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 A boy, stuck away in some provincial small town, was bold enough to seek the love of his life. Not knowing where he might meet him, he put a lonelyheart ad in his local paper. He knew what he wanted, so he clearly stated in his ad that he was looking for much more than a few minutes of sex followed by good-bye:

"I’m looking for a lifetime companion…
for a serious and long-term relationship…
if you’re just looking for sex, please don’t bother replying."
With such a specific request, what could possibly go wrong?

He was inundated with pictures of people’s genitals and promises of wild sex, and concluded that the rest of the world couldn’t read properly. And then he received a letter which promised something different. It was a long letter, apparently sincere, from someone generous and sensitive.

The boy’s hopes were raised. He replied to the man’s letter, and the next one, and the next. He was told exactly what he wanted to hear:

"I’m looking for the same thing as you…what’s important is love…sex is secondary…if you agreed to meet me you’d make me the happiest man in the world."

His heart filled with hope: at last he’d met an honest man who’d share more than his bed. He’d found his Prince Charming, and the world was going to cease being grey and lonely and it would be flooded with colour.

In reality, the promise was a hollow sham.

After a good number of letters and shared confidences, the man eagerly pressed to meet the boy who agreed without any hesitation. Why should he doubt his friend?

They met on a street corner, and went in the man’s car to "a special place I know-it’s a surprise."

As the car followed the main road out of town, the boy dreamed of a romantic setting (would there be candles?) or they might be going to a cinema where they’d enjoy a film together.

And then Prince Charming started showing more interest in the boy’s left leg than in his soul. OK, perhaps the boy was mistaken. He was young and this as the first time he’d been with a man.

When the neon sign of a cheap motel came into view, the boy began to suspect something but even then he wanted to believe in his dream. It was certainly a strange place to choose for dinner, but the man was so attentive, so kind, so marvellous…how could such a person deceive him?

But Prince Charming quickly changed into a frog and forced the boy up the stars without any explanation, almost dragging him behind him. And the frog became a rat, as he pushed the boy into a bedroom equipped with a vibrating bed, mirrors on the ceiling, and a line of cocaine to help persuade him should he resist.

Our hero was shattered like a pane of glass. Even the condoms on the table seemed to mock him, his innocence, his stupidity, while the rat whispered in his ear:

"Come on! You’re not going to back out now, are you? We both know why you’re here."

But one of them did NOT know why they were there. The boy ran out, pursued by all manner of insults and threats, and managed to get home by hitch-hiking.

Even now the scars of that wounding have not healed. He views the world so differently now, and realises that to many he’s just a piece of meat for them to devour. His hopes of finding eternal love and a life-companion are shattered by the fear of being crushed and deceived like that again.

If some day you meet him, he’ll tell you that the love they peddle in films and books doesn’t exist. It’s no more than a fairy-story, and reality is quite different.

A few days ago, I wrote a piece for this website in which I defended my love for the man who is the answer to my dreams.

Today I’m writing to denounce all those men who pretend to offer the same but who actually deceive through lies and tricks.

Beware these peacocks who strut before you. Don’t be taken in by appearances.

Because only when you get close, only when you can’t escape, will you see what they are: vile snakes who’ll encircle you and crush the life out of your body.

If only they didn’t lie, deceive us and play on our feelings. We’re not lumps of meat, we’re human beings and we deserve the same respect as any adult.

Just because we’re young they take us for fools, and prey for their games.

They think we’ll an easy target because we won’t think, or because we’re driven by our hormones, or that we’re thick-skinned enough to survive the harm they inflict.

But we know they’re wrong.

Let’s not allow ourselves to be used and discarded like some kind of disposable razor.

If you have already fallen into their trap-if those wolves in sheep’s clothing have already bitten you-please, don’t withdraw and give up hope. We are young, and our teeth are fiercer than theirs. So defend yourselves.

If you have a dream, don’t let anyone destroy it.




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