My penis and I are close friends and trusted companions. We have traveled the world together and indulged in ecstatic pleasures for more than 6 decades. I became aware of him as a secret source of enjoyment when I was 6. Not long after that, I remember sitting up in a tree with my sister and her friends talking about forbidden parts of our bodies. I can still revive the sensation in my penis as we probed imaginatively into the intriguing unknown. I also see an image of myself sitting in sunshine on the doorstep of a neighbor's house, proudly displaying my erection to two girls and making boastful remarks. I don't think they were very interested. While I was playing with a boy one day — he was standing on a low branch of a tree — he asked me to take his penis in my mouth. Thinking that I would like him to do that to me, I agreed, but all hope of sensual exploration was cut short when he peed in my mouth. How insensitive boys can be.
That was in Canada during World War II. On my return to England at age 8, I was sent to boarding school, where I was pretty miserable. I remember being cold and lonely. Sex talk was rather silly, and sexual thoughts were shoved into the background by sports. Something that amuses me still was the categorization of two kinds of penises: cavaliers (the uncircumcised), and roundheads. Since I identified with King Charles I and his flamboyant cavaliers, I was disappointed to be linked with Oliver Cromwell's round helmeted soldiers.
One night when I was in bed and everyone in the dormitory was asleep, an older boy who cannot have been over 12 (but looked tall and manly to me) whispered to me that he could make "spunk." He came into my bed and talked to me in a very grown-up way about sex. He told me that his father had explained the facts of life in an exciting way that made it seem like a miracle. The boy did not touch me or ask me to stroke him, but he put some of his sticky sperm on my hand and told me that one day soon I would be able to do the same. This episode inspired me.
A few years later when I left that school, my father asked me if we had been told about sex. I said "yes, but not very much," hoping that he would tell me more. He gave a very clinical description of the sexual act and told me that I would be feeling changes in my body and might have nocturnal emissions. When that happened, he said, I should "just mop it up." And he admonished me very seriously: "do not rub it." I was deeply disappointed and have often reflected on the anomaly that this man, who was an excellent and inspiring teacher, could have missed an opportunity to guide me with warmth and creativity toward one of the greatest joys of my future life.
Little did he know that I had been rubbing it for years, alone in bed, and secretly with friends. We rubbed away, waiting in vain for the miraculous spurt, but enjoying ourselves all the same. It seems strange that we did not discover the sensuous stroking of each other or the use of lubrication. At that time, I only masturbated by rubbing the skin up and down the shaft of my penis. When I was about 11, I went camping by bicycle alone with a close friend. This was the first time I had felt such freedom, and I remember the excitement of making a fire, pitching the tent, and cooking our food. There were no campsites in those days; we were just in the corner of a field. Since it rained almost all the time, we did not have much to do. So, as we sheltered in the tent, I taught him how to masturbate. He was an eager pupil and we probably rubbed each other sore. Not long after that I had my first real orgasm and I showed off my prowess to various friends. My pubic hair and semen were objects of curiosity to some, but this did not lead to much shared activity. My solo masturbation grew more exciting as I began to ooze little pearls of slippery fluid, which, when mixed with spittle, heightened the sensation and allowed a greater variety of hand movements.
At my next school, a progressive boys' boarding school, the freedom to pursue one's own intellectual and creative interests was exciting to me. I felt more adult and was certainly not going to do anything that appeared childish, so my exhibitionism stopped and I never approached other boys for mutual masturbation. There was talk of older boys who had "little boys" as secret sex partners. Once I went up into an out-of-bounds area of the roof structure with a boy I had known from my former school. This was a daring thing to do, because if found there we would have been severely punished. At one point he said, "My penis has gone stiff, and the only thing to do is to toss off." So we both masturbated. But I never did that again with him and nobody picked me as his "little boy." As I grew older, I lusted after particular boys and fantasized about them as I stroked myself at night. It was just accepted that wanting sex with boys was a stage we all went through. Making love to girls seemed unimaginable in those much less permissive days, so boys were the subjects of sexual dreams. To this day, though my best sexual experiences have been with women, I am still fascinated by penises. What characters they are, and what works of art. It is a long time since I have seen a man's erect penis; I would love to see men stroking themselves and to look at the beauty and expressiveness of their organs. I suppose most people are really bisexual, though most don't admit it.
