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Gold Star Pedophiles

February 4, 2010

Let's say, theoretically, I'm a pedophile.

I'm not stupid or evil, so I'm not gonna DO anything. I'm not even gonna look at porn, because the production of it involves child exploitation. I don't even look at kids in public places.

So what the fuck should I do? Chemical castration? But I haven't DONE anything and I don't plan to. Am I obliged to tell anyone? Good way to lose friends. Can I keep babysitting my friends' kids when they need a hand? After all, if I were into adult women, people wouldn't see anything wrong with leaving me alone with a couple of those.

What the fuck do I do? Live alone and hope Japan starts producing affordable sexbots before I'm too old to care?

You know, theoretically. If I were a pedophile.

Knows It's Wrong

"My heart goes out to people to whom nature has given something as powerful and as distracting as a sex drive and no healthy way to express it," says Dr. James Cantor, a psychologist and the editor in chief of the research journal Sexual Abuse. "Pedophiles are not the only folks in this position, but they are by far the most demonized, regardless of whether they have ever actually caused anyone any kind of harm."

My heart is going out to you, too. As I've written before, we should acknowledge the existence of "good pedophiles," people like you, KIW, who are burdened with a sexual interest in children but who possess the moral sense to resist acting on that interest. It's a lifelong struggle for "good pedophiles," and most manage to succeed without any emotional support—to say nothing of credit—whatsoever.

Unfortunately, science doesn't know much about pedophiles like you, pedophiles who haven't done anything, because the social stigma is so great that most nonoffending pedophiles never seek treatment. And what research has been done, says Cantor, isn't very encouraging if you're looking to free yourself from your attraction to children.

"There is no known way of turning a pedophile into a nonpedophile," says Cantor. "The best we can do is help a person maximize their self-control and to help them build an otherwise happy and productive life."

The psychotherapies that are available, says Cantor, "were designed to assist people who have already committed an offense to prevent a 'relapse.' These therapies have less to provide to people who already have the skills and drive to keep themselves from 'acting out.'" Your best option, according to Cantor, is one you're clearly not too enthused about (and who can blame you?): "Castration, both chemical and physical," says Cantor, "can indeed be used to eliminate or take the edge off one's sex drive."

If castration doesn't "take the edge off" a man's sex drive, I shudder to think what Plan B is. Back to Cantor:

"Nonoffender pedophiles have told me that chemical castration has given them considerable relief," Cantor adds. "So it's unfortunate that we use the term 'chemical castration,' which evokes all kinds of emotions. When you get right down to it, we are talking only about taking the same medication used by, for example, prostate-cancer patients—some cancers are accelerated by testosterone, so blocking testosterone is part of the treatment."

And as for babysitting...

"It is true that a regular heterosexual man is not going to commit an offense against every woman he finds attractive. However, most women are capable of recognizing when an interaction is just starting to go south and of getting out of the situation. Most children are not. So although there is every reason to believe that there exist cats that can successfully be in charge of the canary, it's not a very good idea for the cat to be the one making that call."

So no babysitting for you, KIW—to protect the kids, first and foremost, but yourself as well. If it ever comes out that you are a pedophile and you were in the habit of babysitting-without-touching, your friends are unlikely to take your protestations—you've never touched a child—at face value.

"I wish I had better news," concludes Cantor. "I also wish that more people did good research on this so that one day I could have better news to give."


One of the reasons for the nomination of Pope John Paul II for sainthood is that he "whipped himself with a belt." If that's what it takes, why isn't David Carradine a saint? What is the link between Catholicism and sadomasochism? As a former seminarian, Dan, can you explain?

When Holiness Is Painful

First, I was in the preparatory seminary—a high school for boys considering the priesthood—not a full-blown seminary, WHIP. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some of my classmates were fully blown seminarians—there were an awful lot of priests around—but I didn't go on to the full-blown seminary myself.

As for the link between Catholicism and sadomasochism, well, considering the way Jesus died, and the gruesome deaths of so many early Christians at the hands of Romans, what other choice did Christians have but to view suffering as evidence of personal virtue? And two thousand years of hearing about how Jesus suffered and died for our sins couldn't help but have an impact on the erotic inner lives of the faithful. But BDSM predates Christianity—go read your ancient Roman sex comedies—so you can't pin all the kinksters out there on the Catholics.

Speaking of whipped saviors: Mike Gerle was International Mr. Leather in 2007—and, yeah, his last name is pronounced "girly," what of it?—and he's had it with the goody-two- shoeing of the gay BDSM scene. Leather bars are hosting more fundraisers than dark-and-cruisy beer blasts, and the guys entering leather-title contests today seem more interested in raising money for charity than BDSM sex.

"This has got to stop," Gerle writes on Leatherati. "If for no other reason, it is driving the kinky men I want to hook up with out of the few spaces we have left. This is cock-blocking on an enormous scale."

My two cents: I think the fading away of the anti-BDSM bigotry once so prevalent in the gay community—yes, in the gay community—and the advent of the internet have done more harm to the gay leather scene than Toys for Tots drives. Kinky guys don't have to sneak into leather bars and pray that their friends don't see them anymore; they can post personal ads at sites like Recon and GearFetish—and they do, in droves. And thanks to the destigmatization of kinks generally, and thanks to concepts like GGG (you're welcome, kinksters!), kinky gay guys don't have to limit themselves to other kinky gay guys.

Still, platitude-spouting leather-title contestants are contributing to the general lameness. Gerle has thrown down the gauntlet on Leatherati. And in Minneapolis, a young gay kinkster, disappointed by the leather scene, decided to do something about it. Check out his blog at www.tynanfox.com for details.


mail@savagelove.net

 

Comments (330) RSS

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1 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
2
What? That's your only advice to KIW? What does he do to satisfy his abberant attraction? How about masturbating to fantasies of having sex with children, having consensual adult sex while fantisizing about sex with children, or role playing with consenting adults about sex with children?
Posted by nordica on February 2, 2010 at 7:53 PM · Report this
slomopomo 3
@2 -- ummmm, don't think so.
Not that it's comparable, but speaking as an ex-smoker, substitutes are a cruel reminder. Best to just leave the room entirely.
Posted by slomopomo on February 2, 2010 at 8:06 PM · Report this
4
I gotta agree with number 3. I don't about pedophilia, but I do know about temptation. And jerking off and fantasizing about the temptation just makes it harder to resist. It's best to try to put it out of your mind.

Maybe he could find himself a very petite and flat-chested girl (or body-hairless boy, depending on his particular interest) and start a relationship? Is it possible to be a monogamous pedophile? I mean, would he be happy with one "child" or still want more? I don't k now where the line between lust and power is for "good" pedophiles.
Posted by charlie on February 2, 2010 at 8:29 PM · Report this
5
Agree with Charlie above - heck, half the porn industry is based around "barely legal!" girls, so it must be possible to find SOMEone who is a legal adult and who is also willing to emphasize their pre-pubescent characteristics (shave their body hair, wear kids' clothes, act all innocent and childlike in the bedroom, whatever) who would be willing to be GGG about this. Not that I think this is "just another kink" that just any partner should be obligated to go along with, but KIW isn't necessarily destined to be alone forever.
Posted by Slartibartfast on February 2, 2010 at 8:53 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 6
"Good pedophiles" like KIW, are a prime reason why I don't believe god exists.

And if god DOES exist? Then good pedophiles are a prime reason why I would love nothing more than to put a bullet right through god's sadistic forehead.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 2, 2010 at 8:54 PM · Report this
7
It should be noted that many of our childhood traumas may come later as sexual desires. And it is not that surprising that most pedophiles were themselves abused as children.
This is also why I believe sexual abuse is so deeply rooted in the Catholic church, as "the torch" has been passed for many generations by sexually oppressed men who were not allowed to have any other sexual outlets and forced themselves on youngsters.

And just as an act of self promotion I would like to remind the public that most men cross dressers are actually straight. And we are generally nice guys, and girls too, and not the murderous psycho types you may have seen in some movies and TV shows.

I urge cross dressers to be open about it and mention it to their girlfriends or wives (hopefully BEFORE they're getting married), and I urge all women to accept their men as such. I would also encourage women to date cross dressers as we are often fun, intelligent, sensitive, and have some sense of how to dress up, etc. And just so you know, I'm available.

Did I say "self promotion"?
Posted by fif on February 2, 2010 at 10:39 PM · Report this
8
Oh my god. Thank you, Dan, for formulating in words two sympathetic responses to people considered to have paraphilias. First and foremost: sexual desire in and of itself has no morals attached to it. NO SEXUAL DESIRE IS WRONG. What you do with it is wrong. Therefore, you can have a desire to coerce women into sex, or a desire for children, but when you act on it, you're not a sexual deviant, YOU'RE A CRIMINAL. It's a fine but necessary distinction. Your sexual preferences are NOT irreducible proof of your criminality; otherwise we'd be back to the DSM-III and homosexuality being proof of dysfunction.
Posted by safadancer on February 2, 2010 at 10:49 PM · Report this
attitude devant 9
I can't begin to say how blown away I am by the kindness of Dr. Cantor (and Dan). Reading this, it hit me: a non-exploiting pedophile is no different from ALL the people out there who never find a suitable partner----for the first time I can imagine how it feels to be like that, and have compassion for them. This is a stunning revelation for me. Thank you for making me see something in a totally different way, Dan.

And Ugurtha (#6) don't think I haven't wondered and puzzled (and surely I am not alone) why we are made to desire that physical connection when for so many of us it is fraught with difficulty and hazard. Maybe our god is as he is portrayed in Job, literally making bets with Satan over how long we can keep up our good behavior.
Posted by attitude devant on February 2, 2010 at 11:13 PM · Report this
10
There is one solution for KIW far less harrowing than chemical castration: he could take female oral contraceptives. I'm a grad student in psychology, and I know some researchers who have done in-depth work studying and treating convicted sex offenders, mostly pedophiles. Some pedophiles-in-prison are "treated" with female birth control pills as a way of curbing their libido and reducing their chance of re-offending. The pills work in much the same way as a more serious chemical castration would: they essentially increase estrogen in the system and suppress testosterone. Many women report lower sex drives when they begin taking "the pill", and virtually ALL men do. Testosterone and sex drive are nearly inseparable in men, and thus BC dampens drive very quickly. KIW should get a hold of some BC and try it out.
Posted by eprice on February 2, 2010 at 11:24 PM · Report this
11
@4

Yes and no. Speaking as someone with what can be considered aberrant sexual desires (though, given the context here, perhaps not too aberrant), I can state with some certainty that indulging in a fantasy is one of the fastest ways I've found to make the fantasy less powerful. For the pedophile, saying "no, these urges are bad" does nothing but help to make the problem worse. Admitting the desire, and even acting on it in wholesome and legal ways is (I believe) going to be more effective than going cold turkey.

The best I can liken it to is rape fantasies (which are a legitimate paraphilia, and separate from BDSM). Yes, the act is illegal if ever actually done, but the fantasy of it (complete with safewords and complete consent beforehand) can give some semblance of satisfaction.

@5 keep in mind that there are distinctions between the different levels of paraphilia in terms of "pedophilia". Some are into the barely-legal set, others pubescent, pre-pubescent, ect. If KIW is into just the "bubbly schoolgirl" stuff, he'll have an easier time than if he's into the "preteen" fantasy.

I draw no moral judgment, just that many women I've known have had fantasies about being a girl in her mid-to-late teens. Fewer fantasize about being molested as a preteen (though, I have met a few).

@10:

Without actually being a pedophile myself, it's difficult to gauge the level of desire that really exists here. If it's a "I can't see a cute little girl without wanting to have her" thing, I'd agree with the suggestion you make. If it's just that he feels normal sexual desires, which are directed at an abnormal target, it seems somewhat counterproductive to jump immediately to "hormone therapy".

I can't say for certain, but those I've known with some of the more destructive kinks (rape being the best analogy I can think of, as above) aren't necessarily raving lunatics. Their sexual energy is simply directed at a different target than the one considered normal by most people. But, until he's actually in a position where he can't resist the urge to harm anyone, it seems like it's no harm no foul, doesn't it?

Treating this desire as though it's an "other" inside of him (and, by extension, us for those of us who have paraphilia of our own) gives it more power. No part of us, I believe, is uncontrollable except when we convince ourselves that it's an unstoppable force or desire within us.

My two cents, anyway.
More...
Posted by Seldon2639 on February 2, 2010 at 11:48 PM · Report this
12
What a cruel fate, to be saddled with an inherently criminal sexual orientation combined with the moral instincts against it.

I wish Dr. Cantor could have pointed KIW to medical professionals or communities that could support him in what is going to be a lifelong struggle. Beyond the impossibility of sexual fufillment I suspect one of the worst parts is feeling completely alone and unable to confide in anyone, lest you be outed, lumped together with the monsters and your life completely ruined. I hope KIW can find his way to a group that he can confide in, construcitvely and under the eye of professionals.

Lowering his sex drive through medical treatment (and that's what it is, "chemical castration" is a really unfortunate turn of phrase) sounds like a really good idea. KIW has the nasty-no-good-very-bad luck to be destined to never have sexual fufillment, so getting rid of sexual desire might mitigate his suffering.

Good luck KIW! And know that some of us do recognize the merit and terrible suffering of people in your situation. Cheers!
Posted by Lynx on February 3, 2010 at 1:21 AM · Report this
13
I would strongly suggest to KIW to go get some psychoanalysis. which IS NOT pshychotherapy as in something fast that will cure you, but a long term work you do with the help of the analyst to better know yourself and understand your desires, the causes of your desires and your fears and the causes of your fears. and just in case, take the hormones.

I think probably his problem lays in some fears started in childhood or early teenage years. to direct your desire to someone powerless as a child shows your fear of having a relationship with someone who is an equal to you. Not very healthy I think. maybe I am 100% wrong, but there is no 'good pedophile'. just think about it, who would let this guy babysit your kids? dan? anyone?¿? ehem.. you don't have to approve all knids of sexual behaviour just because it is something sexual.
good luck kiw.
Posted by bitch boy on February 3, 2010 at 2:11 AM · Report this
Uriel-238 14
As an atheist, I have to say it is conspicuous that the pedophile topic is coming up on Savage Love right about the time that my own oh-so-very-complicated interests are in danger of being outed...to my friends, my parents, my colleagues and in a worst-case scenario, the authorities.‡ to KIW, thank you for opening the topic that I've been too scared to directly raise. And Dan, I expected that you, as a father, could not understand. Thank you for addressing this with aplomb and compassion.

KIW, as really with all challenges, whether stigmatic (and dangerous) paraphilias or missing limbs or over-the-rainbow lunacy, different methods are going to work for different folks, hence I will firstly disclaim the obvious: No path is universal, so what I may mention works for some, suggestions that might conflict with what you read above, is to be taken with a heavy dose of critical thought. As with all advice, keep what works for you. Discard the rest. That said, I should also warn this might fall into TMI.

Technically, KIW, one is not a pedophile in the clinical sense until action is taken. Your theoretical case is about paraphilia for prepubescent people. Incidentally, this is not to be confused with ephebophilia which is the natural attraction to breedable adolescents that happen to be protected from / denied responsibility to consent in our society. Acting on ephebophilia is still illegal but doesn't even count as a fetish.

But I would disagree outright with slomopomo and charlie ) that engaging the fantasies is a temptation that will lead you to acting on them. Similarly to what Seldon2639 suggests, I might enjoy playing computer games that allow me to viscerally gun down Imperial Stormtroopers (or Nazis or Libyan Terrorists or whatever), yet I am in no hurry to enlist my way to Afghanistan and start hunting Al-Qa'ida revolutionaries. Just as (despite the common misconception) gay does not equate to a lack of sexual restraint, neither does an attraction to children, or any other paraphilia‡‡‡. As adults, we are all expected to process sexual feelings in socially appropriate terms. It is, hence, inappropriate to assume that just because someone has a strange fetish, they are unable to control it.

To the contrary, following the Zen approach (and paralleling the psychological practices of DBT and some CBT‡‡), KIW your sexual fantasies (kinky or otherwise) are the stories you tell yourself while you masturbate, and will feature common elements that not only reveal what gets you hot, but also what makes you feel safe enough to sexually express yourself e.g. let go, lose control, relax your inhibitions, reveal your true self, and ultimately, come (cue FGTH). Ideally, with this insight and some creativity, you'll find ways to invoke these elements of fantasy in a way that is safe, socially acceptable, and equally thrills your (adult) partner.

That said, ageplay is rampantly popular in the kink communities (and, as I've experienced, a broachable subject outside as well), so you also have the option of getting yourself to a kink munch in your area (aka BDSM Munch), where kinky folk go to talk about play and cruise each other silly. You might find someone who's just childlike enough, or can fake it well enough, to do what you need.

Regarding your abilities to babysit or otherwise interact with real children, as I said above, part of adulthood and maturity is being able to do what's right even in the face of desires to do otherwise, an ability we practice every day in all walks of life. That said, it is the responsibility of each of us to develop enough self awareness to understand when we are a danger to ourselves or others, to avoid such circumstances when predictable, to remove ourselves from situations when they are not and if they are commonplace or unavoidable, to seek professional help. That said, if you know you're not going to act out, then the details of your sexuality are not the business of your family-enabled friends any more than the details of theirs are your business.

‡ Despite that I've been careful not to do anything illegal (not that the police are known to tell the difference). As things are, I've been in the process of outing myself pre-emptively to those who I think will more likely react favorably than not. Still, I've seldom felt so naked. To Loveschild and Allegedly (all your incarnations), my special wish for you is to experience, for a single day, the fear for my life and paranoia that I've been experiencing all week; to know what it is to be a hidden outcast in your own community, in constant yet uncertain danger of being exposed.

‡‡ Not to be confused with this CBT. In Zen, the whole purpose is to escape the need for physical pleasures entirely, in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, but here we're just aiming for safe sexual fulfillment.

‡‡‡ For those who think kid-fetishists and rape-fantasizers are out there in the kink department, some folk get off on the fantasy of being consumed during intercourse, of killing their parters, of being beaten to within an inch of their lives.
More...
Posted by Uriel-238 on February 3, 2010 at 2:16 AM · Report this
15
Dan, what a compassionate, humane response. How would he go about approaching a doctor and saying, "I have pedophiliac desires and would like to try chemical castration or birth control." Would he be potentially setting himself up to be reported to some authority by even admitting such information to a member of the medical community?
Posted by joybd on February 3, 2010 at 2:25 AM · Report this
16
@joybd, so far as I'm aware, medical professionals are required to keep their patients information confidential and can in fact face sanctions if they don't. Perhaps they are allowed to report illegal activity, but the very act of feeling desire towards children is not illegal and hence would be covered by doctor-patient confidentiality.
Posted by Lynx on February 3, 2010 at 2:37 AM · Report this
Uriel-238 17
You're right Lynx. Medical professionals are supposed to maintain doctor-patient confidentiality. The one exception (in psychiatric care) is when one is a danger to himself (herself) or others, at which point responders are obligated to report. This does put things in a grey zone, where one has to use their rational judgment when it comes to a given patient. We've seen not only incidents where known (but inactive) pedophiles were reported merely because they were going to be near children, but also where gays discharged from military service due to being outed by their medical professionals.

It also gets tricky when someone is in an abusive situation, but intervention can cause that abuse to escalate. A wrong guess can cost jobs and lives.
Posted by Uriel-238 on February 3, 2010 at 3:18 AM · Report this
18
On a practical note KIW: When someone asks you to babysit- be as candid as you can. Tell them that you have emotional issues that make you unsuitable to watch kids. End of story.
Posted by wittyrepartee on February 3, 2010 at 4:31 AM · Report this
19
@12, I believe pedophilia is a sexual orientation too. So we can all put ourselves in KIW's shoes - just imagine that being attracted to the sex you're attracted to, and especially acting on it, is the worst criminal offense you can think of. So what do you do then? You can't change your sexual orientation, that's for sure. You can do things to suppress your libido, but that doesn't solve your problem. You will still be interested in people of that certain sex, even though you won't feel the immediate urge to bang them. And you're facing a lifetime of loneliness and pretending you're not who you are. A lifetime in closet, that is.
Posted by tiare on February 3, 2010 at 4:47 AM · Report this
20
Guess I'm the only one who didn't read KIW's letter at face value.

The Christian Right typically equates pedophilia and homosexuality. This is the "slippery slope" argument: "Well, if gays can marry/screw/express their lifestyle, the next thing will be to legalize pedophilia, beastiality, necrophilia!"

I just assumed that KIW was trolling: substituting 'pedophilia' for homosexuality, and giving Dan enough rope to hang himself. Dan gives sympathetic advice about drugs & therapy as a way of controlling one's urges, then KIW jumps out of the bushes and yells, "Ah-HA!! So you DO think that people should suppress their sinful/evil sexual urges! Why the pedophiles, and not all you hateful gay persons (whom I love, but what you do is gross)??"

I'm NOT (underline NOT) mounting an apology/defense of pedophilia. But the Interwebs being what they are, I'm just surprised that no one else (so far) is suspicious of KIW's letter. The various responses above (including Dan's) would give any anti-gay activist lots of fodder.

I'm reading some of the same suggestions the Right makes for "controlling" one's gayness: therapy, chemical castration, confession, taking up with an "appropriate" sexual partner that allows one to pretend "normalcy". Sound familiar?
Posted by dexters mom on February 3, 2010 at 5:03 AM · Report this
21
really? nobody has made a joke yet about being fully blown by a semenarian? well allow me...
Posted by pauline on February 3, 2010 at 5:05 AM · Report this
22
Thank you thank you thank you. I have always had the utmost sympathy for pedophiles; as a gay man, I thoroughly understand what its like to have sexual attractions that many people disapprove of, and I believe completely - as you confirmed in this column - that pedophiles can no more control their sexual desires than gay people can. Being gay is not a choice, and neither is someone who has the unfortunate inkling to be attracted to children. I have always understood this, and I have always been puzzled why so many gay people are not more sympathetic to the plight of "good" pedophiles, or even "bad" pedophiles. Yes, what bad pedophiles do is wrong, but I have always believed that they deserve sympathy and compassion every bit as much as their victims do. Many times I have literally thanked the God I don't believe in that I do not suffer from this particular sexual preference (yes, I consider pedophilia to be as much an immutable prefereance as being gay is).

Thanks again Dan.
Posted by Gay Movie Fan on February 3, 2010 at 6:20 AM · Report this
Tsunade 23
Actually, Roxxxy True Companion is here already. She is a fully functional female sex robot. She can respond to conversation and has warm to the touch flesh. Creepy as all get out but perhaps more satisfying than Real Doll. Her batteries last for three hours. I don't think you will have to wait that long for Japan to satisfy your desires. I'm not sure if the gentleman who created Roxxxy would be willing to make a child for you, but that day is not really long in the making.
Posted by Tsunade on February 3, 2010 at 6:20 AM · Report this
24
The difference, #20, is the one between "consenting adults" and "people who cannot give consent."

So the slippery slope argument is a fallacy from the very beginning, and not worth the website space.

That said, I do agree it's possible this is trolling. I don't think so - this dude wrote to the only advice columnist on earth who wouldn't indulge in pearl clutching, and I've always thought surely there are pedophiles who don't act on their urges - but it's a possibility we'd be silly to dismiss.
Posted by KathleenD http://kathleendienne.com on February 3, 2010 at 6:30 AM · Report this
25
@20 homosexuality is consensual sex between two people of the same sex, pedophilia is about non consensual sexual contact between an adult and a child. They are not comparable, the end, end of story. I can see the point you are driving at, however, because acting on pedophilia is inherently damaging to the other party, it is and must remain illegal, sexual preference, on the other hand (as i mentioned before) is CONSENSUAL ie, both parties are gaining sex, love or companionship from said relationship. As a woman who was sexually assaulted as an adult, I can tell you, it f@#ks you up. I still have nightmares,difficulties with self esteem and issues with trust- and I am an adult- now, imagine a child having to deal with that, and no less, from someone they have been taught they should trust, someone who should be protecting them.
I feel for KIW, but pedophilia, when acted on, is an abuse of power, homosexuality is not. The distinction is necessary.
Posted by mytwocents on February 3, 2010 at 6:30 AM · Report this
26
@20, I think KIW's letter was authentic, but I agree with some of the points you make. I take issue with ideas you can cure pedophilia, or trying to get to the cause of it (childhood trauma etc) because it instantly reminds me of attempts to cure "gay" and stupid theories how you become gay if your mommy lets you wear her shoes. There was probably nothing wrong with a pedophile's upbringing, unless he can't distinguish between right or wrong and rapes children - but his upbringing in that case didn't make him a pedophile, it just made him a sociopath. Just like straight or gay rapists didn't become straght or gay because of their upbringing, but it probably did make them rapists.
Posted by tiare on February 3, 2010 at 6:41 AM · Report this
27
@Gay Movie Fan erm, I wouldn't go as far as you by a looooong shot.

First things first; the vast majority of men (and a few women) who abuse children are NOT like KIW. That is, they aren't pedophiles by "orientation" but by opportunity. The majority are heterosexual males and for many abuse is less about sex than exercising power and pain. These are not people to be sympathized with, they need to be shut away, preferably somewhere dark.

Now, amongst the minority who are pedophiles by orientation there should be sympathy BUT I dispute that one of these people who breaks and abuses a child deserves anywhere near the amount of sympathy as the child itself. One is the victim of sexual assault, and the other the perpetrator. If the perp is a tortured soul who broke after years of struggle that is a mitigating circumstance, but only mitigating, never absolving.

I think that society has a vested interest in first differentiating between "born" pedophiles and abuse-based pedophiles and especially between "good pedophiles" (who control themselves and need support and treatment) and "bad pedophiles" (who do not control themselves and should get, lets say, more vigorous and coerced treatment and/or isolation).
Posted by Lynx on February 3, 2010 at 6:51 AM · Report this
28
@20 'dexters mom'

You're forgetting consent. Children are (on average, which is what the law is based on) emotionally incapable of giving consent, therefore it's wrong. Ditto bestiality and rape.

Adult gay men are fully capable of consenting, therefore it isn't wrong. The bigots aren't given any ammunition at all, with the above letter.
Posted by UKGuy on February 3, 2010 at 6:51 AM · Report this
cougar.in.training 29
Weighing in-
When I first heard about the Pope's past practices, I was reminded of the yiddish fold tale "Saint or Horse". I can't find a copy online, but it explains things perfectly...
I don't know if I'm ready to call pedophilia a sexuality. Primarity because of "slippery slope" issues... in the wrong hands that term can be used for the wrong things.
That being said, I'm glad to hear the caring response. *Good work Dan!* My heart goes out to KIW. That would be so hard... may any god that may or may not exist give him stregnth to continue his resistance.
I would NOT suggest fantasizing and role playing. I can say from experiance that fantasizing does lead to greater temtation in acting out. While my fantasies all involve consenting adult humans, and here are considered perfectly fine, I can say that constant fantasy indulgence has led me to a few experiances that were previously on my "no- it's just to likely to blow up in my face" list. If a fantasy constantly has free range in your imagination (working out all those details as you daydream or role play along), it's harder to say no when the opertunity comes up. Fortunatly there was no real trauma for anyone in mine... just a list of things I kinda wish I hadn't done because I realy did know ahead of time that it would lead to stickey social situations. In KIW's case, the results of a slip would be horrible.
Posted by cougar.in.training on February 3, 2010 at 7:21 AM · Report this
cougar.in.training 30
Forgive the spelling, hadn't had my coffee yet...
Posted by cougar.in.training on February 3, 2010 at 7:25 AM · Report this
31
The other obvious course for KIW is to research SSRI's, which are famous for decreasing libidio. It might be a good first step, and telling a doctor that you're depressed has to be much easier than telling them you're a pedophile.

Best of luck to him/her; it's got to be difficult, and I applaud hir decision to not hurt children, even at second hand.
Posted by SpookyCats on February 3, 2010 at 7:32 AM · Report this
bigg 32
I personally would recommend that KIW should find the youngest LEGAL/consenting aged partner possible and make the best of it. It may not be everything he desires, but it must surely be better than the lonely lifetime of hell he faces otherwise...?
Posted by bigg http://biggblah.blogspot.com/ on February 3, 2010 at 7:57 AM · Report this
fannerz 33
@18: Or tell 'em you're busy that night. Or just fucking lie and say you hate the little brats.
Posted by fannerz on February 3, 2010 at 8:07 AM · Report this
34
Bravo, Uriel-238!

I have frequent ephebophilic fantasies and rape fantasies, but I believe that as human beings we have an obligation to behave ethically rather than let our “id” control our behavior, so I have never acted on these and will never do so.

I don’t believe that having those fantasies is evil (I did not choose them and cannot control their presence in my head), and I can attest that I have been jacking off to them for years without ever being tempted to turn them into reality. While I understand that purchasing child porn creates a market which encourages the abuse of real children, I would be in favor of computer-generated simulations that create an outlet for such fantasies.

The real question in my mind is whether KIW is ONLY turned on by kids, or whether he can function sexually with adult women (or men), using his fantasy for “spice”. For me, while I have such fantasies, they are not the only thing that gets me off.

I am fortunate to have found a woman who is mentally twisted enough that she enjoys the sort of age- and force-related roleplay that gets me off, and physically quite capable of doing the “young teen” look. Our play us both quite satisfied, and no one gets hurt.

If KIW’s sole objects of excitement are children, then I am deeply sorry for him, and perhaps chemical castration should be explored. In that case, I’d also agree that he should not babysit kids in his attraction range, on the same principle that alcoholics should not hang out in bars – the cost of a potential slip is way too high.
Posted by anonymous_by_choice on February 3, 2010 at 8:34 AM · Report this
35
I applaud KIW for submitting that letter. It takes a lot of courage to address a subject like that on this scale.

I also have to say I have a great deal more respect for Dan after reading his response. Not that I agree 100%, but it was very compassionate.

Why don't I agree 100%? While I do agree that chemical castration is an option if you're at a low point in your life or you just don't think you'll be able to control yourself, KIW seems to have his head on straight. I think much of Dan's (and the Doctor's) reply & many of the comments seem to imply that the best route to go is to take the drugs.

Let's face it, chemical castration is an ugly term, but there's still a bunch of issues that arise when you're considering it as a treatment. Some of this comes secondhand, so please correct me if I'm off base at any point.

First of all, when you're as deep in the closet as KIW is, taking mood/behavior-altering drugs of any type is a pretty scary proposition. Even something as common as alcohol is spooky when a single drunken confession can absolutely devastate one's life. Even more so if you can't shake that fear of "what if I get drunk and with my lowered inhibitions, turn into what society expects me to become?" It's not quite the same with hormones (or hormone blockers), but when the idea is screwing around with the E and the T, a guy might think about their wife, sister or mother and such at a time when their hormones were loopy and think of worst case scenarios.

Then there's the security element of it. KIW is effectively impossible to figure out, since there's no evidence of his sexual desires outside the boundaries of his own mind. When you're dosing yourself on a regular basis, you've got something going on in the real world that may raise questions or suspicions from those close to you.

Health risks? I've heard of people having their blood pressure skyrocket after they started a regimen of chemical castration. Man-boobs and bone degradation are also on the list of common side effects. I'm not 100% sure on this (ergo, my 'if I'm off base at any point', above.)

Lastly, let's admit it. Masturbation feels good. KIW mentions the sex-bots as a hypothetical interest. We can assume he likes to beat the meat. Maybe with a taint of shame or guilt, maybe not. Depends how healthy his perspective is. Chemical castration means giving up on something enjoyable, in this case.

Really, there's a lot of pros and cons to consider when you're talking about a drug regimen. While it's certainly an option, and I can see where it would take a load off one's mind, I don't know that chemical castration is right for everyone in KIW's circumstance. I certainly didn't/don't feel it's right for me.

KIW's letter seems to be asking more about the social dynamic rather than anything else. Among his questions, he asks "Am I obliged to tell anyone? Good way to lose friends. Can I keep babysitting my friends' kids when they need a hand? What the fuck do I do? Live alone and hope Japan starts producing affordable sexbots before I'm too old to care?"

I would argue the only person you'd be obliged to tell would be a(n adult) romantic partner. This is assuming you were among those who were interested in both children and adults. In such a case, you'd be entering into an intimate, long term relationship where a degree of trust and honesty was expected. You'd be facing a situation where you were potentially having kids, and you'd want to get it out in the open asap rather than (as with the babysitting) be found out later & be demonized regardless of your innocence. I don't get the impression that this kind of relationship is a possibility with KIW, though.

What do you do? There's no easy answer. Recognize that you're not alone. Also realize that your pedophilia is not the most important part of who you are. As a nonoffender, it probably isn't even in the top 10 things that define you. Recognize that you have options. People (and myself) have covered chemical castration and the pros & cons that come with it. There's also the possibility of seeing a counselor who you can talk to about the subject, mentioned above. Or going online to find a listening ear with anonymity on your side. You might want to consider having a nest egg set aside so that if things go south (say, a drunken, "Mom, I'm a pedophile."), you can pick up and start anew someplace else. Or use that nest egg later so that you're first in line when those sexbots appear on the shelf.

I'd recommend a hobby, find something you enjoy thoroughly. The less time spent dwelling on your pedophilia (or say, your rape/guro fixation), the better. There may come a time when you get asked or nagged about why you're not in a relationship or starting a family, but just make it clear you're not interested in a relationship and keep in mind that you're doing the best, most noble thing you can.
More...
Posted by KIW2 on February 3, 2010 at 8:47 AM · Report this
kim in portland 36
Uriel-238 @ 14,

A big virtual hug to you. It sounds like you could use one.

Keep your chin up.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on February 3, 2010 at 9:14 AM · Report this
37
While we're on the topic...thoughts about the American age of consent?

I have never liked younger people (in fact, even when I was a minor I liked older men - thank God *I* didn't act on that predilection or I could have gotten someone in serious trouble). But I'm curious if 'non-pedophile' means 'people automatically become sexually attractive on their 18th birthday.' I remember all the age countdowns for actresses like Lindsay Lohan and the Olsen twins, as though people's gross comments about them (which started well before they turned 18) would magically become less offensive when the date was passed.

For all I know, KIW is a genuine pedophile and is literally incapable of being aroused by people past puberty. If so, God help him. But if living in a country where he could date a 16 year old girl, one like me who would have welcomed the attention of an older man (read: consented), would allow him to escape this demon, then perhaps we need to rethink our laws.
Posted by Torchy Blane on February 3, 2010 at 9:17 AM · Report this
38
To KIW
Stop babysitting now -

Otherwise one day you are certain to meet one of those oversexed,
underage girls who will do their best to seduce you,
with disastrous results for yourself.
Posted by kindad on February 3, 2010 at 9:20 AM · Report this
39
I agree with #33. LIE!! There are tons of people out there that don't like children. Become one of them. Don't talk to kids, act annoyed when they are around, and absolutely refuse to babysit. My sister hates kids. She worked in a day care for a summer and came out just hating children. She isn't mean to them, just ignores them most of the time and avoids kid-centric occasions and places. I would never think to have her watch my kids because she would hate it. I love my sister, I know she'll never have kids, and she knows I'll never foist my kids on her because she's made it clear that she DOESN'T LIKE CHILDREN. Do the same. She is still loved and has a part in my life, it's just separate from kid-related activity. The bonus is, if ever your secret DOES come out, your friends and family know you've never done anything to THEIR kids. And maybe they will appreciate the front you've put up to protect their kids and still want to have you in their lives.
Posted by auntielarrie on February 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM · Report this
kim in portland 40
This could be a double post, SLOG server is acting up. Still, two hugs are better than one.

Anyhoo...

Virtual hug, Uriel-238 @ 14. Keep your chin up.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on February 3, 2010 at 9:25 AM · Report this
41
Maybe KIW should date a midget?
Posted by jns on February 3, 2010 at 9:26 AM · Report this
42
I think KIW should seek the professional counsel of a qualified and sympathetic psychiatrist/psychologist, especially if considering chemical castration to reduce the sex urge. Loss of, or decline of testosterone in men is also liked strongly to deep depression, fatigue and even suicide so it should definitely be monitored by a professional. I feel for his plight and hope he does find help. I think he should seek the support of someone though because I can't imagine dealing with this burden alone.
Posted by LAN8 on February 3, 2010 at 9:59 AM · Report this
43
I would second the recommendation to find a top-notch psychoANALYST (not psychologist, counselor, or psychiatrist) and get into long-term couch-surfing. Find someone older, experienced, and well-known in the field in your area. Look up your local psychoanalytic institute, many of them offer low-cost analysis on a sliding scale. A lot of people complain that psychoanalysis is interminable and not scientific, but it's made for a case like this. There ain't gonna be a cure, and to make the pain of life bearable you need to form a long-term relationship with someone you can trust and to whom you can literally say anything with no consequences.

As a piece of anecdata, I know a woman who was a lifelong lesbian when she entered psychoanalysis. She was perfectly happy being a lesbian and wasn't in therapy to change that, but over the course of a 10-year analysis she investigated the roots of her traumatic childhood and worked through her anger at male relatives that had abused her . . . and she started becoming attracted to men. She didn't LOSE her attraction to women, but she essentially discovered her bisexuality, which came as a surprise to her and was definitely not on the agenda of either her or her analyst. So while I don't think psychoanalysis will cure you, it is possible that things could shift for you with some intensive work. Or maybe not. Just some food for thought.

I think you're a brave guy, and I wish you luck.
Posted by holly2323 on February 3, 2010 at 10:12 AM · Report this
44
@37 - Yes. I was shocked to discover the AoC in Norway was 16, and that most of the 16 year olds I met at the time were capable of consenting or not. Culture shock to the max, as I'd spent my early teen years feeling guilty about being attracted to a then-minor Britney Spears - who is my own age!

Boo on a culture that sets such hard lines and stigmas on such a nebulous issue.
Posted by flaker on February 3, 2010 at 10:20 AM · Report this
45
@37 - Yes. I was shocked to discover the AoC in Norway was 16, and that most of the 16 year olds I met at the time were capable of consenting or not. Culture shock to the max, as I'd spent my early teen years feeling guilty about being attracted to a then-minor Britney Spears - who is my own age!

Boo on a culture that sets such hard lines and stigmas on such a nebulous issue.
Posted by flaker on February 3, 2010 at 10:25 AM · Report this
46
Ignorance is bliss. You would consider castration as a way to "fix" a pedophile so he or she can live life without abusing children? Dr. James Cantor is a fucking idiot. Why not get to the cause of what makes an ADULT attracted to a CHILD? I know there are a million drugs you can take to take away all of your feelings and emotions but this is not a fix. If you are sexually attracted to a CHILD you are damaged and demented and I would bet all my money you were sexually, mentally, and physically abused as a child.
How about we set all these pedophiles and "theoretic pedophiles" down and try and heal what happened to them so they are not inclined to relive the abuse and trauma done to them onto countless children? If you even think about sex with a child there is nothing to keep you from acting on that impulse except fear of being caught. That will pass eventually and then you will go and terrorize children who might have a chance of living a normal life. But then you step in and stop all possible chances of that child ever being happy or normal ever again.
I am so disgusted that you are being congratulated for posting this. I am all for open mindedness but this is the most nauseating post I have ever read. Even in this day and age most children don't know what sex is. The young teenager "sex addicts" are also little girls who have been abused and any adult who wants to take advantage of that maybe should have their balls cut off. I'm going to go throw up now.
Posted by the_minority_opinion on February 3, 2010 at 10:29 AM · Report this
47
Ignorance is bliss. You would consider castration as a way to "fix" a pedophile so he or she can live life without abusing children? Dr. James Cantor is a fucking idiot. Why not get to the cause of what makes an ADULT attracted to a CHILD? I know there are a million drugs you can take to take away all of your feelings and emotions but this is not a fix. If you are sexually attracted to a CHILD you are damaged and demented and I would bet all my money you were sexually, mentally, and physically abused as a child.
How about we set all these pedophiles and "theoretic pedophiles" down and try and heal what happened to them so they are not inclined to relive the abuse and trauma done to them onto countless innocent children? If you even think about sex with a child there is nothing to keep you from acting on that impulse except fear of being caught. That fear will pass eventually and then you will go and terrorize children who might have had a chance of living a normal life. But then you step in and stop all possible chances of that child ever being happy or normal ever again.
I am so disgusted that you are being congratulated for posting this. I am all for open mindedness but this is the most nauseating post I have ever read. Even in this day and age most children don't know what sex is. The young teenager "sex addicts" are also little girls who have been abused and any adult who wants to take advantage of that maybe should have their balls cut off. Hands too, shit why stop there, lets gauge out your eyes as well. Ignorance. I'm going to go throw up now.
Posted by the_minority_opinion on February 3, 2010 at 10:32 AM · Report this
48
As someone who was sexually abused as a preteen (although my abuser was not so much a true pedophile as a sexual opportunist), I find it difficult to respond to KIW's plight as sympathetically as other readers seem to have done. Yes, I get that he hasn't actually acted on his desires, and I truly appreciate his restraint -- but I admit that when I read his letter, my first, visceral reaction was "This man wants to have sex with children. This man is the ENEMY." I know that this isn't exactly a fair response, but there you have it.

On a related note, speaking as a veteran of many years of therapy, I'd suggest that the right therapist might help KIW somewhat. (Of course, the wrong therapist might leave him even unhappier than he was when he started.) Obviously, therapy isn't going to magically eradicate his desire for children, but it might help him find ways to gain sexual and emotional fulfillment that don't involve children (or at least help him score some libido-dampening anti-depressants).

My advice to KIW: don't do it. Don't ever do it. I know you've worked this out for yourself already, but it bears repeating. If you abuse a child (and make no mistake: anything sexual that you do with a child *will* be abuse), you will be causing that child years of heartache.
Posted by not using my account for this one on February 3, 2010 at 10:42 AM · Report this
49
The concept of prevention has turned into preventive attack. Meaning attacking potential offender into not having any capability to defend itself.

The same thing happens to the paedophile. Immediate recognition is equal to "stone me to death". It doesn't matter if that particular person is 'bad' or 'good' just like 'normal' human with the potential of raping or not.

I am not a god, and I am not divine being. I cannot be a judge to decide either being paedophile is a demon or not, however, as a human, I can only condemn someone for his/her actions.

As long as no one is harmed, for this discussion, no children are 'touched', violated or forced into unconsentable actions, who are we to decide?

