You have to be careful with relationships

This report is an interview with a 29 year old who tells of his intimate relationship with a man from age 7-14 whom he sees as a kind of surrogate father. The man was married and the boy also had a good (non-sexual) relationship with his wife.

Translated by JUMIMA
Original German text

Jörg is 29 years old and describes how he came to have “parents-of-choice” as a child in form of couple Rita and Jens, both teachers. Before the interview, Jörg expresses concern that the publication of the interview could cause difficulties for Rita and Jens, and warns: “You have to be careful with relationships.” Only at the suggestion to change all names and locations, Jörg is ready for the interview.

Question: You got an additional set of parents at the age of seven. How did this relationship start?
Jörg: To explain that I have to go back a little. My birth parents had a pub in our city and could hardly – or did not want to – take care of me. If I wanted to be with my parents, I had to sit in the smoky pub among the grown men. When I finally started school at the age of six, I had considerable language deficits and therefore was put in a special school for kids with learning disabilities; but not in the normal class, but in a class for paralyzed and mongoloid children. The school board obviously didn’t know what to do with me, so I ended up in a class I didn’t belong in at all. Of course, I can no longer remember the reasons, which I probably was not even told about. However, I learned a lot of details later when I was an adult because I asked about it. My teacher at the time, Rita, soon noticed that I was completely out of place in this class. She considered the school commission’s decision to be a scandal and, by the way successfully, tried to place me in a normal primary school class. Rita later told me that two years later I ranked in the upper third of the elementary school class. I think that Rita as a trained kindergarten educator and teacher had a feeling for the level of development I was at and to what extent I was capable of being educated.

Question: It is not unusual for a teacher to recognize that a child has a higher potential at school. But even though you had your own parents, you were accepted as a protégé in this family of teachers. Was that your wish?
Jörg: The interests of my birth parents focused on their pub. The children – I have an older sister – were of little concern to them. We felt that we were in the way of our parents, especially on weekends. Rita and Jens had a small holiday home in the mountains and I was allowed to come to this holiday home every now and then over the weekend. I was seven years old at the time. Later, I spent almost every weekend with the couple, whose own children had grown up and were already out of the house.

Question: Were you parents OK with the fact that you spent so much time with another couple?
Jörg: I think that my parents liked that I was out of their way on the weekends. Rita and Jens tried to adopt me, but that plan failed due to my parents' resistance.

Question: Would an adoption have met your interest?
Jörg: It would have been the fulfillment of my dreams at the time. Even today, after more than 20 years, I still see it the same way.

Question: Have there been contacts between your parents and your substitute parents?
Jörg: To make it clear: Rita and Jens were by no means substitute parents. On the contrary, they became the real caregivers in my life. As far as I know, there were only occasional contacts between these two sets of parents.

Question: Was there physical contact with Rita and Jens?
Jörg: When I was with them, I was allowed to sleep in the double bed. I was addicted to feeling physically safe, and Rita and Jens made it possible for me to compensate for the previous lack of closeness. I also remember being physically and sexually mature. In photos that Jens took of me you can see that I already looked like a fourteen year old when I was eleven. My interest in other people’s bodies was already there when I was allowed to stay with Rita and Jens for the first time. On the one hand, there were occasionally other children with whom I played, sometimes erotic games. And on the other hand I had a keen interest in Jens' body. I had sexual contact with him at the age of seven or eight and tried pretty much everything that occurred to me at that age.

Question: Did the physical interest only concern Jens?
Jörg: Exclusively. As long as I can remember, I have never had a sexual interest in women. Rita supported me in a different way. Today she proudly tells me that I was able to pronounce complicated words and even foreign words when I was nine. She has incredibly stimulated my linguistic development.

Question: Werent’t your own parents jealous that you were more attracted to your new parents?
Jörg: Probably. If I didn’t toe the line as my parents wanted at home or my school performance didn’t meet their expectations, I wasn’t allowed to go to my adult friends. For my birth parents, this relationship was the ideal leverage to force good behavior. Occasionally, an afternoon or even a weekend with Jens and Rita was canceled.

Question: Did you suffer from that or did you care?
Jörg: I suffered a lot from it. There were evenings on which I cried all the time. I really wanted to see them; it was like paradise to me. From today’s perspective, I felt like an asylum seeker: I wanted to get away from home, away from the dirt at home. With Jens and Rita I was allowed to move freely, to develop freely. They were nice to me, turned to me, spent a lot of time with me. It was an important phase in my life.

Question: How did you manage to be allowed to visit the parents of your choice through all that time despite the occasional resistance from your birth parents?
Jörg: I resisted the pressure of my parents, with words, defiance, disobedience. The more I resisted, the less they were able to pursue their own interests, so they let me go.

Question: Wasn’t it a difficult situation for Jens and Rita to take the child away from other parents?
Jörg: I don’t think so. When I was little and Rita washed myself in the bathtub, she discovered many marks on my body. When asked, I admitted that my father had often hit me. And Rita threatened my father with a criminal complaint if he continued to beat me. My father then didn’t beat me anymore. For this reason alone, my birth parents wanted to maintain a reasonable relationship with Rita and Jens. This enabled me to visit my new parents without any major difficulties and to be with them.

Question: Sou continued to live at home due to the recejted adoption and only occasionally, on weekends or during school holidays, with Rita and Jens?
Jörg: Yes, that’s right.

