Thursday, 17 March 2016

Doctor Gray's Research

“Ladies…” Doctor Gray said as she addressed her audience, the Mothers Moral Welfare Union, “Ladies, thank you so much for inviting me here today to talk to you about the research I’ve been carrying out with my colleagues at the clinic.”

“For those of you who are unfamiliar with this work I think perhaps a brief explanation would be in order. For those of you who are aware of our research, I’m sure you will bear with me while I outline some of the work we've been engaged in…”

“As mums of teenage boys I’m sure you are all aware that one of my roles at the clinic is that of ‘School Doctor’ to a number of boy’s schools. I see many boys who report to me for their medicals and during the course of this work, which involves the physical inspection and measurement of boys as they are growing up, I noticed characteristics common to certain groups of boys which I decided to investigate more formally…”

“I must say straightaway that while my research concentrated on an area not deemed to have any cause for medical concern, it was something that it was clear to me had a profound psychological effect on the boys I saw who displayed the symptoms of what I later came to define as Delayed Onset Pubarche…”

“I should explain that Pubarche is the stage of development at which a boy begins to grow hair around the base of his penis and of course the age at which this happens varies… sometimes considerably. Pubarche should not be confused with the normal course of puberty and indeed the growth of pubic hair is entirely separate from other events that a boy experiences during puberty such as Spermarche… the ability to ejaculate measurable quantities of sperm…”

“Now while all other measurements of puberty may proceed perfectly normally, a small number of boys will fail to grow any hair at the base of their penis. As I said previously, the lack of hair around the boy’s penis is not considered to be of any medical importance so long as all the other measurable signs of puberty are progressing normally. However, I’m sure you will understand that for the boy who sees all his friends and classmates begin to grow pubic hair normally, while he remains and continues to remain resolutely smooth and hairless, can be quite distressing... to say nothing of the potential for damage to the boy’s self-esteem. The older the boy gets and the longer it is before he shows any sign of hair beginning to grow around his penis, the more agonising it can be for him…. Yes?” Doctor Gray paused as a hand was raised in her audience. “Yes… you have a question?”

“I was wondering, doctor, what age a boy might reach before… err… that is, do you have any idea of the age a boy might reach before…?”

“… Pubarche? How old can a boy be before attaining Pubarche? Well let me see, I’m not aware there has been recorded an observed upper age at which pubic hair has failed to start growing, although this lack of basic data is something we are attempting to rectify during our research at the clinic. But let me say that under normal circumstances we would expect to see small amounts of immature downy hair present at the base of the penis certainly by the age of 13. This hair then grows and can become quite long and straggly; indeed some mums consider this to be so untidy that they often trim this immature hair with small scissors. This growth of immature hair is usually restricted to the area above the base of the penis. I have also observed boys on whom this early-stage hair grows not above the penis, but rather at the sides of the penis, leaving the area above the penis quite smooth. This hair too can be easily kept trimmed as required.  From age 13 onwards this early feathery hair usually gives way to more mature hair growth… more recognisably ‘proper’ pubic hair, as seen by the way it grows curlier and begins to spread laterally across the pubis….”

“From the point of view of health and hygiene I would strongly recommend that this slightly thicker, more curly hair is kept trimmed nice and short. Boys certainly look smarter for it… and for those of you who don’t already give your boy’s pubic hair a regular clipping, I would just add that from my own observations of boys presenting themselves at the Clinic, you might be surprised at the number of mums that do!”

“I’m sure most of you follow 'best practice' and supervise your son’s bathtime, so there really is no reason not to take this opportunity to stand the boy up in the bath so that his straggly little hairs can be tidied up. You should have no concerns that this will in anyway affect our research. It is straightforward enough for us to establish whether Pubarche has been reached, even when a boy has been subject to the complete removal of his pubic hair.”

There were murmurs of approval from the audience of mums before Doctor Gray added: “By the way I wouldn’t expect to see any growth of hair on the scrotum and indeed it quite common for boys to remain free of scrotal hair until their late-teens…”

“I realise I am digressing from the question I was just asked, but it is important for me to try and convey to you the signs of Pubarche we would expect to see under normal circumstances. As with all aspects of puberty in boys, things happen for different boys at different ages. For instance, one boy might be able to fully ejaculate at age 12, while another boy might be only able to produce a few drops of clear immature fluid as late as age 14. Similarly one boy’s penis might thicken and noticeably lengthen from an early stage, while another boy’s penis might remain resolutely small and look positively immature into his mid-teens. It’s the same with Pubarche, although, as I have said Pubarche is quite independent of all the other measurable indicators of boyhood puberty…”

“When a fifteen or sixteen year old boy comes to me for a school medical and I observe a complete lack of public hair that is not due to its removal, then it is standard procedure to request a sperm sample from the boy. This is done in order to ascertain that other puberty indicators are functioning normally…”

At these words it was clear there was some discontent among Doctor Gray’s audience. The muttered comments were quite audible.

“…Yes, I am fully aware that a lot of you mums strongly disapprove of boys being allowed to masturbate. Let me say straightaway that boys in attendance at the Clinic can only be authorised to masturbate by a senior doctor, such as myself, for specific clinical or research reasons. Masturbation by boys under these conditions is closely controlled and must, of course, be fully supervised. I can assure you all that in my experience boys do not enjoy having to provide a sperm sample, indeed I think it fair to say they find it a deeply embarrassing, not to say shaming experience when they find themselves in this position. I repeat, masturbating to provide a sperm sample is a controlled, clinical and necessary procedure. I can assure you that I am fully cognisant with your views on boyhood masturbation and would not condone it for anything other than on strictly medical grounds…”

There was an audible sigh of relief at the doctor’s words and she continued with her talk:

“Once again I seem to have veered a little from my subject… no matter, I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to set your minds at rest on the subject of masturbation. Now, as I said earlier while there are no medical concerns with regard to the absence of pubic hair on mid- to late-teenage boys, there are considerable psychological side-effects for the boy concerned. I try to imagine what it must be like for an otherwise healthy young boy at school who is surrounded in the changing-room and school showers by boys of his own age, all of whom have well-developed pubic bushes at the base of their penises. It might seem a trivial matter to us, but I can assure you that from my experience the side-issues can be considerable. If the boy’s penis also happens to be smaller than the norm, the shame felt by the boy can be intense…”

“With this in mind I set about commencing research into Delayed Onset Pubarche by gathering as much data as I could from the boys who visit the clinic for their routine school medicals. At the same time I started to gather information about boys from other schools to enable me to invite them for special screening programmes…”

The following is a record of one such screening…
Six boys had their names put forward to take part in Doctor Gray’s study and were stood waiting in one of the reception rooms of the Clinic. The eldest, Todd, was sixteen and the youngest Nicholas, who had just turned thirteen. None of the boys went to the same school nor had any of them met before. It was apparent from the nervous behaviour of the boys they also had no idea of the purpose of their visit to the clinic, or what it was to entail.

