Tag archieven: New Benjamin

19 yo yoga student with who LS Harteveld falls in love with. Aside fom being terribly attractive he also reminds her of a man she never dated: Real Benjamin

The legacy of Esther Janssen

“ Your Opus lies not in what you have achieved, but in the legacy of what you leave behind.”  [movie The Opus]

Esther Janssen. If we would be introduced, I would not recognize her name. And yet I read her vision on lovemaking and heartbreaking, countless times. 1999’s Avantgarde magazine, September edition. The glossy paper of the clipping is decorated with my own drawings and doodles. Esther’s words are captured in a home-drawn pink garland of blossoming hearts.

Esther Janssen, 25 y.o., speaks about how being in love makes sex irresistible. She had seven partners: relationships in which she gave her heart, her body, her loyalty. When she was in love, her passion consumed and bound her.
“But as soon as that all-consuming lust is gone? I am out.”
Beauty and brains too.
The girl had her priorities right, as opposed to me and my college friends. The 1999’s versions of ourselves were either hopping beds or struggling to keep the fire of long relationships burning. But Esther knew the true value of a new partner.

She ends with the history of her and Benjamin, a model just like her. They met in a disco in Paris, where she was drawn to brown Benjamin like a magnet.
“Benjamin was the most sensual man I ever met. There was an amazing chemistry between us. We ended up going to his place. We made love without going all the way. I loved everything he did, and he loved everything about me. We waited for two months before we finally had real sex. That was the best night I ever had. We broke up years ago, but whenever I am in Paris I still hope I run into him.”

I don’t know if she was ever reunited with her Benjamin, nor what she achieved in life. But I do know the legacy Esther Janssen left behind for me;

The faith to give myself completely.
The wisdom to know when to leave.
And two novels, both featuring sensual experiences with young brown men named Benjamin.
The best nights of my life.

Reposted April 2012.
Added a scan of the Avantgarde page.

Originally published on Hyves, late 2009





White lies, dark truth


His kiss was passionate yet controlled. Powerful enough to impress, but soft enough not to hurt. I was relieved he was a good kisser, yet I was equally relieved that my toes were not tingling, my heart was not leaping out, and I still knew my own name. In other words: I wasn’t in love. Good for me because David was married.

Thirty minutes before this very welcome snog, David asked me: “Am I too old for you, Lauren?”
He knew I had been with younger men.
I blushed, and David probably thought I lied when I answered: ” I have no preconceptions about age.”
Benjamin. Valentino. Noa. Nubian Prince. Samuel.
They were little devils laughing on my shoulder, when David questioned me. One of the young ones yelled: ” Ask about the skin David!”
But David didn’t care about my preference for his dark skin. Nor did he ask why I was blushing, or who all those boys were on my shoulder.

If you have to choose between black or white, what do you choose? (black)
Between a brown student and a blond? (brown)
Mature African, or Amsterdammer in his 20s? (African)
One night with Denzel or marriage to Ian Somerhalder? (Denzel. And yeah you should google Ian. He’s hot as a pepper.)
And in return I asked the angels:
” Would I go for a mocca skinned bi-sexual or fair heterosexual?”
But they all laughed because they knew that wasn’t a question. I love bi-sexual men.

I suffer from inverted racism where my ability to love and to lust increases when the men get more exotic. And my willingness to deal with being dumped, hurt, left? Off-the-charts when I’ve fallen in love with black man. I have regrets and played the blame game. I’ve cursed men for their insensitive behavior, lousy timing, or their inability to feel or fall in love.

But Benjamin, Valentino, Noa, Nubian Prince or Samuel, will always be forgiven.
And the only regret I have, is that I didn’t sleep with all of them.


White lies, dark truth is a book I found and ordered today, about mental patterns and why we have them.

Letter for Valentino




From June 2008 to November 2009 I kept a diary about my crush on a 19yo student (Dutch American Diary, scheduled to be published Summer 2012) . This was my last letter to him. It starts with the Winter he was born.


Christmas Eve 2010

Dear Valentino,

I remember that Winter. The icy wind blew through my leather jacket, my New Wave hairdo was squashed under a black beret. The peanut butter on my sandwiches hard and tasteless in the windy school yard.
And I remember the green eyes that enchanted me, in the early days of January. His lovers kiss on a hard bench in the middle of the city. The intimacy of my warm attic room. The smell of fresh croissants my mother brought us.

