It was a Saturday morning. I'd slept in a little, and was lying on my bed, covers tossed back, in the process of taking care of a morning hard-on. Just as that first wonderful-feeling, tension-releasing spurt of come began to leave my prick and start its upward journey, my mother burst through my bedroom door.
"Soren, I- Ohmygosh!"
I turned my head toward Mom and our eyes locked. She stood there, frozen, and time went into slow motion just long enough for that first dollop of come to reach its apex of flight, hang in midair like a living pearlescent jewel, and begin its descent. Then she stepped back and slammed the door shut. I think part of me must have tried to stop coming when I saw Mom. It was futile, of course, but it both produced a very strange sensation-I'd never tried to stop coming before-and distracted from my full enjoyment of an orgasm. I spurted to a dribble and mopped up on some kleenexes. I wasn't really embarrassed by Mom's walking in on me. Well, a little, maybe, but not a lot; I mean, after all, as far as I'm concerned, masturbation's a part of life. I was more annoyed than anything else. Not angry, just annoyed. She really should have knocked.
Mom was in the kitchen when I went in to get some breakfast.
"Soren," she said, "I do apologize for bursting in on you while you were masturbating. I mean, I know that you're sixteen, and, although I'm perfectly aware of your chronological station, I hadn't correlated that with a developing sex drive and consequent increased need for privacy."
"It's okay, Mom," I said. "But maybe you could knock next time you find the door closed?"
"I shall, Soren, I shall indeed."
Some people may think that that's a pretty weird way for a mother to talk to her son. Not in our household. My parents are both full professors at the university. They live lives of the mind, and any topic is fair game for discussion. Our house has always been a hotbed of far-flung ideas. Mom and Dad would often hold casual seminars in the den, inviting their favorite or most promising graduate students over. In the den, we had one of those huge whiteboards that would make a printed copy of what was written on it, so that pearls of wisdom could be preserved forever.
Dad's field is philosophy. Matter of fact, that's how I got my name. Dad was heavy into Kierkegaard when I was born, so Dad named me after him. (It could have been worse. I've always been grateful that he wasn't interested in Kant or Pascal, for example.) The crowd that Dad attracted for his seminars was something else. "Disheveled students with disheveled minds," he always called them. "I may not be able to affect the way they dress, but I can teach them how to think." I had been jammed with philosophy the way some kids get jammed with their parents' religions. Most kids' parents read Piggly-Wiggly and other children's books to them when they're little. Dad read to me from Plato's Republic.
I did have to give Dad credit for letting his toes touch the ground every once in a while. About four years ago, when I was twelve and just starting to think about philosophy on my own terms, he was trying to engage me in a discussion on some point that I couldn't have cared less about, and I told him I thought it was all bullshit. Some guy would sit down and write what he was thinking. Then, in another country or on the other side of the world, so would another guy. Then they'd argue about who was right, or who had "flaws" in this thinking.
"You're right," he'd said, "but I prefer to think of it as entertainment. As a matter of fact, I've never seen a system of philosophy perfectly implemented in all its details. People just don't work that way. They take a little piece here and a little piece there, they blend it with their own perception and experience, and they come up with their own approach to life, their personal gestalt. But they don't have a clue why they think what they do. The entertainment is trying to find the why."
But Dad's influence on me may have been somewhat academic itself. Also about four years ago-not too long after I told him I thought philosophy was bullshit-he decided to move in with one of his graduate students, a young woman twelve years his junior.
Mom's a mathematician. When most people hear the word "mathematics," they think of numbers, arithmetic. Nothing could be further from the truth. Real mathematicians look upon numbers with utter disdain. Numbers are for mere physicists or engineers or accountants. Pure mathematics is wholly abstract. Mathematicians are people who can construct and inhabit whole other multidimensional universes in their heads. Just as it takes a particular genetic quirk or kink in the brain to be able to play the cello like Yo Yo Ma, have a voice like Bobby McFarren, or create physics like Steven Hawking, so does it take a particular genetic quirk to be able to think like a mathematician. Somewhere along the line, I decided that math is a lot like music. If you can imagine thinking in music, then maybe you can imagine thinking in mathematics. Truth to tell, I think Mom has a whole lot more mental horsepower than Dad does, and that may have been part of the reason he left Mom to move in with a budding philosopher.
