Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fraternity Initiations - Giving Your Brother A Helping Hand

Fraternities throughout the 1970s engaged in many initiation activities that were "rites of passage" for the new pledges. Many of these rites included sexual activities the senior members of the fraternity went through when they pledged and that were then visited upon proposed new fraternity members. These rites were believed to create a special bond between the brothers as evidenced by similar hazing in fire departments and in military units throughout the years.

None of these hazing activities were considered gay in nature and, in fact, most fraternities did not accept gay members. The rule was "As long as you're not gay, it's O.K." even if the fraternity initiation rite contained an extreme amount of sexual conduct. The justification was clear and logical. The pledges who engaged in these sexual hazing activities were being forced to do so to get into the fraternity so they weren't gay and the older brothers forcing the pledges to engage in the behavior were doing so to denigrate and belittle the pledges so their activities weren't gay either.

There was an exception to the "denigrating and belittling" aspect of fraternity initiation rites that came up in the bonding that was supposed to take place between a pledge and his assigned Big Brother. It was the Big Brother's responsibility to help the pledge through the initiation process, to help the pledge learn about the history of the fraternity and to be mentally ready to accept the "proofs of loyalty" that were to follow. This bond between the Big Brother and the pledge was expected to last for life. As a result, there were a number of bonding activities a Big Brother could utilize to create that special bond.

The most common bonding activity used by Big Brothers in the fraternities I was familiar with was generally referred to as "Giving A Brother A Helping Hand". This activity did not take place in public but usually in the Big Brother's dorm room. The reciprocal activity included the Big Brother and the pledge getting naked. One would lie on his back on the bed while the other would massage his body with a soothing lotion. The purpose of this activity was to provide a relaxing and pleasurable experience for the person massaged. At some point, the massaged guy would get hard and the massager would then give him a "helping hand" until he came. After being cleaned up, they would change places. This bonding would be repeated many times during the pledge period and the goal was to create a special bond between the two guys. It was considered most likely that this was the first time the pledge ever had another guy touch his dick so this first experience was expected to, and did, create a bond between them that could never be broken.

Depending on the inclinations of the two guys involved, this "secret" activity sometimes was shared later in life whenever the two got together, sometimes even after the two married their respective wives. This was not considered "gay sex" because neither dude was attracted to guys sexually. It was just considered two guys giving each other a "helping hand".

These "rites of passage" were favorably looked upon by most fraternities. They promoted bonding and yet did not involve hazing that risked the life or health of the pledges. They did not involve forced alcohol consumption or the infliction of pain. Also, these activities took place prior to A.I.D.S. being a consideration and before all such activities were being classified as "gay" by future pledge classes.

Dr. Tom Stevens had an opportunity to observe fraternity initiation activities during the time he served as President of the Student Council of the Washington Square & University College of Arts & Science at New York University in Greenwich Village, New York where he was influential in approving budgetary requests made by fraternities associated with that school. He was not a member of any fraternity at the time but was given access to witness many fraternity initiation rites.

2 comments:

  1. I don't what Fraternity you were in, but my big-brother and I never had that type of relationship. Nor did I and either of my little brothers. I was in a small fraternity on campus and I can say nothing like that happen in my chapter. Our National would have come down on any chapter that performed a ritual like that. I was a brother during the late 70's and early 80's. We really cared about the well being of all our brothers and pledges. I still stay in contact with many of my brothers. Our fraternity had a hard and fast rule about hazing. It was not permitted in any form. Our fraternity was founded as non-hazing fraternity. I am still proud to say I am a Phi Tau.

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  2. Such things do happen to an extent, and it usually goes further to involve fellatio. Almost all fraternities in this country engage in sexual rituals on a such a regular basis that they spend a good 2 to 3 hours a day doing such things, but mostly only Saturday night to Thursday morning. I have personally been involved in such rituals and am tired of keeping their unnecessary secrets. They use strange devices and contraptions to collect seamen and other bodily fluids. The members are also told to celebrate certain events in their loo gives through sex. But trust me, it has nothing to do with measure, it is solely because, for almost 2000 years, people have been convinced that such things have to happen. The induction into a fraternity begins with the use of hands on each other, they eventually switch to using their mouths. Women are always involved in some fashion. It goes beyond the college. Police departments, the armed forces, firemen, the list goes on of people convinced that they are supposed to be doing such things. Even most sports teams, from professional all the way down to loo title league and unaffiliated teams perform these rituals, though they don't use their mouths as much and their is a prohibitions against sex for the minors. But it definitely happens, and it needs to stop. And as for what the guy above said he is either lying, out of the loop, or not part of an organization that does such things. But any national adviser that visited a chapter that participates in such rituals would not only participate himself but would evaluate them on their practices. All that nonsense about hazing is to prevent all the other crazy stuff that goes on.

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