No sooner had I finally drifted off to sleep after an hour of restless tossing and turning than the back door slammed, bringing me upright in my bed. "Shit!" I muttered as I got up to investigate. I heard my son tromping up the stairs followed by his bedroom door slamming. He was clearly not a happy lad.
I crossed the hall and knocked on his door. "Jesse, what the hell's going on? What's all the noise about?"
"Just leave me alone! It's all your fault anyhow!"
Well, I couldn't very well ignore that, could I? "No, I'm not going to leave you alone until you tell me what's going on and what's all my fault. Come on, son, open up and let's talk."
"I don't want to talk about it!" He sounded like he was on the verge of tears. I know sixteen-year-old boys struggle with raging hormones and everything bad that happens to them seems like a crisis in the making, but the emotions are still legitimate and they have to be dealt with. It was times like this when I was reminded of how much I missed his late mother. She was such a natural at dealing with these kinds of things.
"No deal, Jesse. I'm not going away so you may as well open up."
He opened his door without making eye contact, sitting on his bed and staring at his feet. I put my hand on his shoulder as I sat next to him. "Now tell me what this is about and why it's my fault."
"I'm sorry Dad. I didn't really mean that. It's really personal and I don't feel right about talking to you about it. I guess it's just something I'll have to live with."
"Jesse, the more personal it is, the more you should be talking to me about it. Who knows you better than I do?"
With a sigh, he looked at me and said, "It's about genes, Dad."
"Jeans? What, your Levis? Is something wrong with them?"
He chuckled in spite of his crappy mood. "Not that kind, Dad. Genes, like inherited characteristics."
"Oh, OK. What about genes? Is there something wrong with yours?"
"Oh, jeez, this is so embarrassing!" Another big sigh, "Yes, there's something wrong with my genes. My ... my penis is too small. There, I said it! Are you happy?" Now he did break into tears.
I hugged him to me and brushed my fingers through his hair. "Tell me what happened, Jesse. What brought this on?"
"She laughed at me, Dad! God, I wish I could die." I just held on to him. There was no point in going on until he got control of himself. After a few minutes, he settled down some. I handed him some tissues and he blew his nose.
"Now tell me what happened, Son. Just start talking and it'll come out."
"You know I had a date with Wanda tonight. After the movie we parked down by the river and, well, you know how things go – we started getting pretty steamy and she said she wanted to 'do it'. When she got my pants unzipped and pulled down, she just looked at it and said 'What am I supposed to do with that little thing? I changed my mind. You can take me home now.' I've never been so embarrassed in my life, Dad. I'll never be able to look her in the face again."
Now it was me getting angry. "It's Wanda who should be embarrassed, Jesse. I can't imagine anyone being so rude and thoughtless. Son, all Wanda managed to communicate was her astounding stupidity. I don't even know what you saw in her in the first place other than her unusually large breasts. Obviously her mind isn't nearly as well developed."
In spite of himself, he laughed, "That's funny, Dad. I hope I can remember that line if I ever talk to her again."
"Why would you ever talk to her again? Look, Son, you don't have anywhere near enough experience to know what good sex should be like and what does and doesn't give a woman pleasure. I know there's more pornography on the internet than probably anything else and I'd be a complete fool if I thought you hadn't found ways to access it. No teenage boy is going to miss an opportunity like that. But, Jesse, that world isn't real. It doesn't teach you anything about making love, it only shows people having sex – not the same thing. If you think that guys with ten-inch penises give and get more pleasure than guys with five-inch penises, you couldn't be more wrong. Making love to someone is a whole-body experience, not just your genitals. There is nothing wrong with you or your penis, Jesse, and don't you ever believe otherwise. You get some sleep now and don't let Wanda's crude insensitivity cause you any more pain. She isn't worth it."
"Thanks, Dad. I suppose you're right. Good night."
I considered mentioning my concerns about contraception but then figured the timing wasn't quite right.
I thought about Jesse's anxieties all through the next day. I knew I was right in what I said to him but I was also pretty sure he wasn't convinced. This was a serious problem and unless we got him straitened out, it could cause some real issues with his emotional development. No parent wants to see that happen. The problem is how to get his self-confidence restored. I didn't think a therapist was the way to go. That might reinforce his belief that there really was something wrong with him. No, this was an extremely delicate matter and it needed the touch of someone who knew exactly what they were doing. I was pretty sure I knew the right person; the problem was how to broach the subject.
