When Boys Become Men

I recently watched an Australian film, Breath, which is based upon the best-selling novel by Tim Winton.

I enjoyed the film. It was very evocative and contained some beautifully shot surfing scenes and a very believable friendship between two young teenage boys.

As the story unfolded, the boys develop a relationship with a former surfing champion, a shaggy haired man in his late twenties. He has an American wife who for much of the first half of the film lurks in the background with a petulant, disdainful expression on her face.

When the man, Sando, decides to chase big waves in Indonesia, he takes one of the young boys with him, the other has to remain at home, as he is still attending school.

He drops by one morning, as yet, not knowing his hero and best mate have departed. Sando’s wife emerges from the house and invites him inside as it is raining heavily.

I didn’t see it coming, but moments later she suggests he slip out of his wet jumper and slip into something more comfortable.

No way.

He had just turned fourteen years of age. She was in her mid-twenties.

As he attempts to remove his damp jumper she says,

“No, let me do it.”

Yep. It’s going to happen.

She pulls off his jumper and he stands there, his upper body naked.

She places her hands upon his chest and gently moves them all over his upper body. He stands there, frozen. She leans forward and kisses his neck and face.

She turns and walks to the bedroom and begins to disrobe.

He follows her and soon they are both lying naked and making love.
He visits her every day and they make love every day.

One day she introduces a new concept to her young boyfriend.

Erotic asphyxiation.

Erotic asphyxiation (variously called asphyxiophilia, hypoxyphilia or breath control play) is the intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for the purposes of sexual arousal. The term autoerotic asphyxiation is used when the act is done by a person to themselves.

The young boy is initially horrified by the idea, but when his older lover answers his why with this response:

“Because when I do it I cum like a freight train.”

He reluctantly agrees to help her, and places the plastic bag over her head and watches fearfully as she falls into unconsciousness.

The lovemaking continues. One morning, after a passionate sex session, the young boy declares his love for his American woman.

She scoffs. Her one request is he be kind to her and promise not to brag about his “conquest.”

He promises he would never do such a thing.

She sexually abuses an under-aged minor and makes him promise he will never do what so many disgusting boys do-brag about his sex with his mates. Now, that would be the true crime.

By this stage of the film, I am angry. I am trying to enjoy the story as it unfolds while another part of me is thumping my fist on an imaginary table and expressing my outrage over the endless double standards men must battle in our society.

There is not one moment where the woman expresses the merest hint of guilt over the fact, she has been fucking a fourteen-year-old boy or betraying her husband.

No- her one request is that the boy not do that typically nasty male thing of bragging about his sexual exploits.

She is pregnant. The young boy notices. Is it his? She won’t say.

The denouement of the film is not relevant. I had seen enough. It set me thinking about the culture we have in our entertainment world when it comes to the seduction of young boys by older women.

We can all recall the humorous scenes in The Graduate as Dustin Hoffman, the young “graduate” is seduced by the much older Mrs Robinson. It is a funny film and Hoffman does at least appear to be of legal age. Would it be quite so cute were the roles reversed and a young female graduate was being seduced by a predatory forty-five-year-old man?


The Summer of 42 was a blockbuster hit of a film back in the early seventies.

Again, a young fifteen-year-old boy finds himself comforting a woman who has just been informed that her boyfriend has been killed in action.

Of course, she was just seeking comfort in a moment of grief. No doubt, a twenty-five-year-old man would be forgiven had he had intercourse with a fifteen-year-old girl after losing his beloved wife. Don’t we all reach out for young teenagers when we are grieving?

I was recently caught up in the comments section underneath yet another article about a female school teacher who had sexual intercourse with her thirteen-year-old student.

As predictable as sunrise, the vast majority of comments were by men saying they were jealous of the kid and lamenting the fact that he had so much good luck in being fucked by his hot teacher.

I made a futile attempt to open their eyes to the ignorance and stupidity of their comments.

