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The complete 11 Volumes of this extremely explicit set of memoirs. My secret life, is the memoir of a Victorian gentleman's sexual development and experiences. It was first published in a private edition of eleven volumes, which appeared over seven years beginning around 1888. The text is repetitive and highly disorganised, but its frank discussion of sexual matters and other hidden aspects of Victorian life make it a rare and valuable social document. It has been described as "one of the strangest and most obsessive books ever written".
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First digital edition 2017 by Anna Ruggieri
In 18** my oldest friend died. We had been at school and college together; and our intimacy had neverbeen broken. I was trustee for his wife and executor at his death. He died of a lingering illness, during which his hopes of living were alternately raised, and depressed. Two years before he died, he gave me a huge parcel carefully tied up and sealed. 'Take care of but don't open this,' he said; "if I get better, return it to me, if I die, let no mortal eye but yours see it, and burn it."
His widow died a year after him. I had well nigh forgotten this packet, which I had had full three years, when, lookingfor some title deeds. I came across it, and opened it, as it was my duty to do. Its contents astonished me. The more I read it, the more marvellous it seemed. I pondered long on the meaning of his instructions when he gave it to me, and kept the manuscript same years, hesitating what to do with it.
At length I came to the conclusion, knowing his idiosyncrasy well, that his fear was only lest any one should know who the writer was; and feeling that it would be sinful to destroy such a history. I copied themanuscript and destroyed the original. He died relationless. No one now can trace the author; no names are mentioned in the book, though they were given freely in the margin of his manuscript, and I alone know to whom the initials refer. If I have done harm in printing it, I have done none to him, have indeed only carried out his evident intention, and given to a few a secret history, which bears the impress of truth on every page, a contribution to psychology.
I began these memoirs when about twenty-five years old, having from youth kept a diary of some sort, which perhaps from habit made me think of recording my inner and secret life.
When I began it, had scarcely read a baudy book, none of which, excepting Fanny Hill, appeared to me to be truthful: that did, and it does so still; the others telling of recherche eroticisms or of inordinate copulative powers, of the strange twists, tricks, and fancies of matured voluptuousness and philosophical lewdness, seemed to my comparative ignorance as baudy imaginings or lying inventions, not worthy of belief; although I now know, by experience, that they may be true enough, however eccentric and improbable, they may appear to the uninitiated.
Fanny Hills was a woman's experience. Written perhaps by a woman, where was a maids written with equal truth? That book has no baudy word in it; but baudy acts need the baudy ejaculations; the erotic, full flavored expressions, which even the chastest indulge in when hut, or love, is in its full tide of performance. SoI determined to write my private life freely as to fact, and in the spirit of the lustful acts done by me, or witnessed; it is written therefore with absolute truth and without any regard whatever for what the world calls decency. Decency and voluptuousness in its fullest acceptance cannot exist together, one would kill the other, the poetry of copulation I have only experienced with a few women, which however neither prevented them nor me from calling a spade a spade.
I began it for my amusement; when many years had been chronicled I tired of it and ceased. Some ten years afterwards I met a woman, with whom, or with those she helped me to, I did, said, saw, and heard well nigh everything a man and woman could do with their genitals, and began to narrate those events, when quite fresh in my memory, a great variety of incidents extending over four years or more. Then I lost sight of her, and my amorous amusements for a while were simpler, but that part of my history was complete.
After a little while, I set to work to describe the events of the Intervening year's of my youth and early middle age, which included most of my gallant intrigues and adventures of a frisky order, but not the more lascivious ones of later years. Then a mess caused me to think seriously of burning the whole. But not liking to destroy my labor, I laid it aside again for a couple of years. Then another illness gave me long uninterrupted leisure; I read my manuscript and filled in some occurrences which I had forgotten but which my diary enabled me to place in their proper order. This will account for the difference in style in places, which I now observe; and a very needless repetition of voluptuous descriptions, which I had forgotten and had been before described; that however is inevitable, for human copulation, vary the incidents leading up to it as you may, is, and must be, at all times much the same affair.
Then, for the first time, I thought I would print my work that had been commenced more than twenty years before, but hesitated. Ithen had entered my maturity, and on to the most lascivious portion of my life, the events were disjointed, and fragmentary and my amusement was to describe them just after they occurred. Most frequently the next day I wrote all down with much prolixity; since, I have much abbreviated it.
I had from youth an excellent memory, but about sexual matters a wonderful one. Women were the pleasure of my life. I loved cunt, but also who had it, I like the woman I fucked and not simply the cunt I fucked, and thereinis a great difference. I recollect even now in a degree which astonishes me, the face, colour, stature, thighs, backside, and sung of well nigh every woman I have had, who was not a mere casual, and even of some who were. The clothes they wore, the housesand rooms in which I had them, were before me mentally as I wrote, the way the bed and furniture were placed, the side of the room the windows were on, I remembered perfectly; and all the important events I can fix as to time, sufficiently nearly by reference to my diary, in which the contemporaneous circumstances of my life are recorded. I recollect also largely what we said and did, and generally our baudy amusements. Where I fail to have done so, I have left description blank, rather than attempt to make a story coherent by in sorting what was merely probable. I could not now account for my course of action, or why I did this, or said that, my conduct seems strange, foolish, absurd, very frequently, that of some women equally so, but I can but state whatdid occur.
In a few cases, I have, for what even seems to me very strange, suggested reasons or causes; but only where the facts seem by themselves to be very improbable, but have not exaggerated anything willingly. When I have named the number of times Ihave fucked a woman in my youth, I may occasionally be in error, it is difficult to be quite accurate on such points after a lapse of time. But as before said, in many cases the incidents were written down a few weeks and often within a few days after they occurred. I do not attempt to pose as a Hercules in copulation, there are quite sufficient braggarts on that head, much intercourse with gay women, and doctors, makes me doubt the wonderful feats in coition some men tell of.
I have one fear about publicity, it is that of having done a few things by curiosity and impulse (temporary aberrations) which even professed libertines may cry fie on. There are plenty who will cry fie who have done all and worse than I have and habitually, but crying out at the sinsof others was always a way of hiding one s own iniquity. Yet from that cause perhaps no mortal eye but mine will see this history.
