C.S. Lewis on Love among Boys
I cannot give pederasty anything like the first place among the evils at the Coll. There is much hypocrisy on this theme. People commonly talk as if every other evil were more tolerable than this. But why? Because those of us who do not share the vice feel for it a certain nausea, as we do, say, for necrophily? I think that of very little relevance to moral judgement. Because it produces permanent perversion? But there is very little evidence that it does. The Bloods [powerful boys at school] would have preferred girls to boys if they could have come by them; when at a later age, girls were obtainable, they probably took them.
If those of us who have known a school like Wyvern dared to speak the truth, we should have to say that pederasty, however great an evil it itself, was, in that time and place, the only foothold or cranny left for certain good things.
It was the only counterpoise to the social struggle; the one oasis (though green only with weeds and moist only with foetid water) in the burning desert of competitive ambition.
It softens the picture. A perversion was the only chink left through which something spontaneous and uncalculating could creep in. Plato was right after all. Eros, turned upside down, blackened, distorted, and filthy, still bore traces of his divinity.
–C.S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy