Columns Jul 22, 2010 at 4:00 am

Did I Ruin Your Life?


Dear Crust,

Couldn't you have just gotten yourself tested? Or was this a "I don't want to go to a clinic, please tell me I don't have to" letter?
I love the email address!
wow dan, DANGEROUS misinformation on your answer to CRUST. he definitely did NOT need to have an open wound and bloodstream entry to catchy herpes from that hooker; it's skin-to-skin contact.
I feel like the "herpes" could just have easily been acne. But it's never a bad idea to get yourself checked out at a clinic.
I wouldn't stay with a person who got off on images of kids, pornographic or not.

But then, if she stays, she could always keep an eye on him, to make sure he doesn't progress to actual kiddie porn/molestation...
Can't Handle A Divorce should have the kid DNA tested. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
Let me get this straight, CHAD: Your wife still wants a divorce, but she wants a "stable environment" for the child? Does she have any idea how mutually exclusive those two are?

Methinks your wife is emotionally crazed by the pregnancy hormones. (I say this from the perspective of someone whose pregnant wife suggested that he quit his job, rather than let a television into the house so that he could work at home; and yes, she was the one who characterized it that way first, once she heard what was coming out of her mouth and how batshit her suggestion was.)

I also have to wonder about the calendar that you present. Depending on the number of weeks that she has been gone, either a) it's not your kid, or b) she has been pregnant long enough that the crazy hormone emotions are what drove her to leave in the first place. Me, I'm banking on "b)". Most people in a rational frame of mind would put more weight on the fact that you ended it and rededicated yourself to the marriage all by yourself, years ago. She's treating it like she practically caught you in flagrante delicto yesterday.

If she means it about that stable environment, she owes it to the baby, as well as to you, to get some counseling and try a little harder to forgive. Go ahead and spend as much time with her as possible. Don't pretend to just go along with her divorce plans as if that's the right thing to do, but don't fight with her over it either. Just keep being there, and suggest counseling. You are going to need it in any case, whether it is for couples counseling or divorced coparenting, so there is no harm in the suggestion.

I'm betting that as the pregnancy progresses, she will cool off and realize the folly of what she is about to foist on the family for the sake of wounded pride.
HSITIMBACM should move out immediately and then turn her partner in to the police. I believe he has crossed the line and there is child pornography somewhere. If she doesn't get away from him, she could find herself prosecuted as well.
In fact, I think HSITIMBACM's partner has been steadily trying to test HSITIMBACM's level of tolerance and push that boundary with her. DTMFA!!!
People who are damning HSITIMBACM's partner to hellfire are way, way overreacting. Never once did the the writer mention any sort of actual child pornography...all the guy is doing is getting himself off to younger girls frolicking about on youtube.

Everyone has a fundamental right to their own sexual deviancies, to indulge in whatever tickles their fancy, ON THE CONDITION THAT said deviancies do not hurt or oppress or in any way infringe upon the fundamental rights of others. Based on that line of reasoning, HSITIMBACM's partner is not committing any more of a heinous act than the multitudes who sit at home frantically getting themselves off to foot or furry pornography.

Clearly, that particular deviancy is dangerously close to an incredibly destructive action...rape and exploitation of children is one of the largest problems in the world today, in my view of things. However, HSITIMBACM's partner is NOT supporting or indulging in or encouraging that practice IN ANY WAY.

One basic fact of biology is that heterosexual men are attracted to YOUNGER girls. As the joke goes, "if there's grass on the field play; if there isn't, get it wet and play in the mud". In my own pornographic habits, I don't at all consider myself to be a man particularly interested in very young girls, but the girls that I often find attractive are significantly younger than myself, say 16-19. We as men are biologically programmed to be attracted to young girls...period. It is senseless to vilify the desire...we have laws and parents and social contracts in place that theoretically protect those too young to make their own informed sexual decisions, and HSITIMBACM's partner is not violating any of those, so lay off the damnation/police/DTMFA nonsense.
You know, I also wonder, ever so often, what happened with that guy with the botched circumcision. I'm sure we'd all be relieved to hear he's doing well.

It is an apparently little-known fact that alcohol hand sanitizer products don't work very well on their own. They can kill the germs left behind after a wash with soap and water, but can't do much to disinfect visible dirt, grime or whatever that's still on your hands. If your hands need washing, lotions and gels aren't a good substitute. CRUST might want to apprise his future hookers of this fact.
I gotta wonder if CHAD's lady is really pregnant. And I say that as a woman in a stable, honest relationship, not as some misogynist jerk who thinks all women are manipulative bitches. It's possible that she's punishing him by creating the most painful scenario she can think of -- "I'm leaving you, you bastard, and oh yeah, I'm carrying your baby." I kinda hope that's the case, cause once she has to admit she faked it, they'll be even (in a sense) and might have a better shot at reconciling.
Speaking of a better shot, wouldn't any sex worker know better than to rub a client's semen into an open wound?!?!

Part of the fallacy of the "escalation/porn addiction" rhetoric is that there's not really that often any kind of build up to either more extreme/illegal images/material, nor to actual physical action. Japan is all the evidence you should need of that. In fact, there's plenty of evidence linking the decline in rape cases in the last fifty years to an increase in the availability of pornography.

If you find his habit distasteful, that's fine. Break up with him in the same way someone might break up with someone into furry chicks-with-dicks getting pregnant, but don't wrap it in a self-righteous flag.


Not so much, no. They'd either have to prove criminal negligence (which would be if she had a duty to prevent him from doing an illegal activity and failed to do it), or that she was accessory to illegal activity. As wanking to legal images of children isn't illegal, and she has no knowledge of any criminal acts, she can't be an accessory. Sorry, no dice.


That's fine, but can we stop treating the varying levels of pedophilia (paedophilia for our overseas friends) as being something which is in and of itself evil? Abusing children is evil. Wanking to pornography which required the abuse of children to make is illegal. Fantasies about children, while unnerving, are not in and of themselves harmful.

If this is a simple disagreement about which kinks and fantasies are acceptable, that's fine, but please don't treat this as a matter of moral certitude. In the grand pantheon of kinks, pedophilia may be one of the more extreme, but if she wouldn't break up with him over a rape fantasy (yes, the actual porn is consensual, but the fantasy is about an illegal, harmful, destructive, act), then the only difference is in whether she finds one kink to be more "eww, gross" than another.

It's not some guidance from on high.


Yes and no. I agree with the general point you're making, but there is a difference between "ephebophilia" (attraction to pubescent and post-pubescent teens) "pedophilia" (attraction to preteens) and "nepiphilia" (attraction to toddlers/infants... Yeah, it's weird). There's a legitimate defense of HSITIMBACM's partner insofar as it's no worse by itself than liking rape pornography (or any kind of voyeurism pornography), but trying to claim it's acceptable because men are made to find young girls attractive makes anyone defending him sound like an idiot.


Yeah, except you'd hear the "why the fuck are you judging me, there's nothing wrong with this" rhetoric from anyone possessing a kink (who isn't ashamed of it). A foot fetishist confronted by a seething, foaming-at-the-mouth, partner would get just as defensive about it.

True, the girls being filmed in these cases have no intention of having men jerk off over them, but if that's her problem she should have equal problem if he jerked off over a hot picture of an actress.

Does her partner have a fetish which is not shared by the bulk of humanity? Yes. Does he have a fetish she finds sick and wrong? Does he have a fetish which if acted-out would be illegal? Yes. Does that make him different from guys, and girls, who get off on kidnapping, rape, prostitution, blackmail, or slavery fantasies? Nope.

Sorry, you're not going to get much traction from me by demonizing a kink which in and of itself isn't destructive. Just because I like rape fantasies (and I do), and just because my girlfriend likes being "blackmailed" (and she does) doesn't mean I'm going to ever rape someone, nor watch "real" rape pornography. Nor does it mean my girlfriend will eventually try to be blackmailed by someone more sinister.

The fact that you could replace HSITIMBACM's screed against pedophiles (a term which is a bit too emotionally charged, since we have no idea how many pedophiles do anything illegal; though if we call a pedophile "anyone who wanks to fantasies of underage girls" the low rate of child sexual abuse in Japan compared to the high rate of "lolicon" pornography would seem to indicate the number is small) with a screed against any fantasy which the mainstream considers taboo, should have made you question how much you ought to throw your lot in with her:

"rape victims, however, are innocents preyed upon by rapists and people with psychological disorders, in my opinion, and I think a rational adult, even in the throes of sexual whimsy, should recognize that boundary and not cross it."

You're full of shit, Dan.
The bastard is getting off on 10-year-old ballerinas, for fuck's sake. A cold chill ran up and down my spine.

If that isn't a warning sign in and of itself, I don't know what is.

But it's even more likely that the baby ballerinas are only what he's admitting to.

