I was molested when I was a young boy.  I was an only child, and living with a mother who would beat me for any trivial mistake.  I attended a religious school, and remember one day a difference being drawn between the children born to married parents and those from “out of wedlock” or even “single parent” families.  The teacher had never meant for it to be so stark, but we students realized by looking around and recognizing who was in which group.  The children who were always without, the children whose parents came to the school in their tidy cars and picked them up.  Where did that leave me?  I had mostly female friends growing up, and my best friend Catherine turned around and laughed: “you’re a BASTARD!”  I remember having tears in my eyes as I wanted to deny it, but I knew she was correct.  After what had happened to me as a child, the circumstances of my home life….how could I ever be equal to her?  Her parents loved her, they had “planned” for a family, she had three other sisters.  I had nobody but my violent mother who would beat me and throw dinner plates at me when mad.  Once she chipped the kitchen bench and blamed it on me.  I had ducked out of the way and the plate smashed a gap the size of a matchbox in the stone surface.

I remember going to school to get away from my home life.  We had one teacher who “grew up with us”, she kept the same class by teaching the next year up each year.  I would accidentally slip and call her “mum” sometimes.

I remember sex ed.  My friends were split into males and females.  While we boys were told to soap beneath our foreskin in the shower, the girls had different education.  I remember rushing to visit my friends who happened to be female afterwards, and I saw their instructor packing up.  Our school had mostly female staff from the principal down.  The one male part time teacher had taken the boys for sex ed.  The girls had more specialized training by a professional?  I saw human shaped punching bag dummies with red spots on the groin.  A target.  I asked a female friend what had happened, and she looked away from me. I can remember how I felt afterwards, that they must have been told their male friends would attack them sexually at any moment, they had to be prepared to fight us off.  We males were inherently sex criminals, predators, and they had to be vigilant.  All the boys had really been told was how to keep themselves clean and to always use a condom.  I felt that my female friends would never trust me again.

I felt depressed as a child, I do not remember when i last felt truly safe and happy. I know I wrote my first suicide note when I was ten years old.  I remember my mother had made a big deal out of my friend turning “the big one-oh, double digits!” the year before.  On my special day, I told my mother that I too was now “double digits”.  She told me to stop being silly and later hit me.  I felt like I couldn’t escape from my world, and that I had to die before it would be finally over.

Future school teachers flirted with me.  I had one high school teacher who liked to make eye contact with me while she read.  She would speak of male authors who felt unattractive and how they would hire courtesans.  Her eyes locked with mine and she said something like “he didn’t have to do that”.  She would sometimes wear black bras underneath a very thin white top, and she often tried to get me to stay behind after school.  “Would you mind helping me sort books after class?  An after school job?”  I remember feeling strongly that she was trying to get me alone with her in the class store room, and she genuinely sighed when I turned her down.  She asked me to think about it the next day.  I left the classroom and ran to my bike.  I wanted to get out of school before she “offered me a ride home”…

My grandfathers longtime partner used to flirt with me.  She had seen me growing up, and would always hug and kiss me passionately when she could.  She had stolen money from my grandfather for gambling debts, and he had forgiven her.  She would openly say suggestive things when the family were together.  One Christmas when I was 15 she said “I like tall men”,  winked at me, wiped her lips and tugged her top down to show her wrinkled cleavage.  Everyone else in the family pretended not to notice.

One of my fathers girlfriends took her top off and danced on a table top among his friends.  It was the first time she had met them, and she was in her fifties.  They were all very drunk, and she used to flirt with me often.  When I saw her take her clothing off, I left the room.  I remember she threw her bra at me and said “don’t you like my titties?”.  My dad and his friends all laughed at me.  I felt ashamed.

I had female friends at Highschool who would joke about my looks, and pretend to be in love with me.  When they were feeling good, they would take their clothes off and try to make me have sex with them.  I knew earlier in the day they had made fun of me for being ugly, that they either just wanted sex with anyone or they were doing it to mock me.  I would close my eyes and cover them with my hands while I walked away.  I felt afraid of being around women, afraid of how my own body was portrayed in pop culture.  I was always tall for my age, and rumours went around the school about how “large” I must be.  Young women would claim to have had sex with me, and they would tell stories about how strong and “manly” I had been.

I had female friends tell me they wanted me to “rape” them in the park, for me to “have my way”, “tell them what to do”.  I had one female friend who was particularly persistent.  Once she came over to my house and before I knew it, she had gone into my room and taken her clothes off.  My violent mother was home, just a few metres away through my bedroom walls.  The girl begged me to do things to her, and I tried to stop her, to give her back her clothing.  We ended up near the bed and I told her to lie down on her front.  She moaned for me to “be the boss” and for “do whatever I want, wherever” as she spread her legs.  I held my duvet over her and told her I wanted to be friends.  I pinned her down, she eventually put her clothes back on.  When she lost her virginity, she had unprotected drunk sex at his house.  I had called her a taxi, and offered to take her to her house.  I made sure they got home, and walked home to my empty family home.  She text me the next morning saying she needed money for “morning after” and that I could “have a go” beforehand in exchange for the cash.

I remember feeling very scared at how other people saw me, men and women alike.  Because I am broad shouldered and tall, they had sexual expectations of me.  I had to “be a man”, I was meant to be aggressive sexually, I was meant to use women.  I could not refuse their offers, I had to take charge and “make them do what I wanted”.  I knew women who joked about rape, but they never considered that men could be hurt sexually too.  We were not allowed emotions or feelings, we were brutish predators and couldn’t be “soft”.

I felt ashamed of my body each time I heard about women being raped.  I never told anyone, because what would I say?  That women would tell stories about me sexually, women in positions of power over me, teachers and older family members alike?  That I had been anally raped as a boy, that I had been told “god” didn’t love me as I was a “bastard”?

I lost my (consential) virginity when I was in my late twenties.  I hope I stay with this woman for the rest of my life.