Saturday, 22 October 2016

When I was a boy ...

I thought you might be interested to read a bit about my early life, which was so different from UK family life today.
I was brought up in rural Wiltshire, and we were a well-ordered family.  My father was a schoolmaster with very traditional views on bringing up boys, so that when I did bad things, such as upsetting my mother, I was punished.  Not like today, with time on the naughty step or withdrawal of my phone for a few days, but put naked over the end of my bed to have my bottom beaten with a proper punishment strap.  There was nothing brutal about it - he simply believed that the best way of correcting a teenage boy was to remove his clothes and thrash his bare bottom.  There was never any damage, but it hurt.
It was much the same at boarding school, which was great in many ways but if we did something bad we were stripped and caned, often in front of the whole house - the humiliation was total and the pain unbelievable.  And yes - stripped meant just that - we took the cane completely naked.
We used to holiday in South Devon, where we often met up with my aunt's family who were very casual about clothing on the beach - we boys ran naked on the sand until we were eight years old - rather longer than would be considered acceptable today.  A key moment happened when I was fourteen - I said something about hating the woollen bathing suit my mother made me wear, and Aunt Doris smiled and told my father he should take me to Pilchards cove.  I'd never heard of it and the name meant nothing to me.  Father grinned and said 'Why not?' - the next day he took me.  It's at the top end of Slapton Sands and in those days you could park quite close.  We walked onto the beach and I was amazed - everyone naked and behaving just the same as usual - a nude beach.  I was a bit shy because I'd never done that before, but Father just stripped off as if he'd been doing it all his life - which of course he had.  I soon got used to it, and we had a wonderful afternoon.  I rediscovered the joy of swimming naked in the sea, and I was totally hooked. We were at the water's edge when a young man came running out of the sea - totally naked with water flying off his beautifully bronzed and highly aroused body. I shall never forget the look of sheer joy on his face - I was entranced.  He knew the whole beach was looking at him, but his deliciously erect penis bothered him not one jot.
I've been a nudist ever since.
At school I had two housemasters - one from 11 to 13 in the Junior boarding house, and one from 13 to 18 in the Senior School.  Both were rugby-playing types, so had very little time for me.  I could run, and in fact ran very successfully, but in those days to be a sportsman it had to be rugby or cricket.  Both seemed to have the notion that frequent punishment was good for me, and both caned me at the slightest provocation.  This was back in the 1950s, when corporal punishment was still very popular among both parents and schoolmasters - less so among boys.  My Senior Housemaster usually caned me in the privacy of his study, but when the gravity of the offence was sufficient he gave me what he called a house caning - I was made to attend evening prayers wearing dressing gown and slippers and after prayers and notices he punished me in front of the whole house.  Off came my gown and slippers and I was put over a punishment trestle for six or nine strokes of his cane. The beating was bad enough, but taking it without a stitch of clothing in front of sixty other boys made it a whole lot worse. 
Every boy had a member of staff assigned as his mentor. Mine was a young classics graduate, not long up from Oxford. He was responsible for my social development - his job to teach me good manners and respect for others. I spent many hours in his study, chatting about everything under the sun.  From him I learned about the birds and the bees, and about my own body. There was also another side - any complaints about my behaviour went straight to him, and it was his duty to correct me.  Which he did by putting me naked over the arm of his big red Chesterfield sofa and caning my bottom.  He hated doing it and I could see the tears in his eyes as I undressed. But afterwards, sitting together on that same red Chesterfield, was a time of great intimacy - a sharing of secrets and confidences.  I was very fond of him.  When I was fifteen he suggested that I might like to do some photo modelling - he had a friend at a studio in the nearby town who was always looking for nice-looking young models who would pose nude.  I would be perfect.  I was a bit dubious and asked my Dad - he just smiled and said if I wanted to, just do it.
We went on a Saturday afternoon and there were photographers and a huge array of equipment.  The owner seemed nice and told me this was a group of amateur enthusiasts who liked to follow the style of Wilhelm Von Glouden - a German photographer I'd never heard of.  I later discovered that Von Glouden was a great pioneer of nude photography, and left a great collection of images of Sicilian country boys of all ages.  Some draped, but mostly naked in tasteful and largely non-sexual poses. He showed me this photograph of a teenage boy and asked if I would like to pose like that.

He gave me a strip of fabric like the one in the photo and put me behind a curtain to change.  I posed for a while with some props that looked vaguely similar and they seemed very happy.
Then he showed me this photo - or one very like it. 

A boy of about my age, reclining in a Sicilian setting with basket and flowers - and completely naked.  I wasn't so sure, but they coaxed me into it and I discarded the strip of fabric.  Posing naked for the first time was quite an experience, but they were very nice and I have to say that I enjoyed it.  There was comment because the boy in the photograph had some pubic hair and I had none, having started shaving a year earlier.  But they got over that and clicked away.
That was how it started - I moved on to more commercial stuff with professional photographers, and of course they wanted a lot more than Von Gloeden's innocent images.  I got used to posing naked, both alone and with other boys and men, and when they asked me to pose fully erect I did. I got used to being handled, and after a while I had no inhibitions whatever. In fact, I was far from being exploited and loved every minute.  It paid well, and by the time I was ready to go to university I had a little nest-egg which helped enormously.  I was also very experienced, which helped even more!

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