Perhaps the most embarrassed boy was Todd, since he still wore short trousers to school and being the tallest of the boys in the room, his smooth bare legs were quite unmissable. Nicholas too wore short trousers, as did another boy, Jack who was only a few weeks shy of his fourteenth birthday. These two boys attended schools at which the wearing of short trousers by junior boys was compulsory and so had no choice in the matter, unlike Todd, it might be reasonable to assume. The other boys had graduated to longs and they of course felt themselves to be far superior to the boys in shorts which included the already red-faced Todd.

A few minutes passed by before a nurse in crisp white uniform holding a clip-board entered the room and smiled:

“Good afternoon boys. Thank you all for attending the Clinic today,” she addressed them, “I’m Nurse Kelly and I’m going to be looking after you throughout your visit to the clinic. Now don’t worry if you’re not sure why you’ve been called to attend. In a moment I’ll be explaining what you will all be doing this afternoon. Now I know some of you don’t like coming to the clinic… we do understand it can be a bit overwhelming what with all the tests and equipment… but I want you to try and relax… there’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy yourselves...”

If the boys weren’t worried before, they were now. Their hearts began to beat a little faster. Nurse Kelly was right, none of them liked their regular visits to the clinic. To be there for some sort of special occasion made them feel very nervous. They looked at each other cautiously and were aware of the obvious age differences between them. Normally they would attend the clinic as a group of boys from the same school year.

“… before we begin,” Nurse Kelly continued, “I just need you to give me your first name and your age… starting with you…”

Nurse Kelly pointed to Todd. He blushed a deeper red than he was already. Todd hated to be picked out even just to say his name. He stammered, “Err… please Miss… er, nurse... my name’s Todd, Miss… er, nurse... I mean… Nurse Kelly, I’m err… I’m sixteen…”

Nurse Kelly smiled sweetly at the anxious boy, her pen poised above the paper on her clip-board, “You can call me Miss or Nurse Kelly… whichever you’re more comfortable with, Todd.” She looked down at her clip-board, “Yes, Todd it says here you are sixteen… sixteen and…”

“Umm… sorry… sixteen and eleven months, please Miss…”

“Good… almost seventeen then, Todd,” Nurse Kelly made a note on her form, then pointed at the next boy.

“… Adam, um Nurse Kelly… and I’m fifteen and nine months…”

“Thank you Adam…”

Next it was the turn of one of the younger boys.

“Umm… I’m Nicholas and I’m thirteen, please Miss...”

“Oh, yes Nicholas, I see it was your birthday only last week… happy birthday Nicholas… you’re a teenager now!”

Nicholas blushed from the attention he got from Nurse Kelly as she put a tick by his name on her form.

Then it was the turn of: Max, sixteen and one month; Jack, thirteen and eleven months and finally Oscar, fourteen and ten months. Once all the boys had announced themselves, the introductions were completed.

“Right,” said Nurse Kelly, “Do any of you boys know why you’ve been asked to attend the Clinic today?”

There was nothing but blank looks from the boys.

“Well then, why do you normally come to the Clinic? Can anyone tell me?” Nurse Kelly asked in a tone that implied the boys were taking part in a quiz of some sort.

Jack looked from side-to-side at the other boys before he spoke: “For medicals?”

“Yes, Jack. Boys have to attend the Clinic for routine School Medicals…”

“And check-ups…” added Nicholas.

“Good… that’s right Nicholas. Boys need regular check-ups…”

“And physicals…” Oscar piped up.

“Yes that’s right… and boys also need to have regular physical inspections,” Nurse Kelly said and then asked: “Do you know why we have to give boys regular physical inspections?”

Although the boys did indeed have regular physical inspections, they were all of them too shy to say why.

Nurse Kelly understood that when it came to the subject of routine examinations, boys were often as not painfully self-conscious. ‘Bashful was the word that most often sprung into her mind as she looked at groups of boys who had been selected to take part into Doctor Gray’s research into Delayed Onset Pubarche, or DOP as it was more commonly referred to in the Clinic. This group of boys was no different.

“No…?” Nurse Kelly said as she looked along the line of apprehensive boys, “Well then I’ll explain… As boys enter puberty… you all know what I mean by ‘puberty’?” The boys all nodded and mumbled that they knew and Nurse Kelly continued, “When you start to enter puberty certain changes begin to happen to your bodies and we need to keep a close eye on those changes to make sure everything is okay. That’s why, right through puberty you’re called in to attend the clinic for your physicals…”

Already Todd, Max and Adam, the three older boys were blushing hotly. They had an idea where this might be leading. The three fresh-faced younger boys, fourteen-year-old Oscar, thirteen -year-old Jack and even the youngest, Nicholas, understood what Nurse Kelly was saying, but hadn’t yet made any connection with today’s visit to the clinic.

“Now let me see…” Nurse Kelly flicked a couple of pages of notes over the top of her clipboard, “Yes…”

“Now boys, as I’m sure you know, one of the main signs that you have entered puberty is when you have your first ejaculatory experience… and from my notes here I can see that you have all done so… is that correct? Hands up if you’ve ejaculated sperm…”

Now Nicholas, Jack and Oscar were blushing just as much as the older boys. All six boys nervously raised their hands.

Nurse Kelly then asked breezily, “And how many of you were masturbating when you had your first ejaculatory experience?”

This time the boys weren’t quite as keen to put their hands up. Nurse Kelly smiled sweetly as she looked along the row of red-faced boys.

“… now boys, I’m sure you all know what I mean by ‘masturbation’…” Nurse Kelly persisted. “There’s really no need to be shy…” There was nothing but silence, so she pointed towards one of the older boys and spoke: “Max… can you tell us all what masturbation is…?”

Max’s throat felt as dry as a desert. He was afraid that if he didn’t say anything the other boys would think he didn’t know about masturbation… but on the other hand, what boy of sixteen wants to admit to masturbating in front five other boys he’s never met… never mind admitting it in front of a woman, even though she’s a nurse?

