Until the positive feelings end up being transformed into negative ones

Remarkable interview by Tim Rolsson with a Swedish student, Zven, who had a relationship with a 43 year old man when he was 14. Zven later experienced disadvantages as a member of a political movement because he had thematized his experience.

Taken from the collection Positive Memories, compiled by T. Rivas.

A student at the University of Stockholm wishes to be known as Zven Szambruth (pseudonym). He is 23 y. and active in politics and gay emancipation. A psychologist, Tim Rolsson, asked him some questions about a relationship with an adult man he had as a teenage boy of fourteen.

*Zven told Rolsson that the man in question must have been in his early forties. Zven had just come out as a homosexual and generally felt attracted to (much) older men. *

He first met the man, whom he prefers to call Carol (pseudonym), in a bar. He looked quite attractive, and Zven, being an outgoing/extravert person, spontaneously started a conversation with Carol.

“At first, the contact was relaxed. Somehow, I made sure that our conservation would touch upon homosexual feelings and experimenting with homosexuality. I noticed that Carol was feeling a bit uncomfortable. Maybe because there were a few friends of his around.

We did have intellectual conversations about politics and such things. Not that I want to boast about this, but at that age, I really was a gifted teenager.

After we met about three times in the bar, I persuaded him to have an intellectual conversation alone, without his friends. We did so in a snack bar where we had a Swedish version of French fries.

I noticed how it fascinated him to be with such a young person who was already quite knowledgeable about things that usually belong to the adult intellectual domain.

After we had eaten our fries, we decided to continue the intellectual conversation at his place. I still didn’t know if he was a homosexual or bisexual, because he hadn’t said anything about it yet. But I did have the impression that he was not straight.

Then, I entered his place and I saw a room with a wall filled with extremely interesting books. History, politics, literature and prose… he had it all. Carol put on some classical music and I immediately started whistling the melodies. This made him even more enthusiastic about me, because he certainly hadn’t expected someone who was fourteen years old to like classical music, let alone know anything about it.

Carol decided to have a glass of wine and asked me if wanted to join him. However, I settled for an ice tea because I can’t bear alcohol.

Thus, the evening went on and I called my parents to tell them I was with friends whom I used to visit frequently

The classical music made me decide this was the time to go ahead. I began talking about sex a bit more freely and saying that I had never done anything sexual yet, which was true. At the time, I had only masturbated.

At first, Carol reacted in a relaxed manner, saying I was only fourteen and I would get at it pretty soon. He was startled however when I told him I thought he was handsome. He didn’t know how to react.

“Oh, thank you”, he said rather insecurely.

I immediately asked him if he was a bisexual as well. “Well, now you surprise me with your questions”, he told me. He thought I was outspoken about what I was thinking and he could appreciate that somehow. Finally, Carol tried to change the subject to politics and so nothing happened that evening.

The next time I was with him, Carol admitted that he’d never had a girlfriend. I immediately said: “Oh, so that means you’re gay!” Rather hesitantly he answered something like: “Well alright, I’m gay, are you happy now?” I certainly was, because I found him super sexy with his dark brown hair with a few gray hairs mixed in.

That evening we only talked about boys and I asked him how he found out he was gay and whether he’d run into any trouble with people who didn’t accept him.

I must say those conversations offered me a lot of support in a period in which I was feeling insecure about the way the environment was going to react to my orientation. Carol had it all: sexy looks, an intellectual mind and experiences he could share with me.

However, we didn’t have sex yet. We just talked about finding out that you’re gay, coming out and its repercussions, while we continued listening to classical music and jazz.

Carol also showed me a photo album with pictures of his last ex-boyfriend. It struck me that the boy – who was years older than I – did resemble me. Carol also found this striking. He liked it. He said that I resembled his ex in terms of personality as well.”

*It took two additional visits before Zven felt secure enough to show more initiative. *

“I just told him I found him attractive and sexy. Carol laughed out loud and told me I couldn’t know because I was still so young.”