About two years after my wife died, we had a block party in our neighborhood with a bar-B-Q, stickball, volleyball and we even hired a small combo and laid down a portable dance floor. It was a great party and, as far as I could tell, no one overdid it on the beer and wine. Jesse was thirteen at the time and, of course he and his friends separated from the 'old people' as soon as they could manage it. During the course of the evening after things had quieted down a bit, I met a lady from the next block down and we danced a few dances together. Her name is Liu Yi. Liu's husband had been an aeronautical engineer traveling all over the world and had met her in Shanghai. He convinced her to marry him and they immigrated to the US and moved to our neighborhood. Mr. Yi died of a heart attack less than a year later and left Liu alone but very well provided for.
She's quite a lovely woman, about forty, and keeps herself fit and trim. We seemed to hit it off the evening of the party and started dating from time to time. We even discussed marriage after a few dates but we didn't feel the timing was right. We're still very close and Jesse even refers to her as his Auntie Liu. She thinks he's adorable. One of the little 'secrets' Liu shared with me when marriage was a consideration is that, before she met Mr. Yi, she worked as a high-class escort in Shanghai. My response to that revelation was that her past was her business and no one else's; it certainly didn't affect my feelings for her. She explained that she was sharing that information only in the name of total honesty.
So where does she fit into Jesse's problems? I figured, if anyone knew how to go about educating him and restoring his confidence it would be her. I struggled with how to ask her advice without making too obvious a reference to her former profession. I called and asked her out to dinner and she accepted.
About half way through the meal, Liu put her hand on my arm and said, "Martin, you've been working up to something all evening. Why not just come right out and say it?"
I chuckled. "You read me like a book. Am I really that obvious?"
"Yes, you are. Now, what's this all about?"
So I took a deep breath and plunged in. "Liu, I have a problem. No, Jesse has a problem. Well, actually, we both have a problem." As we finished off the wine, I tried to explain what Jesse was dealing with and how stymied I was trying to think of a solution. "Please don't be angry with me for coming to you, Liu. I couldn't think of anyone else who might be world-wise enough to offer any useful advice."
"How could I be angry with you, Martin? I'm touched that you would trust me enough to share Jesse's heartbreaking experience. Let me think about it and I'll come up with some ideas. If you don't mind, I'd rather deal directly with him rather than having you as a middleman. I will not mention this discussion. Do you agree?"
"Of course I agree, Liu. Jesse thinks you're about the greatest thing since sliced bread. I know he couldn't be in better hands."
Auntie Liu's story:
Martin came to me with a problem. Well, actually, he kind of snuck up on me with a problem by asking me out to dinner. We met three years ago at a block party and have been dating ever since. After my husband died, I really didn't have much interest in becoming involved with another man but Martin turned out to be something special. Learning we were both widowed opened up an area of common interest and it grew from there. Martin is such a kind, capable and loving person that he's almost impossible to resist. He has asked me to marry him and I'm very much tempted but I haven't quite grown comfortable with the idea yet. Moving into a ready-made family strikes me as being as risky as running through a minefield. Jesse, his sixteen–year-old only child is adorable and calls me his Auntie Liu.
Before I explain Martin's problem, I'll tell you a little about my background since it has something to do with why he approached me in the first place. From the age of seventeen until I married a wonderful gentleman by the name of Yi Liang, I worked as a professional escort in Shanghai. I believe in this country, I would have been referred to as a high-class prostitute. In China the profession doesn't carry quite the same stigma. Mr. Yi, who was a very successful aeronautical engineer, was a client of my escort service and repeatedly asked me to retire from the business and marry him. I finally acceded to his wishes and three years later we immigrated to the United States and became citizens. Sadly, Mr. Yi died of a heart attack less than a year afterward. I am fortunate in that he was quite wealthy and left a substantial estate.