Poor Max knew he had to say something… Nurse Kelly was waiting: “You mustn’t be nervous, Max. I’m sure you know how wrong it is to masturbate, but I don’t think I’ve met a boy yet who hasn’t… so come along, Max, what do we mean by ‘masturbation’?”

Max summoned up his courage and spoke: “It’s… it’s when you hold your… your penis, Miss…”

“Good… and what do you do when you hold your penis Max?” Nurse Kelly asked in a matter-of-fact manner.

Max was squirming with embarrassment as he answered: “… err… rub it, Miss… rub it... up and down…”

“Yes, that’s quite correct Max, you rub your penis up and down… although you forgot to say that your penis has to be fully erect to masturbate properly… but I expect you always make sure your penis is nice and stiff before you start to masturbate… is that right?”

Max fixed his eyes on the floor in front of him. He felt so ashamed to have to admit to masturbating in front of everyone. Why did Nurse Kelly pick on him to start talking about masturbation?

There was no answer, so Nurse Kelly repeated her question: “… Is that that what happens, Max… do you make sure your penis is fully erect when you masturbate?”

Max looked up at the nurse. He didn’t think he could possibly be more embarrassed than he was now. Finally he answered, his voice barely louder than a whisper: “… yes, Nurse Kelly…”

Nurse Kelly addressed the boys and once again asked them if they were masturbating when they first ejaculated. There was a long, embarrassed pause before Adam, who looked to his left and right, finally and very sheepishly raised his hand.

“Good… thank you Adam… anyone else? Boys it’s alright… it’s perfectly normal for you to have had your first ejaculatory experience as you were masturbating. Although it might have been a shock to some of you when you first ejaculated sperm, if you hadn’t been told what might happen in biology for instance…”

Slowly Jack, Max, Oscar and then Nicholas raised their hands. Nurse Kelly looked at Todd, expecting him to lift his hand too, but he didn’t. Todd’s throat felt dry as he turned his red face downwards to avoid the other boys.

“You didn’t raise your arm, Todd,” Nurse Kelly said, drawing the attention of everyone to the oldest boy in the group. “Was it a nocturnal emission when you were first made aware you had produced sperm?”

Todd nodded.

“And how old were you when that happened?” Nurse Kelly asked.

She could hardly hear Todd as he replied, “Fourteen-and-a-half, miss…”

“Fourteen-and-a-half…” Nurse Kelly repeated, thus ensuring the other boys knew exactly what Todd had just said, “… that’s nothing at all to be ashamed of Todd. Some boys don’t have their first ejaculatory experience until their mid-teens… even as old as fifteen is not considered to be abnormal… The fact that you didn’t have your first ejaculatory experience until you were actually older than both Jack and Nicholas, who are both thirteen and are already able to ejaculate, doesn’t matter in the least...”

Nurse Kelly was noting something on her clipboard as she said casually: “… I expect you got quite a surprise when you woke up and found you’d ejaculated sperm into your pyjama bottoms, Todd?”

“Yes, Miss…” Todd said, still looking at the floor in shame. His ears were burning.

“So what about now, Todd, do you ejaculate normally when you masturbate?” Nurse Kelly asked.

Todd nodded his head, but at a look of query from Nurse Kelly, he finally managed to croak, “Yes… yes, Miss, er nurse...”

Although she knew there would be more detailed questions for the boys later about masturbation, she wanted to be quite sure at this early stage in proceedings that all the boys were able to masturbate and ejaculate properly.

Nurse Kelly looked through the sheets on her clipboard until she came to a section headed ‘Boyhood Masturbation’. Yes, she thought, if Todd is embarrassed now, heaven knows what he’s going to feel like when he has to answer questions about what technique he uses when masturbating; whether he fully ejaculates every time he masturbates; how often he masturbates; whether he masturbates with other boys and if so whether they masturbate each other (mutual masturbation); etcetera, etcetera. Nurse Kelly felt a bit sorry for the sixteen-year-old, knowing that he’d soon have to answer these and other questions in front of the other boys. Answering these extremely sensitive questions in front of younger boys would only make the experience worse for Todd, of that she was sure.

Nurse Kelly flicked the sheets back and then looked up to speak to the nervous boys: “You are probably wondering why I’m asking you all these questions. Well the fact that you’ve all had your first ejaculatory experience means that you have passed an important stage of puberty called spermarche. There is another important stage, which is quite independent of spermarche and that is called pubarche… Now can any of you tell me what that might mean?”

Once again there were blank faces all round. Nurse Kelly waited a few moments but none of the boys ventured to guess what pubarche might mean. But before she could explain Nurse Kelly was distracted by her pager. She switched it off and lifted up her watch which she wore on her right breast.

“Dear me… that will have to wait… we need to get you boys ready…”

All five boys looked up at Nurse Kelly waiting to find out what that meant.

“Right boys… now underneath the bench behind you you’ll find some baskets… Found them… good. I want you all to get undressed and put all your clothes, including your shoes into the basket… Remember all your clothes and that means underpants… and vests if you are wearing one.”

Six pairs of eyes popped out on stalks. Whatever it was they were expecting it most certainly wasn’t that… Undress… bare-nude?! Why? It wasn’t time for a School Medical and besides they were always told about School Medicals well in advance and School Medicals were for boys from the same class, the same age…

“Come along boys!” Nurse Kelly encouraged them as they dithered, unsure of themselves, waiting for one of the other boys to start taking his clothes off first.

Finally, seeing there was no getting out of it even though Nurse Kelly had given no explanation as to why they had to undress, Todd, the eldest, took the lead. The others soon followed and under the watchful eyes of Nurse Kelly the boys took their clothes off.

Nurse Kelly smiled sweetly as the embarrassed boys put their clothes into the baskets provided by the clinic and consulted her clipboard ready to tick each boy as having fully undressed. She could almost feel the heat of embarrassment as the boys each began to peel down their underpants, shyly trying to keep each other’s prying eyes from seeing between their legs. Coyly they placed this last item of clothing in the basket.

“Put your clothes basket on the bench behind you once you’ve finished undressing,” Nurse Kelly instructed. Unfortunately for the boys this meant there was now nowhere to sit and so slowly six extremely embarrassed nude boys were forced to turn and face Nurse Kelly.

