My recent reflections on the phenomenon of Virtuous Paedophiles (Part 1 and Part 2 here) left me wondering how it is that, despite definitely not being ‘Virtuous’, I’ve managed to reach the depths of middle age without having as yet ‘offended’.
The reasons which Virpeds promote, and the one that general population would feel most comfortable with, would be that I’ve led a paedo-celibate life because I perceived my desires as ‘wrong’ and from a fear of breaking the law.
However I have come to realise that this is not the case.
Over the years, especially during the earlier decades of my life (when I had a ‘six-pack’ rather than a ‘beer-barrel’, and a ‘fine head of hair’ rather than a ‘fine head of skin’), I’ve had a lot of children who either wanted, or seemed to want, to engage in some kind of physical intimacy with me.
I use the phrase ‘physical intimacy’ rather than ‘sex’ advisedly . Undoubtedly the great majority of these children were not seeking ‘sex’ with me, if one takes that word as it is commonly used: as a synonym for ‘fucking’, or some other activity whose goal is the orgasm. Too often the teleiophilic mind translates a phrase like ‘paedophiles want to have sex with children’ as ‘paedophiles want to fuck children’ – which is a very long way from the truth.
No, what these children were generally seeking wasn’t ‘sex’ but simply a progression in our intimacy, a step forwards of a span no greater than they were comfortable taking, something that would have fallen well short of ‘sex’ or even ‘foreplay’ but which still could have landed me in trouble with parents and the law, and exposed the child to the weight of society’s stigma.
I remember a boy who early one morning came into my bedroom, took off his pyjamas, revealing his excited state, and tried to cuddle up against me in bed; I remember the little girl who, when sat in my lap, would sometimes grab my penis through my trousers; I remember another little girl who, in her play-fighting with me, would use every strategy and trick to get her crotch pressed hard against my hand or face…
There were also encounters with more experienced children: a girl of eleven sprawled in my lap at a youth club campfire, who, while telling me how she and her 30 year-old boyfriend enjoyed having sex together, looked me deep in the eyes and told me how she wanted a new boyfriend; I remember the little boy of about 10 whose teacher had informed me that that his behaviour towards adults could be ‘inappropriate’ because he’d been ‘sexually abused’, who tried to give me a love bite on my neck; I remember the knowing little girls of a certain far-eastern hill tribe whose flirtations the village elders egged on and found highly amusing…
A digression for the Offended
I hesitated long about including the previous two paragraphs.
In no other blogs written by paedophiles have I come across anything that broaches quite so frankly a paedophile’s experience of child sexuality.
My fear is that to do so may be a straw too many for WordPress (who are normally very robust regarding ‘Freedom of Speech’). Or that it may draw the attention of trolls, vigilantes and law enforcement agents, for any acknowledgment of the existence of child sexuality or description of it (especially if it is directed towards an adult) qualifies in the minds of some as ‘child pornography’.
There are indeed those who think that merely being a recipient of a child’s sensual or sexual interest makes one an ‘abuser’; who think that I should have made clear to these children, at some much earlier point in our interaction, that such behaviour was not acceptable, or that I should have reported the child’s behaviour to a responsible authority
Or they may think that if a child and an adult form a relationship of such a nature that the child could feel trusting and close enough to express a wish for intimacy, then that adult must have been in some way ‘grooming’ the child.
I can also imagine a mob-minded journalist reading this and writing:
“Even paedos who are genuinely celibate or virtuous, who never offend or so much as lay a finger on a child, will have a poisonous effect: the way they interact with children teaches them not to feel ashamed of their bodies, and can lure the child into feeling relaxed and open about their sexuality.
The simple presence of a paedophile can have a devastating effect on a child: as author and abuse victim Margaux Fragoso attests in her autobiography ‘Tiger, Tiger’:
“…time with a pedophile can be like a drug high. There was this girl who said it’s as if the pedophile lives in a fantastic kind of reality, and that fantasticness infects everything. Kind of like they’re children themselves, only full of the knowledge that children don’t have. Their imaginations are stronger than kids’ and they can build realities that small kids would never be able to dream up. They can make the child’s world… ecstatic somehow…”
Should children be so over-stimulated? Isn’t the job of children, since time immemorial, to go to school, learn the skills required by the job market, watch television, get themselves bought the latest toys and video games at the mall, and enjoy a MacDonalds with mom and pops, and become a normal adult? Children who have experienced such a vivid ‘fantastic kind of reality‘ risk growing into adults who reject the consumer satisfactions our society so readily provides. Surely ‘ecstasy’ is not a healthy state for a child to exist in.”
Most adults ‘tune out’ children’s expressions of sensuality; and through their embarrassment and disapproval teach children to hide and repress such feelings and behaviour. However for me to stay silent about my experiences would be to be complicit in the suppression of data – data which Society doesn’t want made known. Paedophiles in a sense, are the last witnesses to child sexuality: the only adults who can witness the phenomenon without condemning it, ignoring it, suppressing it or or rationalising it into non-existence.
So to the righteous and offended assembling at the castle gates, lighting up your flambeaux and sharpening your pitchforks I say ‘read on: your fury may soon be quenched’.
[End of digression for the Offended]
So where am I going with this?
The truth is that, though I’ve had many opportunities, I have never taken advantage of these opportunities but instead ‘defused’ them as gently as possible, not wanting the child to feel condemned or scolded for their attempts at intimacy.
These are the kinds of incidents that I’m sure happen regularly to parents and people whose lives are involved with children, but which get overlooked, ignored or reprimanded out of existence. But maybe they happen more often to paedophiles because paedophiles are probably more alert observers of such behaviour, nor do paedophiles generally act in a way which discourages this kind of expression from children.
