“Never crowd youngsters about their private affairs—sex especially. When they are growing up, they are nerve ends all over, and resent (quite properly) any invasion of their privacy. Oh, sure, they’ll make mistakes—but that’s their business, not yours. (You made your own mistakes, did you not?)”
Diary Entry: January 13th, 1977
Summary of 1976: Thoughts about Aunt Sarah
I can remember when I was younger and staying for a long summer weekend at my Aunt’s. Sometimes I would head to the basement to watch TV or explore in the back of the storage area in the basement recreation room for my older cousin’s long forgotten toys or board games looking for something to occupy my mind. But amongst the organized stacks of old belongings there they were hanging from the cord strung parallel to the floor joists – my aunt’s lingerie.
Aunt Sarah was a bit older than my parents but even in the mid-1970s had not adopted the then relatively new fashion convenience of pantyhose. From the clothes line it was evident she still wore nylon stockings and, even though she had a fine figure she, for some reason, wore panty girdles or open bottom girdles with her stockings.
In fact, just about everything about Aunt Sarah was a throw back to the 1950s, as if she found this era in keeping with her value system, sense of morality, and ethics. Her’s was a time when men and women were sexually repressed and experimenting with a new morality coming from the 1950s and 1960s in no way reflected in the values of “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Danny Thomas Show”. She consciously reflected her conservative values in the hair, clothing, lingerie and other interests she practiced and believed.
The specific moment that triggered this passion and interest in my Aunt and her intimate attire was preceded by an experience I had 2 week previous to this visit. On a long bike hike out into the country my friends and I had stopped at a large culvert to take a piss and as we entered the culvert we found a stash of old Penthouse magazines in a plastic bag wedged under some rocks beside the culvert. Somebody, probably about our age had hidden them there to retrieve them later and delight, as we did sitting in the deep grass of the drainage ditch that day, in the scantily clad women portrayed in the January, February and March 1976 editions of Penthouse. I remember that most distinctly…that there was some sort of cosmic symmetry to the fact that we had found 3 consecutive monthly issues of Penthouse! What a find for young men! It was a window to a new world and as we sat in the grass and pretended to have seen all “that” before our eyes widened to this whole new world of the naked female body.
For me it was a seminal experience. I had seen in one of the pictorials a wonderful; some would say by today’s standards, rubenesque blonde women dressed simply in a black 1 inch elastic band garter belt and black Cuban heeled stockings with a back vertical seam. I was in love. I loved the way the dark sheerness of the stocking met the welt of the stockings and became a stark demarcation line to the soft sinfully milky whiteness of her thigh. I loved the way the garter straps extended perpendicular to the waist band on the belt accentuated her curves: how the stark straightness of the elastic straps only served to round and soften her feminine features. I simply adored how the stocking caught the soft light of the sun and accentuated her ankles, calves and thighs and made more of what was a stunning woman…well more! More of what I began to realize I wanted to see and experience this – That was for sure
And now here I was looking up at Aunt Sarah’s nylons and foundation wear drying in the still air of the basement. The stockings were carefully pinned to the cord with small bits of cloth so the pins did not mar or damage the stockings. They were of such a fine material you could look at them and not tell that the material was a tube of nylon. It was like you were looking through a slightly tinted piece of single pane glass. The coffee colour contrasted to the virginal whiteness of her girdles, and, since she had removed the garter clips to hand launder these items, the way they stayed up in this particular lingerie style was a mystery to me.
What I remember most was the temptation to touch them. I wanted to feel their texture and discover what they felt like to run over my palm or across my fore arm but fear of discovery was to prevent me from acting and as my cousin was getting curious why it was taking so long to retrieve his ‘Risk’ board game he called to me and I snapped out of my momentary reverie and let the temptation of its titillation pass until such time as I could act on it. Since I was staying in the hotel room with my entire family I would sadly have to wait for the return to home before I could rid myself of the all too immediate and erotic images in my mind.
The bad news was that we all went out for dinner that night and Aunt Sarah, in her peculiar way, was able to dress like a sexed up Jean Cleaver. She was wearing a pink patterned afternoon tea dress and I realized, like a bolt of lightning had struck me in between the halves of my brain, that this is why she had the figure she had! For heavens sake it all made sense now! In order to have such an hour glass figure she had to be wearing a girdle and with a rushing realization I saw that she was wearing the very stockings I had only hours before been admiring.
I have to take a moment and back up or this experience will not make sense to you…
You see my family moved to a relatively progressive and economically viable part of our province. It was not far from Toronto but it was growing and had new schools and from the influx of families new and fairly liberal attitudes about social, economic and political issues. But Aunt Sarah and my Uncle lived in what I would characterize as a provincial backwater. The downtown was at night a smashing clash of multi-hued neon and there were two old style movie theatres in full and viable operation were as we had already lost our downtown theater to a multiplex with modern seating and stereo sound. They even had an operating soda fountain and the two taverns still honoured (and you need an appreciation of previous Ontario liquor laws here) the old law providing for the patrons to use a separate entrance for men and women. So you can see that I was from a relatively small ‘el’ liberal background from a highly urbanized background and Aunt Sarah was from some rare form of June Cleaver’s universe albeit transplanted to eastern Ontario. The nearest and best characterization I can give you is the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Watch that movie and you will know what I mean.
Add to this that Aunt Sarah’s family were scions of the county community active in business, church and small ‘c’ conservative politics and you can see that poor Aunt Sarah had to comply and meet some very Edwardian expectations of behaviour. Not a lot of people understand the English cultural and political influence on Canadian culture and even at this time in the mid-70s my Aunt’s town was one of many pools of Tory moral sensibilities in Ontario.
Even at my unsophisticated 18 year old mental development and sensibilities this contrast of cultures…this clash, as it were, of the new and the old was oddly compelling. Here was an attractive woman related to me through marriage that looked so damn sexy and yet…unconventional… because of the fashion and attitude time warp she immersed herself in. From that moment I wanted to be near her. I used that opportunity, which was to stretch into many opportunities over all our family visits in the next decade, to sit beside my Aunt and get to know her. I was a chaste and respectful admirer of her beauty and poise and even though I wanted to extend this relationship in my mind to a rather undignified and undeveloped masturbatory expression of lust I never acted on it. I simply would find ways and means to steal downstairs in their house to see her lingerie drying carefully in the basement or breach the sanctity of the matrimonial bedroom to smell her perfume and body powder.
I had yet to create in my mind and substance the true needs of a fetishist. I did not crave her clothes or presence or desire to possess her sexually. All in needed was momentary but predictable transitory contact with her and the items of clothing that I so closely associated with her. Luckily for me our family shared a predictable stream of social interaction over all of the major holidays…Christmas every second year, one long weekend a summer and one weekend winter skiing vacation were all typical events that gave me opportunities to satisfy my need. All told I could count on 3 times a year I could be with my Aunt and stand, at some point during the visit, mesmerized looking at her lingerie.