Posted by Z She on February 3, 2010 at 10:42 AM · Report this
Uriel-238 50
Thank you, KathleenD for introducing me to the term pearl clutching

Also, I think you nailed the flaw in dexters mom's straw argument of the Conservative Christian right. It is logically dangerous to equate a paraphilia that can be expressed safely with consenting adults to one that requires an emotional, physical or legal violation of someone who cannot or will not consent. As is being established through the marital debates in this nation, proof‡ of harm has not been established from homosexual activity, where it is clear in (active) pedophilia.

Tsunade, even if we started developing a full line of Roxxxys, it's going to be a while before society becomes capable of separating indulgence in kink fantasy with predisposition to act on it in reality. As the Wikipedia article for ageplay notes, Second Life now restricts folks from using childlike avatars in virtual sex, equating it to child pornography. Similarly, many countries ban Simpsons porn featuring Bart or Lisa, on the basis that they are cartoon children.

Incidentally, contemporary treatment of mental illness, whether a compulsive paraphilia or major depression or generalized anxiety disorder is never so much about curing a condition as managing it. This is one of the primary differences I've witnessed between common recovery and treatment models and reparative therapy; reparative therapies (along with many unproven medical practices) offer to cure, whereas effective treatments provide tools to manage, which assist a subject in evolving from a survival lifestyle model to a thrival one.

As Dan as noted, nothing can cure the gay, but any behavior can be reinforced or extincted, and this is where the controversy comes in. In a totalitarian state, we could round up our gays (and, while we're at it, all other deviants) and process them all into clockwork oranges‡‡ via classical conditioning. In so doing, we'd be denying them their inalienable rights to free will, and to self determination. The prospect of fixing every deviance from society is a dangerous one, indeed.

This is why we need consistent parameters to determine what kind of behaviors to treat, hence the danger to self or others paradigm. KIW makes it clear that he's not a danger to himself or others. I inferred that he's sexually frustrated, hence even willing to try chemical solutions (some of which do work for some people). But hence it's rather disheartening in this sex-positive environment, that many, including Dan, still assume that he's in danger of acting on his desires.‡‡‡

Thank you, Kim. Yeah, interesting times, these.

‡ In this case, preponderance of evidence.

‡‡ Or, if you prefer, clockworks orange, which were apparently queer before three-dollar bills.

‡‡‡ This from a community who is quite conscious of how their own paraphilia is confused with lack of self control. I do have to respect, though, that Dan needs to cover his tight glutei from litigation that might occur from someone following risky advice and consequentially making news.

PS: For what it's worth, I'm disinclined to recommend someone to classical Freudian psychoanalysis until it is the last thing yet to be tried. It's expensive (you're paying for a lot of letters in front of your doctor's name) and PA usually takes years to make any substantial progress. A desire to change and a bit of proactivity can go a long way with Cognitive Behavior Therapy or mainstream psychotherapy.
More...
Posted by Uriel-238 on February 3, 2010 at 10:47 AM · Report this
51
Jesus. "If you even think about sex with a child there is nothing to keep you from acting on that impulse except fear of being caught." How about your own moral boundaries? And as for "Why not get to the cause of what makes an ADULT attracted to a CHILD?If you are sexually attracted to a CHILD you are damaged and demented and I would bet all my money you were sexually, mentally, and physically abused as a child. " Replace "child" with "a person of the same sex" and it begins to sound awfully familiar. Not that homosexuality has ever been cured that way, or any way, but don't let reality make you re-examine your position.
Posted by tiare on February 3, 2010 at 10:49 AM · Report this
52
@the_minority_opinion:

Believe me, I have no sympathy for active child molesters, and I'm not about to start a petition to have KIW named "Man of the Year," but I think you're being more than a little unfair (and incoherent).

Human sexuality is a tricky thing. A disproportionate number of pedophiles were abused as children themselves, but this isn't the case for all of them. And even if a paraphilia is the result of childhood trauma, it's still a deeply ingrained part of the psyche -- not such an easy thing to get rid of.

KIW is in a tough place. Could I be friends with him, knowing what I know about him? No (although I'm not suggesting that he doesn't deserve friends; I'm just saying that I, personally, couldn't handle it). Would I leave him alone with any of my young cousins/nephews/nieces? Not in a million years. But he deserves real credit for not acting on his desires; after all, it's not as if he chose to be attracted to children, anymore than you chose to be attracted to whomever you're attracted to.
Posted by not using my account for this one on February 3, 2010 at 11:00 AM · Report this
jesgal 53
KIW - I would ***NOT*** tell anyone about this desire you have. In our society you will be arrested and outcast. I was sexually and physically abused by my father as a child. I got the courage to tell someone at the age of 15, finally something happened. My Dad was arrested, child protective services split the family up, legally required psychiatric sessions, all good things that needed to be done. I am not a lawyer, but by law, child abuse must be reported. A good therapist will report you, regardless. The question will always be in the back of their mind, did you ever cross that line with a child or not?
Posted by jesgal on February 3, 2010 at 11:07 AM · Report this
54 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
55
Definitely NO babysitting! Kids are so physical and drape themselves all over friendly adults! Most adult women are aware of personal space boundaries between people and don't unself-consciously cuddle up next to the person who is reading them a story or charge at their fellow adults with huge grappling body hugs or roll around on the floor begging to be tickled! Why would someone who is trying to be a 'good pedophile' even think about putting themselves in the situation of being alone with children who are affectionate and want play? I don't think the guy is being completely honest here. Babysitting while being a good pedophile seems more like going to a strip club with lap dances than just being alone in a room with adult women.
Posted by 123 on February 3, 2010 at 11:40 AM · Report this
kim in portland 56
Uriel @ 50,

You had never been introduced to the term "pearl clutching"? I'm charmed to learn that.

You are aware that you and I have both interacted with one of SLOGs more well known pearl clutchers. Pearl clutching is much sweeter than calling someone a fear filled goose, in my opinion. For me, it invokes the image of some frail damsel fanning herself and clutching her pearls as she swoons from the shock of it all, her skin all glazed like a powdered donut because the humidity has dampened her morning talc. It helps to ease the situation and make me smile.

If you are in need of another virtual hug, let me know.

I wish you peace.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on February 3, 2010 at 11:45 AM · Report this
57
For everyone discussing age of consent vs. sexual and emotional maturity, here's a global map of AoC laws: File:Age_of_Consent-2009-28-04.png">http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A…

In the US, AoC is 16-18 depending on state laws (and sometimes the age of the partner). Looks like it's 16 for Washington, in particular. (In depth discussion at the main article here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_con… )

Posted by Celo on February 3, 2010 at 11:53 AM · Report this
58
What about cognitive behavioural therapy for KIW? It's been helpful for so many other kinds of mental disorders, personality issues, and addictions.
Posted by dontcare on February 3, 2010 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Lance Thrustwell 59
Between Dan and the more intelligent commenters (which I think includes most of the registered Slog-comment crew), I think we've got KIW sorted out: Stay away from kids, get a little therapy, consider taking some hormones to take the edge off, and finally, know that at least some people respect you for recognizing your problem and consciously working to counter it. Uriel, I haven't figured out what your situation is yet - maybe I'm just dim.

But what about the connection between ascetic religiosity and masochism? There's some fertile fields there, fellas and fillies. Start plowin'!
Posted by Lance Thrustwell on February 3, 2010 at 12:21 PM · Report this
60
Thank you @21 for raising that. And you know Dan wrote that on purpose. Twice. And still only two of us got it.
Posted by chicagogreg on February 3, 2010 at 12:22 PM · Report this
61
Fascinating topic. I don't feel I'm in a position to speak on it, but I can't tell you all how pleased I am to see so much thoughtful and well-reasoned argument on the subject. I didn't think this sort of debate existed on the Internet anymore. ;D

#46 said, "If you even think about sex with a child there is nothing to keep you from acting on that impulse except fear of being caught."

This is the same argument that tells us atheists that there is nothing to keep us from committing every atrocity under the sun... since we have no fear of a vengeful god or an eternity of suffering after death, we should have no reason not to pillage and plunder all we like. But it simply isn't the case... there is something to keep people from acting in a manner that is detrimental to the health of their society and their fellows. By your logic, we are all one step away from killing our neighbors, robbing a liquor store, raping a passerby... and all that stops us is the presence of a criminal justice system. By your logic, we are all sociopaths.

Compassion, consideration and morality aren't values that come from fear. They're values that come from love for your people, your kin and yourself.
Posted by renegadebison on February 3, 2010 at 1:05 PM · Report this
62
I think it's a mistake for this guy to try to date a young-looking 18-year-old or anyone for that matter, for two reasons:

1- It could never be a relationship based on honesty and trust, because if he told him/her the truth he'd be immediately rejected. So it would have to be a relationship based on a lie, and that would be just as unethical as a gay man marrying a woman in order to keep himself in the closet.

2- If we're talking about a woman, she could get pregnant and then what?! That would be a disaster.

Although sexual relationships are part of most people's lives, they are not part of everyone's lives. You don't HAVE to have sex or a relationship. There are people who choose to be celibate and are happy with it. (Others are celibate only because they can't find a partner but even some of those people can find happiness in other avenues of life.) It may not be a normal life, but we're not talking about a normal person. If ever there was a good reason to be a lifelong celibate, sexual attraction to kids is it.

This guy should avoid all children and ask to be castrated. Or at least take birth control pills - they can be obtained online.

Also, keep in mind that the "bad" pedophiles have an extremely high recidivism rate compared to other criminals. This indicates that there is something about this problem that is qualitatively different - you can't expect even "good" pedophiles to be able to fantasize without crossing the line into acting on it. Notice even this guy is not entirely honest because he's already acting out his fantasies by choosing to babysit kids knowing that he has this problem. After all, he could have said no!

The only solution is for him to remove his sex drive as much as possible and to focus on non-sexual facets of life.
More...
Posted by NothingWrongWithBeingAlone on February 3, 2010 at 1:11 PM · Report this
shuvoff 63
@48, I wholeheartedly concur with the advice you ended your comment with, but I was not struck with the same "OMG! Kill It With FIRE!" feeling that you were, upon reading KIW's letter.

As a victim of childhood sexual abuse (by someone who was definitely a pedo), I think Dan's compassionate response was appropriate & I am glad that he published the letter.

The stigma behind talking about those urges, I believe, contributes a great deal to those who act out on them. It is the *only* outlet they have if they don't have a professional therapist to confide in, and I can only begin to comprehend battling such an urge.

We do not protect children by burying our heads in the sand & not recognizing the fact that a law is not broken until an action is taken.

I've thought about killing people, but that doesn't make me a murderer. Anyone who has ever thought of doing something like stealing, hurting or killing someone & then laughed off the fantasy probably has a diluted appreciation for what KIW is going through. Empathy is always good, and that empathy (knowing how it will harm the children he's attracted to & impact their families) is exactly why KIW has not acted on their attractions. More power to him for having the guts to speak up.

If my abuser had sought help before acting on his impulses, I would have hoped he found professional & compassionate acceptance by those he confided in. Instead he kept those urges to himself for numerous reasons & acted on them. If only people with those feelings didn't feel like their life would be in danger by seeking help, maybe more of them would deal with them before acting on them.
Posted by shuvoff on February 3, 2010 at 2:18 PM · Report this
64
I also think KIW should find a trustworthy therapist. Let's remember that you can't be arrested for something you have thought, only something you have done. It is not illegal to be a pedophile, but it is illegal to act on it.

KIW might also try contacting his local Circles of Support and Accountability. This is a network of people who help sex offenders to live offence-free lives and move away from abuse. Also spot early warning signs and inform the authorities.

In the UK, a child protection charity called the Lucy Faithfull Foundation works with perpetrators. They run a helpline for people troubled by thoughts and impulses to abuse children. They can recommend a therapist with experience in helping abusers cope with their impulses.

There are people who can listen, who won't panic if you describe feelings like this. That's not the same as tolerating child abuse.
Posted by krissf on February 3, 2010 at 2:33 PM · Report this
65
If a man is a man, he is a man out of control.
If he is a man out of control, he will not limit himself to one option.
He will not limit himself to one option, and if he has an object of attraction, he will risk being labeled.
But to avoid being labeled he should not take risks.
You can't say he shouldn't be a man, though.
Posted by whatdifferencedoesitmake? on February 3, 2010 at 2:45 PM · Report this
66
"Good pedophiles"????

Gimme a fucking break!
Posted by Chappy on February 3, 2010 at 3:05 PM · Report this
67
@63:

***I was not struck with the same "OMG! Kill It With FIRE!" feeling that you were, upon reading KIW's letter.***

My feeling wasn't so much "OMG! Kill it with FIRE!" as it was "My personal experience with people who want to have sex with children has been terrible and traumatizing; therefore, I dislike *all* people who want to have sex with children, and I while I recognize that this isn't completely fair to KIW and other non-practicing pedophiles, I think I've earned my right to this particular prejudice."

Again, I don't think KIW should be imprisoned, mutilated, or subjected to any of the various punishments suggested by the ever-charming the_minority_opinion. But if I ever met KIW in real life (and somehow knew him to be the writer of this letter), I don't think I could manage to be anything more than cordial. I certainly wouldn't sit down and chat, or invite him to my next pizza-and-beer night, or give him a hug and tell him how brave he was.
Posted by not using my account for this one on February 3, 2010 at 3:44 PM · Report this
68
"Chemical castration" is an overstatement and a cruel term. It is just a matter of taking drugs that temporarily suppress testosterone production, a little or a lot, depending on what you want to accomplish. I went without testosterone for a while due to an undiagnosed pituitary problem. The truth was that it wasn't that bad. I simply stopped having sexual urges, and because I didn't have the inclination, I didn't miss sex or the obsession with sex I usually walk around with all day. I had a productive, happy life without testosterone, and KIW can, too. It's worth a try.
Posted by doingfine on February 3, 2010 at 3:54 PM · Report this
echizen_kurage 69
@55:

Kids are so physical and drape themselves all over friendly adults!

Very, very true.

And even when children get past the unselfconscious-cuddling phase, they're often still very eager to please, particularly when it comes to unrelated adults who treat them like "one of the grown-ups." They want to prove that they're cool and smart and mature and all that, and like Clever Hans, they'll often pick up on non-verbal cues.

Actually, I think KIW's analogy between leaving a pedophile alone with children and leaving a heterosexual male alone with women is fundamentally flawed. Most heterosexual men want their partners to want sex, and knowingly and sincerely consent to it. Happily, adult women are entirely capable of providing meaningful consent, and so most heterosexual encounters are not rape (whatever Andrea Dworkin might say to the contrary).

Pedophiles, too, may want genuine consent from the objects of their desire, but it just isn't possible in the real world. If a pedophile translates his fantasies into reality, he will necessarily, unavoidably be committing rape. In this sense, leaving a pedophile alone with a child is like leaving a heterosexual man who happens to be a rape fetishist alone with a woman. An extremely vulnerable, naive, physically weak woman who is essentially trapped in the house.

Bottom line: a responsible pedophile should know better than to babysit. The potential for disaster is just far too high.
Posted by echizen_kurage on February 3, 2010 at 4:25 PM · Report this
70
"And it is not that surprising that most pedophiles were themselves abused as children."

Just want to dispel the above myth. Research shows that when pedophiles are interviewed they overwhelmingly report a history of sexual abuse as a child. When THE SAME pedophiles are interviewed, and told that what they say in the interview will be confirmed with a ploygraph test, the reports of sexual abuse as a child decreased significantly!!!

A Pedophile certainly might have been abused, but it is also very likely,(as evidemced by the above noted research) that Pedophiles say that they were abused, even when they werent, in order to engender sympathy.
Posted by Matisse on February 3, 2010 at 4:59 PM · Report this
71
My sister was molested by a very close family friend when she was twelve, and my mother suffered years of abuse at the hands of an uncle. I am trying very hard to look at KIW with some sort of compassion and respect for admitting his desire for children and reaching out for help, but it's extremely difficult. Some of the above letters make me nervous--I would NEVER put homosexuality and pedophilia both under the category of alternative sexualities. AS some other readers have stressed, the key difference between these is consent. Children and adolescents are sexual beings, and we shouldn't deny that. But a pedophile, like a rapist, is more attracted to the ideas of power and domination and perceived ideas of taking "innocence" or virtue". I do very much commend KIW on reaching out for help, and I truly wish him the best, both for childrens' sakes and his own. But I think it is abhorrent to equivocate the desire for children with the desire for the same sex, or to suggest that they face the same "demonization" in the media and society at large. Right-wing bigots shout about a connection, and they are disgusting and wrong, but I don't want to see people become so sympathetic to pedos because "they suffer like a gay person does.
Posted by orlando on February 3, 2010 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Pup Don 72
This letter reminded me of a couple I knew where the "Daddy" was a large bearish man who's 24 year old submissive partner was very small framed and was made to wear little boy clothes and keep his body hair shaved (which is not all that uncommon for a submissive, depending on the relationship). When I first met them I felt very uncomfortable about this and had to examine my feelings about it. In doing this I realized what a double standard there is between gay and straight people. I remember when Britney Spears had that video where she was dressed like a school girl and how many people openly talked about how sexy it was. And when the Olsen twins turned 18 I remember lots of straight guys talking about how excited they were that they were finally legal, which leads one to believe the fantasy thoughts had already been formed. So, if this is acceptable behavior by society, why is it when gay men act the same way with other men, getting excited over the members of boy bands or, in the case of the couple mentioned earlier, having one take on the role of a much younger male, is this considered sick and wrong? And I realized that my discomfort over this was really messed up because here were two consenting adult men adding an element of fantasy to their relationship and nobody was getting hurt. And being the out and proud perverted kinkster that I am, I was really shocked at my own initial feelings over this.

So maybe this could be something that KIW could get into and by looking in the kink community might find others who wouldn't be so turned off by the idea of such role play.
Posted by Pup Don http://www.facebook.com/PuppyD on February 3, 2010 at 5:40 PM · Report this
73
Poor KIW. I think it would be worth his while to try to find a therapist who can actually help him. My issues with depression and anxiety are mild compared to his problems, but I know the first and even second and third therapists I saw I didn't click with for one reason or another. Finding one who can really help you takes time and patience. I also believe that all people, no matter what paraphilia they may be affected by, deserve sexual fulfillment. It's such a huge instinct and a part of life that I find it cruel to say his only option is to repress his desires. A lot of prostitutes--sex therapists--cater to these kinds of needs. Once again, finding one you like can take a lot of time and patience, but is ultimately worth it. Find one with a flat chest and child-like features who is over 18. As an aunt and a caretaker of several small children, I can definitely, definitely sympathize with friends of his who have children. There are few things I feel more passionately about than the protection of children, and I know that instinct is only stronger in people with children of their own. So I don't think they're bad people for not wanting him around their kids, just protective parents. However I also think he could find a lot of comfort and acceptance in other friends or family members--those WITHOUT young children--who would react in much the same way that I, and a lot of other commenters here, have been reacting: with sympathy and understanding. Even having one loved one who knows you for who you truly are and stands by you anyway can be so cathartic.
Posted by It's okay, KIW on February 3, 2010 at 6:38 PM · Report this
74
Oddly, KIW's dilemma made me think of a criminal case in Arizona and Oklahoma a couple years back, where a boyish-looking ex-convict in his late 20's shaved off his body hair and successfully posed as a 12-year old boy for quite some time - he lived with and deceived two older pedophiles who believed that they had struck gold by finding an adolescent with no family who liked sex with older men. Apparently they were quite upset to discover that their "boy" was actually almost 30 years old ...

http://www.kpho.com/news/19468381/detail…

So perhaps the idea of KIW finding someone of legal age but youthful-looking and willing is not totally impossible? (I'd recommend against convicted felons, though.)
Posted by Sancho on February 3, 2010 at 7:27 PM · Report this
75
Oddly, this makes me think of a criminal case in Arizona and Oklahoma a couple years back, where an ex-convict in his late 20's shaved off his body hair and successfully posed as a 12-year old for quite some time - he lived with two older pedophiles who believed that they had struck gold by finding a adolescent who liked sex with older men. Apparently they were quite upset to discover that their "boy" was actually almost 30 years old ...

http://www.kpho.com/news/19468381/detail…

So perhaps the idea of KIW finding someone youthful-looking and willing is not totally impossible? (I'd recommend against convicted felons, though.)
Posted by Sancho on February 3, 2010 at 7:29 PM · Report this
76
Oddly, KIW's dilemma made me think of a criminal case in Arizona and Oklahoma a couple years back, where an ex-convict in his late 20's shaved off his body hair and successfully posed as a 12-year old for quite some time - he lived with two older pedophiles who believed that they had struck gold by finding a adolescent who liked sex with older men. Apparently they were quite upset to discover that their "boy" was actually almost 30 years old and had been playing them from Minute One ...

http://www.kpho.com/news/19468381/detail…

So perhaps the idea of KIW finding someone youthful-looking and willing is not totally impossible? (I'd recommend against convicted felons, though.)
Posted by Sancho on February 3, 2010 at 7:33 PM · Report this
77
Oddly, KIW's dilemma made me think of a criminal case in Arizona and Oklahoma a couple years back, where an ex-convict in his late 20's shaved off his body hair and successfully posed as a 12-year old for quite some time - he lived with two older pedophiles who believed that they had struck gold by finding a adolescent who liked sex with older men. Apparently they were quite upset to discover that their "boy" was actually almost 30 years old and had been playing them from Minute One ...

http://www.kpho.com/news/19468381/detail…

So perhaps the idea of KIW finding someone youthful-looking and willing is not totally impossible? (I'd recommend against convicted felons, though.)
Posted by Sancho on February 3, 2010 at 7:36 PM · Report this
78
Oops, sorry for the multiple posts! The browser kept freezing, so I kept trying to get the post to go through. Sorry again.
Posted by Sancho on February 3, 2010 at 7:44 PM · Report this
79
I don't wish to conflate the subject matter of the two letters to too great a degree, but I wonder how many of those in KIW's unfortunate circumstances themselves went to seminary and became priests--hoping to avoid expression of their sexual urges. We know how that turned out--the Roman Catholic Church has paid out billions of dollars in personal injury awards or settlements because it was unable or unwilling to keep its employees out of its children.

It is galling to think that an organization that has acquiesced in child sexual abuse seeks, not only to manage its parishoners' sex lives regarding reproduction (or avoidance of reproduction), but to influence governmental officials to regulate adult citizens' right to engage privately in sexual conduct, for no good reason other than that The Man In The Pointy Hat says so.

This column popularized the use of "Santorum" as a pejorative. Perhaps the Roman Catholic Church should be tarred with the acronym "RoCaMBLA"--the Roman Catholic Man-Boy Licentiousness Association. (Don't call it love.)
Posted by not guilty on February 3, 2010 at 8:12 PM · Report this
80
KIW: maybe before chemical castration try a good dose of an antidepressant like prozac or paxil. They have tons of sexual side effects for many (maybe even most) people like significantly reduced libido, erectile dysfunction and inability to orgasm. And it doesn't put you at any risk of outing yourself (and possibly getting reported) when you speak to your doctor. All you have to say is that you feel quite depressed or anxious.
Posted by family doc on February 3, 2010 at 8:21 PM · Report this
81
I don't wish to conflate the subject matter of the two letters to too great a degree, but I wonder how many of those in KIW's unfortunate circumstances themselves went to seminary and became priests--hoping to avoid expression of their sexual urges. We know how that turned out--the Roman Catholic Church has paid out billions of dollars in personal injury awards or settlements because it was unable or unwilling to keep its employees out of its children.

It is galling to think that an organization that has acquiesced in child sexual abuse seeks, not only to manage its parishoners' sex lives regarding reproduction (or avoidance of reproduction), but to influence governmental officials to regulate adult citizens' right to engage privately in sexual conduct, for no good reason other than that The Man In The Pointy Hat says so.

This column popularized the use of "Santorum" as a pejorative. Perhaps the Roman Catholic Church should be tarred with the acronym "RoCaMBLA"--the Roman Catholic Man-Boy Licentiousness Association. (Don't call it love.)
Posted by not guilty on February 3, 2010 at 8:26 PM · Report this
82
To Mattise @ 70:
Not sure where your information comes from, and in any case you may be dealing only with pedophiles who were caught and about to spend time, lots of time, in jail. Considering the double, often shameful and in-denial lives they have lived, it is not surprising that they will lie in order to get sympathy and maybe a reduced sentence.

I heard quite a few people with pedophiliac tendencies tell their stories, and many of them reported traumatic events in their lives that may have shaped some of their sexual preferences. Another thing to remember is that a trauma is in the eye of the traumatized. Those who inflict it may see things differently, maybe even deny it altogether for the reasons mentioned above.

Pup Don @ 72:
I somewhat agree with you. Despite being a cross dresser and into lingerie I noticed that in recent years Victoria's Secret catalogues look more and more like a "legit" child pornography. Despite assuming that this is done mainly because most of their clients are teenage girls and young women, I felt uncomfortable about all this and asked to be removed from their mailing list.
Posted by fif on February 3, 2010 at 8:44 PM · Report this
Vampireseal 83
Given the prevalence of lolicon and shoutacon (stories involving young girls and boys respectively) in manga [Japanese comics], I've long suspected that pedophilic desires are more common in people than the rest of society is aware of or cares to know. Likely, other cultures are just more upfront about it. The question is, how many pedophiles never act on their urges, and how many do?

Even if they don't, just mentioning their desires to friends and family is enough to make them an outcast, and deny them any help, if they can actually be cured in the first place.
While all forms of real-life child pornography should be banned forever, perhaps letting people feel free to read or view simulated child porn, without stigma, should be encouraged.

After all, most of us have had dark (sexual and/or violent) at some time or another. We watch horror movies with gore and rape, and are not expected to enact what we watch. Largely, we don't. It may be that for most people, watching violence is cathartic. Maybe we should stop automatically assuming that anyone that wants to view or read stories of illegal acts, wants to do so in real life, and that for some, it can be the only release they have.

Posted by Vampireseal on February 3, 2010 at 8:49 PM · Report this
Vampireseal 84
Given the prevalence of lolicon and shoutacon (stories involving young girls and boys respectively) in manga [Japanese comics], I've long suspected that pedophilic desires are more common in people than the rest of society is aware of or cares to know. Likely, other cultures are just more upfront about it. The question is, how many pedophiles never act on their urges, and how many do?

Even if they don't, just mentioning their desires to friends and family is enough to make them an outcast, and deny them any help, if they can actually be cured in the first place.
While all forms of real-life child pornography should be banned forever, perhaps letting people feel free to read or view simulated child porn, without stigma, should be encouraged.

After all, most of us have had dark (sexual and/or violent) at some time or another. We watch horror movies with gore and rape, and are not expected to enact what we watch. Largely, we don't. It may be that for most people, watching violence is cathartic. Maybe we should stop automatically assuming that anyone that wants to view or read stories of illegal acts, wants to do so in real life, and that for some, it can be the only release they have.

Posted by Vampireseal on February 3, 2010 at 8:50 PM · Report this
85
>I believe pedophilia is a sexual orientation too.

I don't agree. There are clear biological, evolutionary reasons why someone would find an adult human attractive. Sometimes a person happens to have the opposite attraction switched on - hence a gay man finds another man attractive, or a lesbian fancies female humans. Just as with transgenderism, the opposite gender brain is stuck in the "wrong" body.

But whatever brain mis-wiring causes paedophilia, I do not think we should be putting it up on a level with heterosexuality and homosexuality. There is no biological reason to find a pre-pubescent human attractive, particularly a small child.

Finding *young* adults attractive - eg 13/14/15 year olds who are post-pubescent - I wouldn't class this as paedophilia. It's just no longer culturally acceptable in most advanced societies, because we now recognise that it is generally emotionally and often physically damaging for a much younger person to be involved with an older adult, regardless of the younger person's ability to bear children.

What I find interesting with paedophilia is the sense of compulsion. Take a heterosexual man who hasn't managed to score with a woman for some time. Does he feel compelled to touch women against their will? And how many heterosexual men (and women) are there who have reasonably average-to-low libidos and manage quite fine without sex, and don't even feel the need to masturbate? There are plenty of people in that category. They probably don't read Dan's column, but they do exist, and you read about them in other places.

Just seems from what I've read that paedophilia is accompanied by a higher-than-average sexual urge and sense of compulsion.
Posted by anon000 on February 3, 2010 at 9:06 PM · Report this
86
I'm a fan of erotic art with guro or monster rape subject matter. Obviously I can't have sex involving demons or mutilation in real life (nor do I want to). I've always just seen it as harmless fantasy and nothing more, kind of like vanilla folks lusting after a celebrity they'll never meet.

The idea of kiddie porn is revolting to me, but I think it's reasonable to let pedo folks relieve their frustrations (with drawn, CG, etc. stuff that involved no actual children in the making). As long as it stays in the realm of fantasy, I think people should have the right to fap to whatever gets them off. Even if it's something horrifying to a lot of people, such as gore, pedophilia, bestiality, or Ann Coulter. Otherwise, we're headed towards thought crime.

If KIW has any sexual interests that could be done with consenting adults, I would encourage that. Babysitting is probably a bad idea, but that really depends on how KIW feels towards the kids in question. He definitely shouldn't be a sitter if he finds any of them attractive, to be safe. The analogy of leaving him alone with adult women doesn't quite work, because adults have a better sense of boundaries than children and are much more able and likely to stop you if you go too far.
Posted by anonymous perv on February 3, 2010 at 9:08 PM · Report this
87
@Vampire seal

What you're sort of sliding over in referencing Japanese culture is that in terms of human sexuality, the culture has some MAJOR issues that cause a lot of problems. And while all of us have dark desires, some sexual and some pedestrian, societies that indulge in certain behaviors do NOT last. Child abuse/use of children as sexual objects is one of those behaviors. The example I'm pointing to is the Roman Empire. Along with its decadence and excess, it also indulged far too heavily in its dark desires, and came crashing down as a result.*

Frankly, as an anthropologist specializing in Japan, there aren't a lot of encouraging signs that Japan is dealing with issues like pedophila in a healthy or open way.

*Fanatic Christians would have you believe homosexuality somehow contributed to the fall of Rome, but they're dead wrong. Homosexuality was not only commonplace but relatively accepted among early Christians (John Boswell, "Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century) and wasn't even fingered as a scapegoat issue for the empire's collapse until bigotry against gays was already firmly entrenched in Europe.
Posted by Martychan on February 3, 2010 at 9:13 PM · Report this
88
Dan, I really appreciated your humane and sensible response to KIW. This isn't a subject we hear much about, since we tend to only hear about pedophiles when they've done something wrong, and thus assume that they're all horrible, unspeakable people. But we have little to no control over whom we're attracted to.

Just wanted to add: This man could consider looking at porn that's in the form of fictional stories, rather than photos or videos. Making this kind of porn doesn't involve any real kids, and as far as I know it's never illegal to look at a written text, no matter how perverse its content. It's hard to go through life with no sexual outlet of any kind, so this was the thought that struck me on reading his letter.
Posted by Gudrun Brangwen on February 3, 2010 at 9:13 PM · Report this
89
@Vampire seal

What you're sort of sliding over in referencing Japanese culture is that in terms of human sexuality, the culture has some MAJOR issues that cause a lot of problems. And while all of us have dark desires, some sexual and some pedestrian, societies that indulge in certain behaviors do NOT last. Child abuse/use of children as sexual objects is one of those behaviors. The example I'm pointing to is the Roman Empire. Along with its decadence and excess, it also indulged far too heavily in its dark desires, and came crashing down as a result.*

Frankly, as an anthropologist specializing in Japan, there aren't a lot of encouraging signs that Japan is dealing with issues like pedophila in a healthy or open way.

*Fanatic Christians would have you believe homosexuality somehow contributed to the fall of Rome, but they're dead wrong. Homosexuality was not only commonplace but relatively accepted among early Christians (John Boswell, "Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century) and wasn't even fingered as a scapegoat issue for the empire's collapse until bigotry against gays was already firmly entrenched in Europe.
Posted by Martychan on February 3, 2010 at 9:14 PM · Report this
90
@83/84- Some consumers of loli/shota manga place themselves into the story as the kid (men with fantasies of being a schoolboy and having sex with a teacher, for example.) Kind of like people who visualize rape fantasies from the victim's side.

It's hard to judge what exactly gets a person off based on their porn collection sometimes.
Posted by anonymous perv on February 3, 2010 at 9:38 PM · Report this
attitude devant 91
Coraggio! Uriel, 14, here and elsewhere. We are all more alike than different.

You have a finely tuned moral sense, and the will to match it. My hope is that you find an ethical and safe place to be authentic. Take care!
Posted by attitude devant on February 3, 2010 at 9:54 PM · Report this
92
When I was 7, maybe 8 yr old boy, a 16 yr old male relative stayed with my family for a few weeks, sleeping in the same bed as me. Progressively, night by night we engaged in sexual acts (starting with massages then moving to blowjobs and front on front fucking of some kind). I was a pretty willing participant, I guess (never initiated but didn't resist). I don't think it fucked me up too much. I did confront him when I saw him at my mother's funeral several years ago though (30 years after the fact). Does this qualify as sexual abuse? I was willing, but I mean I was only 7, but he was only 16 too?

Not that it's relevant, but after some confusion in my early 20s, I veered towards a hetero orientation.
Posted by bagel on February 3, 2010 at 9:58 PM · Report this
93
@ #72 (and #39) Is KIW gay? If so, PupDon may have an answer for him. Would his needs be met by a Daddy/Boy fantasy relationship, with or without BDSM? That would certainly be better than a celibate life filled with dangerous temptations and dubious pharmacological experiments. (He would still have to avoid children and pretend--like Auntie Larrie's sister--not to like them, and he would have to take responsibility for the welfare of his submissive partner. Could he do those things for the sake of inner peace?)
Posted by Holdwine on February 3, 2010 at 10:08 PM · Report this
94
Criminal pedophiles' brains are significantly different from other criminals' brains. I don't know if this would apply to non-criminal pedophiles, or if the different wiring could be due to abuse as children.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/200…
Posted by SpookyCats on February 3, 2010 at 10:32 PM · Report this
95
The internet is filled with 18-year-old-girls porn. Why 18? Why not 20, 22, or 25? Because obviously there is demand for the "barely legal". This is not pedophilia per se, but there's clearly some obsession with age going on.
KIW, presumably, lives in the US. Whatever his deal is, there's got to be a support group (or two) for people in precisely his situation who can help. He just needs to find it.
Posted by puddles on February 3, 2010 at 11:00 PM · Report this
96
It is so nice and refreshing to see a few people who can think for themselves a bit, and don't see 'pedophile' and immediately think 'monster.' It really is a huge step up from the typical treatment we are given in the media, but I very strongly disagree with Mr. Savage's call for "treatment." We aren't sick, we aren't diseased, we don't need to be changed into "normal" people (just as gays did not need to be turned into straight men and women). Yes, I am a pedophile (and to the reader of this post: so is someone you know and care about, maybe even your own son or daughter). I've known this since I was about 11 (and found myself drawn to much younger girls while all my peers were interested in each other), but it took years for me to accept myself. Self-hatred and denial prevailed for a long time - all I ever heard was that the only people who felt this way were monsters destined to hurt kids. That wasn't me and never will be. I cannot even fathom what would make a person want to harm a child. The very thought is just utterly revolting.

I'll respond to #85 specifically. Hopefully this will be enlightening to some of those reading this.

"But whatever brain mis-wiring causes paedophilia, I do not think we should be putting it up on a level with heterosexuality and homosexuality. There is no biological reason to find a pre-pubescent human attractive, particularly a small child."

A reason has not been found because a reason is not sought by mainstream academia. But here are a few facts: between 0.5-7% of the population are pedophiles (meaning preferential attraction to prepubescent children, encompassing emotional, spiritual, social, and sexual aspects); honest studies of pedophiles shows no significant difference from the 'normal' population save for a higher level of introversion - that is, pedophilia simply does not meet the criteria for a mental illness; many 'normal' people have some degree of attraction to prepubescent children; it is NOT just sexual attraction, I, like many pedophiles, feel a very strong emotional and social attachment to kids and can and do fall in love with kids; most pedophiles are not exclusive, that is they also feel some attraction towards adults; most pedophiles like myself never break the law; and finally, a large majority child molesters are not actually pedophiles - the biggest group of people by far that are abusing kids (something I could NEVER do) in every way are crappy parents. Why is it that they seem to never get mentioned? Please see www.b4uact.org - an organization looking to end the stigmatization and hatred that pedophiles like myself face our entire lives. I should also mention that most pedophile end up hating themselves and are in denial for their entire lives because of what society claims they are (an evil monster... this isn't true!). How is this a good thing?

"Finding *young* adults attractive - eg 13/14/15 year olds who are post-pubescent - I wouldn't class this as paedophilia."

And you would be right to make the distinction. Preferential attraction to such young adults is called hebephilia.

"It's just no longer culturally acceptable in most advanced societies, because we now recognise that it is generally emotionally and often physically damaging for a much younger person to be involved with an older adult, regardless of the younger person's ability to bear children."

There is a substantial risk of physical harm with prepubescent kids engaging in penetrative sex acts with adults. This is the one argument that holds water, because the sexual organs are not yet fully developed and therefore cannot be expected to handle penetrative sex with an adult safely. The sexual desires of most pedophiles do not ever include such acts, however. I certainly never could think of doing something like that with a child (if a sexual relationship were possible, which it won't be in my lifetime), first because I simply don't desire to do penetrative sex at all, and secondly becuase the risk of physical harm is just too great. I don't know if I can explain it too well to non-pedophiles, but the sexual desires I have with little girls are more "childish" in nature. Basically what I desire is similar to what the typical kid desires, which is quite different than what "normal" adults desire.

I would argue that emotional harm comes from societal reaction to a consensual (I would NEVER support or condone any non-consensual relationship, period) sexual relationship between an adult and child (and this negative reaction isn't going to change in any of our lifetimes). There is no reason that emotional harm would result from a consensual relationship without negative societal reactions to it. This plus the relationship being illegal in the first place is why I, like most pedophiles, choose celibacy. It is simply unbearable to think that a little girl I loved could be hurt because of what society would think. So it is best to completely avoid that situation entirely.

"What I find interesting with paedophilia is the sense of compulsion. Take a heterosexual man who hasn't managed to score with a woman for some time. Does he feel compelled to touch women against their will?"

I would NEVER do anything against a child's will. Neither would most pedophiles. I don't and never will support anything that forces a child to do something against their will (within reason for very young children, where I think parents do have an obligation to ensure that kids have good hygiene and similar things). It is far better for the kids themselves to be empowered to make independent and good decisions for themselves (within reason for very young children).

Finally, let me stress that pedophilia is NOT just sexual desire for kids, like is often incorrectly claimed. It is a general attraction towards them, and it includes emotional and social attraction towards children. Sexual activity isn't possible, and won't be in my lifetime. That's OK. But friendships are possible, and I just cannot describe the joy of making a little girl laugh, or seeing her so excited to share something that she has just learned with me, or other things like this.
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Posted by A pedophile on February 3, 2010 at 11:41 PM · Report this
97
Dan's response to KIW is indeed nice. But I would have instantly thought something very similar. Isn't it just obvious that KIW shouldn't be treated with disdain? He's never done anything wrong that he can help. It's that simple.

As for the baby-sitting, why torture yourself and feed desires that you know you shouldn't act on? If it were me, I'd imagine that being like a heroine addict wanting someone to wave a needle in front of their face for an hour a day. Okay, well maybe not heroine. How about... a fat guy and a tub of Ben and Jerry's?
Posted by Jamez on February 4, 2010 at 12:13 AM · Report this
98
I don't know if anyone has suggested this yet, but I would think if this guy wants some kind of psychological/psychiatric treatment in a safe environment, then the best thing he could do is get himself a lawyer. By that, I mean he should find a lawyer who has a record of defending sex offenders. He should make an appointment to discuss his legal rights and the obligations of a therapist/psychiatrist/psychologist in his particular state. Then he should ask for a list of such folks that the defense lawyer can recommend as being trustworthy individuals who will not "out" him to the authorities or anyone else.

I don't know if I accept that "pedophile" is a sexual identity like gay or straight. The thing that all straight and LGBT relationships hold the potential for is a mutually supportive partnership (or consortium, if you're into poly) that features some sort of intellectual connection or common goals, in addition to sexual attraction. A pedophile, if theoretically allowed to have the relationship they envision, is never going to have that - the other half of the relationship is not in any way an intellectual equal or someone who can clearly articulate their desires. Kids just aren't fully realized individuals yet - they're dependents. The "relationship" is in and of itself unsustainable. Eventually that child is going to grow up and another child is going to have to take their place. To me, pedophilia is more a kink or a fetish than a bona fide sexual identity. It's about the sexual gratification of just one of the participants, because children are not generally excited about having painful sex with a hairy, smelly adult. Kinks and fetishes are NOT hardwired, in my opinion. They should be accommodated as much as possible, because fulfilling them brings pleasure to those who have them and consenting adults should be able to have the sexual satisfaction they want.
But kinks and fetishes are learned behaviors for the most part that can be relearned in my opinion. (I can trace the origins of my own fetishes right back to specific childhood experiences and personality quirks.)

As an aside, I think this is where the "Christian Right" gets confused, classifying homosexuality as a "kink" rather than a hardwired orientation. And I think those "reformed" gays they trot out are generally confused individuals who are either violently suppressing their sexual orientation or were confused by their fetish-related desires (look how many straight guys have written to Savage asking if their love of ass-play with their girlfriends meant they were gay).

But since I view pedophilia as a kink, I strongly believe the desire driving it could be redirected. I think this guy should get himself a good psychiatrist and explore all his options. Personally, I think he should fling himself into the whole fetish/kink scene and explore other options that he might find just as fulfilling - but he should probably do so under the guidance of a therapist. I also think he should really explore why he is so attracted to individuals who could never interact with him as an equal and a partner and how his relationships are with the other adults in his life.

I don't know if this is all quite as tragic as it's being made out to be, though I have immense respect for KIW. Look, rape fantasists never get to fully realize their fantasies if they play by the rules of society - they are always screwing a person who is playing a role. There's a crapload of folks out there who are into those child-parent fantasies and whatnot, so this guy could explore that (but I think he should be approaching this with the guidance of a trusted therapist of some sort). There are legally and morally acceptable options. He just needs a safe way to explore that.
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Posted by JrzWrld on February 4, 2010 at 1:45 AM · Report this
99 Comment Pulled (Duplicate) Comment Policy
100
Yikes! Profuse apologies for the long-winded double post!
Posted by JrzWrld on February 4, 2010 at 1:52 AM · Report this
101
@ 92.
By most definitions, yes, that would be considered sexual abuse. Children that young are neither emotionally nor sexually mature enough to give consent to such an act. You were taken advantage of by someone much older, regardless of whether or not that male relative was also a minor. (In most states, he would have been over the AoC.)

