"It's fairly anonymous," said John, who is 34-years-old, about hooking up with other men and boys for a quick game.
"We all know each other by sight and first name, but that's it," John said. Jesse is less than half John's age and turned 15-years-old in April, but the boy is not his son.
Jesse "is my lover," John said, "but the feelings are mutual, this is a consensual relationship." John met Jesse (not his real name) when the boy was homeless three years ago.
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In exchange for an interview (about man to boy love) Think & Ask agreed not to use the surname both now legally share. John contacted Think & Ask after we posted an editorial read in support of murdering child sexual predators. READ 'HERO' KILLS TWO CHILD PREDATORS
Both John and Jesse were present for this interview at the offices of Think & Ask in Manhattan. John wanted to set the record straight between predators and, what is essentially, pederasts, although John does not consider himself described by any single-word label.
"Not all of us are predators, yeah, there are men who prey on boys, but that is not the norm," the elder said. John considers that he was prey for a pedophile in his childhood home town of Kansas City, MO. "He wasn't interested in a love relationship with me at 12 (years old,) only sex, and that is the big difference between the predators and me." John said he wasn't given a choice with his pedophile, "There is no doubt it was forced," he said.
While John said he is not an active member of NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association,) he has read their publications and aspires to the calling. "There is nothing wrong when two consenting humans sharing their love for one another. I'm not a pedophile as the law describes. I desire intimacy with one boy, and [Jesse] is that boy."
John describes Jesse's childhood rife with sexual and physical abuse from the boy's natural father and uncle in the Bronx. In Jesse's own words, "John knows me, he's here inside my head already, I mean all along. He is my dad, boyfriend, best friend, brother, all in one. He's great," he grins as he chats with a friend on the office computer.
The two consider themselves a family, but Jesse said he does not tell his friends that the two share the same bed.
"My [school] friends know John is my legal dad and stuff," and he said no one presses the issue. "I have my own bedroom too, so when a friend sleeps over we just stay in that room." Jesse has three friends his own age who also have relationships with adult men.
"With those guys there is nothing to hide," Jesse said, "I mean, we talk about everything, because we know what its like to be with an adult who's also like our real dad." Jesse considers himself gay, "I like girls, but not for sleeping with."
Jesse loves baseball and calls himself an avid Yankees fan, but John said, "Truthfully I'm a closet (Boston) Red Sox fan, but [Jesse] gets to buy the tickets, thatís our agreement. We never miss a [Yankee] home game unless I'm out of town."
The elder of the two works in the financial sector, which provides the high living standards that John desires on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. John said the boy's natural father agreed to legal adoption in 2004. Neither of them would discuss Jesse's life before the boy met John in Central Park in June 2003 at age 12.
"He'd obviously not showered in sometime. My first concern for him that day was that he's this boy without a place to stay and I didn't think about much else," John said.
Jesse went home with John for a shower and a meal and the elder said he laundered the boy's clothes. "After he had some food, we discussed where he was at and I realized this kid just needed a break." Jesse stayed in John's apartment for the summer months.
"When the school year started again I knew he had to make a decision. While...well, by that time, I'd fallen deeply in love with him, I mean no, I didn't want him to go. We never discussed our feelings up to that point," John said. "I brought it up and told him how I felt and offered to take care of him. That is when he said he was in love with me and never wanted to leave," John said.
The elder describes that moment as a turning point in their relationship, whereas the two became lovers for the first time. Through a connection with a private school, using a fellow man to boy supporter, John had Jesse enrolled. John then sought to adopt Jesse legally, to which he said was only a matter of paperwork, "His natural [father] couldn't care less where [Jesse] lived."
"He [Jesse] gets the best education and advanced private tutoring, and he can have whatever he wants," John said. The boy earns straight-As in school according to the pair and has taken to playing the stock market with his allowance, but Jesse declined to say the amount. Jesse talked about one stock he sold recently, which yielded a 335 percent profit, he said, or about $35,000 on his birthday. "He was lucky on that one," John said, "he'll find out eventually you can lose as much too."
"What would his life be like today were it not for me? Is homeless better? Is public education better with drug-addict kids trying to influence him? I think not," John said. "He gets more respect and love from me than anyone he's ever known." The relationship is monogamous he said.
Legally, such a relationship --being of a sexual nature-- between John and Jesse is unlawful in the United States. John openly describes his attraction to boys as "always been this way. I was attracted to boys when I was a boy, and I still am today. But the difference is that I have never, nor would ever, force a boy to do something he didn't feel comfortable doing."