The Christian name of the servants mentioned are generally the true ones, the other names mostly false, tho phonetically resembling the true ones. Initials nearly always the true ones. In most cases the women they represent are dead or lost to me. Streets and bandy houses named are nearly always correct Most of the houses named are now closed or pulled down; but any middle-agedman about town would recognize them. Where a road, house, room, or garden is described, the description is exactly true, even to the situation of a tree, chair, bed, sofa, pisspot. The district is sometimes given wrongly; but it matters little whether Brompton be substituted for Hackney, or CamdenTown for Walworth. Where however, owing to the incidents, it is needful, the places of amusement are given correctly. The Tower, and Argyle rooms, for example. All this is done to prevent giving pain to some, perhaps still living, for I have no malice to gratify.
I have mystified family affairs, but if I say I had ten cousins when I had but six, or that one aunt's house was in Surrey instead of Sent, or in Lancashire, it breaks the due and cannot matter to the reader. But my doings with man and woman are as true as gospel If I say that I saw, or did, that with a cousin, male or female, it was with a cousin and no mere acquaintance; if with a servant, it was with a servant; if with a casual acquaintance, it is equally true. Nor if I say I had that woman, and did this or that with her, or felt or did aught else with a man, be there a word of untruth, excepting as to the place at which the incidents occurred. But even those are mostly correctly given; this is intendedto be a true history, and not a lie.
Some years have passed away since I penned the foregoing, and it is not printed. I have since gone through abnormal phases of amatory life, have done and seen things, had tastes and letches which years ago I thought were the dreams of erotic mad-men; these are all described, the manuscript has grown into unmanageable bulk; shall it, can it, be printed? What will be said or thought of me, what became of the manuscript if found when I am dead? Betterto destroy the whole, it has fulfilled its purpose in amusing me, now let it go to the flames!
I have read my manuscript through; what reminiscences I had actually forgotten some of the early ones; how true the detail strikes me as I read of my early experiences; had it not been written then it never could have been written now; has anybody but myself faithfully made such a record? It would be a sin to burn all this, whatever society may say, it is but a narrative of human life, perhaps the every day life of thousands, if the confession could be had.
What strikes me as curious in reading it is the monotony of the course I have pursued towards women who were not of the gay class; it has been as similar and repetitive as fucking itself; do all men act so, doesevery man kiss, coax, hint smuttily, then talk bawdily, snatch a feel, smell his fingers, assault, and win, exactly as I have done? Is every woman offended, say 'no,' then 'oh!' blush, be angry, refuse, close her thighs, after a struggle open them, and yield to her lust as mine have done? A conclave of whares telling the truth, and of Romish Priests, could alone settle the point. Have all men had the strange letches which late in life have enraptured me, though in early days the idea of them revolted me? Ican never know this; my experience, if printed, may enable others to compare as I cannot.
Shall it be burnt or printed? How many years have passed in this indecision? Why fear? It is for others good and not my own if preserved.
Earliestrecollections • An erotic nursemaid • Ladiesabed • My cock • A frisky governess • Cousin Fred• Thoughts on pudenda • A female pedlar • Baudypictures • A naked baby
My earliest recollections of things sexual are of what I thinkmust have occurred some time between my age of five and eightyears. I tell of them just as I recollect them, without attempt tofill in what seems probable.
She was I suppose my nursemaid. I recollect that she sometimesheld my little prick when I piddled, was it needful to do so?Idon't know. She attempted to pull my prepuce back, when, and howoften, I know not. But I am clear about seeing the prick tip show,of feeling pain, of yelling out, of her soothing me, and of thisoccurring more than once. She comes to my memory as a shortish,fattish, young female, and that she often felt my prick.
One day, it must have been late in the afternoon for the sun waslow but shining-how strange I should recollect that so clearly -but I have always recollected sunshine, - I had been walkingoutwith her, toys had been bought me, we were both carrying them, shestopped and talked to some men, one caught hold of her and kissedher, I felt frightened, it was near a coach stand, for hackneycoaches were there, cabs were not then known, she put what toys shehad on to my hands and went into a house with a man. What house? Idon't know. Probably a public-house, for there was one not far froma coach stand, and not far from our house. She came out and we wenthome.
Then I was in our house in a carpeted room with her; it couldnot have been the nursery I know, sitting on the floor with mytoys; so was she; as played with me and the toys, we rolled overeach other on the floor in fun, I have a recollection of havingdone that with others, and of my father and mother being in thatroom at times with me playing. She kissed, me, got out my cock, andplayed with it, took one of my hands and put it underneath herclothes. It felt rough there, that's all, she moved my little handviolently there, then she feltmy cock and again hurt me, Irecollect seeing the red tip appear as she pulled down the prepuce,and my crying out, and her quieting me. Then of her being on herback, of my striding across or between her legs, and her heaving meup and down, and my riding cockhorse and that it was not the firsttime I had done so; then I fell flat on her, she heaved me up anddown and squeezed me till I cried. I scrambled off of her, and indoing so my hand, or foot, went through a drum I had been drummingon, at which Icried.
As I sat crying on the floor beside her, I recollect her nakedlegs, and one of her hands shaking violently beneath herpetticoats, and of my having some vague notion that the woman wasill; I felt timid. All was for a moment quiet, her handceased,still she lay on her back, and I saw her thighs, thenturning round she drew me to her, kissed me and tranquillised me.As she turned round I saw one side of her backside, I leant over itandlaid my face on it crying about my broken drum, the eveningsunbeams made it all bright, it had at some time been raining, Irecollect.
I expect I must have seen her cunt, as I sat beside her nakedthigh. Looking towards her and crying about my broken drum, andwhen I saw her hand moving no doubt she was frigging. YetI have notthe slightest recollection of her cunt, nor of anything more than Ihave told. But of having seen her naked thighs I am certain, I seemoften to have seen them, but cannot feel certain of that.
The oddest thing is that whilst I early recollected more or lessclearly what took place two or three years, later on, and everafterwards, on sexual matters, and what I said, heard, and did,nearly consecutively, this, my first recollection of cock and cunt,escaped my memory for full twenty years.