What a lousy analogy from the ballerina molestor's apologist. Adult men may be attracted to 16 year olds: they'll settle for 18, if they have a conscience or are smart.

If the horrible husband is attracted to 10 year olds and settling for 12 year olds, that's still massively creepy and throw-him-in-the-deepest-pit criminal.

I'd run screaming out of that house, never to return, before the cops beat down the door for the inevitable bust.
Sorry but I don't buy that sex fantasies of pre-pubescent children are just like rape fantasies or furry fantasies. Pedophilia is not just a fetish. It's a sexual orientation that can't be changed any more than a person can change being straight or gay - the difference is, though, that this sexual orientation is not victimless. If a man is having sexual fantasies about kids, it means he's a pedophile and the only way to prevent him from harming kids is to lock him up until there is a cure. You all are naive to think he hasn't filled his computer with real kiddie porn that she doesn't know about or started grooming kids behind her back. Do you really think he'd tell her if he was abusing kids?! And if he's not now, he will when there's an opportunity for him not to get caught. Of course she should DTMFA! This isn't so much about what he's done but about the sort of person that he is. There are plenty of fish in the sea. No need to settle for someone who is so grossly defective.
for Can't Handle a Divorce,

Go to or read some of the books "His Needs, Her Needs" and "Surviving an Affair"
Add another one to the "DTMFA and turn his ass into the cops" brigade. This guy didn't "escalate" to child porn, he's been whackin' it to kids for a while and is only justifying it because you found out.

Also, I find it really funny in a sick, demented way the kinds of bullshit some people will pull to defend pedophiles. If you get off on looking at little kids, you are broken. Period, end of discussion.
inb4 Seldon2639 is a lolicon :V

It's disturbing, and it's very different from rape fantasies. A person can indulge rape fantasies, blackmail fantasies, etc. with consenting adults and have a fulfilling sex life. A pedophile can't do this. They're stuck. It's a really unfortunate condition, honestly.

As far as we know, he hasn't done anything. Yet. Given his inclination to up the ante on his porn, I wouldn't be surprised if he jumps to real child porn soon (if he hasn't already).

If she has her suspicions, she can either leave him and/or leave him and turn him over to the police. She needs to make it very clear that it's not okay. As long as he isn't doing anything illegal (for the present time...), then there really isn't any harm in it. She's well within her rights to leave him, though. He sounds like a disgusting person bullshitting his way around being a pedophile and lying to his girlfriend about it.

1. Sexual attractions convert to actions whenever possible.

2. Attractions to children are NEVER permissible, acceptable, or defensible. Period.

To suggest that HSITIMBACM's partner has only a hobbyist's interest in 8 year-old girls is enabling, at best. In your case, and despite your pseudo-lawyer posturing, I rather think it's one sick fuck defending another.

Choosing to mention that disgusting joke does little for your credibility.
If he were at all concerned about these fantasies, he'd get help. So no, I don't think it's as harmless as @13 says.
Re past advisees, the two I have always wondered about were Sad Cow (the woman whose husband had not made any physical contact with her, even brushing her in passing, in two months), and the man who agreed to his wife's demand to have children, which he had never really wanted, in exchange for her participation in a MFF threesome, and three kids later she reneged (Dan told him he should, nay was obliged to, hire two sex workers and cheat on his wife to get the need filled).

A question of mine was posted on March 18th, asking about how to advise my horny friend who was planning to marry a prude. The *next time* I saw him, he made a pass at me!

And they still got married.
I had the "escalation of porn" thing - when I was 13-15, before I had sex. After having sex, and after some porn experimentation, I settled down, and realised what I like to look at (pretty vanilla stuff), and now I rarely go beyond it.
My feeling is that escalation is only for those who haven't been able to get any kind of a grip on their (sex) lives yet. Worrying for people no longer in their teens.
So, um, yeah, add one more to the angry mob chanting for the hide of the ballerina watcher: I don't really like the idea of feeding the witch-hunt that is modern-day pedophile prosecution, but definitely DTMFA and GTFO immediately. What a creep.

*All* the advice to CHAD - including the DNA test - is spot on. I'd personally elect to see it in terms of pregnancy hormones, but I'd still follow Reagan's "trust but verify" nostrum.

A question of mine was posted on March 18th, asking about how to advise my horny friend who was planning to marry a prude. The *next time* I saw him, he made a pass at me!

And they still got married.

Oh boy...a message for me (I'm not your friend, I'm sure).
@7 Divorce and stability are not mutually exclusive. Some divorces are rockier than others. It's up to the parents to decide how mature they want to be in order to keep the environment "stable." My parents' divorce was disappointing, but I never felt like I grew up in an unstable home, just one that changed. I certainly don't think parents should divorce in haste, or without giving it the best effort possible, but it's also unhealthy for a child to grow up in an environment of resentment, bitterness, and pain. Every situation is different, and you cannot judge the woman for wishing to extricate herself from someone who broke his vows to her. If they both love the child, and respect each other from here on out, whether or not they reconcile their marriage, the child will have a stable home life.
One other thing re: HSITIMBACM

Do you want kids? Do you honestly believe this guy can be around your kids? No? DTMFA.
I think that getting off to prepubescent girls is disturbed, no matter how anyone wants to rationalize it. It's not comparable to the male biological urge to mate with younger, more fertile females. The biological urge to find younger females has to do with fertility health (younger women bear healthier offspring) and secondary sex characteristics- ie. breasts, mature facial features, hips, etc. His urges are not something biological, it's something psychological. He needs to stop immediately and/or get help. If I were the girlfriend, I would dump him immediately.

Oh, and by the way, what person with a major problem every admits it? They always say it's you and not them- I know from experience. If you tell an alcoholic maybe they should slow down, then they tell you that you are overreacting. It's not that they are about to die from alcohol poisoning- the real problem is that you are a no-fun, boring, anti-social loser who needs to get laid. If you dump your boyfriend because he was physically agressive, then he apologizes and swears on his life he will never do it again. Guess what? When you confront someone who is fucked up in the head- it's always you and never them that has the problem.

Good Lord, people. The only hard and fast rule about human nature is that there are no hard and fast rules about human nature. Everyone is unique, and there is much more gray in the world than black and white.

You can no more say and prove that "everyone who has sexual fantasies about kids will actually have sex with kids if given a chance" than you can say and prove "everyone who fantasizes about killing their boss will do it if given a chance." Some would, some wouldn't, but people think about all kinds of things that they will never do, and would not want to actually do.

Examples of people whose fantasy lives are not in synch with their sexual behavior:

A straight female who masturbates almost exclusively to lesbian porn, but doesn't actually want to have sex with women.

A gay female who loves gay male porn.

A straight man who fantasizes about eating his own spunk, but doesn't want to actually do it.

A person who fantasizes about bondage but thinks actually getting hogtied would be too painful and awkward.


The whole point of fantasy sex is that it is not reality. No complications. No negatives. All the upsides, none of the downsides. A person like HSITIMBACM's partner can fantasize about young bodies without wanting to have sex with (and screw up) an actual real, unpredictable, frightened child.

@1: Definitely the latter. If he was *really* worried, he'd just get fucking tested.

@7: The calendar sounds reasonable to me. LW says she found out about the affair a "few weeks" ago, and it's possible she's been along for a week or two.

But yes, I wouldn't rule that out either. This is *also* coming from a woman in a stable relationship.

CHAD, I personally think you deserve a second chance, barring some really, really egregious details. It feels that your wife seems to be talking rather far, considering the affair ended years ago.

That said, I do wonder about a few details in your letter. You mention that your recent chat with your wife was the "first decent" one you've had in "months." Months? So has your marriage been cool for a while before your wife found out about the expired affair?

Anyway, good luck. Take it slow, be clear about your hopes, and know what you want if you're going to pursue it. You can't mess up a second time.
Here's another vote for HSITIMBACM to DTMFA.

If HSITIMBACM's partner were honest about his paraphilia, and said something to the effect of "This is something that turns me on, and I know it's not normal and that I can never act on in real life" . . . in that case, the relationship might be salvageable. But as it is, it sounds like the guy refuses to take any responsibility for his actions or even acknowledge that HSITIMBACM has a legitimate reason to be upset. His insistence that his behavior is normal and inevitable points to bigger trouble down the road. HSITIMBACM should walk before his obsession "naturally" escalates to molesting actual children.
I think it's sad that people think that CHAD's wife is lying or that it really isn't his baby. While I commend him for ending the affair and "recommitting" himself to the relationship, he still cheated, lied, and hoped to get away with it. I would also DTMFA, pregnant or not.
It's no surprise that CHAD's wife is very upset. The affair may have been years ago, but she just found out about it. Her husband cheating is fresh in her mind, even if not in his.

She has no reason to trust him now. It doesn't matter that the affair has been over for awhile, he lied until recently.

CHAD will have to be patient and understanding if he wants a chance.

