This book is a fascinating and in-depth look at Victorian lower class prostitutes and their upper class client base. The Anonymous Author, a decidedly upper class gentleman apparently went through at least three fortunes which underwrote his obsessive need for paid sex, which lasted from his teenage until his death which seems to have occurred sometime in his 60's or perhaps a bit later.
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This first reprint of "My Secret Life" is for private distribution among connoisseur collectors. It is strictly limited to four hundred and seventy five copies, all of which have been subscribed for prior to publication.
In 18— my oldest friend died. We had been at school and college together, and our intimacy had never been 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 forgoten this packet which I had had full three years, when looking for some title deeds I came cross 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 some years, hesitating what to do with it.
At length I came to the conclusion knowing his idiosyncracy 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 the manuscript 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, I 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 lewedness, 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 Hill was a woman's experience. Written perhaps by a woman, where was a man's, 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 lust, or love, is in its full tide of performance. So I 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 do; 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 years 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 an illness 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, 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. I then 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 she who had it; I like the woman I fucked and not simply the cunt I fucked, and therein is a great difference. I recollect even now in a degree which astonishes me, the face, color, stature, thighs, backside, and cunt, 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 houses and 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 inserting what was merely probable. I could not now account for my course of action, nor 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 what did 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 I have 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 abberations), 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 sins of 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, the phonetically resembling the true ones. Initials nearly always the true ones. In most cases the woman they represent are dead or lost to me. Streets and baudy houses named are nearly always correct. Most of the houses named are now closed or pulled down; but any middle aged man 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 Camden Town 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 Kent, or in Lancashire; it breaks the clue 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, is there a word of untruth excepting as to the place at which the incidents occurred. But even those are mostly correctly given, this is intended to 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 become of the manuscript if found when I am dead, better to 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 toward women who were not of the gay class; it has been as similar, and repetitive as fucking itself; do all men act so, does every man kiss, coax, hint smuttily, then talk baudily, 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 whores 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? I can 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.
Earliest recollections.—An erotic nurse-maid.—Ladies
abed.—My cock.—A frisky governess.—Cousin Fred.—Thoughts
on pudend.—A female pedler.—Baudy pictures.—A naked
My earliest recollections of things sexual are of what I think must have occurred some time between my age of five, and eight years. I tell of them just as I recollect them, without attempt to fill in what seems probable.
She was I suppose my nursemaid. I recollect that she sometimes held my little prick when I piddled, was it needful to do so? I don't know. She attempted to pull my propuce back, when, and how often I know not. But I am clear at seeing the prick tip show, of feeling pain, of yelling out, of her soothing me, and of this occurring 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 was low, but shining—how strange I should recollect that so clearly—but I have always recollected sunshine.—I had been walking out with her, toys had been bought me, we were both carrying them, she stopped and talked to some men, one caught hold of her and kissed her, I felt frightened, it was near a coach stand, for hackney coaches were there, cabs were not then known, she put what toys she had on to my hands, and went into a house with a man. What house? I don't know. Probably a public-house, for there was one not far from a coach stand, and not far from our house. She came out and we went home.
Then I was in our house in a carpeted room with her; it could not have been the nursery I know, sitting on the floor with my toys, so was she; she played with me and the toys, we rolled over each other on the floor in fun, I have a recollection of having done that with others, and of my father and mother, being in that room at times with me playing.
She kissed me, got out my cock, and played with it, took one of my hands and put it underneath her clothes. It felt rough there, that's all, she moved my little hand violently there then she felt my cock and again hurt me, I recollect seeing the red tip appear as she pulled down the prepuce, and my crying out, and her quieting me.
Then of her being on her back, of my striding across or between her legs, and her heaving me up and down, and my riding cock-horse and that it was not the first time I had done so; then I fell flat on her, she heaved me up and down and squeezed me till I cried. I scrambled of! of her, and in doing so, my hand, or foot went through a drum, I had been drumming on, at which I cried.
As I sat crying on the floor besides her, I recollect her naked legs, and one of her hands shaking violently beneath her petticoats, and of my having some vague notion that the woman was ill, I felt timid. All was for a moment quiet, her hand ceased, still she lay on her back, and I saw her thighs, then turning 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 it and laid my face on it, crying about my broken drum, the evening sunbeams made it all bright, it had at some time been raining I recollect.
I expect I must have seen her cunt, as I sat beside her naked thigh. Looking towards her and crying about my broken drum, and when I saw her hand moving no doubt she was frigging. Yet I have not the slightest recollection of her cunt, nor of anything more than I have told. But of having seen her naked thighs, I am certain, I seem often to have seen them, but cannot feel certain of that.
