China Boat

Chapter 6

On our second night out, I had an extremely erotic dream.

I did not remember it well, on slowly coming awake; I remembered only fragmentary, inchoate images, impossible, absurd situations … 

And as is usual, at least for me, the dream really wasn't about sexual activity, itself; rather it was about anticipating the sex, yearning for it, the excitement of almost achieving it … And even that vivid impression faded, as I clutched at it, trying to recall the details … 

And then, half-asleep as I was, the dream-images changed, and altered, and gradually merged into memories; very specific memories, of a particularly erotic incident in our lives, from earlier in the school year.

It is one of my favorite memories. And it was all about a bed-visiting incident; of course.

* * *

As I've said before, bed-visiting at our school is an established custom, bound about by unwritten rules and conventions.

The conventions are only possible because our dormitory-rooms, like the shower rooms, are not subject to adult supervision; order is maintained by Prefects, the older, Sixth Form boys who lead by example, and a few gentle, well-judged blows. It is a good system, as a rule; there are some aspects of student life in which adults should not be involved.

Particularly, and especially, with respect to sex.

Absolute chastity is regarded by almost all the boys in our school as morbidly excessive; as well as impractical. There are, after all, several hundred of us, ranging in age from fourteen to eighteen; living in very close quarters, bathing with one another daily, or several times a day, during certain athletic seasons … and, there is no real privacy to speak of, no way to get away by one's self, to satisfy one's self, alone … 

Some sort of relief is commonly held as being necessary.

Not all boys practice bed-visiting. Some boys confine themselves to group masturbation in the showers, or mutual masturbation with friends, in the showers; some boys never even touch another boy, instead taking care of their own needs under their sheets and blankets, at night; although it is obvious to all, what is happening. It takes all kinds, as the saying goes.

Still. For those of us who do practice bed-visiting, the unwritten rules and conventions can be exasperating, and contradictory.

There is, first and foremost, the Lights Out Rule.

It is not a written rule, as I've said; nor is it even spoken of, openly. But, it is commonly accepted that after Lights Out, one must wait some minutes, in one's own bed, in silence — or near silence — before venturing out to one's partner's bed. The idea, I suppose, is to maintain the fiction that bed-visiting is a secret, clandestine activity; when in fact we all know it is taking place.

There is a very palpable degrees of erotic tension, in a dormitory room, as twenty boys wait for the first boy daring enough to leave his bed, and pad along to visit his friend … 


The wait is not nearly as silent as it might be, however, because of the Pyjama Rule. Or perhaps, the Pyjama Codicil to the Lights Out Rule.

This Rule actually makes a degree of sense; if for the wrong reasons. When one is going to bed-visit, or be bed-visited — and such things are always arranged in advance, of course — one slips out of one's pyjamas, under the covers, first; and one then stows the pyjamas away, for safekeeping. Jack and I each push our pyjamas down to the foot of the bed, under the covers, with our feet; some boys stuff theirs under a pillow. The idea, in any event, is to avoid getting pyjama tops or bottoms mis-matched, in the dark, before returning to one's own bed; or worse, completely losing a top, or bottom, and facing the ridicule, the next morning … 

Such things happen, each term. Why it should result in ridicule, amongst this group of boys who see each other nude every day, and often much more, is beyond my understanding. But, in our odd, tribal world, it matters.

There are other Rules, after that. There is the convention that one must be as silent as possible, while bed-visiting; which at least has the rational excuse that some boys may actually be trying to sleep … and then, there are unspoken conventions about what is acceptable, when it comes to kissing — 




Actually, conventions about kissing, about degrees of open affection … they are part of the most pernicious Rule, of them all. This is the Rule that maintains, that Boys Do Not Love Other Boys.


This is perhaps the one, great, over-arching Rule which is handed down to us by adults, by the Faculty, the Church, and society in general. It is monstrously cruel; and is the bane of our existence, Jack's and mine.

And if the Head, and the Faculty, turn a blind eye to the sexual shenanigans of the students — and they must know what is going on, they must — they emphatically do not turn a blind eye, when it comes to instances of boys falling in love, with one another. Each term, the Dean gives us a little talk, in Chapel, on how all students are brothers to each other; and how we should make wide circles of friends, and keep ourselves occupied and busy — and then, warning us against forming 'Unnatural Attachments'.

Invariably, at this point, some students will snigger, quietly.

I do not. Instead, I feel my blood heating up to a burn, at hearing my love for Jack, and his for me, so brutally characterized; wondering what Achilles or Patroclus would say to such a thing; or Plato. Or Socrates.


And, then, just as inevitably, some students are sent away, each term, for the crime of loving one another. Disappearing, quietly, with no explanation … but someone always knows, and word gets around.

Last November it had been two friends of ours, of Jack and myself; Pettit and Cray, from the House next to ours. They had become careless, expressing their affection for one another, with a touch of fingertips on a cheek here, an expression held too long, there … All of which had led to a diary being found, and a cache of letters. Or so it was said.