Thenone day, talking with the husband of one of my cousins,about infantine incidents, he told me some thing which had occurredto him in his childhood; and suddenly, almost as quickly as a magiclantern throws a picture on to a wall, this which had occurred tome came into my mind. I have since thought over it a hundred times,but cannot recollect one circumstance relating to the adventuremore than I have told.
My mother had been giving advice to my cousin about nursemaids.They were not to be trusted. "WhenWalter was a little fellow, shehad dismissed a filthy creature, whom she had detected inabominable practices with one of her children*; what they were mymother never disclosed. She hated indelicacies of any sort, andusually cut short allusion to them by saying, it is not a subjectto talk about, lets talk of some thing else: My cousin told herhusband, and when we were together he told me, and his ownexperiences, and then all the circumstances, came into my mind,just as I have told here.
I could not,as the reader will hear, thoroughly uncover my pricktip without pain till I was sixteen years old, nor well then whenquite stiff unless it went up a cunt. My nursemaid I expect thoughtthis curious, and tried to remedy the error in my make, and hurtme.My mother, by her extremely delicate feeling, shut herself offfrom much knowledge of the world, which was the reason why she hadsuch implicit belief in my virtue, until I had seen twenty-twoyears, and kept, or nearly so, a French harlot. I imagine I musthave slept with this nursemaid, and certainly I did with somefemale, in a room called the Chinese room, on account of the colorof the wall papers. I recollect a female being there in bed withme, that I awoke one morning feeling very hot and stifled, and thatmy head was against flesh; that flesh was all about me, my mouthand nose being embedded in hair, or some thing scrubby, which had ahot peculiar odour. I have a recollection of a pair of handssuddenly clutching and dragging me up on to the pillow, and ofdaylight then. I have no recollection of a word being uttered. Thisincident I could not long have forgotten, having told my cousinheard of it before my father did. He used to say it was thegoverness.
I suppose I must have slipped down in my sleep, till my headlaid against her belly and cunt: Some years afterwards, when I gotthe smell of another woman's cunt on myfingers, it at once remindedme of the smell I had under my nose in the bed; and I knew at aflash that I had smelt cunt before andrecollected where, but nomore.
How long after I have no idea, but it seems like two or threeyears, there was a dance in our house, several relations were tostop the night with us, the house was full, there was bustle, theshifting of beds, the governessgoing into a servant's room tosleep, and so on. Some female cousins were amongst those stoppingwith us; going into the drawing-room suddenly, I heard my mothersaying to one of my aunts, "Walter is after all but a child, andit's only for one night.' 'Hush-hush,' both said as they saw me,then my mother sent me out of the room, wondering why they weretalking about me, and feeling curious and annoyed at being sentaway.
I had been in the habit then of sleeping in a room either withanother bed in it or close to a room leading out of it, withanother bed, I cannot recollect which; I used to call out towhoever might have been there when I was in bed: for being timid,the door was kept open for me. It could not have been a man whoslept there, for the men-servants slept on the ground floor, I haveseen their beds there. The night I speak of, my bed was taken out,and put into the Chinese-paper room, one of the maids who helped tomove it sat on the pot and piddled; I heard the rattle, and as faras I can recollect it was the first time I noticed anything of thesort, tho I recollect well seeing women putting on their stockingsand feeling the thigh of one of them just above her knee. I waskneeling on the floor at the time and had a trumpet, which she tookangrily out of my hand soon afterwards, because I made a noise.
I recollect the dance, that I danced with a tall lady, that mymother, contrary to custom as it seems to me, put me to bedherself, and that it was before the dance was over, for I feltangry and tearful at being put to bed so early. My mother closedthe curtains quite tightly all round a small four post bed, andtold me I was to lie quietly and not get up till she came to me inthe morning; not to speak, nor undo my curtains, nor to get out ofbed, or I should disturb Mr. and Mrs. *** who were to sleep in thebig bed; that it would make them angry if I did. I am almostcertain she named a lady and her husband who were going to staywith us; but can't be sure. A man then frightened me more thanawoman, my mother I dare say knew that.
I dare say, for it was the same the greater part of my earlylife that I went to sleep directly I laid down, usually neverawaking till the morning. Certainly I must have gone fast asleepthat night; Perhaps I had hada little wine given me who knows, Ihave a sudden consciousness of a light, and hear someone say, "Heis fast asleep, don't make a noise"; it seemed like my mother'svoice. I rouse myself and listen, the circumstances are strange,the room strange, it excites me, and I rise on my knees, I don'tknow whether naturally, or cautiously, or how; perhaps cautiously,because I fear angering my mother, and the gentleman; perhaps asexual instinct makes me curious, though that is not probable. Ihave not in fact the slightest conception of the actuating motive,but I sat up and listened. There were two females talking, laughingquietly and moving about, I heard a rattling in the pot, then arest, then again a rattle and knew the sound of piddling. How longI listened I don't know, I might have dozed and awakened again,Isaw lights moved about; then I crawled on my knees, with fear thatI was doing wrong, and pushed a little aside the curtains wherethey met at the bottom of the bed. I recollect them being quitetight by the tucking in, and that I could not easily make anopening to peep through. There was a girl, or young woman, with herback to me, brushing her hair, another was standing by her, onetook a night gown off the chair, shook it out, and dropped itoverher head, after drawing off her chemise. As this was done I sawsome black at the bottom of her belly, a fear came over me that Iwas doing wrong and should be punished if found looking, and I laiddown wondering at it all; I fancy I again slept.
Then there was a shuffling about, and again it seems as if Iheard a noise like piddling, the light was put out, I feltagitated, I heard the women kiss, one say "Hish! you will wake thatbrat," then one said, "Listen" then I heard kisses and breathinglike some one sighing, I thought some one must be ill and feltalarmed and must then have fallen asleep. I do not know who thewomen were, they must have been my cousins, or young ladies who hadcome to the dance. That was the first time I recollect seeing thehair ofa cunt, though I must have seen it before, for I recollectat times a female (most likely a nursemaid) stand naked, but don'trecollect noticing anything black between her thighs, nor did Ithink about it at an afterwards.
In the morning my mother came and took me up to her room, whereshe dressed me; as she left the room, she said to the females inbed they were not to hurry up, she had only fetched Walter.