Carol suggested that it could be just a temporary phase, which Zven found quite annoying because his parents also treated him as a young boy who just couldn’t be taken seriously. He felt that even if many teenagers don’t know what they want, this certainly didn’t apply to him."

*Carol stopped laughing and asked Zven what was so special about him. *

“We were sitting on the couch when I told him everything and as I was finishing my story, I went to sit next to him and laid my hand on his thigh. Carol didn’t know how to react, but it was apparent that he did like it.”

After finishing his story, Zven gave him an furtive kiss on the mouth. Carol kissed him in return.

“That’s how I had my first sexual experience that evening. There was no penetration or French kissing. I simply didn’t feel like it. We did masturbate each other, Carol gave me a blowjob and I really liked the way we cuddled. By the way, I never gave Carol a blowjob and I was never penetrated by him.

At my request, when we had finished, Carol put on the song “I’m getting sentimental over you” and we continued talking about politics, high school and history, as we lay against each other really snugly.”

*Carol doesn’t seem to have a sexual preference for younger boys. His ex had been in his late twenties or early thirties and his resemblance to Zven seemed to play an important role in his feelings for the boy.

Zven describes his relationship with Carol as a close friendship with erotic aspects. He didn’t fall in love with Carol, but definitely felt attracted to him. *

“I liked the fact that Carol was a fairly shy intellectual who didn’t know how to respond to such a provocative boy like me. I liked to tease and provoke him a bit. To be frank, I had the feeling that I was the dominant party within the relationship. He did nothing if I didn’t show the initiative. At the moment I still am the dominant boy in a relationship.

But that wasn’t the main reason why I liked being with him.

He was a handsome and intelligent man with whom I had very nice conversations. I really liked being with him. My feelings for him were different from feelings I’d have for a brother or for a father. There really was more.

I only realised what this relationship was like when I wrote a paper about homo-eroticism in ancient Greece. That’s how I could best describe my relationship. As a relationship in which an older man exerts some kind of sexual or erotic attraction on a teenager or adolescent and also fulfils some kind of function as a mentor, I mean apart from the sexual aspects of the relationship.

In my view, there weren’t any negative sides to the relationship. The only thing I didn’t like was the secrecy. Many people find relationships of teenagers with adult men disgusting.

Now that I live in Stockholm, I’ve finally lost all of my shame in this respect.”

*The relationship probably lasted between four and five months. It ended when Zven got into trouble with his father. He had been quarrelling with his conservative parents for years, but this time he was thrown out and he ended up with a foster family in another town, which made it impossible for Zven to continue seeing Carol. *

“In those days it wasn’t so easy for me to call him as it would be nowadays, because I didn’t own a cell phone. When after a considerable amount of time I tried to contact him again, he turned out to have moved. It’s a shame that it should have ended that way. Maybe he thought that I wanted to split up.

The relationship helped me a lot in my intellectual and sexual development. So much so that I would do it all over again.”

*His positive experiences naturally influenced Zven’s views of relationships between minors and adults. *

“I really get upset about the way ‘pedophile’ relationships are depicted nowadays. The standard view is that the teenager is ‘pathetic’, ‘ignorant’, and ‘abused’. As if I used to be a retard who didn’t know what he wanted. I most certainly knew what I wanted.

Another thing that enrages me is that I’m usually considered a ‘pedophile’ whenever I’m defending ‘pedophile’ relationships. As if every person who defends ‘pedophile’ relationships automatically has to be a ‘pedophile’.

I can imagine that someone who had positive experiences will feel ‘abused’ later on. The more people repeat such things, the more a teenager can get brainwashed, to the extent that his or her positive feelings end up being transformed into negative ones.

In my opinion, that is precisely what needs to be stopped, because it can do psychological harm to the teenager. I mean, people may convince you that you were traumatized, even though you really weren’t.”

*Zven told Rolsson in 2010 that people within his political party, took advantage of this interview by linking his name to ‘pedophilia’. That way they managed to stop his candidature for a function by scaring its members: he was massively outvoted. *