Pettit sent us a letter, in January; a letter without a superscribed return address, as he is formally forbidden to contact us. He was sent to school in England, and was well, he wrote, if sad.

He did not know what had happened to Cray. And neither did we.

And neither do we, still; to this day. And that is enormously chilling.


And so, Jack and I take great pains, to avoid committing incriminating words, to paper. And we take care, to avoid the little physical gestures, that would mean so much; the touch of a hand, or the special smile Jack gives me, in private, that just about makes my heart melt … 

We are Best Friends, of course, to all at school, to our families, and to the outside world — 

But out of caution, we are not exclusive partners, when it comes to bed-visiting; or, to our shower-time play.

We would prefer to be. When we go to college, we will share rooms, and we will cleave to one another, exclusively, with the possible exception of Charles … we have already planned it. Talked about it.

But for now, we play the Game, the game of Boys At School, merely satisfying our urges … And we pretend, with effort, that we are not in love, are not, in fact, lovers. And we visit just enough with other boys, to keep up the side.

We hope.


Not that such extra-curricular activity is unpleasant, of course; I don't mean to be the prude. It can be fun; it is certainly satisfying, physically. And it has led to close friendships, in our House, which we both value. It is simply much less than ideal.

Charles, as I've said, is our particular, valued friend. And he is our favored, alternative bed-visiting-mate.

And this half-dream, half-memory of mine, was about the incident which had started him, in the role.

* * *

It was a warm night, in late September; a Friday, I believe. The windows were open, for the sake of catching the breeze; the moon was full, and flooded our dormitory-room with light.

I'd arranged to go visit Jack — well, he'd whispered the invitation to me at dinner, actually, with a look in his eyes that positively sparkled — and I was lying in bed, waiting for a few minutes to pass, before making my way to him … 

I'd already slipped out of my pyjamas, of course; and the feeling of the cool sheets on my nude body only added to my excitement, and anticipation.

As I'd stripped, as quietly as I could, I'd had to stifle a laugh, at the amount of covert bedclothes-rustling that was going on around me. One might think that the bright moonlight would foster some inhibitions among the shyer boys; but the opposite seemed to be the case.

The slight breeze had felt very nice, before the lights went out … 

There was a whisper, down the row from me; and an answering, quick laugh, that turned into a stage-cough, that covered up the warning, 'shhhh — !' from the first voice; and then there was silence.

The waiting was not easy.

It is our policy, Jack's and mine, not to be the first ones off the mark, when bed-visiting one another … for the sake of caution. We have much more to hide, and very much more to lose, than our classmates.

Finally; a pronounced, sibilant rustle of sheets, and a slender shape, whitely-naked in the pale moonlight, slipped noiselessly along the long row of beds.

And as if that were a signal — which of course, in its way, it was — another slender shape passed by, heading in the other direction, a moment later; this boy padding more quickly, and on the verge of laughter, from his moonlit expression. And then, a pause, and then, another pale form — 

I was just stirring, when another, shorter, pale shape loomed up at my bedside, and leaned down.

"May I come in?" he breathed.

It was Charles. He was almost shaking with excitement; his whispered request had been a little ragged.

Jack and I had played — just, masturbated — with Charles in the showers, twice, previously; at the time, it had been mostly as an act of immediate mercy, to be honest. That first morning, he'd been awkward, terrified, needy, and painfully erect, watching the other boys begin their antics, with clearly no idea of how to go about approaching anyone — 

He had proven to be enthusiastic. And, sweet, in his shy way. We had enjoyed his company.

But he was new. He couldn't know, yet, that bed-visiting was always arranged in advance.

I could not explain, there and then; but equally, I could not send him away, it would be a crushing rejection.

I froze, for a few heartbeats; then I pulled my sheet aside, and I felt myself smiling, a little wryly. I brought my lips up close to his ear.

"Let's go visit Jack," I whispered.


It was, of course, breaking all the Rules; but when Charles and I had appeared at Jack's bedside together, two naked shapes — Charles had had the good sense to strip first, thank goodness — Jack had been magnificent; open, smiling, glad and happy to see us both … 

Charles had climbed in first, pressing his — slightly plump — body against Jack's; while I carefully drew the top sheet down to the foot of the bed. Bed-visiting is customarily done under the sheets; but there was no way three boys would fit; we'd just have to outrage public opinion, and do it in the open air … 

Then, as I'd climbed in on Jack's other side, and he made room for me, our eyes met — Charles was already licking his neck, while rubbing against him — and Jack's expression was priceless; aware, amused, on the verge of outright laughter, perfectly aware of my predicament, in the whole situation — 

So I shut him up by planting a soft, and very erotic and sensual kiss on his beautiful lips; in spite of the bright moonlight, and the unusual circumstances, and all of the pairs of eyes which must have been watching avidly, right then. And I let it go on, for some moments … 

As well hung for a sheep, as a lamb, I thought to myself. Trying not to grin.


