THE GATES OF DAWN
being Chapter 1 of The Memoirs of a Voluptuary (Paris, 1905)
Having overcome my diffidence by the few words which preface this volume, I can now plunge boldly into my tale.
My mother died in giving me birth, and by reason of this my father, Thomas Powerscourt, lord of the manor of Woodbury and deputy lieutenant of the county of Warwickshire, imbibed a certain dislike for me, which showed itself, not indeed in harshness, but in a studied indifference to my existence. He had married my mother rather late in life, and the loss of her so soon after their union was so much of a blow to him that he seemed determined to vent his displeasure on me, whom he unjustly regarded as in a way the author of his misfortune; and, wrapping himself up in the literary and scientific studies to which he was addicted, seemed to forget altogether that he was a parent.
I was brought up under the care of a middle-aged and kindly but somewhat taciturn Scotch nurse. None of the other servants were permitted to converse familiarly with me, and I had scarcely any young friends of my own age-none indeed, to speak correctly; so that up to the time I was past thirteen years of age I was about as innocent of the mysteries of human life as a youngster could well be, and any curiosity that I had evinced upon such matters had always been severely checked, both by my nurse and by the governess who was afterwards engaged to instil the first principles of learning into my mind.
At the period I am speaking of, however, I was sent to a boarding-school in Devonshire, and in more ways than one the change was a very eventful one for me. The school had been selected on the advice of my father's greatest friend, Colonel Rutherford, whose own son was a pupil there.
It was arranged that a day or two before going to school I should proceed to Rutherford's home, so as to travel down with him; and accordingly, in due time, I was dispatched with my luggage to Everton Grange in Wiltshire, where the Rutherfords lived.
I was greeted most kindly on my arrival, and found it a very different household from that which I had left behind, the only point of resemblance being the fact that Bob was an only child. Colonel Rutherford and his wife, Lady Florence, were both of them amiable and society-loving, and the dinner table, at which Bob and I were given seats, presented a great contrast, with the lively conversation which took place there, to the silent and gloomy meals I had been condemned to at home.
I found that it had been arranged for me to sleep with Bob for the sake of the company, and I was not altogether displeased at the prospect.
He was a fairly big and well-built clad of sixteen, pleasant-mannered and good-looking, and I took a liking to him from the first.
At about ten o'clock we bade "Good-night" to the Colonel and Lady Florence, and retired to our bedroom, which was a large and very comfortable apartment at the rear of the house; Bob talked to me very kindly as we undressed, and at length we got into bed. The feeling of strangeness which is natural amid new surroundings kept me from feeling very sleepy, while Bob still continued his animated chat. At last there came a pause in the conversation, and I was beginning to wonder whether Bob would put out the night, or let it stay on all night, when I felt his hand wander down, pull up my nightshirt and rest on my thighs; He did not make any further movement for a time, apparently waiting to see whether I should say or do anything in response. However, finding I remained quite still and silent, Bob threw off the bedclothes, and next instant was kneeling over me.
"Don't get in a funk," he said, smiling; "I only want to have a look at you," and getting hold of my nightshirt, he began to pull it off. I made a faint resistance with my hands, scarcely knowing what I was doing, so much was I taken by surprise, but he gently though firmly overcame my efforts, and, unbuttoning the garment at the neck and wrists, deftly drew it over my head, leaving me lying on the bed quite naked.
"I say! You are a fine little chap, Charlie," he said, and, sitting down beside me, he let his eyes rove all over my body with very evident admiration, and passed his hands caressingly over my breast and legs and arms.
I said or did nothing, overcome by the strangeness of the situation, but let him do as he liked, and his examination of me seemed to give him great pleasure, for he persisted in it for quite a long time, making remarks about the smoothness of my skin, the soft fleshiness of my limbs, and so on, till I. thought he would never stop.
At length he made me turn over, and ran his fingers all over my back; my neck and my calves. Presently, turning me on my back again, he lay down by my side, with his right arm round my neck; and we stayed so for a minute; then his left hand stole down, crept slowly over my belly, and came to a halt between my legs.
"What a jolly little cock you've got, Charlie," said he, as his fingers took hold of the member in question and began to toy with it; "and a fine little pair of balls, too," he went on, feeling them. I was still silent. I had never experienced anything of this sort before, and, though I did not feel sure whether it was wrong or not, a keen sensation of pleasure came over me, suggestive of some extraordinary enjoyment connected with the parts he touched.
Finding that I did not protest, he raised himself up, saying, "I must have a better look at it," and, kneeling down at the foot of the bed, he bent forward and gloated over me with eyes and fingers in an ecstasy of delight, while I lay with my head back on the pillow, full of this new joy that had taken possession of me.
How long we were so I do not know, but presently there was a downward motion on his part, and next moment I was conscious of a warm feeling between my thighs. Looking down, I saw to my intense astonishment that he had taken my cock into his mouth, and was sucking it with the greatest avidity. Then I found my voice.