The oddest thing is, that whilst I early recollected more or less clearly what took place two or three years later on, and ever afterwards, on sexual matters; and what I said, heard, and did, and nearly consecutively, this my first recollection of cock, and cunt, escaped my memory for full twenty years.
Then one day talking with the husband of one of my cousins, about infantine incidents he told me something which had occurred to him in his childhood; and suddenly, almost as quickly as a magic lantern throws a picture on to a wall, this which had occurred to me came into my mind. I have since thought over it a hundred times, but cannot recollect one circumstance relating to the adventure more than I have told.
My mother had been giving advice to my cousin about nursemaids. They were not to be trusted. "When Walter was a little fellow, she had dismissed a filthy creature, whom she had detected in abominable practices with one of her children," what they were my mother never disclosed. She hated indelicacies of any sort, and usually cut short allusion to them by saying, "It's not a subject to talk about, let's talk of something else." My cousin told her husband, and when we were together he told me, and his own experiences, 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 prick tip without pain, till I was sixteen years old nor well then when quite stiff unless it went up a cunt. My nursemaid I expect thought this curious, and tried to remedy the error in my make, and hurt me. My mother, by her extremely delicate feeling, shut herself off from much knowledge of the world, which was the reason why she had such implicit belief in my virtue, until I had seen twenty-two years, and kept, or nearly so, a French harlot.
I imagine I must have slept with this nurse-maid, and certainly I did with some female, in a room called the Chinese room, on account of the color of the wall papers. I recollect a female being there in bed with me, that I awoke one morning feeling very hot, and stifled, and that my head was against flesh; that flesh was all about me, my mouth and nose being embedded in hair, or some thing scrubby, which had a hot peculiar odour. I have a recollection of a pair of hands suddenly clutching, and dragging me up on to the pillow, and of daylight then. I have no recollection of a word being uttered. This incident I could not long have forgoten, having told my cousin Fred, of it before my father died. He used to say it was the governess. I suppose, I must have slipped down in my sleep, till my head laid against her belly, and cunt.
Some years afterwards when I got the smell of another woman's cunt on my fingers, it at once reminded me of the smell I had under my nose in the bed; and I knew at a flash, that I had smelt cunt before, and recollected where, but no more.
How long after, I have no idea, but it seems like two or three years, there was a dance in our house, several relations were to stop the night with us, the house was full, here was bustle, the shifting of beds, the governess going into a servant's room to sleep, and so on. Some female cousins were amongst those stopping with us; going into the drawing-room suddenly, I heard my mother saying to one of my aunts: "Walter is after all but a child, and its only for one night." Hish-hish both said, as they saw me, then my mother sent me out of the room, wondering why they were talking about me, and feeling curious, and annoyed at being sent away.
I had been in the habit then of sleeping in a room, either with another bed in it, or close to a room leading out of it, with another bed, I cannot recollect which; I used to call out to whoever 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 who slept there, for the men servants slept on the ground-floor, I have seen 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 to move it, sat on the pot and piddled; I heard the rattle, and as far as I can recollect it was the first time I noticed anything of the sort, tho I recollect well seeing women putting on their stockings and feeling the thigh of one of them just above her knee. I was kneeling on the floor at the time, and had a trumpet, which she took angrily out of my hand soon afterwards, because I made a noise.
I recollect the dance, that I danced with a tall lady, that my mother contrary to custom as it seems to me, put me to bed herself, and that it was before the dance was over, for I felt angry and tearful at being put to bed so early. My mother closed the curtains quite tightly all round a small four post bed, and told me, I was to lie quietly, and not get up till she came to me in the morning; not to speak, nor undo my curtains, nor to get out of bed, or I should disturb Mr. and Mrs. ——— who were to sleep in the big bed; that it would make them angry if I did. I am almost certain she named a lady and her husband, who were going to stay with us; but can't be sure. A man then frightened me more than a woman, my mother I dare say knew that.
I dare say, for it was the same the greater part of my life, that I went to sleep directly I laid down, usually never awaking till the morning. Certainly I must have gone fast asleep that night; perhaps I had had a little wine given me, who knows; I have a sudden consciousness of a light, and hear some one say, he is fast asleep, don't make a noise; it seemed like my mother's voice. I rouse myself and listen, the circumstances are strange, the room strange, it excites me, and I rise on my knees, I don't know whether naturally, or cautiously, or how; perhaps cautiously, because I fear angering my mother, and the gentleman, perhaps a sexual instinct makes me curious, though that is not probable. I have not in fact the slightest conception of the actuating motive, but I sat up and listened. There were two females talking, laughing quietly, and moving about, I heard a rattling in the pot, then a rest, then again a rattle and knew the sound of piddling. How long I listened, I don't know, I might have dozed and awakened again, I saw lights moved about; then I crawled on my knees, with fear that I was doing wrong, and pushed a little aside the curtains where they met at the bottom of the bed. I recollect their being quite tight by the tucking in and that I could not easily make an opening to peep through.