But all this only came vividly to my mind when, a few yearsafter, I began to talk about women withmy cousin, and we told eachother all we had seen, and heard, about females.
Until I was about twelve years old I never went to school, thesewas a governess in the house who instructed me and the otherchildren, my father was nearly always at home. I wascarefully keptfrom the grooms and other men servants; once I recollect getting tothe stable yard and seeing a stallion mount a mare, his prick goright out of sight in what appeared to me to be the mare's bottomof father appearing and calling out, "What does that boy do there?"and my being hustled away. I had scarcely a boy acquaintance,excepting among my cousins, and therefore did not learn as muchabout sexual matters as boys early do at schools. I did not knowwhat the stallion was doing, I could have had no notion of it then,nor did I think about it.
The next thing I clearly recollect, was one of my male cousinsstopping with us, we walked out, and when piddling together againsta hedge, his saying, "Shew me your cock, Walter, and I will chewyoumine." We stood and examined each other's cocks, and for thefirst time I became conscious that I could not get my foreskineasily back like other boys. I pulled his backwards and forwards.He hurt me, laughed and sneered at me, another boy came and I thinkanother, we all compared cocks, and mine was the only one whichwould not unskin, they jeered me, I burst into tears, and went awaythanking there was some thing wrong with me, and was ashamed toshew my cockagain, tho I set to work earnestly to try topull theforeskin back, but always desisted, fearing the pain, for I wasvery sensitive.
My cousin then told me that girls had no cock, but only a holethey piddled out of, we were always talking about them, but I don'trecollect the word cunt, nor that Iattached any lewed idea to agirl's pidding hole, or to their cocks being flat, an expressionheard I think at the same period. It remained only in my mind thatmy cock and the girls hole were to piddle out of, and nothing moreI cannot be certain about myage at this time.
Afterwards I went to that uncle's house often, my cousin Fredwas to be put to school, and we talked a great deal more aboutgirls' cocks, which began to interest me much. He had never seenone, he said, but he knew that they had two holes, one four boggingand the other to piddle from. They sit down to piddle said he, theydon't piddle against a wall as we do, but that I must have knownalready, afterwards I felt very curious about the matter. One day,one of his sisters left the room where we were sitting. "She isgoing to piddle," he said to me. We sneaked into a bedroom of oneof them one day and gravely looked into the pot to see what piddlewas in it. Whether we expected to find any thing different fromwhat there was in our own chamber pot I do not know. When talkingabout these things my cousin would twiddle his cock. We wonderedhow the piddle came out, if they wetted their legs and if the holewas near the bum hole, or where; one day Fred and I pissed againsteach other's cocks, and thought it excellent fun.
I recollect being very curious indeed about the way girlspiddled after this, and seeing them piddle became a taste I havekept all my life. I would listen at the bed room doors, if I couldget near them unobserved, when my mother, sister, the governess, ora servant went in, hoping to hear the rattle and often succeeded.It was accompanied by no sexual desire or idea, as far as I canrecollect; I had no cock-stand, and am sure that I then did notknow that the woman had a holecalled a cunt and used it forfucking. I can recall no idea of the sort, it was simple curiosityto know something about those whom I instinctively felt were madedifferent from myself. What sort of a hole could it be, I wondered?Was it large? Was it sound? Why did they squat instead of stand uplike men? My curiosity became intense. How long after this thefollowing took place I can't say, but my cock was bigger. I havethat impression very distinctly.
One day, there were people in one of the sitting rooms; where mymother and father were I don't know; they were not in the room, andwere most likely out. There were one or two of my cousins, someyouths, my big sister and one brother, besides others, ourgoverness, and her sister, who was stopping with us,and sleeping inthe same room with her. I recollect both going into the bedroomtogether, it was next to mine. It was evening, we had sweet wine,cake, and snap-dragon, and played at something at which all sat ina circle on the floor. I was very ticklish,it nearly sent me intofits, we tickled each other on the floor. There was much fun, andnoise, the governess tickled me, and I tickled her. She said as Iwas taken to bed, or rather went, as I then did by myself, "I'll goand tickle you.' Now at that time, when I was in bed, a servant, ormy mother, or the governess took away the light and closed thedoor; for I was still frightened to get into bed in the dark, andused to call out, "Mamma. I'm going to get into bed." Thentheyfetched the light, they wished to stop this timidity, oftenscolded me about it, and made me undress myself, by myself, to cureme of it.
I expect the other children had been put to bed. My motherkeeping all the younger ones in the room near her. The nursery wasalso upstairs; my room, as said, was next to the governess.
When in bed, I called out for some one to put out the light, upcame the governess and her sister. She began to tickle me, so didher sister, I laughed, screeched, and tried to tickle them. One ofthem closed the door and then came back to tickle me. I kicked allthe clothes off and was nearly naked, I begged them to desist, felttheir hands on my naked flesh, and, am quite sure that one of themtouched my prick more than once, though it might have been doneaccidentally. At last I wriggled off bed, my night-gown up to myarmpits, and dropped with my naked bum on to the floor, whilst theytickled me still, and laughed at my wriggling about andyelling.
Then what induced me heaven alone knows; it may have been what Ihad heard about the piddling-hole of a woman, or curiosity, orinstinct, I don't know; but I caught hold of the governess' leg asshe was trying to get me up on to the bed again, saying, "That willdo, my dear boy, get into bed, and let me take away the light.' Iwould not, the other lady helped to lift me, I pushed my hands upthe petticoats of the governess, felt the hair of her cunt, andthat there was something warm, and moist, between her thighs. Shelet me drop on to the floor, and jumped away from me.I must havebeen clinging to her thigh, with both hands up her petticoats, andone between her thighs, she cried out loudly -"Oh!" Thenslap-slap-lap, in quick succession, came her hand against my head."You ... rude ... bad ... boy," said she, slapping me at each word"I've a good mind to tell your mamma, get into bed this instant,and into bed I got without a word. She blew out the light and leftthe rooms with her sister, leaving me in a dreadful funk. Iscarcely knew that I had dome wrong, yet lead some vague notionthat feeling about her thighs was punishable. The soft hairy placemy hand had touched, impressed me with wonder, I kept thinkingthere was no cock there, and felt a sort of delight at what I haddone.
