Food for Thought Friday: She was just fi-ifteen, you know what I mean

When I was at university, in my third year, I had sex with a student who was in her first year. I’d met her a few times at the Students Association, and found that she was funny, flamboyant, radical, and one of the few people I knew who’d actually read a lot of books that weren’t bestsellers.

One day she was down about a fight she’d had with a friend, and I sat with her to commiserate. We finished up pressing foreheads and holding hands. Nothing came of it because I had to go and work. But later that week there was a dance in the Students Association Hall, and she came wearing sparkly little pants and and strip of sparkly, semi-see-through material round her breasts. 

So we danced together, and drank cheap student wine and smoked student joints. The ribbon round her breasts was slinky stuff, and tended to come loose. So from time to time we’d stop dancing so I could tie it back again.  

Then we went and talked for a while, and in a dark corner we did away with that sparkly material altogether. And when it was clear that we were more or less fucking, and it was time to drop the less and do more, we sneaked off.

I had a motorbike, and (this is bad behaviour too) took her on the back to my place, with the sparkly material round her hair since she didn’t have a helmet. 

So we fucked. Then the next day I blindfolded her, not for bdsm reasons, and took her for a smell walk through the flowers and trees in the local park. That night I spanked her, for bdsm reasons, and that became the nature of our relationship.

But here’s the thing. She said she was 16, which was the age of consent in my country. I’d travelled, and been politically active for a while before going to university, so I was six years older, at 22. And I decided that it was okay because she was a first year university student, and a highly intelligent one, with a long sexual history that was in some respects more deviant than mine. For example, she’d already beaten me to “first threesome”, and I still had three years to wait till mine.

But nearly ten years later, friends told me she’d lied about her age, just a little bit. She’d had to get special permission to enrol at university because she’d finished school, but she was only 15. So for the first six months of our relationship I’d been breaking the law, and fucking an underage girl. 

Apparently there’d been scandalised gossip. But I never heard about it, at the time.

All the kids in my school had been trying their best to have sex before they turned 16, so that they could say they were sex criminals. I tried too, but ineptly, and when I finally made my sexual debut I was a boringly legal 16.

But by my 20s I wasn’t too unhappy because I’d broken other sexual laws. For example, you could go to jail for 10 years, the law said, if you had anal sex with a woman (anal sex with a man only cost seven years; I’d love to know the thinking behind that) and I broke that law repeatedly before they repealed it.

I committed a kind of quasi-incest, by shagging my sister-in-law, which doesn’t count, legally, and a couple of cousins, which doesn’t quite count either. Though it would in some countries, I think. Unfortunately, I didn’t fancy my mother or my sister, so I had to leave that law unbroken. 

So my first reaction was shock that she’d felt she had to lie to me (because I’d have talked about it a bit more first, but it wouldn’t have changed the outcome), followed by surprise, and then a kind of stupid satisfaction: “Oh, I did manage to break that law after all.” 

One thing I’ve never felt about it is guilt. As it happened I didn’t know, but it wouldn’t have changed much if I had. She was still an intelligent woman, still more worldly, in some ways, than I was (she knew wine, and how to behave at various formal events), and I reacted to the person I was with. I had no doubt at all that she knew her mind, and that if she wanted me then that was just my ridiculous good fortune. I still don’t doubt that, even looking at it with hindsight.

Anyway, this is a hotter taboo now, I think, than it was twenty years ago. But I’m a sex criminal, for breaking the age of consent law and the anal sex law (RIP), and I don’t feel bad about either. 

That doesn’t mean that I think there shouldn’t be a law. Just that it should mostly keep away from young people consensually exploring. 



4 thoughts on “Food for Thought Friday: She was just fi-ifteen, you know what I mean

  1. Such a great post, thank you so much for sharing it for F4TFriday. I love this post because I truly think if more people were honest this is the reality of taboos, many of us given half the chance would do plenty of them, even those people who are busy claiming they’re ‘wrong, immoral, disgusting etc’. You’re honesty and wit about this topic made me so happy. Floss x

  2. Thank you! I’m a bit relieved, actually, because I expected angry denunciation.

    I don’t have any very wide point to make, because it was just how one relationship started. I’m not saying the age of consent laws should be relaxed. In most places now they allow young people who are roughly in the same ageband to fuck without the law being involved, and that seems about right.

    I guess my main point is that young people are horny, and humans are complex, and so are the situations we get into. And, looking back on it, I still don’t think I did anything wrong or harmful.

    Thank you!

  3. I love it when you join in with F4tFriday. Your posts always make me smile and I I can always see your point of view. Maturity is the issue here and she obviously was mature intellectually, emotionally and physically. She was 15 but that was just a number in her case. An age of consent has to be set but one 15 year old is certainly not the same as another. So I agree with young people exploring then it certainly does not seem like it should be illegal. A 42 year old with a 15 year old sounds very different to a 22 year old with a 15 year old.
    I am so glad you said even if you had known you would have carried on. Love your honesty.
    My man was in an “almost successful” band when he was 19 and girls waiting after the gig. He was duped by a 15 saying she was 17. One of those things. I think it has happened to so many guys.

  4. Thank you!
    She was an extraordinary person. We still bump into each other from time to time.
    I certainly wasn’t suggesting it was “her fault” for slightly misleading me, because I’d have made my decision based on the person I was with, not the law. And it would have been the same decision, as I said.
    As a young man I broke the law quite often, without giving it a thought: I dropped acid, I smoked dope, I drank in pubs I wasn’t legally allowed to enter. All of them victimless crimes. I don’t regret my criminal youth, and I did no one any harm, including myself. So the law wouldn’t have been a factor in my decision.
    I knew she was a very strong and determined person, who generally got what she wanted. I knew that I wanted her, and, remarkably, she wanted me. So lust had its way, and so did we.
    Not every 15 year old needs the law to stop them from making their decisions. Obviously, conditions apply: not every 15 year old will make wise decisions, either, and some will make avoidably disastrous ones. So some legal constraint is reasonable in most cases.
    Though when I was 15, if a slightly older woman had been interested in fucking me but decided not to because of the law, I’d have been furious. Furious with the law, not her. I knew what I wanted, no question.
    Going back to that 15-claiming-to-be-17 thing, I’ve read people saying that’s ridiculous, and that any guy would be able to tell. And that really isn’t true. If she’s dressed up and has her hair done up, and so on, for a night out I can’t always tell 14 from 18, or 16 from 20.
    That has no practical significance, because even 20 year olds are too young for me now. But I do know that it is _not_ easy to tell, and anyone who claims that it is, is mistaken.

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