is about a 14-year-old boy who attached himself to a group of saboteurs in the French underground resistance. The other men justify the boy’s sleeping with their chief, not only because they are comrades in danger but also because their chief had once served in the Foreign Legion. In such novels, and in biographies of pederasts such as General Gordon of Khartoum, the substitute pederasty of this type does not involve a simulation of sexual intercourse with a female, as previously described. Rather, this type of man-boy sex play is more sporty, like a friendly wrestling match. As a matter of fact, young boys who attach themselves to soldiers and sailors for sex play do not interpret their sexual activity as gay-homosexual for the most part. Adolescents in such a situation consider themselves to be adults, to be comrades in a temporary quest for pleasure and release from tension caused by war or teasing. Such tribal-sport sex play takes place frequently in the “fooling around” of adolescent gangs, in sports groups, and in the fagging, initiations and teaching of younger boys at boarding schools.

The Tübinger Hitler Youth at their summer camp in St. Johann, Württemberg, July 1935

The adolescent boy is encouraged to sublimate his sexual energy in sports, and such a channeling of erotic tension is perhaps one of the most positive and constructive ways to redirect pederastic impulses. Boys are sexually relaxed and confirmed in their masculinity when they seek to please the coach who represents sexual authority, and for whom they may have an unconscious erotic affection, “with their young bodies in close physical contact with other boys.” Susan Fisher,[9] in another psychiatric reference to sex play between men and boys, suggests that such pederasty is almost inevitable in situations where men have the authority to use corporal punishment on boys. Normal heterosexual men not only become erotically aroused by adolescent boys in such situations, but there are perhaps analogies between Norse tribal pederasty and the type of erotic relationship which frequently develops in gangs, at correctional schools, and in authoritatively administered sports. The boy who submits to the authority of a coach or of a gang leader may not be aware that his resistance to authority is a resistance to sexual submission, and the man who finds himself in a position of authority over boys may not realize why it is that he can find himself unexpectedly aroused sexually by the relationship. In Norse and early Greek society there were ritual, celebrative procedures for interpreting and coping with this tribal sexual exuberance which can otherwise explode into a kind of violent eroticism - not unlike the frenzy of celebratory rape which can overtake a conquering army, and which is characteristic of many of the cheap, roughhouse pornographic pederast novels published each year.

The policeman-pederast discussed earlier would have been in prison fifteen years ago if he were a feminine or furtive type, for his illegal mutual masturbation with boys is known by fellow police officers, parents, and prominent citizens who were sexually involved with him as boys. He may be protected in part by the western community’s thesis that “boys will be boys,” and his view that “all males play around a bit.” Mostly, however, he seems to be protected from arrest by the athletic, sports-mystique which is so powerful in the community that a coach can do no wrong as long as his teams win and all his boys turn out to be men. For every brazen pederast of this type there are a hundred others of this sports-comrade type who need help to cope with temptations that are worrisome or repressed, and which may at any time result in an unexpected sexual encounter.


[1] Thorkel Vanggaard, Phallos — A Symbol and Its History (New York: International Universities Press, 1972) pp. 59 ff. [Author's note]

[2] John Metzel, Sports and the Macho Male (Dorchester, Mass.: Manifest Destiny Pamphlets, 1973) pp. 8-20. [Author's note]

[3] John Metzel, Sports and the Macho Male (Dorchester, Mass.: Manifest Destiny Pamphlets, 1973). [Author's note]

[4]  Jean-Paul Sartre, “Childhood of a Leader” in The Wall (New York: New Directions, 1948) attributes adult fascism to a man’s guilt over sex play with an older man when he was thirteen. [Author's note]

[5] Alberto Moravia, The Conformist, London: Seeker and Warburg, 1957. [Author's note]

[6] Michel Toumier, The Ogre. Garden City: Doubleday, 1972. [Author's note]

[7] H. Bleuel, Sex and Society in Nazi Germany, Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1973; A. Siemsen, Die Tragodie Deutschland und der Zukunft der Welt, Buenos Aires: Cosmopolita, 1945. [Author's note]

[8] André Perrin, Mario. Paris: Gallimard, 1955. On General Gordon, see Robin Maugham, The Last Encounter, London: Allen, 1972. [Author's note]

[9] Susan Fisher, “Life in a Children’s Detention Center,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, April 1972. [Author's note]




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