I heard them then talking and laughingloudly thro the partition."They are talking about me; oh, if they tell mamma, Oh! what did Ido it for?" Trembling with fear, I jumped out of bed, opened mydoor, and went to theirs, listening; theirs was ajar; I heard:"Right up between my thighs. I feltitl He must have felt it; ah!ah! ha! would you ever have thought the little beast would havedone such a thing!" They both laughed heartily. "Did you see hislittle thing?" said one. "Shut the door, it's not shut"; breathlessI got back to my room and into bed, and laying there heard themthrough the partition roaring with laughter again.
That is the first time in my life I recollect passing an all butsleepless night. The dread of being told about, and dread at what Ihad done, kept me awake. I heard thetwo women talking for a longtime. Mixed with my dread was a wonder at the hair, and the soft,moist feel I had had for an instant on some part of my hand. I knewI had felt the hiddenpart of a female, where the piddle came from,and that is all I did think about it, that I know of, I have norecollection of a lewd sensation, but of a curious sort of delightonly.
It must have been from this time, that my curiosity about thefemale form strengthened, but there was nothing sensual in it. Iwas fond of kissing, for my mother remarked it; when a femalecousin, or any female, kissed me, I would throw my arms round herand keep on kissing. My aunts used to laugh, my mother corrected meand told me it was rude. I used to say to the servants, "Kiss me."One day Iheard my godfather say: "Walter knows a pretty girl froman ugly one doesn't he!
I had a dread of meeting the governess at breakfast, watched herand saw her laugh at her sister, I watched my mother for some daysafter, and at length said to the governess, who had punished me forsomething, "Don't tell mamma." "I have nothing to tell about,Walter," she replied, "and don't know what you mean." I began totell her what was on my mind. "What's the child talking about? Youare dreaming, some stupid boy has been putting things into yourhead, your papa will thrash you, if you talk like that " "Why, youcame and tickled me," said I. "I tickled you a little when I putyour light out," said she, "be quiet." I felt stupefied, andsuppose the affair must have passedaway from my mind for a time,but I told my cousin Fred about it afterwards. He thought I musthave been dreaming, and I began to wonder if it really hadoccurred; I never thought much about it until I began to recall mychildhood for this history.
I musthave been twelve years old when I went to an uncle's inSurrey and became a close friend of my cousin Fred, a very devilfrom his cradle, and of whom much more will he told: before then Ihad only seen him at intervals. We were then allowed, and itseemsto me not before that time, to go out by ourselves. We talkedboyish baudiness. 'Ain't you green," said he, "a girl's hole isn'tcalled a cock, it's a cunt, they fuck with it," and then he told meall he knew. I dolt think I had heard that before, but can't besure. From that time a new train of ideas came into my head. I hada vague idea, though not a belief, that a cock and cunt were notmade for pissing only. Fred treated me as a simpleton in thesematters and was always calling me an ass; I have quite apainfulrecollection of my inferiority to him in such things, and ofbegging him to instruct me.
"They make children that way," said Fred. "You come up and wewill ask the old nurse where children come from, and shell say 'outof the parsley-bed,' but it's all a lie." We went and asked her ina casual sort of way. She replied, 'The parsley-bed," and laughed.The nurse at my house told me the same when I asked her afterwardsabout my mother's last baby. "Ain't they liars?" Fred remarked tome. 'It comes outof their cunts, and it's made by fucking.'
We both desired to see women piddling, though both must havebefore seen them at it often enough. Walking near the market-townwith him, just at the outskirts, and looking up a side-road, we sawa pedlar woman squat down and piss. We stopped short and looked ather: she was a short-petticoated, thick-legged, middle-aged woman;the piss ran off in a copious stream, and there we stood, grinning."Be off, be off, what are you standing grinning at, yer damnedyoung fools," cried the woman. 'Be off, or Ill heave astone atyer,' and she pissed on. We moved a few steps back, but, keepingour faces toward her, Fred stooped and put his head down. 'I cansee it coming,' said he jeeringly. He was rude from his infancy,holdin handiness to the utmost, had the impudence of the Devil. Thestream ceased, the woman rose up swearing, took up a big flint andthrew it at us. "I'll tell on yer," she cried. "I knows yer, waittill I see yer again." She had a large basket of crockery for sale,it was put down in the main-road at the angle; she had just turnedround into the side Lane to piss. We ran off, and, when well away,turned round and shouted at her. "I saw your cunt," Fred bawledout; she flung another stone. Fred took up one, threw it, and itcrashed into the crockery, the woman began to chase us, off webolted across the fields home. She could not follow us that way; itwas an eventful day for us. I recollect feeling full of envy atFred's having seen her cunt.
Though writing now, and having in my mind's eye exactly how thewoman squatted, and the way her petticoats hung, I am sure he neverdid see it; it was brag when he said he had, but we were alwaystalking about girls' cunts, the desire-to see one was great, and Ithen believed that he had seen the pedlar woman's.
Then one of Fred's companions chewed us a baudy picture, it wascoloured. I wondered at the cunt being a long sort of gash. I hadan idea that it was round, like an arse-hole. Fred told his friendI was, an ass, but I could not get the idea of a cunt not being around hole quite out of my head, until I had fucked a woman. Wewere all anxious to get the picture, and tossed up for it, butneither I nor Fred got it, some other boy did. Soon after that,Fred came to stop with us and our talk was always about women'sprivates, our curiosity became intense. I had a little sister aboutnine months old, who was in the nursery. Fred incited me to look ather cunt, if I could manage it The two nurses came down in turns,to theservants' dinner, I was often in the nursery, and, soon afterFred's suggestion, was there one day when the oldest nurse said:"Stop here, master Walter, while I go downstairs for a couple ofminutes. Mary (the other nurse) will be up directly, and don'tmakea noise. My little sister was lying on the bed asleep. "Yes, Illwait" Down, went nurse, leaving the door open; quick as lightning,I threw up the infant's clothes, saw her little slit, and put myfinger quite gently on it, she was laying on her backmostconveniently. I pulled one leg away to see better, the childawakened and began crying, I heard footsteps and had barely time topull down her clothes, when the under nursemaid came in, I only hadhad a momentary glimpse of the outside of the little cunt, for Iwas not a minute in the room with the child by myself altogetherand was fearful of being caught all the time I was looking.
