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The Angel of Pie Jesu by John Teller

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I have been reading a marvelous story in the A/Y section of Nifty called The Angel of Pie Jesu, by John the Storyteller (or John Teller). It is the story of a British businessman who falls in love with a member of a German boys choir (and who hasn't?). I had the good fortune to read his first installments last February on the very same night I saw the Vienna Boys Choir perform in my hometown and I heard a young soloist almost break my heart singing Pie Jesu. When I read the beginning of the story, it was even more powerful because I was still on an emotional high from having experienced almost what the protagonist in this story experiences. I think this story could be a nominee for the Best of Nifty!

John is also the author of The Magic Cap, a very moving story set in the North of England during the Fifties. It is partly autobiographical, which makes the story all the more poignant. Both can be found in the Prolific Authors Section of Nifty under John Teller.

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I've read four chapters, but I can't get over the queasy feeling of a romance between a 13-year-old boy and a 32-year-old man -- albeit a multibillionaire. I steer right past the adult-youth section of Nifty -- as well as incest, urination, bestiality, and authoritarian -- and I'm not convinced with this story that I should change.

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Guest Dabeagle

I am in the same boat. No matter how well written certain things aren't my 'cup of tea'.

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No, sorry, not even going there. A 13 year old with another boy in the choir, OK. A 13 year old with an adult of 32? No. Period.

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I was very surprised and hurt when I read these comments and those on my other recommendation. I was embarrassed and mortified to the point that I became physically ill and threw up. After my apology, which I now wish I hadn't given, I stayed out of the discussion and I don't want to stir up any more trouble, but I just can't let this go without saying something.

1. I understand the ban on stories of intergenerational sex on AD and I have no problem with that, although a couple of the stories I've written that appear here do have incidents like that. However, I find it ironic that on a board made up mostly of ADULT MEN reading and writing stories about UNDERAGE GAYS, that there should be such a virulent reaction to a mere recommendation of a well-written story by two men whom I know to be decent and responsible about ADULT MEN who like UNDERAGE GAYS. Irony?

2. There is a difference between describing something and advocating it.There is a difference between fantasy and reality. Do I find young gays appealing. Yes, and, I would assume, so do the majority of the members of this board, else why would they be here? Because they have an intellectual curiosity about young gays? That said, though, would I act on those feelings? Of course not! I was molested as a child and as a teenager, I sought love and approval from other men through sex. I KNOW what adult/youth sex can do to a child. I know it from personal experience. I know how it saps any shred of self-respect away and leaves the victim searching for something for decades for something to fill the void it leaves. I know how a boy can grow up to be an alcoholic and not live up to his potential. That is why, despite the feelings I have and which I assume others on this board share, I do not act on my feelings. So, lets climb off this particular high horse and remember that smugly self-righteous indignation is not the same as literary criticism and lets realize that most of us here share a common interest.

3. I would never recommend a story, nor do I choose to read stories, about abusive relationships. I do not read stories just for their sexual content. Yes, I discovered Nifty, just as everyone else did, back in the 90's looking for sexual stories. I don't criticize that and I think a strong sex drive is nice. But, I don't care for stories about cruelty and seductions and abuse and the stories I recommended are far from that. In fact, both are about men who are conflicted about their desires and both protagonists agonize over their actions. They are the kind of men I would think most AD members are, good and caring men who would never harm a child.

4. To lump A/Y stories together with incest, urination, and bestiality is, once again, being just a little self-righteous.

I don't want to cause trouble and I am so very grateful, truly, for all the kind things that were said about me over the last few days. I don't feel I deserve such praise because there are so many gifted writers here and Mike has done a wonderful gathering them here. But, this issue really got to me and I felt so horrible Saturday that I felt I had to say something. I'm not a drooling pedophile who reads or writes filth about raping kids. I am, like many here, a man who has an attraction to younger gays, but who would never act on those feelings and who likes to read and write positive and affirming stories about them and who recommends such stories when I find them.If such stories are not to your taste, then fine. That's perfectly all right. But the "I'm not one of THEM, but I masturbate over boys" attitude is a bit hypocritical.

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Guest Dabeagle

FT I merely said the story wasn't for me, and I do stand by that. I write using mainly teenage protagonists because they are so fragile and vulnerable yet they also put up this shell of being a know it all and project an image of strength. I realize some adults are like that as well, indeed some people never grow up. However the teenager has much more potential to change as they aren't yet set in their ways and that is the central part of why I use them.