The boys knew that covering-up was not allowed at the Clinic and so with great reluctance, kept their hands by their sides. As they waited Nurse Kelly ticked some more boxes on her clipboard then she told the boys to pick up the baskets containing their clothes and to follow her out into the corridor. The boys gulped but did as they were told, knowing that to be nude in the corridor meant that they could be seen by anyone who happened to be passing by and it wasn’t always medical staff either.

Next lockers would have to be allocated so the boys’ clothes could be kept secure and safe until they were handed back after the day’s visit had been completed and after the necessary formalities of course.

Feeling very self-conscious Todd, Max, Adam, Oscar, Jack and Nicholas now all bare-nude and nervously holding baskets of clothes in front of them, followed Nurse Kelly until they reached a lobby which contained the clinic lockers. Now followed a strict procedure whereby the boys’ clothes were deposited for safe-keeping.

The nude boys were lined up and told to put the baskets containing their clothes on a table to one side of the lobby. They then had to turn and face Nurse Kelly. At this point the boys saw a group of three nurses walking along the corridor towards them. As they reached the lobby they stopped, looked at the red-faced teenagers before one of them turned to Nurse Kelly and observed that these must be boys taking part in the DOP Study. Nurse Kelly confirmed that these were indeed attendees due to take part the study. The nurses continued on their way leaving the six nude boys even more nervous than ever. What was the ‘study’ they mentioned? When would they find out? What would happen?

For the moment, though, the boys had to put their clothes away… Nurse Kelly called the first boy, thirteen-year-old Nicholas, forward and told him to go over to locker 8 and to open it with the key she gave him, collect his basket of clothes and place it in the locker. Then he had to return the key to Nurse Kelly for safe-keeping, return to the line and wait while the next boy was called forward. This procedure was repeated until all the boys had put their clothes baskets into the lockers allocated and handed the keys to Nurse Kelly.

If all this sounded rather long-winded and complicated, it was done for the best of reasons. In a place such as the clinic where boys have to remove their clothes there is always the danger that clothes might be lost or misplaced. The only way to insure that boys’ clothes wouldn’t get mislaid was for them to be stored in a locker until the boy is allowed to get dressed again. Since the boy is of course completely nude and has nowhere to put the locker key, he must hand it over to one of the nurses to look after.

Now that their clothes were safely locked away Nurse Kelly deposited the locker keys with one of the receptionists before leading the group of nude boys back to the reception room. It had become clear to Adam and Max why they and the other boys had been chosen to attend the clinic. They didn’t know what the DOP Study was, but they could see clearly what they all had in common. As if she knew what Adam and Max were thinking, Nurse Kelly made the six boys line up side-by-side and face a full-length mirror that filled one wall of the room.

Now it was unmistakable. The boys aged between thirteen and sixteen had a single, glaring characteristic in common…

“Now boys,” Nurse Kelly addressed her charges, “I want you to look at each other in the mirror… good… now who can tell me what you all have, or rather don’t have, in common…?”

There were red faces all round as the boys looked at each other in the mirror. Being boys their curiosity quickly got the better of them and they looked between each other’s legs… and as they looked at each other’s genitalia they saw what they all had in common... none of them had any pubic hair! All six boys were absolutely smooth and completely hairless. But who was going to be the first to admit it?

Nobody spoke. It was just so embarrassing. The thought of saying out loud that you hadn’t got any hairs was more than any of the boys could manage. It was bad enough being the butt of jokes in the school showers… and now each one of them had clearly been selected precisely for something that was the cause of so much amusement for and ragging from their classmates.

Whatever this ‘study’ was the six nude boys… six nude smooth and hairless boys… were definitely not looking forward to finding out what it was.

“Come along… one of you must be able to tell me…” Nurse Kelly encouraged them, “What about you Nicholas… I’m sure you can tell all these older boys what it is…”

Nicholas knew alright. He had eyes. He could see what Nurse Kelly wanted him to say. He went crimson. The bare-nude boy felt his ears burn as he summoned up his courage:

“Please miss…” the thirteen-year-old looked sheepishly from side-to-side at the other boys, “Please miss, we haven’t got any hairs…”

Nurse Kelly smiled brightly as if none of the boys in front of her could have even the slightest concern about their lack of what Nicolas so innocently called ‘hairs’.

“That’s right… well done Nicholas… none of you boys has any hair around your penis or on your scrotum… what we call ‘pubic hair’. All of you, even you Todd have yet to show any signs of growth of pubic hair...”

The boys were left facing themselves in the big mirror as Nurse Kelly continued to tell them about the important study in which they would all be taking part:

“Now that we’ve established none of you has shown slightest indication of pubic hair growth… please feel free to have a closer look at each other’s penis to make sure… I want you to think about what I was telling you before you all got undressed. There was a word I used… do you remember what it was?” Nurse Kelly looked along the line of nude boys, who now they had been given permission were looking at each other’s hairless genitals a little more openly, if still somewhat sheepishly.

Clearly the boys had been so overwhelmed by having to take their clothes off and now having to stand in front of a mirror while it was pointed out that none of them had any pubic hair. No, Nurse Kelly wasn’t that surprised they’d forgotten the word.

“The word I was thinking of was pubarche. Do you remember now? Yes, I’m sure you do, but can you tell me what that might mean? No? Well it’s a name for the first signs of pubic hair growth… and I can see that none of you has reached pubarche!” Nurse Kelly joked, although none of the boys found it funny, “Now just because you haven’t started to grow any public hair… or ‘hairs’ as Nicholas called them… it doesn’t mean you haven’t entered puberty… which is why we talked about  whether you’d all started to ejaculate sperm… and as you can all ejaculate sperm when you masturbate or have an emission, we can safely say you’ve all entered puberty, although we will, of course, be taking measurements and carrying out tests later to confirm this. Now if you’d all turn round, I’ll explain a bit more…”

Nurse Kelly paused and took another look at papers on her clipboard. She looked up at the line of nervous bare-nude boys who now stood facing her:

“The reason for your visit to the clinic to today is to partake in a special study into something we call Delayed Onset Pubarche. The Clinic asked a number of boys’ schools to put forward the names of boys over thirteen-years-of-age who had yet to show any signs of pubic hair growth. Obviously the…”

Nurse Kelly stopped mid-sentence as the door to the room opened and through it stepped Doctor Gray and a young girl, who was not much older than Todd, wearing a slightly different nurse’s uniform.

