This might sound odd, but looking back I wish to God I had attended mixed sex schools all my life, because in one crucial way, life might have been a little easier, not to say more enjoyable. However, I didn't. My first school, which I attended from the age of four and three-quarters to nine, was the Sacred Heart School in Henley-on-Thames. Then I moved to Berlin and from August until the following Easter, I attended a German primary school, Steubenschule, in Berlin-Charlottenburg. After that is was all-boys schools all the way, first a Jesuit college in Berlin-Tiergarten for three years, then a Roman Catholic boarding school for five years.
All this meant that I didn't grow up with women in those crucial adolescent years. Why does that matter? Well, it matters because it wasn't until late in my life that I realised that girls and women are just the other gender, that if there is something special about them, it is the individual about whom there is something special, she as a person, not she because she is a woman.
Growing up, of course, women had what we guys wanted and at times we thought of nothing else, so it is no wonder that we guys, who for many, many years are, unfortunately, apt to think with our dicks, were so easily persuaded that women were, in some way, something special. And naturally it was something for which women were grateful and which they encouraged.
But those guys who attended mixed schools were a little more savvy to the ways of women than those poor idiots stuck in single-sex schools and often, like me, in boarding schools to boot. Oh, well, as the cliché goes, better late than never.