'There must have been something in my face, for the nursemaidsaid, What is the matter, what have you been doing to thebaby?'Nothing." "Yes, you are colouring up, now tell me." "Nothing, Ihave done nothing." "You wakened your sister." "No, I have not. Thegirl laid hold of me and gave me a little shake, "I'll tell yourmamma if you don't tell me, what is it now?" "No, Ihave donenothing, I was looking out of the window when she began to cry.You're "telling a story, I see you are," said the nursemaid; andoff I went, after being impudent to her.
I told Fred, and he tried the same dodge, but don't recollectwhether he succeeded or not. His sisters were some of them older,and we began to scheme how to see their cunts, when I was on avisit to-his mother's. (my aunt), which was to come off in theholidays. The look of the little child's cunt, as I described it,convinced him that the picture was correct, and that a cunt was along slit and not a round hole. That cast doubt on males puttingtheir pricks into them, and we clung somehow to the idea of theround hole, and we quarrelled about it. It must have been aboutthis timethat I was walking with my father, and read something thatwas written in chalk on the walls. I asked him what it meant. Hesaid he did not know, that none but low people, and blackguardswrote on walls; and it was not worthwhile noticing such things. Iwas conscious that I had done wrong somehow, but did not knowexactly what. When I went out, which I was now allowed to do forshort distances by myself, I copied what was on the walls, to tellFred, it was foul, baudy language of some sort, but the only thingwe understood at all, was the word cunt.
Just then being out with some boys, we saw two dogs fucking. Ihave no recollection of seeing dogs doing that before, We closedround them, yelling with delight as they stuck rump to rump, thenone boy said thatwas what men and women did, and I asked, did theystick together so, a boy replied that they did; others did it, and,all the remainder of the day, some of us discussed this; theimpression left on my mind is that it appeared to me very nasty;but it seemed at the same time to confirm me in the belief that menput their pricks up into women's holes, about which I seem at thattime to have had grave doubts.
After this time my recollection of events is clearer, and I cantell not only what took place, but better what I heard, said, andthought.
My godfather • At Hampton-Court • My aunt's backside• Public baths • My cousins cunts • Haymakingfrolics • Family difficulties • School amusements• A masturbating relative • Romance and sentiment.
My godfather (whose fortune I afterwards inherited) was veryfond of me; somewhere about this time he used perpetually to besaying, 'When you get to school, don't you follow any of the tricksyourself that other boys do, or you will the in a mad-house; lotsof boys do." And he told me some horrible tales; it was done in amysterious way. I felt there was a hidden meaning and, not havingknowledge of what it was, asked him. I should know fast enough,said he, but mark his words. He repeated this so often that it sunkdeeply into my mind, and made me uneasy, something was to happen tome, if I did something -I did not know what-it was intended as acaution against frigging; and it bad good effect on me I am sure invarious ways in the after time.
One day talking with Fred, I recollected what I had done to thegoverness. I had kept it to myself all along for fear. 'What alie," said he. "I did really." 'Oh! ain't you a liar,' hereiterated, I'll ask Miss Granger." The same governess was with usthen. At this remark of his, an absolute terror came over me, thedread was something so terrible that the recollection of it is now'Oh don't, Pray, don't, Fred,' I said, 'oh, if Papa should hear! Hekept on saying he would I was too young to see the improbability ofhisdoing anything of the sort. 'If you do, I'll tell him what wedid when the pedlar woman piddled.' He did not care. 'Now, it's alie, isn't it, you did not feel her cunt?' In fear, I confessed itwas a lie. 'I knew it was; said Fred. He had kept me in a state ofterror about the affair for days, till I told a lie to get quit ofthe subject.
I was evidently always secret, even then, about anythingamorous, excepting with Fred (as will be seen), and have continuedso all my life. I rarely bagged or told anyone of my doings;perhaps this little affair with the governess was a lesson to me,and confirmed me in a habit natural to me from my infancy. I havekept to myself everything did with the opposite sex.
We now frequently examined our pricks, and Fred jeeredme soabout my prepuce being tight that I resolved no other boy shouldsee it; and though I did not keep strictly to that intention, itleft a deep-seated mortification on me. I used to look at my prickwith a sense of shame and pull the prepuce up and down, as far as Icould, constantly, to loosen it, and would treat other boys' cocksin the same way, if they would let me, without expecting me to makea return; but the time was approaching when. I was to learn muchmore.
One of my uncles, who lived in London, took a house in tidecountry for the summer near Hampton Court Palace. Fred and I wentto stay there with him. There were several daughters and sons, thesons quite young. People then came down from London in vans, carts,and carriages of all sorts, tosee the Palace and grounds (there wasno railway),they were principally of the small middle classes, andused to picnic, or else dine, at the taverns when they arrived;then full, and frisky, after their early- meal, go into the parksand gardens. They do so still, but times were different then, sofew people went there comparatively, fewer park-keepers to lookafter them, and less of what is called delicacy amongst visitors ofthe class named.
Our family party used to go into the grounds daily, and all daylong nearly, if we were not on the river banks. Fred winked at meone day, "Let's lose Bob," said he, and we'll have such a lark."Bob was one of our little cousins, generally given into our charge.We lost Bob purposely. Said Fred, "If you dodge the gardeners,creep up there, and lay on your belly quietly, some girls will besure to come and piss, you'll see them pull their clothes up asthey turn round, I saw some before you came to stay with us." So wewent, pushing our way among shrubs and evergreens, till a gardener,who had seen us, called out, "You there, come back, if I catch yougoing off the walks, you'll be put outside." We were in such afunk, Fred cut off one way, I another, but it only stopped us forthat day. Fred so excited me about the girls' arses, as he calledthem, that we never lost an opportunity of trying for a sight, butwere generally baulked. Once or twice only we saw a female squatdown, but nothing more, till my mother and Fred's came to stop withus.
