For children it is probably very nice to have such a friend

Report on an intimate relationship between a boy and a man from a mother’s perspective. The text is originally from the Dutch magazine Nieuwe Revu and was printed on May 5th, 1988.

Translated by JUMIMA
Original German text

Rene was nine years old when he first went to the apartment of a coach of a sports club with a crowd of friends. [Comment by Wolf Vogel]

His mother Ria: “My son came home and kept telling me about it. He and his friends really liked their new friend. They listened to the radio, played games and got lemonade. My son always reports enthusiastically at home about everything he experiences. After a few of these visits, he said there were photos of boys hanging on his friend’s apartment walls. I thought: the man must be pedophile. Then I felt bad and blamed myself. Initially, I was too negative. I found myself intimidating my son, saying things that I had heard as precautions when I was a child. Probably that held back my son very much.

His friend knew that I was dealing with it. I read about it and discussed it with my son. His friend heard about it from him. He always asked: “How does your mother think about it?” Then my son would say: “You can tell her, she"ll understand it.”

After a while we had a conversation. I told my son’s friend that if my son wanted the relationship, I would have no concerns about it. I said to my son: “I agree with what you do, but I don’t want you to do something in exchange for other things.” Because a lot was done for him by his friend. He took him everywhere. The man, about thirty, organized everything. I went into this in detail during the conversation. I said, “If you don’t feel like doing something, don’t think, what a shame for him. It’s really not necessary.” That’s probably the reason why nothing unpleasant has happened. They are still good friends.

For children it is probably very nice to have such a friend. He can empathize well with the children’s problems and helps them with their homework. My son has made tremendous progress in school since he has this friend. It’s just a pretty good relationship, and there is no sexuality. Anyway, my son is too old now, he’s sixteen. Physically, he is no longer attractive to his friend. But I know from his friend that it probably happens with other children. We speak openly about it, he often comes to us. The physical contact, the caress, that is important for them. How far does it go? They would probably rub each other. From friends of my son I can very well notice that some children are looking for that. They also keep sitting close to my husband here, they just want attention.

Of course, I also had doubts. I would get really angry if my son’s boyfriend kept wanting to cuddle with a child who came to him. I then said, ‘the child is coming here to play, but you’re just thinking about sex." I told him that he had to be respectful of his little friends, that something could only happen if the child wanted it. But you have to understand that such a relationship is almost impossible, and if it seems possible, you want to have everything right away.

This friendship is still a delicate point for my husband. He accepts it because my son completely rejects sex. My husband has not been aggressive on this point. Of course, he could have forbidden the friendship. But then they would have done it in secret; I don’t know what would have happened then. I know my son’s boyfriend has had quite a lot of relationships of which the parents knew nothing. I am always amazed at this. I don’t understand that. The children call him, he comes to visit them, they eat and sleep with him, are allowed to go anywhere with him. But the parents don’t know anything. Nothing is discussed. That scares me. For him. I’m afraid that he might get into trouble for that at some point. Now I understand very well that he cannot be oben about his preference. He would risk his professional career and almost all of his social contacts in and around the house. If only three or four people have problems with this topic – they can then cause a lot of harm. The risks are enormous. He also doesn’t have all relationships at the same time. There are children whom he only caresses or whom he only kisses. Theere is just one where it goes further.

If there were any real difficulties, I would support him. Because we talk a lot about it, I can help solve many things. It’s just terrible for the kids who don’t talk to their parents about it. They are carrying a big secret. If something happens and the adult friend drops the friendship because for example they may no longer want sex – where should they turn to? On the other hand, some children can also exploit a pedophile enormously. Because they are so vulnerable. That is probably what is happening, and it is not right.

But I’ve never wanted to forbid my son’s friendship. I think he has the right to make his own choices. And in the end – what is more beautiful than love?"