So... He should be punished for the fact that he has fantasies which (if acted upon) would be harmful? I mean, jesus, that's pretty Orwellian (I'm invoking it properly here, since that's almost the definition of a thought-crime).

I'll never state that abusing children is proper, acceptable, or anything other than a heinous crime which should be punished to the full extent of the law. But if he hasn't done that (a) we have no proof of any illicit activity, (b) we have no proof he will commit a crime in the future, and (c) it's simply wrong to chastise someone for liking something we don't like.

Insofar as he doesn't go out and harm a child, his "orientation" is no less victimless in and of itself than someone who's into rape fantasies. Where's the line you're drawing between the two, other than your assumption that even if he hasn't molested now, he will eventually?


Maybe. And I'll certainly agree something went wrong in ones sexual development. Let's remember, though, that the same can be said for anyone wanking to almost any kind of material which the person speaking finds sick and wrong. My defense of pedophiles (again, it's a difficult word because it's used both for "those who have sexual attraction to prepubescent children", and "those who have committed abuse against children", even though the etiology can be completely different between those two events), comes from a sense that someone could castigate me for my fantasies under the same reasoning, and it would thus be hypocritical (at best) for me to stay silent. By the way, to be recognized as a pedophile under the DSM-IV, he would have to have sexual attraction to both prepubescent males and females, so he might not count as one at all. Just wanted to throw that out there.

What causes me to come down on the side of "don't demonize him until he's actually done something harmful" is that I have plenty of fantasies which, were I to act on them in their most literal form, would be horrible. Yet... I don't. Most people I know who have fantasies about rape and blackmail and prostitution don't actually go for the reality of it, so unless you can show me some data indicating "all pedophiles eventually commit abuse", the artificial distinction you're trying to draw is pure crap.


Oh, absolutely she's within her "rights" (even within her moral authority) to break up with him. But, that's true of any person in any relationship at any time. I guess my point is that if I came to my girlfriend wanting to act out a rape fantasy, and she said "uhm... Eww, no, we're done", it'd be fundamentally the same thing.

What I find distasteful is the demonizing (and it is, since we have no evidence that any given pedophile would ever commit abuse, nor knowledge of how many actually do) of one specific area of "non-victimless" kinks, when the reality is that a lot of kinky behavior could be "non-victimless" if done in a way that wasn't pure fantasy.


I agree that #10 does not really make his case well, but you yourself make unfounded and unsubstantiated claims.

What evidence do you have that sexual fantasies eventually become actions "whenever possible"? Hell, how are you defining "whenever possible"? Again, I've had rape fantasies, I've acted them out with my girlfriend, I've seen pseudo-rape porn, and done roleplay of same. Does that mean I'll eventually "up the ante" to doing the real thing? It seems unlikely.

I guess I have enough faith in the bulk of humanity to believe that most of us with "destructive" fantasies (be they rape, pedophilia, blackmail, slavery, torture, whatever) are ninety-nine times out of one-hundred able to channel that into non-victimizing avenues. Otherwise we'd see a lot more rape. And, if you'll recall from my previous post, many psychologists argue that the decline in rape in recent decades is because of the availability of pornography.


Are the only choices for when someone has a fantasy which (if acted out in its most literal form) would be harmful either that he's a sick bastard who will eventually commit the act, or needs to go get "help" for it? I'm just wondering, since "rape" is one of the most common fantasies in modern society, yet our instances of rape are far lower than in previous decades.

Data, if you please.


This, at least, is sort of legitimate. Truthfully, I don't know what happens when a pedophile has children of his (or, rarely, her) own. I sort of doubt that it's always quite as overtly abusive as you imply, but there is a part of me which thinks it could be prurient... I dunno, I'm waffling a bit on this issue


Yeah, most kinks are probably more rooted in psychology than in biology, but what makes one given kink more "wrong" than another (aside from the initial "eww, icky" moment about it, which I'd hope most of us are capable of getting past to think rationally about it)?

My question is if you'd treat someone who you found looking up rape pornography (perhaps even graphic) on the internet as being in the same category of 'sick, deviant, wrong, eventually going to hurt someone, ect.' If you would, then that's at least consistent (if somewhat judgmental and unsupported by fact), if you wouldn't, can you please shine some light on what the inherent difference is?

All I see is "two fantasies, both of which would be very, *very*, bad if acted upon in a literal sense; one of which is acceptable, and one of which is 'proof' of severe fucked-up-ness, and which will eventually result in abuse". The inconsistency bugs me.


Again, though, replace the idea of a pedophile fantasy with the idea of a rape fantasy, and see if the idea gets the same traction in your mind. Yes, he refuses to take responsibility, or accept that there's a legitimate grievance against his fantasy, but I know for sure that if a partner of mine found out about my rape fantasies, and decided they were sick, and wrong, and meant I was a rapist waiting to happen, I would be pretty defensive.

And, of course, as always, we need some evidence to suggest a natural escalation to acting out the fantasies in real life.

That said, I do at least get where you're coming from. By stating his fantasy as part of the "escalation of porn" stuff, it makes him sound a lot more sketchy. But, break up with him because he's sketchy and disingenuous, not over the kink itself.

Still, for the love of my sanity, can we please push ourselves past the initial "sick, gross, wrong" reaction and have a more reasonable discussion about this? Can we, at the very least, remember that there are many out there who would consider any of us to be just as sick and perverse as the worst pedophile?
@31: Really depends. Honestly. That he didn't come clean sooner is a huge, HUGE strike against him, but people make mistakes and get scared about the consequences they face; covering up is human. Not forgiveable in every situation, but it's a normal reaction.

And characterizing it as a continual lie for years is mistaken ... when something ends, people often just move on. They feel it's "over", that it's not something they need to address anymore. They forget about it. The wife didn't know for years, but he wasn't necessarily *lying* for years. Not saying a remorseful cheater shouldn't come clean right away, but I guess I can see what's happening on the other side of things.

Probably it's because I'm really bad at it, but ducking interpersonal conflict out of fear rather than malice ("hoping to get away with it") is something I sympathize with. It's dumb, and it still hurts people, but it's something more humane that an active choice to wound (which, yes, was probably his affair ... but that's another argument). And remorse really counts with me; I believe in chances for reparation. After all, I'd want the rest of my good record to matter at least a little if I ever made a mistake.

So DTMFA wouldn't be my first response. It'd enter my mind, but I really would look at it at a second time. And the wife's choice to leave him anyway is always there.
A bad relationship/marriage is always worse for everyone involved than a break-up/divorce. Myself, many people I know, and many studies have proven that divorce isn't a bad thing - it's the conflict that usually comes along with it that can be.
@25 -- Thank you! I am a child of divorce and I never felt that my home life was unstable. My parents realized that my brother and I would have a more stable home life if they weren't constantly fighting at home. I never felt as if I missed out on anything by having divorced parents, and in fact I feel that my home life was more stable because my parents were not living together.

It's a little known fact that alcohol sanitizers don't work because it isn't true. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) authorize their use for hands that are not visibly dirty, which the letter writer gives no reason to believe is the case here. Hospital personnel use them to avoid infecting patients, so they have to work pretty well.
Dear Dan,

I've been reading your column for years and years and I rarely disagree with you, but I have to disagree about your answer regarding the guy watching youtube clips of kids.

It's very controversial of me, perhaps, but honestly I think this guy could be okay. I don't think it's wrong to fantasize about children, because if you keep desire in the realm of fantasy no one gets hurt. I believe you've even advocated people doing consensual child roleplay in the past - and how is that really any different than watching youtube videos of ballet dancers? In each case no one is getting hurt. And if parents don't want people masturbating to their 10-year-old's dancing, they should keep it off of public internet sites.

I should also mention that I'm a female and have occasionally been attracted to not-legal boys and have fantasized about them. Would I ever act on said fantasies? No! Because I do realize that there's a line (although I don't think the line is really where the government arbitrarily puts it at around 18). If this guy is just fantasizing he probably feels offended and defensive about his girlfriend's attack. He could definitely talk to her in a better way - such as "Honey, I know this scares you and worries you, but it's just a fantasy." But the chances that a real pedophile would be masturbating that openly to stuff to do with kids in front of his girlfriend? It seems more likely that if he was doing the hardcore stuff or thinking about doing it in real life, he'd keep it locked away and hidden. That's the nature of real pedophiles, from everything I've read on the subject.

At any rate, I think you might have overreacted. And maybe you have to, because otherwise you'll get readers crying "pedophile" on you if you sign off on this dude's fantasies. But still, a fantasy is a fantasy. Everyone fantasizes about shit they wouldn't do in real life, be it a kid on a trampoline or killing their boss or whatever.

People who dream about killing their boss are not automatically called potential murderers is the only difference.

longtime reader
@7 Divorced parents are NOT necessarily unstable parents. Some people are mature enough not to try to play their children against each other and capable of being civil to past lovers.
Oh yeah - and I think it's a total fallacy to say that people who get off on images of kids (among other things) are automatically only pedophiles as some people are saying above.