Fred's mother, mine, the girls, Fred and I went into the parkgardens, one day after luncheon. A very hot day, for we kept on theshady walks, one of which led to the place where women hidthemselves to piss. My aunt said, "Why don't you boys go and play,you don't mind the sun," sooff we went, but when about to leave thewalk, turned round and saw the women had turned back. Said Fred;"I'm sure they are going to piss, that's why they want to get ridof us." We evaded the gardeners, scrambled through shrubs, on ourknees, and at last on our bellies, up a little bank, on the otherside of which was the vacant place on which' dead leaves andsweepings were shot down. As we got there, pushing aside theleaves, we saw the big backside of a woman, who was half standing,half squatting, astream of piss falling in front of her, and a bighairy gash, as it seemed, under her arse; but only for a second,she had just finished as we got the peep, let her clothes fall,tucked them between her legs, and half turning round. We saw it wasFred's mother, my aunt. Off aunt went. "Isn't it a wopper," saidFred, "lay still, more of them will come."
Two or three did; one said, "You watch if anyone is coming,"squatted and piddled, we could not see her cunt, but only part ofher legs, and the piddle splashing in front of her. Then came thesecond, she had her arse towards us, sat so low that we could noteven see the tips of her buttocks. Fred thought it a pity they didnot stand half up like his mother. On other occasions, we went tothe same place, but though I recollect seeing some females legs,don't recollect seeing any more. Nevertheless the sights were verydelightful to us, and, we used to discuss his mothers "wopper" andthe hair, and the look of the gash, but I thought there must besome mistake,for it was not the idea I had formed of a cunt.
Fred soon after stopped with us in town, we had been forbiddento go out together without permission, but we did, and met a boybigger than either of us, who was going tobathe. "Come and see thembathing," he said. My father had refused to take me to the publicbaths. Disregarding this, Fred and I paid our six pence each add inwe went with our friend; we did not bathe, but amused ourselveswith seeing others, and the pricks of the men. None, as far as Icanrecollect, wore drawers in those days, they used to walk abouthiding their pricks generally with their hands, but not always. Iwas astonished at the size of some of them, and at the dark hairabout them and on other parts of their bodies. I wondered alsoatseeing one or two, with the red tip shewing fully, so differentfrom mine. All this was much talked over by us afterwards, it wasto me an insight into the male make and form, Fred told me he hadoften seen men's pricks in their fields, and in those days, livingin the country as he did, I dare say it was true, but I don'trecollect ever having seen the pricks of full grown men, or a nakedman, before in my life.
It must have been in the summer of that same year that I wentafter this to spend some daysat my aunt's at H-*-dfs*-**, Fred'smother. We slept in the same room and sometimes got up quite atdaybreak to go fishing. One morning Fred had left something in oneof his sisters rooms, and went to fetch it, though forbidden to gointo the girls' bedrooms. The room in question was opposite toours. He was only partly dressed, and came back in a second, hisface grinning. "Oh! come Wat, come softly, Lucy and Mary are quitenaked, you can see their cunts, Lucy has some black hair on hers.'I was only halfdressed, and much excited by the idea of seeing mycousins' nudity. We both took off our slippers and crept alongthrough the door half open, then went on our kneed but why we didso, to this day I don't understand, and so crept to the foot of thebed, then raising ourselves, we both looked over the footboard.Lucy, fifteen years old, was laying half on her side, naked fromher knees to her waist, the bed-clothes kicked off (I supposethrough heat), were dragging across her feet and partly laying onthe floor; we saw her split, till lost in the closed thighs, shehad a little dark short hair over the top of her cunt, and that isall I can recollect about it.
Mary-Ann by the side of her, a year younger only, laid on herback, naked up to her navel, just above which was her night-gown ina heap and ruck; she had scarcely a sign of hair on her cunt, but avermillion lay right through her crack. Projecting more towards thetop, where her cunt began, she had what, I now know was a stronglydeveloped clitoris; shewas a lovely girl and had long chestnuthair. Whilst we looked she moved one leg up in a restless manner,and we bobbed down, thinking she was awaking; when we looked again,her limbs were more open, and we saw the cunt till it was pinchedup, by the closing of her buttocks. In fear of being caught, wesoon crept out, closed the door ajar, and regained our bedroom, sodelighted that we danced with joy as we talked about the look ofthe two cunts; of which after all we had only had a most partial;rapid glimpse.
Lucy was a very plain girl, and was so as a woman. She had, Irecollect, a very red bloated looking face as she lay (it was sohot); she it was, who in after-life my mother cautioned aboutleaving her infant son to a nursemaid Mary-Ann was lovely. Iusedafterwards to look and talk with her, "thinking to myself: "Ah! youhave but little idea, that I have seen your cunt." She wasunfortunate; married a cavalry officer, went toIndia with him, wasleft at a station unavoidably by her husband, who was sent on acampaign, for a whole year; could not bear being deprived of cock,and was caught in the act of fucking with a drummer boy, a merelad. She was separated from him, came back to England, and drankherself to death. She was a salacious young woman, Ithink, fromwhat I recollect of her, and am told was afterwards fucked by a lotof men; but it was a sore point with the family, and all about herwas kept quiet.
One of Lucy's sons, in after years, I saw fucking a maid in asummer-house: both standing upagainst a big table; I was on theroof. Many years before that I fucked a nursemaid, she laying onthat table in the very same summer-house, as I shall presentlytell. Fred and I used to discuss the look of his sisters' andmother's cunts, as if they hadbelonged to strangers. The redness ofthe line in Mary-Ann's quiet astonished us. I do not recollecthaving even then formed any definite notion of what a girl's cuntwas, though we had seen the splits, but had still, and till muchfurther on, the notion that the hole was round, and close to wherethe clitoris is, having no idea then of what a clitoris was, thoughwe had got an Aristotle and used to read it greedily; the glimpsesof the two cunts were but momentary, and our excitement roused ourrecollections.
Fred and I then formed a plot to look at another girl's cunt;who the girl was I don't know, it may have been another of Fred'ssisters, or a cousin by another of my aunts, but I think not; atall events, she was stopping in aunt's house, and from herheight,which was less than that of Fred and myself, I should think a girlof about eleven or twelve years of age. I scrupulously avoidstating anything positively unless quite certain. Some yearsafterwards when we were very young men, we did the same thing witha female cousin (but not his sister), as I shall tell.