To KIW and to Uriel-238, I am touched by your openness and your strength. I can only imagine the damage to the psyche one would sustain feeling sexually attracted to children, considering its current legal implications. In Greece and in Rome, it was quite common for men to have boys as sexual companions, as they were prized for their beauty, and treasured for their "inability" to produce offspring-- it was quite in vogue. Still, this is little consolation. I hope that someday you are both able to find a healthy, legal outlet for your desires. All the best.
Posted by Peace in all things on February 4, 2010 at 2:09 AM · Report this
Uriel-238 102
Again, thank you, Kim. Yes, well-wishes are much appreciated. Part of my heightened SLOG presence today has been due to being sick in bed. It's behaving like a common head-cold, but my fever only broke about an hour ago.

Regarding my situation, fortunately the community I'm in is rather open to alternative sexualities, (and is very outing-protocol savvy). So long as no-one is getting hurt (without consent), the common sentiment seems to be that kink is kink. Damage control so far has gone well. So long as my outing doesn't leak into the workplace or to authorities, I'll escape with a handful of awkward talks over tea.
Posted by Uriel-238 on February 4, 2010 at 3:11 AM · Report this
Uriel-238 103
It's a pretty harsh prescription (as per @62) to say that KIW can never find a relationship based on honesty. Fortunately it's not true. There are plenty of adult women who are interested in daddy / daughter play, including adult teens and early twenties that are looking for someone over twice their age. And this presumes that KIW would need to go to such lengths; the sex role-play community often gets by with some modest creative costumery, a few props and a little para-theatrical preparation (if that).

Also, regarding the potentiality of pregnancy and progeny, there's contraception and even then there's Westermarck imprinting, which is really difficult to override.

Regarding physicality of children as noted by 123 and echizen_kurage, the buzz that we (id est, all of us) get from having kids climb all over us, is part of that parental drive that is felt by all mammals (even regarding the young of different species, which is why kittens and puppies are so adorable). To the contrary, anon000 some incidents of pedophilia are a merely a sexual association to these feelings, since our brains love to cross wires and make associations by pattern.

One of the tools of treatment of pedophilia is recognition that sex energy and kid energy are distinct and developed awareness that the latter is not the former, or an invitation to sexual contact. But in contrast to advisement, inactive and late-stage-recovery pedophiles can and do learn to interact appropriately with kids, even in the face of seduction by a sexualized minor. Consider that humans generally do not like to hurt those around us, especially children, and especially those for whom we have regard. Inactive pedophiles who know that prematurely sexualizing (or in the case of our dysfunctional minor, reinforcing their sexualization) is damaging often find that prospect a serious buzzkill that extinguishes ideation.

renegadebison has it right that homo sapiens as a species are intrinsically social creatures, and hence have natural moral checks on our impulses. This is demonstrated well in high-density vehicle traffic, where even reciprocal altruism fails to be a rational justification for cooperative behavior, yet we still develop social protocols by which we regard one, another. Those who suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder (aka Sociopathy) are the exceptions, not the rule.

Really, presuming a pedophile is doomed to prey on children is like presuming that a gun enthusiast is doomed to go on a shooting spree, but the frequency and eagerness that some on this thread have shown to make this assumption is disheartening.

Regarding finding good psychological counseling, the different experiences people have had with stigmatic or extreme cases can be wildly variant. The San Francisco Department of Mental Health has a robust prevention program for extreme cases (colloquially known as the Axe Murderers and Child Molesters sector) and is not only professional about preserving confidentiality regarding one's personal records, but also has staff experienced with dealing with patients (for now called consumers) who are worse and crazier than you are. So if you're in this area, you're in luck. I definitely would be cautious, however, outing yourself prematurely to a small town shrink whose usual clients are neglected housewives.

Oh, and to dispel the media scare...
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Posted by Uriel-238 on February 4, 2010 at 3:26 AM · Report this
104
I am really heartened by the mostly sympathetic responses here. I think the comparison that ought to be drawn is not to homosexuality but to people with rape fantasies, who are obligated in a similar way to find safe and legal outlets for their desires. I think the best way to deal with being a potential pedophile (speaking from experience, here) is to do what I've heard Dan suggest in other forums - unpack the fetish, find the element of it that turns your crank, and shift your attention to other fetishes which involve the same element. There are ways to act out the power imbalance, the loss of innocence, the violence, or even the attraction to underdeveloped physiques ("act" being the key word) that don't involve children. Kinda like methadone, maybe?

One thing I do know is that hashing all of that out is a lot easier if you can be open about it. So a society where "kill it with fire" isn't the first response to someone admitting to a sexual interest in children would, I think, rebound to the better for all of us..



Posted by anonyminity is still prudent on February 4, 2010 at 3:57 AM · Report this
105
I wish I had gotten here yesterday. As it is I don't really feel like reading a hundred comments. Anyway I thought I should add my two cents, being a "theoretical" pedophile myself.

He asks what should he do. The first thing I would suggest is to tell someone who he is close to, who he is pretty sure won't react badly. I did this and though it was the scariest thing I ever did, it was probably the most rewarding as well, because having such a big secret was eating me up inside. Also it's better to tell people yourself than to have them find out. I did something stupid (not molesting or anything) that blew my cover, so to speak, and lost a lot of friends. Even though none of them actually believed that I had ever done anything with a child. (Though unlike KIW I wasn't in the habit of babysitting.) But the person who I had come out to has remained friends with me.

I don't think he should get chemically castrated just because Dan says it's the best option. If he really wants to do so then fine. But, it's actually REALLY EASY to not molest/abuse children. And it gets even easier the older you get. Not that I ever was in any danger of abusing a kid. But when I was 20 I would at least look at attractive children in public places, and now at 30, I don't anymore.

As for babysitting I think he should probably keep doing it. If like Dan says it eventually comes out that he is a pedophile, the worst that can happen is you maybe get beat up by the parents. But if you never actually did anything, you can't really get into legal trouble. And you would probably lose those people as friends regardless of whether or not you stopped babysitting their kids. However it's a pretty tough call. I guess I would say if babysitting is like one of the few times you actually feel happiness then keep doing it. But if not then you might want to follow Dan's advice and stop. Okay I'm going to read the comments now.
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Posted by Also knows it's wrong on February 4, 2010 at 4:40 AM · Report this
Masturbandit 106
Move to one of the tribes in the South Pacific that still practices man-boy training. Rather than stigmatize such urges, their societies promote such pairings as a necessary part of life's training.
Posted by Masturbandit on February 4, 2010 at 4:47 AM · Report this
107
Ugh. I don't like the last paragraph of my comment. Basically what I mean to say is (speaking to KIW), if babysitting means a lot to you, and you know you will never abuse your power (and yes it IS possible to know that) then don't stop. Dr. Cantor's advice is good for the general population, but you know you won't hurt those kids. Some potential babysitters might not be so sure, and they are the ones who Dr. Cantor's advice is really for.
Posted by Also knows it's wrong on February 4, 2010 at 6:05 AM · Report this
108
KIW,

Savage, as glib as he is, has pointed out that our society can only talk of pedophilia and pedophiles if it uses references to castration and death. For a clear thinker, one who is not blinded by prejudices, it is not hard to see that pedophiles (literally: "one who loves children") are so vilified these days that the only comparison with which to understand their suffering is to compare their plight to that of the Jews in Nazi Germany.

Indeed, when Savage says "... science doesn't know much about pedophiles like you", what he is basically saying is that he is morally lazy and lacks the depths of emotion to understand that pedophiles are just as human as he is. Were people like this a little more insightful, they would know science (especially the kind of "science" they assume is needed to understand sexuality) is a tool that is wielded with social power and politics in mind, just as the Nazis used "science" to justify many of their horrendous acts.

KIW, if you remove the socially constructed taboo against pedophiles and child sexuality (for the two are intimately linked), you will find that the basic "science," religion, laws, and political correctness condemning pedophiles (and children) are fundamentally flawed and morally bankrupt. So flawed, in fact, that our country is falling victim to the same disease of the mind that afflicted Nazi Germany: the inability of a society to critique itself when it commits crimes against humanity. For example, it is a fact that when a pedophile is outed in America, his or her human rights and constitutional rights are forfeited, and no one bats an eye. How many pedophiles must live under bridges, how many must be unjustly imprisoned, put on unconstitutional registries, have their property seized, or be murdered before people start to take notice?

KIW, know that pedophiles have played an important and honorable role on the historical stage, alongside every other sexual orientation. From democracy to literature, from music to art, many of the most important people have been pedophiles. Today pedophiles are scapegoated and persecuted, but, just as we now view the atrocities of the Nazis, there will come a time when society will look back and condemn itself for its atrocities against pedophiles.
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Posted by 72Rob on February 4, 2010 at 6:42 AM · Report this
109
@96, A pedophile: I don't want to get into 'pearl-clutching' here, because I really appreciate the openness of this discussion, from (almost) all sides. I would like to challenge this, though:
"There is no reason that emotional harm would result from a consensual relationship without negative societal reactions to it."

I think the emotional harm is much more complex and deeply rooted than that. Children are raised collectively in societies. They mature in some relationship to what they are exposed to in their families, their schools, their peer groups and so on. Erotic relationships, no matter how lovingly & benevolently motivated, are as emotionally and physiologically sophisticated and challenging an experience as contemporary society can throw at you. Collectively we just don't raise kids to be ready to deal with that (in our world they have too much other stuff to figure out first) - at least not on an equal footing with those who have a lot more social and emotional power and experience than they do.

I think you're kidding yourself if you believe that, because you mean well by the kids you're attracted to, they couldn't be hurt by you - that only society would do the damage. I've meant well by my (same age, slightly younger, much older...) sexual partners, felt like my love was pure & innocent & all that, and I've sure as shit hurt plenty of them. If that emotional hurt is suffered when the brain is still laying down its base mechanisms for interpreting and negotiating the world and its inhabitants, a whole can of fuckup is very likely opened.

So okay, according to your avowals, this point is hypothetical. I'd rather the full responsibility for your (genuinely commendably responsible) decisions didn't rest with silly old society, though.
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Posted by diner mo on February 4, 2010 at 7:50 AM · Report this
110
As a recovering Catholic who stumbled upon some BDSM info on the internet in college and had an 'awakening', if you will... fairly good summary, Dan, but you forgot the good ol' Catholic Guilt coming into play. My theory is that I'm only freely able to really completely enjoy myself when I'm being completely dominated (physically or mentally) and at that point it isn't my conscious mind enjoying this - it's out of my control and all - but just my body's reaction and I can't help that. Just a theory, but in any case, I found what makes me happy and a GGG partner so it doesn't really matter.
Posted by Catholic Kitsch on February 4, 2010 at 8:03 AM · Report this
111
Dan -- great response but you need to amp up your warning to protect those kids -- based on my experience treating sex offenders.

Better than the canary analogy -- Aesop's fable of The Scorpion and the Frog:
http://www.aesopfables.com/cgi/aesop1.cg…

No babysitting for KIW, no foster parenting, no adoption. Get a vasectomy ASAP, even if you have no adult attraction, just in case.

How do you spell DENIAL? KIW babysitting, and several comments above, like the one who thinks that pedophilia is harmless because it is partly a "socially constructed taboo". Some socially constructed taboos (like against murder) are GOOD.

(1) All the sex offenders I've treated have engaged in similar denial, especially about things like babysitting -- saying it is OK as long as it stays at babysitting. Which it didn't.

(2) The cognitive behavioral treatments that have been researched for sex offenders can reasonably be applied for pedophiles who haven't acted.

Two major components are overcoming denial, and not putting yourself in situations where you even have the possibility of acting on those impulses. See #1 -- no babysitting!!! No having kids!

Also --

(3) Be wise about selecting an MD for chemical suppression of sex drive and a psychotherapist for prevention treatment. We are required in most states to report SUSPECTED child abuse.

If you have never acted out, a doc/therapist may still suspect abuse, and it's child protective services and the police who follow up on the reported suspicion. There are documented cases of innocent people going to jail -- the system usually protects children, but it is not always perfect. Professionals vary in their judgment of suspicion.

Going to a defense attorney who works with offenders is a good but not guaranteed way of finding a referral for a doc & therapist who know how to treat pedophiles AND who might lean on the side of not suspecting you're actually acting on your impulses. This should not stop you from getting help but you should be prudent. Not all therapists who treat pedophiles will trust you, nor should they -- I'd be highly suspicious of a "good" pedophile who insists on babysitting.

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Posted by a psychotherapist on February 4, 2010 at 8:42 AM · Report this
112
@109

Yes, I did keep my discussion on this particular point short, because I didn't want the post to be too long. All this is true, in the society that we have today. It will be true for a long time to come as well. There is a lot that would have to change before such a relationship could exist, and that is why I don't think it is appropriate for such a relationship to exist today. My point is though that this doesn't and shouldn't be the case. I do think that our society could do much better at empowering kids to make their own decisions (within reason, obviously) in all areas of life, and that moreover that this would be more consistent with the ideals of freedom and equality for all. With regards to these hypothetical erotic relationships in particular, I think that they should always be completely out in the open and with the kids understanding that they have every right to refuse to do something they don't want to, and that they always have someone else to discuss their feelings with. I should also mention that I don't think relationships where an adult is in a definite position of power over a child (like a parent) should ever be allowed.

I didn't mean to imply that I am perfect. No one is. People can and do hurt others emotionally. If it is intentional, that is someone uses emotional black mail or manipulation or anything else, then it is clearly a crime and should be punished, often severely. Unintentional harm is harder to predict, and it really isn't restricted to erotic relationships - it can and will occur in any type of relationship someone could be involved in. If we could completely protect kids from emotional harm in all instances without preventing them from being able to have independence, then I would support it wholeheartedly. But I don't think this is possible, so I argue that kids should be empowered to make their own decisions and to have the tools to handle emotional troubles when they do come. To minimize any emotional harm that does occur, I think that kids (and really all people) should have a loving support system where they can be completely honest and open about their feelings without any fear of retribution or angry reactions.
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Posted by A pedophile on February 4, 2010 at 8:45 AM · Report this
113
The theoretical pedophile should consider finding a nice dwarf lady. Get her to shave and pretend. Just make sure not to tell her your secrets otherwise she my kill you in your sleep.
Also consider going to confession at a Catholic Church. Many of the priests understand your urges
Posted by Evil Bastard on February 4, 2010 at 9:39 AM · Report this
114
@13 - Not psychoanalysis, psychotherapy. Psychoanalysis is outdated in theory and practice, and research has shown that people who undergo psychoanalysis are just as likely to get WORSE than better. Psychotherapy does not automatically mean a quick fix - that's cognitive behavioral therapy you're thinking of, which is big right now because insurance companies want therapy to get over with quickly. There are many, many other psychological theories that many psychotherapists employ. Psychoanalysis is going extinct, and for good reason. ESPECIALLY for a person with sexual issues, psychoanalysis is just about the worst thing as it's approach to sexuality is based on Freud's ideas, which have been considered inaccurate since the 1950's (Ladies, do you feel incomplete because you don't have a penis? Gay men, are you only that way because your mother was domineering and your father was absent, causing you to model yourself after a woman rather than a proper man?) But since Freud's like a god to the psychoanalysts, his shit keeps being used when it ought to have been thrown out half a century ago.

Yes, KIW should seek LONG TERM psychotherapy, but not psychoanalysis. He should keep in mind that all therapists are bound by confidentiality laws. Child abuse is one of the few things that a therapist is required by law to report to the authorities, but ONLY IF it's actually, currently happening, or if you say you're actually going to do it. You can go to a therapist and tell them you abused a child 10 years ago, and there's nothing they can legally report because it's over and done. You can go to a therapist and tell them you feel desires for children but have never acted on them, and they have NOTHING to report. If you tell them you are molesting a child, or have decided that you're going to do it, they have to report it.

What this means is that as long as KIW is moral, isn't acting and doesn't want to act, he should be perfectly safe going to a therapist and working with that therapist on ways to cope with his situation. The main concern will be finding a therapist that he feels comfortable disclosing this to, and who is willing to work with him in a nonjudgmental fashion (which all therapists are SUPPOSED to hold to, but which is not necessarily the reality). He would be under no legal danger however, or any danger of being outed to other people in his life (a therapist CANNOT do that except in the above circumstances, and if they did their license would be revoked and it would be the therapist potentially facing jail time, now KIW). The worst that would happen is the shrink would tell him they're not willing to work with him, and give him a referral to someone who is. There are many therapists who are willing to work with sex offenders, so I don't think it would be that hard to find one willing to work with someone who has not yet offended and plans to never do so. I would work with KIW with no judgements.
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Posted by DrReality on February 4, 2010 at 10:00 AM · Report this
115
Seriously? No one else found "natural attraction to breedable adolescents" extraordinarily Warren-Jeffs-like in its creepiness? Breedable???
Posted by suckerforscience on February 4, 2010 at 10:37 AM · Report this
116
KIW, I feel for you. I commend you for your strength in the face of temptation. I am sorry you will have to remain essentially celibate.

I would encourage you not to babysit children or to put yourself in other situations where you have sole authority over children. The sex drive is strong, and many people find that they do things they do not expect in the face of temptation.

One aspect of straight male sexuality that has been studied by psychologists is that we tend to see sexual receptivity in cases where women do not intend to broadcast receptivity. In other words, shown a movie clip of an interaction between a man and a woman, a male viewer is more likely to think that the woman in the clip was interested in the man compared to what a female viewer would think of the same clip. This applies to face to face encounters. When psychologists put a man and a woman together for a short chat, and interview them afterward, the men reported afterward that the women were interested in them in far greater numbers than the women reported actually being interested in the men. Straight men see sexual availability where it does not exist.

Unfortunately, this has bearing on your own situation. Even though you know sex with children is wrong, you are going to be likely to see receptivity where a child does not know he or she is giving that signal. Or perhaps you will get in a situation with an adolescent girl who really is giving out signals that would be wrong to act upon. Some girls give out signals as adolescents as practice or as what they think of as a "safe" kind of play because they can't imagine anyone acting on those signals. These are dangerous signals for you to receive, so it is best you not put yourself in a place where they may be broadcast or in a position where you *think* they are broadcast.

The most important thing to remember is that as a man with testosterone it is likely that you will over interpret innocent signals as sexual signals. Don't put yourself in a position to act upon them.

Stay strong. Remember that people like you are the ones breaking the cycle of abuse. I am very sorry for what happened to you as a child. Thank you for not passing the problem along.
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Posted by Learned Hand on February 4, 2010 at 10:47 AM · Report this
117
As a sidelight to this (pretty remarkable) discussion, the problem with trying to distinguish between "consenting" and "non-consenting" sexual behavior with a child is that it presumes that an 8 yo can consent - as though "yes" from an 8 yo could mean what it means for an adult. Of course, it can't, and that's why we have laws that remove the component of consent as concerns children. And more to the point, speaking as one with professional experience with child sex offenders, the entire point of grooming is to obtain that mythical "consent" (for some, grooming is a way to try to avoid being caught and thus "consent" has nothing to do with respect for the child, but rather, avoidance of discovery; for others, it may be intrinsic to their manifestation of pedophilia, yet just as illusory). Perhaps some offenders rationalize the behavior by obtaining through seduction what another may obtain through force, but the result is the same - a damaged child. It may well be that somewhere, sometime, a child who has been molested turns out just fine, without serious psychological issues ... but I doubt it. That's not what the data shows us.

As for KIW - assuming you're telling the truth, then I wish you the best. Keep it in your head and deal with it as you can. I hope you can manage this without resorting to medical procedures; perhaps therapy and alternative (legal) outlets will work for you. I acknowledge the existence of "good" pedophiles ... that you wouldn't act on what you know is wrong in practice. Keep that your focus and know that there are others out here who do not consider you a monster.
Posted by not this time on February 4, 2010 at 10:59 AM · Report this
118
Dear Pedophile,

Brace yourself, because I'm going to get a wee bit hostile here. First, a few disclaimers: I appreciate your willingness to engage openly in this discussion; I very much appreciate your self-imposed celibacy, and I am aware that it must be a tremendous sacrifice; I am sorry that your sexuality leaves you stigmatized; I am not advocating moral vigilantism or moral panic. Capisce?

But here's the rub. Your argument for the innate harmlessness of sexual relationships between adults and children reads like something straight out of the diary of Humbert-motherfucking-Humbert, and all that self-serving rationalization leaves me a little queasy and a lot enraged (not to mention skeptical of your commitment to celibacy).

>>>Honest studies of pedophiles shows no significant difference from the 'normal' population save for a higher level of introversion - that is, pedophilia simply does not meet the criteria for a mental illness.<<<

And what, pray tell, constitutes an "honest study of pedophiles"? Were I a cynical woman, I might suspect that you gauged honesty not by any methodological criteria, but rather by whether or not a certain study says what you wish to hear. I assume that the "honest study" to which you refer is the 1983 study by Wilson and Cox. But what about more recent studies incorporating phallometric diagnoses -- for instance, "IQ, Handedness, and Pedophilia in Adult Male Patients Stratified by Referral Source" by Blanchard et al?

Granted, it's difficult to gather a representative sample of pedophiles, as most researchers acknowledge up front. Because pedophiles by and large do not admit their pedophilia publicly, criminal offenders are overrepresented (although no one knows quite how overrepresented) in the population studied. But there is a real body of evidence suggesting that on average, pedophiles -- *even pedophiles who are not known sexual offenders* -- differ neurologically and psychologically from the general population.

Obviously, correlation != causation; some of this difference may result from membership in a highly stigmatized group, and not pedophilia per se. Moreover, neurological difference != mental illness; for instance, gay men and lesbians tend to show certain neurological differences from heterosexuals, but this doesn't mean that homosexuality is a mental illness. However, for me at least, many of the specific differences associated with pedophilia -- lower IQ, higher rate of sociopathic tendencies, higher rate of traumatic cerebral injury in childhood, higher rate of cognitive distortion -- raise some red flags.

I am aware that not all studies agree with these findings, and that the issue remains highly contested, but your claim that "honest studies" find pedophiles to be no different from the general population (and the attendant implication that any study that does find a difference is a *dishonest* study) is disingenuous at best.

>>>I don't know if I can explain it too well to non-pedophiles, but the sexual desires I have with little girls are more "childish" in nature. Basically what I desire is similar to what the typical kid desires, which is quite different than what "normal" adults desire.<<<

With all due respect, what the fuck would you know about what "the typical little kid desires"? You only know about what *you* desired when you were a kid, and even those memories have long since been selectively narrativized, interpreted, and generally reshaped to fit your adult identity.

>>>It is simply unbearable to think that a little girl I loved could be hurt because of what society would think. So it is best to completely avoid that situation entirely.<<<

Any little girl that you "loved" would be hurt by WHAT YOU DID TO HER, you stupid fucking dipshit. (And oh, look, there's that rage I mentioned!)

>>>It is far better for the kids themselves to be empowered to make independent and good decisions for themselves (within reason for very young children).<<<

O RLY. So, should we let prepubescent children decide whether or not to attend school? Let them join the army? Let them get full-time jobs? Let them drive? Let them drink, smoke, or do drugs? Let them stay out all night without telling their parents where they'll be? Let them travel alone in foreign countries? Let them enter into binding legal contracts? Should we put them in charge of their own medical and dental care? Should we put them in charge of any stocks or money they happen to have inherited?

It seems to me that the only defensible answer to most or all of these questions is "no." I don't know whether you agree with me on this or not, but then, I bet you don't really give a shit about any of these questions either way, because you're not interested in "empowering" children - you're interested in EXPLOITING them.

>>>I should also mention that I don't think relationships where an adult is in a definite position of power over a child (like a parent) should ever be allowed.<<<

Um, in case you haven't noticed (and you clearly haven't), pretty much any given adult is in a definite position of power over any given child.

In conclusion, your cognitive distortion depresses and disgusts me. I know I've dragged down the tone of this discussion, and I know that you don't necessarily deserve all the vitriol I've directed at you -- but this is how I feel, and I don't think my feelings are totally invalid.
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Posted by not using my account for this on February 4, 2010 at 11:11 AM · Report this
Loveschild 119
Uriel-238 I'm not sure as to what your problem is and I don't want to slander you.

But Kids are not like adults, not physically nor mentally. They cannot make decisions for themselves or consent to relationships on the same level as adults. That's why parents and legal guardians (when biological parents are not there) oversee their lives till they are of appropiate age. So the welfare and security of a child trumps any fear that an adult who can make desicions for himself might have. A responsible society that deems itself as such will always prioritize the safe guard of children.
Posted by Loveschild http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_haiti_earthquake/ on February 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM · Report this
120
@116:
Most pedophiles were never abused. I certainly never was - I was born this way. Nor do genuine abuse victims go on to become abusers. That sentiment is very detrimental to those who are actually abused, for they then are assumed to be the next abuser. Not a good thing at all. Nothing good comes from it.

@111:
A lot of what you assume about pedophiles are myths. Please see www.b4uact.org/facts.htm for an overview of some factual information about pedophilia (supported by relevant studies). This organization is attempting to provide accurate information about pedophilia (and hebephilia) and to end the stigma and hatred that us pedophiles (and hebephiles) face for being who we were born as.

"How do you spell DENIAL? KIW babysitting, and several comments above, like the one who thinks that pedophilia is harmless because it is partly a "socially constructed taboo". Some socially constructed taboos (like against murder) are GOOD."

About the taboo: It has only come up within today's society. Age of consent laws for instance were enacted in part because the older prostitutes (for the record, I personally don't like prostitution) didn't want to compete with the younger ones (although a movement towards a Puritan value system was more influential in this). Go ahead and look this up if you don't believe me. Now, I do not think adult-child relationships should ever happen today (nor will they ever be acceptable in my lifetime), because I think that the results will generally always be negative for a variety of reasons - but this is not because pleasure or love is inherently wrong.

"(1) All the sex offenders I've treated have engaged in similar denial, especially about things like babysitting -- saying it is OK as long as it stays at babysitting. Which it didn't."

And most child sex offenders aren't even pedophiles, but crappy parents who abuse their kids due to stress. There are no excuses when someone actually hurts a child, and intends to do so. But my point is that a consensual erotic relationship in a better society (which won't be seen for a long time) would generally not be harmful. You'll dismiss it out of hand because it doesn't agree with what you want to be true, but please see the Rind study. It was Congressionally condemned because there were no sound mathematical reasons to reject Rind's conclusion that sexual activity viewed as consensual by a child was not inherently harmful.

And sorry to disappoint you, but I know well enough to refuse sexplay if a little girl I knew ever tried to initiate it (and certainly never think of bringing up sex myself), as do most pedophiles. I would not want harm to come to her, as it would inevitably happen in this society. I would never do anything if I knew that the action itself could be inherently harmful (which has not actually been shown to be the case with sexual activity with kids outside of penetrative sex acts which I don't even like the thought of anyways).

"(2) The cognitive behavioral treatments that have been researched for sex offenders can reasonably be applied for pedophiles who haven't acted."

Your presuming an intention to harm a child, which just isn't there, ever. I could never harm a child in any way, and if I know that something I might do could end up indirectly hurting a child, I would never do it. And that says nothing about actually intending to hurt a child. Most pedophiles could never dream of such a thing as horrid as deliberately hurting a child. I cannot think of something more revolting.

You think I'm nothing more than a monster that wants to hurt kids and will inevitably do so. You are wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pedophilia is nothing about power or anything of the sort. That's silly. I fundamentally see kids as equal human beings who deserve the same respect and consideration anyone else would get. I am attracted to little girls on every level, and really do want to make a positive difference in the lives of the girls I might come to know. I do not see consensual sexplay as inherently wrong, but won't EVER engage in it because it would end up hurting her when others found out, or even if no one found out, being told that such experiences are always bad no matter what undoubtedly would be harmful for her when she gets older. So sexual celibacy will be my path in life. It has to be. That doesn't mean I need to remove myself from ever being friends with a child, or being a parent (which due to the power a parent legitimately has over their child, should not become sexual in any society), or any other nonsexual relationship with a child. By definition, such relationships are nonsexual to begin with. I don't get into them expecting or wanting sexplay.
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Posted by A pedophile on February 4, 2010 at 12:17 PM · Report this
121
@62 I disagree that anyone he told would run away. He would owe it to whomever he was with to be honest - what if they decided to have children? That would be a decision meriting much more consideration than I think it might otherwise. And while there are a great many people who *would* run, there are certainly a number of others - from people who had fantasies about older men when they were young, to those who simply like age-play - who would not.

I do think ageplay is a safe way to deal with this and one that ought to be considered; I know a number of folks in my local BDSM community who participate, and some of em might well be pedophiles. I don't know, and I don't care - in that context, it's just another kink.

But that would be for KIW to determine whether he felt it would be reckless or helpful - not us.
Posted by dated one on February 4, 2010 at 12:58 PM · Report this
122
@118:
"And what, pray tell, constitutes an "honest study of pedophiles"?"

By that I mean those which are statistically sound, not based on criminal or medical populations. Such studies are rarer, but they do exist. Please see www.b4uact.org/facts.htm for references to some of them.

The studies you mentioned look at criminal populations. Would you judge all heterosexual men on the actions of heterosexual rapists? No, so why is it OK to judge all pedophiles on the actions of child rapists (many of whom aren't even pedophiles, which is shown by several studies as well)? Finally, the results of those particular studies parallel results of other criminals being compared to the non-criminal population.

"With all due respect, what the fuck would you know about what "the typical little kid desires"? You only know about what *you* desired when you were a kid, and even those memories have long since been selectively narrativized, interpreted, and generally reshaped to fit your adult identity."

Like I said, I would have a difficult time trying to explain it well. I know that not all kids would desire sexual activity with an adult (and I did not when I was younger), though some will. But what I mean is that what I desire isn't that far off from what a kid might desire to do, if sexual activity with an older person was a possibility known to them. And it certainly would not go beyond whatever my hypothetical partner was comfortable with.

"Any little girl that you "loved" would be hurt by WHAT YOU DID TO HER, you stupid fucking dipshit. (And oh, look, there's that rage I mentioned!)"

I don't see anything inherently wrong with love or pleasure. And I do mean that I can fall in love with a child. That may seem strange to you since you don't feel this way, but this is the honest truth. But yes, in today's society a sexual relationship can never happen because of how people would react, and even if no one found out, being told that it was a hideous thing would in all likelihood be harmful as she grew up. I don't want any harm to ever come to a child, so celibacy is a complete necessity.

"O RLY. So, should we let prepubescent children decide whether or not to attend school? Let them join the army? Let them get full-time jobs? Let them drive? Let them drink, smoke, or do drugs? Let them stay out all night without telling their parents where they'll be? Let them travel alone in foreign countries? Let them enter into binding legal contracts? Should we put them in charge of their own medical and dental care? Should we put them in charge of any stocks or money they happen to have inherited?"

I think that all these things should be based on one's individual ability to do so, not something like age. While something like driving should be open to all people, obviously only those who are physically able to control a car, and in a responsible fashion, will be given driver's license, which essentially would exclude very young drivers. With school, I think there a few basic concepts that should be taught to all (reading, writing, arithmetic), but otherwise kids should be free to pursue their own academic interests. You might want to read up on the Sudbury schools, which are run in a democratic manner where kids are free to choose what they study, are not separated by age, and also democratically decide on the rules for the school community. This type of educational system is very successful, and students as young as six demonstrate a clear ability to make competent decisions with their votes with some guidance. Of course with all these things, it should be within reason and sensitive to the child's own ability to be independent.

"It seems to me that the only defensible answer to most or all of these questions is "no." I don't know whether you agree with me on this or not, but then, I bet you don't really give a shit about any of these questions either way, because you're not interested in "empowering" children - you're interested in EXPLOITING them."

I really do care about them. Exploiting kids for any reason is unthinkable to me. I would NEVER to that, ever. I don't believe in ever hurting kids for any reason, nor would I do something if I thought that it could end up hurting them indirectly somehow. I know most people don't ever care to think that a "monster" like me could ever care about kids, but I do. I really do.

"Um, in case you haven't noticed (and you clearly haven't), pretty much any given adult is in a definite position of power over any given child."

This is true in this society, because kids are taught from birth that adults are always authority figures and always right. But I do not believe this to be desirable or right.

"In conclusion, your cognitive distortion depresses and disgusts me."

With all due respect, anything I say on this issue that goes against "conventional wisdom" is a "cognitive distortion."

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Posted by A pedophile on February 4, 2010 at 1:02 PM · Report this
123
I had to think about this before I posted. But I'm going to come down on the all pedo's = bad side of the discussion. Ultimately I can't help but think that having this argument 'for the sake of argument' is just helping KIW rationalize this evil thing inside of him. The more he can find rationalization and acceptance the closer he will be to convincing himself he is in a situation where it is safe and 'okay' to act on his baser instincts. And that can't happen.

Plenty of hetero/gay/bi folks out there who are sexual unfufilled *coughs nervously*. Lets get back to helping them out out and hope KIW gets hit by a bus. I know that's harsh, but there isn't any excuse when a child is in danger.
Posted by stormcrow on February 4, 2010 at 1:07 PM · Report this
124
I can't believe it but I actually agree with Loveschild, above.

@120 A pedophile:
No, the reason child molestation hurts kids is not because our society has a negative view of it. It hurts kids because an adult they trust (usually it's someone they know) has betrayed that trust. The kids you're "in love with" do not feel the same feelings for you. They probably just think you're a cool adult who's interested in them.
You might feel "childish" but you're not a child. You have gone through puberty, you have become an adult. At least admit that there's a wealth of difference between an adult and a child in experience and brain chemistry that would make such a sexual encounter, any sexual encounter, damaging to the child.
Posted by Brooklyngirl http://www.babbosbooks.com on February 4, 2010 at 1:31 PM · Report this
125
RE: KIW Pedophiles are the most hated people in America. Near where I live, they are denied basic constitutional rights, such as the right to be free after serving ones sentence. Instead, people are incarcerated without charge as a preventative measure.

I will make a suggestion that Dan Savage never would - you should check out some of the sex addiction programs (Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, etc). These are targeted to people who want to stop behaviors that they are powerless to control. For example, people who have bathroom sex are normally not doing so because it is something they want to do ['when I grow up I want to suck off strangers in a disgusting setting'] but because they are powerless to stop with their own willpower. I would recommend extreme caution in who you share with in such a setting, however. People who are in 12-step programs have often suffered abuse as children, and you don't need to be the target of someone who wants to work out their rage. Something to keep in mind also is YOU HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING WRONG. No children were harmed in the making of your life.

I can say that many people have had miraculous recoveries in 12-step programs. You don't know what you will get. For instance, some alcoholics report that despite going to meetings frequently, they still want to have a drink every day and they have to fight the urge. Others report that the desire is lifted.

Take what you like from this post and leave the rest.
Posted by Anon-8r9r on February 4, 2010 at 1:32 PM · Report this
gueralinda 126
Usually I am annoyed by Dan's promotion of prostitution, but this seems like a case where a professional may be the only answer to the pedophile's dilemma. Look for a youthful-appearing, flat chested call girl who's willing to put her hair up in pigtails and indulge your fantasy - if you can find one.

Many people have "impossible to fulfill" fantasies (I believe Dan has talked about centaurs before - then there are aliens, men with three penises, the perfect purse... oh wait). Treat this as an impossible-to-fulfill" and fantasize away while porking someone legal.

I realize this is what this guy has been doing his whole life and he's not fully satisfied, but you know what? I've never had my fantasy fulfilled either (not telling), but I still have plenty of orgasms. Lots of people never get to actually live out their fantasy... what about rape fantasies? What about necrophilia fantasies? People PRETEND.

Others may disagree with me, but I don't think there's anything wrong with pretending to fuck an 8 year old. Especially if it keeps you from actually doing it.
Posted by gueralinda on February 4, 2010 at 1:34 PM · Report this
gueralinda 127
interesting to read 96's comment. Many people have responded to him, but I don't think anyone has asked him this: imagine for a moment that your able, legally, to have a loving, consensual relationship with a child, and you fell deeply in love with her (which seems to be what you are saying you would like). Let's further suppose she fell deeply in love with you... what would happen in ten years?

Most people fall in love believing they are forming a lifelong pair bond.. this is what the little girl would presumable believe. When you "fall out of love" with her just because she goes through a normal biological process, how do you think that affects her? Can you truly claim to love someone given your relationship has a pre-programmed end?

I think you are kidding yourself.
Posted by gueralinda on February 4, 2010 at 1:42 PM · Report this
128
Chemical or surgical castration? Jesus, half the anti-depressants on the market have diminished libido as a side-effect. Why doesn't he just take prozac? Then he could get therapy to work through the underlying issues. I don't think this is as hopeless as everyone is making out...
Posted by permanent passenger on February 4, 2010 at 1:53 PM · Report this
attitude devant 129
127, I think Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita answers this question in a poignant and surprising way. You should read it. It's a WONDERFUL book.
Posted by attitude devant on February 4, 2010 at 2:02 PM · Report this
130
"Chemical or surgical castration?" Jesus, diminished libido is a side-effect of most of the anti-depressants on the market. Why doesn't he just take prozac, and then get good therapy for the underlying issues? This is a serious problem, but I don't think it's as hopeless as people are making out...
Posted by permanent passenger on February 4, 2010 at 2:03 PM · Report this
131
An Anthropological View of Pedophilia:

Catholic priests forcing or seducing altar boys to have sex with them, was in the CONTEXT of the Catholic Church telling all of society that sexuality, especially same-sex sexuality, was WRONG. It put those unfortunate children into a terrible moral bind, for the rest of their lives; it was WRONG; and yet, they had done it! {Maybe unwillingly, maybe not-unwillingly. Made no difference, it was WRONG! and they SHOULD suffer, it WAS their fault.}
The same thing is true of those Church-run schools that took in orphans or Native Peoples in various countries. First, they told society that sex {except between married people for purposes of procreation} was WRONG! and then, the personnel running those schools, while beating and disciplining their ideas of "morality" into the children, they also raped and sexually abused them. So, again, these orphans and kidnapped children from Native families, were put in a terrible moral bind; they had done a WRONG thing, maybe they should have died rather than "give in" to the priest or teacher!
And the priests and teachers always made sure to tell the child it was a "Spawn of Satan" for seducing by its very presence, the priest or teacher, who by definition could do no wrong......

There have been, and there are, societies where under certain social conditions, adult-child relationships are approved of and valued. Ours for a number of reasons, is NOT one of them; and is not likely to become one of them. As others here have pointed out, in Classical Greek culture adult men honored boys by becoming their lovers; the family of the boy would know and be delighted by this, there was no stigma whatsoever attached, it was quite the opposite. And, yes, there are "tribes" where there is man-boy "mentoring" that may include forms of sexual relationships. {Not necessarily involving penetration.} I have heard that Japanese Samurai culture was like that too.

I, a heterosexual woman, have during my lifetime been hopelessly in love with little girls. Not much I could do about it. I just lived with it. {Like having a crush on an out-of-reach movie star.}

We all know the novel and film, "Lolita". "Lolita" is even a word now in the English language. We all know of those female schoolteachers jailed for loving their boy students too much. Since "making out with Teacher" is a favorite male fantasy, I wonder if any research has been done showing actual harm done to those boys? The story of the 7-year-old and the 16-year-old boys "making out", would have been very common in previous centuries when poor people OFTEN shared beds, in families, in inns, etc.! {See "Moby Dick".} I see no lasting harm done to the child; EXCEPT for his knowledge of "breaking a taboo of society". As I said, it probably was once a part of everyone's growing up, and not something worthy of being commented on {unless you were fanatically religious!}. Same sexes shared beds as a routine thing; and sex that couldn't lead to pregnancy, between men or between women, between children or same-sex teens, just went on without comment {since TALKING about sex was taboo....}. Unless some snoopy religious people found out about it...... THEN they made people feel "guilty". Just because it was "unlicensed" sex; not because of the ages of the participants.

Since the "sexual revolution" we have been trying to hammer out new boundaries; and have decided that pedophilia is a new boundary; as well as rape; and classify them the same. After all, society can't get along with NO boundaries!

The harm done to children, when it does not involve penetration which could damage a child physically, is in the contradictions surrounding the issue; feelings of guilt and shame. If society "honored" pedophilia as a few other societies have done, and the children themselves felt that sense of being "honored", then there would be no problem. BUT, we are NOT one of those societies; and there are too many reasons to list, why we cannot become like that.

Therefore, hands off the children! is the way we have to go; and full prosecution of those hypocritical double-standard religious types, who introduced their sets of anti-sex, anti-woman, anti-gay phobias to society in the first place.
Pedophilia, like bi-sexuality in some, is part of the "polymorphously perverse" makeup of I would bet a large part of the human race. There is no lack of pedophiles in cultures that allow and encourage that sort of thing. {And the children grow up as normal, stable, sane members of those cultures.} I suspect such feelings have hit more than a few people, now and then in their lives. We all adapt our behavior according to our moral principles and what "works" in a society and what doesn't. "The Greeks did it" is not the proper excuse for behavior that would be damaging to a child in this culture, but not in another.
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Posted by Anthropologist on February 4, 2010 at 2:05 PM · Report this
132
KIW - you need to decide for yourself is virtual porn will make it easier or harder for you to avoid actual sex, but either way, be careful, because people (not many, but a few) have been tried and convicted for obscenity based on fiction during the Bush years. You may want to consider moving to Japan, where a virtual interest is accepted and legal. Other than that, there are a few adults out there who did not develop due to hormone deficiencies, so maybe you can find one of them, or try age play. Other than that, I've heard that depo provera shots work, and the effect is temporary in case those sex bots do get invented.
Posted by sf gal on February 4, 2010 at 2:39 PM · Report this
Aurora Erratic 133
As much as I want to believe KIW is as innocent as he claims to be, his mention of babysitting set off my creep alarm.
I am certain that he knows it's wrong, but if he were truly determined to avoid harmful behavior, he wouldn't put himself in that situation. My guess is he is getting off on the proximity and opportunity, even when he doesn't act on it. Uses it as fantasy fodder later, perhaps.
To answer his question: NO you can't keep babysitting your friends' kids. There are millions of people who don't babysit, for whatever reason. Become one of them. No need to give away your secret.
Posted by Aurora Erratic http://www.finemesspottery.com on February 4, 2010 at 2:57 PM · Report this
134
#98 and #127:
Agreed about the component where the child in the potential 'relationship' will ultimately grow up and then what? This is why I get annoyed by people who claim that pedophilia is like homosexuality. It is not; it is more akin to a kink that is not socially acceptable if truly acted upon. #98 really expressed it well.