There was a girl, or young woman with her back to me, brushing her hair, another was standing by her, one took a night gown off the chair, shook it out, and dropped it over her head, after drawing off her chemise. As this was done I saw some black at the bottom of her belly, a fear came over me, that I was doing wrong and should be punished if found looking, and I laid down wondering at it all, I fancy I again slept.
Then there was a shuffling about, and again it seems as if I heard a noise like piddling, the light was put out, I felt agitated, I heard the women kiss, one say hish! you will wake that brat, then one said listen, then I heard kisses and breathing like some one sighing, I thought some one must be ill and felt alarmed and must then have fallen asleep. I do not know who the women were, they must have been my cousins, or young ladies who had come to the dance. That was the first time I recollect seeing the hair of a cunt, though I must have seen it before, for I recollect at times a female (most likely a nursemaid) stand naked, but don't recollect noticing anything black between her thighs, nor did I think about it at all afterwards.
In the morning my mother came and took me up to her room, where she dressed me, as she left the room, she said to the females in bed, they were not to hurry up, she had only fetched Wattie.
But all this only came vividly to my mind when, a few years after, I began to talk about women with my cousin, and we told each other all we had seen, and heard, about females.
Until I was about twelve years old I never went to school, there was a governess in the house who instructed me, and the other children, my father was nearly always at home. I was carefully kept from the grooms and other men servants; once I recollect getting to the stable yard and seeing a stallion mount a mare, his prick go right out of sight in what appeared to me to be the mares bottom, of 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 much about sexual matters, as boys early do at schools. I did not know what the stallion was doing. I could have had no notion of it then, nor did I think about it.
The next thing I clearly recollected, was one of my male cousins stopping with us, we walked out and when piddling together against a hedge, his saying: "show me your cock, Walter, and I will show you mine." We stood and examined each others cocks, and for the first time, I became conscious, that I could not get my foreskin easily back, like other boys. I pulled his backwards and forwards. He hurt me, laughed and sneered at me, another boy came and I think another, we all compared cocks, and mine was the only one which would not unskin, they jeered me, I burst into tears, and went away, thinking there was something wrong with me, and was ashamed to show my cock again, then I set to work earnestly to try to pull the foreskin back, but always desisted fearing the pain, for I was very sensitive.
My cousin then told me that girls had no cock, but only a hole they piddled out of, we were always talking about them, but I don't recollect the word cunt, nor that I attached any lewd idea to a girl's piddling hole, or to their cocks being flat, an expression heard I think at the same period. It remained only in my mind that my cock and the girl's hole were to piddle out of, and nothing more, I cannot be certain about my age at this time.
Afterwards I went to that uncle's house often, my cousin Fred was to be put to school, and we talked a great deal more about girls' cocks which began to interest me much. He had never seen one he said, but he knew that they had two holes, one for bogging and the other to piddle from. They sit down to piddle said he, they don't piddle against a wall as we do, but that I must have known already, afterwards I felt very curious about the matter.
One day, one of his sisters left the room where we were sitting, she is going to piddle, he said to me. We sneaked into a bed room of one of them one day, and gravely looked into the pot to see what piddle was in it. Whether we expected to find anything different from what there was in our own chamber pot, I do not know. When talking about these things my cousin would twiddle his cock. We wondered how the piddle came out, if they wetted their legs and if the hole was near the bum hole, or where; one day Fred and I pissed against each others cocks, and thought it excellent fun.
I recollect being very curious indeed about the way girls piddled after this, and seeing them piddle became a taste I have kept all my life. I would listen at the bed room doors, if I could get near them unobserved, when my mother, sister, the governess, or a servant went in, hoping to hear the rattle and often succeeded: it was accompanied by no sexual desire, or idea, as far as I can recollect; I had no cockstand, and am sure, that I then did not know that the women had a hole called a cunt, and used it for fucking. I can recall no idea of the sort, it was simple curiosity to know something about those, whom I instinctively felt were made differently from myself. What sort of a hole could it be I wondered. Was it large? Was it round? Why did they squat instead of stand up, like men, my curiosity became intense.