When I was about 14 it was announced that a psychologist would talk to the whole school about sex. This conventional-looking man in a dark suit and tie began with an anecdote about his daughter who was taking a small boy and girl to the beach. He said that while they were undressing, the little girl, who had never seen a naked boy before, looked at him in admiration and said, "That's a handy little gadget." "Well,'" said the psychologist, "it is." In this way he broke the ice as he launched into an intelligent and enlightening talk. He told us that masturbation was natural and that we should not feel guilty about it. Later, after I left the school there was a decision that, since masturbation was inevitable, each dormitory, where 6 to about 16 students slept, should choose one night a week when they would all masturbate, strictly by themselves. I am not sure how it worked, but I doubt that one night a week was enough.
It was on travels alone in Europe that I was occasionally picked up by gay men. In Paris, when I was about 16, an American in his 20s struck up a conversation with me in the street and invited me to his apartment for a drink. It was not long before he propositioned me; I agreed, and soon we were giving each other all the pleasure we could. He performed anal sex on me, which I found painful and did not like, but this was an event I remember with warm feelings. Much more exciting to me was an encounter a year later with an artist in France. I was hitch-hiking home to England from Italy and a French couple gave me a ride from Pisa into the South of France, where at the end of the day they said that I could stay in a farmhouse they owned. It turned out that they had installed the talented English artist as a caretaker so that he could paint there. Since I also wanted to be an artist and had been traveling alone for a few weeks, it was not very hard for him to get me into bed. We spent two ecstatic days together before the owners picked me up and took me further north. A few months later he came a hundred miles from London to visit me at my school. It was the first time that I was ever "in love" with anyone, so it was the first time that mutual masturbation in a local hotel was more than just sexual fun; it was an expression of a deeper attachment. Actually, we did not meet again, and some years later I heard that he had married. Strangely, it never occurred to me that I was homosexual, but the fling I had with this man changed me profoundly and, I think, prepared me for relationships I had later with women. As I write this, I am also thinking that it made my self-love richer. As I masturbated in the years that followed, I believe that I became more creative in the ways that I treated myself. When you have tried to give exquisite pleasure to another man and looked for signs of his delight, you can become your own devoted lover, rather than just the owner of the hand that strokes your penis.
I will gloss over the years of my two marriages, and a few affairs, as this autobiography is concerned with autoeroticism. I will conclude by saying that though I am happily married, masturbation is very precious to me. Over the years I have experimented with many techniques. If I am going to be alone overnight, I like to plan a session, as one would plan a date, pamper myself by cooking a delicious dinner, make arrangements for comfort and soft music, and take my time. I usually vary methods, changing from one favorite to another. I like to lie on my back with the back of my left hand under my penis so that it rests between two fingers, while the soft skin under my right forearm glides over the other side. This way my right hand can grasp my balls and occasionally stray down to my perineum. This technique is also very pleasant in the bathtub. As I become more excited I often use two hands, taking it in turns to move up the shaft, over the head, and down the other side. I sometimes do this before a mirror, enjoying the sight of my dancing hands. There are many wonderful approaches.
As a way of keeping my system in good health at age 70, I also like to stroke my penis very gently through soft pajamas (ideally silk) as I lie in bed at night or in the early morning. I only have to run the tips of my fingers under the rim on the front to get a really hard erection. I can go on like this for quite a long time, gently fantasizing, without my partner being aware. When I am satisfied, usually without an orgasm, I go to sleep or get up with the knowledge that my dear penis and the miraculous glands that support it will always be ready when needed.