#129:
Yes, Lolita is a wonderful book and it is obvious that the main character maintains his love for the adult Lolita (although, it is not clear if he could have sustained a relationship with her if she had desired such a relationship since he really didn't know anything about her). However, if we look at the end of the book we have these words:
"...and then I knew that the hopelessly poignant thing was not Lolita's absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from that concord." (he is referring to the voices of children at play)

At the end, he cares enough for her to realize that what he did destroyed her childhood; that she was not able to be a part of that world which should have been her right. And what is a relationship in which one person destroys another's right?
Posted by pedophilia is not a sexual orientation on February 4, 2010 at 3:12 PM · Report this
135
Mr. A pedophile,

Your causal reasoning is flawed.

You argue that a sexual relationship with a child is harmful because it is not a normalized or socially acceptable practice, but you have failed to consider that sexual contact with children is not normal because of the fact that it is harmful.

You have mistaken the taboo as the cause and the harm as the effect. The truth is that the harm is the cause and the taboo is the effect.

I will diagram this for you:
If Always Harmful ---then--> Not Acceptable








Posted by IPgator on February 4, 2010 at 3:14 PM · Report this
136
I think Knows It's Wrong deserves kudos on several fronts.

First, he has so far managed to deny the incredibly powerful urges that the random dice rolls of genetics and upbringing have given him, because he knows that to indulge those urges would be incredibly harmful.

Second, he took the extremely brave step of writing to Dan about his struggle, knowing he was exposing himself to potential ridicule, condemnation, and possibly even legal problems.

KIW, if you're reading this, well done. I really admire the strength and courage you have exhibited, and I feel very deep sympathy for the terrible predicament you find yourself in.

I feel funny offering advice from a position of relative emotional safety, but I would like to echo what a few people here have said. Chemically suppressing your libido is, I think, dodging the issue. What I think you need to do is get yourself a good, discrete psychiatrist who will slog it out with you in the long term and find out where these feelings come from.

I'm not going to simply assume you were sexually assaulted as a child, because that's a very simplistic view. Our sexual expression (even its potentially destructive forms) can come from positive experiences too, or from negative but non-sexual ones. Whatever the reason, your sexual interest has been derailed and redirected toward children, and if you can get some professional help to work out what caused that, maybe you will be able to resolve some very deep issues and remove (or at least relieve) the problem at its root.

I wish you the very best of luck.
Posted by DexX http://www.bi-alliance.org/ on February 4, 2010 at 4:55 PM · Report this
137
Full-blown seminary. Likely so.
Posted by KnowNo on February 4, 2010 at 5:03 PM · Report this
138
Full-blown seminary. Likely so.
Posted by KnowNo on February 4, 2010 at 5:04 PM · Report this
139
Just read through the rest of the comments and have a few more comments.

Some people are equating KIW's sexual urges with the power-and-violence aspect of rape. I'm not sure this is correct. Yes, engaging in sexual activity with a child is wrong, and from a legal standpoint it will always be rape, since a child cannot give consent. That said, if KIW's urge is to do something that he feels is mutually pleasurable and loving, then I don't think it necessarily comes from the same place as the urge to totally overpower and control somebody by forcing your sexuality upon them. It might be a power trip, but I don't think that can be assumed.

I don't have a psych degree by any means, but I have been pondering where the desire might come from. Maybe KIW was subjected to violence by people of his own age and older, and had a close friend much younger than him who made him feel happier. This may lead to KIW feeling his contemporaries aren't safe, and that children are a safe sexual outlet for him.

I really don't know, but my point is that the human mind is a bizarre and complex thing, and our defining features as adults can come from the strangest places in our development.

So yeah, as I said above, I think KIW's best option is a really good psych professional who can follow those tangled threads back to their subconscious origins and maybe help him to unravel them.

Good luck!
Posted by DexX http://www.bi-alliance.org/ on February 4, 2010 at 5:27 PM · Report this
140
I remember seeing on Maury once a 40-year-old who looked like she was 9.

KIW needs to find one of those.
Posted by Alexa on February 4, 2010 at 5:39 PM · Report this
Uriel-238 141
Loveschild, I'm not sure your point of stating the obvious, that Kids are not like adults, not physically nor mentally, hence they cannot make decisions for themselves or consent to relationships on the same level as adults. But to the contrary, children are expected to be able to make decisions and conduct themselves responsibly, in situations of increasing risk as they grow.

We don't take our kids and stick them in a tower until they are eighteen. At a certain age, a child may be expected to be able to cross the street without supervision, or make his or her way to school without escort. A child may be given a monetary allowance and allowed to purchase items for himself or herself (hence, technically, entering into contracts). A child may be authorized to handle a tool or food preparation implement with minimal supervision with the recognition that it is not a toy. In some areas of our nation, a child will be introduced to his or her first pet or firearm, and all the responsibilities these entail.

And this is before they are adolescents, at which point they are still legally children, yet are often allowed to operate motor vehicles and other heavy machinery, enter into work contracts and in some cases, act as the supervising adult for younger children.

So the issue of whether or not a child is exposed to a situation is not based on if there is a potential hazard (danger is present in day-to-day living), but the level of risk of exposure to the hazards in question.

suckerforscience my use of the term natural attraction to breedable adolescents was intended to serve as a reminder that protections for children are a relatively new development in human history, and that prior to the modern age puberty was the only parameter considered when determining if a woman was maritable (and not even that was considered before we threw kids into the factory workforces). But it thus follows that when Mark Foley was propositioning 16 year old pages, while inappropriate and still criminal, it wasn't pedophilia, though the term had been used for Foley across the media. Similarly, the sexual predators caught on Chris Hansen's dateline series, even though Hansen is careful to simply call them sexual predators, they are often regarded as pedophiles, even by the folks of Perverted Justice who work with Hansen to lure them in.

But speaking of Warren Jeffs, the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints isn't the only institution that makes use of that particular loophole that allows for legal pedophile activity. Legal ages of consent can, in many states, be bypassed by through martial emancipation via parental consent, and there's more than one fundamentalist Mormon community that regularly arranged for neighbors to swap daughters for this very purpose. Outside the US, there are plenty of countries that have similar legal and religious paradigms alongside legalized polygyny. Notably, it's difficult to find, easily charted, the minimum age for marital emancipation based on region or state.
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Posted by Uriel-238 on February 4, 2010 at 5:51 PM · Report this
Uriel-238 142
Um, ...Legal ages of consent can, in many states, be bypassed by through marital emancipation...

Though martial emancipation would be far more interesting.
Posted by Uriel-238 on February 4, 2010 at 6:06 PM · Report this
143
Pedophile (96) and Anthropologist (131). I respect that you have learned so much about pedophilia and clearly thought it through. First thing I would like to happen in our society is to finally draw the line between pedophilia, as a sexual orientation, and child rape/sexual assault, as a crime. All too often we call child rapists pedophiles (even when they're not - most men who rape other men in jails are straight) and we call pedophiles child rapists (even when they're not).

I agree with your comments in theory, from personal experience. I understand that not all children are sexual, but I know for sure that I was, from as early an age as I can remember. My parents weren't that sex negative to mess up my feelings about sexuality, but they frowned upon my, at the beginning open, attempts at touching my genitals just enough to let me know I shouldn't do it when other people can see me. At about 7 my sexual fantasies started including other people, real, like my peers, and imaginary adults. I don't think I would have *necessarily* been worse off if I had actually engaged in some sort of sex play with another person, provided we lived in a society in which it was socially accepted.

But - and this is a big but - I sure could have been hurt as well. A child doesn't know its boundaries (it pretty much doesn't know its own anatomy, for starters) so it is likely to say yes to things it will end up regretting. If you never suggest anything and let the child take initiative and do only things it is interested in, and stop doing them whenever it wants, then I can see it being a pleasurable experience for the child. But who is to make sure that's what's gonna happen when an adult is sexual with a child? How many straight people forgo their urges and satisfaction only to do something in the best interest of their sexual partner, even if the partner DOESN'T INSIST on it? Few, if any. We are selfish and if there is a chance to indulge ourselves, we grab it with both hands. And children, not being adults, don't know their best interest, can't predict whether some activity would bring them pleasure or traumatize them, and hence don't insist on keeping that activity out of the picture. That's why I don't think that, in practice, the ideal world in which children can safely and comfortably explore sexuality with adults is possible. Or, the lucky few children may - and the rest will be manipulated and used. (In my pondering how to protect children from manipulators, about the only thing that came to my mind was parents overseeing the whole scene, which is so unthinkable in the society we live in that I can't see it happen, although I try to keep my mind as free of prejudice as possible!)
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Posted by tiare on February 4, 2010 at 6:30 PM · Report this
144
I have to say, as a woman who was sexually abused by a pedophile, my instinct is to kill the pedophile. But, reading the doctor's response put things into perspective. We are the choices we make in life. And, if the person with sexual desires toward children does not act on them, that person is no different than me. I want use drugs every day of my life, but choose not to use them. So what is the difference? There is not one.
Posted by T-rex on February 4, 2010 at 6:34 PM · Report this
145
@ 144
Ok, let's start here: kill the CHILD RAPIST. I hate to reveal my right wing side, but I agree. And all other rapists, while we're at it. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Posted by tiare on February 4, 2010 at 6:47 PM · Report this
BeckyPlant 146
Dan I'd like to applaud you for your wonderful and sensitive advice to the man who wrote in this week who claims to be attracted to children, but plans to do nothing about it.

It must be so terrible to live with that kind of attraction to children. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for him to write in to your column.

Dan, I love what you'd said about how we need to acknowledge the existence of "good pedophiles." Only have we listen to what they have to say can they start getting the treatment they need to break their attraction to children and live guilt-free and productive lives.

Once again Dan, I am proved yet again what great and thoughtful advice you give.
Posted by BeckyPlant http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=541430727 on February 4, 2010 at 6:56 PM · Report this
147
@122:

Okay, Pedophile, let me tell you something about myself. These aren't pleasant memories for me to revisit, and I almost never talk about them in this kind of detail. (Yes, I know that this mini-memoir will sound extremely rehearsed -- partially because I've been writing it and rewriting it for the past several hours, but mostly because I've done a lot of thinking about it over the years.)

When I was between the ages of eleven and thirteen, I was repeatedly molested by a close male relative. (No, I’m not going to specify which one, even though I’m posting anonymously. For whatever reason, I feel better-equipped to talk about what happened when the “who” part remains a little vague.) There was no penetration – what we did never went beyond partially-clothed grinding and heavy petting and him pressing his face into my crotch. I never cried, I never struggled, I never said ‘no.’ At first – before things became blatantly, unambiguously sexual (to me, at least) – I even initiated some of the touching myself. Did I enjoy it? No. But it was obvious that he wanted it, so very much, and I wanted to make him happy – partially out of a sense of obligation, partially out of genuine love. Possibly (and this is what I’m most ashamed of) I enjoyed having that sense of power over him.

A few months in, I realized that I’d wandered way the fuck off the map of “good” and “normal” and “sane” – I was deep into “here there be dragons” territory. Any power I’d thought I had was purely illusory. I stopped initiating the touching, or reciprocating any of his touches. He just moved my hands where he wanted them – which was mostly his head, while it was in my lap. He wanted me to stroke his hair. He wanted (in his words) to be petted. My petting – which had been willing at first – became distinctly passive-aggressive. I didn’t move my hand until he tugged at my wrist, and when I did, I pulled his hair. But still, I never said ‘no.’

Again, I was motivated by some sense of obligation: he wanted it, and he did so much for me, and I’d done basically the same thing for him many times before, so what right did I have to stop now? So I let him put my hands on his head, and lay back and thought of England.

. . . Well, maybe not England, but I did think of lots of other things. Sometimes, I mentally recited poetry. Those were my poem-memorizing years; at one point, I knew all of "The Waste Land" by heart. (I still remember bits and pieces, but particularly this: “The awful daring of moment’s surrender/Which an age of prudence can never retract.”) And other times, I daydreamed about hiding a kitchen knife under my pillow and stabbing him in the back while he was nuzzling my crotch. It was always a fantasy – something I knew I would never do, something I didn't even really *want* to do -- but I liked to imagine what it might feel like to grip the knife handle and bring my arm down.

Or perhaps I should rephrase: "liked" isn't quite the right word, because there was no real pleasure in the thought. I simply couldn't stop thinking about it -- because, hey, I couldn’t actually work up the nerve to say ‘no’ with my mouth, and he never seemed to notice that I was lying there like a dead thing, but if I drove a knife into the nape of his neck, he'd could hardly miss the point. There was another reason, I think, for the violent turn my imagination took: I'd realized that if I told anybody now, the first question would be “Why didn’t you say anything sooner? Why did you let him do it in the first place? Why did *you* touch *him*?” At best, I would be accused of stupidity and cowardice and weakness; at worst, of active seduction. Again: nothing says “nobody fucks with me” and “no, really, I didn’t want it” quite so concisely as a knife in the back.

And yeah, I know this is melodramatic as all fuck, but there you have it. I was a hopeless emo, long before the word “emo” was even invented. I gouged divots out of my thighs with nail-clippers. I restricted my caloric intake brutally. Worst of all, I wrote poetry. In my defense, perhaps I wouldn't have been quite so much of a gloomy little drama queen if one of my close male relatives wasn’t feeling me up on a regular basis, but who knows? Anyway, to the best of my recollection, that’s what was going through my head when I was being molested. It certainly wasn’t “Yes!” or “More!” or “Tee-hee, Male Relative, that tickles!”

It ended badly. Not with a literal knife in the back, of course, but possibly with a figurative one -- I know my male relative felt deeply betrayed when I “decided” (his word) that all our tender cuddling was, in fact, sexual abuse. As far as I can tell, he still feels betrayed – “sharper than a serpent’s tooth,” and all that. The thing is, though, I wasn’t the one who decided that his weekly attempts to perform cunnilingus on me through my underwear were sexual abuse: I knew that I hated it, and that I was well on my way to hating him, but I’d stopped short of actually applying that particular label.

When I was thirteen, I confided in a riding instructor who was only five or six years older than I was; I thought she was my friend, and – as far as I am consciously aware – I genuinely just wanted to talk to her about this thing that was eating away at me. Or maybe I was looking to impress her with my jaded worldliness, or digging for sympathy. Maybe, in my heart of hearts, I knew that she would pass the tale along to the Proper Authorities, and I was crying out for help – but then again, maybe not. I think I still suffered from a tendency to overestimate the emotional power I held over other people; I assumed that if I made it clear that I would never, ever forgive her if she told anyone, well, then, she wouldn’t tell.

She told.

I won't go into detail about what happened next, although I'm sure you'll be relieved to learn that my loving male relative didn't serve any jail time, or end up on any registry, or even stand trial. Under siege from Social Services, my family discovered an unprecedented sense of shared purpose, and denied, denied, denied. I was sternly counseled about the consequences of breaking the code of Omertà again. (No, I wouldn't be sent to sleep with the fishes -- but I wouldn't be welcome in the family, either.)

Ultimately, things mostly worked out. I'm okay, more or less - and if I'm not quite as happy or mentally healthy as I would have been had those two years of my life gone differently, well, them's the breaks. As far as I know, the male relative in question hasn't abused anyone since. (I've kept careful watch, as have other members of my family, though it's still very much Something We Don't Talk About.) I am relatively certain that my male relative is not and never was a "pedophile" in the clinical sense: he is attracted primarily to adult women. I just . . . happened to be there, and he happened to be deeply lonely. I was extremely tall for my age (in the top tenth of a percentile), even if I was as flat as the proverbial board; I was intellectually precocious (and eager to make sure everyone around me knew it), even if I was emotionally immature. Maybe, if he tilted his head and squinted, I was just adult-like enough to meet whatever minimum standard of "capacity for meaningful consent" he had fixed in his mind.

I still see him, once or twice a year. We hug, and I don't think about stabbing him. It's possible that I even love him -- but not nearly as much as I would if he hadn't done what he did. I feel fundamentally incapable of trusting him, and I believe he feels the same way about me. Like I said, he imagines himself to have been betrayed - but then, we are all the heroes of our own narratives (which is a fancy way of saying I don't give half a fuck what he thinks).

I believe I can anticipate your at least some of your protests, Pedophile. You'll tell me that I am unfairly universalizing my individual experience; I am like a woman who has been raped and therefore assumes that all heterosexual sex must be degrading and traumatic. You'll tell me that my male relative was a child molester, whereas *you* are a pedophile -- apples and oranges, you'll insist.

*You,* of course, are fundamentally different: *you* would never commit incest, *you* would never do anything that a child didn't wholeheartedly desire; *you* would immediately notice if your underaged girlfriend was only playing along, giving you what you wanted, lying there and letting you. *You* would tread carefully, you'll tell me; why, you'd positively tiptoe across the fresh green fields of girlish innocence, you'd pluck no blossom before its time, and everything would be giggling and tickling and butterfly kisses. *You* would be oh-so-careful not to cause any unsightly scarring to delicate little psyches; after all, *you* love children.

If anything in the above two paragraphs even vaguely resembles your personal opinions, then I think you're suffering from severe cognitive distortion (by which I mean you're full of shit). But then, I'm sure that you are already aware of my feelings, and I doubt I'm going to change your mind. Still, allow me to share one last thought before I sign off: the man who molested me thought that I wanted it, that I had agreed to it, that I had in fact *asked* for it. He genuinely believed that he was loving me and being close to me and making me happy.

I didn't, and he wasn't.
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Posted by not using my account for this one on February 4, 2010 at 7:59 PM · Report this
148
@143:

>>>If you never suggest anything and let the child take initiative and do only things it is interested in, and stop doing them whenever it wants, then I can see it being a pleasurable experience for the child.<<<

Sorry, but this suggestion strikes me as being laughably naive. Children are hypersensitive to the desires and intentions of adults around them, even if they don't always understand those desires or intentions in the way that another adult would. They're more than capable of figuring out what an adult *wants* them to do, even when the adult doesn't specifically *ask* them to do it. Granted, children can't telepathically pluck specific sexual fantasies from their molesters' minds, but they will very likely realize that they are expected to permit or even initiate touching, *even when nothing has actually been said.*
Posted by not using my account for this one on February 4, 2010 at 8:16 PM · Report this
149
I have to laugh at most of the gay/straight "normative" responses to the pedophile issue here. Comments like, "find a hairless dwarf," or "child like adult," remind me of cavemen grunting at shadows. And then those who have carefully considered this issue and suggest that mutual sexual consent between an adult and a child can exist are like wizards bringing fire to barbarians for the first time.

Literally, suggesting that there's nothing wrong with pedophiles is the equivalent to walking up to a Nazi and saying there's nothing wrong with Jews.

The hate for pedophiles is, without a doubt, a social construction that reflects a sickness in the mind of our society. Simply put, society wants to hurt someone, society needs a group of people to persecute, and they have chosen pedophiles because, like children, pedophiles have no voice, they are mute, not allowed to speak in our culture.
Posted by 72Rob on February 4, 2010 at 8:43 PM · Report this
attitude devant 150
147 and 148--for God's sake, please process this experience with a properly trained and truly confidential sexual assault counselor. Your confusion is CLASSIC. This is not your fault, was never your fault, and you deserve a place to speak it out and think it out. I am so sorry you are stuck in this miserable story. It is not YOUR story, however. Do not let this be your story, no matter whatever omerta and family might prescribe.

Posted by attitude devant on February 4, 2010 at 8:45 PM · Report this
hdammit 151
oh god... puhleeeeze!!! you all pretend to be understanding and open to pedophilia as if it were your sister telling you she is gay. if some fucker were sticking his fingers down your child's pants, you wouldn't be so open to accept. pedophilia isn't the only issue... talking about predatory behavior and issues about dominance with children. rapists and pedophiles cannot be rehabilitated.
Posted by hdammit on February 4, 2010 at 9:21 PM · Report this
152
Psychiatry is in order here. That wasn't brought up, why?
Posted by orangatangirl on February 4, 2010 at 9:28 PM · Report this
kim in portland 153
147 and 148,

So very sorry. It sounds like you could use some counseling and a support group. Listen to the good doctor, Attitude Devant @ 150. She is on the money, I know because I've been there. Your story is familiar. This was not your fault.

You could start here: http://www.ascasupport.org/

Best wishes,
k
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on February 4, 2010 at 10:35 PM · Report this
kim in portland 154
rewind:

It should say. You could start by looking here.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on February 4, 2010 at 10:38 PM · Report this
Uriel-238 155
hdammit, but we are talking about (to use your metaphor) your sister confessing that prepubescent kids are what get her hot and bothered. We're not talking about a convicted and diagnosed pedophile. We're talking about an innocent human being.

Sexual predation, of course, remains an issue (albeit less of one, since rates have plummeted since the '90s). But one then has to ask the purge-with-fire crowd, a) Is criminal corrections about vengeance or rehabilitation? and b) Is a zero tolerance policy worth a high percentage of innocents getting burned with the guilty?

As an aside, pedophilia is presently the classical device of character assassination, especially in municipal politics, and yes people will volunteer their nine-year-old children and then coach them to recant how that-man-over-there pawed me inside my swimsuit area while holding a knife to my throat and threatening to kill my dog and my goldfish. And people disappear from the allegations alone, before an arrest, before a trial. (Rape and sexual harassment were similarly used in the '80s and '90s, though pedophilia is recurring.)

So don't think policies of hypervigilance, based on false suspicions (like how black guys serially raped white women in the '70s) won't have their consequences.
Posted by Uriel-238 on February 4, 2010 at 10:42 PM · Report this
156
What a wide ranging course of conversation. Everyone is an expert! Everyone has a theory!

--
Dan Savage, you're a big wimp hiding behind that expert. You're a typical sex-lib type who day-dreams about how great it is all kinds of kinks are on the table, while blissfully ignoring the breathtaking expansion of state powers in the name of protecting the children from sex. The sexual liberation movement has been matched, if not outmatched, by an anti-sexual hysteria that has eroded civil liberties, and rendered hundreds of thousands of people (effectively) non-citizens, with little hope of integration into society, and sent probably a million more into hiding. But those are not legitimate subjects of review for a sex columnist.

That's why I think Dan Savage is a nitwit day dreamer with no real politics.
--

Here is a miniature pedophile manifesto, a rough argument. I know you were waiting for it.

THE PEDOPHILE SYSTEM
Some axioms, off the top of my head.

0a. A society that hunts down and destroys any of its minority populations, and does not give those minority populations representation in government or other major social organizations is an ILLEGITIMATE AND UNJUST SOCIETY THAT MUST BE CHANGED.

0b. Political decisions that do not take into account the reasonable views of those affected by those decisions are UNJUST. This is democracy 101. Thus the reasonable views of children, adolescents, pedophiles, abuse victims, and experts must all be involved in this discussion.

1. Children and adolescents are sexual beings, their sexuality varying by the individual. Some are more sexual, some less. Some want sex, some want to masturbate, some don't. Some report negative experiences, and some positive.

2. Most pedophiles have a moral capacity, just as most other people do. Only very few of them are violent, and although many may falter by interpreting signals incorrectly, the vast majority want to do the right thing. They don't just say that, they believe it.

3. Pedophilia made public, given reasons and discourse, institutions, and legitimacy, will order itself in time to its special role. Pedophilia is amenable, changeable, improvable.

Given 1. sexual potential of youth, 2. the moral capacity of pedophiles, and 3. the power of social influence over behavior,

4. We seek out the norms of a legitimate pedophilia. Let's turn the etiology of harm into the etiology of pleasure and positive experiences. We need examine in detail the positive reports of sexual behavior by children and adolescents in order to determine if there is any meaningful pattern to the positivity. If so, this is the recipe for positive intergenerational relationships. This is our system of norms.

(Critics of pedophiles misunderstand the position of pedophiles. They believe pedophiles don't understand the harm they do, when in reality no pedophile with half a brain says sex poses no risks to anyone under any conditions. The political and moral position of pedophiles is centered on the possibility of POSITIVE pedophile relations, not harm. You can prove harm all you like, all day long, for 10 centuries. If you haven't DISPROVED positive relationships, you haven't debunked the pedophile position. No you haven't. The challenge to real critics of pedophilia, ones who actually care if they are right or wrong, and whether pedophiles can trust what they say: Are there positive pedophile relationships? Do these relationships have characteristics that distinguish them from negative relationships? Can these characteristics be implemented as social institutions? Can we reasonably expect people to conform to the norms a sufficient amount of the time? Critics are absolutely adamant that pedophiles NEVER do any good for children, and never bring them pleasure, sexual or otherwise. They refuse to accept positive reports and evidence as bearing any significance. If you find a positive report online, you almost invariably find a psychotherapist or a "survivor" nipping at his or her heels declaring them pre-therapy, without knowledge of their experience, and therefore not a valid witness to their own experience. And these people attack pedophile critics of the "abuse industry" for ignoring data, and nobody questions them because the pedophile position has no legitimacy. But this attitude ABSOLUTELY UNDERMINES POLITICAL JUSTICE AND THE LEGITIMACY OF SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY.)

5. Wrong, harmful, and ridiculous situations are avoidable under four conditions which enable us to apply our system of norms. a) It is a declared relationship, not a secret one. b) A system of social support and investigation exists to guide these relationships to a norm. c) Straying from the norm results in serious punishment. d) A regime of reverse onus on the adult.

6. Declared relationships mean the relationship is under public scrutiny for the very matter we have concerns about. Instead of suspicion, it is a watchful eye, the same watchful eye we put out for our friends and relatives in their relationships.

7. Organizations that help, rather than harm and humiliate pedophiles, would guide pedophiles and their child or adolescent friends. Perhaps registration with such organizations would be required by law. Unregistered relationships or individuals might be punished as automatically illegal.

8. We already have a system of serious punishments. Fear of being caught in an illicit relationship would push people to make them licit by declaring them, resulting in gradual normalization. In this way punishments normalize car and gun ownership, and the right to practice law, among other things.

9. Reverse onus means the adult has to prove the willing participation of his young love, and prove the rightness of his relationship, rather than claim benefit of the doubt.

10. The age of consent should be set to that age where the child could be reasonably assumed to participate meaningfully in the institutions of pedophilia which have been organized to make it legitimate. Off the top of my head, 9 or 10.

11. Celibacy should be viewed as the norm for pedophiles, with sexual relationships occurring as an exception to the rule if and only if they comply with rigorous demands by the community.

12. If, after (4) no system of norms can be agreed upon by a consensus of reasonable pedophiles and reasonable critics of pedophilia, no system of legitimate pedophile relations can be established.

13. If (12), this reasoning must be communicated in a non-hostile way to pedophiles, and support systems that enable pedophiles to live valued lives as active citizens must be put in place.

14. If (12), reasonable accommodation must be made to allow pedophiles to have their own sexual culture that harms no one, such as a right to pornography that does not involve real minors. Extinguishing sexuality can never be the objective.

ANYTHING LESS THAN THIS UNJUST, UNFAIR, UNREASONABLE, UNDEMOCRATIC, UNSCIENTIFIC, AND UNACCEPTABLE.

1-11 provide a framework intended to avoid the following problems.

1) violence and rape

2) secretive, manipulative grooming, by allowing and encouraging outside influence

3) lack of communication between pedophiles about their desires and activities with others who can advice, influence, and protect them.

4) lack of communication between children having sexual experiences and the people who can advice, influence, and protect them.

5) the development of society into a police state.
--

I will make a rather strong claim, to which all are invited to respond.

There is a relationship between the extreme prohibition of pedophilia and the recent development of violent child pornography.

The relation is simple. As repression increased, the communities which were self-moderating collapsed. In this way, after a hundred such attacks, pedophiles are increasingly pushed far out onto the margins of the online world, where encryption and anonymity make not only investigation by the authorities impossible, but relationships to other pedophiles even more abstract. In these contexts, behavior has no consequences. In addition, with the political movement in collapse, there is little hope for public acceptance.

The consequence of harsh repression has been the collapse of a guiding internal dialogue, which I will call the normative pedophile. This is the pedophile you should want, the one who wants to do right, even if he doesn't know what that is. He is replaced by a cynical, angry pedophile who has been made increasingly selfish by the effects of anonymity, isolation, and feelings of humiliation.

For some of these pedophiles, the collapse is complete, and the dark elements of sexuality flowered. Horrible pornography was created and distributed. This not only poisoned the pedophile community, like the release of crack laced with rat poison in the inner city. It caused an even greater attack on pedophiles by the state, because of the insane behavior of a few.

The repression gets more extreme, and the ones being repressed get more extreme. As the repression destroys pedophiles, the pedophiles are imploding and becoming more destructive, to themselves and others. Pedophiles grow more desperate by the day to reach out and form community, which are themselves destroyed.

Please comment! I'm sure the experts in the room have loads to say.
--

The only solution to the pedophile problem, besides gas chambers or a police state that watches everything we do at all times, is dialog, reason, sharing, and acceptance. In a word: DEMOCRACY.

There are two possibilities that are just, which I have outlined, both of which depend on a serious investigation into the possibility of positive pedophile relations. The first accepts the sexual potential of young people, and the amenable natures of pedophiles, to discover a legitimate system of pedophile relations. The second finds no map to positive pedophile relations, and communicates this specifically to pedophiles. In both cases, the pedophile point of view is not only consulted (which it never is today), but given legitimacy and taken seriously.

ONLY WHEN THE PEDOPHILE POINT OF VIEW IS ADMITTED AS LEGITIMATE, WHETHER IT IS ULTIMATELY DISMISSED AS MISGUIDED OR ULTIMATELY VINDICATED, WILL WE HAVE JUSTICE ON THIS MATTER IN THE WESTERN WORLD. ONLY THEN WILL SOCIETY HAVE A CLAIM TO THE LEGITIMACY OF ITS INSTITUTIONS DIRECTED AT PEDOPHILES.

So far the only discussion we're getting is that between the gas chamber aficionados and the supporters of the police state. There is almost no attempts to compassionately reach out to pedophiles, or to take their point of view as the legitimate experience of citizens of a state that has its best interests at heart. And that is why pedophiles are arming themselves for war.

Perhaps in the future we will begin discussions about the conditions of the ceasefire between a lost, broken, and misunderstood sexual minority, and an unjust and cruel society rightly concerned about their children but engaging things in all the wrong ways.

More likely, we'll have Dan Savage and his chorus of castration, until America morally suicides in a home grown genocide.

ENJOY!
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Posted by not_just_another_dan_savage on February 5, 2010 at 12:25 AM · Report this
157
@149:

>>>And then those who have carefully considered this issue and suggest that mutual sexual consent between an adult and a child can exist are like wizards bringing fire to barbarians for the first time.<<<

Really? 'Cause from where I stand, they look more like a bunch of willfully deluded, pathologically entitled, self-serving sociopaths who would find a way to rationalize eating human eyeballs straight out of the socket if that was what got them off.

Funny how it's always adults who advocate the sexual "liberation" of children, isn't it? If children are so eager to have sexual contact with adults, you have to wonder why the children don't ask for it themselves -- it's not as if kids are shy about asking for anything else that they want. Anyone who has been around children knows that even the best-behaved of them whine, wheedle, pout, beg, extort, and downright *demand* things far more often than any decently-socialized adult ever would. But weirdly enough, children seldom pester the adults around them for genital stimulation. They mostly seem to be after another half-hour of playtime or a new set of Pokemon cards or an extra scoop of ice cream or a trip to the zoo. I mean, when's the last time you saw little Jimmy throwing a temper tantrum in aisle four because his mom wouldn't let him make out with the store clerk?

Granted, there's an element of positive reinforcement here; part of the reason children ask for things like sweets, toys, and playtime so insistently is because they occasionally succeed in getting what they're after. Most adults, when faced with a request for sexual stimulation from a child, would not oblige, and many of them would be visibly angry or upset, which would discourage the child from making similar requests in the future. Still, I have seen children make requests that have absolutely zero precedent of success, and continue making those requests long after the point that the adult they're asking has become very obviously irritated. The standard tactic here appears to be to back off before the adult loses his/her temper and then resume the campaign at some point in the near future, but I've seen certain children persist in pestering an adult for whatever it is they want even when the adult is downright *furious.* Again, it never seems to be sex that they're asking for.

I'm not claiming that children are asexual -- they obviously aren't, although I do believe that, on average, their sex drives are both qualitatively different and quantitatively lesser than adult sex drives.

If you'll bear with me, here's a quick thought experiment: imagine a world in which adults will grant any request for sexual contact that children make of them. (For the purposes of this exercise, let's define "children" as "persons age ten and under.") When any such request is made, the adult becomes an automaton -- they do only what it is that the child desires, and their demeanor is completely neutral, neither encouraging nor discouraging. Afterward, they have no recollection of what they have done; it does not in any way affect their behavior towards or perception of the child. When they are not in their "automaton" state, adults experience zero sexual attraction to children, and are not aware that sexual interactions between adults and children are even possible. Thus, pedophilia is neither stigmatized nor glamorized in any way.

I know that such a world is logistically impossible, and that it is premised on something of a false dichotomy between sexual and non-sexual contact, but the underlying question is this: if adult desire (even the "selfless" desire to express love or give pleasure) were totally removed from the equation, and if adults were fundamentally incapable of initiating sexual contact with children or in any way indicating that such sexual contact was possible, how much adult/child hanky-panky do you think would be going on? I'm sure children would still play "doctor" and touch themselves and so on, but how often would they actively seek sexual interaction with adults, if there were truly *no* encouragement or invitation from the adult side, and *no* possibility of positive reinforcement afterward?

Imagine, if you will, a ratio (assume that the populations being compared are of equal size): "Incidence of sexual contact between children and 'on-demand-only amnesiac sexbot adults'" versus "Incidence of sexual contact between children and 'non-celibate pedophiles who claim that they would never do anything a child didn't want them to do.'"

Would this ratio be 1:1? I doubt it. Somehow, I think that the pedophiles who swore up and down that they would never do anything a child didn't want them to do would still end up having a lot more sex with children than the sexbot adults who were genuinely incapable of having, wanting, or even *imagining* any sexual contact with a child that the child did not want first.

Or, to state my thesis in the simplest possible terms: what a pedophile perceives to be genuine desire on the part of his young partner is, in fact, entirely or almost entirely his *own* desire, either projected by the pedophile or dutifully mimicked by his victim.

. . . This thread is taking up far too much of my time and emotional energy. I'm off to bed, and depending on how I feel tomorrow, I might bow out of this discussion.

To those of you who suggested therapy: I genuinely appreciate your concern, but I am in counseling and have been in counseling since dinosaurs roamed the earth. If I had a dollar for every time I heard "it's not your fault" . . . well, I couldn't quite retire, but I could probably finance a pretty nice vacation. But thank you for being so understanding.
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Posted by not using my account for this one on February 5, 2010 at 12:30 AM · Report this
158
how can you people really consider being a pedophile (i.e. wanting to abuse children thinking you love them and are doing them some good) at the same level as being homosexual or having a kink like rape fantasies or with lusting after 16 year olds? are you stupid? sorry for the bad language but all this comments are very annoying.
do you believe all sexual tendencies are genetic and thus NOT YOUR CHIOCE and/or not your responsability?
we as adults are responsible for what we like, for what we do and what we choose.
Posted by fed up of all the good boys on February 5, 2010 at 2:35 AM · Report this
159
@148, in their interaction with peers, children aren't so eager to please. They're often eager to beat the shit out of them, even. They're only eager to please when the other person is in the position of authority - so what we really want is kids not to take every adult person's authority for granted. Is it possible? Maybe, maybe not. I really don't know.
Posted by tiare on February 5, 2010 at 3:24 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 160
@147 & 148: Do what @attitude deviant and @kim in portland say: please find a therapist you feel you can trust & get to work. You typed all of that up for strangers to peruse, which is incredibly brave of you. This would seem to indicate that you are ready to start moving forward for yourself. Dooo eet. Nothing, nothing, that happened to you is your fault. & most towns have therapists who work on a sliding scale if money or benefits is an issue. Don't wait, life after wrestling with your demons awaits.

@Uriel-238 - dunno who's coming for you with the torches, but I want o second Kim' virtual huggage, plz. I used to say "Mrs. Grundy" for the pearl-clutchers (I haven't heard this term either, fantastic). Mrs. Grundy was a fictional character from a Robert Heinlein novel that I read when I was 11 or 12 - to Sail Beyond the Sunset, maybe - in which she was a nosy, church-goin' neighbor who had nothing better to do than spy on & gossip about the bustling, somewhat boundary-pushin' family who lived down the street. The matriarch of the family would refer to behaving properly in public while following your bliss @ home keeping appearances for Mrs. Grundy. Mrs. Grundy is who I picture in my mind when another Megan's Law rolls down the pike, in a proper little suit, hands in the air, saying the inevitable - "What about the children?" Now of course I must add a perfect string of pearls to my mind's image of Mrs. Grundy.

KIW: I hope you are reading this thread & have seen the impressive debate & outpouring of basic human support, above. I'm torn: part of me is hopeful that you live in a larger city w/ a generally more sex-positive culture, like Seattle, Portland or San Fran, etc, as then I could think, well, ol' KIW is gonna find a seriously benevolent, sex-positive therapist to match, who can help him live with himself & his urges - whether that involves underlying issues, youthful-looking sex workers, trying to rewire his desires or meds or all o' the above. But the paranoid part of me thinks that if KIW is in even a mid-size town, as opposed to a larger city or one w/ a more neoconservative or Bible Belt society breakdown - don't do it, don't talk to a therapist. I can't help thinking that you'd get Jessie's Law'd into the next state if word got out, & fear the Mrs. Grundys of the world. Be careful what "art books", etc, you collect too.

Good for you for tackling your issues. I hear that your sex drive actually wanes as you get older. Presuming you to be in your 20's, it gets better.

Lastly, I was a nanny for awhile, & remember with crystal clarity how physical caring for a child is. You hold them, read to them, wash them up after meals, tuck them in @ night. You - sound - like you're in control of yourself, KIW, but, don't babysit. Why tempt fate on any level?

Not that you should need an alibi to not wanna watch the friend's kids, but: lie. Say you found out that you can't biologically have kids, yer sterile, & since you've always wanted to be a parent the issue is bothering you. Anyone who deserves an explanation will have to shut up after this. Or, become a "workaholic" (Times are tight, this is viable.)

Be like @147 & @148, above, who's also gonna keep working to heal.
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Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on February 5, 2010 at 4:36 AM · Report this
161
I can't believe all the sympathetic responses to KIW. AAAAAAAAWWWWWWWW. You feel frustrated because you have impulses you can't act on? Join the crowd. Everyone has impulses that they suppress everyday, all the time. Imagine a world where people could just do whatever they wanted. Thats why we are a society of rules and law.
What KIW has is the kind of broke you can't fix. I'd recommend a bullet to the head. And the concern over not being able to babysit for friends is fugazee. I'm a male in my thirties and have NEVER been asked to babysit children alone for any period of time over about ten minutes. Thats a situation I think KIW puts himself in. He's probably some kind of coach or has some job where he has contact with kids. This guy is a bomb about to go off. I hope someone catches on before its too late and he victimizes some kid.
Posted by unsilent majority on February 5, 2010 at 6:08 AM · Report this
162
KIW, you have a wonderful opportunity here. We all have desires, emotions, urges - whatever you want to call it. There are forces that influence what we do. Sometimes these forces come from biochemical processes in the brain and body, like a flood of testosterone or dopamine that the brain reads as "I'm horny" or "I'm in love". Sometimes they are tied to memories, conscious or unconscious. WE ARE ALL RULED BY THESE "EMOTIONS" UNLESS WE USE MINDFULNESS TO BECOME FREE.

By "mindfulness" I mean that when an urge arises to do something - whether it be "bite my fingernail" or "screw a dog" or "text my ex" or "give to Doctors Without Borders" - we take a moment to take a deep breath, disengage from the moment, and allow ourselves to experience what's going on. Just be with the impulse. Look at it with as much detachment as you can. What is it saying? Is there another feeling behind the first? Just observe, don't judge, don't decide. You may learn something. You might realize that there is a deeper pain/hurt/joy/need/experience/misunderstanding behind the surface urge.

What I mean by "free yourself" is just that. I'm not saying that any urge by itself is evil. I'm not saying that you should change anything, or improve anything. I'm just saying that when we seen things for what they are, we can choose what to do. We can act out of awareness and mindfulness instead of out of blind impulse and subconscious emotional programming. Then we have a real chance to experience authentic joy.

Is it OK to be gay? straight? bi? a pedophile? a necrophile? Yes, it is. All any of those labels mean is that emotional/social/biochemical/mental/spiritual things exist in you that fit into a box with a name, like "Tranny". But it is your freedom to choose how, if at all, you will express this "nature". It means you get to choose a course of action that lets you act safely, with loving compassion for yourself and anyone you might interact with. Sometimes it means you choose not to act, because there is no ethical or compassionate way to express your desire.

You can still use the experience of this desire to keep freeing yourself. When it arises, don't automatically suppress the feeling. Be with it. Allow it to arise. Observe it. Notice if there is any message or if you learn anything. Then choose the right action, the loving, the free action. Maybe you don't get to act out the desire in this case, because there really is no way to lovingly and compassionately have adult sex with a child. You know this, or you wouldn't be tormented now. I can't say what the right course of action is for you, but I do believe that if you are mindful, if you pay attention, you will gain some understanding that will show you a way forward.

May you be free from pain, and live in joy.
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Posted by zengoddess on February 5, 2010 at 8:17 AM · Report this
163
TAKE THE FUCKING DRUGS! I don't understand why "people" seem to have a problem with this. Lots of men take testosterone to enhance their sex drive, increase muscle mass, etc. Women take birth control pill,then later on in life, take drugs to counter the effects of menopause. People seem to feel the need to take all sorts of recreational drugs to enhance their sex life.

What's the big deal about taking something to lower one's libido?
Posted by TOF on February 5, 2010 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Noel of LA 164
@ 147 and 148,

I'm going to join the crowd and encourage you to go get some help. Consider seriously what Attitude Devant (@150) and Kim in Portland (@153) are saying to you. Please.
Posted by Noel of LA on February 5, 2010 at 8:40 AM · Report this
165
Responding to several posters, so this may be rather lengthy.

@124:
I am not defending child molesters, ie. jerks who manipulate kids into sex. I think it is a horrid thing, and wish it never happened. I would never betray the trust of a child I knew. If some sexplay were to occur (which it won't because I don't want harm to come to her, which it would in this society), it would only be because my partner clearly indicated that that is what she wanted to do. While it is generally true that cognitive potential is not at a maximum until young adulthood (declining thereafter), that says nothing of cognitive ability, nor does it say anything of what minimal cognitive ability may be required to consent. And I really do think that kids should be empowered to make decisions more independently, with guidance and within reason of course.

