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Dr. Edward Brongersma (1911-98) was a Dutch lawyer, parliamentarian, writer and knight who was almost the politically most eminent man anywhere in the 20th century to be open in public about loving boys.[1] From the 1970s, he dedicated himself to researching, writing about and speaking out in favour of Greek love, which was made possible by the Netherlands then briefly being remarkably liberal and tolerant by the standards of modern Europe.

His greatest work, Loving Boys, written in English and published by Global Academic Publishers in Elmhurst, New York in two volumes in 1986 and 1990, is the most substantial work ever on the subject and by far the most encyclopaedic in its coverage of the subject.

To gather material for it, Brongersma had engaged in a massive correspondence over decades, resulting in five hundred personal histories in his archive. By the time of his death, public intolerance of Greek love had increased sharply.[2] Only two years afterwards, Dutch police raided the chartered educational Brongersma Foundation that had custody of them, seized the personal histories and, after computer-cataloguing them with a view to persecuting the men described in them as sexually involved with boys, destroyed them.[3]

The result of this destruction, the greatest of a sexual archive since National Socialist stormtroopers burnt the archives of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft in 1933, is that Loving Boys, which had drawn heavily on the lost personal histories, has considerable permanent value as a record of the practice of Greek love in the 20th century in the countries which spoke the western European languages in which Brongersma was proficient. It is the sections of the work where this is most the case and it may thus be considered a primary source that will be presented on this website.



Contents of Volume 1


Chapter One:  WHY SEX?  19
     Different Aspects of Sex  20
          Sex for Procreation 20
          Sex as Expression of an Emotion 24
          Sex Just for Pleasure 26
          Sex in Surrender to the Forces of Nature 29
     The Aspects of Sex in Relation to Children  32
          Sex for Procreation 32
          Sex as Expression of Love 33
          Sex Just for Pleasure 34
          Sex in Surrender to the Forces of Nature 39
     Summary  40
Chapter Two:  ADULT LOVERS  41
     Sexual Variety in Men  41
          Anatomical: The Organs 41
          Physiological: Function of the Organs 41
          Psychological: Attraction 42
          The Importance of the Partner's Sex 43
          The Importance of the Partner's Age 51
     Attraction to Children  55
          A Common Phenomenon 55
          The Different Forms of Child-Love 57
               Man/Girl 57
               Woman/Girl 59
               Woman/Boy 60
               Man/Boy 66
     Man/Boy Relationships  67
          Boy-Love and Pseudo Boy-Love 67
          Boy-Love and People with Different Orientations 73
          History and Ethnology of Boy-Love 77
               Ancient Greece and Rome 77
               Western Europe and America 82
               The Arabs 85
               India 85
               China and Japan 86
               The So-Called Primitives 87
          Boy-Lovers in Relation to Women 91
          Variety in Age Preferences 93
               Small Children 93
               The Prepubertal and the Mature 94
               The Importance of Puberty 95
               Hair Growth 99
          Lasting Friendships and Casual Meetings 100
          Absence of Reliable Research 102
          Personality Traits of Boy-Lovers 108
               Old Age 109
               Attraction of Social Opposites 110
               Questions for Research 111
               Importance of the Partner's Pleasure 113
          Origins of Boy-Love 115
          The Number of Boy-Lovers 117
     Physical Maturity  121
          Growth of Genitals 122
          Ejaculation 126
     Psychosexual Development  128
          Elements of Cognition 128
          Importance of Puberty 133
     The Experience of Maturation  135
          Penis Size 135
          Erections 144
          Ejaculations and Wet Dreams 147
          Orgasm 155
          The Bloom of Youth 157
     Rites of Initiation  158    
          Operations and Blood Offerings 160
          Circumcision 162
          In Western Society 166
     The Beginning of Sexual Relations  171
     The Outlets  176
          Masturbation 176
               Deterrence 177
               Guilt Feelings 182
               Fantasies/Methods/Frequencies 185
               Beginning 193
          Sex With Girls 197
               Beginning 197
          Disparity Between Boys and Girls of the Same Age 203
          Sex With Other Boys 212
               The "Homosexual" Phase 212
               Special Friendships 225
               Fear of Homosexuality 231
          Sex With Men: An Impossible Love? 239
               The Parents 242
               Adult Lovers vs. Peers 246
               Willing Boys 249
               Bisexual Behaviour 262
               The End of the Affair 267
               The Boy as Seducer 271
Appendix: Penis Size vs. Age  282
Bibliography  283
Contents of Volume Two  332  Repeated at the beginning of volume II, and therefore superfluous.
About the Author  334