It’s remarkable how savage men become when others attempt to puncture their macho bullshit with some commonsense.

When I suggested that a thirteen-year-old boy can be psychologically damaged by sexual abuse and even become suicidal I was mocked and my sexual orientation was questioned by some.

Others said it was clear I didn’t have a daughter if I thought a young boy having sex with an older woman was in any way comparable to a young girl having sex with an older man.

I agreed that a girl faces the added complication of an unwanted pregnancy and that is certainly a serious matter. So, in an attempt to level the playing field and find out exactly what it was about an older man seducing a young teenage girl that was so disgusting as opposed to the laughter and knowing winks when a young boy is abused by an older woman, I offered up this scenario:

Just say the older man was gentle and tender with the girl and a condom was used whenever sex took place?


It’s just different mate, and if you can’t understand that you are a bloody moron.

It is truly a hopeless task. It is this common attitude of men which ultimately destroys any real hope one could hold for true equity in our society and legal system when it comes to the matter of sex.

It pervades everything. Our film and music industries have made the abuse and seduction of boys by older women a thing of beauty. They call such films “coming of age” movies.

You get the idea…a young boy becomes a man one steamy night.

Have you ever heard the sentimental classic by Bobby Goldsboro

Summer? (The First Time)

It is a beautifully constructed song. As so many people say in the comments below the You Tube clip, you can feel the heat and hear the waves breaking on the shore. The musical composition evokes the haziness of an older man’s memory of one hot summer day when he encountered an older woman.

Here are a few excerpts to give you an idea of how the song plays out

When I looked in her eye
And I swore, it was winking
She was 31 and I was 17
I knew nothing about love
She knew everything

The sweat trickled down the
Front of her gown
And I thought it would melt her
She threw back her hair
Like I wasn’t there
And she sipped on a julep
Her shoulders were bare
And I tried not to stare
When I looked at her two lips

And when she looked at me
I heard her softly say
I know you’re young
You don’t know what to do or say
But stay with me until
The sun has gone away
And I will chase the boy in you away

Now, I’m no prude. I can imagine the young man may have thoroughly enjoyed his education that summer’s night and walked away happy and wiser for the experience.

That’s not the point.

It’s the two-tiered application of the law and the two-tiered societal attitude to the act depending upon the gender of the roles involved which makes me incensed.

I perused the comment section beneath the clip and was not surprised by what I found there. Let me offer you a sampling.

james l turner 5 years ago
I was 14, she was 33. My fault; not hers. I still think of how her curls of long red hair fell down over her shoulders. She had freckles and deep green eyes. We listened to “Wish you were here”. I am now ( considerably) older and wiser (?) and wake up every day with the new woman of my dreams. Sometimes my mind takes me back though; there is an irreplaceable magic lurking there :

wolfeshadow1313 3 years ago
I was17, she was 38, what a night. Changed my life.

R D 10 months ago
In 1973 I was 17 and the girls name was Chela, she was 25 and she got me drunk with Vodka and orange juice, the rest was history. It was the ultimate confidence booster that changed my life to this day. Bobby was speaking for a bunch of us young bucks in the world. Bobby, your beautiful song still makes me cry even at the of 61yrs.

Stephen Fryer 3 years ago
I was 17, and she was 31 when I lost my virginity. It was a cold UK Summer’s day though but did  I care? Nope!

Mark Brighton 1 year ago
Takes me back to better days, the seventies in rhyl.scorching hot nights.18yrs old .Donna was 40.life guard at some swimming baths.ECSTASY.

Charles Mc Carthy 3 years ago (edited)
A lot of guys out there listening to this song with a smile, thanks to the wonderful mature females we encountered and helped us on our transition into manhood. Lots of love ladies wherever you are. Nothing as as memorable as being seduced by a beautiful woman, Judging by all the comments by the men each and every one of them will never be forgotten!