Anyway, this is the kind of house I grew up in, and why it didn't strike me as odd to hear my mother say "I do apologize for bursting in on you while you were masturbating." I had been masturbating and she did burst in on me, so it was a perfectly correct statement of fact and a proper apology.
After a bowl of Wheaties and a glass of fruit juice, I went back up to my room, checked my email, dropped into a couple of chat rooms, and skated around the web for a while. By the time breakfast had soaked in, I was starting to get twitchy, so I grabbed a basketball and hopped on my bike to go down to the south side of campus and see if I could find a pick-up game. Not a problem. The basketball court was another interesting aspect of living in a university community. It was a common meeting ground for preppies and college jocks and street-wise Black kids. Whatever differences they might have had under other circumstances disappeared on the court, where it was nothing but the game. That's not quite true. There was a lot of black-white competition, and a lot of hollering and shouting and insulting and posturing. I think we all blew off a lot of steam of all kinds while we were running around and jumping up and down. But nobody ever really got mad and nobody got hurt. When everybody left, they punched each other in the shoulder with a certain kind of respect and affection, and parted with lines like, "Just wait 'til next time, mothafucka." Today's game was as lively as any other, and, by late in the afternoon, I was pooped. I rounded up my basketball and pedaled back up the hill to home.
Over a dinner of whole-wheat spaghetti with roasted garlic sauce, Mom said, "Soren, a thought occurred to me this afternoon." This is academic for "I've been thinking" or "I have an idea." But notice the passive construction of the sentence, where the thought, not the thinker, is the subject. With lives of the mind, it was the thought that was most important. The other interesting aspect to this approach is that a context was never offered along with the fact of the thought. You never knew what was going to come next.
"Yes, Mom?" I said.
"I was ruminating on your masturbating this morning, and it struck me as odd that, whereas we as parents pay close attention to every aspect of our children's well-being, learning, and physical development while they're small, we virtually ignore their sexual development and function, as if there were something amiss or forbidden about it, and it's occurred to me that perhaps I should know whether your sexual development and function is progressing healthily and normally."
I all but blew breadstick crumbs across the table. Even for my mother, this was a little weird. I took a gulp of milk, then said, "Well, Mom, I, uh, I mean, I suppose I'm doing just fine, I mean, I don't think I have any problems."
"I see," she said. "And how would I know if you did? I expect that if you encountered any other sort of disquieting physical phenomenon, such as pain or malfunction; if, perhaps, your bowels weren't performing normally, you'd inform me and seek my advice or assistance. Would you be similarly inclined in the case of sexual anomaly or malfunction?"
"Uhhhhh, I don't know. Probably. I might. I guess I would. I mean, it's never happened before, so I really can't say what I'd do."
"I see," she said. "It occurred to me that perhaps I should observe your masturbating to assure myself on the point. And, I must admit, it would be educational for me as well. I've never had the opportunity simply to observe a flaccid penis attain a state of full tumescence and then discharge its complement of semen."
"Mom, you and Dad were married for thirteen years!"
"Yes. Well. You see, our physical relationship wasn't such that the opportunity for an observation of this kind ever presented itself. I really shouldn't speak with you about your father's and my sexual relationship-or should I? Now, there's an interesting permutation on the proposition. If I believe that I should know more about your sexual development, then should I not be equally as willing to speak of my own sexual experience? I'll have to ponder that further. Meanwhile, what about my original proposition?"
"Mom, I don't know. It sounds a little wack to me for a mother to watch her son jack off. Besides, why now? It seems like, if you were going to talk to me about sex, you should have started a couple of years ago, when I first hit puberty."
"Good points, Soren. To the first, I must reiterate that I am your mother. I have a responsibility for your well-being in all aspects, and it discomforts me to think that I might have been neglectful. To the second point, two statements. First, I assumed that your father was attending to those duties. Second, I must admit that that I hadn't been paying too much attention. My energies were primarily directed toward my projects and my classes. Finally-to be completely honest once again-seeing your erection and ejaculation this morning arrested my attention in an odd way and turned my thoughts in directions I hadn't previously considered."