It's possible to be attracted to all ages of people. There are people who find themselves predominantly attracted to younger people, but so far the author of the letter didn't complain about his lack of interest in her. And she seemed to suggest he was into other extreme porn as well, suggesting he is not a pedophile, but maybe just a big perv or maybe somewhat addicted to extreme porn (as he suggests himself). Way different than a pedophile, who would have no use for the other forms of extreme porn or probably his adult girlfriend.

What the dude probably needs is to take a break from porn - not because it's sick and wrong, but because it seems like he's developed a dependency on fake sex and ever more extreme forms of fake sex to get him off. Maybe if he got more present in real life and his real sexual relationship (or perhaps a different real sexual relationship with someone who didn't think he was a child molestor), the problem would disappear on its own.

People in the U.S. get way crazy about even a hint of someone being into kids. People can play violent video games all day and have rape fantasies and no one wigs out, but put kids in the equation and someone's sure to act! It borders on hysteria. I wonder if Lolita could even find a publisher if it were written today.
It's me, "Inquiring Mind," from this week's column.
Thanks for including my letter, and also for using it to plug the Savage Love iPhone app.

Unfortunately for Steve Jobs, and whatever kickback you might be getting for inserting endorsements for it whenever possible, I don't have the Savage Love iPhone app.
I don't have an iPhone, and so the phrase "on your Savage Love iPod app" wasn't mine (but now that I've used the phrase "Savage Love iPhone app 4 times, I have honorably contributed my share of plugs, even as I disavow them, so hopefully Jobs and everyone else is satisfied).

And I read your column and write my letters on a PC.

But I still want to know what happened . . .
Best use of the word "repurposing" ever.
Ah Dan, just love you! Great email address!
Seldon2639 seems to be one of the few people here with their head on straight. Furthermore, maybe the reason his explanation of "porn escalation" was used precisely because he knew the reaction would be of this sort. I mean I am 100% open to the possibility that this guy is bad news, and he obviously has issues, but until he acts on them I'm not ready to grab my pitchfork. Dan himself has talked about "gold star" pedophiles (at least in his podcast). I'm wondering why he's treating this case so differently - though maybe because it's the pedophile's girlfriend and not the pedophile himself writing in.
@34: Problem is, if we take from the letter that his guy "upes" the Ante, he can jump from Recitals to actual childporn, which is not victimless, and is a fucking crime.

Rape porn is acted out with consenting adults, Childporn involves children being exploited. Or in the case of the Ballerina videos, while the child themselves are not exploited, the fact he is using it as a sexual aide in a manner that the child and parent never consent to (of course this is why if you post anything like that up, you put it behind different security measures).

Rape fantasies can be roleplayed with consenting adults, Pedophilia is a problem because of the target of the attraction is incapable of consent, while you have some who may be capable of suppressing their need, you got too many others with poor impulse control, or just had that moment that they give in. And the pedophiles have a tendency to be drawn towards careers in which they are surrounded by children, a recipe for disaster.
@7, 34
He's been keeping something from her for years. That is a continual betrayal situation. I wouldn't be able to forgive that either, and I'm not pregnant or crazed out on any hormones. The knowledge that your partner is able to successfully lie to you and seem like everything is fine means you can never trust them or feel good even during good times. They can always be hiding something. That ability to act through it all means they can't trust anything, the sincerity that you wont do it again, nothing.

Thinking back on years of memories with a partner and knowing they were keeping something like knowledge of an affair from you the whole time is too much. Affairs are bad enough, but adding years of being fooled into thinking everything was fine? Its worse, not better. Add to that they never respected you enough to tell you themsleves before. I don't understand why people are handwaving away the fact that the affair was years ago, like that makes the wife more unreasonable.
@44 I believe the reason why most of us are concerned is, as I pointed out earlier, the fact that he claims to require more and more extreme porn. Using that knowledge, it's likely that he would go to actual child porn.

And then it's not okay.

He hasn't done anything wrong now, and shouldn't face any sort of legal trouble whatsoever (provided that he, again, hasn't downloaded actual child porn).

This guy is not a gold star pedophile. I don't know how you could think that. He isn't trying to receive any help and if he is a pedophile, he won't even admit it. That doesn't sound like someone who deserves a gold star in my book.
I may be being prejudice and judgmental about the letter writers boyfriend, but I would be worried if I were here. I understand that not all pedophiles act out their fucked up fantasies, but like many have pointed out, this guy gets off on escalation and taboo. He may be "only" looking at videos of children, but that is just the beginning. Looking at child pornography is exploiting and abusing a child, just by supporting it. This asshole may never act on molesting a child, but porn is just as bad. Rape is completely different and I don't think it's comparable. It is also a horrendous act, but at least the victim would be an adult and not a naive, impressionable child.
I used to work with children. Would it have been okay for me to go home and fantasize about the kids I taught in a sexual way, even though I never touched them and was completely professional in all respects? My instinct tells me absolutely not. Children are not sexual beings, they do not understand sex, on top of a lot of other things. As a former teacher who is decidedly NOT attracted to children, I have to tell you that anyone who is has serious issues. Knowing children, their capacity for love, their lack of understanding, their general lack of control over their world breeds compassion not sexual tension. Children literally have no frame of reference for what is right and wrong in many cases. I guess what I'm saying is, taking advantage, whether physically or mentally, of someone else's complete innocence is just wrong. People like that need therapy. Think of Michael Jackson. Those on here protesting that it's okay are just justifying. It's not okay. The moment you admit it is wrong is the moment you can move forward and treat the underlying cause of the fetish. And really, calling it a fetish makes it sound okay, but what it makes someone is a perverted opportunist. Seriously, as adults we should be able to find something else to masturbate to, something that doesn't involve destroying someone else's life - because a child can never consent. Maybe that's hot to some people, but this is why it's illegal.
Thanks Dan, I live in Argentina, and I am really happy that the politicians finally did something right,despite the pressure from the (Catholic) Church!!!
I already posted a comment but it didn't appear, i registered just to say thanks Dan for the congrats! I live in Argentina, and I am totally for the law that was passed last week (gay marriage). That makes 10 countries that respect peoples rights... who'll be next?
I don't know why everyone thinks that CHAD's wife is lying about the pregnancy. It was only a couple of weeks.. not months before she told him she was pregnant. I don't think just because a betrayal happened two years ago that it would make it any less painful when you found out. It would actually be more hurtful because he lied about it for so long and never intended to tell her in the first place.
Can we agree that it is just as prudent for a couple falling apart to go to counseling as is it for a couple who is no longer together, but wants to improve their relationship to go for their child and for their sake. No reason to not make that "working" relationship as good as it can be, which can be particularly difficult with the logistics of separation.

You make a good point. It's also worth noting that in most psychological literature, pedophilia is an exclusive sexuality. If one is truly a pedophile, that's all he gets off on. This guy, clearly, is not a pedophile.


The other difference is that Dan draws the line between "gold star" and "sick bastard" pedophile based on whether the person himself thinks he has a problem. In this case, since HSITIMBACM's partner basically said "there's nothing wrong with me", Dan doesn't apply the "self-recriminating pedophiles who 'realize' they're fucked-up and try to get help are okay" standard to him.


Google ageplay, for me. Not if you're at work, but when you get the chance. It's just as easy to do a psuedo-rape roleplay as a pseudo-pedophile roleplay (really, if you've ever done a "naughty schoolgirl" roleplay, you've at least done ephebophilia).

Yes, he's using as porn something which the original creators did not intend as porn, but who cares? It doesn't hurt the child (at all), and I'd bet beyond any doubt that the child has no flipping idea it's happening.

Until and unless he "ups the ante", he's done literally nothing wrong. Break up with him, fine, but don't get on a god-damned white horse about it.


#44 was a bit confused because he didn't understand that Dan thought the "gold star" for a pedophile is to be seeking treatment and massively self-recriminating about his fetishes. I think it's possible to both enjoy ones fetishes (deviant and "wrong" as they may be) and get a gold star by never hurting anyone, but whatever


Is raping an adult better or worse than molesting a child? What if the child was willing? What if the adult was mentally or physically handicapped?

The problem with trying to draw a line in the sand between heinous things and say "fantasizing and wanking to fantasies about this heinous thing are more acceptable" is that it's all both subjective and arguable. She should DTMFA if she'd like, but don't make it a matter of moral certitude.


*bangs head on desk*

Seriously? You do realize that there's a difference between "taking pictures of children being abused" and "using the fantasy of a child (unbeknown to the child, and without ever harming the child) as wank material", right? How does it destroy a life to fantasize about doing bad things to someone? Christ, if I could hurt people with my fantasies, middle school would have been a lot easier.