The reason I don't enjoy the type of story that was linked to is the subject. I find it an unpleasant idea and, as I said no matter how well written, that underlying uncomfortable feeling was something I chose not to experience. Yes, young men can be attractive - to a degree and I'm sure most people can admit that. After all, even something like the Harry Potter franchise or any other movie in that age range rarely uses someone who isn't; but that really wasn't my point.

So if I upset you I hope you better understand what I was saying and realize that I wasn't attacking you as a person, it literally just wasn't my cup of tea.

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Just when I feared the forums might be slipping into the summer doldrums....

Thanks to FreeThinker and Dabeagle, both of whom I respect immensely, for freely and honestly expressing your points of view. I think it will give an even better insight into the stories and authors here at AD and prove that despite their enormous creative talents, we are all just people, after all.

Mike

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I agree with both Chris and Dave.

I also use teens as protagonists for the same and more reasons that Dave does. I think of them as nascent, inchoate adults. They're at a fragile stage of developing maturity where anything can happen, where they have to make decisions about themselves they're often not ready to make, and we get to watch this happen as the stories unfold, watch their decisions influence events around them. This is heady stuff for a writer. We get to play god.

Boys to me are very attractive becasue of this. I think they're empathetic, too. We tend to relate to them. Most of us were boys ourselves, and went through many of the struggles in our stories. It's easy to relate to these protagonists and their associates because we were there once.

Sex is unknown territory for younger teens, but something they're drawn to by urges that are strong and compelling. How will they handle this? Will they get hurt? Will there be influences in their lives for good or bad, and how will they deal with those influences? How strong will they be? How strong will they have to be to maintain a vital sense of self?

Some boys are attracted to men, and some men are sexaully attracted to boys. Should this be off-limits to writers? Of course not. It's through writing about this, and reading about it, that we as a society form opinions. Charles Dickens' work had an amazing effect on the popular way children and the poor were seen and, hopefully, treated in Victorian England. He wrote about things that made the monied classes uncomfortable. Should he have been denied a voice because of that?

I like that we can read such a plethora of works online. We have access now, free access, to such a wide choice of reading. I'm a staunch supporter of that. I wouldn't want to see it curtailed.

C

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I'm in accord with Dabeagle. I approach adult-youth stories with trepidation. It is possible that such stories are good. In fact, based on Free Thinker's recommendation I read into the story through four chapters, but they weren't good enough the hurdle I see in these categories of stories. I just found the instant love between the two as ultimately not believable.

It was the story, not the category, that wasn't good enough to overcome the stigma I find in the category.

In fact, if the billionaire had fallen instantly in love with a 21-year-old tenor in some chorus and vice versa, with the other aspects of the story done similarly, I still would not find the story interesting.

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There is a difference between describing something and advocating it.

I have been there and done this argument.

Drugs, sex, violence, people being sadistic... these are all elements of story that raise the emotional stakes. Simply because an author uses these elements does NOT mean that an author endorses them.

In a murder mystery, no one accuses the author of endorsing murder. It astonishes me that drugs, sex and rock & roll elicit this sort of response.

Broken for instance gets all sorts of hate mail. The big criticism with the newest chapters is the relationship between Jimmy(~14) and Doug(~19). That offends the delicate sensibilities of some readers and garners all sorts of strident criticism that I like to answer with go fuck yourself. The second big criticism is that Broken glorifies drug use and violence. As a recovering addict, there's a reason drugs are a part of an autobiographical work: figure it out genius. As for the violence, that's the world I lived in.

As an author that writes for fun and therapy, I'm glad when people like my work, relate to it or it changes someone's thinking. However- you didn't buy it or commission it. If you don't like it by all means stop reading but don't tell me what I can or should write about.

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This is a difficult subject from a number of points of view. Whether I get around to details in such a discussion is a moot point at the moment.

One thing is certain, I doubt you will find another forum which is prepared to look at the issues with the variety of opinions that we have available to us at AD.

Therefore I want to inject a different perspective from those above. The requirements of the law needs considering in regards to underage persons, (usually 18 years, but this may vary in your locale, even to the degree that no such discussion is even possible.) Taking advantage of the U.S. freespeech may permit us a little leeway, but even so, warning of adult content is advisable. Censorship versus classification of written material is another discussion, but I would like to say that the "difference between describing something and advocating it," is not always recognised by those charged with evaluating written material.

I would also set aside any discussion of photographic images, so we can concentrate on the written word.

However, it is not the form of the written word which is being discussed, but the content of the stories themselves; specifically, intergenerational sex.

This means that we are entering into a discussion in which we can expect to be confronted by both philosophical and psychological aspects of physical relationships. The main problem in doing this, as I see it, is that to arrive at any meaningful deliberation, there is a necessity to first come to terms with our cultural and personal values, rather than the legal values (which we will bear in mind), that may affect the discussion.