“Ah! Boys this is Doctor Gray…” Nurse Kelly told the nude boys, “… some of you will have met her before… and this is one of our cadet nurses, Nurse Judy, who’ll be helping Doctor Gray and myself during your visit to the Clinic…”

“Thank you nurse,” Doctor Gray said as she took over from Nurse Kelly, “Nurse Kelly will have told you that your individual schools have very kindly put your names forward so that you can assist us here at the Clinic in some important research… is that so?”

Six heads nodded, although the boys still had little idea what to expect. They had already had all their clothes locked away out of reach and were now stood stripped completely nude in front of a doctor and two nurses… three women, or rather two older women and a young nurse who could easily have been the older sister of any one of the boys. By the sounds if it they wouldn’t be getting their clothes back anytime soon.

“Boys… pay attention. Please remember that while each of you is here to help with some very serious work we are engaged in at the Clinic, there is no reason you shouldn’t enjoy yourselves while you are here. If you have any questions you want to ask as we proceed with your inspections, please don’t hesitate to ask me or one of the nurses…”

Inspections… the boys didn’t like the sound of that one little bit. Inspections, they knew, usually meant something embarrassing… doubly so, if, as it seemed, the boys were all going to be kept together in the same room.

Doctor Gray moved forward and approached the youngest boy, thirteen-year-old Nicholas. Without warning she took hold of his penis. It was slim, as one would expect of a boy who only a few days ago was still a twelve-year-old, some two inches long excluding his foreskin in its flaccid state. Naturally all eyes in the room were drawn to Nicholas’ penis being held in the palm of the doctor’s hand. Nicholas felt dreadfully embarrassed.

“Nicholas is only just thirteen,” Doctor Gray began, addressing Cadet Nurse Judy, “so naturally I wouldn’t expect to see much in the way of pubic hair growth. Although a significant percentage of boys aged twelve that we see here at the Clinic are perfectly smooth and hairless, we would expect to see some early signs of pubic hair on a small number of thirteen-year-old boys… although on boys of that age maybe no more than a light feathery down…”

She held on to Nicolas’ penis for a few moments before she let go of it and moved to fourteen-year-old Oscar…

Oscar stared straight ahead as he felt Doctor Gray take hold of his penis. Oscar had already had chance to compare his penis with Nicholas’ and so he knew that his own penis was thicker and a little longer than the thirteen-year-old standing next to him.

“Now, Oscar is very nearly two years older than Nicholas,” Doctor Gray explained, “as you can see his penis is already showing signs of maturity… it is noticeably thicker, but still not quite as long as some of the older boys here today. Note also how much shorter Oscar’s foreskin appears when compared with Nicholas. This is because the glans, or ‘head’ of Oscar’s penis is that much more developed and has the effect of tightening or retracting the foreskin.”

Cadet Nurse Judy nodded her appreciation of the doctor’s discourse.

“You will have the opportunity to observe how the foreskin retracts a little bit later,” Doctor Gray added. The boys looked askance at each other.

Lastly Doctor Gray came to Todd. He was very nervous and could hardly stand straight as Doctor Gray told hold of his penis.

“Todd’s penis,” she announced, “is very much smaller than average for a boy of nearly seventeen. However, the smallness of his penis has nothing whatever to do with Delayed Onset Pubarche, or the absence of any pubic hair. As you can all see Todd’s penis, although a little larger in circumference, is actually not as long as Nicholas’ penis. There is an age gap of nearly four years between the two boys, during which you would have expected to see penile development such as can be observed in Max and Adam... even Oscar’s penis is significantly larger than Todd’s.”

Todd was almost shaking and very nearly weeping with shame. He knew his penis was small… didn’t the boys at his school make sure of that with their merciless teasing? Now here he was at the clinic and Doctor Gray was drawing the attention of everyone to the size of his penis. It was hard for Todd to understand the doctor’s dispassionate discourse.

“… and of course the fact that Todd’s penis is so small doesn’t prevent proper ejaculation during masturbation, does it Todd?”

Todd’s knees felt weak as he managed to croak out that no, it didn’t.

Doctor Gray carried on remorselessly, “Although Todd’s penis is so very small,” at this point she tapped the little penis so that it bounced up and down in the palm of her hand and repeated, “Although Todd’s penis is so very small for a healthy young boy of almost seventeen, we wouldn’t classify it as a micro-penis… Is all that clear nurses?”

The two nurses nodded and Nurse Kelly spoke:

“Doctor Gray, I’m sure you’ve been asked to do this before, but perhaps you could explain for the benefit of Cadet Nurse Judy that although Todd has a little penis… the size we’re used to seeing on ten or occasionally eleven-year-old boys… Todd’s little penis is not something that he should feel in anyway ashamed of…”

“That’s a very good point Nurse Kelly. Yes, you’re quite correct, Todd shouldn’t be in the least concerned about having such a small penis… A boy with a tiny penis should never have to worry that he is in anyway less virile than boys who have larger, in some cases considerably larger, penises than he has…. even if those boys happen to be younger than he is, like Nicholas… yes nurse...”

This time it was Cadet Nurse Judy who had a question for Doctor Gray:

“I was wondering, doctor… will Todd’s penis get any bigger as he gets older?”

“A good question, nurse,” the doctor replied, “I see where you’re coming from… you think that maybe Todd has a little penis simply because its growth has somehow been delayed?”

Cadet Nurse Judy nodded.

“Well, in my experience,” Doctor Gray continued and much to Todd’s continued, unbearable embarrassment, “if a boy like Todd here has a tiny penis at age sixteen, then it’s extremely unlikely there will be any future penile growth… it’s as if whatever gene triggers the penis to begin growing to an appropriate adult size simply fails to function and the boy grows up with a tiny penis like Todd…” and here Doctor Gray turned and took hold of Max’s penis…

“… quite unlike Max, whose penis, although hairless, appears to have penile growth genes that don’t know when to stop!” she joked as she lifted up Max’s precociously developed penis and both nurses laughed at Doctor Gray’s light-hearted humour.

Max and Todd were standing right next to each other facing Doctor Gray and the two nurses. The contrast between the two boys couldn’t have been more stark. Whereas Todd had a tiny penis pointing almost straight out, away from his body, Max’s big penis hung downwards, its flaccid length to the tip of his foreskin being about 6 ½ inches and it’s thickness in proportion to its length.