Question: The physical contacts continued?
Jörg: Yes, also to bigger boys who sometimes visited Rita and Jens. I always crawled into bed with them. From today’s perspective, it was an urgent need for love, but also a need to catch up, because my parents were very cold.

Question: Back to the sexual contacts with Jens: Was it temporary or were there longer lasting erotic contacts?
Jörg: These contacts continued. They were most common and intense when I was between 11 and 14 years old. That was the time that I would like to call a real relationship, or rather, the climax of the relationship.

Question: Was the sexual contact more desired by the adult or by you?
Jörg: That was actually my wish. I felt really comfortable in this relationship, and so these contacts came about by mutual agreement.

Question: Did you want sex or did you want to do the adult a favor?
Jörg: I wanted sex, too.

Question: Also to Rita, Jens' wife?
Jörg: No. Females played no role in these wishes. I was mainly interested in male bodies.

Question: Did you have the feeling at the time that you were gay?
Jörg: I didn’t really deal with this topic at the time. The relationship with Jens was a friendship that had developed. It was only when I was about 15 years old that I really got to grips with the subject of “homosexuality” for the first time.

Question: How did you deal with it?
Jörg: I met a regular in the pub of my birth parents. He studied medicine and was well known to my parents. From today’s perspective, I think that he was a pederast and therefore interested in me, and so, in addition to the relationship with Jens, another friendship developed with this student. However, this friendship ended very badly, because my father soon learned about it from others and it seems he threatened to report him. So this relationship broke up.

Question: When did you become aware of being gay?
Jörg: That didn’t come suddenly, but rather gradually. At first, when I was 15 years old, I tried to fight it. At that time I also had a girlfriend. But soon I had to finally realize that I was gay. I knew from my father that he was hostile to gays and that being gay was mocked at school, so I had to wait for better times to be able to live it openly.

Question: Do you have a steady relationship today?
Jörg: Yes, I have a boyfriend, we’ve been living together for eight years, and I think if you’re gay, you shouldn’t kill yourself about it, but consider it one of several sexual possibilities and relationships.

Question: Could you be gay because you went to bed with the teacher?
Jörg: Definitely not. I remember that my parents suspected that I could be gay much earlier because they noticed that I was never interested in girls.

Question: Does your father know that you have a steady relationship with a man today?
Jörg: Yes. About ten years ago I had a clarifying discussion with him about my sexual preferences. My parents have known about the current relationship from the start, of course also Rita and Jens, who like my current friend very much and who occasionally invite him to their home.

Question: Looking back, what significance had (or still have) Rita and Jens in your life?
Jörg: Rita was something like my foster mother, and Jens was my first friend and my first lover.

Question: Can a man like Jens, who takes in a boy to a certain extent, go to bed with this child?
Jörg: Sure, if both agree and there is no violence or coercion, if there is no economic dependency and no psychological dependencies. It has to be an equal partnership.

Question: Is an equal partnership between a child and an adult possible at all?
Jörg: Of course. It was an equal partnership between Jens and me. He never demanded anything from me, respected my wishes and needs, and was never jealous when I had other friends. Unfortunately, sexual contact with Jens ended when jealousy brought Rita and Jens' marriage into a crisis. I’m still sorry about that today, and I think Jens suffered from it too. But he didn’t show it. In all other areas, my relationship with Jens and Rita is as close as before, and I think this relationship will last a lifetime.

Question: I would like to get away from the sexual aspect for a moment and return to your school and professional career. What career path have you chosen?
Jörg: After I had finished my “Hauptschulabschluss” [German high school path, mainly for vocational jobs] in the comprehensive school, I first attended a vocational school and then learned my dream job, stonemason, which I see as an occupation between craft and art. I studied this profession for three years and passed the exam as the best in the entire Chamber. Since I wanted to combine craftsmanship with art, I continued my one-year training as a sculptor and also passed the final exam as a stone sculptor.

Question: From a deported needy student to a sculptor – an impressive career indeed. Have you reached the goal of your professional desires?
Jörg: No, not yet. At the moment I’m still attending evening school to catch up on middle school. Then I would like to do my Fachabitur [German diploma necessary for going to college] and attend the restoration school. Maybe even in Venice.

Question: It all sounds like a storybook career. Where did you have problems in your friendship with Jens and Rita?
Jörg: On the one hand, I very much regret that the sexual part of the relationship has not lasted any longer. On the other hand, there did exist something like jealousy on the part of Rita towards the sexual contacts between Jens and me.

Question: Rita knew about it from the beginning?
Jörg: Sure, I mean we were in the same double bed. Sometimes I had the feeling that Rita punished Jens with love deprivation because Jens also took care of me. This often made him seem to be inhibited, and I sometimes wondered if he was no longer interested. Today, of course, I know that this is not true.

Question: Did it bother you to lie in bed with a man and next to it there is a woman who is not interested in sex?
Jörg: No, not at all. As a child you think pretty selfishly and want to have your own needs met. But sex didn’t matter as much as it may seem. In any case, the relationship with Rita did not suffer, at least not from my poin of view.

Question: From the perspective of an almost 30 year old – what advantages has the relationship with the two brought you?
Jörg: I was lucky enough to have a sexual relationship with a man who had the positive quality of respecting the feelings of both partners. He was not selfish, did not attempt sexual practices I didn’t want and put his own desires second. It was a harmonious partnership. And Rita, together with Jens of course, gave me exemplary support, otherwise I wouldn’t be as far professionally as I am today. It was a lucky encounter with the two. They have had a huge impact on my life so far. I also want to keep them as adult friends.