With regard to love: Feelings are innate. You could argue that they become more complex as one gets older and is more experienced with dealing with them, and that argument certainly has merit. But a person is always able to feel any emotion, and kids are no exception, even when it comes to love. I do realize that the love may very well be very different in the level of complexity than what I might feel, but to say that it is impossible for a mutual love to develop is utterly incorrect.

@127
Good point to bring up. I think this is a common misconception about pedophiles. Falling out of love due to a girl's age is ridiculous to me. I can assure you that wouldn't happen. I think the best analogy for non-pedophiles is this: What happens when a loving couple reaches the retirement age? Do they suddenly fall out of love because of physical changes? No. But the love is still there. The same would be true quite generally of the hypothetical adult-child relationship. I will not fall out of love with her because she passes some biological milestone.

@135
I might point out that the taboo has only existed in recent times, and furthermore that the presumption of harm being inherent to non-penetrative, consensual sexual activity with prepubescents has already been refuted in the Rind meta-analysis. This was condemned by Congress, but only because the statistical methods used were too sound for peer review to reject the results of the analysis.

@143
If someone does something sexually to another person that the other person doesn't want, then it is sexual abuse. Laws can easily cover real abuse, and should, without criminalizing consensual behaviors. Now, kids today are at a disadvantage when dealing with adults because they have fewer positive legal rights (ie. they don't have an absolute right to free speech) and are taught that adults are always right and always a figure of authority. But this is not right. Adults are not inherently superior to children, and moreover, I might point out that this kind of societally enforced power difference between all kids and all adults makes it far easier for someone who actually wants to hurt a child (which is utterly revolting) to do so, for the simple reason that they are already seen as an authority figure. Not a good thing at all, and I am hopeful that this kind of thing will be eliminated someday. Now, I do think that young kids need a loving support system where they can be completely open and without fear of negative reactions about their feelings. This would help to keep abusive situations from developing, or continuing if they do come up. Today, kids aren't able to be completely open with their parents, for instance, because they have learned through experience that expressing certain things will make them very angry, and that is to say nothing of the cases where crappy parents are the abusers (and child abuse is often committed by crappy parents).

@147
I am so sorry to hear what happened to you. That you obviously didn't enjoy it is what matters, and that your uncle didn't care to consider your feelings is revolting. That your uncle was in a position of power over you further makes it clear that this was not consensual activity. I would not wish anything like what happened to you to happen to anyone else, and am saddened that you had to endure this. I am further saddened that your uncle was never punished for his crimes. I really wish that all these things never happened to you. It is so sad that you, or any child, would ever have to go through something like this.

I do think loving adult-child relationships are possible (though unlikely today, and stupid to pursue in any event), but the older person has a responsibility to be sensitive to what the child is actually feeling, not just what he or she says. Your uncle clearly was not. Moreover, I feel that the child needs a loving support system where they can be completely honest about what they are feeling, and to be able to discuss the relationship. There are a lot of changes that need to happen in society before this is a possibility, but I do think it can happen. But it should never resemble what your uncle did to you.
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Posted by A pedophile on February 5, 2010 at 8:58 AM · Report this
166
Sigh. I think KIW was brave to write in. I think Dr. Cantor shows a realistic and compassionate attitude. I think as a culture, we are just terribly f'ed up about sex, and the most effed-up among us manage to stop cold any efforts to remedy this through education and the dissemination of an updated morality that includes benign sexual variations. Right wingers love spreading their pain around. It's their solution to pain, I think - instead of relieving it, create more and then manage to feel some human connection that way.

Many good suggestions for KIW, at least for paths to pursue. But also, I feel the impulse to tell him that as isolating as his situation may feel, there is also a universal component in that many if not most people just have to deal with some form of the dreadful that they didn't choose to have happen to them, and they do so with the inherent grace, beauty and compassion that is bigger and stronger than anything else in life.
Posted by Belleweather on February 5, 2010 at 8:58 AM · Report this
167
@112. So I tried to imagine a society in which I would feel comfortable about a child having an open, loving, benevolent erotic relationship with an adult. You and @156 sketched out some conditions to help me imagine that.

I'm writing here as someone who regularly fantasizes about BEING a child having sex with an adult - and who has done since childhood. So I don't have precisely the same kind of squick that others might do about thinking this through.

But however I think about it, my imaginings of that society hit a wall, very quickly, for these reasons: 1) Erotic feelings are frequently overpowering even for healthy, well intentioned adults. Anyone who's ever had an affair or a dodgy fuck against their better judgement has experienced that. Anyone who's ever felt unreasonably wounded by a lover's cool look or careless word knows that. This is how come people hurt each other and themselves in love ALL. THE. TIME. Erotic feelings override our rationality with great frequency and predictability. Emotional harm is not restricted to erotic relationships, but erotic vulnerability increases the frequency and intensity of that harm beyond measure. So when I see an adult saying they are 'in love' with a kid, I fear for that kid. Not because pedophiles are monsters, but because people in love are (often beautiful but almost invariably) vulnerable, narcissistic and emotionally volatile. Their partners need to match them in power and experience to make things safe.

2) Kids' brains have a shitload of developmental work to do. If they are repeatedly flooded by the chemical highs and crashes of a developed erotic relationship (feelings exaggerated by a power differential) then they can't do that work effectively. Flooding them, even if they like it (or get addicted to it), constitutes harm.

It troubles me that so many of the pedophiles who have written here are invested in a more or less elaborate utopian vision of a time (even far off, unattainable) when society will mold to their longings. This seems a fragile belief structure - it fosters the sense that you're excluded because of society's stupidity (and so festering anti-social resentment, anger...) and it MASKS the POWER DIFFERENTIAL that you don't acknowledge, and that will never, ever go away because is INHERENT in the distinctions 'adult' and 'child'.

Yes, I did keep my discussion on this particular point short, because I didn't want the post to be too long. All this is true, in the society that we have today. It will be true for a long time to come as well. There is a lot that would have to change before such a relationship could exist, and that is why I don't think it is appropriate for such a relationship to exist today. My point is though that this doesn't and shouldn't be the case. I do think that our society could do much better at empowering kids to make their own decisions (within reason, obviously) in all areas of life, and that moreover that this would be more consistent with the ideals of freedom and equality for all. With regards to these hypothetical erotic relationships in particular, I think that they should always be completely out in the open and with the kids understanding that they have every right to refuse to do something they don't want to, and that they always have someone else to discuss their feelings with. I should also mention that I don't think relationships where an adult is in a definite position of power over a child (like a parent) should ever be allowed.

I didn't mean to imply that I am perfect. No one is. People can and do hurt others emotionally. If it is intentional, that is someone uses emotional black mail or manipulation or anything else, then it is clearly a crime and should be punished, often severely. Unintentional harm is harder to predict, and it really isn't restricted to erotic relationships - it can and will occur in any type of relationship someone could be involved in. If we could completely protect kids from emotional harm in all instances without preventing them from being able to have independence, then I would support it wholeheartedly. But I don't think this is possible, so I argue that kids should be empowered to make their own decisions and to have the tools to handle emotional troubles when they do come. To minimize any emotional harm that does occur, I think that kids (and really all people) should have a loving support system where they can be completely honest and open about their feelings without any fear of retribution or angry reactions.
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Posted by diner mo on February 5, 2010 at 9:00 AM · Report this
168
ugh, apologies, last two paragraphs of my last post (167) are not mine, but pasted in from @a pedophile - I meant to cut them.
Posted by diner mo on February 5, 2010 at 9:09 AM · Report this
169
I see no reason to be compasssionate to someone who gets off on children. He needs fixing. You wouldn't hesitate to say a schizophrenic needs the the help of a professional and drug therapy, why would you give this fucker a pass?

The "I would never..." is bullshit, and we all know it. I bet Dan wouldn't be so compassionate if it was his son this guy was getting off on. Not every sexual urge is ok, and what the hell is wrong with saying "being into children is not ok no matter what you haven't done yet, get thee to a a psychiatrist before you hurt someone, rather than after."

Someone who gets off on children is not an innocent human being. They have sexual desires for a vulnerable population, that is not innocent. The fact that this sick bastard actually wants to "babysit" for his friends should set off warning bells, giant clanging ones.

Dan usually gives good and reasonable advice, but his urge to sound enlightened has overcome plain old good sense in this case.
Posted by Anti BS on February 5, 2010 at 10:09 AM · Report this
170
Yes. I am a genius. A true, visionary sort of genius, and you don't deserve me.
Posted by inhoour and I don't care anymore, so f u. on February 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM · Report this
171
Whoa.

"I do think loving adult-child relationships are possible (though unlikely today, and stupid to pursue in any event), but the older person has a responsibility to be sensitive to what the child is actually feeling, not just what he or she says."

First, do you mean "sexual" adult-child relationships? Because "loving" adult-child relationships are the norm/standard, and that includes always placing the child's needs first and never, ever using the child for the adult's needs. Second, you are making the classic justifying-pedophile fantasy error: no child, by reason of *not* being adult, is ever on a par with an adult and therefore consensuality in that sense is never possible. (NB that this does not infer that a child is worth less than an adult, or inherently inferior; you've twisted your debate to make this seem like the issue.) The morality of the matter does not rest on what the child approached by an adult for sex is thinking or feeling; and the terrible thing about pedophiles is that they are willing to imagine and project thoughts and feelings onto their victims.

An adult using a child for his sexual pleasure is never, in any way shape or form, "loving." It is exploiting. And as has been reiterated here often enough: having an urge or a desire does not equal having the right to fulfill it.
Posted by Belleweather on February 5, 2010 at 12:45 PM · Report this
172
Knows It's Wrong/KIW is a 'Brown Star Pedophile', and an asshole.
Posted by you know it's totally true you attention-seeking bastard on February 5, 2010 at 12:45 PM · Report this
173
I've got to second the suggested that KIW take an SSRI (aka Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, many others). I've got an utterly boring sex life but three different times over the years I've tried an SSRI for mild depression and every time it just destroyed my sex drive within days and I had to stop. I'd rather be mildly depressed (or actually take a non-SSRI anti-depressant which is what I do) than have no sex drive (or ability to orgasm) at all.

So KIW could get on Prozac or whatever pretty easily (tell the doc you're bothered by an overstrong libido and want one that most damps sex drive) and that could really help.
Posted by Anonymous Coward (no, a different one) on February 5, 2010 at 12:48 PM · Report this
174
Knows It's Wrong/KIW is a 'Brown Star Pedophile', and an asshole.

You and all of your other obvious-to-me pseudonyms you've been posting since this topic began.

Pfft.
Posted by and i have nothing more to say to you BR on February 5, 2010 at 12:55 PM · Report this
175
Edit THAT, you control-freak genuine pussy!
Posted by you're not worth it anymore BR on February 5, 2010 at 1:30 PM · Report this
176
There doesn't seem to be many opinions being expressed by parents on this thread. As a Mom I'm less interested in KIW's dilemma and more interested in making sure he's never a part of my life in any way. Over the years we've run into a few people who seemed a bit off. The 16-year-old who decided to hang out with my 9 year old son and his gang of friends for a few weeks one summer. He never "did" anything, but that behavior is atypical enough that we told the kids they weren't allowed to include him anymore. The guy at a party who couldn't stop staring at my 4 year old daughter and telling her how beautiful she was to the point that my husband wouldn't put her down and we left pretty quickly. The guy at the park who decided to pee in the bushes a few feet away from my son and his friends when they were around 7 -- he didn't notice me jogging around the nearby track with my dogs until he was in mid-piss. He took off when I got closer, I called the cops but he was long gone and we never saw him again. There are damaged people in the world, and I'm sorry about that and feel bad for them, but I also know what it feels like to be molested. I wasn't penentrated or hurt, but I still remember, even though I was six, being humiliated and trapped and wondering why nobody was stopping him.
I'm not a paranoid, over-protective Mom but I'm aware and alert to the fact that there are people like KIW out there. Any man who isn't a parent who seems to want to "befriend" a child or babysit is going to be suspect.
Posted by sprinkles on February 5, 2010 at 3:08 PM · Report this
177
@157:
With respect to your thought experiment: I don't think the ratio you brought up would be 1-1 either, but then, why should we assume that the kids who did want to be sexual with an adult would also want to be sexual with what was essentially a robot? They are two very different things. Given the choice, would a "normal" person choose another adult who was fully aware of what they were doing, or essentially a robot, to have sex with? The sexuality of children is different from that of the typical adult, but the desire for "social sexuality" over "individual sexuality" is probably the same. I should also make it clear (again) that I DON'T think that all children would desire sexual activity with an adult. Some may though.

"Really? 'Cause from where I stand, they look more like a bunch of willfully deluded, pathologically entitled, self-serving sociopaths who would find a way to rationalize eating human eyeballs straight out of the socket if that was what got them off."

Oh thanks a lot [/sarcasm]. So I'm just some "monster" in your eyes? I know you probably don't care, but that does hurt. A lot.

@167:
What I hope and argue for should not be viewed as a "pedo-utopia," nor should it be considered unattainable. But what is that, really? It is a society where kids are freer, and on a more equal footing with older people. And it isn't just a few pedophiles supporting this for what may be construed as "selfish" desires - true youth rights groups (meaning those which seek equal rights for legally defined minors with legally defined adults) do exist and are quite active today. Consider the National Youth Rights Association, and Americans for a Society Free From Age Restrictions as examples of this. As for my support of this being selfish: If a proposal came up tomorrow that would extend full sexual rights to kids but nothing else, I would be speaking out against it and encouraging others to keep it from being passed. I actually think that such a situation would be worse for kids than what is seen today. A society where kids are on par with adults and exercise the same rights (within reason and with guidance, of course) may seem impossible to realize, but it was also once "impossible" that Blacks would one day be equals. There are special issues that need special consideration for young children obviously. So when I speak of full rights for kids, what I mean is that they should be allowed to exercise them but with consideration given to their actual abilities and with guidance and support from someone they trust, like a parent. And of course, it should always be noted that the restrictions of kids' rights seen today is in many instances very new to society, especially with regards to post-pubescent youths, where the restrictions are entirely new to modern society. Yes, there is a power differential existing today, but I don't see that as something that society should think about keeping, nor can I ever view it as right.

@171
I mean a mutual, loving adult-child erotic relationship. Someone who views and uses children as an object disgusts me. That person would NEVER be me. Yes, adults and kids are not on par at all in today's society. I don't think that to be a good thing. I want kids to be empowered. There will be some special issues to consider of course, and their free exercise of their rights (including sexual) should be with consideration given to their abilities and with guidance and support. And I don't mean it is "my right" to be sexual with children. Rather I want it to be any kid's right to say 'yes' or 'no' to something. If every kid in the world would always say 'no' then I would still want them to have the right to choose. And the bigger issue is that civil rights are broadly denied to kids. If I was given the choice to pick exactly one right for kids to have unconditionally, the last one I would choose is sexual rights (and that is the truth, no matter how much you might want to think a "monster" like me only cares about having sex with kids). In that circumstance I would choose the right to vote. You might protest by claiming that kids are incompetent at all times, but please read up on the Sudbury schools (they are not a school for the gifted or anything either). These are democratically run schools, where among other things, every student and faculty member has an equal vote in deciding everything relating to the administration of the school. Kids as young as six attending these schools demonstrate the ability of making informed and beneficial decisions (on something which has a fair degree of complexity to it and is of direct consequence for them) with some guidance.
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Posted by A pedophile on February 5, 2010 at 3:36 PM · Report this
178
@176 - as a single man who babysits (not a parent yet but I plan to have a kid someday) I have one thing to say to you: DO NOT leave your kids alone with any man or boy even for a second, ever. Your blanket suspicion is a perfect recipe for ruining some innocent guy's life.

I vet the parents I babysit for just as carefully as they vet me because I want to avoid people like you. People who might misinterpret and freak out if their two year old said "he took my pants off" because I helped her to go potty.

Posted by goreedgo on February 5, 2010 at 3:48 PM · Report this
179
To A Pedophile,

"So I'm just some "monster" in your eyes?"

Well, lemme check...yes. The answer to your question is yes.

Who gives a fuck if you were molested or abused as a kid? And who gives a fuck over how tortured you are about this ? What matters is what you do as an adult. And you ARE a ticking bomb--you will give in, you will hurt a child one day. And you will hurt that child so much that the damage will be irreparable. And it's people like you that have made my world, my health, my sexuality, a living hell for the majority of my life.

Yes--please go castrate yourself. Right now.

Go watch the movie Little Children to see how it's done.
Posted by Yes, you are sick. on February 5, 2010 at 4:43 PM · Report this
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To A Pedophile,

"So I'm just some "monster" in your eyes?"

Well, lemme check...yes. The answer to your question is yes.

Who gives a fuck if you were molested or abused as a kid? And who gives a fuck over how tortured you are about this ? What matters is what you do as an adult. And you ARE a ticking bomb--you will give in, you will hurt a child one day. And you will hurt that child so much that the damage will be irreparable. And it's people like you that have made my world, my health, my sexuality, a living hell for the majority of my life.

Yes--please go castrate yourself. Right now.

Go watch the movie Little Children to see how it's done.
Posted by yes, you are sick. on February 5, 2010 at 4:45 PM · Report this
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Mr. A pedophile,
The fact that something that was not taboo until 'recently' does not mean that the taboo is bad. For a very long time it was not a taboo to own other human beings, in fact in the golden days of the classical era they often made their human property fight other human property to death for their won amusement.
The movement to 'free' children so that they are available for sexual contact with adults is a reactionary agenda cloaked in progressive jargon. Yes, people used to have sexual contact with pre-pubescent and early-adolescent children freely. We have made this a taboo because it is not healthy for or wanted by an extraordinary percentage of children. We protect these children by not allowing sexual contact with any children- because it is impossible to know in advance whether a child will react positively or negatively to sexual contact with an adult. You only know the result after the fact.
I work with children, Mr. A pedophile. I am a cool adult. Kids love me, but never, ever, in the ten years that I have been working with children, has a single child expressed any interest in sexual contact with me, and there has been opportunity- so it is not a lack of that. IT IS THAT CHILDREN DO NOT DESIRE TO HAVE SEX WITH ADULTS. A few adults desire to have sex with children, and they project that desire on to the child.
You are right, Mr. A pedophile, you will never see the day when sexual relationships between adults and children are normalized. This is not because we are not enlightened enough- it is because those days are behind us. You should forget about your Rind meta-analysis, and your lengthy prose about 'equalizing children'. Children are not the equals of adults in any way shape or form: physically, cognitively, or emotionally.
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Posted by IPgator on February 5, 2010 at 5:16 PM · Report this
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@177
"I mean a mutual, loving adult-child erotic relationship." Are all relationships between adults loving? No, often it is just sex, selfish sex, without much care or attachment to your partner.

While there are relationships where one adult gives themselves completely to their partner, letting the partner make decisions for them (talking about BDSM here) and trusting their dom to make decisions in the best interest of the sub, for every decent dom there are tons of dickheads who only want to have their selfish needs met and don't give a rat's ass about what's in their sub's best interest. There are ways for an adult sub to recognize a quality dom, and dickheads I described are not welcome in BDSM community; a child, however, is not able to identify them.

So how exactly do you think it can be ensured that in all adult-child erotic relationships are loving and that the adult in that relationship will only do things in the best interest of the child?
Posted by tiare on February 5, 2010 at 5:22 PM · Report this
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Simple rule - do not take advantage of the vulnerable.
Posted by endofstory on February 5, 2010 at 5:55 PM · Report this
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I am going to come out for the first time in this anonymous forum. I'm a "gold star." Many people consider me a nice, compassionate person. It's people like "yes, you are sick" that remind me in this society it's not OK to tell anyone, not a therapist, not a friend, not anyone. I would be afraid to ask a girlfriend to wear a schoolgirl outfit. Luckily I am attracted to older girls. I just haven't had any girlfriends, mostly from bad self esteem problems. Just so you all know, not all pedophiles were abused but most of us have very low self esteem for one reason or another (thinking that you are a monster doesn't help). I don't know if I will ever have an intimate relationship with a consenting adult, but I would still be constantly afraid that she would read my mind somehow and discover my deep dark secret.

To KIW, stay away from kids in all circumstances. I have had many people tell me what a great teacher I would make but that will never happen. My excuse, of course, is that I "don't like kids"
Posted by Closet Pariah on February 5, 2010 at 6:02 PM · Report this
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@179:
Hurting a child is unimaginable to me. I cannot think of something more revolting. And I know that if I were to engage in sexual activity with a little girl I might be attracted to, that in today's world it would be basically guaranteed that harm would come, so I will never even consider coming close to doing that. Above all else, I do not want any harm to come to a child.

@181:
The slavery comparison is a bad one to make. What I argue for is not to control another human being as my personal property, but to empower kids to be as independent as they are able to be, in general. Yes this would have to be within reason for any rights. And kids would need to always have honest guidance and support from someone they can be completely honest without fearing negative reactions. We can recognize that most ten-year olds, say, wouldn't be able to drive safely, or that the basic academic concepts (reading, writing, arithmetic) should be compulsory, or other things like this. That doesn't mean that we should say that in all instances, a person under age X cannot possibly have the competence and ability to exercise a certain right. Even with voting, children who attend a Sudbury style school (democratic) demonstrate the ability to make a sound decision in their votes, with some guidance.

And please look into why the child sexuality taboo in particular developed in the first place. The main reason was a movement towards a Puritan style anti-sex value system. It didn't come into place to "protect" kids, but to enforce a particular religious view on society. I should point out that it is being applied against those which it supposedly protects as well. I am sure that you have heard of the "sexting" prosecutions, and similar nonsense. Yes, many kids do not desire sexual contacts with adults. And I would never force them to change their minds in any way. What they think and feel about that is what is important, and I don't think that I, you, or some bureaucrat a thousand miles away has any right to make the decision for them. It assumes way too much about the kid and also assumes kids to be uniformly the same and incapable, and I would hope that you can recognize that this isn't the case.
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Posted by A pedophile on February 5, 2010 at 7:24 PM · Report this
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@182:
I think that kids need to always have guidance and support, which at the same time recognizes that the kid needs to have some independence, from someone they can trust absolutely. It would be a good thing to strongly discourage someone who is inexperienced with erotic relationships from jumping into one with the first person they might think cares about them (and really this would apply to anyone of any age who has not had significant experience with erotic or other close non-familial relationships).

A kid in this situation should know that they aren't obligated in any way to engage in something, and that they should talk about it with someone (probably a parent) if they have any doubts whatsoever, especially since they would almost certainly have little or zero experience with these things. If the potential partner seemed like a jerk (who wouldn't be sensitive to the kid's feelings and needs, or who might be lieing about his or her true intentions) to the parent, then I think the parent should be allowed to exercise some reasonable discretion in keeping a young child from engaging with the jerk. And at all times in the relationship, the child be able to have an open and honest talk about how they are feeling about the relationship with his or her parents, and to receive honest advice and guidance.
Posted by A pedophile on February 5, 2010 at 7:31 PM · Report this
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A pedophile is ruining it for the rest of us.

There are three ways a "gold star" pedophile crosses the line.

1: Opportunity. Stay away from kids! Don't be a parent, teacher, coach, priest, doctor, or babysitter. Hell, stay away from the park and zoo.

2: Sociopaths. They just don't care if they hurt others. Lock them up, chemical castration, whatever it takes.

3: The self deluded. Nambla types like A pedophile who convince themselves that in some narrow circumstance the kid just might want it and not suffer from the experience. Haven't you heard from the victims on this page? IT'S NOT OK, GET A CLUE!
Posted by Closet Pariah on February 5, 2010 at 7:42 PM · Report this
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@ A Pedophile: kids DO NOT HAVE to capacity for judgment to engage in a sexual relationship with an adult; they don't have the capacity to understand fully what they are agreeing to or how it will affect them. Period, forever, end of story. All your fancy words & rationalizing don't change that imbalance: in an adult/child "relationship", the adult is doing all of the deciding.

Kids playing doctor w/ other kids/peers: okay & normal. Adult/kid erotic relationship: never okay. & I don't mean an 18-year old kid & his 16-year-old girlfriend.

When someone stops being a kid is determined by law. Whether that law is 100% in synch with an actual young person's sex drive or not, it's there to protect them.

I'm a woman, & my mom left the care of me & my brothers up to various babysitters. Twqo of the male ones came on to me (I was 7, second time 9) as did the first guy I ever worked for (ice cream shop, I was 12). If I hadn't gotten into my dad's dirty magazines I wouldn't have had any idea what these scumbags were after. But I had, & I did, & I was able to wiggle my way out of the situation.

I had nice normal sexual curiosity, focused on kids my own age when I was a wee kid. But after being repeatedly hit on/creeped out by older guys, I ate a whole lot, gained a buncha weight in an atempt to disappear & had a pile of sexual hangups for a long time. It completely fucked me up & they never got past the elastic of my underwear.

If you are a pedophile, do something. Drugs, therapy, something, Rewire your desires. They're NOT normal, they're NOT okay. & FOR FUCK'S SAKE DO NOT FUCKING BABYSIT. Find a reason, just don't do it, said the formerly babysat. & don't expect your 50-cent words to make me think anything other than age play between adults is okay, ever, ever.
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Posted by Regular Slog Commenter on February 5, 2010 at 8:38 PM · Report this
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Hear hear, @187 and @188.

@A pedophile: a little of the power imbalance between adults and children is the result of social conditioning that could potentially be redressed by empowering kids. Most of it is not. The whole reason we have that category 'a child' is that it takes TIME for people to become intellectually, physically and emotionally equipped with a sound framework to deal with life. We have long childhoods these days because our lifestyles are enormously sophisticated. That's not going to change.

You indirectly acknowledge the inherent power imbalance every time you say (and you say it often) that children should be provided 'with guidance'. And every time you say that you endorse taking the protection of children away from collective social responsibility and putting it into the hands of individual adults, or small groups of adults, with vested interests. That is not about protecting children. That is about making them more available to adult desire.

Pedophilic desire is FOUNDED on the differences between adults and children. And so your arguments that you want kids to be empowered or equals just don't ring true. You insist repeatedly that you would never hurt a child, but you show a very, very limited understanding of what harm for a child could be. And the limited understanding - the limited responses to the range of points presented to you - is sounding pretty willful. At the very least it's making me think you must have some huge blind-spots about your own childhood and emotional development. I hope you keep your vows to stay away from kids, even in a non-physical emotional capacity. And I hope you can get help to consider yourself and your situation honestly, rather than focusing on remodelling society.
Posted by diner mo on February 5, 2010 at 9:48 PM · Report this
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I'm not a gold star.

I'm a pedophile, and have been for as long as I can remember. I was interested in sex and sexually active (with kids my own age) by the time I was eight, and my tastes never changed. For the record, I was never molested by an adult.

When I was thirteen, I got on the internet for the first time and found child porn, and liked it. I was so horrified with myself that I destroyed my computer, and went without for years afterwards. So terrified was I by my own sex drive that I spent the rest of my adolescence violently trying to suppress it (to the point that I avoided even healthy sexual outlets---I'm also interested, to a much lesser extent, in adult men), culminating in a suicide attempt at nineteen.

I've never had sexual contact with a child (at least, not one who wasn't my age or older), nor do I intend to. I've carefully avoided all contact with children for more than ten years (including family members with whom I was close---I've only just recently started to reach out to my younger cousins again, who I now barely know). As a result of half a lifetime of self-loathing and secrecy, I've slowly grown away from my family and friends, and, in the end, from *all* social contact, significantly decreasing my (already slim) chances of ever finding the meaningful the meaningful (adult) companionship I so desperately crave.

I hate that this is the way I am. It's a shitty way to live, and it robs you of the self-esteem you need to defend yourself against a society that believes that you're an irredeemable monster. I've spent too much of my life believing that I didn't deserve to be alive, and I've lost a lot of the things I care about as a result. In my case, it's been particularly painful, because as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a father, and I know that can never happen.

A few years ago, though, I broke down and told my parents. They didn't stop loving me (I'm very, very lucky here; I can't say I'd recommend it). Then I told a few close friends. They're still my friends. And then something clicked in my head, and I just decided to stop believing that I was evil, and to try to accept what I couldn't change.

I'm still desperately unhappy, but I've begun to open up again. I've had a few brief sexual encounters with men (and women), and while not all of them were deeply satisfying, it was an immense relief to realize that it's not impossible. I've also found other sexual outlets, including (ambiguously legal) hand-drawn and written pornography. I'm pretty screwed up, and I've never been in a relationship (I'm in my twenties), and I don't know if I'll ever be able to. That said, for the first time since I turned thirteen, I'm not terrified of myself, nor am I worried that I'll some how "lose control" and hurt someone (though I still intend to avoid working with, or having, children).

The revelation I've had recently is this: the people who "act out" sexually are precisely the people who spend the most effort trying to curtail and alter their own sexual impulses. These days it's the steretypical self-hating homophobes, the Larry Craigs of the world that end up seeking out dangerous, sketchy, scandalous airport bathroom hookups. I would guess by analogy that it's the pedophiles who've been driven the furthest into exile who pose the greatest risk to society---and more's the pity, since society seems to revel in driving them hence. I really have *no idea* how many like me there are out there (both because none of us dares come forward and because psychiatry seems more concerned with pedophilia, the crime than it is with pedophilia, the syndrome) but I truly, truly hope that some day society will have an answer for the little boy who hits puberty and starts to notice boys and girls rather than men and women, and has to spend the rest of his childhood counting down the days until he's old enough to meet the diagnostic criteria for *evil*.
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Posted by another_pedophile on February 5, 2010 at 10:24 PM · Report this
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@189

While I agree with most of your points, I do take issue with "Pedophilic desire is FOUNDED on the differences between adults and children. And so your arguments that you want kids to be empowered or equals just don't ring true.". After all, heterosexual desire is founded on the differences between men and women, but that doesn't mean a straight man can't want women to be empowered equals.

I'm not arguing that children have the capacity to be equal partners (nor do I believe it)---I'm just saying that pedophilic attraction isn't *necessarily* all about power. It's possible simply to be strongly attracted to that body type, as I am and was even when I was a child myself. So, while a pedophile who claims that he wants to bring about a world in which children are free to engage in sexual relationships with adults may be deluded, he's not necessarily being disingenuous.
Posted by another_pedophile on February 5, 2010 at 10:34 PM · Report this
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Hi Another Pedophile - I appreciate your filling in more of the picture by writing frankly about your experiences. I'm sorry for all the isolation and self-hatred you've experienced, and I'm really glad you are coming to a better, healthier place. I think your insight about self-hatred and exile is probably right on the money.

I don't agree with the child/adult = woman/man analogy. Because if you don't believe that kids have the capacity to be equal partners (and I don't either), then it follows that desire to have sex with kids is always the desire to have sex with an unequal partner. I don't condemn this as fantasy, and in fantasy I understand that the focus may well not be on any harmful expression of power. But I do believe (and here I'm in part informed by my own fantasies) that power dynamics are deeply and inextricably embedded in the desire (and actually in all desire).

I also believe that this is part of what makes fantasies and desires richly informative about our inner lives. They are beautiful source of self-knowledge. A physical type is not just a physical type. It embodies something, speaks to us in complex and highly personal ways - hence the obsessive potential of attraction. I think that listening fully to those desires for the self-knowledge [NOT the same as acting on them, obviously] is the way out of fear, self-hatred, and stuck-ness in a fantasy. It works for me.
Posted by diner mo on February 5, 2010 at 11:11 PM · Report this
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I don't have anything to add to the discussion aside from the points already made. But thank you Dan for doing this column and provoking one of the best discussions I've seen on pedophilia. The fact that you've changed the minds of many readers who simply don't realize what it's like to be a pedophile encourages me so much.

And thanks from the bottom of my heart to all those lending support to KIW. It means so much to me that you all are able to look beyond the institutionalized hype and hate and treat the issue with the rationality it deserves.
Posted by name withheld on February 6, 2010 at 3:35 AM · Report this
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This discussion is very amazing indeed.

As someone said, we cant just bury our head in the sand and expect that these problems go away.

Empathy is always a good thing. Empathy is what leads this man to fight his paedophilic desires out of understanding for the harm he could cause children.

Lack of empathy is the fundamental ingredient of sociopathy. This man appears to have empathy. It follows that he does not seem to be a Sociopath.

I hope he does get the treatment or support that will be effective and should he fight his urges successfully I think on some sort of fundamental human level he has won a tremendous battle. Going to war against the Devil and winning even.

It must be re-affirmed that Paedophilic acts should never should never be seen as appropriate. It fucks kids up. Even if they could be said to 'want it' at the time, we generally as a society do take the liberty to deem that young people cant do/shouldnt do certain things they might 'want to'.

We dont let young people take certain risks because it can cause harm. We dont let young people consent to certain acts because of harm.
Posted by Google Search on February 6, 2010 at 4:49 AM · Report this
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@192

"They are beautiful source of self-knowledge. A physical type is not just a physical type. It embodies something, speaks to us in complex and highly personal ways - hence the obsessive potential of attraction."

Certainly so. However, I would argue that the deep, inner meaning of physical attraction can and does change over time. After all, there's a significant difference between a 13-year-old being attracted to people his own age and younger (and being turned on by his memories of sex with people his own age and older) and a twenty-something who's attracted to kids less than half his age. The former can and does turn into the latter though, the common thread being simple, shallow physical attraction.

"Because if you don't believe that kids have the capacity to be equal partners (and I don't either), then it follows that desire to have sex with kids is always the desire to have sex with an unequal partner. I"

"I do believe (and here I'm in part informed by my own fantasies) that power dynamics are deeply and inextricably embedded in the desire (and actually in all desire)."

Also true. That said, KIW half-jokingly referred to japanese sex-bots, which, if they existed, would be *nothing more* than a body-type.

Again, I'm not arguing that it's *rational* to believe that children should be "emancipated" sexually. That said, if there *were* people who looked more or less like children, yet were mental adults with the capacity and experience to make such decisions, I'd imagine a lot of pedophiles (maybe not all of them) would be very happy. The fact that such people don't exist is a matter of circumstance.

The whole power dynamic does feed into it pretty strongly. It almost has to (though pedophilia is certainly not alone in this regard). That said, at least for me, the physical attraction came *first*.
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Posted by another_pedophile on February 6, 2010 at 6:22 AM · Report this
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@194

"I hope he does get the treatment or support that will be effective and should he fight his urges successfully I think on some sort of fundamental human level he has won a tremendous battle. Going to war against the Devil and winning even."

Going to war with the devil is precisely the wrong thing to do (and it's why I'm no longer a Christian). So long as it's the evil *other* that you're trying to subdue, you're not taking responsibility for what are in fact your own tastes and desires. You have to accept that you *do* want to have sex with children (no matter how much you wish you didn't) before you can rationally decide not to.

As for therapy---I've been through a lot of it. I really, really wanted to believe in the process, but I've come to understand that, if there *are* therapists who know what to do with pedophiles who aren't child-molesters, they are few and far between. The DSM IV definition of pedophilia is pretty telling: in order to be a pedophile, one must have either *acted* on one's desires *or* have been markedly distressed by them. Basically, it conflates the attraction with the crime of child abuse. If I do eventually come to some sort of peace with this, paradoxically, according to the definition, I'll no longer be a pedophile.

I do wonder to what extent this helps to propagate the notion that all pedophiles are dangerous rapists, by making it a tautology. In any event, it suggests to me that mainstream psychology has yet to figure out what to do with people like me, and my experience seems to have borne this out.
Posted by another_pedophile on February 6, 2010 at 6:40 AM · Report this
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The BDSM-Catholic link does a lot to explain Mel Gibson films.
Posted by whay on February 6, 2010 at 8:04 AM · Report this
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I've never been to this site before, though I'm familiar with Dan Savage. As a professional who has worked almost exclusively with sexual abusers (juvenile and adult) and male survivors of sexual abuse for over 30 years, I find the comments and discussion here to be very interesting and informative, for the most part.

As part of my research for a sex abuser treatment provider conference (and a book that has just been published on male survivors), I engaged in a dialog for months with a self-proclaimed "boy lover" and had exposure to some of the boy (and girl) lover sites that are out there.

From this, I've tried to create a typology of "boy lovers" that hopefully can distinguish people like KIW from the NAMBLA rape and pillage crowd.

Here is an excerpt from my book:

“Boy-Lovers”

There are some men who profess to be “boy-lovers.” Ostensibly, groups such as NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) claim that their members are not out to sexually abuse children but really love the pre-teen and teen boys for their “boyness.” They insist they want to nurture and care for these boys, and they believe that a boy who is entering puberty should have an older male “guide” to help him explore and understand his new or soon-to-be-new hormones. Because the boy-lover’s approach is one of seduction to bring himself to the boy’s level of interest, he may ingratiate himself with the boy and his parents as a kindly and generous man. Exploiting the curiosity and interest the boy has about this new area of his life, the boy-lover introduces sexual themes and behaviors to the child.

Boy-lovers have numerous websites, ranging from those that permit postings only by men who “truly love boys” and are not looking to be sexual with them to sites endorsing “inter-generational sex” (child-adult sexual relations) so long as no force is used, to still other sites that openly promote child or adolescent erotic images and child exploitation writings. What they all have in common is a sexual interest in pre-pubescent or young adolescent boys.

Although my experience with boy-lovers is somewhat limited, I have a sense of three major types of this population: the nurturer, the sexual mentor, and the predator. This brief summary is based on my observations and experience and is not validated by research, although a number of colleagues who work with sexual abusers agree that this represents a good starting point for distinguishing differences in those who see themselves as boy-lovers.

THE NURTURER. The man who genuinely feels close and nurturing to boys and has no sexual intentions or conscious sexual interests in them might be seen as a “nurturer.” This group could include men who relate to the young boy within themselves and re-experience the joy of camping, fishing, playing sports, and other activities boys like to do. Any conscious sexual thoughts or fantasies are kept under control; while the nurturer may masturbate to fantasies about the boy, he does not act out these thoughts and fantasies. These men are not sexual abusers as long as their behaviors with the boys are not sexual.

THE SEXUAL MENTOR. The nurturer may become a “sexual mentor” if he incorporates sexual behaviors that overstep the boundary of nurturance and respect. The man who masturbates privately to thoughts or fantasies of the boy, or who surreptitiously looks at the boy getting dressed, or discusses sexual matters with him, is moving into sexual mentor territory.

While some of the non-sexual behaviors and activities of a sexual mentor type look like nurturing, this boy-lover has explicit thoughts and fantasies about the boy. He often rationalizes his physical contact as nurturing and helpful for the boy’s transition into manhood. He would not use any force in a sexual situation with the boy and views any sexual contact as consensual, gentle, and for the benefit of the boy. He might tell or show the boy how to masturbate (and perhaps not masturbate himself or do any sexual act that would be for his benefit), or he may perform oral sex on the boy as a way to make him feel good. In non-sexual situations, he brings himself down to the boy’s level of activities and interests. In sexual situations, however, he is bringing the boy up to his own level. This kind of abuser is mentally engaging in a serious distortion of friendship, mentorship and nurturance.

The teacher, coach, scout leader, or other father figure may start out feeling very nurturing toward the boys he is involved with. However, over a period of time, the sexual attraction can become confused with the nurturance, and the behaviors become sexual. These men are sexual abusers, despite their “boy-lover sexual mentor” self-image. While boy-lovers of the sexual mentor type know that what they are doing is wrong and illegal, they find it hard to stop once they cross the line into obvious sexual behaviors. They may feel that they have spun out of control and feel guilty for what they do. The man discussed earlier who gave my friend beer and showed him pornography while performing oral sex on him and his friends as young teens, was not forcing anyone to do anything they did not want to do. As my friend pointed out, he enjoyed the beer, pornography and oral sex.

Some of the men I’ve worked with who have done these behaviors took the boy’s lack of protest as consent. Many sexual mentor abusers say that they would have ended the behavior if the boy had told them to stop. The truth of the matter, however, is that many boys are too confused, frightened, or embarrassed about the acts to be able to react to them. Other survivors felt that they couldn’t ask the abuser to stop because they received gifts from the abuser, or because they didn’t want to hurt the abuser’s feelings.

THE PREDATOR. These self-identified “boy-lovers” do not actually care about the boy’s needs or feelings. They are usually heavy consumers of child pornography, likely in greater volume than sexual mentor boy-lovers, and they are more interested in violent or very graphic pornography. They are primarily concerned for their own sexual gratification, and the boy is merely a way to achieve it. They may swap their victims with other pedophiles, and their sexual activities are likely to involve violence and degradation. Abusers of this type may also be involved in the distribution or production of child sexual abuse images.

Again, these categories are not scientific or validated by research. Man-boy sexual relationships are usually very dangerous. Boys who respond to the boy-lover just want an older male to take interest and spend time with them. Boys who do not have a father or whose father is not meeting these emotional needs are especially vulnerable to such a predator. The trust that is deliberately built in this kind of relationship becomes a major betrayal for the youth when the situation turns sexual. The boy may be conflicted about refusing the sexual behaviors or telling someone else about them, fearing his “friend” may get into trouble or that the relationship will end. He may feel ambivalent about the abuse itself or feel guilty as a participant, particularly if he has received gifts or money from the abuser.
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Posted by NJKen on February 6, 2010 at 10:20 AM · Report this
199
Let me add a couple of resources that can help. For those worried about their feelings/thoughts to be sexual with a child, or are concerned about a friend or relative whose behaviors indicate possible sexual interest or behaviors with children, there is a great website:
www.stopitnow.org

For men who have been sexually abused, whether as children or adults (and have not committed sexual offenses against children), try:

www.malesurvivor.org

The discussion board of MS has a number of topics for male survivors as well as their friends, lovers, family members.
Posted by NJKen on February 6, 2010 at 10:47 AM · Report this
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How great to have a forum to talk about these things. I could never tell a therapist or be part of some kind of study. I would be way to afraid. I guess this is why there is no data about pedophiles that doesn't come from offenders. I would like to comment on a few items of this discussion.