Bolder paedophiles who have acted on their love may spend sleepless nights worrying that in their former love’s mind the memories of the love and pleasure they shared could curdle (‘recontextualisation‘ as Susan Clancy calls it ) and bring trauma into their loved-child’s life and the law into their own.
I can sleep sound on that count. However, instead I see out the long, dark hours thinking of the love that I’ve refused and will never have a chance at again.
Indeed, I often regret rebuffing these children. After all I have denied them love they wished for and maybe needed, and which was in me to give. Who’s to say that little girl, whose father had disappeared out her life, didn’t need some healing intimacy to compensate for the neglect she’d experienced from her father? Who’s to say that she didn’t need a man to let her know that she was beautiful, desirable and worthy of love?
I do not wish to overly defend the celibate position in what I am writing here. It is merely the position that I have found myself in, despite myself. While I acknowledge that in our society there are serious ethical problems with engaging children in heavily stigmatised and illegal activities I also know that Love, Tenderness and Desire, if experienced mutually, write their own rules and reasons. And I look at bolder paedophiles who have engaged in physical intimacy with the child they love, and think ‘There but for the grace of god go I’.
And I damn god and his grace for having left me lonely and unfulfilled .
What follows is a list of reasons why I (and I suspect most paedophiles) generally keep to the ‘easy’ side of the law.
The reasons are much more mundane and commonsense than those proposed by Virpeds and mob-minded popular culture. Many are identical to those that prevent most teleiophiles from raping indiscriminately, or seeking to have sex with every adult member they encounter of their preferred gender.
Though in any interaction many of these factors may come into play, generally it only requires one or two to prevent the interaction from progressing beyond a point where the intimacy becomes socially or legally problematic. I’ve tried to place first those factors that, in my opinion, are most ‘decisive’.
– the adult is happy with, and grateful for, the relationship as it is and doesn’t feel a need to complicate or change it through it becoming more intimate.
– the child isn’t interested in intimacy with the adult.
It may surprise those whose only knowledge about paedophilia comes from the mass media and popular culture that a lack of interest on the part of the child would discourage a paedophile. But paedophiles are no different to most teleiophiles: we care deeply about what a child thinks about us. Rejection by a child hurts as badly as it presumably does for teleiophiles when a man is rejected by a woman he loves (or vice versa).
A consolation is that even when the child rejects intimacy, that child may still love the adult just as much and the relationship may still flourish.
– the adult isn’t attracted to the child.
Likewise, mass media and popular culture portray paedophiles as existing in a permanent state of desperate arousal triggered off by the sight of any and all children. This is simply wrong. We are as picky as teleiophiles. The same mechanisms of attraction operate for paedophiles as do with teleiophiles, for example a paedophile can come to fall in love, because of her personality, with a child whom he didn’t find particularly attractive at first sight, and can come to find unattractive a child who, at first sight, he found very beautiful.
– the adult does not wish to introduce secrecy into the child’s life.
– the adult does not wish the child they love to grow up and be exposed to, and damaged by, the stigma propagated by Society and the Child Abuse Industry.
– the child’s parents are friends of the adult, or people whom the adult cares for and respects, and to allow intimacy with the child to develop would be a betrayal of their trust and friendship.
– if the adult has gotten to know the child in a professional capacity, the adult does not wish to abuse that professional position.
– the adult does not allow the intimacy to progress out of fear of being found out and of revealed as paedophiles to friends, family members and colleagues.
– the adult does not allow the intimacy to progress out of fear of being found out and the law becoming involved – both with regards to themself, and also for the child, knowing that the law will happily sacrifice the well-being of a child in order to ‘protect’ it.
– the child expresses her wish for intimacy in circumstances when it would be impossible to respond, either because other people are present or the encounter is too fleeting and/or a one-off.
– the moments when child expresses a wish for intimacy don’t coincide with the moments the adult wishes for it.
– the adult is not sufficiently sure about the child’s signals and intentions and only afterwards may come to realise that she was seeking further intimacy.
Society enforces ignorance about sex and sensuality in its children through lack of openness, the punishment and disapproval of displays of sexuality, and through depriving children of essential concepts and vocabulary (how many little girls can name their clitoris? ). This means that children’s expressions of sexuality can often be confused, inarticulate and easily overlooked.
– the adult is taken by surprise by the child’s behaviour and the adult reflexively acts to return the situation to a safe neutrality.
Having read through the above list I can see how someone determined to see only bad in paedophiles might read this as not so much a list of reasons why paedophiles don’t ‘offend’ but more as check-list of obstacles to circumvent and preempt in seeking the (imagined) goal of seducing a child.
I think such a reading would be profoundly wrong. My goal has been to show that it is not ‘fear’ or ‘guilt’ that prevents paedophiles from ‘offending’, but rather ‘respect’: most importantly respect for the child’s will and wishes, but also for the child’s family and entourage, for the community and (often) for their role, job, profession, employers and/or colleagues.
Let me restate for the sake of any law enforcement agents reading this, or for those who are here to seek offense, or any members of the mob who’ve managed to still their swiveling eyes and spittle-foamed jaws long enough to read this far:
I do not advocate, and have not advocated in this essay or elsewhere, that paedophiles should engage in illegal intimacy with children.
But neither do I advocate that society heap stigma onto consensual and tender relationships, nor do I advocate that society deny children the right to choose with whom they express and share their sensuality and sexuality; I do not advocate the ignorance which society imposes on its children and dares to call ‘innocence’, nor do I advocate the censorship of all evidence of the existence of child sexuality, and the draconian punishments meted out to those who dare access such evidence, or who dare respond to a child’s need for affection, love and pleasure.