All things considered, it was a ridiculous situation. The bed was very narrow, and under the extra weight it squeaked, alarmingly, at the slightest movement. The three of us could really do very little to pleasure each other; turning around on the bed was out of the question. And, we were fully exposed to our dormitory-room-mates' gaze.

It was, and is still, one of the most erotic experiences in my young life. And at the same time, it was one of the most emotionally touching experiences I've ever had.


I'd never been in bed with two boys at the same time, before. That one of them was Jack, made all the difference in the world.

Sharing one's beloved, sexually, with another boy — all touching, together; kissing him, stroking him with one's hands, as he gasps, adding to his pleasure — is a very compelling experience. Stroking, petting, and kissing both boys, at once, was extremely exciting.

And of course, we switched roles; it was my turn, soon enough, to rub my naked body against our new friend's, and Jack was kissing me, and pleasuring me, my erection, with his hand … And then we were all, more or less, rubbing against one another; cuddling each other; and Jack and I were both kissing Charles, first in turn, and then, laughingly, together, at the same time … 

But in truth, it was the emotions that Charles brought to us, that made it all so compelling. So special.

Charles was completely inexperienced, as a lover. But he was extremely enthusiastic; and needy, needy for touch, and sensation, and physical contact with the both of us. He put his whole heart, his affections, into what he was doing, and that moved me, and moved Jack, tremendously.

Charles has a very sensual, and sexual, and ultimately, a very loving nature; as we have discovered, since that night. To our delight.

And although he is not our lover, as Jack and I are to one another, he is a loving friend. We care for him, as we would, a younger brother. Or even more.


In the end, it was clearly up to Jack and me to give some structure, to the proceedings. We tag-teamed with Charles; trading places with each other as Charles' frottage-partner, to prevent him from climaxing too quickly; and, truth be told, to keep ourselves from doing the same.

As Charles lay on top of Jack, hips moving with abandon, I saw one more pale form padding quickly along, in the moonlight; and then a few moments later, a second. I heard, above our bed-squeaks, an unusual susurration of whispering, and I smiled to myself; clearly, our little show was having an impact. I leaned in to kiss, first Jack, and then Charles, as I kept stroking Charles' smooth back, and his firm, rounded bottom … 

I heard another gasp; closer to hand.

I looked over Jack's and Charles' coupling bodies; and there, in the bed next to Jack's, were two staring eyes, and an open, astonished mouth.

They belonged to Daniels, of course; a very small Fourth-Former, and one of the most painfully shy human beings I'd ever met. He fell into the population of boys who did not bed-visit, or play in the showers; and when I visited Jack's bed, which had happened often enough, even in September, he'd always turn on his side, to face away from us … 

Well, he was facing us now. And from the moving mound, in the blankets, down around his mid-section, we'd captured his attention.

I'd moved down to kiss Jack again, briefly but thoroughly; then I'd looked back over at Daniels, and I'd smiled, encouragingly.

Jack and I — especially Jack — had been trying to befriend Daniels since the start of Term; or at least, to break through his reserve. His shyness and isolation were truly painful to witness.

My smile brought another gasp; his eyes were open, wide.

I'd kissed Charles, in the center of his back, then, slowly and sensuously, as he rubbed against Jack; and then, smiling over at Daniels — his Christian name was Nicholas — I'd made a motion with my head; inviting him to pull down his covers … 

A moment's stillness, from him. From somewhere down the row of beds, a stifled whimper, of ecstasy … 

And finally, remarkably, Daniels slowly pushed his sheet-and-blanket down, down below his hips; his eyes still locked on us, still glancing back to to mine, from time to time, for my encouragement, my reaction, my approval — 

Until he was revealed; his pyjama-top open, his pyjama-trousers pulled down, his erection slender and beautiful, in the moonlight.

I smiled at him, again, broadly, glad at the sight; and, still open-mouthed, his hand came up, and went around his member, and he began to stroke … 

Below me, Jack was approaching his own climax, I could tell; and by the jerkiness of Charles' movements, I assumed he was as well. I pressed my bare body against them both, sharing the experience, nuzzling against Jack's cheek … 

And with my free hand, I roamed down Charles' smooth back, and my fingers explored the crevice between his cheeks, lightly pressing and massaging his most sensitive and intimate spots — 

"Mmmmmmmph — !"

Jack had covered Charles' mouth with his own, or the noises would have been louder; as it was, Charles shivered and shook as he climaxed, and it went on for some time, and then Jack was coming to his orgasm, my Jack, moving up against Charles, as I held them both — 

* * *

After they'd caught their breaths, that September night, they'd both turned to satisfying me; with feeling, and enthusiasm.


But as I lay back in my bed pleasuring myself, on board ship in the Pacific Ocean so many months later — it was the vivid memory of their bodies, rubbing together, of their climaxes, together, that brought me to my own release — 

And then, after; as I lay back, panting, a powerful wash of emotions swept over me. I realized, again, how much, how acutely, I missed the both of them … for so many reasons. In so many ways.

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