"What are you doing?" I whispered. He lifted his head.
"Don't make a row," he replied; "this is fine. I learned all about it from my big cousin, who got to know how to do all this sort of thing when he was staying in Paris."
And, without waiting for my reply, he bent down again, and went on sucking, not only taking my cock into his mouth, but letting his tongue travel all round my balls, over my belly, and right in between my legs. All this set up in me voluptuous sensations of a kind entirely new, and beneath the warm, moist influence of his tongue and lips my cock began to swell.
"It's getting quite stiff," said he, presently, taking hold of it with his fingers, and pressing the skin back, so as to uncover the top. "We'll have some fine times together, I hope, Charlie. You're a jolly little beggar, and I know we shall get on all right. I like you very much." All the while he kept fingering my cock, and moving the skin up and down, so that it got stiffer than ever. Of course, I remembered it being stiff before, but I had never thought anything of it; and had attached no interest to the circumstance; but now I felt that there was a meaning in this stiffening which I had never guessed at before, and as he pressed it down and let it fly back against my belly I could contain myself no longer, but raised my head up to speak to him.
"Is yours stiff like that? Let me have a look at it; will you?" I said; and without a word he pulled up his shirt and exhibited himself to me.
He had a very large cock, as it seemed to me, with big balls hanging below, and a quantity of dark curling hair all round. I had .never seen such a sight before, and was full of interest; taking hold of his member, feeling his balls, and running my fingers through his hairs, with a delight new-born but strong; and while I did so he drew his nightshirt off remaining in the same position, however, and .not attempting to hinder my curiosity.
Holding his cock in one of my hands, I pressed down the skin, uncovering the top completely, then pulled the skin up again, repeating the operation with absorbed interest.
"You had better not do that;" said Bob; "unless you want to make me come."
"What do you mean?" I asked; "I don't understand."
"Don't you know?" he replied; "that is the way to make spunk. What babies are made from, you know."
I stared at him in great surprise. I was evidently on the brink of momentous discoveries, but scarcely knew whether to believe him or not; yet he seemed perfectly sincere as he met my look.
"You don't know anything about these things, I can tell," he exclaimed with a low laugh. "Would you like to see, then?"
I answered in the affirmative, so he sat close to my side, and told me to keep moving his cock up and down as I had been doing before, I did so, and he lay half back on the pillow, his legs slightly apart; and evidently full of enjoyment.
I kept on with my task, too absorbed with interest and excitement to say anything, and watching eagerly to see what the result would be.
"Don't stop," he whispered hoarsely, as I relaxed for a minute. "It won't be long now. Go a little faster."
I complied, and after another interval he exclaimed, "Go slowly now. It's coming!" I rubbed very gently.
"Hold it tighter," he continued; "and don't let go until I tell you." I took a firmer grasp, as directed, and went on with a slow measured movement, uncovering the top of his cock fully each time I pressed downwards. Presently he straightened his legs out and pressed further back on the pillow; his belly heaved, I felt his cock increase in stiffness and give two or three big throbs, then out spurted some whitish liquid; shooting up into the air and falling back on to his body, while a quantity followed with less force and ran over my fingers and the back of my hand. I kept on rubbing, but in a few moments, Bob told me to stop, and I bent over to see the new and strange sight, while he leaned down and picked up a handkerchief. When he had got this he bade me let go; and I did so, when he proceeded to wipe himself and then dried my hand.
"That's spunk;" he explained. "You have never seen it before, have you?"
"No;" I replied. "Do you think I could make any?"
"We'll try, if you like. Let me do you!" So saying, Bob arranged himself in a convenient position, and took my cock between his thumb and forefinger-it was, of course, not large enough for him to hold with his whole hand. It was not stiff now, the exertion of rubbing him having distracted my attention, but it soon swelled and stiffened under his nimble fingers, and in a few seconds was fully as erect as it had been before.
"You've never wanked yourself off before; have you?" Bob asked, as he proceeded.
"No," I replied.
There was little more conversation. Bob seemed to find quite sufficient pleasure in what he was doing without anything else being needed, while I was too full of this new and delightful feeling of voluptuousness to talk. For a long time I felt nothing beyond a general sense of pleasure; and Bob changed hands several times as one got tired out.
Gradually, however, the pleasure increased, something seemed to stir and thrill all through me, my muscles stiffened and I held my breath and closed my teeth on my lower lip with suppressed" emotion.
"Do you feel anything yet?" Bob asked at length."
"Yes," I replied; "I seem to tickle all over."
"Ah! I expect it is soon coming then," and he went on faster than ever.
The sensations I was feeling began to increase, and gained in strength more and more. I stretched my legs out, with every toe distended, and then suddenly a great wave of intense delight seemed to rush through my whole body, and I shut my eyes tightly, gasping out "Stop, Bob, stop!" while I sank on to the pillow, overcome with the extreme pleasure. At the same time Rutherford moved down lower on the bed and took my cock in his mouth, sucking it strongly. The extravagant joy seemed too great to bear, and I tried to push him away, saying feebly, "Don't, Bob! I can't stand it!" but he seized my hands and went on sucking. It seemed as if he were drawing all the life out of me, and, prostrated altogether by the intolerable ecstasy, I think I must have almost fainted-I could do nothing but lie still, my mouth open, breathing heavily, my head thrown right back, and my eyes turned up, showing the whites, just as if I were in a fit of unconsciousness. After a time, however, my senses came back to me, and I raised my head.
Rutherford, who had not left off sucking all this time, now looked up, and said, "How did you like it?" smiling as he spoke.
"It was lovely," I returned. "Will you do it again sometime?"
"I don't mind a bit," he answered. "We'll go to sleep now, I think; unless you wouldn't mind me doing one thing more?"
"What is that?" I asked.
"Will you let me put my cock in your bottom. Fuck you, you know! They call it fucking," said Bob.
"Won't it hurt?" I interrogated.
"No! It won't hurt you. I used to do it with other chaps. It won't take long.” My cock's awfully stiff. Look at it!"
Yielding to his persuasions, I lay on my side, and he placed himself me.
"You are sure it won't hurt?" I said, half hesitating.
"Of course not. You don't suppose I want to hurt you, do you?" he replied.
Getting close to me, he felt for the position of the hole in my bottom with a finger, and, when he had found it, thrust himself forward; and brought the tip of his cock to the orifice.
"I won't hurt. I'm not going to push hard," he said; and then I felt his body close up towards mine, and the end of his member very gradually entering my bottom. I was still afraid that he would hurt me, but he pushed very softly, and the knob of his cock after a little exertion sank in with a sort of jerk, my bottom-hole closing tightly around it; but so far I did not experience any pain, and became reassured.
"It's right in now! I'm going to fuck, said Bob, and he threw one leg over mine while he began to thrust backwards and forwards, sending his member further in each time. It seemed to go right up inside my body, the feeling of tightness was considerable, and once or twice I was on the point of calling out, but little by little the strain wore off, and I commenced to like the sensation. Bob's hand crept over my hips and started to play with my cock, which now felt very loose and limp, but I did not stop him, and he kept his hold, feeling my genitals, while he continued to work his own cock in my bottom, pressing his belly close up against me as he did so. His warm flesh rubbing against my buttocks made me feel rather excited and my cock began to get stiff, though nothing like it had been before. As he felt it stiffen, he rubbed it up and down with his finger and thumb, but did not stop his pushing.
"This is splendid," he said. "My cousin told me they used to do it a lot at Eton. He says now he would rather do it than have a girl; and there are a lot he knows like that. I am not sure myself, as I have not tried anything else ever, but I like this all right.
So talking, he went on toying with my cock and pushing. Then his thrusts got shorter and quicker, he breathed deeply, his hand stopped moving, though he still kept hold of my member. Presently he gave big heaves and shoves, making me wince as he drove his weapon into me right up to the hilt. Then he ceased and pressed tightly against me, while I felt his cock throb excitedly inside my bottom, and a warm glow as of some hot liquid being spurted into it.
"Have you let the spunk come inside?" I asked in some trepidation.
"Yes," he replied.
"But won't it hurt?" I again asked.
"No, you silly! How can it hurt? Well, it's finished now, but it was fine. You must let me do it again another time, won't you?"
I replied that I would, and he pulled his member out of me, wiped it and wiped my bottom carefully also.
"There you are. It's all right. It won't hurt really," he assured me, when he had finished doing this.
"We will put the light out and go to sleep now," he went on.
We pulled on our nightshirts again, and Bob arranged the bedclothes comfortably, after which we settled down snugly, my companion putting one arm round me, and in this position I remained until sleep claimed me within a very short time. So ended my first day away from home-a day during which so much had been added to my knowledge of life that part of it came into my dreams.
 This is the first of seven mentions in the book of the verb “wank” in various forms, unknown to the Oxford English Dictionary, which knows of no use of the word before 1948. See an excellent discussion of this by Keri Davies and Angus Whitehead, “An Early Usage of Wank, Antedating OED Entry” in Notes and Queries, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 1-3. They point out that in the next chapter, “While new boy Charlie is shocked at the everyday use of low language by pupils at the school, and Bob observes ‘I don’t swear much myself’, Charlie, Bob, Jimmy, and the Parisian ‘Blackie' all seem familiar with and happy to use the word ‘wank’”. Given the elite setting, it can hardly therefore have been a very “low” word. At any rate, it makes nonsense of Michael Davidson’s “doubt” in the “London” chapter of his Some Boys (1969) that “ ‘wank’ has yet reached the public schools.”