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The following is one of the sections of the fourth chapter of Dr. Parker Rossman’s Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys (originally published in 1976), entitled "Why Do They?", introduced here, and intended to explain why in general some men desire boys, though in practice limited in its evidence to what was then recent in countries with a Judaeo-Christian tradition.


Physiological Basis of Pederasty

Those who assert that they have an innate “pederast nature” have varied opinions as to what it is they were born with, but before reporting the views of those who understand their deviancy as socially created, we note certain views which are unusual. One pederast, mentioning Burton’s view that pederasty is “popular, endemic, held at the worst to be a mere peccadillo in certain climates,”[1] speculates that the body’s chemistry may be upset by the sun’s rays or the pull of the moon. He doubts it, and suggests that his body’s chemistry was upset by the charms of what Cocteau calls the “third sex,” something radiated by what Voltaire described as the “freshness, intensity and sweetness” of the pubescent boy during the period when he resembles “a beautiful girl for the space of two or three years.”[2] This same pederast asserts that his body chemistry is continually affected by a sort of musk which some boys radiate much more powerfully than others. It is especially noticeable, he says, not merely when a boy is sexually aroused, but especially in boys who are sexually aroused by men. “If it is merely my imagination, why am I not equally attracted to another boy of equal charm? Is the heightened erotic appeal of a woman to the man who senses that she desires him purely psychological?” Another said: “A boy who is sexually experienced is fascinating, one who is sexually aroused is exciting, but one who desires me is irresistible. Isn’t my chemistry involved in that?”

In the last generation an Italian physician[3] conducted a thorough study of man-boy sexual intercourse, giving physiological examinations to hundreds of boys and men who were pederastically involved. He concluded that there is a vast difference between males in their capacity for sexual pleasure with each other, especially in the intensity of eroticism in various erogenous zones. The psychological factors were so complex as to suggest wide and unique varieties of experience; for example, some males find it quite painful to be sodomized and get no pleasure from it, while others have a physiological capacity and anal sensitivity that makes anal intercourse highly pleasurable and exciting to them. He found this to be especially true of many young adolescents, although in a high percentage of cases the capacity began to disappear by the time the boys were fifteen. He further found that this capacity for anal eroticism could be enhanced and sustained if it was cultivated from infancy, as in ancient Greece.[4] One type of gay homosexuality may result from a conditioning or psychic nurturing of this capacity. Several European pederasts have pointed out that they seem to be able to sense which boys have such erotic sensibilities, and are attracted to such youngsters - especially those who have been awakened to the pleasures of oral sex and are eager to be fellated. One of these pederasts notes: “I was that kind of boy myself. It hardly seems fair but some youngsters are more highly attuned or tunable to pleasure because of the potential they have for nerve and muscle response. My erotic sensations were simply marvellous when I was a young adolescent and I am still powerfully attracted to a boy who has such sensitivities. Sometimes I can tell just by shaking hands with a boy that he is one of those special creatures who, perhaps because he is less inhibited or because he has gifts like those of a musician who gets more out of a symphony, has greater erotic capacities. As for me, I was highly sexed and was so high-tuned erotically in my thirteenth year that I was more than ready for any and all sexual experiences. I could tell instinctively which men - I suppose they were pederasts – ‘knew’ somehow, as soon as we met. How can you say this is against nature? Well, I suppose all that is most human - such as anesthesia and equality - is against nature; but I doubt if it is against nature to enjoy one’s honest physiological capacities."


[1] The author here gives as his source ‘Burton, “Terminal Essay, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night,” in Cory (1969), p. 208’. Cory is missing from his bibliography and therefore unidentifiable, but Burton’s actual words can be read here.

[2] The author here gives as his source ‘Voltaire, “The Love Called ‘Socrates,’ “ in Cory (1969), p. 351’. Cory is missing from his bibliography and therefore unidentifiable, but Voltaire used roughly these words in the third paragraph of his essay “Socratic Love” (1764).

[3] Ettore Mariotti , La Neofilia, Rome: Casa Editrice Mediterranea, 1952.. This book contains only fragments of his research. [Author’s footnote]

[4] See also Thorkel Vanggaard, Phallos — A Symbol and Its History, New York: International Universities Press, 1972, p. 71. [Author’s footnote]




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