There was haymaking. We romped with the girl, buried each otherin hay, pulled each other out, and so on. I was buried in the hayand dragged out by my legs by Fred and the girl. Then Fred was;thenwe buried the girl, and as Fred pulled her out he threw up herclothes, I lay over her head, which was covered with hay. Fred saw,winked, and nodded. It came to my turn again to be buried, and thenhers; I laid hold of her legs and pulling them fromunder the hay,saw her thighs, I pushed her knees up, and had a glimpse of theslit, which was quite hairless. My aunt and others were in the veryfield, but had no idea of the game we were playing, the girlromping with us had no idea that we were looking at her cunt, andan instantaneous peep only it was.
What effect sensuously these glimpses of cunt had on me, I don'tknow; but have no recollection of sexual desire, nor of mine norFred's cock being stiff. I expect that what with games and ourstudies,that, after all, the time we devoted to thinking aboutwomen was not long, and curiosity our sole motive in doing what wedid. I clearly recollect our talking at that time about fucking,and wondering if it were true or a lie. We could repeat what we hadread and heard, but it still seemed improbable to me that a cockshould go up a cunt, and the result be a child.
Then a passionate liking for females came over me; I fell in asort of love with a lady who must have been forty, and had a sadfeeling about her, that is all I recollect. Then Ibegan to followservants about, in the hope of seeing their legs or seeing thempiddle, or for some undefined object; but that I was always lookingafter them I know very well.
Then (I know now) my father got into difficulties, we moved Intoa smaller house, the governess went away, I was sent to anotherschool, one of my brothers and sisters died; my father went abroadto look after some plantations, and after a year's absence cameback and died, leaving my mother in what, compared with our formercondition, were poor circumstances, but this in due course will bemore fully told. I think I went to school, though not long beforewhat I am going to tell of happened, but am not certain; if so, Imust have seen boys frigging,yet as far as I can arrange in my mindthe order of events, I first saw a boy doing that, in my ownbedroom at home.
I was somewhere, I suppose, about thirteen years of age when adistant relative came from the country to stay with us, until hewas put tosome great school He was the son of a clergyman, and musthave been fifteen, or perhaps sixteen, years old, and was stronglypitted with the small-pox. I had never seen him before and took astrong dislike to him; the family were poor, this boy was intendedfor a clergyman. I was excessively annoyed, that he was to sleepwith me, but in our small house there was just then no other placefor him.
How many nights he slept in my bed I don't recollect, it canhave been but few. One evening in bed he felt my prick; repulsinghim at first, I nevertheless afterwards felt his, and recollect ourhands crossing each other and our thighs being close together.Awakening one morning, I felt his belly up against my rump, and hisfeeling or pushing his prick against my arse, putting my hand back,I pushed him away; then I found it pushing quickly backwards andforwards between my thighs, and his hand, passed over my hips, wasgrasping my cock. Turning round, I faced him; he asked me to turnround again, and said I might doit to him afterwards, but nothingmore was done. An unpleasant feeling about sleeping with him is inmy memory, but as said, I disliked him.
The next night, undressing, he showed me his prick stiff, as hesat naked on a chair; it was an exceedingly long but thin article;he told me about frigging, and said he would frig me, if I wouldfrig him. He commenced moving his hand quickly up and down on hisprick which got stiffer and stiffer, he jerked up one leg, then theother, shut his eyes, and altogether looked so strange that Ithought be was going to have a fit, then out spurted little pastylumps, whilst he snorted, as some people do in their sleep, andfell back in the chair with his eyes closed; then I saw stuffrunning thinner over his knuckles.
I wasstrangely fascinated as I looked at him, and at what was onthe carpet, but half thought he was ill; he then told me it wasgreat pleasure, and was eloquent about it. Even now, as it didthen, the evening seemed to me a nasty, unpleasant one, yet I lethimget hold of my prick and frig it, but had no sensation ofpleasure, He said, "Your skin, won't come off, what a funny prick";that annoyed me, and I would not let him do more, we talked tillour candle burnt out; he stamped out the sperm on the carpet,saying the servants would think we had been spitting. Then we, gotinto bed.
Afterwards he frigged himself several times before me, and athis request I frigged him, wondering at the result, and amused, yetat the same time much disgusted. When frigging himone day, he saidit was lovely to do it in an arse-hole, that he and his brothertook it in turns that way: it was lovely, heavenly! would I let himdo it to me. In my innocence I told him it was impossible, and thatI thought him a liar. He soon left us and went to college. I sawhim once or twice after this, in later years, but at a very earlyage he drowned himself. I told my cousin Fred about this when I sawhim; Fred believed in the frigging, but thought him a liar aboutthe arse-hole business, just asI did. This was the first time Iever saw frigging and male semen, and it opened my eyes.
Though now at a public school, I was shy and reserved, butgreedily listened to all the lewd talk, of which I did not believea great deal. I became one of a group of boys of the same tastes asmyself. One day some of them coaxed me into a privy, and there, inspite of me, pulled out my cock, threw me down, held me, and eachone spat upon it, and that initiated me into their society. Theyhad what they called cocks-all-round: anyone admitted to the setwas entitled to feel the others' cocks. I felt theirs, but again,to my mortification, the tightness of my prepuce caused jeering atme; I was glad to hear that there was another boy at the school inthe same predicament, though I never saw his. This confirmed me inavoiding my companions, when they were playing at cocks-all-round;being a day scholar only, I was not forced at all times into theirintimacy, as I should have been had I been a boarder.
We had a very large playground; beyond it were fields, orchards,and walks of large extent reserved for the use of the twoheadmasters' families, many of whom were girls. On Saturday halfholidays only, if the fruit was not ripe, we were allowed to rangecertain fields, and the long bough-covered paths which surroundedthem. Two or three boys of my set told me mysteriously oneafternoon that when the others had gone ahead we were to meet inthe playground privy, in which were seats for three boys of a row,and I was to be initiated into a secret without my asking. I wassurprised at what took place, there was usually an usher in theplayground in play-hours, and if boys were too long at the privy,he went there, and made them come out. On the Saturdays, he wentout with the boysinto the fields: there was no door to the privy; Ishould add, it was a largish building.
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