I went out on Friday night with a couple of butch friends. They had never met, and I was happy to introduce them to each other and watch as their conversation took off. We met over beers and I introduced my Butch Agenda (more on that later) and we talked and drank and had a great time. Soon it was myself and N, talking about writing. We talked about our mutual desire to have a writer’s support group of some kind, leading eventually to having a space to do readings and more. We agreed to start simple and so, that weekend, I created a group on FB and invited N and a couple of other butch writers. We’ve retained Roxy as our prompt master and on Monday, we got our first prompt, “treehouse”. This is what came out of my keyboard.
For a few years, between ages 8 and 11 or so, my best friend was a boy named James. Jimmy fit my very simple best friend criteria to a tee: he wanted to do the same stuff I did, he lived two houses away and he never told me I couldn’t do something because I was a girl.
Our hangout was a tree house in his backyard. We’d sneak ice cream bars or cookies and go up there to scarf them down and plan our next escapade. One spring afternoon, I scrambled up the ladder, breathless from the escape velocity sprint I’d used to take me out of earshot of my mom’s harping voice. Jimmy was already there, slouched into a bean bag chair, reading a magazine.
“Hey, sorry I couldn’t bring anything. My mom’s a harpy today, I barely escaped” I explained. “Did you get anything?”
He answered in a voice I hadn’t heard before, lower and more breathy than normal, “Yeah, yeah, I did. Nothing to eat, but I got this.” And he flipped the magazine around so I could see the page he was reading.
My jaw probably dropped a couple of feet. It wasn’t a comic book as I’d expected, instead it was a dirty magazine and I was suddenly staring at the most naked woman I’d ever seen, and seeing more than I’d ever seen of a naked woman. Now, I’d been hanging around boys for years, I was not innocent, at least in theory. I was just as quick as they were to curse and talk dirty (in the way of pre-pubescent kids with no sexual experience). And we’d probably talked about dirty magazines billions of times, but this is the first time I’d actually seen one.
“Dude, where’d you get it?” I plopped down beside him and did my best to ogle and hoped my face wasn’t as flame red as it felt. Acting nonchalant was key, you never wanted to be the most flustered person in the group.
“Snuck it out of my parent’s bathroom, it was in the stack of magazines on the back of the toilet.” His face was shining too, but in a different way. ”It’s amazing, isn’t it?” He flipped a few more pages, showing that same woman in various outfits and poses. I continued to stare and became aware that my face wasn’t the only warm and glowing part of my body. He stopped at one page where the model was sitting back on a couch, with one leg up and a fancy see through night gown kind of thing on. With her legs spread, you could clearly see between her legs. I was extremely conscious of how similar I was in that region, and here Jimmy was practically drooling over it. I was fascinated, and suddenly very aware of how close we were sitting, crammed against each other in the same bean bag chair.
He reached down and squeezed himself, and that’s when I realized he had a hard-on. I’d never actually seen one, but had certainly heard plenty about them. I couldn’t help staring as he pulled on it a little before stopping, as if he’d forgotten I was there. Something passed over his face and he turned to look at me, his expression a mixture of serious and playful.
“So, Casey, ever seen a guy’s dick before?”
It was one of those moments you remember forever, frozen in amber so you can go back and relive it for your perpetual embarrassment. I didn’t respond for a second or two, my brain went blank in panic. He was leering at me, still holding his package and staring me down.
“Yeah, I didn’t think so… so, you wanna? It’s hard even… “
I had to answer quickly or he’d lose his nerve, there was already something less bold about his expression.
“Yeah, sure, whatever” I said, with all the false bravado I could muster. “Show it to me.”
“Ok, but you gotta show me yours and you gotta never tell anybody, not the guys or anybody, OK?”
I should have felt more weird about pulling my shorts and panties down so he could see my still hairless mound. The truth is, I was way more interested in seeing what he had between his legs. He unzipped his cut-offs and leaned back to pull them and his tighty whities down to his thighs. It was smaller than I’d expected, considering the way he and the other guys talked about them all the time. He reached down and held it up, so I could see it better. It was rigid, and he stroked it a couple of times. My insides did some kind of weird flip-flop and I was tingling in a way that was almost painful.
Just then, like in a movie or something, his mom called from the back door. He pulled up his shorts and shot me a look, “Remember, don’t tell anyone.” And disappeared down the ladder. I sat there for a few minutes before realizing my shorts were still down and my hand was between my legs.
Years later, I can still conjure back the musty smell of the bean bag chair, the model in her negligee and way he wrapped his fist around his boy dick. In those few moments, I learned a lot about the differences between boys and girls, differences I’ve been struggling to reconcile ever since. Back then, however, sexual politics were nothing I had a clue about. What I felt then was fascination and pure, unfiltered envy. I wanted a dick of my own, something firm and tangible that I could get my hands on, something that would push me across the line from the girlhood I didn’t want and the boyhood I felt most comfortable in. I didn’t know it then, but my time as one of the boys was coming to an end. He’d showed me his and I’d shown him mine, and the difference was undeniable.
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