Shaun Donnelly 2 years ago
I was 17 and went to bed a boy with a 39 year old woman , I woke a man , now 48 and a grandad , and still this song brings a tear to my eye , you should be so proud sir .

the thinker 2 years ago
I remember being 15, then there was Sandra she was 22. That says it all you can guess the rest. Thank you Sandra

Fem Bassist/Vocalist 4 years ago
Such a beautiful song..i bet this is many a young Lad’s story..being a Boy then suddenly having to be a Man in the most intimate way 2 people can possibly be together. Rather stunning! Love x

There were many more.

It gives one a slight insight into just how many women have on many occasions by the definition of the law, sexually violated underaged boys and escaped any form of censure let alone justice in a court of law.

In New Zealand, an eleven-year-old boy fathered the child of his thirty-six-year-old teacher prompting the judge presiding over the case to suggest New Zealand’s rape laws must be changed as currently a woman cannot be charged with rape.

The schoolboy and the baby are now both believed to be in care and Justice Minister Judith Collins has said she will look into present legislation which makes it impossible for a woman to be accused of rape.

She said the case raised an ‘important point’, adding: ‘I will seek advice from officials on whether or not a law change is required,’ The Weekend Herald has reported.

The current law states that only a man can be accused of rape when they force sex. Women who have sex without consent can be charged with sexual violation. Both carry a maximum sentence of 20 years.

I have no doubt that even as people continue to express their rage over male pedophiles being released back into society there are hundreds of women who fit the bill who have been able to get away with their crimes for two simple reasons.

The still commonly held belief that women just aren’t interested in doing anything as sexually disgusting as abuse a young child and the fact that on the rare occasions they are exposed, our courts appear to echo that sentiment and the penalties imposed are often no more than a good scolding.

I remember reading a book by Nancy Friday on men and women’s sexual fantasies. I was struck by the number of men who openly confessed that some of their most erotic memories involve bath-time with their nanny or babysitter. They were not fictional stories as they were simply an introduction to what planted the seeds for what had become a current day fantasy as a mature man.

Men wrote of the babysitters’ hands lingering for much longer over their genitals as they washed them to the point when they got erections. This could so easily happen innocently enough, hence the women who do derive sexual excitement from such acts can enjoy them without any threat of discovery or accusations of abuse.

Any man whose hand lingered anywhere near a young girl’s genitals, sadly even if it was his own daughter, is risking a great deal no matter how innocent his intentions.

There were other more graphic descriptions of girls next door and nannies telling them not to tell mummy and daddy about their secret fun.

The very fact that almost all babysitters are female is due to the suspicion which hangs over every man. Women see no eyebrows raised when they babysit or work in childcare. They have, so to speak, a free hit. People simply find the notion of women sexually abusing children unimaginably ridiculous and absurd.

When men do speak of such abuse, they too, often do so in a manner which suggests it was perfectly okay for a nanny to touch their private parts.

I think these two comments from reviews of the film which prompted me to write this piece are the perfect way to finish. The reviews are written in an age where the #Me-too movement is flourishing. Note how the two reviewers describe the illegal sexual abuse of a fourteen-year-old boy by a woman.

These later developments are well-handled but don’t play as organically as the first hour of “Breath,” which is straightforward and simple in the best, purest sense. Part of the problem is that newcomer Coulter isn’t quite actor enough yet to convey the more complex emotions the script demands of him. (Spence, also presumably chosen as a natural surfer — both young boys conspicuously toe their own boards — has an easier time playing a character who’s all externalized id.) Plus, the sexual initiation feels a tad formulaic in narrative terms, even if Winton labors a bit too hard to avoid cliche, introducing a kinky aspect to Eva’s neediness that perhaps introduces more grown-up mess than this story really needs.

The film takes a risqué, confronting turn when Pikelet’s lovelorn fascination with Sando’s American wife Eva leads to a particularly adult encounter.

We are truly shoveling shit up that proverbial hill my friends.

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