Blogs May 23, 2014 at 3:35 pm


Are therapists allowed to talk with parents without your consent if you're a minor? Just curious.
@1, yes but it's a stupid thing to do.

Good advice Dan, but very hard to pull off in real life. Especially for a kid.
When I saw a therapist briefly as a minor (for "coming out" angst), the therapist told me that they could only discuss what I told them with my parents if I was a danger to myself or others. That may have been California state law, or it might have been their own professional policy, not sure.

Come to think of it, I may have already turned 18 by then....
Laws about confidentiality could be different in Australia...
Sometimes the reason why people read Savage Love is for the gawker effect. Having a bad day? Just read this letter and you realize your life is just fine. In fact, your life is fucking fantastic, compared to this chick..
@2 has a great point. Kids have a hard time talking to parents.


Emphasize the part where she says to her parents - "its normal and healthy that someone in my position should want to deal with some shit - and it is your responsibility and hopefully your desire to provide me with help in doing so".

Maybe write them a letter.
I have firsthand experience with this one. My partner is like this, gets off on the terror. It's a challenge for a domme, and it's ruined me for other play partners, but it's fun. It requires a creative imagination and lots of trickery, and forget about safe words. So there is the potential for a normal sex life ahead, and love too.
Therapists can tell parents of minors stuff like, "I had an appointment with your child." They don't seem to be able to even say that much once your child is an adult. I don't know the laws, but none of my daughter's therapists ever shared anything remotely private with me, and I didn't expect them to. It might be different if a five year old sees a therapist, but surely everyone who practices mental healthcare understand that teenagers need emotional privacy from their parents.
Hey Marrena, if you're still reading this thread.... care to elaborate on your experiences? I'm like this too, I've had ESFVs from a very young age, and I've never gotten a partner to explore this with me beyond the introductory BDSM level. I think my current BF would be willing if he knew where to start...
tbm42, the first thing is you need to be very careful in your relationships. My partner has been taken advantage of many times, since being taken advantage of is a turn on. If your life being destroyed is the attraction, you will attract those who will destroy your life.

You are probably too young to be familiar with the Pink Panther movies, but our relationship is a lot like the relationship with Clouseau and Cato Fong (with less destroyed furniture). Strict lengthy bondage and careful sadism are the easy parts, those things can be learned and practiced. The mindfuckery is the hard part. I have to work hard at being a good liar, and have to really get to know what things particularly terrify my partner. Those that don't actually cause permanent life destruction we do, with my strict supervision, and those that do, I attempt to convincingly threaten or we roleplay.

If your boyfriend steps up, then I would advise two things. Elaborate scenes like this are a lot of work and take a lot of time, thought and energy. Sometimes life gets in the way--so don't expect this 24x7 and when you do play like this, express your gratitude both verbally and by doing thoughtful things for your boyfriend.

It's kind of a mindfuck for the dominant who does this, partly because it's frowned on so much in the scene, and partly because thinking this way is so transgressive. You basically have to let out your inner supervillain, and it's hard not to feel like a bad person, even though it's consensual. The occasional reminder of grateful consensuality will help with this.
I do not wish to be seen as an apologist for pedophilia. Still, I find it troubling that Dan is more disturbed by the LW reading pedo stories that her fantasies of murder and sadism.
@11 That's because she's a 17 year old girl who isn't a pedophile and who even if she was hasn't hurt anyone and the law could come after her and make her unemployable/uneducatable for life/imprison her.
Just in case Dan's answer wasn't clear, LW, you can absolutely ask your parents to set up therapy/counselling for you without telling them what it's about. Not sure whether referral is through GP or insurer in Australia, but you can say to your parents that you'd like to do as much of the therapist-choosing as the rules allow.

But don't be put off by the thought of your parents worrying about you. They're more likely to be glad that you're wanting to look after yourself in this way. You could tell them you've been worried about worrying them, and I'm sure they'll reassure you.
@11 Dan's advice is perfect on the pedo stuff. It is **always** and I mean *********always******** illegal in every country in the world and he's telling the LW to stay the fuck away from it no matter what. Since the kid is trying to get her shit together, it would be like a NUKE hitting her if she's connected to that stuff. And the big point is that Dan is wise enough to know that being discovered with that material would fuck up her life royally just at the moment she's trying to get it together. Dan is 100% correct about that. Make no mistake about it.
Wouldn't admitting to getting off to pedo stuff to trigger a police report from the therapist?
@14 Because of your comment, I just googled a bunch of things along the lines of "is pedohile erotica/simulated child porn legal." Now I'm paranoid. :P You appear to be right. Given that marrying a 10-year-old is legal some places, though, I'm guessing there are exceptions.
I wonder if this kind of thing is just common in early child sexual abuse/incest survivors. Like it hardwires the need for extreme arousal stimulus by having abuse crossed with earliest sexual encounters. Trauma theory by people like Patrick Carnes, Bruce Perry, Judith Herman, etc suggest that early abuse, especially sexual abuse, can damage the developing limbic system (part of the brain responsible for emotional regulation and arousal) in a way that can last far into adulthood.