"Mom, did it ever occur to you that this might be a seriously personal matter?"
"Of course, Soren, I'm not dull-witted, you know. As I said earlier, this is a matter of healthy bodily function, which should not be taboo; further, I believe that there are aspects of curiosity and education that shouldn't be ignored. I'm curious, for example, how often you find it necessary to relieve yourself in this way. Daily? Several times a week? Weekly? I have no idea the frequency with which sexual urges impress themselves upon an adolescent male."
"Actually, Mom, I usually jack off two or three times a day. In the morning, before I get up, and again at night, before I go to sleep. And sometimes during the day, depending on what's happening, how I feel, and whether I have the opportunity."
"Two or three times a day? My goodness! I had no idea it might be that frequent. How fascinating! In any event, Soren, please give my proposition some serious consideration. We'll speak about this again later."
After dinner, I took a much-needed shower to wash away the sweat of the basketball game. I watched TV for a while, then went to my room and got on line for a couple of games of Worms and StarCraft. But, all the while, Mom's "proposition" was churning away in the back of my mind. I was really torn. On the one hand, just logically speaking, as Mom had suggested, why shouldn't I let her watch me jack off? Jacking off and coming were an integral part of teen-age existence. If kids my age didn't jack off, there would probably be fights and rapes and unwanted pregnancies all over the place. I was going to continue to jack off as long as necessary to keep my head on straight, whether Mom watched or didn't watch. On the other hand, getting too seriously into sex with your mother felt... strange. Suppose I told Mom I didn't know anything about female masturbation and asked her if she'd let me watch? That probably wouldn't work. Parents always have the upper hand, and transactions with them are usually one-way. What's sauce for the parent isn't sauce for the kid, so to speak. The problem was, I really couldn't think of anything wrong with it, logically. It was just a feeling that maybe it wasn't right. The one thing I knew for sure was that Mom would keep after me until I gave her an answer. And that if I didn't give her the answer she wanted, she'd keep trying until either she got what she wanted or we arrived at complete loggerheads.
I took one more check for email, then turned my computer off and brushed my teeth. I went down to Mom's study and said good-night to her, then returned to my room and got into bed. I'd been in bed for about three minutes, and was just starting to think about Marianne and massage my cock when I heard a knock at my bedroom door. I let go of my cock.
"Come in," I said.
"Soren," Mom began, "have you masturbated this evening yet?"
"Uh, no, Mom, actually, I haven't," I said.
"Well, then," she said, "have you come to a decision about my proposition?"
"No, I haven't"
"Have you given it any thought at all?"
"Yes, Mom, I have."
"Well, then, when do suppose you might be inclined to reach a decision?"
Good grief. The metaquestion: if you can't give me an answer, then tell me when you'll give me an answer. Hitting me with the metaquestion meant that Mom wasn't going to let me off easy. Once she gets locked onto something, she doesn't let go. I made up my mind on the spot. If I put her off, she'd keep at me until I gave her an answer. If I didn't give her the answer she wanted, she'd keep at me until we wore each other down. The easiest way out was just to give her want she wanted, and be done with it. But despite the logic of the situation and my desire to be relieved of the pressure of having to give her an answer, I still couldn't get comfortable with the situation. It just didn't feel right.
I thought about it some more while Mom stood a few steps away from my bed, looking at me with her eyebrows raised in anticipation.
"Let me ask you a question or two, Mom," I said, finally.
"Of course, Soren," she replied. "You know that serious questions are always in order."
I organized my thoughts a bit, cleared my throat, and started. "To tell you the truth, Mom, I've given your question a lot of thought. I understand that human sexuality is a natural function, and that masturbation is a normal-necessary-activity for a teen-age boy. I also understand and am grateful to you for your concerns about my health. And I understand your curiosity for curiosity's sake. The problem is that I can't abstract jacking off in front of you into the realm of pure inquiry. It makes me feel uncomfortable, like something's wrong. A boy and his mother shouldn't be sharing sex. Or something like that," I trailed off lamely.
