December 09, 2010
This is in praise of younger men. An outrage will take place at Preston Crown Court on January 7, 2011, when beautiful 27-year-old ballet teacher Sarah Pirie will be sentenced for an “improper relationship with a 15-year-old” who was not named (unlucky chappie) for obvious reasons. In my not-so-humble opinion, this is dead wrong. If Pirie’s sentence is harsh, it will be the cruelest decision since the Athenians sent poor old Socrates down for corrupting the young. Mind you, the Brits tend to be undersexed, underfinanced, and, most of the time, under the table with drink, but this is ridiculous. Is there a greater gift a 27-year-old beauty can bestow on a 15-year-old boy than sex? Not the other way around—a 27-year-old man should not have sex with a 15-year-old girl, although in our promiscuous times finding a 15-year-old innocent is like winning the lottery. No, a girl has to be of age, but certainly not a boy. The greatest rite of passage takes place between the sheets when an older woman takes a young man to bed.
Take my case. It was September 1952 and I was returning to America with my parents on the SS Constitution, a great liner, sister ship to the SS Independence. We boarded in Cannes with the next stop New York Harbor. Onboard was a famous Norwegian female shipowner known as “Oilboat Olga.” She and my father knew each other, and we shared a dinner table in the first-class dining room. Oilboat Olga was traveling with her daughter, a 24-year-old blonde beauty who in her boredom took a shine to me. We ended up in the sack. I had turned 15 the previous month and couldn’t believe my luck. I stayed with her in my cabin throughout the trip until my mother had enough and mentioned it to Oilboat Olga. My father was making a play for Olga in the meantime, so the atmosphere became strained.
The good ship’s captain was Bernt Jacobsen, of good Norwegian stock. My mother, a saint if there’s ever been one, went to him dropping hints that her two men were acting in an undignified manner. According to old dad years later, the captain played dumb and assured my mother that it was all innocent fun. (Knowing my father, he most likely had promised Jacobsen a port captain’s job after his retirement.)