As to the question of whether it's a matter of body type or power dynamics. I think its both. I am more attracted to the "cute" type in older girls and am not into the big breast, long leg, heavy makeup glamorous type. Power dynamics is a big part of it though. When I was in puberty I had very low self esteem and girls my age really looked down on me. I would probably be into the whole DOM/SUB dynamic but I'm not into pain. It gets to close to a rape fantasy which really bothers me. I think this is why NAMBLA types like A Pedophile like to rationalize this desire. The thought of raping a kid is sickening. It would be nice to fantasize about some hot to trot lolita who really wants them. It's not going to happen though. You have to be able to separate fantasy from reality. If you are not into older girls like me, but are only attracted to kids, then you have to accept that there is no ethical way to ever be satisfied sexually. Sad but true.
Posted by Closet Pariah on February 6, 2010 at 11:47 AM · Report this
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It is interesting to me that the sole perspective taken is pity to someone who cannot indulge his deepest sexual 'kink'. Like it is the worst thing imaginable that he cannot experience his favorite fantasy. Isn't it worth mentioning that there is a spiritual teaching, dating back thousands of years, spanning every religious tradition that would tell WHIP: your predicament is the best thing that could ever happen to you. Hinayana buddhism, rinzai zen, monastic christianity etc all offer a rich body of knowledge and practice to support those choosing a celibate lifestyle -- not because sex is evil or immoral but because it can be a distraction or barrier to their spiritual development. Even Hinduism, which produced the tantric tradition that uses sexuality as vehicle to enlightenment as well as an expression of it, has a revered place for the renunciate. Buddha did say that desire is the root of suffuring. Fantasy is ultimately unsatisfying and it's connecting with what it real within you that alleviates suffering. WHIP could use all that sexual energy and instead of repressing it, channel it into his own awakening. Either that, or before he decides to indulge his fantasies, do a solid for everyone and take one for the team -- like from the business end of a shotgun. I don't say that because pedophelia is a sin or like Urgatha, it's existence make me want to shoot God in the face. It's just that it is so unfair to those who can't meaningfully consent to it. It usually does so much harm to the ones who are shamed and victimized by it. Trying to develop a less harmful fetish is fruitless. And he can't justify act out his fantasies without leaving behind a trial of self loathing, shame, depression and often drug/alcohol addiction and mental illness. But WHIP can avail himself of the opportunity to go inward and find what can really fulfill and enrich his life. Adopt a practice that speaks to him, meditate, find himself, find Spirit......or he can go fuck himself.
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Posted by hairless on February 6, 2010 at 11:50 AM · Report this
202
I am pleased to see some balanced comments here. When I read the letter from KIW and Dan's response, I was a little disappointed that Dan didn't give KIW permission for fantasy.
I think even recently there was another letter regarding age regression play between a man and woman, and Dan saw nothing wrong with this as fantasy play.

I do take exception to comment number 62, which asserts that there is no hope for KIW to ever have a relationship based on honesty.
Here is my story, which might offer some hope to KIW.
I am a 57-year-old self identified gay men at this point in my life. I have been having sex with a little boy for almost the last 20 years.
My little boy is Asian, just barely 5 feet tall and just a little over 100 pounds. He keeps himself completely hairless. My little boy just turned 54, and I am quite sure he will be my little boy into his 80s and hopefully even beyond if we are so fortunate to live that long.
We immigrated to Canada in in order to have a country that accepts us both (He is not a US citizen and he could not get immigration rights for the US, but that's another story) We have been married here for a number of years.One of the best things about my little boy is that he never grows up!
We are equal partners in daily life, and completely compatible in this sexual fantasy play.
I doubt that many people here are very well read about the history of pederasty in multiple world cultures historically. For example, it is extremely common for adult males to be attracted to what the Greeks called "beardless youths". Don't think it was just the Greeks either. In Japan, China, India, Africa, the new world,and South Pacific island cultures among others, there have been long traditions.
Like KIW, I have never touched a real boy sexually, except when I was also an early teen and played with another boy and I never will. Neither do I have anything to do with child pornography for the same reasons as KIW.
But I certainly see nothing wrong with silently noticing the beautiful young ones. It is not some sort of aberrant sickness to notice the beauty and acknowledge the attractiveness.
Fantasy does no harm.

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Posted by Fantasy Dan on February 6, 2010 at 11:57 AM · Report this
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@196: "The DSM IV definition of pedophilia is pretty telling: in order to be a pedophile, one must have either *acted* on one's desires *or* have been markedly distressed by them. Basically, it conflates the attraction with the crime of child abuse. If I do eventually come to some sort of peace with this, paradoxically, according to the definition, I'll no longer be a pedophile."

You need to remember that the purpose of the DSM is to classify and categorize mental illnesses and disorders. Over its development, the DSM has moved away from pathologizing behaviours or impulses that, while outside what is considered "normal" by mainstream society, do not cause harm to the individual or others. It is this trend that led to the removal of homosexuality as a diagnosis under DSM.

Medically speaking, a person who is sexual attracted to children but who neither acts on those desires nor is disturbed by them is not mentally ill or mentally disturbed. He's not hurting himself, he's not hurting others. He's just... different.

In other words, if you come to peace with your desires, and do not act on them, you won't fit into the DSM because you won't need to be diagnosed. It is a diagnostic, medical tool. It doesn't exist to categorize healthy people.
Posted by I actually like the DSM on February 6, 2010 at 1:01 PM · Report this
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@203

"You need to remember that the purpose of the DSM is to classify and categorize mental illnesses and disorders."

Absolutely, and I certainly appreciate that trend.

"In other words, if you come to peace with your desires, and do not act on them, you won't fit into the DSM because you won't need to be diagnosed."

But that turns the notion of diagnosis on its head. If there is in fact a medical condition of pedophilia, some internal pathological deformity, then surely a pedophile who is also a rapist was just as much a pedophile before he violated the law as after. It seems absurd to me to state that he, effectively, *caught* pedophilia through his actions.

This trend away from pathologizing non-harmful behaviors is all well and good, so long as you assume that any *behavior* ought to be pathologized in the first place. Pointed out, sure. Condemned, absolutely. But I don't see how a pattern of behavior (or a crime) can be classed as a disease, instead of merely a symptom. To do so seems dishonest, and it strikes me as unscientific. It seems rather an awful lot like crafting a diagnosis to fit a category of people that we (perhaps rightly) dislike, and by so doing to cloak their stigmatization in scientific rhetoric.

I'm not a doctor, and I admit that there's a great deal I don't understand here. As a layperson, however, it sounds like you're saying that the diagnosis is really of mental disturbance *resulting* from pedophilia, rather than of pedophilia itself (which, as you say, is, on it's own, just a "difference"). I'd argue that, if that's true, the DSM should be changed to say as much---possibly by borrowing a term from DSM-III and calling it "ego-dystonic pedophilia" (though, as I understand it, "ego-dystonic homosexuality" itself was removed precisely because the associated problems weren't specific to homosexuality).

Such a change might possibly alter the way therapists approach the problems presented by pedophilia, and would at the very least help to temper the popular notion that we're all dangerous, soulless psychopaths. For the few who are stuck with this pattern of attraction, it might also bring some hope that society hadn't given up on them, and so limit the inherent dangers of desperation.

If, on the other hand, pedophilia *is* to be considered an untreatable deformity, then I still have difficulty believing that the behaviors that result from it are part of the disease; I would instead argue that they can instead be understood as an example of the way human beings react when confronted with an insoluble problem, aggravated by the attendant complete rejection by their peers.

As a side note, I'm very, very grateful to Dan Savage for shining a light on this subject, and for giving us a forum in which to discuss it. It is my strongly held belief that open, reasoned discussion does far more good than harm overall, and that, particularly in this case, it's absolutely vital.
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Posted by another_pedophile on February 6, 2010 at 2:39 PM · Report this
205
@157: I think you're begging the question somewhat. Kids are able to read adults' desires pretty well, but they're also able to tell what's forbidden, too. Besides the obvious prohibition against pedophilia, there's also a massive taboo against sexuality in general, not to mention the idea of private parts being "dirty" and so forth. If there's any line that kids toe, it's that one.

FWIW, as a pre-pubescent child I recall having frequent and unambiguous sexual urges. I don't remember when they started, but by the time I was eight or nine they were quite apparent. I didn't know what to do with them, exactly, but I knew that I felt sexual desire for peers my own age, and sometimes for people much older than myself -- that is, adult or near-adult women.

Even though I was intensely curious about sex and girls, I knew that it was shameful to talk about these things, and so I never pursued them with peers -- playing doctor and so forth -- because I knew, instinctively, that there was a chance we could get in big trouble. Only when I became a teenager did I discover masturbation, and realize what the ultimate expression of those nascent feelings would have been.

Back then, there was also a pedophile in my neighborhood -- a manipulative predator who has since been convicted and imprisoned, but was free at the time. My parents actively protected me from him, for which I'm grateful. It would have done me great harm, I think, had he gotten his clutches on me.

But would it have done me the same harm had I been seduced by an older woman, especially once I was a bit older? I don't know, though I doubt it. I've never bought the argument that the damage done by pedophilia is independent of gender; it may be politically and legally correct to say so, but it contradicts common sense, social conditioning, and a hell of a lot of anecdotal evidence. (Even so, I know people out there have had painful and terrible childhood experiences at the hands of adult females, and my sympathy goes out to them.)

Bottom line: adults, male or female, really shouldn't be having sexual relations with kids. There are really good reasons for that, and others have pointed them out. (I don't have a good solution for the OP's problem, alas.)

But I also think that our society's preoccupation with pedophilia breeds MORE pedophiles, in the same way that if you tell someone not to think about elephants, they'll think about elephants. Perhaps all this hysteria is only ensuring that more people view children in a sexual way, so that even the most innocuous images of children now "read" as perverse, sexualized, and unacceptable. In an effort to preserve innocence, I fear we've damaged it more than ever.
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Posted by this is a good thread on which to be anonymous on February 6, 2010 at 4:50 PM · Report this
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fantasy dan's story made me smile. I hope it's true because it's about as romantic as it comes. So glad you found each other.
Posted by awwwww on February 6, 2010 at 5:41 PM · Report this
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Chipping in again - I was comment #35 above, and wanted to add more as I've seen others do.

My first crush was on a person 2 years younger than me - an nine or ten year old girl. As the years passed, I grew up, but the age of the girls I liked stayed pretty much the same. The only sexually themed abuse I ever endured was my own guilt and confusion over my attractions.

In high school, as I began realizing what I was and the distance between myself & my peers, I self destructed. As an introverted person, I withdrew from the world. I stopped going to classes and would stay up all night with my thoughts whirling in a morass of self hatred and recrimination, sometimes going forty eight hours without sleep. The only person I hurt then was myself, and to a lesser extent my parents & friends, as I fell behind in school and shut down a multitude of friendships. I spent three years like that, worming my way out of facing the outside world, lying to my parents so I could keep skipping school.

It took me a while to put myself back together. I found an online community and while I ultimately decided I didn't agree with their views (many were closer to 'A Pedophile' in the comments here than KIW or myself in intent) it helped me get some perspective. The rest of my self-reconstruction involved me deciding what I needed to do and who I wanted to be. I still hold to the decisions I made back then, like not drinking or doing drugs. I considered chemical castration at that point, but decided against it for the reasons I stated in my previous post.

I'm a pedophile. What I came to realize back then was that I'm not, have never been & will never be a child molester. I have had a girl I was attracted to throw herself at me in an explicit way, and I turned her down before anything could happen. I'm not saying I'm perfect or nonsexual - Just like a stacked babe turns your average guy's head, a cute preteen will turn mine. I glance, appreciate what I see and keep walking. I recognize the difference between fantasy and reality, and I know that many of those same things I like in a girl are things that would be spoiled or destroyed if I leered, approached and/or touched.

Coming from where I did, I feel that we would be far better served with a system of support and understanding than one of persecution. Others in the comments here have said it better, but when we push people away, we're pushing them away from the social elements that help control their impulses. It would be great if ten, twenty or fifty years from now, someone could admit their inclinations to their parents and get an understanding ear, maybe therapy to make sure they're in the right headspace and a careful eye watching them to help make sure they don't do anything stupid or reckless (because all hormonal teenagers have the potential to be stupid and reckless, but it's all the more dangerous when the potential victim is a child that can't readily defend him/herself).

Just speaking for myself, I'm at peace with who and what I am. I think that sense of self, as much as anything else, is what keeps me far, far away from the dark side.
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Posted by Jack of Spades on February 6, 2010 at 6:54 PM · Report this
208
@ Jack of Spades, A Pedophile, and others: I have similar issues to both of you, and it took me years to come to terms with it. Thank you for putting things into words better than I could ever hope to have done.

@ KIW: I recommend lolicon and ageplay. They work well for me. Also, there's a good bit of porn out there (the Milton twins and Tawnee Stone come to mind for ephebophiliacs) who specialize in looking younger than they actually are. A few (legal, mind) even succeed in looking much younger (barely pubescent or therabouts). You might want to look into that.
Posted by Tyro on February 6, 2010 at 7:31 PM · Report this
209
Okay, I take it back, there is something more I can add to the discussion.

There is obviously and understandably a lot of fear surrounding telling someone you care about that you're a pedophile, whether it be friends or family. Even though I've kept this very well under wraps, there's actually several people who know. Maybe I'm lucky, but I've brought this up to three therapists in three states and all three have been helpful and supportive and thankfully did not alert the authorities. Anyone wishing to confide in a therapist should look into the laws in their area, but from what I know, everything disclosed must by law be kept confidential, unless actual abuse has taken place. For me, a therapist was the best person to initially confide in because I knew my confession was protected BY LAW and I had no risk of destroying my relationships. While there are "rogue" therapists who might be convinced all pedophiles are an "imminent danger," I would think they are in the minority. Anyone know anything more on this?

As far as the therapy itself, the therapists I've seen do not specialize in sexual issues; I saw them mainly for anxiety and depression. But I've generally found it very rewarding. There are many things I learned about myself, and I now know more about my (sometimes flawed) thought processes. This kind of knowledge is key in being able to control one's sexual desires.

Closet Pariah, I highly recommend seeing a therapist. The first time I covered this subject with mine, I was literally hyperventilating and crying and terrified, and I could barely choke the words out... but life didn't end, and the experience (and others that followed) made me stronger. Also, having a secret I couldn't tell anyone about really wore me down after so many years, and it was such a relief to finally get it out.

Unfortunately, it seems that the referral services I've come across cater to "sex offenders" rather than those who aren't at risk of offending but still need help. But on the flipside, those therapists would probably be best equipped to help you. From the link NJKen posted, I see http://www.safersociety.org/refer.php (based in Vermont) and http://www.atsa.com/contact.html (based in Oregon). Very liberal locations, so maybe these organizations are more open minded than those based elsewhere? I found my therapists mainly through chance (and, yes, one of them actually does primarily counsel housewives) but maybe a specialized referral can take some of the chance out of it?

I will also mention that I've also over the last few years confided in a college friend, an ex boyfriend, and my parents. All instances were terrifying. But I didn't lose the college friend, I kept the boyfriend (until we broke up for unrelated reasons), and my parents haven't disowned me. None of them flipped out and all of them have faithfully kept my secret. It's important to be very careful in choosing who you tell. But if you can't trust your closest friends and family, who can you trust? I've found that many of my past fears were overblown. But maybe I'm just lucky?
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Posted by name withheld on February 6, 2010 at 7:57 PM · Report this
210
In response to #208, Tyro.

Be careful if you do pursue an interest in something like shotacon or lolicon (drawn porn in the anime style featuring little boys & girls, respectively), as it may be illegal in your area. I do believe that in Canada, lolicon and drawn child pornography is illegal.

Similarly, the looks-like-jailbait-but-is-really-legal porn can be interpreted as child porn, even if you, the judge, the jury, the cops and the porn actresses themselves know they're 18.
Posted by Jack of Spades on February 6, 2010 at 8:42 PM · Report this
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KIW's letter was interesting, and I think Dan's advice was on target. He should seek treatment and learn to channel his sexual fantasies in safe and constructive manners, and stay away from children.

I would not say, though, that "my heart goes out" to KIW. At the end of the day, we all have a brain, and we are all in control of our behavior, aside from the very, very small number of individuals who experience psychopathic fits and hallucinations, and thus cannot tell right from wrong, or cannot distinguish reality from fantasy. There is too much gushy-gushy in our contemporary society, and not enough just "deal with it."

I don't wish KIW any ill will, and I am glad he was brave and mature enough to tackle his issue head on. However, life gives all of us a cross to bear, and KIW needs to lift his up and move on with his life.



Posted by creezy on February 7, 2010 at 1:32 AM · Report this
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Just in case someone hasn't already mentioned this: There is a group called SA (Sex-aholics Anon) that could offer him support when he needs it.
Posted by This is it on February 7, 2010 at 7:24 AM · Report this
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83: I wouldn't try importing said Japanese comics though. If the postal service rips open your package and notices lolicon COMIC books (not photoreal, not of real situations), they might still go after you.

http://www.cbldf.org/pr/archives/000372.…

As a comic book enthusiast whose kinks include porn of cartoon characters, this scares the crap out of me. Especially when it comes to Japanese comics, it's easy to buy something sight-blind and discover when it arrives that it's the comic version of "age play" - an adult character has been magically reverted to childhood so that they can get fucked by now much older partners. Or hell, if you believe the insane ages they attach to characters, some characters would technically be "child porn" out of the box. They aren't remotely real, nor could any real people be hurt by seeing a bunch of cartoon penises, so why should I have to live in fear of thought crime?
Posted by not putting my name on this one on February 7, 2010 at 9:52 AM · Report this
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Wow, persecute much?

As a few of the point-of-views have shown, pedophiles are...gasp...people. They end up being consumed and defined solely by their desire, because society deems them monsters. OK, so someone wants to have sex with children, which is legally and morally wrong in our society. But these adults have OTHER basic desires, like family, friends, trust, hobbies, career goals, etc, which they can be denied simply because people are uncomfortable with their sexual desires and only hear pedophiles referred to as INHUMAN. There is always the potential that they may act on the desires, sure, but equally likely they won't, because they have morals and self-control. I don't like the absolute statement that people who are attracted to children have no self control, simply because of the actions of some.

I might be singing a different tune if I or someone I knew was molested, but right now, the absolute statement that pedophiles are dangerous is irrational.

Especially when people can in no way imagine what it's like to be attracted to children. And realize that society thinks that you're a monster, evil, indefinitely. Anyone see The Woodsman with Kevin Bacon? Heartbreaking.

So the main point I'm trying to make is that attracted to children does not equal monster rapist. What if a close family member told you they were attracted to children? Would you be as equally cold and heartless, wishing them to be put to death, removed from society? Suddenly the situation isn't so black and white.

Avoid children completely? Sure...but there are children everywhere (17 and under). On TV, the street, in cars, grocery store, bathroom. Are pedophiles supposed to go live in a shack in the woods, living in self-hatred and fear? Doesn't seem like a very helpful solution.
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Posted by hai on February 7, 2010 at 10:00 AM · Report this
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@211, Creezy:

Trouble with your assertion that "KIW needs to lift his [cross] up and move on with his life." is that much of our lives are based around romantic relationships, and for people like KIW or myself, romance isn't a possibility.

Some schools of psychology (it's been some time since psych 101, so I can't name names, but bear with me) suggest we break our lives into some fundamental obstacles. As babies, we learn to trust. As toddlers and children, we learn independence and work ethic. As adolescents, we form our identity. As young adults, we seek intimacy.

That forming of intimacy isn't possible when you're a pedophile. It's not just about romantic relationships & finding a life partner, but it also touches on forming those close friendships that will stay with you through adulthood. Learning to share that identity you figured out in your teenage years with other people. When part of that identity is "I'm a pedophile", you can't really share yourself.

Creezy, KIW is writing into an advice column because he probably doesn't know how to move on with his life. He's aware that the path he's on has effectively stalled his progress in life, whether he's a teenager and seeing his friends hook up or an adult seeing his peers getting married, having kids and making families. That, and perhaps he's looking for recognition of a sort. This ties into that intimacy thing, he's sharing himself in a way that he can't with those he's close to. I've been where he is, where I've figured out what I could on my own and then found myself standing there, throwing my hands up and thinking "Well now what?"

Yes, everyone has their cross to bear, but some are larger than others. KIW bears a pretty sizeable cross. A terrible burn victim may be ugly and get stared at, but romantic love is possible and even if love doesn't happen for Mr. Burn Victim, people understand why. For KIW, love isn't possible and people won't understand unless he tells them. That means years of his mother nagging him about why he isn't with anyone. It means growing distant from friends because they're family men and he isn't.

Just deal with it, creezy says. KIW is in a hopeless situation and he wrote into an advice column... isn't that what advice columns are for? It seems this is the wrong place for that kind of attitude.
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Posted by Jack of Spades on February 7, 2010 at 10:11 AM · Report this
216
Btw, Dan, you might want to write back to that person who contacted you. A number of cases of pedophilia have been noted to have been caused by brain tumors. Remove the tumor, and the issue goes away.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn29…

It's worth them getting a brain scan just in case. Couldn't hurt, might save a life, and might get them some relief.
Posted by FleetingShadow on February 7, 2010 at 12:45 PM · Report this
217
The people who need a psychologist are the ones posting violent vitriol against adults who are attracted to children. If you take away the social conditioning (and that's all it is) that prohibits child-adult sensuality and that requires murderess rants, you'll quickly notice that the pro-pedophile comments here are far more balanced and rational than anti-pedophile comments.

I beg to ask, what's more "psychotic," a call for rational acceptance of a normal sexuality called pedophilia (child love), or calls for murder, suicide, and self mutilation?
Posted by 72Rob on February 7, 2010 at 4:58 PM · Report this
218
Pedophilia is "normal sexuality?" Really?
Posted by sprinkles on February 7, 2010 at 5:20 PM · Report this
echizen_kurage 219
I beg to ask, what's more "psychotic," a call for rational acceptance of a normal sexuality called pedophilia (child love), or calls for murder, suicide, and self mutilation?

False dichotomy much? As many of the comments in this thread demonstrate, it's entirely possible to condemn the sexual abuse of children (and make no mistake, all sex with children is sexual abuse) without demanding that all pedophiles be summarily lynched. There is a third option here, namely, to treat non-practicing pedophiles with the same respect and compassion that we would accord anyone else, and expect them to do the same thing that we expect of all functional members of society: namely, repress any urges (sexual or otherwise) that cannot ethically be acted upon.
Posted by echizen_kurage on February 7, 2010 at 5:29 PM · Report this
220
echizen, I agree with your third option, to a point. However, a truly just application of it would be to simply treat all consensual sexuality with the respect and human decency that it deserves. Currently, the true "rape" of children is done by "normal" society that does not allow them to consent. Children can consent, and if we honor their sexual choices we can eliminate most sexual abuse of children.

It is simply unethical to call something sexual abuse when it was obviously consented to by both parties, the adult and the child.

And to those who say "children cannot consent to sexual activity," this is a lie, a gross lie. Everything in the history of mankind, from art to science, to common sense proves children CAN consent to sex, with peers and with adults. The true abusers are those who violently deny the right of consent to children
Posted by 72Rob on February 8, 2010 at 7:21 AM · Report this
221
@ 220: I call bullshit on that one. A child can't consent. A child can't consent to sexual activity with an adult because they are not equals in power, & the child isn't 100% sure of what he/she is agreeing to. Is there a difference between a 16-year-old's curiosity & a 6-year-old's? Sure. In many ways the 16-year-old is practically an adult already, & in some areas that's the age of consent. But I remember what it was like to be 16: if I'd have thought through the repercussions of everyone I fooled around with, like I do now as an adult of (mumble mumble thirty-something) years, there woulda been a lot less foolin' around.

& geez, younger than that? Sorry, no, there is no way a child is going to be able to understand fully the ramifications of having sex with an adult. They might want it or be curious about it; fine. But the law says no for a reason: people that young aren't done developing, yet. The nature of their dependence on adults makes any sort of erotic relationship a mistake & potentially hugely damaging to the child.

As mentioned earlier up in the comments, I was approached not once, but several times, as a young child, but adults (all men) looking for sex/sexual contact. I was an early bloomer, & I'm sure that attracted their attention. The youngest I remember it happening is 6 or 7. It scarred me, & frightened me, these lecherous older people, & although I'd had a pretty healthy playing-doctor level of sexual curiosity w/ neighborhood kids, that died off swiftly after the 2nd or 3rd time some drooling creep tried to get his hands down my pants.

I've had therapy, getting myself together, but pedophiles, "gold star" or not, should know that their actions - indeed, even the memory of their long, lingering stares - stay with their victims forever. Not their partners in erotic play. VICTIMS. You can't have a sexual relationship with a child. Period. & if that's the only way your sexual urges lie, seriously, get some kind of help.

I'm not a "what about the children" type of person, but the level of explanation from some of the pedophiles, above: get real. Society can have sympathy for you for not acting on your urges, but to try to make them not what they are..which is an imbalanced fantasy, someone frozen in childhood like that..is not possible. It's not a normal healthy urge & will ultimately keep the pedophile isolated & unable to form deeper connections with age-appropriate peers.
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Posted by Regular Slog Commenter on February 8, 2010 at 7:59 AM · Report this
222
@221, don't delude yourself into thinking your POV and your experiences are shared in common by the whole world. Your hang-ups about sex aren't shared by most children or most adults. Further, it sounds like you have an ax to grind against men in general, that's too bad.

Also, your rhetoric is typical of that which segregates children and dehumanizes them. Yours is an archaic, twisted and sick ideology that is unfortunately stuck in the laws and most psychologies. In time it will change. Sexual freedom of children will be the next great Civil Rights movement.
Posted by 72Rob on February 8, 2010 at 8:11 AM · Report this
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Sorry one and all for my passionately-crazed conniption fits and other assorted acts of relative craziness.. To The One;) who Knows;) me and, me, them: Yes. I am brilliant. I true visionary sort of genius. You know you want me. You know I want you too ;-D..
Always! (Thanks.) Me
Posted by iknohoour, uknohooiam and I love you truly, Thank You. on February 8, 2010 at 8:26 AM · Report this
224
Hey 72Rob,

You obviously are currently having sex with a child. I hope that child grows up and murders you by ripping your genitals off.

I also hope that by exposing yourself so nonchalantly on the internet, some enterprising police officer will trace your IP and throw your ass in jail.
Posted by Anonyny on February 8, 2010 at 11:16 AM · Report this
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@222

Speaking as a man (without an axe to grind at all), 221 is right on most counts. Would I define a "long, lingering, look" as victimizing a child? No. Would I define molesting one as victimizing her? Yes.

Children don't have hang-ups about sex, but that's not in a "they're smart enough and mature enough to realize sex isn't a big deal" kind of way. They don't have hang-ups because they don't understand what's going on. And, yes, I'm segregating children. We, as a society, and as a species, have decided that children up to a certain age lack the kind of mental facilities and worldliness to make all manner of decisions.

They can't drive, drink, smoke, or vote. They can't drop out of school, or live on their own. We know, as well, from neurological studies, that children actually do lack the mental architecture to reason based on long-term consequences, or use most of their frontal lobes.

Consent can only be given when the party is determined to be mentally competent to give it, and is informed. Until a child is determined to be competent to elect to have surgery, enter into a contract, or do much of anything that involves consent, their ability to "consent" to sex is negligible at best.

I do enjoy your argument, though. "If we don't call it rape, it can't be abuse". It's truly astounding that no one ever thought of that. "I didn't rape her, your honor, it was just surprise sex". Calling the act of taking advantage of and molesting a young child anything but statutory rape doesn't make it any less terrible.

Just because a child knows the word "yes" doesn't mean she has the capacity to "decide" to have sex. Please keep your false certainty and spurious claims out of the realm of reasonable discussion. "Everything in the history of mankind" doesn't tell us that children can give consent. Sorry, but without citations, you're blowing hot air.
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Posted by Seldon2639 on February 8, 2010 at 11:31 AM · Report this
Chicle Atomico 226
This has been a pretty enlightening discussion. I am a true misanthrope at heart, but first I would like to say to poster #63,Shuvoff (“Empathy is always good, and that empathy… is exactly why KIW has not acted on their attractions. More power to him for having the guts to speak up… If my abuser had sought help before acting on his impulses, I would have hoped he found professional & compassionate acceptance by those he confided in. Instead he kept those urges to himself for numerous reasons & acted on them. If only people with those feelings didn't feel like their life would be in danger by seeking help, maybe more of them would deal with them before acting on them.”) That is among the most brave, mature, and noble things on this thread and I appreciate the presence of you and the other survivor posters, who have so generously engaged in honest dialogue!! It may not be as titillating or self-congratulatory as offering sympathy to the OP et al, but it’s well-deserved!

To those like poster #12,Lynx who’ve said stuff like, “What a cruel fate, to be saddled with an inherently criminal sexual orientation combined with the moral instincts against it,” I say listen to poster #161,unsilent majority, who said “AAAAAAAAWWWWWWWW. You feel frustrated because you have impulses you can't act on? Join the crowd!” And #211,Creezy: “There is too much gushy-gushy in our contemporary society, and not enough just ‘deal with it’… life gives all of us a cross to bear, and KIW needs to lift his up and move on with his life.” You said it, girls/guys!

I agree 100% with Attitude Devant’s post #9, “don't think I haven't wondered and puzzled (and surely I am not alone) why we are made to desire that physical connection when for so many of us it is fraught with difficulty and hazard.” (Although, re: post #19, um, dude, take your gross flirting offline, okay? Thx.) As poster #62,NothingWrongWithBeingAlone said, “Although sexual relationships are part of most people's lives, they are not part of everyone's lives. You don't HAVE to have sex or a relationship. There are people who choose to be celibate and are happy with it. (Others are celibate only because they can't find a partner but even some of those people can find happiness in other avenues of life.)....The only solution is for him to remove his sex drive as much as possible and to focus on non-sexual facets of life.” This is actually MY philosophy, not because I am “minor-attracted” or religious or was molested or couldn’t find a partner, but simply because everything Diner Mo said in posts # 109, 167 and 190 is totally and absolutely right-on. People have a drive to form relationships, but people are completely fucked-up, and they take it out on each other in relationships, ESPECIALLY romantic/sexual relationships! And for myself personally, I barely have the resilience to overcome my own problems, let alone deal with someone else’s. I believe I have a normal sex drive when I am not clinically depressed, but I can keep myself sexually satisfied with the help of fantasy and toys, so why would I torture myself with sexual or romantic relationships? Been there, done that. Being (sexually and romantically) “alone” is indeed a cruel fate, but it's FAR less torturous by comparison!!!

Poster #166,Belleweather described how they relate to the OP’s problem much more poetically when they said, “there is… a universal component in that many if not most people just have to deal with some form of the dreadful that they didn't choose to have happen to them, and they do so with the inherent grace, beauty and compassion that is bigger and stronger than anything else in life.” In fact, I am quite surprised that few people beyond posters #125,Anon8r9r and #144,T-rex, referenced how many parallels people in the recovery movement will find here. Poster #201,Hairless, brought up a perspective that I also agree with and practice, when they noted that people can “use all that sexual energy and instead of repressing it, channel it into [their] own awakening.” I consider myself spriritual, but not religious, and was first exposed to this concept when I read the sexuality section of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” as an ex-Catholic teen, where a celibate nun explained her choice of how to express her sexual energy. IIRC, she considered celibacy and intimacy equally sacred expressions of sexuality.

And before I forget, speaking of the 12 steps… @ A Pedophile: Congratulations, you're smart and you have some progressive ideas and even a few scruples. Now go put your intellect and your moral fiber to work on keeping yourself honest. Your dream that in a theorized context of social and legal approbation, asymmetrical relationships between individuals who are sexually and mentally mature and those who are not would not be harmful to the immature party smacks of what we in the recovery movement call "rationalization." Listen to Diner Mo, Belleweather, and Tiare, they are really smart and in a position to give you impartial analyses!

Now, to everyone who told Not using my account to get therapy (and if you’re still reading you’ll say the same to me I’m sure), RTFM: she said she IS and HAS BEEN in counseling. Therapy is a process, not a magic pill. Been there, done that for years, still doing it. We are all different and some people have more resilience to the trauma in our lives than others.

Finally, it probably wasn’t meant that way but I had a multiple LOLgasm over poster #22,Gay Movie Fan’s turn of phrase about being grateful that he doesn’t “suffer from this particular sexual preference.” ROFL!!! How incredibly apt!!! I think we all “suffer from” our sexual preferences; I know I certainly do! And just for the record, I am female, bisexual if I have to choose a label which I generally don’t, the mother of a 10-yr-old girl, the ex-wife of an alcoholic/addict, and don’t identify as an abuse survivor (not that no adult was ever inappropriate with me even verbally, but honestly who grows up without that ever happening in any way?).

PS – Hey poster #205,This is a good thread, (“Perhaps all this hysteria is only ensuring that more people view children in a sexual way, so that even the most innocuous images of children now "read" as perverse, sexualized, and unacceptable. In an effort to preserve innocence, I fear we've damaged it more than ever.”) Chilling possibility! It’s a bizzaro world we live in for sure, when children are sexualized (see: http://www.parentdish.com/2010/02/05/noa…) while adults are infantilized (see: every sitcom ever); where women’s breasts are used to sell every commercial product available, yet mothers use baby formula to avoid being attacked for nursing their children in public. Go figure!
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Posted by Chicle Atomico on February 8, 2010 at 12:41 PM · Report this
227
@ 225: thank you.*curtsies*

@ 222: Yes, I may sound bitter towards men. But what do you think happens when you're a little girl & men try repeatedly to get down yer pants? Maybe you get a little bitter. Maybe you have issues. Hence the therapist. Not that it's any of the 'net's business, but to disavow you of the notion that I'm some frigid little victim who has no boyfriends, I've had several successful & happy LTR's w/ guy & a lotta fun with them, both in & out of bed.

It's not men in general that make me angry, though: just pedophiles. & in this thread, pedophiles who not only seek sympathy, but try to make their urges sound normal somehow: something that would be just fine if only there weren't pesky legalities in the way.

Just because I am angry, though, doesn't mean I am wrong. A person that much younger than the the adult does not have the depth of thought, the patience, the life experiences, to think through whether having sex with that adult is a good idea for them. They aren't in a position to make a decision of that level, to decide fairly what is in their own best interest. The relationships between kids & their abusers (usually someone they know; a parent, a family friend, a babysitter) are usually ones where the adults have the power & authority. That's why there's laws that protect kids.

Also? Homosexuality does NOT equal pedophilia & vice versa, no matter how handily one can pop the word "gay" into sentences clearly written about pedophiles. Pedophiles would be persecuted if their tendencies were known, as their desires are full of creepy & squick. (I've already given a pass to ageplay between adults, BTW.) It's not the normal way of things.

The OP, KIW, is to be lauded for taking a step & saying: yes, this is me, I have a problem. But to even contemplate babysitting - bad idea. Merely acknowledging your problem doesn't make it go away. Removing yourself from obvious temptations would be a good step two: finding someone you can confide in might help as well, though you'd have to choose that confidante very, very wisely.

Rewire your desires. Maybe it'd turn out to be, you only find women (or men depending on preference) attractive sometimes, & even then only if they're super young looking. Be that as it may, start parading images of age-appropriate partners in your mind when you're feeling randy. If you want to change badly enough, you will & you can. I believe it.

But until then, don't tell me it's normal. It's not, although the fantasy & the act of pedophilia are depressingly common. The sexualization of children in our culture as mentioned @226 doesn't help.
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Posted by Regular Slog Commenter on February 8, 2010 at 2:21 PM · Report this
echizen_kurage 228
@Rob72:

It is simply unethical to call something sexual abuse when it was obviously consented to by both parties, the adult and the child.

So, if I were to find some eight-year-old boy who thought it would be awesome to join the US Army and fight terrorists, would it be okay for me to give him a gun and ship him off to join the troops on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border? I guess so -- it would be unethical to call what I did "abuse," seeing as the child obviously consented to it.

Or what if I offered an eight-year-old girl a twenty year loan of $1,000 with a 15% annual interest rate, and she cheerfully signed on the dotted line and skipped away with a suitcase full of cash? She obviously consented to it, so that wouldn't be "abuse" either (regardless of what she might say when I came knocking on her door twenty years later, demanding $16,366.54).
Posted by echizen_kurage on February 8, 2010 at 5:10 PM · Report this
229
Rob72:
Your comments are the kinds that many child abusers use to give themselves permission to have sex/abuse a child.

They rationalize the curiosity or compliance of a child for their own justifications to use the child for their sexual gratification.

There is no way to call this consent. Children cannot consent. Why do you think that there are the laws regarding contract signing and other legal acts that children cannot do? Why do most car rental companies refuse to rent cars to people under 25? Their brains are underdeveloped and cannot see all the ramifications of taking a suitcase full of cash for an exorbanent interest rate or speeding down the highway at 110 mph.

Kids can't make "consensual" relations with adults. The adults who claim that children have rights to be sexual are right in only one area. If a 12 yt old wants to have sex with another 12 yr old, maybe it's a bad move but the 12 yr old partner is on equal footing with the other 12 yr old and not a 48 yr old and having the life skills and resources the 12 yr old does not.

Again, I'm not against sexual abusers. I work with them and am sympathetic to the most part but I have to jump in when they (in theory or in actuality) talk about consensual sex with children.
Posted by NJKen on February 8, 2010 at 5:53 PM · Report this
230
A few comments...

This has turned out to be quite long, but bear with me. I've separated it into three parts so that it should hopefully be easier to read.

First, on what this article was originally about: Trying to curb sexual desire is not the way to go, and is frankly barbaric. A person's sexuality is a fundamental part of who they are, and to deny it (which is what curbing sexual desire is) is to deny self. Though I do not, many pedophiles have some attraction towards adult men or women, and will be able to have romantic relationships in that way. But otherwise we are completely able to, and most certainly should stick to fantasy for sexual satisfaction, regardless of what opinions we might have on the ability of kids to consent. Now pedophiles are like any other person. We do have emotional crises and experience stress. And to be blunt, they are almost inevitable, as hearing that you are an evil monster is going to take a heavy toll no matter how strong you are. The difference being that today, most of us have zero or little support.

Growing up, I always heard that I was a monster for feeling attracted to younger kids, and never really gave it much thought beyond that for the simple reason that this is all I ever heard about my attractions. Consequently, I tried vehemently to deny it to myself. Tried and failed. Failed in a terrible way. In my hopeless desperation to not feel this way, I destroyed the closest friendships I had. As you can imagine, this was not a good thing. I was alone, miserable, and apparently the worst thing in the world. Frankly, it is a miracle that I'm still here. I do not know where I got the strength - if you could call it strength. Truthfully, I think it more cowardice on my part, that I did not choose death after a mere 13 years of life. But a cowardice that I am happy and lucky to have had.

Now if you want a more direct idea of the effect that stigmatization has, please watch this presentation: http://www.b4uact.org/NotOne.pps. Additionally, the organization that produced this (B4U-Act) is what Dan should have looked at when offering KIW advice. They do not advocate denial of self (refreshingly) or deny our humanity, but rather seek to give actual support to pedophiles (and hebephiles, those attracted to young adults legally defined as equivalent to children) who need it which the psychiatric industry has otherwise denied to us. They do this through education of mental health professionals and working to end the stigmatization that has been attached to pedophilia. As far as I know, this group is unique in their efforts, making them all the more important.

------------

On the attraction itself: I can't speak for every pedophile. But I can hazard a very educated guess that in our attractions, the vast majority pedophiles are like any other person (and similarly amongst other traits). That is, a typical pedophile indeed has sexual feelings towards children, yet that is hardly the extent of the attraction, just like those attracted to adult men and women. It is not just sexual desire, but includes attraction on a wholly social and emotional level. These three components, for the typical pedophile are equal in importance and intensity in defining their unique attraction base.

Allow me to give a personal example, by way of a valued memory of mine. I omit personally identifying details for protection (being an outed pedophile today is not a good thing, to put it mildly), but anything else is completely honest. I will try to keep it brief, but I hope it can be enlightening about the nature of my attraction. It was a day I had when I was about 14, not fully accepting myself but also not at the worst I had been. But none of those issues seemed to matter during this day. My mother was babysitting two little girls for the day, but I was rather surprised when my door burst open and they walked in to introduce themselves. Leah and Alexis, sisters to each other. Stunned by their beauty, I greeted them with a smile. Their smiles were radiant and warm. Leah had gorgeous, long brunette hair and blue eyes, while Alexis had nice, short black hair and brown eyes. They were both very outgoing and affectionate, but above all they were kind and fun-loving. They took an immediate-liking to me, and decided that we would spend the day together.

The day was great fun. We played some games both inside and out, hide and seek, the occasional computer game, we joked around a lot, walked to a local restaurant for lunch, and much more, and everything we did was Leah and Alexis' decision. We had loads of fun, and lots of laughter was had by all, especially Leah and Alexis (and that's what was most important to me, that they were happy and enjoying themselves). Even the 'dull' moments weren't so dull - it was great fun to just be sitting on the couch making each other laugh with silly faces. One thing I remember very clearly, that Leah and Alexis had me do all day was to walk them everywhere while they sat down on my feet. Hehe, great fun, but it certainly got tiring by the end of the day. Anyways, the day did eventually come to a close, but it came with Leah and Alexis wishing it didn't have to.

Now yes, I was sexually attracted to both Leah and Alexis, but in any event I really doubt that Leah or Alexis had similar feelings, so I obviously didn't act on that, and I wouldn't have even if they expressed some clear interest in sexual activity (I wouldn't have wanted any harm to come to them). But I hope those reading this can see that the sexual feelings I had weren't the only thing I felt, nor dominant, nor did I want to express them. Being a friend for Leah and Alexis, making them smile and laugh, was what I wanted, and exactly what I did.

------------

On sexual consent between adult and child: First, what we might mean by meaningful consent is important to know, and I don't think anyone here has said what they mean by it. I think a reasonable definition is: The person wants to do it, is able to have a basic understanding of the risks and/or knowledge of how to negate them, and is not being influenced or manipulated in some way to make a certain choice. But this particular issue isn't as important to me. I will always restrict the entirety of my sexual activities to private fantasies. While I think it would be possible for meaningful consent between an adult and child, it seems rather unlikely in the society in which we live.

But to understand this possibility, it is important to understand something broader and more fundamental than whether or not kids who want to (a minority, but they do exist) can be sexual with adults. And that is whether a child can be an equal with an adult. There are two gut reactions: The first one is no; People clearly do not have fully developed cognitive abilities at birth. The second one is yes: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." The more reasonable reaction is yes and no. In the moral sense, equality is a must. And yet in the biological sense, equality is a myth. Thus a balance must be reached, where the moral need for equality is reached while considering the limitations of a developing mind.