HSITIMBACM's partner has never, as far as we know, actually abused (mentally or physically) any child, nor has any intention to in the future. As such, all he's done is display a fetish, a kink, a peculiarity of his sexual preferences which makes him like little girls in leotards.

Something about the lack of actual harm makes me not want to demonize the guy, as I've stated before (and will state again) it's hard for a guy who fantasizes about(and has acted out roleplays of) brutal rape to cast aspersions about a guy who fantasizes about ageplay.
@41: This saddens me--to the point that I'm hoping that you're full of BS. Although it strikes me as most likely that you're telling the truth.

Dan, I understand that you want to sell copies of your app. But please don't use that desire to justify falsifying the content of the letters you receive. We non-Apple users already get enough shit for being "uncool". Please don't make things worse by skewing the statistics in Apple's favor.

When your Android app comes out, will you stick false references to it in your letters, too?
@46: "I don't understand why people are handwaving away the fact that the affair was years ago, like that makes the wife more unreasonable."

Like I said in @34 (the very comment you responded to), I don't think it necessarily negates all the good times, etc. and he can't be trusted, was always lying to her, etc. I just don't see it that way.

"Add to that they never respected you enough to tell you themsleves before."

Really fair. But I don't see it as a simple respect issue.

Respect is a big factor; I agree it's always the best to put yourself forward ASAP because time matters.

But people feel fear, which is a powerful force. Characterizing this type of lie as necessarily a malicious trick, some kind of hoodwinking, I think, is painting it a little *too* evil. Not telling your SO about an affair *can* be about hoping to "get away" with something; it can be about malice, about a serial habit. It does make it sound like the cheater necessarily is enjoying the tricking and maybe hopes that this one successful lie can lead into future lies. Which can be true ... or not.

But *some* people make genuine mistakes. They make that mistake, and in misguided fear, clam up and hope it just goes away -- whatever their fuck-up was ... cheating, anything -- and they can work on doing better with the remainder of their lives. It's like a kind of repression ... that by not facing the consequences head on, they can move on with their lives. They really *don't* use it as a springboard for more misdeeds. Lots of people rather suffer private fear and punishment, to keep the pain to themselves, rather than face the one they love. I'm not saying it's *noble* or anything ... just trying to describe it.

I totally agree that honesty is the best policy, bar none. As soon as possible. But, I dunno ... it just seems too simple to me to *necessarily* paint this as a case of untrustworthiness and constant lies.

It was still one mistake. Well, two -- his second was letting it go unsaid for way too long. To me, that just doesn't equate to the same untrustworthy label for serial cheaters, or people who wound out of genuine malice or personal satisfaction.

So I think, yes, he could be given a second chance, presuming sincerity on his part. It'd be a long, long, drawn-out second chance, but I think he may have just about earned one. I don't think the wife *owes* him anything -- so I guess I kind of take back what I said about her going "too far", although she's still gone beyond what I'd do -- but it'd be humane of her.

And no, I wasn't basing *these* particular observations on her pregnancy or hormones or whatever. The only thing that made me think MAYBE she could be lying was the timetable. But even then, I was on the edge of suspicion.
@7: I agree. As a currently-preggers lady, I can tell you, those hormones make you psycho, particularly in the first month or so after implantation.

And as for Really Long Acronym Lady, I'm definitely in the DTMFA camp. Guy's a lying shitbag and a pedo. Nasty.
I'm not the witch-hunting type myself, but jerking off while watching 8 year old girls in a dance recital is just a precursor for what is more than likely to come.

It's interesting to read all of the comments defending what he's doing as a simple fantasy. HE'S JERKING OFF WHILE THINKING OF MOLESTING 8-YEAR OLD GIRLS ON A VIDEO. This isn't an escalation in porn habits, this is him achieving sexual gratification with children as his focus. Children, mind you, not some little piece of 17 or 18 year old ass.

Don't get me wrong. I like porn. My wife likes porn. All kinds of porn. But all that shit is consensual and they're all grown up. (Well, except for the midget porn.)

People try to play the whole 'fantasy' card and comparing this shit to rape fantasies and the sort, in my mind, is not a valid comparison. This is just chalked up to a brain with bad wiring. If they are stroking it to videos of little children, and in front of their partner, no less, seems more like a test of boundaries than anything else. More like he's seeing how much he could get away with and still have a girlfriend for a cover.

And as far as those calls that child rape is in decline is complete bullshit. Comparing child molestation to rape statistics is bullshit. The average female-oriented pedophile is going to molest 50 girls before getting caught. The average male-oriented pedophile is going to rape 150 boys before getting caught. Ever here about all the rapists that make it that far before they are caught?

Perhaps my view is skewed because I was victimized as a child. And just as a testament to the shear numbers involved, I was only one of dozen children in my apartment complex that this guy violated, in a two-year time span. And that guy was never caught, and the only reason I know the other children were involved, is because I was present for that abuse. Image how many more he got to?

There is no excuse for his behavior, he is masturbating to images of children because it GETS HIM OFF. That isn't going to change. If he doesn't rape children in the future, or hasn't already, then kudos for him and any potential victims. Unfortunately, as a man, I can tell you that his desire for little girls isn't going to change any more than my proclivity to want to bang short, thin redheaded WOMEN. Just like my wife's proclivity to bang tall, thin blonde men isn't going to change.

Like I said. Bad wiring.
@56, @34: I agree with @46 that the wife has good reason to leave CHAD, and to blame it on pregnancy or hormones is pretty sexist.

First strike: He had the affair. 2nd: He didn't tell her about the affair for years. 3rd: He didn't tell her about the "rededication" either. One should know if her partner feels the need to "rededicate" himself to her, if she thought he was dedicated all along.

It's true: All those happy memories CHAD's wife had, dating from the affair to the confession, are now tainted. And it will be hard for her to regain her trust of him now.

The fact that he waited years to tell her makes it worse, not better. And it robbed her of her right to make a decision about staying with him at the time the affair happened.

I love Dan's column, but I think it is a bit anti-monogamy. At least he plugs honesty, which is more important. But I like to think that love can be both satisfying and exclusive. Liars and cheaters are poison.
I understand that divorce situations can be (reasonably) stable. I also understand that marriages where the partners stay together but fight or are resentful are not stable or pleasant places to grow up. On the other hand, to the extent that she is able to truly forgive him and reconcile, an intact relationship would be better than a divorce.

For starters, maintaining two separate households costs a lot of money. A LOT of money. Two mortgages instead of one, extra clothing for the kids at both houses, extra supplies, extra transportation, extra childcare, especially if mom has to enter the commercial workforce as a result of the divorce, extra everything. That costs a LOT. That is money that could have been used for the benefit of the family (i.e., the kids). Moreover, instead of paying for one household out of combined assets, you are paying for two households each out of HALF the combined assets. That is financially catastrophic to both households.

I understand that this is all still fresh and raw to her. She just needs to be a little more cold and calculating about it, and be quite clear on what her wounded pride is going to cost the family.

Emotion-wise, it just feels like she is trying to have it both ways: let's work on making the best possible environment for the baby, but I still get to hang onto the hurt and anger. "I'm willing to forgive you a little bit so we can work together" is the same thing as "I want to keep punishing you, except for what we have to do to work together." Not quite so flattering when you put it that way. You don't get to insist on going straight to divorce, rather than trying counseling, and then claim that you want the best outcome. If his wife is sincerely interested in the best possible outcome for the sake of the child, she needs to try a little harder.

You mean you only looked at her face after you came on her?

Wow. Misogynize much?

notfromaroundhere @6: Excellent point. The timing of her getting pregnant is awfully damn suspicious.
@55 (Long-time reader):
Sorry to tell you that this is true. I can send you my original email if you like.
While I was actually more amused than saddened, I do find the addition troubling.

I understand that letters are often edited for clarity and condensed in the interests of space-saving, but I never thought that a letter would be manipulated to hype a product.

For the record, I don't have a Droid, nor do I have any apps. My cell phone is one of a dying breed: only a phone.
I see why Dan pushed Sex at Dawn a few weeks ago. He must get so many letters about how one episode of cheating ruined otherwise good relationships. It's gotta be heartbreaking to not have good advice, other than monogamy is hard, for those people.

Here's what's confusing me: why does it matter if the porn is made with people who know they're in a porn? If he got his hands on simulated child pornography (it exists, it's legal, and the Supreme Court has said "fuck you" to the DoJ trying to prosecute it), would that be less sick? If so, how?

How is me watching simulated rape porn and fantasizing about violating some woman (yes, the fantasy is rape, not pseudo-rape, the fantasy is out-and-out rape) any better? How is fantasizing about one terribly harmful act any better than another? Yes, he's fantasizing about hurting a little girl (again, technically he's undiagnosable with pedophilia vis-a-vis the DSM-IV, since he's not exclusive, and only seems to like prepubescent girls), but that's never been proof positive of eventual abusive behavior.