How long after this the following took place, I can't say, but my cock was bigger. I have that impression very distinctly.
One day, there were people in one of the sitting rooms, where my mother and father were I don't know; they were not in the room, and were most likely out. There were one or two of my cousins, some youths, my big sister and one brother, besides others, our governess, and her sister, who was stopping with us, and sleeping in the same room with her. I recollect both going into the bed room together, it was next to mine. It was evening, we had sweet wine, cake, and snap-dragon, and played at something, at which all sat in a circle on the floor. I was very ticklish, it nearly sent me into fits, we tickled each other on the floor. There was much fun, and noise, the governess tickled me, and I tickled her. She said as I was taken to bed, or rather went, as I then did by myself, "I'll go and tickle you." Now at that time when in bed, a servant, or my mother, or the governess took away the light, and closed the door; for I was still frightened to get into bed in the dark, and used to call out, "Mamma, I'm going to get into bed." Then they fetched the light, they wished to stop this timidity, often scolded me about it, and made me undress myself, by myself, to cure me of it.
I expect the other children had been put to bed. My mother keeping all the younger ones in the room near her. The nursery was also upstairs, my room, as said, was next to the governess.
When in bed, I called out for some one to put out the light, up came the governess and her sister. She began to tickle me, so did her sister, I laughed, screeched, and tried to tickle them. One of them closed the door and then came back to tickle me. I kicked all the clothes off, and was nearly naked, I begged them to desist, felt their hands on my naked flesh, and am quite sure, that one of them touched my prick more than once, though it might have been done accidentally. At last I wriggled off the bed, my night-gown up to my armpits, and dropped with my naked bum on to the floor, whilst they tickled me still, and laughed at my wriggling about, and yelling.
Then what induced me, heaven alone knows; it may have been what I had heard about the piddling-hole of a woman, or curiosity, or instinct, I don't know; but I caught hold of the governess' leg as she was trying to get me up on to the bed again, saying, "that will do, my dear boy, get into bed, and let me take away the light." I would not; the other lady helped to lift me, I pushed my hands up the petticoats of the governess, felt the hair of her cunt, and that there was something warm, and moist, between her thighs. She let me drop on to the floor, and jumped away from me. I must have been clinging to her thigh, with both hands up her petticoats, and one between her thighs, she cried out loudly—oh!
Then slap-slap-slap, 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 left the room with her sister, leaving me in a dreadful funk. I scarcely knew that I had done wrong, yet had some vague notion, that feeling about her thighs was punishable; the soft hairy place my hand had touched, impressed me with wonder, I kept thinking there was no cock there, and felt a sort of delight at what I had done.
I heard them then talking, and laughing loudly, thru the partition. "They are talking about me, oh if they tell mamma, oh! what did I do it for?" Trembling with fear, I jumped out of bed, opened my door, and went to theirs listening; theirs was ajar,—heard: "right up between my thighs, felt it! he must have felt it; ah! ah! ah! would you ever have thought the little beast would have done such a thing." They both laughed heartily. "Did you see his little thing?" said one. "Shut the door, it's not shut;"—breathless I got back to my room, and into bed, and laying there, heard them through the partition roaring with laughter again.
That is the first time in my life, I recollect passing an all but sleepless night. The dread of being told about, and dread at what I had done, kept me awake. I heard the two women talking for a long time. 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 knew I had felt the hidden part of a female, where the piddle came from, and that is all I did think about it, that I know of, I have no recollection of a lewd sensation, but of a curious sort of delight only.
It must have been from this time, that my curiosity about the female form strengthened, but there was nothing sensual in it. I was fond of kissing, for my mother remarked it; when a female cousin, or any female kissed me, I would throw my arms round them, and keep on kissing. My aunts used to laugh, my mother corrected me, and told me it was rude. I used to say to the servants, kiss me. One day I heard my godfather say: "Walter knows a pretty girl from an ugly one doesn't he?"
I had a dread of meeting the governess, at breakfast, watched her, and saw her laugh at her sister, I watched my mother for some days after, and at length said to the governess, who had punished me for something. "Don't tell mamma." "I have nothing to tell about, Walter," she replied, "and don't know what you mean." I began to tell her what was on my mind. "What's the child talking about, you are dreaming, some stupid boy has been putting things into your head, your papa will thrash you, if you talk like that." "Why you came and tickled me," said I. "I tickled you a little when I put your light out," said she, "be quiet." I felt stupified, and suppose the affair must have passed away from my mind for a time, but I told my cousin Fred about it afterwards. He thought I must have been dreaming, and I began to wonder if it really had occurred, I never thought much about it until I began to recall my childhood for this history.