“There has undoubtedly been much research into plotting the normal distribution curve of adolescent penile growth development and I would suspect we have in Todd and Max classic examples of what I believe statisticians call ‘outliers’. However, that is not our area of research and we must move on,” Doctor Gray announced, “First of all we have to examine each boy in turn to ensure they qualify for the DOP Study…”

“... I want each boy to step forward in turn and place his arms up above his head. Then I want you to reach over your head with your right hand and grip your left elbow, then reach over  your head with your left hand and grab your right elbow, got that? Good… now you first Nicholas… step forwards… that’s it, right up with your arms… now reach over and grab hold of your elbows… that’s good… stand nice and straight.”

Doctor Gray turned to the two nurses and explained, “This position ensures the boy’s chest is pushed out and the underarms are presented for inspection… I want you each to thoroughly examine Nicholas for any sign of hair growth… You will find it easier if you lean close to the boy’s body and examine using your hands as well as your eyes… Nurse Kelly I know you’re familiar with this procedure during routine School Physicals, so I would be grateful if you would assist Cadet Nurse Judy with her first inspection…”

The other bare-nude boys looked on as a nervous Nicholas stood bravely with his hands up gripping his elbows as the two nurses stood either side of him.

The inspection of his arm-pits made him wiggle. Like a lot of boys Nicholas was extremely ticklish and as he wriggled his slim penis jiggled about. The nurses ran their hands down his body and the next part of the inspection began around his penis and testicles.

“I wouldn’t expect to find any evidence of pubic or body hair on Nicholas,” Doctor Gray told the nurses as they continued with Nicholas’ inspection by lifting up his penis while Nurse Judy examined his testicles. “Nicholas has been chosen to take part in the study so we can make a comparison of his pre-pubarche with that of the older boys. It is also useful to be able to compare penile development among different age groups in pre-pubarche boys, such as we have already done with Todd for instance…”

“I think we’ll have our fifteen-year-old next, so that you can compare penile growth development, Cadet Nurse Judy… stay there Nicholas and keep your arms up please. Would you set forward please Adam,” Doctor Gray instructed, “… and put you arms up like Nicholas… good… please proceed with Adam’s pre-pubarche  inspection nurses.”

Now it was Adam’s turn to feel how unimaginably exposed and how bare he felt in this unfamiliar inspection position. Nicholas turned his head sideways and glanced at Adam as he raised his arms, as if to sympathise with the older boy’s obvious discomfort.

“Nurse Judy, I want you to pay particular attention to the base of Adam’s penis. As you become more experienced in carrying out the pre-pubarche inspection, you’ll find that early growth of downy hair often occurs at the side of the boy’s penis, rather than across the top…”

“… that’s right… take hold of the penis and pull it to one side… good, now examine the area closely… Is there any sign of incipient pubic hair growth, nurse?”

Cadet Nurse Judy ran her fingers up and down Adam’s penis and, pulling it from side-to-side, carried out a finger-tip inspection around the base of the boy’s penis.

“No, doctor… there’s no sign at all of any hair around the base of Adam’s penis…” the cadet nurse concluded.

“So we can confirm Adam has yet to reach pubarche and therefore eligible to partake of today’s study… excellent! Thank you Adam, but please stay where you are and keep your arms up.”

Adam was becoming very flustered. As Cadet Nurse Judy was carrying out her inspection of his genitalia, Adam had found it increasingly difficult to keep his penis under control. Like all boys he was terrified of being caught with an erection… and that’s exactly what was happening to him in front of Doctor Gray and the two nurses, to say nothing of the other boys in the room. With his arms held up as they were, Adam felt sickeningly exposed and was, of course completely unable to do anything to alleviate his predicament. The more he tried to control his increasingly wayward penis, the firmer it became, until it was engorged enough to point straight at Cadet Nurse Judy. When she stepped back Adam bit his lower lip as his partially tumescent penis wobbled. He saw Doctor Gray and Nurse Kelly look at his penis, but clearly they were so used to seeing boys in this state and they merely sighed and the doctor commented:

“I was hoping that you would be able to control yourself Adam… for now at any rate.”

This puzzled the nude boys. What did Doctor Gray mean by, ‘for now’? But they didn’t have much time to wonder what she meant as the next boy was called forward to put his arms up and present himself for inspection.

It was the turn of Max.

“As you can see nurse…” Doctor Gray began as she addressed Cadet Nurse Judy, “Max clearly has the largest penis in the group. Despite being still pre-pubarche, I think we can all gather that his penile development is considerably more noticeable than other boys here today.”

The doctor then addressed Max directly and asked him about his penis: “I would suspect, Max, that your penis is the largest among your class at school… Is that the case?”

Max, far from feeling proud about the size of his penis, was embarrassed at having attention drawn to it. At school all boys were required to report for obligatory showers after all P.E. and Games lessons, so there was plenty of opportunity for size comparison and teasing. Of course he was teased mercilessly for not having any pubic hair, but it also seemed as if his classmates assumed that because he had a large penis, Max spent all his time masturbating. And of course, because he had no boy-hair, they wanted to know whether he could ejaculate… And so it went on, making Max’s life a misery. Now, as he stood with his arms up, grabbing his elbows, feeling utterly exposed, Max’s penis hung limply waiting for the nurses to carry out the necessary inspection.

“Yes, Doctor Gray,” Max answered in reply to her question.

Cadet Nurse Judy stepped forward and, while Nurse Kelly examined Max’s upper body, she reached out to take Max’s substantial penis in her hand. It felt heavy, much heavier than Adam’s penis had done. As before she pulled the penis this way and that, while all the time looking closely for any signs of pubic hair. There was none.

Next sixteen-year-old Todd was called forward and made to stand with his arms up. The contrast couldn’t have been greater and as Cadet Nurse Judy took hold of Todd’s little penis, she couldn’t stop herself from remarking on the difference between the two boys.

She turned her head and spoke to Doctor Gray:

“Todd’s penis is so tiny compared to Max’s, doctor… it seems such a shame that Todd will always have such a small penis. It really does feel so different. When I lifted up Max’s big penis, it felt so heavy… Todd’s little penis sticks out all by itself. Look, if I hold it down and let it go, it wiggles back and points at me again…”

Doctor Gray took Cadet Nurse Judy’s observations seriously. It was a good sign that the young nurse was undertaking her work so thoroughly and she told her:

“Yes, that’s an extremely important observation nurse… when a boy has such a small penis, like Todd, there is not enough mass, or substance for it to hang down properly, like Max’s penis… or any of the other boys we have here today, for that matter. As you say nurse the very fact that Todd’s penis is so tiny, precludes it from having sufficient mass, so it sticks out rather than hanging down. You’ll see exactly the same sort of penis when you come to examine pre-pubertal boys…” Doctor Gray stopped and looked up at Todd who had gone rather pale, “Are you alright Todd?” she asked.