And I can show evidence of a decline in overall rape rates (child abuse is notoriously harder to prove) corresponding with an increase in pornography being available... And... Just flipping look at Japan, mate.

Here's what's confusing me: why does it matter if the porn is made with people who know they're in a porn? If he got his hands on simulated child pornography (it exists, it's legal, and the Supreme Court has said "fuck you" to the DoJ trying to prosecute it), would that be less sick? If so, how?

How is me watching simulated rape porn and fantasizing about violating some woman (yes, the fantasy is rape, not pseudo-rape, the fantasy is out-and-out rape) any better? How is fantasizing about one terribly harmful act any better than another? Yes, he's fantasizing about hurting a little girl (again, technically he's undiagnosable with pedophilia vis-a-vis the DSM-IV, since he's not exclusive, and only seems to like prepubescent girls), but that's never been proof positive of eventual abusive behavior.

And I can show evidence of a decline in overall rape rates (child abuse is notoriously harder to prove) corresponding with an increase in pornography being available... And... Just flipping look at Japan, mate.
@59: You're not saying anything to me that @46 didn't already say. I mean, literally. I'm not saying you're not entitled to agree, but writing it all out again isn't really changing my mind, since I'm just going to point you to my earlier comments, which actually *respond.*

"and to blame it on pregnancy or hormones is pretty sexist."

Did you read either of my two comments you cited? I didn't mention the pregnancy or hormones at all in @34, and I only refuted the idea in @56 because @46 brought it up. As I said, the only suspicion I have of the wife is because of *time*, not her condition. Please, don't put words in my mouth.

My points have been aimed at clarifying what *can* be the emotional reasoning behind a person's actions when they make a mistake and don't confront it. I think it's important to distinguish between inertia out of terror from malicious deception. I can see why others wouldn't, but I'm laying out my own perspective. Granted, who knows the circumstances of the affair ... maybe it was a really long, involved thing. For some reason, it'd be harder for me to come down from a wound like that than from a one-night stand.

I haven't disagreed that it'd be a hard slog to win her trust back, but I do disagree that he's some kind of irredeemable sinner (which I'm drawing from the condemnation to "DTMFA").

I'm reacting to the DTMFA, and leaning a lot more on waiting and thinking, on second chances and the value of remorse, because honestly I don't see the harm in waiting. It's not like she can't divorce him later, or that she's lost anything morally by letting him try; she still holds the power of veto and rejection in the end.

I mean, at what point do you decide that a person can't be forgiven? And how do you decide his remorse isn't genuine?

If these two do divorce, and he meets another woman, should his past weigh on him? He did cheat on and deceive his wife; who's to say that wouldn't carry onto his next relationship? After all, the commentators I'm responding to here think this deception is indicative of a liar who can do it again, a man who's untrustworthy. In fact, he's probably more likely to do it again with a second woman than his wife, since his wife is now aware of his transgression and can hold it over his head, and a new woman would not unless she was told. The extension here is that if he can't be trusted in this relationship, why can he be trusted in the next?
@59 ZeldaT: google "pregnancy hormone emotion"
#10: "We as men are biologically programmed to be attracted to young girls...period."

Um, NO. Men are biologically programmed to be attracted to women who would make good mothers: women who are healthy and strong with wide-ish hips and symmetrical features - all signs that the woman has good DNA to pass on to a child and/or would be able to handle pregnancy and childbirth well. Y'know what else makes a woman good breeding stock? Being old enough to bear a goddamn kid. So while the chicks guys are neurologically wired to pursue may be young, they have already hit puberty.

Getting off to ten year old girls in ballerina outfits is not fucking normal and if you think it is, it's time for you to go to therapy.
He admits to having a 20-year-plus addiction to porn, and with that particular addiction, he says, comes the need to continue upping the taboo factor in order to get off.

I do not have an addiction to porn, nor am I a heavy consumer of it. But have never felt the need to up the taboo factor in order to get off, and, in my opinion, your boyfriend is a lying sack of shit.
dear crust- it could have been herpes on her, but a blood test would do you no good since most sexually active adults have been exposed to herpes and therefore have positive antibodies. i am a doctor and it is a pet-peeve of mine when colleagues order herpes antibody testing on patients and then i have to deliver the news of a positive test to their patients. it only confuses people who may have antibodies from anut suzy kissing them when they were 8years old. HSV1 and HSV2, the viruses that cause herpes used to be linked to mouth versus genital sores, but these days you can find one or both in both areas.
the best thing to do is quit worrying. if you end up with a vesicular or lesion on your penis, then you can have it popped by a doctor and cultured. don't bother with a blood test for it.
@65 The difference is that he's watching actual videos of real 10 year old girls.

I'm into kink, all kinds of kink, I watch a lot of porn (yay teen porn, been watching it since I was a teenager and will never stop liking it, lol), I read a lot of erotica, and one of my interests is age play (as well as rape). I love age play, all kinds of it (old, young, whatever just not babies). My favorites are babysitter scenarios, since I used to do a lot of babysitting as a teenager and often had crushes on the the men and women whose kids I sat for (never their kids). I also used to have crushes on my babysitters when I was a kid. I've done age play and had relationships with other age-play kinksters and it seems very common for this to be a "living out childhood fantasies" type of thing. We watch age play porn where ADULTS act out being a little kid and getting molested by the babysitter and like it or don't like it or whatever. This is a bit graphic but I'm using it as examples of the ways people who are into age-dynamics in sex who aren't pedophiles actually think and play.

People into escalating their kink factor in a healthy way DO SO WITH ADULTS.

And I'm a 28 year old woman in a stable healthy relationship. And I've never once fantasized about touching an actual kid. Ask the folks on fetlife age-play forums, they'll tell you the same thing I am- it's a whole 'nother ballgame than pedophelia. The fact that the man in question wasn't satisfied with porn of women playing "Spank me Daddy" schoolgirls, is terrifying.

I would run the fuck away from someone who actually beat off to little kids, or saw leering with interest at pre-pubescent kids in real life.

So that's the difference between kinks and fetishes that are harmless and those that aren't. We all know that kids of various ages fantasize sexually about adults and other kids, and we like to think of what "could" have happened if we'd indulged in these things or someone had exploited these feelings, but we are also 100% aware that that is sick and psychologically traumatic and are very glad that nothing did happen to us until we were old enough to know better!

If a guy can get off looking at real 10 year old girls on screen, he can get off thinking about real 10 year old girls he sees. Duh. That's what's scary.
@Dan, I would also like clarification on the iphone app thing. It's good to withhold judgement until all the facts are known, but if you did change the letter for advertising purposes, that's messed up and dishonest. You could easily plug it yourself without having to change somebody's letter. Please say you didn't do that (or apologize to the person who wrote in), 'cuz I love you Man. :)
Confidential to Dan: Thank you.
When I was 8- I don't remember sexual desires.
When I was a teenager I had sexual desires.
As an adult "old" person-I still have sexual desires.
As an adult seeing younger "prime of their life" females,- I sometimes have desires.
Seeing pre-pubescient(sp?)girls sexually desirable? WRONG!
It's really not 'dangerous' advice. He did it ONE time, and that does make the odds pretty damn slim in those circumstances.
to the "born again Christian mother" I've consumed porn for almost 20 years, and online porn for a good part of the past 12; while I have pursued many kinks and been turned on to a few new ones (thanks sublime directory) never once have I considered looking at anyone younger than 18. as a porn fan I prefer adult porn: I've peeped many things from adult females who wear little girl-type outfits to adult males who wear little girl type outfits but looking at an actual little girl is not intriguing in the least.

he is lying to you and he is a filthy POS. DDTMFA (double dump the mofo already); he is not worth your time, and if he downloads the wrong images he (or whomever pays for the IP address) could end up in jail and labeled a sex offender for life.
My husband and I separated last year when I was five months pregnant (his idea, not mine), our son is now 7 1/2 months old and we're almost divorced. We both work very hard to get along well enough to ensure that he'll grow up with as much stability as he can, given the situation. This means being nice to my ex even when I don't feel like being nice, watching what I say when he's not around (although our son isn't old enough to understand, I'm mindful that he will be soon enough), and encouraging the two of them to spend time together even though I don't particularly want to be around my ex. I expect he feels the same way although we don't talk about it.

I think it's possible for divorced parents to be good parents, and to provide stability, it's just really hard and you have to be willing to work at it.
This pedo is super-creepy and even more importantly, rationalizing and blaming his girlfriend for her completely reasonable concerns. Dan's advice hit the nail on the head. I can't know if this guy will escalate to "real" porn or acting out his fantasies; many pedophiles don't. I have to say, though, that jacking to real ten-year-old girls living ten-year-old lives instead of engaging in age-play is akin to jacking to real pictures of hostages tied up, with real terror in their eyes, instead of bondage porn. It's gone beyond a kink or fetish.
@ sly: the crucial thing about "gold star" pedophiles is that they ADMIT THEY HAVE A PROBLEM. This guy insists if there is a problem, it is his girlfriend's. As Dan says, this indicates bad news.
I would never, never let that man near my children. Not in a million years.
Sheldon: "to be recognized as a pedophile under the DSM-IV, he would have to have sexual attraction to both prepubescent males and females."