I must have been twelve years old, when I went to an uncle's in Surrey, and became a close friend of my cousin Fred, a very devil from his cradle, and of whom much more will be told: before then I had only seen him at intervals. We were then allowed, and it seems to me not before that time, to go out by ourselves. We talked boyish baudiness. "Ain't you green," said he, "a girl's hole isn't called a cock, it's a cunt, they fuck with it," and then he told me all he knew. I don't think I had heard that before, but can't be sure.
From that time a new train of ideas came into my head. I had a vague idea, though not a belief, that a cock and cunt, were not made for pissing only. Fred treated me as a simpleton in these matters, and was always calling me an ass; I have quite a painful recollection of my inferiority to him, in such things, and of begging him to instruct me. "They make children that way," said Fred. "You come up and we will ask the old nurse, where children come from, and she'll say 'out of the parsley-bed,' but it's all a lie." We went and asked her in a casual sort of way. She replied, "the parsley-bed," and laughed. The nurse at my house told me the same, when I asked afterwards about my mother's last baby. "Ain't they liars?" Fred remarked to me, "it comes out of their cunts, and it's made by fucking."
We both desired to see women piddling, though both must have before seen them at it often enough. Walking near the market-town with him just at the outskirts, and looking up a side-road, we saw a pedler woman squat down and piss. We stopped short and looked at her: 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 dam'd young fools," cried the woman, "be off, or I'll heave a stone at yer," and she pissed on. We moved a few steps back, but keeping our face towards her, Fred stooped, and put his head down. "I can see it coming," said he jeeringly. He was rude from his infancy, bold in baudiness to the utmost, had the impudence of the devil. The stream ceased, the woman rose up swearing, took up a big flint and threw it at us. "I'll tell on yer," she cried. "I know yer, wait till 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 turned round into the side lane to piss. We ran off, and when well away, turned round and shouted at her, "I saw your cunt," Fred bawled out;—she flung another stone. Fred took up one, threw it, and it crashed into the crockery, the woman began to chase us, off we bolted across the fields home. She could not follow us that way; it was an eventful day for us. I recollect feeling full of envy at Fred's having seen her cunt. Though writing now, and having in my mind's eye, exactly how the woman squatted, and the way her petticoats hung, I am sure he never did see it; it was brag when he said he had, but we were always talking about girls' cunts, the desire to see one was great, and I then believed that he had seen the pedlar woman's.
Then one of Fred's companions showed us a bawdy picture, it was coloured. I wondered at the cunt being a long sort of gash, I had an idea that it was round, like an arse-hole. Fred told his friend I was an ass, but I could not get the idea of a cunt, not being a round hole quite out of my head, until I had fucked a woman. We were all anxious to get the picture, and tossed up for it, but neither 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's privates, our curiosity became intense. I had a little sister about nine months old, who was in the nursery. Fred incited me to look at her cunt, if I could manage it. The two nurses came down in turns, to the servants dinner. I was often in the nursery, and soon after Fred's suggestion, was there one day, when the oldest nurse said: "Stop here, master Walter, while I go downstairs, for a couple of minutes, Mary (the other nurse) will be up directly, and don't make a noise." My little sister was lying on the bed asleep. "Yes, I'll wait." Down went nurse, leaving the door open; quick as lightning, I threw up the infant's clothes, saw her little slit, and put my finger quite gently on it, she was laying on her back most conveniently. I pulled one leg away to see better, the child awakened and began crying, I heard footsteps and had barely time to pull down her clothes, when the under nursemaid came in. I only had a momentary glimpse, of the outside of the little quim, for I was not a minute in the room with the child by myself altogether, and was fearful of being caught all the time I was looking.
There must have been something in my face, for the nursemaid said: "What it the matter, what have you been doing to the baby?" Nothing. "Yes, you are coloring up, now tell me." "Nothing. I have done nothing." "You wakened your sister." "No, I have not." The girl laid hold of me, and gave me a little shake. "I'll tell your mamma if you don't tell me, what is it now?" "No, I have done nothing, I was looking out of the window when she began to cry." "You're telling a story, I see you are," said the nursemaid; and off I went, after being impudent to her.
I told Fred and he tried the same dodge, but don't recollect whether he succeeded or not. His sisters were somewhat older, and we began to scheme how to see their cunts, when I was on a visit to his mother's (my aunt,) which was to come off in the holidays. The look of the little child's cunt, as I described it, convinced him that the picture was correct, and that a cunt was a long slit, and not a round hole. That cast doubt on males putting their pricks into them, and we clung somehow to the idea of a round hole, and we quarrelled about it.