Back to Martin's problem; it came about as a result of Jesse's problem. It seems that Jesse went out with a female – I'm reluctant to call her a young lady – who made promises of sexual favors and then ridiculed him for having a small penis. No sixteen-year-old boy is going to be anything but devastated by that kind of vicious cruelty. Poor Jesse was heartbroken and feared he would always be less than adequate to carry out his duty and right as a man. After Martin learned of this tragic event, he tried to reassure his son that no such thing would happen and that he was absolutely normal. He was quite rightly concerned for his son's emotional wellbeing and needed to come up with some way to convince Jesse that there was nothing wrong with him. That's when he called me and asked me out to dinner. It must have been difficult for him to ask me because he knows about my history as an escort and was afraid I would be angry with him. But how could I be angry. For a man to trust me with such a delicate issue was flattering and I told him I would find a way to counsel with Jesse.
What Jesse needed was immediately clear to me when Martin explained the situation. Of course, I didn't tell him of my intentions but asked him to let me deal directly with his son and he agreed, expressing his confidence that I would be sensitive to the boy's state of mind.
I waited three days to give Jesse time to recover from the initial embarrassment. That Saturday morning called him and asked if he would be willing to help me put in a new flower garden and earn some extra cash. He was more than happy to help as I knew he would be. Jesse is a handsome young man and is already as tall as his father. He is such a sweet boy that it breaks my heart that someone would hurt him like that slut, Wanda. He arrived at about ten and I set him to work digging up an area I had already marked off in my back yard. While he dug, I prepared his favorite Chinese dish, dim sum, for lunch.
When he was finished, Jesse showed up at the back door looking like he had crawled through a swamp. As he showered, I found some clothes that had belonged to my late husband and laid them out.
All through lunch, I maneuvered the conversation to get him to bring up the issue of his date with Wanda. I knew he would be reluctant and figured I would have to bully him into coming out with it. I opened the gate by asking how his love life was. As soon as I saw he was going to try to dodge the issue, I pounced and, with a little cajoling, I convinced him to tell me the story. I waited until he was finished, then set my plan into action. Jesse's innocence was so sweet and appealing it made me hunger for his young body although my main objective was to mend his damaged psyche and give him back his confidence.
I took his hand and led him to my bedroom where I had candles ready and had burned some sandalwood incense. His anxiety grew as it dawned on him what we were about to do. I carefully explained my intentions and reassured him that it was an important part of his education. No doubt his knowledge of sex was essentially what he had seen on the internet and the stories he got from his friends and those ideas had to be dispelled.
By the time we had helped each other undress, I could see he wanted to have sex with me in spite of his reservations and I certainly wanted him. From that point it was just a matter of leading him from step to step and instructing him on the finer points of pleasing his partner and pleasing himself. I was expecting to see a very small penis but discovered that, while he was a little smaller than the average Caucasian male, he was about average for an Oriental. My objective was to show him how to use his whole body to bring his partner and himself to the highest levels of passion, to make love with his entire being rather than just his penis.
Jesse turned out to be an apt student and, through my instruction and his own instincts, we enjoyed an hour of making love that was more than fulfilling for both of us. As we had tea afterward, I explained that this would be a one-time event and that he must never mention it to anyone and he must never ask me to do it again. He was mature enough to understand completely, especially when I told him that, if I had his approval, I intended to accept his father's proposal of marriage.
He seemed delighted and asked if he could call me Mother Liu.
I may as well just go to Tibet and become a Buddhist monk. I mean, if girls are going to see me as some sort of pathetic freak, my life is pretty much over anyway.
Wanda Schulz, according to some of my friends, was my best chance for getting laid for the very first time. They all claimed to have banged her several times (which was probably a lie anyhow) and I was the only one who was still a virgin. Every time the topic got around to sex, which was pretty much all the time, her name came up. She isn't drop-dead gorgeous but she is kind of pretty even if she's a little bit overweight and she has these enormous boobs. So anyhow, I finally worked up the nerve to ask her out and she said 'yes'.
The night started out a little shaky. I picked her up at her house where her dad looked at me like I was some sort of low-life pervert. Wanda said not to pay any attention to him because he looked at all her boyfriends that way. We went to the Pizza Hut before the movie. I've been told I could wipe out the family food budget by myself but my appetite couldn't hold a candle to that girl. We ordered a medium pizza with everything and she ate two thirds of it plus a dessert and two Cokes. Impressive!