"Why, Soren!" Mom exclaimed. "The hole in your thinking is as big as a barn door!"
"It is?" I said.
"Of course. If I went and watched you play a basketball game, I wouldn't be playing basketball with you, would I?"
"No," I said.
"Well, then, there you have it," Mom said, looking triumphant in her logic. "Watching you masturbate is not sharing sex with you, is it?"
She had me there, if the analogy held-which I wasn't sure of. Mom wasn't a basketball court, but she was a woman. Or something like that. I couldn't get it quite right. This was one of the craziest discussions I'd ever had with Mom. It was logical, but, then, again, it wasn't. I had the feeling that this discussion could go on for a long time. And I had the feeling that to pursue it further would only make it worse. Because of Mom's determination, it was one of those I couldn't win, even if I was right. However right might be defined in the circumstance.
Mom's voice yanked me back from the mental loop I was getting into. "Watching you masturbate is not sharing sex with you, isn't that right?"
"Strictly speaking, no, Mom, it isn't."
"Well, then?" Mom pressed.
"One more question, then: this is a one-time deal, right? You just want to watch me jack off one time to satisfy your curiosity about watching me get a hard-on and then coming. Then it's over. Agreed?"
"I should think so," Mom said. "I had no further ideation or intention in the matter."
"All right, then, you can watch. One time."
"Splendid. And when will be able to carry out our little experiment?"
"Why not right now? Let's do it and be done with it."
"Oh, goodie!" she said. "I was hoping you'd say that."
Mom went over and got my desk chair and rolled it to the side of my bed, then sat down, hands clasped in her lap, as if she were about to hear a lecture. I reached up and turned on the bedside light, then kicked the covers off and pushed my jockey shorts down. At that point, I had a soft-on, not all the way shriveled up, but not hard, either. My cock, near its full length, was lolling lazily to one side along my thigh. I closed my eyes, turned my thoughts to Marianne and thinking about unbuttoning her blouse and taking off her brassiere, and started to massage my cock again. It was hard in moments. Then I started to stroke it, slowly, savoring the feeling.
"Soren," Mom said, "what causes your penis become erect?"
I stopped stroking and turned my head toward my mother. "Blood, Mom, it fills with blood. Surely you know that."
"Of course I know that, Soren. Don't be impertinent. I mean, what causes the blood to be diverted into your penis? What happens in your mind or your body?"
"What happens? I don't know. I don't have a clue. I think about sex, and I get a hard-on. Heck, sometimes I get a hard-on for no particular reason at all, then all I can think about is sex. That's why I jack off. I get tired of thinking about sex all the time. That's all I know."
I shut my eyes and went back to Marianne. I imagined that her breasts would be small, firm, and high on her chest, that they would be yielding to my touch, and that her nipples would harden when I took them between my lips, first one, then the other.
"Soren," Mom said, "when you think about sex, what exactly is it that you think."
I stopped stroking and looked at Mom. "Mom, I fantasize. I think about a girl I find attractive and imagine being with her."
I closed my eyes and picked up where I left off, stroking slowly, imagining that Marianne's breasts and nipples were slightly perfumed, and maybe just a bit salty to the taste. I imagined her nipples hardening and I imagined her putting her fingers in my hair and sighing with pleasure.
"Soren," Mom said, "could you provide a bit more detail?"
"A bit more detail about what?" I asked.
"About what you imagine about being with a girl you find attractive. I'm curious about your thought process, what it is that produces the effect in you."
Letting mom watch me jack off was one thing. Letting her into my mind was quite another. Masturbation was external. Thought was internal, much more personal, more intimate, more like sharing sex than merely stroking my hard cock.
"Mo-om," I said, making two syllables of the word, just like a little kid, "what I think about while I'm jacking off is pretty personal. I'm not sure I want to share that with you."
"Soren, I'm astonished at your response," Mom said, in apparent real astonishment. "You know that products of the mind are always of value. And need I remind you that a pertinent question in pursuit of knowledge is never amiss?"
"Aw, Mom," I began, "what I'm thinking while I'm jacking off is hardly definitive logic or creative thought. It's imagination. Fantasy."