Todd was not alright, he was shaking with embarrassment… at the injustice… at Doctor Gray’s cold, clinical words… at Cadet Nurse Judy’s heartless comments. Todd felt totally humiliated to be standing nude and utterly exposed next to boys younger than he was… younger boys with penises so much bigger than his pathetic little thing. Nevertheless, Todd put on a brave face and, despite having the smallest penis in the room, told himself that he was nearly seventeen and older than the other five nude boys lined up with him facing Doctor Gray and the two nurses. He told himself that things couldn’t possibly get any worse.

“I’m okay, Miss… I mean Doctor,” Todd manged to say, “… really… I’m alright…”

“That’s good,” Doctor Gray replied, although her experience with older boys like Todd who had yet to reach pubarche told her a different story. She could see that Todd was deeply embarrassed and she wondered what he must feel like to have such a pitifully small little-boy penis... “That’s good, Todd, because we’ve got some tests to run with you boys today, but first I’m going to ask you all a few questions, while Nurse Kelly and Cadet Nurse Judy check Jack and Oscar…”

“I want to hear honest answers to these questions,” Doctor Gray said addressing the boys and warned, “I’ve lots of experience with boys of all ages, so I’ll know straightaway if you’re not being truthful… understand?”

The bare-nude boys, still with their arms up and chests out in ‘display’ position, nodded. They were each of them dreading what the doctor was going to ask.

“Right then, we may as well start with you Todd, as you’re the oldest…” Doctor Gray paused as she looked at her notes, then looked up and asked abruptly, “Todd, when did you first learn how to masturbate?”

There was a stunned silence in the room. The boys had to answer all sorts of questions during routine School Medicals, but never had they been asked such personal questions in the company of other boys. To admit to masturbation to a grown-up was of itself a disturbing experience for a young boy; to have to do so in front of other boys, particularly of different ages, presented its own special embarrassment.

Doctor Gray was sufficiently experienced with boys in the age range standing in front of her to know that masturbation is frequently considered by teenage boys to be childish. This, she knew, was the reason boys were often found to be masturbating furtively and why, if they indulged in mutual masturbation, this was usually only ever done with boys of the same age. Masturbation was normally never openly admitted to unless it could be avoided. This was why for older boys, like Adam, Max and Todd, to acknowledge they masturbated within the hearing of younger boys could be a deeply shameful experience.

Doctor Gray knew that all boys, whatever their age, hated answering questions about their masturbation habits. However, these questions had to be answered as it was an essential part of Doctor Gray’s research into Delayed Onset Pubarche.

Todd’s face was flushed once more with embarrassment as he stuttered and hung his head as much as possible in his exposed, inspection position:

“I… I… I don’t know Miss… I mean doctor…”

“Come now Todd… you must know when you learnt how to masturbate,” Doctor Gray said and consulted the notes Nurse Kelly had taken earlier, “… you said that you had your first ejaculatory experience when you were 14 ½ and… yes, I see it was a nocturnal emission… is that right?”

Totally dejected, Todd nodded: “… yes… Doctor Gray...”

Doctor Gray persisted as the other boys felt a nervous mixture of trepidation coupled with the delicious experience of schadenfreude as Todd squirmed under Doctor Gray’s probing questions…

“So, Todd, your first experience of boyhood ejaculation was at the age of fourteen-and-a half…” Doctor Gray glanced over towards Cadet Nurse Judy and spoke to her: “… rather late perhaps, but I don’t think we should read too much into that…” again she turned to Todd, “… had you starting masturbating at the time you had your nocturnal emission, Todd…?” Todd remained silent. Doctor Gray persisted: “Had you started to play with your penis before you had your first ejaculation…?”

Todd couldn’t bring himself to tell the truth…

“Todd, this is very important to our research…” Doctor Gray’s voice became sterner as she became more exasperated with Todd’s increasingly uncooperative attitude: “Had you begun to masturbate before your first ejaculation when you were 14 ½, or did you start to masturbate later?”

The other boys were all ears. They were as eager as Doctor Gray to know exactly when Todd had stared to masturbate. Boys might not like others to know how they too masturbate, but it's equally a matter of pride to be one of the first among your peers to learn of the naughty pleasures to be gained from masturbation.

Todd felt himself being treated like a ten-year-old in front of the younger boys as Doctor Gray persisted in getting an answer:

“Todd, I know that it can be difficult to talk about masturbation at your age, but I do need to know at what age you started playing with your penis… you are playing with your penis aren’t you, Todd?”

Todd nodded.

“I’m sorry Todd, but that won’t do,” Doctor Gray said firmly, “I asked you two straightforward questions… Do you masturbate and if you do, at what age did you start to masturbate? There is really no need to be so defensive. All the boys here have told Nurse Kelly they masturbate… masturbate to full ejaculation. Yet you, for whatever reason appear reluctant to give me proper answers…”

Todd had never felt so miserable in his life. It was bad enough when he had to go for check-ups and medicals; to see the look on nurses’ faces when they saw his tiny penis for the first time… but here, in front of everyone, he was being asked whether he masturbated and was expected to answer… and everyone in that room would know.

“Now Todd… I’ll ask you again… Do you play with your penis?”

“Yes… Yes, Doctor Gray…”

“There… that wasn’t so difficult, was it Todd,” Doctor Gray said patronisingly.

“Excuse me doctor,” Nurse Kelly said, “I didn’t want to interrupt earlier, but you’ll see on page twelve that Todd has already admitted that he masturbates during the preliminary questions he answered on arrival…”

Doctor Gray turned to the page in question: “Ah, yes I see… thank you Nurse Kelly…” she turned to Todd: “I’m beginning to wonder why you volunteered to take part in this research, Todd, since all you seem to be doing today is wasting everyone’s time… I don’t understand… if you answered Nurse Kelly’s question and told her that you masturbate, why did you find it so difficult to answer me when I asked you the exact same question?”