Nope, being attracted to both boys and girls is, in fact, not one of the diagnostic criteria set forth in the current version of DSM-IV:…
So far as I know, that element has never been set forth in any edition of the DSM, which makes sense since pedophiles who are sexually attracted to both genders are in the minority.

FYI, the pertinent workgroup has proposed a revision for the upcoming DSM-V (expected to be issued in 2013) that would include "use of pornography depicting prepubescent or pubescent children in preference to other pornography, for a period of six months or longer" as a diagnostic criterion.…

Oops, just saw this other proclamation from Seldon:
"technically he's undiagnosable with pedophilia vis-a-vis the DSM-IV, since he's not exclusive, and only seems to like prepubscent [sic - I'm assuming Seldon meant to say the LW's partner "does not seem to only like prepubescent girls)

This too is erroneous. Most pedophiles find both children and adults to be appealing, and being attracted to just children is not prerequisite of the DSM classifcation.

Seldon, again: "In fact, there's plenty of evidence linking the decline in rape cases in the last fifty years to an increase in the availability of pornography."

Care to give us documentation of this? I'm unaware of any studies covering that long a time span or any reputable, well-grounded one where the authors conclude there is a causal relationship between the two.
@77: "I think it's possible for divorced parents to be good parents, and to provide stability, it's just really hard and you have to be willing to work at it."

I agree. I just think it is a bit incongruous specifically in this case to be willing to work really hard at being good divorced parents, while at the same time being unwilling to work really hard at repairing the marriage.
It is entirely unreasonable and unfair to compare thinking about having sex with someone to raping them - there is no issue of consent. Every attractive person who has gone through high school has been violated in that sense. Kids need to be protected from physical and psychological harm, and the best way to do that is to allow pedophiles an outlet for their sexual needs.

I really cannot wrap my mind around the fact that so many of these of these comments think watching a kid dancing is worse than watching someone get tied up, beaten, and fucked while they cry as a way of getting sexual pleasure.
Do you all honestly believe that the first one is more likely to lead to rape than the second?
For the record, I don't think either one is likely to lead to rape. They are both symptoms of a fetish, not causes.

It sickens me every time I see this group of supposedly open-minded people openly accuse someone of being a bad person because their fetish "squicks" you out. On behalf of the pedophiles I know, none of whom have ever abused a child, you disgust me.
@ 85,
read what 30 typed. It's not that he's attracted to 10 year old girls. It's that he's deluding himself that he's not a pedophile. He's making up excuses, and I can totally see a delusional person like that molest a child and convince himself that the child "liked it" or "consented", and that there's nothing wrong about what he did.
I can't believe that even on Savage Love there are this many people wanting to pitchfork somebody for sexual FANTASIES not actions. Seriously? The person who said "thought-crime" above is exactly right.

There is NO WAY to prove that someone who fantasizes about touching young kids will actually do it anymore than someone who fantasizes about rape will actually rape. No way at all.

Fantasy is different than reality. We have the amazing ability as human beings to CONTROL OUR ACTIONS!!!!

That's why I've never killed anybody! Not because I haven't thought about it, but because I know it's wrong. Works the same way with touching people non-consensually - you can think about it and not hurt anyone! It's amazing!

Sheesh, people!

Or do you somehow think that anybody who has a thought you find disgusting is therefore unable to control themselves and some sort of "other" type of person?

Cause really - saying "Well, I've never thought of a child that way so anybody who does must be sick and wrong," doesn't quite cut it as proof of anything other than you're obviously perfect and we should give you a medal for never having an errant thought.

I've thought about children "that way." Not seriously and not as a form of masturbation, but thoughts have crossed my mind. But I also know that it's wrong to touch children and never would and unless there's any other reason to suspect him, I imagine the boyfriend in question 1 is the same way.

Real people are one thing - fantasy people are another thing. As long as this porn addict boyfriend knows the difference between real and fantasy people there is no problem.

The problem comes in when people start treating each other like objects - that's when child molestation and rape occur. It's not the desire or lack thereof that makes the difference - it's the ability to emphasize with others or not.

The only danger this guy (might) pose is that of a viewer of real child porn. But even that isn't something that he's already done. Again, if he's told his girlfriend this much (stuff that takes a lot of trust for him to reveal) I doubt he's hiding anything.

It never fails though - it's seriously the most taboo thing you can say in the United States. Our country has become paranoid about anything to do with children and sexuality well past the point of sanity (like doctoring up sex ed books from the 70s to cover up any "naked children" drawings) while simultaneously (oddly) presenting infantilized images of females - the most notable being the Britney Spears "Baby one More Time" video - you may as well give her a blankie and send her off to naptime.

What is with this country?

The point you don't seem to be able to get through your head is he likes to continually up the ante. He gets bored and has to move on to something more extreme.

He has most likely already looked at age-play. Now it doesn't do it for him anymore, and he had to move on to something more intense (actual children, even if it isn't actual porn). Eventually, that will get boring and he will have to move on to something even more intense (actual children in actual porn). Actual child porn is wrong.

This isn't about rape fantasy, simulated porn, overall statistics, or that other BS. It is about this one guy who is seriously messed up. We're not talking about an "overall" picture here. Just one guy who has a problem and likes to push the envelope.
Re: The iPhone app thing: Is it possible there were two letters saying similar things? "Inquiring mind(s)" is a pretty standard phrase for those of us who remember the "inquiring minds want to know" advertising from a number of years ago. I'd imagine there's a big pile of letters/emails asking for follow-up, and Mr. Botched Circumcision probably takes the cake for most "wondered about." Just a thought.
@ 10

You are totally right-men are biologically programmed to be attracted to 16-19 women. Why? Because biology is all about reproduction, and every part of a 16-19 female body signals optimum reproductive capacity.

And you know what doesn't signal reproductive capacity? A pre-pubescent girl with undeveloped secondary sexual organs, whose body is too small and too frail to withstand the trauma of child delivery does not signal reproductive capacity. If this man is attracted to 10 year old girls, 'nature' isn't the excuse. Nature wants him to reproduce with the most viable partner, not the one that looks like she hasn't begun to menstruate yet.

As much as I'm a fan of ageplay, I've always felt that the vociferous nature of the ageplay community's reaction has less to do with "we see a significant and noticeable difference and would like to make it clear" and more to do with "we don't want to be painted with the same brush". In fact, that's kind of the same feeling I get from kinksters in general about supposed pedophilia; the feeling of "see, we're not that weird; look at those bastards."

Not for nothing, but most of what I've seen from the mainstream ageplay community is better described as "barely illegal" ageplay, more focused on power imbalance in and of itself (spank me daddy, I need to get better grades, babysitter et al), and less on the relative ages themselves. It's naughty schoolgirls and and bad "little" girls.

So, yes, there's a difference... Largely because they like different things. But, how does that render one fantasy ('innocent' or not-so-innocent "teens" and "almost-adults" vs "innocent" or not-so-innocent preteens). How, though, does that make it inherently healthier?

I guess my point is that chances aren't good that he'd ever had the opportunity to explore his fantasies with other adults. Christ, do you imagine that if he had gone to his girlfriend and said "I'd like you to pretend to be an innocent, ten-year-old, ballerina", she'd react in a more positive manner?

I'm not saying that justifies child abuse, nor that his wife should have been willing to accede to that desire (though, one solution to her disgust could simply be "don't watch those videos anymore, and I'll be your ballerina"). What I'm saying is that there's simply nothing inherently less harmless about fantasizing about young (even very young) girls than there is about fantasizing about rape, as long as it never happens.

Yes, one can presume that he'd be able to fantasize about any given girl; much in the same way that I can envision a rape fantasy about girls I see (sometimes it's even fairly erotic), but that in no way implies that he'll eventually do something about it. Until you can show me some data actually proving that men who enjoy even wanking to prepubescent girls eventually (and inevitably) commit abuse, I'm going to keep calling bullshit on your claim.

You state "[s]o that's the difference between kinks and fetishes that are harmless and those that aren't." But, the best antecedent for that I can come up with is "I would run the fuck away from someone who actually beat off to little kids". Here's the thing, wanking to thoughts of children isn't itself harmful. You've purported it is, but that's begging the question. It's a tautology. It's a harmful fetish because he's beating off to thoughts of children, and beating off to thoughts of children is harmful because it's harmful. Show me the harm, if you would


Well, now that you've cleared up any concerns I have about the hypocrisy of a group of people (all of us here) who likely engage in behaviors many if not most of the general population consider to be "wrong" proclaiming without analysis or proof the "wrongness" of another person's similarly unharmful kink, we can end the discussion

Do I need to say I'm being sarcastic as hell?