It must have been about this time, that I was walking with my father, and read something that was written with chalk, on the walls. I asked him what it meant. He said he did not know, that none but low people, and blackguards wrote on walls; and it was not worth while noticing such things. I was conscious that I had done wrong somehow, but did not know exactly what. When I went out, which I was now allowed to do for short distances by myself, I copied what was on the walls, to tell Fred, it was foul, baudy language of some sort, but the only thing we understood at all, was the word cunt.
Just then, being out with some boys, we saw two dogs fucking. I have no recollection of seeing dogs doing that before. We closed round them, yelling with delight as they stuck rump to rump, then one boy said that was what men and women did, and I asked, did they stick together so, a boy replied that they did; others denied it, and all the remainder of the day, some of us discussed this; the impression left on my mind is, that it appeared to be very nasty; but it seemed at the same time to confirm me in the belief, that men put their pricks up into women's holes, about which I seemed at that time to have grave doubts.
After this time my recollection of events is clearer, and I can tell not only what took place, but better what I heard, said, and thought.
My godfather.—At Hampton-Court.—My aunt's backside.—
Public baths.—My cousins' cunts.—Haymaking frolics.—
Family difficulties.—School amusements.—A masturbating
relative.—Romance and sentiment.
My godfather (whose fortune I afterwards inherited) was very fond of me; somewhere about this time he used perpetually to be saying, "When you get to school, don't you follow any of the tricks yourself, that other boys do, or you will die in a mad-house; lots of boys do." And he told me some horrible tales; it was done in a mysterious way. I felt there was a hidden meaning, and not having knowledge of what it was, asked him. I should know fast enough, said he, but mark his words. He repeated this so often, that it sunk deeply into my mind, and made me uneasy, something was to happen to me, if I did something—I did not know what—it was intended as a caution against frigging, and it had good effect on me I am sure in various ways in the after time.
One day talking with Fred, I recollected what I had done to the governess. I had kept it to myself all along for fear. "What a lie," said he. "I did really." "Oh! ain't you a liar," he reiterated, "I'll ask Miss Granger." The same governess was with us then.
At this remark of his, an absolute terror came over me, the dread was something so terrible, that the recollection of it is now painful. "Oh don't, pray don't, Fred," I said, "oh if Papa should hear!" He kept on saying he would. I was too young to see the improbability of his doing anything of the sort. "If you do, I'll tell him what we did when the pedler woman piddled." He did not care. "Now, it's a lie, isn't it, you did not feel her cunt?" In fear, I confessed it was a lie. "I know it was," said Fred. He had kept me in a state of terror about the affair for days, till I told a lie, to get quit of the subject.
I was evidently always secret, even then, about anything amorous, excepting with Fred (as will be seen) and have continued so all my life. I rarely bragged, 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 have kept to myself everything I did with the opposite sex.
We now frequently examined our pricks, and Fred jeered me so about my prepuce being tight, that I resolved that no other boy should see it; and though I did not keep strictly to that intention, it left a deep-seated mortification on me. I used to look at my prick with a sense of shame, and pull the prepuce up and down, as far as I could constantly, to loosen it, and would treat other boys' cocks in the same way, if they would let me, without expecting me to make a return; but the time was approaching when I was to learn much more.
One of my uncles, who lived in London, took a house in the country for the summer near Hampton-Court Palace. Fred and I went to stay there with them. There were several daughters and sons, the sons quite young. People then came down from London in vans, carts, and carriages of all sorts, to see the Palace and grounds (there was no railway), they were principally of the small middle classes, and used to picnic, or else dine at the taverns when they arrived; then full, and frisky, after their early meal, go into the parks and gardens. They do so still, but times were different then, so few people went there comparatively; fewer park-keepers to look after them, and less of what is called delicacy, amongst visitors of the class named.
Our family party used to go into the grounds daily, and all day long nearly, if we were not on the river banks. Fred winked at me one 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 gardiners, creep up there, and lay on your belly quietly, some girls will be sure to come, and piss, you'll see them pull their clothes up as they turn round, I saw some before you came to stay with us." So we went pushing our way among shrubs, and evergreens, till a gardiner, who had seen us, called out, "You there, come back, if I catch you going off the walks, you'll be put outside." We were in such a funk, Fred cut off one way, I another, but it only stopped us for that day. Fred so excited me about the girls' arses, as he called them, that we never lost an opportunity of trying for a sight, but were generally baulked. Once or twice only we saw a female squat down, but nothing more, till my mother and Fred's came to stop with us.