And speaking as a survivor who's experienced things like the OP, knows many, many, many who have and is active on a message board for these people, this kind of thing is extremely common.

I'm 26 and I remember being 20 and saying to someone who was openly kinky in a class that I didn't know what I was, straight, lesbian or gay, or even kinky, but my sexuality just seemed more "wrong" centered. I engaged in escalating stimulus seeking behaviors similar to the OP as a teen (and pre-teen). But I always had lines I would never cross. I would never consume anything that was produced to harm someone and I was very specific about consent and later Risk Aware Consensual Kink in what I did with other people.

My problem was I got with men who DID cross lines. One guy was an incest survivor. Sexually abused by his dad for ten years. We bonded quickly and intensely. And I think it was because we understood behaviors others had rejected us for or we felt we had to hide in the past. Now, I didn't know the extent of the things he'd done and I'm not sure I still do. But he got caught by the police for downloading child pornography while we were dating. I don't think he was really a pedophile. The way he described the things he looked for was more of a scatter shot of what could produce the most "wrong" feeling that was wired into his arousal patters. That "wrong" aspect definitely came into our sexual life and when I found out, very cruelly and non-consensually in his relationships with other women.

The terabytes and terabytes of porn he downloaded that he itched to search for if he was away from his computer too long, and the escalating behavior, that is sex addiction. A maladaptive, destructive coping mechanism at that point (30s). I hate when people say it doesn't exist.

Right now, I'm not sexually active, hardly masturbate, and will not be sexually active in the foreseeable future. I don't know if the way my sexuality bends is something I can square with being a consistently emotionally stable individual or avoid more abusive relationships. Everyone's damage and emotional integrity is unique.

This person is 17. Yes, therapy because this stuff is distressing is good. But it isn't going to go away. Not completely. If it's ingrained the way I've seen it ingrained in a great number of incest survivors. Sometimes I think the therapists that say they work with patients that stop having these fantasies just have clients that start telling them what they want to hear after a while.

If the OP develops and maintains strong ethics and knows what boundaries they won't cross, not just legally, but personally, things can be okay. I learned, whatever I end up doing with my sexuality (and going without a romantic partner for the rest of my life is something I'm completely ready to consider, but may not be necessary), if I didn't accept that I have these fantasies and feelings, I would hate myself. And I already had too much internalized hate for myself without adding onto it something that I couldn't help that didn't hurt anyone (and no one was hurt in it's making).

If the OP is reading, (girl, right?), I would work very hard to learn and internalize red flags. Abuse survivors can be very bad at not having a red flag/abusive characteristic traits detector. There's a reason why the clinical phrase "propensity for revictimization" exists in the literature for disorders like PTSD and C-PTSD. Learn about consent. Have a strong, accepting friend group who you run people by and LISTEN to them. Bad people may be attractive to you. People who do things without your consent. Even when one is turned on by "wrong" or is aroused sexually by memories of things that happen to them, it doesn't mean the reality of what happens doesn't have a detrimental effect on the psyche.

It's like the difference between "consensual non-consent" and actually being raped. The person doing the former is a decent person that is just kinda screwy like you but wants to live an ethical life. The latter leaves you wondering about the character of all (mostly) men and if you'll be murdered next. Doesn't feel good to have that in your head.

Wherever you go in your sexuality, make sure anything that happens happens on your own terms and because you enthusiastically want it to happen. And that the people you are with really believe in enthusiastic consent.

And, yes, be careful with laws. P2P sharing is not your friend. Child pornography is wrong and people shouldn't possesses it, but I wouldn't doubt there are more no-contact child abuse law offenders in prison than contact ones, and contact IS worse. Contact crimes are handled by the state and generally child pornography is handled by the feds. Much longer prison sentences, a data trail and no rape kits going bad destroying evidence in some back room because of lack of funding.
@14, "pedo stuff. . .is **always** . . . illegal in every country in the world"

Er, the Vatican is often considered a sovereign country. So, no.

But I get your point.

And as to whether pedophilic thoughts must be reported by a therapist, Dan has had some US and Canadian therapists speak on that point and 1) it does vary by jurisdiction, but 2) it varies more so by the practitioner's interpretation of "a danger to others".

Since the LWs attractions seem to be fluid and evolving at this time, Dan's right - she should stay the hell away from under-age subjects. For the legal reasons, for the ick factor with almost any potential adult partner, and to avoid developing an interest she might be tempted to act out.
If Dan's point about staying away from pedo material was about the possible legal and social repercussions for the LW if she were found out, then I grant the point. But it read to me more like a moral argument, which would also be fine - more than fine, good advice - except that he did not also tell her to stay away from the murder porn. Getting off sexually on children is bad. Getting off sexually on murder is worse.
This is useful link which addresses some of the issues regarding confidentiality and counseling for minors under the Australian health system.…

The Reachout site can be contacted to provide support and referral for any young person dealing with stress, mental health or as a survivor of abuse.