I remember a warm meadow, the flowers, the cows. The path that we took, and that  he was no longer mine on the way back. It would take me three diaries to get over him, and even that was just because I didn’t write much. At some point you get bored listening to your own grief.

For almost two decades, I was convinced that my past was frozen like the sandwiches. Captured in my diaries for me to re-read when my memory failed. That new lovers would come and go, but that nothing could change the past.

Until the day we met, 2,5 years ago. Suddenly I saw that year in print.
“See, I really am 19,” you insisted, as you waved your student card.
The year, the month, the date. A baby, born from a mixed-race marriage, that opened it’s brown eyes to the world when the green ones enchanted me.

The notorious Winter had changed, for now it was when you were born.

On the crowded days we flirted.  At quiet moments you shared. Your childhood. Your pains. Your traumas. Unnamed secrets that I never told anyone, nor ever wrote them down. With every incident I thought: “Where was I?” The truth being that I knew exactly where I was. Where I lived. With who. What my so-called worries were. And I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have been there with you.

Early this year you emailed me care-free: “I would love to see you. Can we meet?” I responded, yet a silence followed. A silence that I knew could last up to eight months. Your impossible behaviour. Never a yes, never a no.

A week after your request it was your birthday, and I sent you a few loving lines. You returned with a few neutral ones, and then you finished it: “I think it’s a little sick you still remember my birthday.” Without any regards, love, or kiss, your name ends the short message.

When I think of you the tears always come before the thought. Still catching me by surprise at night.

This is not an eloquent post. It may not have any value to the world, but you will find it if you ever look for it. And I need this to move on.

The year of your birth will freeze back  to the story my diary tells.
Tonight’s  white Christmas Eve will be the last time I cry for you.
And hopefully my future will be one with green eyes and warm meadows.



Cougar Town

"Ashton Kutcher" "Demi Moore" "Cougar"Last year. It’s my first time in New York City. A taxi brings me from JFK to my hotel. Traffic already dense in the morning mist. Sightseeing buses making early stops at every corner of the street, with vehicle-long advertisements on the side:

C o u g a r T o w n. T h e S e x y N e w C o m e d y O n A B C.

Home. I was home.

I was in the city where the word Cougar went without explanation: A woman dating a man at least 7 years younger than she is.

For my 30+? birthday, a considerate friend gave me a book: Cougar. A guide for older women dating younger men by Valerie Gibson. I had just met Benjamin. He was young, bright, sunny, and open to new things in general, and new women in particular.
“You can come up if you like,” Benjamin one day invited me to his apartment. “My girlfriend is not home.” I declined through grinding teeth. A wise choice, as I later learned from Valerie Gibson’s book. Aside from the obvious fact that coming up with a man who is taken is not a smart thing to do, I also made the classic beginners mistake: I was in love with Benjamin and he knew it.

No matter what source you consult, from modern day Cougar guides to the ancient Greeks, they all stress the same thing: when it comes to dating young men, never let them know you love them. Or at least not before you “humble them and draw their sails,” as Socrates so eloquently put it. Winning the heart of a below 25, is a bit like house training a dog: it requires patience, discipline, and strategic timing.

No wonder I sucked at it.

At the sight of Benjamin my knees turned to Jell-o, my eyes forgot to blink, and the stutter of my mouth resembled the words ThankYouLord. If there was anyone severely humbled it was me. And I would testify to these emotions in the present tense, instead of the past tense, but Benjamin doesn’t like that I am still thinking about him. Pretending to be over him is the only favor he still accepts.

So with me flunking my Cougar exam, and several unsuccessful re-examinations later, what should a cougar behave like? Courtney Cox plays a fresh divorcee, who strategically keeps her heart out of the equation when dealing with her toy boy Josh.

C o u g a r T o w n. I e d e r e d i n s d a g 2 1.0 0 o p N E T 5.

Socrates would have been proud of her.

Cougar Town starts, Tuesday March 23 th, 21.05 at Net 5 (Netherlands)
Dutch American Diary, the story of Benjamin (u) LS Harteveld is on this site. Available for free for a limited time.