The movie was OK but it wasn't going to be nominated for any Academy Awards. As we left the theater, I asked her if she wanted to park by the river. In our town, that's a not-too-subtle code for do-you-want-to-have-sex. She was all for it! I couldn't believe my luck, and on the first date. I no sooner shut off the engine than she was all over me like bark on a tree. She actually took one of my hands and put it on her breast while she unbuttoned my Levis and started tugging them down. Needless to say, my dick was already at rigid attention and ready for business. When it popped out of my shorts as she dragged them down, she just stopped and looked at it and said, "What am I supposed to do with that little thing. I changed my mind, Jesse. You can take me home now."
If there is a god, the kindest thing he could have done at that moment is to strike me dead on the spot. It would have saved me the embarrassment of having to be in the same space as Wanda as I pulled up my pants and drove her home. Not another word passed between us and I suppose that was a blessing of sorts.
By the time I got home, I was so furious I could have chewed nails. The problem was I didn't know who to be angry at. Unfortunately, my parents couldn't pick out which sperm was going to fertilize which ovum. Why couldn't I have been born with a penis like those porn freaks on the internet? Was that too much to ask? I didn't remember my dick being much different than the other guys in the locker room at school but apparently it was. Our dear Wanda obviously needed something more substantial to meet her standards.
So I stormed into the house, slamming doors and stuff. That woke up Dad and I said some stupid things when he knocked on my door asking what the problem was. I wasn't in the mood for conversation but Dad's not the type of person to put off issues 'til the next day. So I let him in and, after some coaxing and prodding, I finally told him what happened. That was even more embarrassing and, can you believe it? I actually broke down and cried like a little kid. Sure, let's just keep piling on the embarrassment.
That night has to be the low point of my life. Not that it stopped me jerking off or anything. I figured if I wasn't going to be any good to women, at least I could give myself some pleasure. In fact, self-abuse took on a whole new level of importance to me. I tried to make each session the best one ever and took to spending hours on my computer looking for better and sexier stimulation. I never would have believed on-line porn could get boring, but it can. I think Dad was getting worried that I spent so much time alone in my room.
Then, thank Eros, everything did a complete turn-around, all because a person whom I never would have thought of as having a solution took me under her wing, so to speak, and taught me things I wouldn't have learned from Wanda or her kind in a thousand years.
Here's how it happened: There's a lady who lives in the next block down from us that Dad's been dating for two or three years now. Her name is Liu Yi and she's just about the nicest person I've ever met as well as being incredibly gorgeous. I'm pretty sure she and Dad have talked about getting married but, so far, nothing has come of it. I keep wondering what the holdup is. Anyhow, Mrs. Yi - I call her Auntie Liu - called me one day and asked if I could help her with some chores around her house. That was kind of a surprise because she's about the most competent person I know and I've never known her to need anyone's help with anything. But she asked and I told her I'd love to. She usually has something really good to eat lying around and makes me sample it, as if I would ever refuse.
So when I got to her house, she showed me a little plot of ground in her back yard that she wanted to put a flower garden into and asked if I would spade it up and get it ready for planting. She said she would normally have done it herself but thought it might be a good way for me to earn some extra cash. I got the spade and fork out of her tool shed and plowed in (pun intended) while she went inside to make lunch for us. Two hours later, I left my shoes on the step, knocked on the back door and told her I was finished. One look at my sweaty body and muddy clothes and she directed me to the bathroom for a quick shower before lunch. She even laid out some khaki shorts and a T-shirt that had belonged to her late husband. He was about the same size I am now when he died.
My favorite food was laid out on the table when I sat down. Dim sum! If you're not familiar with it, it's bite-sized pieces of all sorts of things, usually deep-fried or steamed, that you pick up with your chop sticks and dip into a sauce. I had every intention of making a pig of myself.
As we ate, the conversation got around to school and my upcoming summer vacation and stuff. She dropped in a question about how my love life was going that kind of blindsided me, bringing up memories I didn't care to rehash. I guess I must have blushed because she stopped and looked at me. Auntie Liu doesn't miss much.
"I seem to have touched on a sore spot, Jesse. Are you having problems?"
"Um, it's nothing, Auntie Liu. Just a little personal thing I'm dealing with right now." I hoped she would let it slide but she's very much like Dad in that respect.