Such personal and cultural values may well differ from culture to culture, and from one person's views to another's.

It is worth mentioning that in some countries such discussion would be illegal. Some form of The Inquisition is never far away.

So, if there is to be a search for truth in the matter of intergenerational relationships, even as occurring in a fictional story, the first step needs to be to understand how our own cultures including our own immediate experiences affect our objectivity in such a discussion. At the moment I see a lot of reaction, both personal and socially influenced. To be truthful, I have to say the reactions remind me of religious condemnation of homosexuality where sex is only viewed as a physical encounter, rather than a consenting expression of affection.

This leads to asking if a younger person is capable of giving consent due to the immaturity of years at ages of one's early teens.

Psychologically, prior to puberty, the answer has to be, no. During childhood and including puberty, the human brain is developing, and will continue to do so through adolescence upto the age of 25.

So we have three developmental stages; childhood (pre-puberty), puberty itself (12 -16 years), and adolescence (16-25)...precociousness notwithstanding.

Any sexual molestation below the age of 16 is capable of extreme psychological disruption of the child's development with accompanying mental disturbances, which may need extensive counselling for the rest of that child's life. This is the damage that paedophilia can inflict, and why it is condemned as being very dangerous to the welfare and growth of the individual child.

As an aside, it is important to emphasise that paedophilia is not related to sexual orientation. Regardless of their sexual orientation, normal well-adjusted adults do not have a sexual interest in children.

This does not mean that older people do not find younger adolescents (over the age of 16), attractive. Historically, and in many cultures it was, and still is, regarded as part of the mentoring of the younger person to teach them the benefits of sex being the expression of love. In this environment, the younger person learns of compassion and affection as well as how to handle their newly developing human cognisance, skills and attitudes.

Many of our modern cultures do not understand this. Sex is treated as being only a physical release of satisfaction, and for which one is merely thankful. The idea that the younger person is the beneficiary in an older-younger relationship is not well understood. In this view, modern cultures have conditioned their members to think of sex as a physical release...only. The mentoring of younger adolescents in the art of love-making is not admitted as a valid relationship.

In many relationships, the physical attraction never develops beyond the physical infatuation, and that is largely due to people not reaching the point of empathy where the joy of release for the beloved is the orgasm of the lover.

None of this view can be used to validate an intergenerational relationship where the younger has not completed puberty, but a word about shared experiences between two younger people should not be overlooked. It is quite possible for two 14 year olds to mentor each other in the above fashion. They may stumble a little more without an older person's guidance, but that is part of life, too. No relationship is without its pitfalls. Think also on the parental influence (non-sexual) having provided one, or both of them with an appreciation of sex as love-making. The driving force of their love for each other may indeed make for a worthwhile story. But so too, may a relationship between any two adults consenting to make love to each other. To try to make rules about the limits of intergenerational relationships once adolescence has been entered, seems overly intrusive, not only to me, but in the reality of human love.

By far, the worse intrusion on a young child's mind and development is the dogma of a religion, particularly the ones which teach that sex is a sin. That is just wrong.

I have read stories where 11 year olds have been involved in sexual exploits of other characters. Except for the age, the stories have been well written and even inspiring in their beauty. But I have to say I found myself transposing the ages of those involved, to their mid-teens. I did this even though the author was historically correct in the age of the characters in the ancient setting of the story.

I am well aware of the horrors that have been perpetrated on young children, even including quite recently. The Church castrated boys so as to keep their high voices, whilst dignitaries took advantage of the boys, sexually. Stories have been written and movies made about such atrocities. See the Golden Globe winning movie, Farinelli.

We may think that intergenerational sex is somehow wrong, and when it is used as an abuse, it is. I want to establish that is an aberration of our own times and culture; in exactly the same way that same sex love was once almost universally held as a crime.

If we are accustomed to think in terms of only people of the same age group having sex together, then I think we need to examine just how much we have been indoctrinated to be judgemental of other adults' rights to live and love whoever agrees to make love with them.

As far as story writing is concerned on these relationships, I would advise to take great care in not being seen to advocate what many cultures have yet to learn about many different but valid forms of such relationships; paedophilia not being one of them.

It must be said that in the U.S. there appears, to the rest of the world that, there is a preoccupation with sex, and with other peoples' sex lives. To be fair the U.S. is not alone in this, but the puritan attitude on sex is the one that every LGBTQ person is justified in condemning as irrational, irrelevant and an encroachment on our individual freedom.

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