"Nonetheless, Soren, it will provide me insight into the functioning of your sexuality; of male sexuality in general. That insight could be valuable."
This interruption had caused my hard-on to begin to soften. "Mom, you're going to wear me down. Okay, one time." I locked my eyes onto Mom's, defiantly, I felt. "I'm thinking about a girl I find very attractive, someone I'd like to be with and to have sex with." I gripped my cock firmly and started to squeeze and stroke it, in an exaggerated sort of way. "In my mind, I'm unbuttoning her blouse, slowly, savoring the idea of seeing her neck and her chest come into view. Button by button, her blouse comes open, the pale, smooth skin of her chest exposed by degrees. When her blouse is unbuttoned, I gently slide it off her shoulders, then reach behind her and unclasp her brassiere and help it slide down her arms. Her breasts are naked before me, small and perfectly formed, with beautiful pink nipples. I put my nose between her breasts and inhale the scent of her, her soap, her perfume, the essence of her skin. I kiss between her breasts, then along the left one to her nipple. I kiss her nipple, then lightly run the tip of my tongue over its surface, tasting her, her slight salt, feeling the exquisite texture of her flesh. Her nipple hardens in my mouth, she runs her fingers through my hair to the back of my head, and presses me to her chest. 'Mmmmmmm, ' she says, in pleasure.
"That's what I'm imagining," I said. My cock was hard again. Harder than hard, it seemed.
Mom was still looking straight into my eyes, her facial features relaxed and her lips parted, her breathing shallow and tentative. While I was talking, her right hand had moved from her lap to her left breast. Suddenly, she blinked, looked at her right hand as if it belonged to someone else, and returned it to her lap.
"Sssss..." Mom began. She stopped, cleared her throat, and started again. "Soren," she said, "have you ever had sexual intercourse?"
I shut my eyes and kept stroking. "No."
I speeded up a little. As soon as I came, Mom would have seen what she came for, and this would be done with. A silent minute passed.
"Soren," Mom said, "have you ever seen a girl your age or a woman in the nude?"
"No, I haven't. For Christ's sake, Mom! Do you want to watch me jack off or have a conversation? This does take a certain amount of concentration, you know."
"Soren! It does not require a blasphemous utterance to return my attention to the point under consideration. Of course, I wish to continue to witness your masturbation and subsequent ejaculation. That is why I'm here, after all, is it not? Further, as you'll recall, I did say that there was an educational aspect to the matter. I am still in pursuit of knowledge, you know."
"Yes, Mom. Sorry." That last exchange had caused me to soften a bit. My concentration had been broken. I shut my eyes, grasped my cock firmly, and turned my mind back to Marianne's chest.
"I must say, Soren," Mom said, "your penis certainly has grown since the last time I saw it. I do believe it's fully as large as your father's. Perhaps a bit larger, even. This is quite curious. Do you mind?"
I looked over and saw Mom's hand heading for my cock. I short-circuited slightly, and, without thinking, let go and drew my hand away. Mom grasped my cock lightly between her thumb and the tips of her fingers. When she touched me, I almost came. "She's not just watching the basketball game," I thought, "she's getting onto the court." But I made no move to stop her. She pushed my cock to one side, then the other, then forward, then back, as if she were testing the control stick of an airplane. She let go of my cock and cradled my balls in the palm of her hand, hefting them slightly as if testing their weight.
"Fascinating apparatus," she said. Then she wrapped her hand around my cock, squeezed it just the right amount, and gave it one up and down stroke. My toes curled.
"Oh, my," she said. "That does feel nice. So warm. And such an interesting texture, much like fine velvet, or perhaps doeskin. Firm, yet soft at the same time. And the skin slides so easily!"
Mom relaxed her grip on my cock and supported it in the palm of her hand. She took her glasses off and leaned in for a close look. As she ran her gaze down my prick, I felt the warm exhalation from her nostrils pass over the head and down the shaft. My toes curled again, and my hands clenched reflexively.
"Fascinating," Mom said, "utterly fascinating. And you have such a nice smell of clean, healthy skin. Odd. I'd never have thought that a penis might be considered attractive. Well. Sorry for the interruption, Soren. I'll keep my place. Please do carry on."