Fred's mother, mine, the girls, Fred and I went into the Park gardens, one day after luncheon. A very hot day, for we kept in the shady walks, one of which led to the place where women hid themselves to piss. My aunt said, "Why don't you boys go and play, you don't mind the sun," so off we went, but when about to leave the walk, 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 rid of us." We evaded the gardiners, scrambled through shrubs, on our knees, and at last on our bellies up a little bank, on the other side of which was the vacant place on which dead leaves and sweepings were shot down. As we got there, pushing aside the leaves, we saw the big backside of a woman, who was half standing, half squatting, a stream of piss falling in front of her, and a big hairy 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 turned round. We saw it was Fred's mother, my aunt. Off aunt went. "Isn't it a wopper," said Fred, "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 of her legs, and the piddle splashing in front of her. Then came the second, she had her arse towards us, sat so low, that we could not even see the tips of her buttocks. Fred thought it a pity they did not stand half up like his mother. On other occasions, we went to the same place, but though I recollect seeing some females' legs, don't recollect seeing any more. Nevertheless the sights were very delightful to us, and we used to discuss his mother's "wopper" and the hair, and the look of the gash, but I thought there must be some mistake, for it was not the idea I had formed of a cunt.
Fred soon after stopped with us in town, we had been forbidden to go out together, without permission, but we did, and met a boy bigger than either of us, who was going to bathe. "Come and see them bathing," he said. My father had refused to take me to the public baths. Disregarding this, Fred and I paid our six pence each, and in we went with our friend; we did not bathe, but amused ourselves with seeing others, and the pricks of the men. None, as far as I can recollect, wore drawers in those days, they used to walk about hiding their prides generally, with their hands, but not always. I was astonished at the size of some of them, and at the dark hair about them, and on other parts of their bodies. I wondered also at seeing one or two, with the red tip showing fully, so different from mine. All this was much talked over by us afterwards, it was to me an insight into the male make and form. Fred told me, he had often seen men's pricks in their fields, and in those days, living in the country as he did, I dare say it was true, but I don't recollect ever having seen the pricks of full grown men, or a naked man before in my life.
It must have been in the summer of that same year, that I went after this to spend some days at my aunt's at H...ds...e..., Fred's mother. We slept in the some room, and sometimes got up quite at daybreak to go fishing. One morning Fred had left something, in one of his sisters' rooms and went to fetch it, though forbidden to go into the girls' bedrooms. The room in question was opposite to ours. He was only partly dressed, and came back in a second, his face grinning. "Oh! come Wat, come softly, Lucy and Mary are quite naked, you can see their cunts, Lucy has some black hair on hers." I was only half dressed, and much excited by the idea of seeing my cousins' nudity. We both took off our slippers, and crept along through the door half open, then went on our knees! But why we did so, to this day I don't understand, and so crept to the foot of the bed, then raising ourselves, we both looked over the footboard.
Lucy, fifteen years old, was laying half on her side, naked from her knees to her waist, the bed-clothes kicked off (I suppose through heat), were dragging across her feet and partly laying on the floor; we saw her split, till lost in the closed thighs, she had a little dark short hair over the top of her cunt, and that is all I can recollect about it.
Mary-Ann by the side of her, a year younger only, laid on her back, nacked up to her navel, just above which was her night-gown in a heap and ruck; she had scarcely a sign of hair on her cunt, but a vermillion line, lay right through her crack. Projecting more towards the top, where her cunt began, she had what I now know was a strongly developed clitoris; she was a lovely girl and had long chestnut hair.
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 pinched up, by the closing of her buttocks. In fear of being caught, we soon crept out, closed the door ajar, and regained our bedroom, so delighted that we danced with joy, as we talked about the look of the 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, I recollect, a very red bloated looking face as she lay (it was so hot); she it was, who in afterlife my mother cautioned about leaving her infant son to a nursemaid.
Mary-Ann was lovely. I used afterwards to look and talk with her, thinking to myself: "Ah! you have but little idea, that I have seen your cunt." She was unfortunate; married a cavalry officer, went to India with him, was left at a station unavoidably by her husband, who was sent on a campaign, for a whole year; could not bear being deprived of cock, and was caught in the act of fucking with a drummer boy, a mere lad. She was separated from him, came back to England, and drank herself to death. She was a salacious young woman, I think from what I recollect of her, and am told, was afterwards fucked by a lot of men; but it was a sore point with the family, and all about her was kept quiet.
One of Lucy's sons, in after years, I saw fucking a maid in a summer-house: both standing up against a big table; I was on the roof. Many years before that, I fucked a nurse-maid, she laying on that table, in the very same summer-house, as I shall presently tell.