Prior to Jesse, John said he had met some boys in Central Park, some of whom --after becoming acquainted-- would visit the man in his apartment. "They were probably impressed with the view of the [Central] park and" the man's built-in virtual baseball simulator. "Plus, our apartment is wired for everything. They can play video games in the bathtub."
He said sexual contact would develop on some occasions if the boy was willing, but only one boy prior to Jesse returned to the man's apartment on regular basis. "When [Jesse] entered my life, there were no other boys of interest," John said.
John, who stands slightly below 6-feet, is clean-shaven, with neatly trimmed light-brown hair, and blue eyes. He defines his body as, "I've got a swimmer's build." How he "looks" has never been an issue for John, and he says he's always declining invitations for "potential dates" with men and women he meets in New York.
"The guys who think or hope I'm gay and single want to date me, its the sports, tons of guys meet through their love of sports. The women who don't know I'm gay want to date me, so I just don't go there," John said. Explaining his relationship with Jesse outside of his man-to-boy circle of friends is not possible. "I can't trust anyone who is not open to this idea that this is normal behavior," the elder said.
He said he is committed to Jesse; however, when Think & Ask probed into the future, John had less to say. With Jesse present for the interview, John said the questions about their future made him uncomfortable.
"I'm attracted to boys who want to return that love and affection. I can't say what [Jesse] will be attracted to when he is older," John said. When he was asked whether or not his attraction to Jesse would continue as the boy grows into manhood, John would not comment.
Jesse already has his goal set for an Ivy League school, and has advanced himself in high school by one grade. "He probably will be going to college in two years and that isn't much time," John said.
After some thought, John hinted that when the "time is right," Jesse would find his own way and John would "be open to finding a new boy willing to accept me."
Both males say they gain much support for their beliefs with online communities. The two have met other men and boys in Manhattan, Long Island, and in Connecticut, and usually plan vacation time as a group. "I love camping with" two particular sets of couples, Jesse said. He added that one friend, who is 14-years old, "is having a hard time with his dad [adult lover] because he is too strict. That's who I was just chatting with on your computer."
Meanwhile, having Jesse in his life has helped John to become "more outspoken with the online community, because its anonymous for the most part." John said he's become an active contributor to websites supporting man to boy relationships and only after he is certain those he chats with are not federal agents would he ever provide personal information.
"Mostly though, the friendships are made now, all of us don't really meet anyone new online anymore," John said. "The laws should protect consensual activity of any kind, and yes, protect boys too, I totally agree," John said,
"You see him, you've talked with him for an hour, does he looked abused to you? Do I come across as a predator?" John asks Think & Ask's reporter.
The elder said that not all man to boy relationships --that he is aware of-- are sexual in nature. "Some men I've chatted with online are raising boys on their own, but there is no sexual aspect of the pair. They are more like brothers and devoted to each other, but keep separate bedrooms and friends." A man John described as a very close friend and policeman in New York is raising a boy who is not gay, "I know he always wanted to develop a sexual relationship, but [the boy] is dating girls now and [the man] is in total support. Look, it is just meant to be and guys like us don't force the issue."
On the NAMBLA website the organization vows to "end the extreme oppression of men and boys in mutually consensual relationships by building understanding and support for such relationships; educating the general public on the benevolent nature of man/boy love; cooperating with lesbian, gay, feminist, and other liberation movements; and supporting the liberation of persons of all ages from sexual prejudice and oppression."
Attempts to contact representatives of NAMBLA for comment were not successful by press time, and all e-mails bounced, but in a radio interview sent to Think & Ask, officers of the group spoke and admitted their public relations campaign has been fraught with problems since itís founding in 1978.
During the hour-long interview on Sure Quality Radio boy love community, NAMBLA representative said they were fearful of moving ahead, and yet fearful of giving up the group name as "enemies" of NAMBLA would use the organization to promote the activities it considers part of illegal pedophilia.
John gives most credit to the Internet for helping him come to terms with his sexual desire for boys. "Until I met other men who know we are indeed normal men, I thought I was alone and there was something disturbingly wrong inside my brain."
Instead, he said he is comfortable knowing that he isn't alone and that most men he's met online are young professionals "with good education and highly respectable careers.
"At this time in my life I couldn't ask for anything else," John said. "My life is perfect and a lot of that is due to having [Jesse] here."
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