My heart was thumping as if I'd just maneuvered through a full court press. Nobody besides me had ever touched my cock before, and you can bet that nobody else had ever stroked it. The feeling was out of this world. It was the same motion as if I'd done it myself, but what a difference. And this was my mother! But this was my mother. I shouldn't be feeling like this. God, I would have loved it if she'd decided just to keep stroking. I shouldn't be thinking like this.
But I was stiff as a board. Hard as a rock. Blue steel. And it was Mom who'd made me that way. I shut my eyes, took hold, and stroked with a purpose, but I wasn't exactly fantasizing just at the moment. What I was doing was remembering the feel of Mom's touch, and of her warm breath running down my cock. It was all over in less than a minute.
I felt the come gathering somewhere between my legs, then I let go with an orgasm like I'd never had before. A spurt of come arched high into the air and landed on my chin with a splat. The next one landed in the hollow of my throat. And so the spurts marched back down my chest and stomach, until they fizzled into the final oozes that ran down over my fingers.
I looked over at Mom. Her eyes and mouth were three very round O's. "Hhhhhhhh," she said. She cleared her throat. "That was quite remarkable, Soren," she croaked. She cleared her throat again and swallowed hard. "I had no idea. I simply had no idea."
"Wuuuuuuuuuuuh," I said. I cleared my throat. "Well, Mom, does that satisfy your curiosity?" I croaked.
Mom looked down at my gooey cock and hand, then she looked toward the wall as if what she were seeing was far on the other side of it. "Yes. Yes, I suppose it does," she said, more as if she were talking to herself than to me. "Thank you, Soren. Good night. Pleasant dreams."
The next thing I knew, I was being dragged from sleep by an insistent tapping at my bedroom door. I cracked one eye open, noted that it was morning, and turned my head to one side to glimpse at my alarm clock. 8:17. My heart thumped and adrenaline rushed through my system. Shit! I was going to be late for school! Then I snapped back to my senses. Today was Sunday. What the heck was Mom doing knocking on my door at 8:17 on a Sunday morning?
"Cuh," I said.
The door opened, and Mom breezed in, dressed in sweats, bringing with her a waft of soap and shampoo, her hair still slightly damp from the shower. Mom runs. "Oxygen is the brain's fuel," she's reminded me about a jillion times, and, since Mom's biggest job is thinking, she wants to be sure that her brain has enough fuel. She gets up early every morning and runs before she starts her day, and, if she's stuck on a problem, she may run again at any other time during the day, both to take her mind off the problem and to give herself an extra shot of brain fuel.
"Soren," she started, "have you masturbated this morning yet?"
"Geez, Mom, I haven't even woke up yet. It's Sunday morning. Us growing adolescents need our sleep, you know? Besides, you watched me jack off last night, remember? Our deal's done."
"It's we growing adolescents, Soren. And yes, of course, I remember that I observed your masturbating last evening. It's because of that that I'm here. After a good deal of contemplation, I've come to the conclusion that I'm more ignorant about male sexual function than I'd previously considered, and I also believe, in retrospect, that the objectivity of my attention was distracted and I didn't observe all the aspects about which I was curious. I believe that one more observation is in order. Do I have your consent in the matter?"
Of course, I had a morning hard-on, about 60% piss and 40% sex. My thinking was clouded. As usual with waking thoughts, about six things were going on at the same time. I was thinking about sex, of course. I was also thinking about homework and the yard work I'd promised Mom I'd do. I was thinking about basketball and X-Files. I was annoyed with Mom for having awakened me as she did, and I was annoyed with her for wanting to go back on her deal. At the same time, I was remembering all too clearly the touch of her fingertips on my cock, that one stroke, and the feel of her breath running down my shaft. "No," my mind said.
"Yes, Mom," my mouth said.
I tossed off the covers, swung my feet to the floor, and stood, the bulge of my hard-on evident in the front of my Jockey shorts.
"Where are you going?"
"I gotta take a leak, Mom. One tube for two purposes, you know? If I have to piss too bad, I'll never come. And, if I'm about to come, there's no way I could take a leak."