Fred and I used to discuss the look of his sisters' and mother's cunts, as if they had belonged to strangers. The redness of the line in Mary-Ann's quim astonished us. I do not recollect having even then, formed any definite notion of what a girl's cunt was, though we had seen the splits, but had still, and till much further on, the notion that the hole was round, and close to where the clitoris is, having no idea then of what a clitoris was, though we had got an Aristotle and used to read it greedily; the glimpse of the two cunts were but momentary, and our excitement confused our recollections.
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's sisters, or a cousin by another of my aunts, but I think not; at all events she was stopping in aunt's house, and from her height, which was less than that of Fred and myself, I should think a girl of about eleven or twelve years of age. I scrupulously avoid stating anything positively, unless quite certain. Some years afterwards when we were very young men, we did the same thing with a female cousin (but not his sister), as I shall tell.
There was haymaking. We romped with the girl, buried each other in hay, pulled each other out, and so on. I was buried in the hay and dragged out by my legs by Fred and the girl. Then Fred was: then we buried the girl, and as Fred pulled her out he threw up her clothes, 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 then hers; I laid hold of her legs and pulling them from under the hay, saw her thighs, I pushed her knees up, and had a glimpse of the slit, which was quite hairless. My aunt and others were in the very field, but had no idea of the game we were playing, the girl romping with us, had no idea, that we were looking at her cunt, and an instantaneous peep only it was.
What effect sensuously, these glimpses of cunt, had on me, I don't know; but have no recollection of sexual desire, nor of mine nor Fred's cock being stiff. I expect that what with games, and our studies, that after all the time we devoted to thinking about women, was not long, and curiosity our sole motive in doing what we did. I clearly recollect our talking at that time about fucking, and wondering if it were true or a lie. We could repeat what we had read, and heard, but it still seemed improbable to me that a cock should go up a cunt, and the result be a child.
Then a passionate liking for females came over me; I fell in sort of love with a lady who must have been forty, and had a sad feeling about her, that is all I recollect. Then I began to follow servants about, on the hope of seeing their legs, or seeing them piddle, or for some undefined object: but that I was always looking after them, I know very well.
Then (I know now) my father got into difficulties, we moved into a smaller house, the governess went away, I was sent to another school, one of my brothers and sisters died; my father went abroad to look after some plantations, and after a year's absence came back and died, leaving my mother, in what compared with our former condition, were poor circumstances, but this in due course will be more fully told.
I think I went to school, though not long before what I am going to tell of happened, but am not certain, if so, I must have seen boys frigging; yet as far as I can arrange in my mind the order of events, I first saw a boy doing that, in my own bed-room at home.
I was somewhere, I suppose, about thirteen years of age, when a distant relative came from the country, to stay with us, until he was put to some great school. He was the son of a clergyman, and must have been fifteen, or perhaps sixteen years old, and was strongly pitted with the small-pox. I had never seen him before, and took a strong dislike to him; the family were poor, this boy was intended for a clergyman. I was excessively annoyed, that he was to sleep with me, but in our small house, there was just then no other place for him.
How many nights he slept in my bed, I don't recollect, it can have been but few; One evening in bed he felt my prick; repulsing him at first, I nevertheless afterwards felt his, and recollect our hands crossing each other and our thighs being close together. Awaking one morning, I felt his belly up against my rump, and his feeling or pushing his prick against my arse, putting my hand back, I pushed him away; then I found it pushing quickly backwards and forwards between my thighs, and his hand, passed over my hips, was grasping my cock. Turning round, I faced him; he asked me to turn round again, and said I might do it to him afterwards, but nothing more was done. An unpleasant feeling about sleeping with him is in my memory, but as said, I disliked him.
The next night undressing, he showed me his prick, stiff, as he sat 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 would frig him. He commenced moving his hand quickly up and down, on his prick, which got stiffer and stiffer, he jerked up one leg, then the other, shut his eyes and altogether looked so strange, that I thought he was going to have a fit; then out spurted little pasty lumps, whilst he snorted, as some people do in their sleep, and fell back in the chair with his eyes closed; then I saw stuff running thinner over his knuckles. I was strangely fascinated as I looked at him, and at what was on the carpet, but half thought he was ill; he then told me it was great pleasure, and was eloquent about it. Even now, as it did then, the evening seemed to me a nasty unpleasant one, yet I let him get hold of my prick and frig it, but had no sensation of pleasure, 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 till our candle burnt out; he stamped out the sperm on the carpet, saying the servants would think we had been spitting. Then we got into bed.
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