Our society has attempted to do so by creating restrictions based on one's age. Is this a good thing? I don't think so. What does age tell us? At best, a very rough estimation of someone's ability. But this can mislead us. It can force us to assume one would have an ability to do something they do not, while also denying that another has the ability that they do have, solely because of their particular age. Worse, it can be used malevolently to strip those who are able of their ability to exercise their rights.

Consider the case of Brett McClafferty, who nearly won the mayoral election of his hometown, Streetsboro, Ohio when he was 19. Immediately afterwords, the town raised the minimum age to run for mayor to 23, specifically to bar McClafferty from running again. I doubt anyone serious about civil rights would call this a positive thing. Or the numerous, talented child singers, dancers, etc. (ability is usually not limited to one area). All age really is, is a number. So my answer to the question of how to balance the biological and moral response to equality for kids is that ability can and should be recognized without reference to something as arbitrary as a number.

Age can be used as a rough guideline that says what people are statistically capable of at a certain age, but it is not good as a definition of what someone is capable of. Please check out the various youth rights groups, such as Americans for a Society Free from Age Restrictions, if you are interested in these ideas. Their positions and reasoning on these issues are probably much clearer and better written than mine. They are gaining support, and it may very well be that one of the political parties officially adopts a position against age-based laws sometime in the future. Liberal-minded people tend to be the ones most likely to support these ideas, but there are conservatives who have do as well, such as Newt Gingrich: "Adolescence is a social experiment that failed. Dr. Epstein's ["The Case Against Adolescence"] book traces the history of the problem, demonstrates with unrelenting perseverance that much of the turmoil of our teens is a creation of our culture, and offers a specific and detailed proposal for getting our young people back on track."
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Posted by unnamed on February 8, 2010 at 10:08 PM · Report this
231
@227

If the world were topsy turvy and it was pedophiles who were the norm and if you were among the minority of adult-attracted "magniphiles" that were hated by society, do you think you would be able to have a relationship with a ten year old that looked older than he or she was? Would you be able to rewire yourself?

Some people could, I'm sure, but many wouldn't be able to. If our desires were able to change, Dan would have far, far less letters and there would be a fraction of the number of pedophiles.

You said "If you want to change badly enough, you will & you can. I believe it." -- I think you're dramatically underestimating just how much most nonoffenders do want to change. It sucks to be a pedophile. There's nothing redeeming about it. I'd say that even those offenders who could be classified pedophiles want to change what they are, really, really badly, but it doesn't happen. That's why the docs can't just walk us down the road to recovery.

Don't get me wrong. There are pedophiles out there who include both adults and children in their range of attraction. There are those who don't, but who can enjoy a compromise through a young looking adult. Often when we're talking about a person who identifies as a pedophile, though, we're talking about someone who doesn't fit either of those two categories.

In response to your other statements: I fully agree that kids cannot consent. I have had vehement arguments with people who did argue the point, and ultimately cut ties from an online community I was close to because some members held the perspective that kids could consent & wouldn't listen to reason.

I agree pedo doesn't equate gay (I'm a hetero pedophile). I think that idea is largely a holdover from NAMBLA, which was the first publicly recognized group of pedophiles that happened to be boy-love focused.

I did want to respond to the assumption that pedophiles are 'at risk' to hurt a child. As I see myself, I'm no more likely to rape a little girl than you are to rape a grown woman if you're left alone with her. Being a pedophile doesn't flick change the way we reason, weaken one's willpower or remove the normal inhibitions/morals that keep us from hurting other people. KIW isn't 'at risk'. I do agree that KIW should consider Dan's suggestion (covering his own ass), but at the same time, KIW knows himself best and if he felt secure in his position and wanted to continue babysitting and being a positive influence in the kids' lives, there's not a lot I can say to argue that.

I ~would~ point out that if he were to get found out, even if he were willing to risk having the babysitting issue brought up, it might not be okay for the kids. They would be interrogated and subjected to a whole mess of negative stuff involving someone they might be close to (KIW), and that would be a damn shame. A worse shame if they were convinced that he'd done something to them, which is a sexual abuse unto itself, if not coming from KIW.

Lastly, while I agree Pedophilia isn't normal, I assert that our desires work in a normal way. They are no stronger than the desires of your average, adult-attracted Joe, they have no more sway over us than the Average Joes do. There is no impulse, no mutating effect on our psyche. Those exceptions that do exist - the sex crazed rapist and the sociopath, the perspectives of those warped by society and the self deluding loners - those exceptions can apply to the adult-attracted just as easily as the pedophile. The fact that environment might warp the perspective of the pedophile and make him into a molester more frequently than it does the adult-attracted is the fault of the environment, of the society, not of the sexuality itself. In this respect, I would maintain that a pedophile's desires are normal in intensity and in influence over the individual.
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Posted by Jack of Spades on February 8, 2010 at 10:13 PM · Report this
232
@230

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how the physical aspect isn't the only thing that a pedophile might be attracted to. It isn't for me, and you did a beautiful job of illustrating why we wouldn't all be able to simply date a young looking 20-something. I tried to say why in my last post and couldn't articulate it nearly as well as you did.
Posted by Jack of Spades on February 8, 2010 at 10:20 PM · Report this
233
@227.

You're very welcome. Though, I do have to disagree with some of your statements.

I hate to bring out the old chestnuts here, but your heteronormative view of the "normal way of things" actually is fairly similar to the way homosexuals were treated. Their desires, too, were considered to be full of "creepy & squick", but that's neither here nor there.

I think the issue is that we need to distinguish between the concept of pedophilia as a desire, and pedophilia as an action. I'll not defend the actual act of harming a child for your desires, but that acting out your desires would be harmful doesn't inherently make the desires "bad".

Allow me to demonstrate. Assume for a moment that I enjoy rape fantasies. That the idea of taking by force from a woman truly gets me hot and bothered. If I actually act on that desire, I've done something terrible, and deserve to be punished to the full extent of the law. But if I don't, if I simply have the desire, and release it in safe, legal, ways, then the desire is no more or less harmful than any other paraphilia.

You seem to approve of ageplay, so perhaps I'm misreading your post, but there's a tendency in society to conflate "has sexual desire for children" with "rapist, pervert, shoot him".

I think the problem is fairly similar to the issue in the kink community in general: we denigrate the kinks and desires of our compatriots, independent of whether they cause harm or break the law for them. Furries get hate from everybody, so do pedophiles. Rape fantasists get admonition sometimes, but so do those into watersports or footplay. Even when we should all actually be saying "yeah, we're freaky, so what", we try to demonize each other to make ourselves more "normal" in our own eyes.

I just think that we can have a bit more sympathy for a person who has a normal desire which if he acts on it would be violating the law, and causing harm.
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Posted by Seldon2639 on February 8, 2010 at 10:20 PM · Report this
234
@230

I read the powerpoint presentation you linked to, and I have to say that while the treatment of pedophiles in society and medicine can be fairly horrific, some of their scare tactics are also off base.

No one (excluding shrieking commentators on a website) is suggesting we kill all pedophiles. The intent of extending Jessica's law is the understanding that if a pedophile commits the heinous act of abusing a child, the death penalty can be imposed.

The citing of statistics about how few victims of pedophiles are killed is short shrift to the overwhelming harm that comes to a victim. Similarly, the fact that many convicted pedophiles are put through wringers that those who kill children aren't has less to do with the severity of ones crime than the chances of recidivism.

The anecdotes of abuse don't distinguish between "convicted felon" pedophiles and "I confessed to a medical professional my predilection" pedophiles. I would be surprised if the latter were rounded up summarily and put through aversion therapy. For convicted felons, I'm comfortable doing whatever we think might prevent them from harming another child, up to and including ending their lives. I accept that the desire itself isn't harmful. But once you've crossed the line into "I harmed someone", you've lost any sympathy from me.

I hold those with rape fantasies to the same standard.

On the consent issue:

You'll not find many in the medical or scientific community who would conclude that a child has the mental capacity to give informed consent (which I have defined, and which is defined under the law pretty specifically).

And, not for nothing, but all of the discussion of the "rights" of children, and the necessity to provide for their "equality" sounds less like a reasoned argument for individualizing the question of consent, and more an attempt to justify molesting a child who was "mature" enough to handle it. Your argument falls on deaf ears, by and large, as society doesn't accept the basic premise that any child of ten (or whatever age you pick) will be able to "consent" to anything.

@231

"The fact that environment might warp the perspective of the pedophile and make him into a molester more frequently than it does the adult-attracted is the fault of the environment, of the society, not of the sexuality itself"

I don't see the logical connection. No matter how much society may frown on any given paraphilia, the choice is always up to the person with that fetish to rein in his impulses. Nothing in society really says "go hook up with kids", so please don't try to present the causal link as somehow culture's fault for "making" pedophiles abuse children.

I agree that segment of your group makes you all look bad, but it's not like anyone held a gun to their heads and said "go molest a kid, or I'll kill you". Society itself would like nothing more than for pedophiles not to do that, and I doubt very much that people saying over and over "don't do it" and "we'll send you to PMITA prison if you do" is encouragement.

That said, I do agree with your basic premise. I don't think the desire is inherently harmful. What is harmful is how close "being a good influence" can run into "creepiness". Unlike an adult woman, a child isn't going to be in a position (or have the presence of mind) to avoid a situation they find uncomfortable, so your risk is always much higher.

I don't want pedophiles castrated, or murdered (though, rapists I do want to see castrated then murdered), but there must be greater responsibility taken by the pedophile community writ large (if such a thing exists) to stop the members who want to harm children, or who have beliefs that make them more likely to.

It shouldn't be those of us who don't want to have sex with children who should be bitch-slapping 72Rob and (to a lesser extent) unnamed. It should be you.
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Posted by Seldon2639 on February 9, 2010 at 12:43 AM · Report this
235
@ 72 Rob:
You say "Sexual freedom of children will be the next great Civil Rights movement. " I wonder if you would agree with A pedophile (comment 186) in his response to my question in comment 182. If the parent has to okay a child's sexual "playmate", isn't that different from what you seem to champion (civil rights for children)? Wouldn't it be like giving children the right to vote, but they have to be accompanied by a parent to make sure they don't vote for the crackpot who promised free candy at schools? And if you don't think parents should make decisions on behalf of the child, then what is your answer to my first question, how to make sure that the person child chooses to be sexual with will only do things in the best interest of the child and won't manipulate them and fuck them up? (Not that the latter doesn't happen to adults, but I would say children are easier pray for jerks like that than most adults, due to lack of experience.)
Posted by tiare on February 9, 2010 at 5:36 AM · Report this
HellboundAlleee 236
Someone's mystified at the connection between Christianity and sex?

Must not have ever been to church. They throw sex at you CONSTANTLY, tell you how to have it, when to have it, how not to have it, and how women's breasts are like deer. (How sexy.)

I think it's some kind of operant conditioning/hypnotism (all that incense and chanting) to make you think "Sex is bad...no one said anything...I must fuck my husband whenever he wants...sex is bad...I am bad...the priest most certainly NEVER mentioned this...I am filthy...the World is filthy..."
Posted by HellboundAlleee http://hellboundalleee.blogspot.com on February 9, 2010 at 7:35 AM · Report this
237
tiare,

I don't equate sex with "evil" as most of the posters on this topic are doing here. People are literally throwing death threats around over a child experiencing the joy of an orgasm. This mentality that inflicts America is a true sickness that is festering at the very heart of our culture.

Consensual sex is only a good thing, for adults and for children.

Preventing children from consenting to sex is literally a violent act; it is the act of ripping sexuality from the bodies and minds of children, and it has done untold harm to generations now.

I'm not avoiding your question, but I won't answer a stupid question that compares sexuality to voting or candy, it belittles children and sexuality.

But I will say that in this day and age, a child consenting to sex with a peer or an adult is every bit as powerful as Rosa Parks choosing to sit at the front of the bus. Indeed, the sexual consent of a child is an act of civil disobedience on the same level of all the great acts of civil disobediences.
Posted by 72Rob on February 9, 2010 at 7:41 AM · Report this
238
@237

Please, for the love of my sanity, stop. I can't keep banging my head on the table like this, I'm going to hurt myself eventually.

I hope to god you're trolling, or just being a jackass, because the idea that you're being serious truly would represent a disgusting mind at work.

Children cannot consent to sexual activity with an adult. That's not an opinion, that's not a preference, that's what law, medicine, science, and culture have determined.

I don't equate sex with evil, I equate evil with evil. Sex with children is evil, sex by itself isn't. People are throwing around death threats over the possibility of the abuse of children. The fact that you conflate "the joy of orgasm" with "pedophilia" is sickening.

Children cannot consent. This isn't an issue of the law segregating them, it's an issue that children are incapable of giving informed consent. They cannot agree to have sex, in the same way they cannot agree to a contract.
Posted by Seldon2639 on February 9, 2010 at 9:15 AM · Report this
239
KIW was brave to write, and Dan's answer was compassionate and well written.

I take issue, however, with pedophiles' thread comments. There is no such thing as "a mutual, loving adult-child erotic relationship." Children of course fall in love and are capable of deep emotional attachment, but they are not ready for the complexities of physical intimacy. This is true *even if it seems that they have given consent.*

Case in point: I have a seven year-old son. His parents have told him many times that, aside from a trusted grownup helping him in the bath or our doctor making sure he is healthy, his penis is for him to play with. He should do that as much as he likes, but it is for his fingers, and only his. One evening after this speech he looked at me very seriously and told me that I could also play with his penis.

Was my son initiating a "a mutual, loving adult-child erotic relationship"?

No. And no and no and no. He was telling me that he loves me, and trusts me, and that he will let me into the inner circle of those who can play with this special toy. We could have had the same conversation about his beloved Lego space-blaster. He does not understand the world of adult sexuality, and so he cannot possibly give consent to a sexual relationship with me or any other adult. Period.

It is not his job to understand physical eroticism while he is still a child. It is my job--and the job of every adult--to understand that, no matter what he says or does, he is unable to give meaningful consent to adult/child sexual activity.

Though I commend the declarations of never hurting a child that pedophiles have made on this thread, I must tell you that I spend a great deal of time with our son, that there is nothing wrong with my radar, and that if I ever catch you assuming that our son is capable of sexual consent, I will cheerily rip you limb from limb.
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Posted by MN on February 9, 2010 at 9:50 AM · Report this
240
In the simplest terms, KIW has come to grips with the issue of exploitation. Children are sexually untouchable to adults for the same reason that employees are sexually untouchable by their bosses, prisoners are sexually untouchable by their guards, etc, only more so.
There is a huge inequality in power, in social sophistication, and in knowledge, between an adult and a child. Throw that together with the comparatively high sexual motivation of a healthy adult compared to that of a child, and the potential for abuse and exploitation is just too pervasive. It's the fact that a child can be so easily manipulated into "wanting" what the adult wants that makes this taboo, not prudery, not some outdated cultural nicety. It's just respect for the child's right to his or her own body.
Posted by DF on February 9, 2010 at 11:51 AM · Report this
241
Oh, and please drop the smokescreen of how hard it is to have to give up on any romantic relationship because society thinks pedophilia is bad. KIW never expressed interest in a romantic relationship with a child. Child porn sites don't offer video of adults having long conversations with their 8 year old significant other. Pedophilia is sexual.
Posted by DF on February 9, 2010 at 11:59 AM · Report this
242
@241

Eh... It's a bit of both. There's a sexual element, to be sure, and one can easily compare pedophilia to any other paraphilia, but that explanation is only partially true.

There can be the fetishization of certain characteristics, but there can also be a romantatization of them. Think of it this way: there's porn specifically focusing on interracial couples, or on a particular race. In that way, race can be fetishized. But, by the same count, some people legitimately prefer to be in relationships with people of a particular race.

No pornography sites offer videos of long conversations between the actors. Pornography displays (and is meant to display) a small range of our emotions and desires. Don't put up your own smokescreen.

I doubt highly that straight men who watch pornography are only interested in women in general for sex. If I watch pornography focused on Japanese women, it's not an indication that I only feel sexual attraction to them, is it?
Posted by Seldon2639 on February 9, 2010 at 12:32 PM · Report this
243
We all have fantasies we can not live out. If we find the idea of sex with young people exciting, we need to find a way to express it without hurting anyone.

A relationship with an adult who looks like a kid or acts like a kid can be very rewarding. No one should have a problem with that.

Remember, not everyone who has fantasies about rough sex is a victim or abuser. I even know people who have fantasies about sex with robots or with aliens and they have to live without those desires being met. But that doesn't keep them from having a great sex life.

If you understand sex with kids is out of the question and know how to keep from acting on that interest, you're in good company. Many of us know better than to act on every sexual feeling we have.

Restraint does not make us evil nor does it mean we can't be creative about getting our needs met through activities with consenting adults. Get over the judgment under the covers and get creative.
Posted by SFDom on February 9, 2010 at 1:56 PM · Report this
244
I can't believe all these people telling the guy to seek out a partner who looks like they're underage. Because yeah, that's what flat-chested women and boyish men want – to have relationships with pedos who have to close their eyes and pretend the person they're screwing is too young and scared to fight back instead of an educated career person. It's amazing for their self-esteem and sex lives!!
Posted by Shazaam on February 9, 2010 at 4:49 PM · Report this
245
@234
"Similarly, the fact that many convicted pedophiles are put through wringers that those who kill children aren't has less to do with the severity of ones crime than the chances of recidivism."

Sex offenders of any type have one of the lowest recidivism rates amongst all criminal offenders (~3% 3 years after release). Only murderers reoffend with less frequency. See the FBI statistics on recidivism. I might add that conditions imposed on sex offenders are very likely to increase the risk of reoffending, and that the worst offenders who are not sorry for the harm that their actions brought would (or should) not be seeing short prison terms anyways. How is homelessness, inability to find an employer to hire you, and inability to form supportive friendships conducive to preventing recidivism? It isn't, but this is what sex offender registration laws have brought.

Secondly, it is inaccurate to say convicted pedophiles, because pedophilia is accurately used to define a basis for attraction, and the several studies say between of child sex offenders are accurately termed pedophiles or hebephiles. Compare it with various estimates of pedophilia and hebephilia in the general population, which is estimated to be between 0.5-7% (see www.b4uact.org/facts.htm for references), possibly conservatively due to an understandable aversion of admitting this even in an anonymous study. The point is, rapists rape for reasons of power and a lack of empathy: it has little or nothing to do with whatever underlying attractions a person has.

On the presentation: Yes, you could say it was somewhat hyperbolic. But it was meant to give an idea of how the young pedophile just discovering his/her attractions is going to feel. The messages that get promoted heavily are not conducive to having any self-worth. They do not encourage seeking any support for any severe emotional problems they might face (it requires an openness that is seemingly impossible to achieve)? Is this not a problem?

On kids' rights: It is amazing to me that you can dismiss it out of hand because *gasp* a pedophile supports it. And by the way, I am still quite young and do not have the entirety of my civil liberties granted to me - they are denied solely because of my age, as they similarly are to all people below arbitrary ages. It shouldn't be a surprise that young people denied equal rights for no reason whatsoever are the ones who are the most forceful advocates for it. Take the National Youth Rights Association, for instance. They have about 10,000 members, primarily consisting of young people: http://www.youthrights.org. Reading the forums there will be most the most beneficial thing to understand what youth rights are about.

Forget sex. It isn't nearly as important as most other rights. So what of those other rights? Seriously, just ask yourself this: is age a good indicator of ability? No, it is not. Ability is a good indicator of ability, and laws should be based on that. Age is at best a very rough guideline which fails when applied to the individual. What about McClafferty's case? Was it right that he was locked out of the next election by a change in the age requirement, when he clearly was capable of holding the mayor's office? And sorry to disappoint, but with perhaps some guidance, even young kids are demonstrably able to make competent decisions in voting on things such as the administrative issues of a school, seen in the Sudbury style of schools (democratic style of education: http://www.sudval.com/01_abou_05.html).
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Posted by unnamed on February 9, 2010 at 9:58 PM · Report this
246
@240,1
Kids have the right to their own body? News to me. That certainly can't be the case when kids and young adults are are being charged with what is effectively "abusing themselves" (sexting and similar things).

Pedophilia is not just a sexual attraction. It does include social and emotional elements, no matter how much you don't want it to.

@244
You push this idea of our attraction being about power or control. It isn't. In any way. The thought of hurting a child like that is disgusting. Frankly it makes me wonder why the hell you want that to be what pedophiles desire so badly...
Posted by unnamed on February 9, 2010 at 10:04 PM · Report this
ApolloDk 247
The "good pedophile"

Another medical obtion, perhaps not as safe as the "castration" is anti depressants. There are many variations out there which not only affect the sex drive, but also the genitals themselves such as numbing them.

Trust me, I have been there. Most og the many abti depressants I have been on for my bipolar disorder have taken away my sex life.
Posted by ApolloDk on February 10, 2010 at 12:42 AM · Report this
248
@238,

I'm not trolling. I'm simply exercising my Constitutional rights in suggesting that children and pedophiles be afforded the fundamental human rights of sexuality that every other member of humanity is given.

No researcher, no sociologist, no psychiatrist, no ethicist -- to my knowledge -- has ever asked the question:

"What if it's not the mutual intergenerational sex that hurts a child, but the crushing hysteria of society and its witch-hunt mentality that does the damage when the child and his or her adult lover are discovered?"

Do you know why nobody will ask this question? Because everyone knows that if an honest inquiry were to be made, they would find that consensual sex does not harm a child.They would find that children can meaningfully consent to sex with their peers and with adults.
Posted by 72Rob on February 10, 2010 at 7:58 AM · Report this
249
@unnamed/a pedophile (why did you change your name?)

'Ability' is not the issue. How could 'ability' be measured in relation to erotic relationships? Experience, and brain development as related to reasoning and emotional regulation, are the issue. These are fundamental to protecting people in the complexity of erotic relationships when high emotions and vulnerability are at stake.

Children do not have experience. As for brain development, please read this - which actually argues for adolescents' rights.
http://www.abanet.org/crimjust/juvjus/Ad…

The day you had with Leah and Alexis sounds very nice. It sounds like what you enjoyed was their youthful energy, their openness and their trust. Children who are involved in sexual relationships with adults have to negotiate floods of emotions in relation to a complex and vulnerable adult who is unable to manage and contain their own floods of emotions. Those children lose their youthful energy, their openness and their trust very, very quickly. And they know who took it from them.
Posted by diner mo on February 10, 2010 at 8:38 AM · Report this
250
Sorry, @unnamed, the link didn't come through. Please search for the Juvenile Justice Centre publication on Adolescence, Brain Development and Legal Culpability.
Posted by diner mo on February 10, 2010 at 8:42 AM · Report this
251
Perhaps people like this have been scared away from what is considered adult love because often strong physical chemical connections come along with really shitty hurtful behavior. Perhaps children represent a dismissive innocence because they do not have the chemical capacity or the love experience to extend recrimination. Their eyes won't deliver an appraisal of your actions because they have been taught that adults know more than children. This problem may be more of an issue of finding an oasis, somebody able to love with the innocence and warmth of childhood, to teach eachother how to love carefully: love like a lifeboat in what may seem like torrential caustic ocean of half hearted action and reaction, injury, blame and humiliation. The simplicity of opening up to somebody and trusting without all the baggage is seemingly impossible when you have only been confronted with diseased guarded interactions and sinister game that seems way out of your league. Don't know about this particular case but I think perhaps the problem is social fear related... nurture(and lack thereof) rather than nature. Perhaps it is a family you crave. I extend good will human to human and woman to man and congrats on being able to confess something like this even to yourself ... you're ahead of the game than many on that front. I hope that you find a woman with an enduring spirit that raises and sustains those same feelings in you and helps you to heal. good luck to you.
Posted by Angelala on February 10, 2010 at 9:00 AM · Report this
252
Giving a man birth conrol pills is chemical castration. It is setting a hormonal timer on a bomb of latent disfunction and then sending it out into an unassuming crowd. Then again choosing any glowing untouchable fantasy grants us distance from the murky depths of the reality is a form of emotional castration to exert control over our impressions...at least this man grants attention to the fact that his choices could mar another person's experience. Children do not yet know they have a choice in the variables of their sensual experience especially if parents are afraid of broaching the subject. Their delicacy, emotional strength, ability to rationalize, and ability to feel love, lust excitement and joy can be destroyed. Bull in china shop. Since that has happened to many adults in one way or another and misery loves company, maybe destruction of innocence is some of the appeal.
Posted by angelalala on February 10, 2010 at 10:56 AM · Report this
253
@ 72Rob,
It is a shame you found my question stupid and didn't answer it, because it wasn't even focused on whether engaging in consensual sexual activity is good or bad for children, but rather on the issue of how to protect children from engaging in activities with people who may not look after their best interest.

It doesn't even have to be sex - parents are mindful of who their child plays with or who babysits them, because that person could be a psycho and harm the child in one way or another.

If you're suggesting that children should be legally able to choose their sexual partners, and stop their parents from interfering even when it's obvious to everyone older than 6 that that person is a creepy douchebag who doesn't give a fuck about the best interests of the child or its emotional and every other wellbeing - well, that's a refreshing point of view that we haven't had chance to see on this thread.
Posted by tiare on February 10, 2010 at 11:58 AM · Report this
254
72Rob writes:
"What if it's not the mutual intergenerational sex that hurts a child, but the crushing hysteria of society and its witch-hunt mentality that does the damage when the child and his or her adult lover are discovered?"

All one needs to do is read about the negative effects on victims/survivors' lives when the abuse is NOT disclosed and the person has years of dysfunctional or self-defeating behaviors. This is a common response by the "pedosexual" lobby that floats a red herring about this being children's "rights". Even if there were some logic to doing an experiment to determine whether societal reaction is worse than "benign" sexual encounters, you'd never find an ethics body to approve of such research.

The vast majority of victims don't disclose or do so when they are older, not subject to the hysteria of the professionals who make a living from treating victims.

I've worked with a couple of young men in the past few years, ages 19 and 21. One was a self-proclaimed "boy-lover" the other a "girl-lover".

When I asked each about the areas of common conversation they had with their preferential age targets, they had difficulty explaining that talking about the interest topics (Barbies, Legos, and other interests of children) were sufficient to maintain a relationship based on more than sexual attraction.

The other laughing point (if it weren't so tragic) is that the boy-lover manifesto talks about getting the child's parent's permission to be the friend/mentor/sex educator of the child.

If some adult or teen asked my permission to be a "friend" to my children when they were younger, I'd be awfully stupid to encourage something like that.
Posted by NJKen on February 10, 2010 at 2:14 PM · Report this
255
NJKen wrote: "Even if there were some logic to doing an experiment to determine whether societal reaction is worse than "benign" sexual encounters, you'd never find an ethics body to approve of such research."

NJKen, thank you for conceding my argument. :)

Now, the very fact that you could not find such an ethics body proves there IS research that needs to be done.
Posted by 72Rob on February 10, 2010 at 5:47 PM · Report this
256
@72Rob:

As I've said elsewhere on this thread, I was molested as a child. You can go to #148 for the whole sorry story, but here are the important points:

I initially consented because I had no real idea what I was agreeing to and I wanted to make my molester happy. I continued out of a sense of obligation and because I felt trapped. I was about the farthest thing imaginable from Rosa Parks, believe me; I was rolling over and taking it, not standing up for my own rights.

What happened to me was not in any way, shape, or form a "joyful" experience. While it was happening, I felt trapped and used and slimy (in the literal sense of the word - my molester was a very orally fixated man).

You know how you feel when you're in that reclining chair at the dentist's office, and the dental hygienist is poking around in your mouth, and you just want the whole damn thing to be over already? That's what it felt like at the best of times. There was nothing sensual about the experience, let alone orgasmic -- I don't think I was even capable of orgasm back then. Did my molester stimulate some of the same nerve endings that are involved in sex and orgasm? Yeah, but my dentist stimulates some of the same nerve endings that are involved in kissing.

During the years that I was being molested, I became anorexic and extremely depressed, and I continue to struggle with these issues to this day. Obviously, I can't blame all my mental health woes on a single trauma, but the sexual abuse sure as hell didn't help.

Yes, I'm sure events would have played out very differently if I had lived in a world where child/adult sex was not taboo. I'm not sure that the end result would have been any better, though, at least for me. I still would have been coaxed and cajoled into performing sex acts that I did not want and did not enjoy by somebody I thought I loved and trusted.

I have spoken with several other survivors of sexual abuse (some of whom had stories that make mine sound like a family sitcom). Many of them had given their abusers some modicum of consent. None of them felt that they were the better for what had happened to them.
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Posted by not using my account for this one on February 10, 2010 at 8:46 PM · Report this
257
@249: "(why did you change your name?)"
Simple forgetfulness on my part. I thought I was using "unnamed" when I was posting last week.

Thanks for the reference. However, the reasoning that the author is pushing is somewhat flawed. Young adults do have a significantly higher cognitive potential (resulting in a period where one can learn and understand a high volume of abstract ideas with a relative ease never seen in other periods of life), which is why there is such a dramatic increase in gray matter. This heightened period of cognitive potential should not be viewed as a "deficit."

The flood of hormones the author notes relates to being at the peak of sexual desire. 'Teenage angst' is not a result of hormones, but rather a justifiably angry response to the person being able to completely assert his/her own independence yet being denied the opportunity to do so. It tends to be more destructive in nature only because more constructive outlets for it are not as readily apparent. It is of note that the problem of 'teenage angst' has only gotten worse with a more and more laws are put into place that specifically target them.

"'Ability' is not the issue. How could 'ability' be measured in relation to erotic relationships?"

There are various practical ways of assessing whether a person has the capacity to generally consent, or whether they can vote competently, etc.

One such method (and probably the easiest to conceive of) would involve something akin to a driver's test. Ignoring the age requirement, all a driver's test requires is that the person applying for their license is able to drive a car safely and responsibly. So with this kind of scheme, a person who wanted to could petition for sexual rights, for instance. If they can demonstrate whatever is deemed necessary to give consent, then they could without restriction.

Another method could involve having a child able to begin exercising whichever rights they feel they are able to, when they want to, but with a parent able to object if s/he reasonably feels that the kid isn't ready to exercise it and can show why. Of the two, I think this one is fairer.

@251,2: "Their eyes won't deliver an appraisal of your actions because they have been taught that adults know more than children"

Yes, and this is really an important point. Why are children taught that adults always know better? It is only true only to a limited extent (where adults have more experience in something), and is a very dangerous thing in my opinion since it can make it quite a bit harder for a kid to stay or get out of a manipulative relationship (of any kind).

And it ignores that kids can demonstrate greater knowledge or experience than adults, such as with those who grew up with computers, or young people interested in politics (it seems that politically active young people are much more proactive in advocating to change things that are clearly not working). It shouldn't be assumed that in all cases someone older will automatically have more experience or knowledge. I say this within reason of course, since it should be fairly evident that young children will not have had sufficient time to gain significant experience or knowledge, but the idea would be the same. Experience, knowledge, and ability is what counts, not a number.

"maybe destruction of innocence is some of the appeal."

Definitely not. At least not to anybody I'd ever want to associate with.
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Posted by unnamed on February 10, 2010 at 8:55 PM · Report this
258
@256, Please resist the urge to conflate your abuse onto the majority of adult/child sexual relationships that are not abuse, but instead beneficial to both participants.

I think we can all agree that REAL molestation and REAL sexual abuse are terrible things. But equally as terrible is the act of forcing consenters to define their love and sexual expression as "abuse".
Posted by 72Rob on February 11, 2010 at 3:23 AM · Report this
259
@ unnamed/a pedophile, do you have references to back up this assertion:

"Young adults do have a significantly higher cognitive potential (resulting in a period where one can learn and understand a high volume of abstract ideas with a relative ease never seen in other periods of life), which is why there is such a dramatic increase in gray matter. This heightened period of cognitive potential should not be viewed as a "deficit." "

I would like to see something that is grounded in more current, thorough, authoritative research than the article I cited which maintains that "even as they become fully capable in other areas, adolescents cannot reason as well as adults"? And that "during adolescence the part of the brain that is helping organization, planning and strategizing is not done being built yet."

If you do produce those references, I'd also like to know how this cognitive potential with abstract ideas compensates for the disadvantages in reasoning and life experience that adolescents and children have when trying to deal with adults on equal terms.

As for being flooded with hormones/sexual desire - since when did that protect anyone from emotional harm? Doesn't that make adolescents more likely to take dangerous risks?

Did you notice that you flaked out on coming up with this "test of ability" that you're imagining? The test, you say, would involve "whatever is deemed necessary". What do you imagine, in concrete terms, would prove that a child or adolescent is capable of managing the emotions and logistics involved in an erotic relationship with an adult on equal terms? This is not just an academic question. I'm guessing that many pedophiles take it that they personally have some version of this 'proof', so I'd like to know what that is.

This is not just an abstract question for me, either. My husband was sexually abused beginning at the age of TWO by someone who believed, or pretended to believe, that he was consenting to sexual contact and that contact was "beneficial" to him. I am sure you would say you would never do such a thing. I am sure 72Rob would say if only people didn't say sex with kids was abuse it wouldn't have been a problem.

What I know, because I live with it every day, is that my husband, who never told a soul, is still living with the fucking horrible unchosen cognitive and emotional fallout more than thirty years later, and so am I. While you guys fantasize about how it's all society's fault, we are living with the consequences of what some other fantasist left behind.

That doesn't make me hate you, wish you harm or want you banished from society. It has made me want to engage you in conversation to see if you are open to reconsidering your ideas. It does make me want to tell you to GET SOME HELP. Even if you are not in danger of abusing now. Please, please get some help and some support so you can stay safe.

I'm done with this conversation.

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Posted by diner mo on February 11, 2010 at 6:01 AM · Report this
260
"My husband was sexually abused beginning at the age of TWO by someone who believed, or pretended to believe, that he was consenting to sexual contact and that contact was "beneficial" to him. I am sure you would say you would never do such a thing. I am sure 72Rob would say if only people didn't say sex with kids was abuse it wouldn't have been a problem." -diner mo

diner mo, don't go all stupid on what I write. I'm not arguing semantics like you are. I'm not saying it's just a matter of choosing words. I'm saying that real child abuse does exist, and we as a society need to have the compassion of heart to know what that is and be able to condemn it for what it is, instead of calling all intergenerational sex between a child and an adult "abuse".

What we are witnessing in our society is the same mentality that was at work in Nazi Germany, a mentality of hate without reason. So fighting the abuse hysteria is just as important as fighting the Nazis.

The idea held in our culture that every sexual encounter between an adult and a child is "abuse" is a grotesque perversion that is rotting the very core of our society. It is belittling the tragedy of real sexual abuse. And it is literally killing innocent pedophiles and children. Indeed, sexual abuse hysteria should be called "The Quiet Holocaust".
Posted by 72Rob on February 11, 2010 at 7:07 AM · Report this
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72Rob writes:
"What we are witnessing in our society is the same mentality that was at work in Nazi Germany, a mentality of hate without reason. So fighting the abuse hysteria is just as important as fighting the Nazis."

If you are equating hating and wanting to kill people who are branded to be scapegoats for society's ills like the Nazis did with Jews and other "undesirable" peoples, you may have a point there. However, I don't think that generalized scorn for people who engage children in sexual activities are the same as Hitler's victims.

They did nothing to bring on the abuse, torture and death by the Nazis. Pedophiles and others who DO sexual behaviors with children are not innocent victims.

Remember, this thread started with the discussion KIW brought to the table about his FEELINGS and THOUGHTS, not his behaviors. You and the other pro-"intergenerational sex" advocates use arguements for free speech, freedom of association and other civil rights as a way of advocating your sexual desires.

Even if a child truly believes his relationship with an older person is benign and perhaps beneficial at the time, there are far too many casualties who are not created by the therapeutic community or outrage in the media. You and others who are in favor of adult-child sex do not know whether the "willing" child will do just fine in life or will become a casualty. The damage that diner mo talks about regarding her husband is generally the outcome.

So, are there people who had good experiences with older people when they were children? Perhaps so. However, they don't show up in the media, make public pronouncements or otherwise give us the info that sex with adults is a good thing.

A couple years ago, I was seeing a man in his 40s just before he was sentenced to prison for his second offense involving possession of child pornography (images of child sexual abuse). He was initiated into "gentle" sexual activity by his teenage cousin when he was nine. The cousin shared him with his friends and by the time this boy was a teenager, he was able to choose his sexual partners, and made money from sex with teens and older men.

His sense was that it was not abuse and he denied he was a victim. Fine. It's not my job to define a person's experience. However, he was going to prison for a few years and he was, by his own admission, somewhat of a sexual compulsive, having to have orgasms several times a day via sex with a couple of "friends with benefits" or masturbation.
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Posted by NJKen on February 11, 2010 at 7:38 AM · Report this
262
@72Rob:

I can't decide if your hyperbole is grotesque or hilarious. I take it you've never heard of Godwin's Law?

>>>I'm saying that real child abuse does exist, and we as a society need to have the compassion of heart to know what that is and be able to condemn it for what it is, instead of calling all intergenerational sex between a child and an adult "abuse".<<<

This point has been made repeatedly throughout this thread, by myself and others, but once more for the record: CHILDREN "CONSENT" TO SEX WITH ADULTS OUT OF FEAR, OBLIGATION, AND IGNORANCE. If you agree that this happens at least some of the time, then how do you propose that we distinguish between genuine child abuse and "consensual" intergenerational sex?

And don't tell me that all we need to do is make sure children know that they can refuse sex they don't want. Most children who are molested have been told all about "bathing suit areas" and "bad touching" and what have you. For a child, the abstract knowledge that it's good and right and proper to say "no" to something (whether it's *any* sex with an adult or just *unwanted* sex with an adult) doesn't necessarily translate into the ability to actually say "no" to a real person, particularly when that person is someone the child knows and trusts.

I personally know upwards of a dozen people (myself included) who "consented" to sexual contact with adults while they were children. Out of all these people, exactly zero found the experience to be beneficial or even benign.

So, what metric would you use to differentiate between manipulation and coercion versus genuine consent? Wait, wait, let me guess: the first and most important question is "am *I* doing it, or is *somebody else* doing it?" Whenever *you,* personally, hear the word "yes" pass a child's lips (or at least don't hear a screaming, sobbing "no"), you know that it's fully-informed consent, gladly and freely given. Because *you* aren't a child abuser - ergo, nothing you do could possibly be child abuse!

Oh, and Rob? That little voice that urges you to befriend children, to teach them about their bodies, to bring them joy, to help them assert their basic human rights? That's not "compassion of heart." That's just your libido talking. (And, from the looks of it, your conscience -- like the stereotypical battered wife -- has long since stopped talking back.)

>>>And it is literally killing innocent pedophiles and children.<<<

I think you'll find that very few children die from being denied sexual contact with adults. (On a global scale, hundreds of thousands of children die from having sexual contact with adults, specifically adults with HIV/AIDS. But of course, you wouldn't care about that: the suffering caused by *actual* sex between children and adults is less than irrelevant to your lovingly-constructed delusions.)
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Posted by not using my account for this one on February 11, 2010 at 9:56 AM · Report this
263
@262
"This point has been made repeatedly throughout this thread, by myself and others, but once more for the record: CHILDREN "CONSENT" TO SEX WITH ADULTS OUT OF FEAR, OBLIGATION, AND IGNORANCE. If you agree that this happens at least some of the time, then how do you propose that we distinguish between genuine child abuse and "consensual" intergenerational sex?"

To answer your question, first we need to treat children like human beings. We do this by realizing and respecting that children are sexual beings, and quit treating children like they are creatures with monstrous sexualities.

Second, we need to welcome pedophiles into the arms of society and quit treating them like the Nazis treated the Jews.

Once we remove the shroud of mythology from children and pedophiles, we will see their fundamental place in human society, our ignorance towards their sexuality will crumble like any other prejudice that enters into the light of reason, and we will finally be able to understand the difference between abuse and what is not abuse.

Like the fights for women's rights and racial justice, pedophiles and children are ready for justice and human rights, it is up to society to take the next step.

The rest of your post is ignorant hate mongering and I won't address it.
Posted by 72Rob on February 11, 2010 at 8:08 PM · Report this
264
When I was in middle school the teachers warned us that when we got to HS we wouldnt be able to get the girls attention for years bc they would be all about the older boys.

Sure enough, in HS the girls were drawn to the older guys. This wasnt bc they had a better connection, it was bc they were blinded by the "coolness" of the older guys. There was no real connection there.

Why hasnt anyone mentioned that it is pretty much only men that are pedophiles? Men with low self-esteem who cannot connect with women their own age?

Just like the seniors in my HS going after the "easy targets", these creeps choose to go after children who do not have enough experience to see them for the creeps they are. They have minimized they chances for rejection.

These children dont have a charming youthfulness, it is naivete. ignorance. What is sexy about that? How many conversations about Legos can you have?
Posted by I wasnt THAT awkward on February 12, 2010 at 2:51 AM · Report this
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72Rob- "The rest of your post is ignorant hate mongering and I won't address it."

You tell her Rob. Geez, no wonder you like the young'ins....I bet they dont get all fact-y on you. They probably dont call you on your straw men arguments- shoot, they probably dont even know what a straw man argument is!


Posted by I wasnt THAT awkward on February 12, 2010 at 3:06 AM · Report this
266
The rat-wheel of your misspent mind Bob.
Posted by Tim: doesn't care, so fuck off. on February 12, 2010 at 7:19 AM · Report this
267
@72Rob:

Your perceived disenfranchisement does not constitute any sort of moral high ground, no matter how many comparisons to Nazi Germany you make, and your attempt to coopt the victimhood of your actual victims (i.e., children) is nothing short of sickening.

Carl Sagan aptly observed that while many geniuses are mocked in their day, not all who are mocked are geniuses: "They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

I would like to propose a parallel theorem, in your honor: just as ridicule does not prove genius, neither does persecution prove innocence. Or, to put it in more concrete terms, "They persecuted the Jews, they persecuted the blacks, they persecuted the gays. But they also persecuted the child molesters."

Obviously, nothing I can say is going to change your mind. You blithely dismiss any and all criticism as "hate mongering." You imagine yourself as a rebel against an oppressive society of prudes and hysterics, a liberator of children from the clutches of sexual tyranny. It would seem that you've never stopped to wonder why it is that your convictions dovetail so neatly with your libido, and why it is that adults who *don't* get off on having sex with children (including people who had sex with adults while they themselves were children) find your "noble cause" to be so monstrous.