Ehh... Not really. Actual hostage or rape pornography (like actual child pornography) requires that the victim have been harmed directly. He's jerking off to young girls in admittedly skimpy clothing. He's not comparable to someone jerking off to material the creation of which actually hurt anyone.


Yes. Kind of like how to an Evangelical, a "gold star" homosexual would be one who admits his homosexuality is wrong, he has a problem, and seeks help to control and suppress his desires.

The issue I take with Dan is that he's drawing an artificial line between the pantheon of "totally awesome kinks" and "icky, wrong, and automatically harmful kinks", even without proof that some significant minority (much less a majority) of pedophiles commit or support actual abuse. I promise you, I can get off on rape fantasies without ever wanting to do it for real. What makes pedophiles automatically less able to distinguish fantasy from reality?

Oh, and the whole "porn makes them less likely to commit rape" thing (see below).

@81, 82

I stand corrected. I'd edit my previous posts to reflect this, and obviously my knowledge of psychology (based solely on clearly outdated information) wasn't, and isn't, complete. Mea culpa


Sure. A quick googling brings up:…

Yes, we're gonna have issues here with confounding variables (all statistics work does), but it does paint a compelling picture.…

(long-assed link to a google book)…

... Can I stop now?

Yes, it's all correlative, but in trying to control confounding variables, there's still a marked difference. I'm not confident in calling it a truly causal relationship (statistics rarely show cause, just correlation or lack thereof, but... Yeah.…

Just 'cause Neil Gaiman is so awesome.


So... It's a prospective crime you object to. Okay. And it's the fact that he doesn't seem to accept there's something inherently wrong with his behavior, fair enough.

Of course, he's also been assailed as being sick, twisted, wrong, and disgusting by his partner, and probably was very defensive when he made his comments. We don't know the actual etiology or psychology of his kink, so we have a dearth of information.

I find it distasteful to shove an explanation and entire psychological profile down someone's throat based on third-hand information and personal assumptions.


I enjoy that we can treat the "upping the ante" argument sort of like Schrodinger's cat. If it's useful for his detractors to dismiss it to prove he's a sick bastard ("he just likes kiddie porn, the escalation stuff is crap"), you do that. If it's useful to assert he *will* escalate ("eventually that will get boring and he will have to more on to something even more intense (actual children in actual porn)"), you do that. It's fantastic; escalation is both fallacious and nothing more than a paltry defense of his action... And it's proof positive he'll eventually do something worse.

We have no evidence that he's actually escalated (just the third-hand hearsay, and our own suspicions), so there's no reason to assume he's not simply someone who enjoys young girls in skimpy outfits. We simply have no knowledge of actual envelope pushing.

I do agree with Dan that the "upping the ante" excuse is retarded, and I don't believe for a second that he's just escalating to escalate. I think he's a pedophile, but I have no reason to demonize him for that alone, nor any proof he will eventually do something with harms (directly or indirectly) any children.

Oh come on. If biology is all about reproduction, homosexuality is a psychological illness, and sodomy is deviance.

Bullshit, pure bullshit.

Sexuality is much more varied and splendorous, and people can enjoy fantasies and kinks far removed from the desire to procreate directly. Christ, how can you have read Dan's column for very long and conclude that "sexuality is all about dick-in-vagina-making-babies humping"?
#89 (Canuck):
Maybe more than one person asked the same question, and certainly "Inquiring Mind" is not a unique sign-off,but the rest of the letter is mine, verbatim.

I'd like Dan to comment on this.

Initially, I was more amused; I put it in the same category as the "what is Dan's true age" thing--either you know he's being snarky or you don't, but if you know it's a put-on, you don't bother to get your panties in a twist taking him to task for the lie.

I just resented my letter being manipulated, particularly as it made me sound like a sycophantic Apple fan.

But now I'm getting annoyed that people are questioning my truthfulness and that Dan hasn't admitted the distortion of the letter to include a plug for a product? service? (what category does an app fall into?) that he or his newspaper is presumably making money from. Not to mention the fact that I really don't want to be used as a shill for Apple.

Maybe it was a joke, Dan, or it seemed harmless, but it was wrong and it compromises your journalistic integrity. So ovary up and admit your error already.
Anyone who can get it up (or get wet) while looking at a prepubescent child is a sick fuck and that he's trying to put this off as his partner's being a prude is reprehensible.
DTMFA and contact the authorities because what he's doing is beyond wrong and you have it in your power to protect his future victims by forcing him to face an investigation that will doubtless prove to be a HUGE reality check and will bring to light anything he's been doing on-line that he's managed to keep hidden from you.

You want this woman to try to coerce the police into investigating lawful behavior by a citizen... Because you think that the mindset behind it is wrong?

Dump him, fine (though, please lay off the invective, since there are many people who would call Dan (and most everyone else here) "sick fucks and trying to put this off as society being prudish is reprehensible"), but trying to get the authorities involved is simply wrong. We don't punish people for the off chance that they'll do something wrong, that's not how society functions.
#95, if you're going to quote me, please do it accurately and there is not an "off chance" that this asshole will cross the line- there's a decent chance that he's already done so and an even better chance that if he has not yet, he will. That he's whacking off to images of kids and *trying to justify it* is plenty of probable cause.
There is a big, bright, widely drawn line here- I'm all for whatever floats the boat (or hoists the sack) of *consenting adults* whether it's played out in their heads or with happily willing others but when a person starts needing to look at *children* to get off, they've jumped off the consenting adult bandwagon.
@10 - you do know what that statement about the grass and the mud mean, right? How is that helping your point in any way at all? Ick.
I agree with you in that I think it's a bogus argument to say that fantasizing about children inevitably and invariably leads to the the abuse of children. Additionally,I also agree that it's silly to assume watching some type of taboo porn directly follows the seeking out more extreme versions of taboo porn. In some some cases it may be true and others not at all. MY key worry at least is that, IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, the guy actually said (unless she is lying about what he said), that For HIM, this escalation IS NATURAL. So, I think that if HE HIMSELF considers this escalation only natural, then, I think, that it it's legitimate to be concerned that he could actually cross the line into watching child porn, and even touching children.

I think most people here, considering the severity of a crime like that committed on a defenseless child, would much rather err on the side of "guilty until proven innocent" rather than the "innocent until proven guilty" one, that although in my opinion is understandable, it's also unjustifiable and very unfair.

I quoted you pretty accurately. The fact that your statement "he's a sick fuck, ect." is in perfect alignment with what any group of mainstream society might say about any aberrant kink (or even some of the more normal ones) doesn't make it a misquotation, just an unfortunate reality of your high horse. If the best argument against his fetish is only the same one someone who doesn't like feet might use against a foot fetishist boyfriend, your argument loses credibility in my eyes.

You've shown no evidence beyond bare assertion that simple fantasy is proof of likelihood of engaging in illegal, illicit, or harmful behavior. I defy that statement, and ask you to provide evidence of a scientifically valid nature to support it.

The line is a bit fuzzier than you'd like to imply. Is someone who enjoys voyeurism automatically in the same category of "jumping off the consenting adult bandwagon"? What about people who like seeing naked pictures spitefully released by scorned exes? Certainly in neither case did the object of sexual desire consent to be wanked over?

Perhaps what you object to is that he's wanking to children. Okay, that's a bit icky, but that doesn't mean it's harmful. Unless he's actually harming or supporting the harm of a child (which also excludes fake child pornography), there's nothing inherently harmful or wrong about what he's doing.

You have no evidence for the assertion that there is anything more than an off-chance that he commits a crime related to his fantasies. Simply repeating it (as his detractors here have been wont to do) doesn't actually influence the underlying reality. Nothing I've seen in studies of either rapists, pedophiles, or society suggests that access to non-harmful pornographic (or non-pornographic) wank material actually induces people to act on their fantasies, and everything I've seen suggests it does the opposite.
@31 ... While it's entirely possible that CHAD's wife is pregnant--I've heard of that kind of thing happening with married folks ... It's not so strange to imagine a woman pushing the pregnancy button because she wanted to get her hooks into her ex--to get back at him, or maybe to get him back.

Last year I broke up with a woman who told me a month later she thought she was pregnant. She had missed her period and was worried and wanted to let me know. Could I please bring over a pregnancy test so she could find out ...?

She have taken a home pregnancy test before calling me, couldn't she? Definitely. She could have gone to the doctor for a more conclusive pregnancy test if the home pregnancy test showed positive, right? Easily. But she didn't. What she wanted was attention from me, and to drag me back into her life.

Here's the kicker ... I had gotten a vasectomy eight years earlier and she still tried to pull the pregnancy trick. I had my urologist test a sperm sample faster than I heard back from her of the negative result of her test.

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