Known ball-waxer Christopher Hitchens will admit, in the forthcoming memoir Hitch-22, that there were two periods of his life during which he engaged in sex acts with men, which ranged in vigor from “mildly enjoyable” to “white-hot.” The former was with (imagine!) some fellow Oxonians who were active members of the Tory party and a couple of whom would later go on to hold prominent positions with Margaret Thatcher’s government. The latter, more exciting encounters occurred earlier, when he was a student at an all-male boarding school. While the extent of these encounters, shared by seemingly everyone at these boys’ schools, is not fully plumbed (in British terms, it seems there was definitely “wanking” but maybe not so much “buggering”), Hitchens reveals that he did have a seemingly deep, romantic relationship with a boy named “Guy.” To this day, when he hears the name, he “sometimes twitch[es] a little.”
Hitchens himself was the object of much affection because he was “a late developer physically” and was “quite girlish in [his] pre-pubescent years” and was also later “not all that bad-looking once boyishness had, so to speak, ‘kicked in.’” (Actually, looking at the old picture above, we have to agree.) But fate was not on his and lovely young Guy’s side:
Were poems exchanged? Were there white-hot snatched kisses? Did we sometimes pine for the holidays to end, so that (unlike everybody else) we actually earned to be back at school? Yes, yes and yes. Did we sleep together? Well, dear reader, the “straight answer” is no, we didn’t. The heated yet chaste embrace was exactly what marked us off from the grim and turgid and randy manipulations in which the common herd — not excluding ourselves in our lower moments with lesser beings — partook. I won’t deny that there was some fondling. However, when we were actually caught it must have looked bad, singe we had finally managed — no small achievement in a place where any sort of privacy was rendered near-unlawful — to find somewhere to be alone. The senior boy who made the discovery was a thick-necked sportocrat with the unimprovable name of Peter Raper: he had had his own bulging eye on my Guy for some time and this was his revenge.
Hitchens was nearly kicked out over the affair, but in the end his headmaster kept him on because it seemed he had a good shot at getting into Oxford (which he did, eventually). “We were allowed to ‘stay on’ but forbidden to speak to each other,” he writes, almost sweetly. “At the time, I vaguely but quite worriedly thought that this might have the effect of killing me.”
Christopher Hitchens’ gay fling with Tories [Times UK]
Christopher Hitchens’ Gay Prep School Sex a Window into Horny Teenage Bicuriosity [Gawker]
Earlier: And how could we forget when HItch asked one of our very own male New York reporters to touch his shorn sack?