I’ve found two popular
definitions for this term:
1) Slang: (1800s) a boy prostitute; boys forced to sit on pegs to dilate their anuses, in boy brothels.
2) A position in Her Majesty’s Navy; a boy available for the crew’s pleasure. To stay loose for his work, he would sit on a peg during the day.
I cannot find any--let me say that again: ANY—evidence that this ever historically happened. I’m sure some Captain Hornblower grognard will correct me posthaste, but I can’t find any mainstream historical authority who will back up either definition.
What stopped me, and got me to write this up, is the image of a boy--maybe 12 or 13, gangly or fake-tough, with straw-colored hair and a tear-streaked face, and an asshole the size of a mason jar. How did we fall so far? If you have to fuck boys, if you just have to, can you not at least pretend to be nice? I’m imagining the catamite of classical Greece, or the renaissance cupid with his shy smile and his cherry garlands. A boy with skinned knees and a dowry; apprenticed ‘til 15. Rough hands stroking him awake, rough centuries pounding him to sleep.