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That same year, walking through Manchester's back streets I found a shop that sold American “physique” magazines, with pictures of nice young men in swimming trunks, I bought a lot, and for some reason I couldn't understand at the time, hid them in my bedroom, I hadn't yet learned how to masturbate.

Mary Anne O'Brien, who had completely false teeth, and looked a bit like Nefertiti agreed to be my girlfriend in 1959, so we went to the pictures and snogged on the back row, I put my hands inside her cardigan, which was quite nice and warm. The other boys at school swore they had regular sex with their girlfriends, so I thought I'd better try with Mary. She took a long time to say yes. We had sexual intercourse for the first time on Boxing Day 1960 during an episode of Quatermass and the Pit.

I passed my O levels that year, despite having to spend great deal of time researching what the Catholic’s at school assured me was “the “safe” period” and finding and purchasing “contraceptives”, not an easy task for a 16 year old in pre pill 1960's Manchester.

In September, on entering the sixth form, I was asked to look after a new boy, who had had “problems” at his last school. His name was Vincent Lee “Amor”, (which, in Latin, means love, and was prophetic). He became our best friend, and constant companion.

In 1962 Mary left school, since she was a year ahead, and started student teaching for a year, I was made head boy, and she, Vince and I planned to go to college in London in September of 1963. She and I got engaged on October 17th her 18th birthday, on the steps of Manchester cathedral on her way to work, and my way to school.

We moved to London the following autumn and I lived with Vince, in a room in East Dulwich, since Mary had to “live in” at her “Ladies teacher training college”. In December a contemporary who had also come to London, gassed himself because, as the inquest said, “he had fallen in love with the Bishop of Lincoln's son. Over Christmas Mary's period was late, I said I'd leave college and get a job and we would marry earlier than planned, but she wasn't pregnant.

In June 64, I found out that Mary and Vince had had sex. I told them I loved them both and admitted that I was jealous of Mary having sex with Vince because I probably wanted sex with him as well. Mary said she understood, and we all agreed we loved each other, and their having sex should not split us up.

Our terms all finished at different times, so Vince and I both came home to Manchester. We met once in Mary's absence, went out for a drink together in my open topped car, and, caught in a sudden summer thunderstorm, collided on the bench seat in our hurry to get the hood up and had our first and only lingering passionate tongue to tongue kiss, by what appeared to be an accident of nature.

I met Mary on my own on her return from college, we told everyone she was arriving a day later than she was, and spent the night in a hotel and made love. It was our first night alone together since I'd discovered she and Vince were lovers, and as it turned out, our last.

During the summer vacation we had been asked to look after her nieces and nephew, who lived on the Wirral, whilst their parents went on a cruise, Vincent had been asked as a sort of chaperone, since two engaged young people, even at nineteen and twenty as we were by then, couldn't respectably have been left alone in a house over night.

We were all very excited, it was August 1964 and the whole of our little drama had been played out to a Beatles soundtrack and even though we were at college in 'Swinging London' the buzz was from Liverpool, and the 'Mersey beat' was our heartbeat. It was going to be the first time we three had all been together since my discovery of Mary and Vincent's relationship.

I shared a room with Vincent “for the sake of the children” and one night, after we had all seen “A Hard Day's Night,” he fucked me. I knew from that moment what I had been waiting for for years and that what Vincent was doing with me was what I really wanted.

“I did it for you” he told Mary the next morning, when she immediately saw that something had changed between us. He slept with Mary and me several times after that. He never paid any attention to me in bed when Mary was there, we both concentrated on her and I yearned for him. The next autumn we saw the trendy French film “Jules et Jim” about a “ménage a trois”.

He had sex with me one more time whilst Mary was at a college do, and we'd been to see a film called “Do You Like Women”? I came, and knew I was totally committed to sex with this man, and still totally emotionally in love with Mary.

Mary and Vincent left me about a week after my 20th birthday and married the following December. The marriage lasted about 9 years, by which time, after a lot of pain ,suffering ,analysis and a near brush with aversion therapy I'd become a long haired, highly politicized relatively happy homosexual.

I got back in touch with Vince two years ago through Friends Reunited, he’s had other relationships with women since he divorced Mary, and has two daughters both conceived late in life. Despite writing condolences on the death of her mother, I never heard from Mary again.

During the few first years of confusion, I hated them both, and couldn't visit Liverpool, or listen to the Beatles without pain, but I've recently returned to live within a couple of miles of my homosexual awakening (with my male partner of the last 18 years) and can now feel nothing but gratitude, to both of them for showing me my true self and 42 years later I've reclaimed the place and music!

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