The OP can also contact a CASA (Centre Against Sexual Assault) or Sexual Assault Support service through any public hospital or via internet search - the name of the service differs from state to state - and receive intensive counseling, support and referral to specialists, all on the public dime.

If nothing else, the OP can access a mental health plan through her family doctor that entitles her to ten free counseling sessions per calendar year.

Based on what the OP has said about her currently secure domestic circumstances, I think it is virtually inconceivable that a counselor or psychologist in the public system would violate her confidentiality.

I'd finish by echoing Dan's comments that the OP should seek counseling immediately, and that it reflects well on her and her adoptive family that she can be in a safe enough space to do so.
@19. Yep. That's what his point was. She's a young kid with her whole life ahead of her. She's got enough confusion as it is and a grownup is wise to tell her to distance herself from the pedo stuff so she won't have an additional burden of the law following her all the time while she's working through counseling.
any desire to include minors is a big red flag, and you seriously need to be conscious of outside influences you are allowing into your life.

Abuse can often stunt or halt altogether a persons sexually maturity to the point where a person can live a full life way past the age of a minor and yet emotionally -- due to abuse -- their sexuality may never mature without help from non-abusive people.

being 18 years of age in no way whatsoever means a person is mature enough to engage in emotionally healthy sexual acts.

Fantasizing about non-consentual acts is not the same as consentual role playing with fully knowledgeable and of ages great distances into adulthood.

And even the consentual role playing is not something you should take lightly, as there are many black and white lines that cannot be crossed if you are to engage in those flavors of sexuality to still be emotionally healthy.

The most obvious and without ambiguous areas of gray are consent and of fully mature adult age.

Please find help now from a professional because even though you are 17, emotion adulthood will not happen when you turn 18, you sound many years away from being in an fully knowledgeable and of a mind frame of what is considered adult.

There is nothing wrong with you, you just need help due to the trauma afflicted on your life by criminals who refused to recognize those black and white lines of consent and age.

Being Human, in most people life sexuality and sexual thoughts play a very large part in the way a mind is framed, and the emotional aspect of sexual health may need lots of work as the flavor of "kink" you feel drawn to is requires a much better, fully complete and thorough understanding of sexual maturity, specifically how some people maybe 80 years old and yet still not an adult .

Consent is just as important, and the reason they are so important as those are the two lines that will determine whether of not your sexuality can ever be healthy.

Few things are more damaging to a persons emotional health, than to engage in wrong sexual acts.

So please beware and be careful whom you trust to help you, as far too many people base their views on sexuality from a severely flawed viewpoint.

In many cases the "sex positive" people are just as clueless as the so-called "religious" people, as so many of them do not understand what is and what isn't within their rights to influence in your personal spiritual and sexual views in your private adult life.

Ignorance on the subjects of spirituality and sexuality can be lead to extremely harmful situations that ignorant people are directly and fully responsible for. This is especially true when idiots choose ignorance.

it is this ignorance that can lead to a well meaning sex positive advice giver to be just as harmful and wrong as the well meaning but equally ignorant religious fundamentalist.

Neither of them realize what is acceptable and right adoption of beliefs for them, is a trampling of rights and wrong system for them to demand you inherit.

I'm a bit late, but as a fellow survivor of childhood sexual abuse : I too had disturbing nightmares which aroused me sexually when I was your age, though not the type you've experienced, more about me becoming a victim od psychopaths and perverts. I didn't evolve into being a masochist, or into liking rape play, or into being submissive ; I'm actually quite vanilla with a slight dominant side.

So it may be a kinky side speaking, or it may also be trauma resurfacing, or the normal hormonal turmoil of your age. Genital arousal does not mean that you're enjoying what you're looking at, it just means that it's sexually relevant to you, for any kinds of reasons. Don't give yourself away as vile or fucked up just because it's the only way you're getting off just now.

As for your sexuality being fucked up, many stuff will be less easy for you than for non-survivors, but one can learn to deal with it. It'll be faster with a good shrink, probably.

Another thing : you could have internalized the cliché that the sexually abused in childhood are more prone to grow up to become sexual abusers of children.


It's just a way to shut us up, to prevent us from telling that we were victims, so that society can ignore what happened to us. It's just a way for society to not have to deal with the monster abusers it produced. Just like what Churches do : they protect abusers and because abusers want silence about the abuse and the Churches want silence too. The best way to get silence from the victims, is to tell them that they are abusers in potentia.

DON'T BELIEVE THEM. Raped women don't magically become rapists just because they were raped. Same for kids.
It's hard enough to deal with wanting sex. Let alone being attracted to life destroying sex. Sadz

I see the main problem as one of relating romantically in a healthy way, and a secondary problem of shame for your preferences, and indulging some preferences in a dangerous way (pedo sites). Therapy is good for accepting your desires and learning to express them in healthy ways without shame. Focusing on forming healthy relationships with others is good. Finding a partner who you can confide in without being shamed or used is the best I think. I imagine it will be hard to screen for a good partner when you are attracted to unhealthy behavior, so it may be an extended project.

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