Doctor Gray sighed as a very confused Todd tried to remember when he had ‘volunteered’ to take part in this humiliating research programme. The answer was that he hadn't, at least not directly. Like the other boys standing next to him, Todd's name had been put forward by his school which was keen to play its part in Doctor Gray's research. No doubt the school felt its co-operation would be rewarded by a suitable mention in the research paper when it was finally published.

“Now, Todd I want you to think carefully and tell me at what age you started to play with yourself… at what age did you find out that you could rub your penis and masturbate... when was that, Todd? Was it before or after you had your first nocturnal emission at the age of fourteen and a half?”

“I… I… when… afterwards, please Doctor Gray…”

“... and when was that? How old were you, Todd?” Doctor Gray asked, gently coaxing the answer from Todd.


“Fifteen-years-old… that is… well, that is rather old for a boy to start masturbating, Todd, but since you didn’t have your first proper ejaculation until fairly late and you’ve yet to reach pubarche… we’ve also briefly mentioned the small size of your penis… Yes, I guess they’re all factors which contributed to your late commencement of boyhood masturbation...”

“... There really is nothing to be ashamed of, Todd. Some boys don’t find out about masturbation until late in puberty… and as you didn’t start puberty yourself until quite late, it’s perhaps not surprising you didn’t start to masturbate until you were fifteen.”

The other boys in the room thought this was utterly priceless. A sixteen-year-old boy being made to say that he didn’t start to masturbate until he was fifteen! Priceless!

Oscar and Nicholas could hardly contain themselves. Despite being totally nude and just as exposed as Todd, they each knew that they had started masturbating ages ago… way before Todd had even started to ejaculate! They both knew they each had a penis that was much bigger than Todd’s scrawny little thing. Todd, they thought, had nothing more than a little-boy willy between his legs! Yes, Oscar and Nicholas thought Todd’s humiliation was hugely funny.

Doctor Gray again addressed Cadet Nurse Judy: “Practically all boys are masturbating regularly by the age of twelve… certainly all the boys I’ve interviewed… which makes Todd’s case more or less unique… You might care to highlight Todd’s case in your Trainee Report… I’m sure that would be okay with Todd’s school…”

“Thank you doctor,”  Cadet Nurse Judy replied, “I’d like to mention the small size of Todd’s penis… would that be alright, doctor, it’s just that I didn’t think they could be that small… err, on a boy Todd’s age, I mean...”

“Most certainly nurse… Todd’s penis is very small for a boy of sixteen, so it would be of valid interest to perhaps make a correlation between his lack of penis size and the late commencement of regular boyhood masturbation.”

“Don’t forget to mention in your report that when you examined and manipulated Todd’s penis, you noticed how it stuck straight out rather than hanging downwards like the other boys you examined today,” Doctor Gray added.

“Thank you doctor,” Cadet Nurse Judy replied, “And I guess I ought to make it clear in my report that even though Todd has the smallest penis in the group, he is the oldest boy here for today’s session.”

“… yes, of course nurse, that’s a very important observation for your report… also there’s just one further thing…” Doctor Gray added suddenly and Todd wondered whether his ordeal would ever end. “… just one thing more, as we’re talking about Todd’s penis…”

Todd bit hard into his lower lip as he tried not to show how his humiliating ordeal was affecting him.

“What is it doctor?”

Todd stood his ground with difficulty as he watched young Cadet Nurse Judy turn back to gaze once more on his shrivelled little penis poking straight out towards her.

“If you look closely at Todd’s penis, nurse, you’ll notice that the foreskin is quite noticeably longer than the foreskins of the other boys here today… that is to say the length of the foreskin in relation to the actual length of the penis. Take hold of Todd’s foreskin, nurse and see if you can feel the head of his little penis… there, can you feel the head of Todd’s penis inside the foreskin…”

“Gosh, doctor… my gosh! Todd’s penis is even smaller than I thought…”

“Yes, nurse, it’s quite easy to overlook the fact that the length of a boy’s foreskin can sometimes mask the fact that the actual length of the penis can be a deal less than it first appears… Now compare the length of Oscar’s foreskin. See how it only just covers the head of his penis. Now look again at Todd’ foreskin and look how it comes to a point at the very tip… Compare the length of Oscar’s penis with that of Todd’s… quite a difference, isn’t there, nurse?”

“… don’t forget that Oscar is over two years younger than Todd, but that although both boys have delayed pubarche, that doesn’t account for the very obvious difference in penis size between the two boys. The fact that Todd, at sixteen, has the smallest penis in the group, has nothing to do with the late onset of pubic hair growth…”

Throughout Doctor Gray’s informative talk, Nurse Kelly kept a close eye on the boys. Even though she was an experienced nurse at the Clinic, she had a certain soft-spot for older boys like Todd who had not only lacked any hint of pubic hair, but who also had unusually small penises. Nurse Kelly though these boys looked rather cute, standing as they were told, arms up out of the way, with their shy little penises poking straight out and their foreskins forming a crinkly pink point. What she thought even more cute was, as often happened, the boy’s testicles were plump and of normal size for the boy’s age, since it meant the tiny penis looked disproportionately small… just like Todd’s little penis, enveloped as it was in the upper skin of his scrotum. Remarkably, Todd’s plump testicles actually stuck out further from his body than the tip of his pink foreskin!

Compared with Todd’s ordeal, the other boys sailed through Doctor Gray’s questioning. They all admitted to regularly masturbating from the ages of eleven or twelve. All, as had already been established, had ejaculated sperm for the first time during masturbation, and all had done so by the time they were twelve-years-old. Max had been somewhat more precocious, having started to masturbate a few months before his tenth birthday and so was an experienced and regular masturbator by the time he first ejaculated when he was eleven.

The boys were then asked to describe the technique they each employed when masturbating…

“It is important for this study that we know how each of you achieve ejaculation when you are masturbating… You Oscar… how do you hold your penis when you masturbate?”

The fourteen-year-old blushed furiously as the everyone’s attention was turned on him.

“You may take hold of your penis in order to show me…”


  1. So, so embarrassing for the boys especially Todd. But having a young cadet nurse handle you is a well deserved bonus and if you’re the size of Max, its a lucky feel for both of them..
    Certainly a different story from you.

    Regards Stephen

    1. Yes...quite an exciting discovery for both Max and Nurse Judy, certainly a foretelling of a future of great pleasure for a well endowed boy at the hands of eager young women. A very different future than poor Todd will experience.
      Such a pity, isn't it? But still a reality.