But you know what, fine. Spend your life holed up in the blanket fort of your own delusions, and keep pretending you're a sexual revolutionary instead of a sexual predator. Go right on diddling the kiddies, because that's obviously what you're going to do until someone catches you. I very much hope that you are right, and your victims -- excuse me, *lovers* -- won't be damaged by what you've done to them. But don't be surprised when five or ten or however many years later, they fear you and resent you and blame you for a ruined childhood. Trust me, Rob -- that's how this story usually ends.
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Posted by not using my account for this one on February 12, 2010 at 10:25 AM · Report this
268
Now we finally know why you don't feel comfortable talking about trans women: you have an intense fear of castration.
Posted by kian217 on February 12, 2010 at 12:32 PM · Report this
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@259:
"I would like to see something that is grounded in more current, thorough, authoritative research than the article I cited which maintains that "even as they become fully capable in other areas, adolescents cannot reason as well as adults"?"

A few references (two are more recent than the article you quoted):
"The Myth of the Teen Brain" - Dr. Robert Epstein
http://drrobertepstein.com/pdf/Epstein-T…
"The truth is that they are extraordinarily competent, even if they do not normally express that competence. Research I conducted with Dumas shows, for example, that teens are as competent or virtually as competent as adults across a wide range of adult abilities. And long-standing studies of intelligence, perceptual abilities and memory function show that teens are in many instances far superior to adults."
Also see his novel "The Case Against Adolescence," and its update "Teen 2.0" which will be released this year.

Waber, D.P. et al (2007): "The NIH MRI Study of Normal Brain Development: Performance of a Population Based Sample of Healthy Children Aged 6 to 18 Years on a Neuropsychological Battery"
"For most tasks, proficiency improved dramatically between 6 and 10 years of age, leveling off during early adolescence (approximately 10 to 12 years of age), suggesting that for many neurocognitive tasks, children approach adult levels of performance at that age. For a few measures, scores increased linearly throughout the age range. These were tasks that assessed basic information processing, such as Coding, Digit Span, and Spatial Span."

Adler, N.E., & Matthews, K. (1994). "Why do some people get sick and some stay well?"
"However, empirical tests show that adolescents are no less rational than adults. Applications of rational models to adolescent decision-making show that adolescents are consistent in their reasoning and behavior after the salient set of beliefs is assessed (Adler et al 1990). Quadrel et al (1993) demonstrated that adolescents are no more biased in their estimates of vulnerability to adverse health outcomes than are their parents."

With specific regards to this question, "Doesn't that make adolescents more likely to take dangerous risks?" please see this study:

Quadrel, M. J., Fischhoff, B., & Davis, W. (1993). "Adolescent (in)vulnerability"
"Subjects were middle-class adults, their teenage children, and high-risk adolescents from treatment homes. All three groups saw themselves as facing somewhat less risk than the target others. However, this perception of relative invulnerability was no more pronounced for adolescents than for adults."

----------------

"What do you imagine, in concrete terms, would prove that a child or adolescent is capable of managing the emotions and logistics involved in an erotic relationship with an adult on equal terms?"

Basically asking these questions: Is independence exercised and understood (that no one can force them to do something they don't want to)? Is there an understanding of possible risks? Is the person able to understand and express their own emotions (a pretty good measure of emotional maturity)? Is the person able to effectively and clearly communicate his/her desires? Or more directly, disregarding age, what is meant by someone giving consent? If some contact is consensual, it would be so regardless of the ages of the two people involved.

Asking these questions does not mean the obvious needs to be ignored. I can safely say that your husband most certainly did not have the capacity to consent, nor would any other two-year old. And moreover, the sexuality of infants and toddlers is very self-oriented and probably never includes others. What happened to your husband was real sexual abuse and that should always be condemned. I sincerely hope that the abusive jerk was punished for his actions.

----------------

"That doesn't make me hate you, wish you harm or want you banished from society. It has made me want to engage you in conversation to see if you are open to reconsidering your ideas. It does make me want to tell you to GET SOME HELP. Even if you are not in danger of abusing now. Please, please get some help and some support so you can stay safe."

And I really just want to thank you so much for not hating me. That's a luxury I almost never have when I am honest with others. The conversation has been good because it has made me think of things I hadn't considered previously, and that is always a good thing. I'll continue to argue for greater independence for young people (not because of selfish reasons on my part; I will never support extending solely sexual rights to kids because if that is the only thing that changes then I don't see how the situation would have gotten any better for them, and that is the only thing that really matters), but of course there are special issues related to development that need to be carefully considered.

You said I should get help. My sexuality isn't dangerous or anything; I don't need "help" because of that. I'm not going to ever "act" on my sexuality or anything because I don't want any harm to ever come to any child, and this would be inevitable with any such erotic relationship today. But I really do wish that I could be open with someone in real life. But most people would hate me for my feelings. Where could I ever hope to find someone who wouldn't, and who wouldn't suggest that I should be ashamed of what I feel or something? I don't have a clue, and it's way too risky to try to go looking for that. Online support exists, but for the most part I just have to learn to support myself.
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Posted by unnamed on February 12, 2010 at 3:47 PM · Report this
270
@264:
"Why hasnt anyone mentioned that it is pretty much only men that are pedophiles?"

The only pedophiles (and hebephiles, those preferentially attracted to young adults, which includes the teen years) you end up hearing about are those who cross the legal line (and it should be noted that that the vast majority of child/teen sex offenders are not pedophiles/hebephiles, but rather "situational offenders" who do so out of stress and other factors - see FBI statistics on this manner, or other studies looking at this), and men are much more likely to break any law than women. There is no reason why pedophilia/hebephilia would be more common with

"Men with low self-esteem who cannot connect with women their own age?"

It has nothing whatsoever to do with low self-esteem. I've known how I've felt since I was around 11-13. For years I tried desperately (to the point of self-destruction) to feel attracted to adult men or women or my peers, but it never worked. And I should point out that most pedophiles/hebephiles do in fact feel attraction to their peers and do form romantic relationships with adults.

"Just like the seniors in my HS going after the "easy targets", these creeps choose to go after children who do not have enough experience to see them for the creeps they are. They have minimized they chances for rejection."

No. The society in which we live gives no chance to the relationship I might like to have from ever developing, though I think it could be possible in some other time (I don't feel up to continuing this particular argument, so read my past posts to get an explanation if you want it). Minimizing the chances for rejection? More like ensuring a life without a fulfilling romantic relationship.

"These children dont have a charming youthfulness, it is naivete. ignorance. What is sexy about that? How many conversations about Legos can you have?"

I can't speak for every pedophile. But I can hazard a very educated guess that in our attractions, the vast majority of pedophiles are like any other person (and similarly amongst other traits). That is, a typical pedophile indeed has sexual feelings towards children, yet that is hardly the extent of the attraction, just like those attracted to adult men and women don't feel just lust. It is not just sexual desire, but includes attraction on a wholly social and emotional level. These three components, for the typical pedophile, are equal in importance and intensity in defining their unique attraction base.

Allow me to give a personal example, by way of a valued memory of mine. I omit personally identifying details for protection (being an outed pedophile today is not a good thing, to put it mildly), but anything else is completely honest. I will try to keep it brief, but I hope it can be enlightening about the nature of my attraction. It was a day I had when I was about 14, not fully accepting myself but also not at the worst I had been. But none of those issues seemed to matter during this day. My mother was babysitting two little girls for the day, but I was rather surprised when my door burst open and they walked in to introduce themselves. Leah and Alexis, sisters to each other. Stunned by their beauty, I greeted them with a smile. Their smiles were radiant and warm. Leah had gorgeous, long brunette hair and blue eyes, while Alexis had nice, short black hair and brown eyes. They were both very outgoing and affectionate, but above all they were kind and fun-loving. They took an immediate-liking to me, and decided that we would spend the day together.

The day was great fun. We played some games both inside and out, hide and seek, the occasional computer game, we joked around a lot, walked to a local restaurant for lunch, and much more, and everything we did was Leah and Alexis' decision. We had loads of fun, and lots of laughter was had by all, especially Leah and Alexis (and that's what was most important to me, that they were happy and enjoying themselves). Even the 'dull' moments weren't so dull - it was great fun to just be sitting on the couch making each other laugh with silly faces. One thing I remember very clearly, that Leah and Alexis had me do all day was to walk them everywhere while they sat down on my feet. Hehe, great fun, but it certainly got tiring by the end of the day. Anyways, the day did eventually come to a close, but it came with Leah and Alexis wishing it didn't have to.

Now yes, I was sexually attracted to both Leah and Alexis, but in any event I really doubt that Leah or Alexis had similar feelings, so I obviously didn't act on that, and I wouldn't have even if they expressed some clear interest in sexual activity (I wouldn't have wanted any harm to come to them). But I hope those reading this can see that the sexual feelings I had weren't the only thing I felt, nor dominant, nor did I want to express them. Being a friend for Leah and Alexis, making them smile and laugh, was what I wanted, and exactly what I did.
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Posted by unnamed on February 12, 2010 at 4:16 PM · Report this
271
i empathize for KIW... i wish there was a safe place to receive help and support.

to the bigger topic, though, it seems that the fallacy of "consent" is at the heart of pedophilia. confusing the precociousness and unwittingness of sexual behavior as knowledge/consent from children is bizarre.

men discussing girls "expressing some clear interest in sexual activity" is repulsive.

i can understand the desire to shake off our culture as regards sex...

i can understand the FANTASY of forcing someone else to experience pleasure against their will, or without their understanding what's happening. the fantasy of raping a virgin isn't exactly far-fetched.

it is the combination - raping a virgin whose mind and social development doesn't allow them to know they're being raped - that equals pedophiliac fantasies.

that isn't a "sexual preference" along a continuum. it is a deviance that needs to be treated. i would easily befriend KIW knowing his problem. i would not, however, enable KIW or anyone some illusion that this is normal. 72 whoever you are, you need help.

Posted by jackieoh on February 13, 2010 at 12:39 PM · Report this
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@Unnamed, your comment moved me. I appreciate that you are thinking about the 'big picture' in terms of what kids need and their situation in our culture, and that you are really trying to be responsible about who you are in this world - we all have to do that.

My husband and I are putting a *lot* of work - money, time, emotional energy - into redressing the damage that we each have copped through being given emotional situations to deal with at ages when we just weren't ready for them. For him the sexual abuse, for me physical and emotional abuse as an adolescent. It's a process of slow unfolding which includes learning some unexpected things about what various stages of development can cope with. The effects of this damage have been pretty devastating and although we can grow in amazing ways, we will never be totally free of those effects. I know if we didn't have the resources we have now to deal with stuff, we'd be fucked.

I hope that you are open to learning about the protections that kids need as well as the freedoms. It's really, really important.

I also hope you can keep cautiously looking for ways to get the support and sharing that you need. It is a human right, and I want it for you regardless of any fears around your sexuality. You are really bright and resourceful, so those things can help you.

Take care.
Posted by diner mo on February 13, 2010 at 6:07 PM · Report this
273
I have rarely felt the need to respond online like this, but the disturbing elements I find here makes it necessary ... First off, my disclaimer - I was molested & raped as a child - first it was manipulative & I consented, reluctantly.... then it became forceful and I most certainly didn't consent to that. This of course colors my perspective. I am also post - therapy, but still full of quirks and kinks.

To most of the pedophiles that posted...I do get it. You can be a good pedophile, someone who is attracted to children, provided you don't act on that attraction. However, I really can't elevate the attraction to children as a legitimate orientation and personally, I don't feel a whole lot of sympathy...

I have some very dark kinks, none involve children, but I have never been totally sexually fulfilled - and I won't ever be. My parents, my friends and yes, my lover - have no idea what my deepest desires are. They would not understand, there would likely be some concern over my well being and my man would be distressed to find himself unable to give me what I really want. But guess what, I'm a grown up... I figured out awhile ago what was really important to me and I've made choices based on that.

My unexpressed kink is merely a facet of me... I don't lie awake at night thinking about it or about what my loved ones would think if they knew. It doesn't consume me. I do not seek out porn that portrays it - it exists, but it would not still my desires - likely it would exacerbate them as it would fail to fulfill my craving. The reality is that I can't have it all- some desires run counter to others and choices must be made.

Get a good therapist who has a history of working with sex offenders - not because you are one, but because they can best help to set guidelines to keep you from ever offending. Sign up with some SA type group that can give you an accountability partner. Best of all, quit whining about society hating you - society doesn't know you and won't know you for this if you never hurt anyone. Understand that you can have a full life with merely one aspect of yourself that isn't fully realized.

On a side note - I think there should be just one punishment for whomever crosses that line and behaves inappropriately with a child. This also includes any adult who believes they are in an adult-child love relationship. Once someone crosses the line, I don't care to treat or understand - just cauterize.
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Posted by twitchy trigger finger on February 13, 2010 at 9:41 PM · Report this
274
KIW deserves lots of credit for admitting to a compulsion that is typically reviled in this society. That he/she has not acted on it is to his/her credit. KIW is asking for concrete advice on how to deal with an issue that may very well land KIW in jail, let alone loss of job, family and friends if it become known. I've read as many of the 273 answers before mine as I could, but don't see an answer that I know works. And that is Sexaholics Anonymous or a similar 12 step program. As a member of one of these groups I can attest that someone like KIW will be welcomed and allowed to talk about their compulsions and attractions without shame. Doing so helps control them. Normal life IS possible. I don't have KIW's problem but mine did ruin my life and since I've joined this group I've been able to function in society and regain much of what I lost. Help exists and doesn't, necessarily, require castration of any kind.
Posted by sexual addictions have help on February 14, 2010 at 12:22 PM · Report this
275
i've got a cure for pedaphiles, it's a .45 round right between the fuckin eye's . screw your pscycologist mumbo jumbo. when he rapes "YOUR CHILD!" YOU'LL BE RIDING IN THE CAR WITH ME TO GO SHOOT THE WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT!!
Posted by gillettebret on February 17, 2010 at 8:09 AM · Report this
276
APPARENTLY MY POST WAS DELETED SO I'LL PUT IT UP AGAIN. ENOUGH WITH THE TOUCHY FEELY SOFT HANDLING THARAPUTIC APPROACH! ONE CURE, THATS IT! 10 ROUNDS FROM A .45 RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYE'S PERIOD!!! YOU MAY DISAGREE , BUT WHEN HE RAPES YOUR KID ARE YOU GONNA SEND HIM TO THARAPY ? NO YOUR GONNA WANT HIM FUCKING KILLED! PROBOBLY WITH YOUR OWN HANDS! LETS FIND THIS FUCK ! KILL HIM! AND SEE HOW MANY CHILDRIN HE DOESN'T HAVE SEX WITH ! FUCK THE PC SHIT , KILL ALL CHILD MOLESTORS !
Posted by gillettebret on February 17, 2010 at 11:46 PM · Report this
277
SWEEET JUMPIN JESUS WHAT'S TO TALK ABOUT? THESE SICK FUCKS NEED THE DEATH PENALTY , ONE STRIKE YOUR DEAD!
Posted by gillettebret on February 17, 2010 at 11:48 PM · Report this
278
You know, just 'cuz you have a fantasy/fetish doesn't make it right to act on it/indulge it. (Most especially if it's harmful to others.)

Just 'cuz KIW is attracted to kids doesn't mean he should wallow in that attraction. It may always be the fantasy that gives him the biggest "bang," but it shouldn't (he shouldn't let it) be the only way for him to get his kicks. He needs to work at building and developing other, healthier fantasies/fetishes and indulging them. Seems that would enrich his life. I'm not advocating repression, just "rechanneling." Most of us have multiple fantasies/fetishes. He needs to feed the ones he can.

Posted by che sera, sera on February 18, 2010 at 9:00 AM · Report this
279

As a survivor of incest, I'm going to chime in on this one. Pedophilia can't be compared to being gay as apples to apples. Being gay is biological happenstance, and can be enacted between two consenting adults, but pedophilia results from screwed-up socialization, and it evolves from the inherent LACK of consent and LACK of boundaries.

KIW doesn't need to be demonized (commenter 277 is nuts, you shut the hell up there dude). KIW also needs to get his tail to a seriously good, compassionate therapist, and deal with whatever trauma precipitated the desire to have sexual relationships with fundamentally unable, unwilling partners. Pedophiliac desire, unlike being gay, does not result from healthy normal biological processes. It arises from a pre-existing pattern of abuse.
Posted by Sh on February 19, 2010 at 1:45 AM · Report this
280
gillettebret,

Despite your vitriol, you'll have to try to use your mind a little bit.

Again, considering your death threats (illegal in most places), it makes it all the more important that we consider the will and consent of the child. Would you murder somebody (as you threaten) if your child actively pursued and consented to a sexual relationship with an adult?

And what danger do you pose to your child if you find out he or she consented?

And what damage, psychologically, would you do to that child when he or she finds out you murdered their adult lover?

You see, when we consider the humanity of children we cannot ignore their will and consent when it comes to their very own sexualities. Sadly, gillettebret, your attitude is growing in popularity as hysteria makes a home the minds of individuals and institutions.
Posted by 72Rob on February 19, 2010 at 5:36 PM · Report this
281
Michael Jackson is a good example of a good pedophile because he does not really rape children and he loves children a lot and he also saved a child's life from cancer. He protects children and took good care of them even though he wants to have sex with them...
Posted by Good Child Lover on February 21, 2010 at 4:35 AM · Report this
282
I am a Bisexual and a Pedophile and I don't feel shame at all since God gave me these sexual preferences. Age is not always a barrier in my opinion. What is wrong with saying "I love that cute, pretty naked boy in that photo" and that I wanted to keep the photo as favourite photo in my hard disk??? I feel like my freedom was robbed. You cannot stop me from saying that too because I really love that cute, pretty boy in the photo as an example. It also depends on how we define what is child abuse. I was abused for like 3-5 times (not severely) when I was a child but I don't want other children to suffer the same fate as me and this is why I love them and I wanted to take good care of them so I am not a monster. I wanted to protect them as if they are my little brothers and I don't mind to teach them how to have sex. Different people have different opinion based on their own experience. In my case, I already know how to masterbate and jerk off when I was 5 yrs old so for me it is normal for children to have sexual hobby. I also practiced with my cousin who is only 2 years older than me at that time. Sex is a game for everyone of every age (if they can do it and know how to do it). At the time I was 5, I did not know why I wanna do it but I know that I wanna do it and the best answer I got was that it was fun and I called it the "weird game or playing penis game". It was weird but it was also fun and I have no definite answer to why I wanna do it. People wanna do things that they think is fun for them and it can be anything. Unfortunately, there is no place for pedophiles in this world and we cannot have our own freedom. It is like homosexuality because pedophilia is a sexual preference. When I see a cute beautiful child, I am automatically sexually aroused which isn't my fault so it cannot be a crime. I don't know what to do. I love many children and I don't harm them too. I would be very dissappointed when the children are harmed and tortured by monsters and if I can protect them then I would at all cost. I do admit that some pedophiles are monsters but not all of them are. I just wanted the children to be safe and have fun in any ways and I will buy as many toys as I can. When they sleep, I will hug them and defend them if they get scare of the dark...

When I am stress, I would wanna stay close to children because they make me feel better and relax. It is like staying with the angels who will entertain me in any ways and to soften my mood. Sometimes, they made me wanted to go to back to my childhood and becoming a child again, living in a enjoyable fantasy world where there is free of stress from today's reality world. The child's world is the world of having fun and only playing.

So why demonizing all pedophiles? Not all of us are monsters. Some are also priests at church. God made us like this and it is not our fault even if this is not a world for pedophiles because the law made it illegal. Please help us enjoy our sexual preference even if it is a bit twisted or unnatural for many. I wish that I could live longer until the days that it could become more legal and acceptable in the society just like it happened with homosexuality. God bless us...
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Posted by Good Child Lover on February 21, 2010 at 5:06 AM · Report this
283
PS:

I also would like re-clarify myself better that I was actually physically abused (not severely) by my parent and it is not a sexual abuse when I was a child and this is what also driven me to love children more and being concern about their safety. I don't think that my sexual preference has to do much with my childhood abuse experience because it was not that severe but it made me love the children more and fear that they might suffer the same fate if their parents are abusive. I love them more since I am a pedophile and a bisexual, they are pretty and cute.

And I don't see that having sex with children is a child abuse unless if it is raping or forcing the child to have sex or physically harming the child but if the child is happy and willing to have sex with us then it is another thing and it cannot be child abuse. Some children would have fun and laugh when having sex and they are not harm or dissappoint either.

Why can't we also be sexually attracted to pretty cute kids under 18 yrs old? What's so different between a 12 or 17 or 18 yrs old kids? They already know how to have sex and they could also become my boyfriend or girlfriend too. They are still pretty so I cannot deny that whether you like it or not...

Sorry but that is how we are... It is becoming nature and it is a matter of personal taste or sexual preference so we cannot easily change ourselves. Only God can if he/she can perform miracles on us...
Posted by Good Child Lover on February 21, 2010 at 5:23 AM · Report this
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@ Good Child Lover:

>>>What is wrong with saying "I love that cute, pretty naked boy in that photo" and that I wanted to keep the photo as favourite photo in my hard disk?<<<

It's wrong because the photo could not have been taken unless the "cute, pretty naked boy" in it had first been abused. Modern ethical standards hold that children are incapable of giving informed, meaningful consent to sex and other sexual activities, which includes posing for pornographic photos.

>>>When I see a cute beautiful child, I am automatically sexually aroused which isn't my fault so it cannot be a crime.<<<

Experiencing sexual arousal isn't a crime. However, acting on sexual arousal can be a crime (and in your case, it definitely would be). A man who is "automatically sexually aroused" by a beautiful woman and rapes her is a criminal, regardless of the fact that he had little or no control over his initial desire. Of course, a woman can give meaningful consent to sexual activity - however, a child *cannot,* and therefore any sexual contact you have with children is rape.

>>>Sorry but that is how we are... It is becoming nature and it is a matter of personal taste or sexual preference so we cannot easily change ourselves.<<<

So. Fucking. WHAT. Many, many people have deep-seated urges (sexual and otherwise) that they can neither consciously control nor ethically act on. I'm sorry to shatter your delusions of entitlement, but innate desire does not guarantee inculpability.
Posted by not using my account for this one on February 21, 2010 at 1:19 PM · Report this
285
@ #284's reply:

It looks like you haven't even read most of my phrases and you totally missed many points that I posted earlier.

Come on! Taking photo of naked pretty boy is not an abuse and the child is willing to do it too. Nobody is forcing the child to be naked and then taking photo of him/her. What about hundreds of naked children on the streets of India? That is also abuse when the western foreigners took photos of them? The photos are like art and expression of any thoughts or freedom so you cannot stop people who love these arts by manipulating them or illegalizing them because it would not help the situation. If you like the photo then just keep it and don't throw it away and if you don't like it then don't keep it. Period. Very simple.

But the problem is if someone get caught by keeping child pornography or teens under 18 or even at 17 yrs old of age then they would be arrest which is a shame. Also, I never take photos of naked children too but if I like them then I shall keep them so there is nothing wrong with keeping arts of expression or free thoughts.

I never Rape a child or force the child to have sex with me so chill out. I would ask the child first and if the child wanna play then it should be fine or morally correct. Doing it with the child's consent or permission is more acceptable but if the child is not willing and start crying then let them go and don't harm them. We should protect them and take good care of them too. These are what good Pedophiles should do.

Touching a child is already like a sexual act for me and it is not related to raping a child and the child loves to be touch and tickle. Just like you give soft caress touch to the child to tell them that you love them. Like I said earlier, it depends on how you define what is child abuse and raping. People who rape a child would harm them or threaten them if the children refuse their orders but I am not like that because I am not a monster. I love children and I am not shame to be a bisexual and a pedophile. I am also against any kinds of abuse against children.

Stop demonizing me. You are against God's will. God created the sweet little pretty angels for us to love and to take good care of them and we have the rights to love them and play with them too without harming them in any ways.
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Posted by Good Child Lover on February 21, 2010 at 6:27 PM · Report this
286
KIW is a creep. I just do not have any true sympathy. As a bisexual and a transwoman, I can understand how it feels to have to hide a part of oneself... but when children come into the picture, things go right out the window.

Pedophillia is NOT an "orientation". Anyone WITH an orientation ought to to disgusted at the idea that child abusers could be put up as normal in any sense of the word. It's a disease. It's a combination of someone having some very sick urges, some emotional, some biological. KIW needs to get some serious help, and he needs to be taken off the streets until he gets it.

Now, as for the letter, dosen't anybody else find it suspicious? KIW claims never to have acted on his feelings, that its sick to do so, and then puts himself into situations where he's left alone with the objects of his desire for long periods of time(don't get me started on what parents would let a grown man stay with their kids, alone- this letter ought to be a wake-up call to parents)! This is a man who wants someone to "ok" his actions, to justify his plans.

Savage, THE MAN WILL USE THIS RESPONSE AS AN EXCUSE TO ABUSE CHILDREN. It's what he wrote the letter for.
Posted by GirlGentleman on February 22, 2010 at 2:27 AM · Report this
287
GirlGentleman:

Ironically, you are advocating the same methods be used against KIW that the Nazis once used against people like you.

How do you feel?
Posted by 72Rob on February 22, 2010 at 6:08 AM · Report this
288
>>>Come on! Taking photo of naked pretty boy is not an abuse and the child is willing to do it too. Nobody is forcing the child to be naked and then taking photo of him/her.<<<

Are you serious? The vast majority of child pornography is produced coercively. The "models" are either photographed without their knowledge, or forced to pose naked and/or engage in sexual acts in front of the camera. Adult erotic models choose their own careers, they choose to accept or decline specific job offers, they choose what they will and will not do in front of the camera, and they choose whether they will or will not allow their image to be distributed in a specific fashion in return for a specific amount of money. (I'm aware that it doesn't actually work this way all the time, but I would argue that any pornography *not* produced under these conditions is not ethically produced and cannot be ethically purchased.)

If you honestly believe that your "naked pretty boys" chose to work as erotic models, or that they have any control over what they do in front of the camera and how their images are distributed, then you're even denser than you seem.

Yes, I understand that it's possible to take perfectly innocent photos of nude and semi-nude children -- my own family photo album contains pictures of me and my brother in the bath, and me running around topless on the beach. However, even if it's acceptable to take naked photographs of very young family members in a few very specific situations (e.g., the bath, the beach, and other settings where nudity or partial nudity is normative and non-posed), it is *never* acceptable to publicly distribute those photos for sexual purposes. I get that there's a bit of a grey area here -- photos of children that most people view as cute and innocent may well seem erotic to a pedophile. I'm not saying that we should outlaw any and all photos of children, simply because some pedophile somewhere is bound to find them arousing; however, knowingly distributing photos of children *as erotica* is beyond the pale. Children cannot meaningfully consent to having their images used in that way (and at any rate, most child pornographers don't even bother to seek the hollow facsimile of consent that you pedophiles so often mistake for the real thing).

>>>Also, I never take photos of naked children too but if I like them then I shall keep them so there is nothing wrong with keeping arts of expression or free thoughts.<<<

If you purchase pornographic photos of children (not computer graphics or photomanipulations - actual photos), then you are financing the victimization of children. It's that simple. It is no more ethical to purchase child pornography than it is to purchase unfaked snuff flicks or videos taken in public restrooms by hidden cameras.

I am all for freedom of expression, and I will adamantly defend your right to own child pornography created by drawing or CG, however distasteful I may personally find it. However, you do not have the right to own photographic records of the actual sexual abuse of actual children -- and this is precisely what most child pornography is.

>>>You are against God's will. God created the sweet little pretty angels for us to love and to take good care of them and we have the rights to love them and play with them too without harming them in any ways.<<<

Children aren't "sweet little pretty angels" -- they don't exist to bring you emotional comfort or spiritual enlightenment, and they aren't toys in the nursery school bin that everyone has to share. They're people, albeit physically, emotionally, and intellectually vulnerable people who are engaged in the ongoing process of gaining adult capabilities and assuming adult rights and responsibilities. Children don't owe you anything, and you are not owed any access to children.

Oh, and if God has an opinion on the subject, then He can get a Slog account and leave a comment like the rest of us. Until then, I don't give half a damn about what your personal (and particularly odious) iteration of everybody's favorite imaginary friend thinks about me.
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Posted by not using my account for this one on February 22, 2010 at 10:21 AM · Report this
289
I wonder if pedophilia is kind of an overexaggeration of a normal tendency in human males. After all, a healthy glow, soft skin, a higher voice and a general youthful appearance are indicators of fertility and health that are universally attractive. It's just that most men require a bit more sexual development to go along with them. Maybe the second half of the attraction never really took hold in some guys.

I am only, of course, referring to non-situational genuine pedophiles where the attraction is not just to power and control in general, but to a prepubescent appearance.
Posted by caitygirl on February 22, 2010 at 10:49 PM · Report this
290
@ #288 reply:

Yes I am serious, many Russian teens under 18 yrs old would go and register themselves on Russian Gay porno wesbites and be naked with all their intention so it is not child abuse. You must be living on Planet Pluto lately and your biased prospective is based on the law itself so you are basically repeating that law which continues to rob pedophiles' sexual orientation freedom. I bet that even children know how to have sex better than you and they know what is right or wrong for them because it seems like you got no guts lately in sex. Even many 5-12 yrs old kids already know how to have sex and you are still delusion to believe and assume that when they are naked or masterbate, it means that they are victimized or abused or being forced by someone. With your poor, anti-pedophile law logic, it is like saying that these Russian children would victimize themselves just simply because they go naked online which is not true. It is their part-time job because many of them are poor but the biased laws made by non-pedophiles had illegalized them. Despite this illegalization in many countries, these naked boys photos on porno websites are still on and people will continue to download and save them for the sake of their sexual freedom. Your biased view is just like that biased anti-pedophile law because it clearly showed that you cannot tolerate people who are sexually attractive to young pretty boys so you don't care about their freedom of expression afterall (based on what you posted). With your approach/solution, you risk to continue to harrass pedophiles and still taking away their sexual orientation freedom and you cannot even easily classify what contents are considered for sexual purpose and what contents are not for sexual purpose. What if I say that your naked kid photos of your family is also sexually attractive to me, shall we also illegalize your family photos too just because it has naked boys under 18 yrs old and say that it is child pornography content in your own house and then arrest you and your family members??? Come On!

The problem is that nudity is allowed only for heterosexual and homosexual but not pedophilia or naked children which is more double standard. Nudity in all websites are for sexual purpose but only in certain category. Why is sadism/masochism/torture still allowed online since it is much more worse than just showing naked children??? Many sadism-masochism websites show people being tortured and sexually harassed and they are still allowed so why are the photos of naked children being illegalized??? Go back and review the situation...

Attracting to young, soft skin and higher voice boys is universally attractive and adorable which is normal as caitygirl posted above so don't tell me that you are going to arrest me simply because of this attraction. Children might not be sweet angels for you but in the world of pedophilia, they are. So with your biased view based on current biased anti-pedophilia law, you would always be disagreeable in the debate because pedophilia is not your sexual orientation/preference or just because you are not sexually attracted/oriented towards children. You will also always conclude that this is an act of child abuse or victimizing children and you will always demonize pedophiles. You would never understand and you will continue to condemn pedophiles for their sexual orientation.

Come On! Give me a break...
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Posted by Good Child Lover on February 23, 2010 at 2:15 AM · Report this
291
Oh man, Good Child Lover & 72Rob: you aren't getting the main point. Of course children are kinda sexual little beings. I was a nanny & have changed plenty o' diapers: it's not uncommon for them to have their hand between their legs w/in moments of diaper removal. Toddlers in the tub who discover the water faucet. Kids running nekkid around the house. Playing Dr. w/ each other. These are all nice, normal, natural discoveries for a little human, about their bodies, with themselves & other kids their age. Those explorations should be joyful, & if noticed by parents, explained carefully & not in a way to give the kids hangups.

The point is, although you want to blame it on Americans being prudes, our laws being wrong, whatever, that we're not talking legislation. The reason kids can never give fair consent to sexual contact with an adult is moral; that they're NOT intellectually equal to an adult. They're not aware of the repercussions of what they're agreeing to, & even if they suggest it - they mighta played Dr. w/ lil' Suzy across the street, & it was fun, & do you do that? - it's WRONG to agree.

We say that kids can't consent to protect them. If any of you pedophiles, "gold star" or not, had any real care for the objects of your affections, you'd get some help for yourselves & let them retain the purity & innocence they naturally have, that joy that attracts you to them. Why spoil that? Because that's what happens.

Just as there have been lots of pedophiles chiming in here, are you guys reading what the victims of abuse are writing? There is your proof that the contact you think is so possible, so noble & so merely outlawed by society, is actually damaging, unwelcome & even if "consent" is given at the time, the victim usually has fallout from the contact for much of their life.

Is the tendency the problem? Should I feel sympathy for pedophiles' natural urges? It's just not the same as some other orientation or kink, which is kinda what it sounds like many of the above commenters are trying to make it out to be. It's a miswiring, an abnormality. It sounds like most of the pedophiles chiming in are quick to explain themselves away, they're not such bad guys. If they put half that much effort into sorting themselves out or getting help, perhaps they'd make some progress. Even the tender babysitting story above gave me the willies. How close did the poster come to danger, with the girls he desired sitting on his feet..?

I don't think a bullet is the answer. *eyeroll* Treatment, yes. But this indulgence above..like pedophilia is any other equal to equal sexual persuasion..is flat out wrong. There can be no physical relationship there between equals, as both parties are inherently not equal.
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Posted by Regular Slog Commenter on February 24, 2010 at 2:59 PM · Report this
Re Thinker 292
To #291 (and by implication to many others above).
Most children who have been sexually assaulted recover completely. "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Some estimates of children who have been sexually assaulted indicate that from 70 to 80 percent are indistinguishable from their non-victimized peers within a two-to-three-year period. 'A Consumers Guide to Psychotherapy', Beutler, Bonger and Shurkin".
Posted by Re Thinker on February 25, 2010 at 8:14 AM · Report this
293
Age of consent seems to come up several times and part of the problem is that the line becomes fuzzy at a certain age and also where you live. If a country has a 15 year old age of consent law, what makes that 15 year old better prepared than an 18 year old in another country? I was a younger teen when I engaged in sexual activity with someone who was older (totally not forced). I look back on this fondly. I enjoyed it and was not damaged in any way by it. For me it was a positive experience. Maybe it was just a different time being so long ago, but I think many of todays society has made all sex seem so taboo and bad. Kids today are being criminalized for normal curiosity with their peers.
Posted by anonpost2 on February 25, 2010 at 2:07 PM · Report this
294
Wow! 300 comments in 3 weeks, most of them from very passionate people. Here's my take on this most heinous crime which was considered perfectly normal for the upper class in Greece at some time in their enlightened past. Love is the desire to be one with. Sex is the physical desire to be one with the one you love--ideally. No problem as long as the people involved can and do give their consent. If not, and they're adults, we call it rape. But with kids, it's not easy to tell whether they could or did give their consent, so we err on the conservative side and try to illegalize EVERY form of physical affection between adults and kids, except between kids and their parents and family, who we hope are not exploitative. We think we are protecting the kids, but we ignore the damage done to kids, like myself when I was young, who were not given enough physical affection because the parents thought it would make me "soft". Go figure.
Posted by doug257 on February 25, 2010 at 9:16 PM · Report this
echizen_kurage 295
@doug257:

Some fun facts about pederasty in classical Greece:

- The younger partner (known as the eromenos or pais) wasn't supposed to enjoy having sex with his adult lover (known as the erastes). Eromenoi were believed to benefit from the relationship in other ways -- ideally, erastai were not only lovers, but also friends, mentors, and patrons -- but they are very seldom described or depicted as deriving any physical gratification from the sex act.

- The sexual element of erastes/eromenos relationships was far from universally condoned, even among the lettered elites. Plato, Lucian, and Plutarch (along with a host of lesser-known writers) stridently condemned sexual relationships between boys and men. Indeed, the vernacular use of the term "platonic" to describe nonsexual friendships comes from Plato's vision of proper erastes/eromenos relationships.

- Formal erastes/eromenos relationships among members of the upper class were only one piece in a larger pattern of man/boy sexual contact in ancient Greece. The bigger picture included practices that would currently be recognized as grossly exploitative, even by raving loony NAMBLA apologists -- things like child brothels, the sexual use of slaves, and the castration of young boys (to preserve their youthful charm).

Finally, on an unrelated note, isn't it a bit hyperbolic to claim that US society "illegalizes EVERY form of physical affection between adults and kids, except between kids and their parents and family"? I hugged plenty of teachers when I was a kid -- and when I worked as a camp counselor in my early twenties, I got dozens of spontaneous hugs, gave a great many piggy-back rides, and French-braided what felt like miles of hair.
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Posted by echizen_kurage on February 26, 2010 at 12:35 AM · Report this
296
@diner mo

Excellent point about 100 comments ago, but one of the problems explaining this point is that a fair number of pedophiles have not had many adult erotic relationships, and may not understand the emotional hurt that, while not rational, happens never the less. "Good pedophiles" live in fairly strictly rational worlds, and sometimes the arguments get a bit a muddled when emotions become involved.

I don't say this to be negative. I used to subscribe to a mailing list run by Fresh Petals, an early online resource for pedophilia, particularly those attracted to girls. The debate on that list was some of the most reasoned and well-thought out anywhere, and indeed, this discuss brings back the memories very strongly. But the endless points of contention were the meaning of consent and why trauma occurs. As people opened up on the list it become clear that the two sides were largely correlated with whether the pedophile was participating in adult relationships.

That would be my biggest suggestion for KIM: if you're "bisexual" and also are attracted to "age-appropriate" partners, focus on that. It wont make the pedophilia go away (nothing will), but it will clearly relegate it to the realm of fantasy. And that's something every pedophile has to do once they accept themselves.
Posted by A former FP list member on February 26, 2010 at 5:49 AM · Report this
297
The contraception problem is mostly solved (though future innovations could still deliver increased convenience), and the STD problem is under heavy attack (see http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org, where you can add your computer's unused processing power to the Fight AIDS @ Home scientific computing effort). Those two problems will be fully solved within probably 100 years.

Consider now a world in which adults could publicly engage in sex play in exactly the same exuberant, carefree manner that children demonstrate when they play together. That is the world - a world in which science has crushed all STDs, in which the contraception problem is totally solved, and in which sex is not taboo but instead readily available to everyone - in which the GSP's argument rings true. Absent physical harm, children would interpret sexual activity as a type of play - and that would be a correct interpretation.
Posted by Futurist on March 1, 2010 at 2:55 AM · Report this
298
But sex isn't JUST a type of play. It feels good, & we as adults can understand that. But for fuck's sake! It's not just that you can give a child an STD or that the child might be just past menarche so can become pregnant. Those are adult risks, which we as adults understand are part of the package when we agree to play with someone. A child doesn't understand the last impact of sex, their first sexual encounters no less, on themselves.

There is no perfect world where it's okay for adults to be sexual with kids. Not talking about the 18 year old & his 15 year old girlfriend. My ppl who are pedophiles, the age difference i much greater. Thus we're back around to, the adult has all the power; the kid doesn't; there's likely an imbalance in the relationship (kid = child,or babysat, or student; adult = parent,or teacher or uncle) and BECAUSE OF THAT IMBALANCE OF POWER, a child CAN'T CONSENT TO SEX W/n ADULT. That won't change when we've gotten rid of STD's in Perfect Future World. The central imbalance - of dependence - between child & adult won't be resolved. It's part of what pedophiles likely find so attractive about children - their innocence & joy is frequently expressed above - but how d'ya think the molestation will affect that innocence & joy? If that's what is so attractive about children, your actions on your desires will spoil it.

Have adult relationships if possible. Make the pedophilia just a fantasy. Meet someone for age play. But don't babysit, don't teach. It's not that all pedophiles are automatically gonna fall off the wagon, like someone above suggested not all ppl rape. What makes the situation so volatile, is that if someone tries to rape me, a grown woman, I can fight, kick, scream, cry. I know what they want. It's a fight between equals, almost. If you put your hand on a little child's thigh, they only know vaguely that something's not right. They don't know for sure what you want, & being young & vulnerable, they have an inordinately high desire to please you, the adult mentor figure.

It's never, ever, going to be okay to have a sexual/erotic relationship between an adult & a child. Even if they are curious. Even if they start it.
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Posted by Regular Slog Commenter on March 1, 2010 at 11:14 AM · Report this
299
But sex isn't JUST a type of play. It feels good, & we as adults can understand that. But for fuck's sake! It's not just that you can give a child an STD or that the child might be just past menarche so can become pregnant. Those are adult risks, which we as adults understand are part of the package when we agree to play with someone. A child doesn't understand the last impact of sex, their first sexual encounters no less, on themselves.

There is no perfect world where it's okay for adults to be sexual with kids. Not talking about the 18 year old & his 15 year old girlfriend. My ppl who are pedophiles, the age difference i much greater. Thus we're back around to, the adult has all the power; the kid doesn't; there's likely an imbalance in the relationship (kid = child,or babysat, or student; adult = parent,or teacher or uncle) and BECAUSE OF THAT IMBALANCE OF POWER, a child CAN'T CONSENT TO SEX W/n ADULT. That won't change when we've gotten rid of STD's in Perfect Future World. The central imbalance - of dependence - between child & adult won't be resolved. It's part of what pedophiles likely find so attractive about children - their innocence & joy is frequently expressed above - but how d'ya think the molestation will affect that innocence & joy? If that's what is so attractive about children, your actions on your desires will spoil it.

Have adult relationships if possible. Make the pedophilia just a fantasy. Meet someone for age play. But don't babysit, don't teach. It's not that all pedophiles are automatically gonna fall off the wagon, like someone above suggested not all ppl rape. What makes the situation so volatile, is that if someone tries to rape me, a grown woman, I can fight, kick, scream, cry. I know what they want. It's a fight between equals, almost. If you put your hand on a little child's thigh, they only know vaguely that something's not right. They don't know for sure what you want, & being young & vulnerable, they have an inordinately high desire to please you, the adult mentor figure.

It's never, ever, going to be okay to have a sexual/erotic relationship between an adult & a child. Even if they are curious. Even if they start it.
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Posted by Regular Slog Commenter on March 1, 2010 at 11:17 AM · Report this
300
Second paragraph, second sentence should read: "MOST ppl who are pedophiles, the age difference IS much greater." (Typing pre-coffee = bad)
Posted by Regular Slog Commenter on March 1, 2010 at 11:19 AM · Report this
301
2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence should read: MOST ppl who are pedophiles, the age difference IS much greater". (typing pre-coffee = bad.)
Posted by Regular Slog Commenter on March 1, 2010 at 11:21 AM · Report this