Contents of Volume 2

     Introduction: A Cautionary Tale  9
     The Usual Objections  12
          ‘The Child is Not Yet Mature Enough for Sex’ 12
          ‘The Child Cannot Give Informed Consent’ 13
          ‘A World Where the Child Doesn’t Yet Belong’ 15
          ‘The Child Will Be Traumatized’ 16
          ‘The Boy Will Be Turned Into a Homophile’ 27
          ‘The Partners are So Unequal’ 30
          ‘The Child is Manipulated’ 41
     Circumstances Which Cause Concern  46
          Incest 46
          Sexual Activities and Remuneration 56
          The Depiction of Sexuality: Boys as Models and
             Observers 80
          Sexual Violence and Cruelty 93
          Penal Law 121
          Attempts to ‘Cure’ 138
     Collision with Social Norms: Secrecy and Discovery
          The Age Groups 153
          Depth and Superficiality of Love 155
          The Brevity of Bloom 158
     The Effects of Sexual Repression  175
          Nervous Troubles 177
          Aggression 182
          Guilt Feelings 189
          Obsession 196
          The History of Repression 200
          The Substrata of Sexual Repression 206
     Sexual Freedom  211
          Sexual Information 216
          How to Talk About Sex 219
          Freedom from Shame 233
          The Cult of the Phallus 239
          Shame 241
     Sexual Abstinence and Self-Control  255
          Sexual Distress of Youth 263
          Visual Aids 265
          Exercise and Practice 273
     Ethics for Boy-Lovers  310
          Benefits to the Boy 311
          The Adult Friend and the Boy’s Parents 332
          Retrospective Judgments 342
          The Benefits for the Man 354
     Importance of Sexuality and Eroticism  359
     The Various Practices  363
          Active and Passive 369
          The Preferred Practices 369
          Adapting to the Child’s Evolution 377
     Hand Techniques 388
     Interfemoral Intercourse and Similar Techniques  393
     Sexual Activity with the Mouth  397
     Anal intercourse 412
          Active & Passive 426
     The Primordial Force  454
Supplemental Bibliography  477
Index of Persons and Sources  484
Index of Subjects  502



About the Author

Appendix A: Penis Development in Boys

Edward Brongersma was born in Haarlem, in The Netherlands, in 1911, the son of a medical doctor. He studied law at the University of Amsterdam between 1931 and 1935, and for the next five years worked on his Doctor’s thesis on Constitutional Law and wrote articles for a number of legal and general interest publications. In 1940 he received the degree of Doctor of Law at the Catholic University of Nijmegen.

During the war years, and until 1950, he was a barrister in Amsterdam, becoming a Labour Party member of the First Chamber of the States General (the Dutch Upper House of Parliament, or Senate) in 1946. Both careers were interrupted in 1950, when he was arrested, tried and convicted for having sex with a 16-year-old boy, and the next 11 months he spent in prison. Upon his release in 1951 he made a living as a journalist and was also employed as a social worker, becoming in 1956 Director of the Federation for Social Assistance to Problem Families in Haarlem, a post he held for the next three years. Debarred with his conviction, he was reinstated at the bar in 1959 and thereafter carried on a legal practice in Haarlem until his retirement in 1980.

From 1960 until 1968 he was Chief Scientific Collaborator at the Criminological Institute, State University Utrecht, and two years later the Labour Party once again asked him to consider becoming a member of the Dutch Senate. He accepted this call; from 1963 until 1977 he served his second period in the Upper House, from 1968 until 1977 as chairman of the Permanent Committee for Justice. In 1975 the Queen made him Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion for distinguished service as Member of Parliament. He founded the Dr. Edward Brongersma Foundation in 1979 to receive and preserve his collection of literature and private documents on sexuality and make it available on a confidential basis for responsible research.

Dr. Brongersma has authored numerous articles and professional papers on law, politics, social conditions, philosophy and religion. Able to read virtually all of the Western European languages, he has written books on the Civil War in Spain, Portugal and the Portuguese, Penal Law and social problems. Beginning with his years at the Criminological Institute, he has written extensively in the area of sexology, especially on pornography and paedophilia. His books on these subjects include Das verfemte Geschlecht (On Boy Love, 1970), Sex en Straf (Sex and Punishment, 1972) and Over Pedofielen en ‘Kinderlokkers’ (Paedophiles and ‘Child Molesters’, 1975). He contributed chapters in Sex met Kinderen (Sex with Children, Van Eeten, Ed., 1972), Sexuologie (Frenken, Ed., 1980) and Handboek voor seksuele hulpverlening (1983).

Frontispiece photo of the author

Since his retirement in 1980, he has devoted his working time to the Brongersma Foundation collection of material on youthful sexuality and to public enlightenment on sexual matters. Always an enthusiastic photographer and avid traveller, he has visited by car nearly all of the European Scandinavian and Iberian countries, as well as much of North Africa. Some ten years ago he made a Land-Rover safari with friends down through the Sahara, into Nigeria, the Camaroons, Central Africa, Congo and Angola. He has travelled by plane around the world twice, visiting India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, The Philippines, the USA, the Netherlands Antilles, Dominican Republic and Haiti.


[1] A few French writers, André Gide, Roger Peyrefitte and perhaps Henry de Montherlant and Tony Duvert, surpassed him in fame, but as purely literary figures. The Nobel Laureate American scientist Carleton Gajdusek was only open in old age after being exposed and imprisoned for practising Greek love. The only open boy-lover to surpass him in political eminence was much earlier in the century: the last emir of Bukhara, Said Mir Mohammed Alim Khan (1880-1944).

[2] Explaining this in an interview with Robin Sharpe in 1994, Brongersma “said the general blossoming of tolerance after the war in Holland was partly due to the collective guilt over the pre-war rejection of the German Jews and the ensuing holocaust. But this is now beginning to fade.” (https://www.robinsharpe.ca/Brongersma.html)

[3] “Burning the Library”, The Guide, February 2001, p.8.




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