“Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?”
(
from Alexander Pope’s ‘Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot‘)

On August the 4th, 2015 the Chicago Tribune published an article whose headline read ‘Paul Christiano, talented dancer and choreographer with a difficult past, is dead at 39’.

Christiano was a paedophile, and he had taken his own life.

I

Paul Christiano, from his earliest childhood, was different to the other boys: he was an odd, creative soul, who loved to perform, and who was fascinated by the world of girls. At the age of eight or nine, inspired by a bio-pic of Nadia Comaneci, he started gymnastics lessons and would spend all his spare time practicising women’s floor routines in the school playground and on his front lawn. He worshipped his female classmates, in particular Shayna – a pretty little blonde who was “exceptionally talented at making little playground spectacles cry”, and who would, many years later, come to play an important part in his life.

Paul and Shayna – 4th grade (1985-1986)

In high school, whilst the other boys were dating their classmates, Christiano’s romantic and sexual interests remained with girls between the ages of seven and eleven. These feelings, and what he describes as his ‘effeminate heterosexuality’, left him increasingly isolated from his peers.

Despite Christiano’s talents in dance and gymnastics his ambition was to become a writer. But words proved refractory, and his literary struggles would drive Christiano to two suicide attempts and a month-long stint in an adolescent psychiatric unit.

Screenshot-4Aged eighteen Christiano saw his first professional dance performance and it revealed to him that dance could be ‘an elevated form of poetry’. Moreover dance, through assimilating other art-forms (such as music, narrative, scenography and film), could by-pass the intractability of words.

After high school Christiano studied dance for three years, and taught dance, gymnastics and tumbling to children.

As a teacher, Christiano thought of his sexuality as a ticking time-bomb. Terrified that one day he “would turn into this insatiable sex monster and go molest a kid” he imposed on himself rules and rituals that would keep sexual thoughts out of his mind, and ensure that he never crossed any lines with his pupils: fasting all day, never sitting down whilst teaching, and rigorously maintaining an emotional distance from his students.

In 2000, when still in his early 20s, Christiano was convicted of purchasing child pornography after having been entrapped by under-cover customs agents. He would never again be allowed to teach or work with minors of any age. For the rest of his life he would be on a publicly-accessible sex offender register, and be subject to stringent reporting obligations, random police checks, and work and residency restrictions. A failure to comply with these would constitute a felony.

During his trial, his erstwhile 4th grade classmate, Shayna, contacted Christiano and they started a relationship together. It would be the only time Christiano ever saw himself as a ‘significant other’.

Christiano yearned to be a father, and Shayna, a single mother of a two-year-old girl, offered Christiano a ready-made family. But the implications of being in a relationship with a convicted sex-offender proved too much for Shayna and the relationship lasted only a few months.

“what woman in her right mind is not, sooner than later, going to realise that walking away from a relationship with the likes of me is only going to improve her life? “

After Shayna left him, Christiano made an attempt on his own life.

Christiano would choreograph his way out of the ’emotional black hole’ left by the end of this relationship by transcribing excerpts from his love-letters to Shayna into sign language, and setting the resulting gestures to the music of Vivaldi.

The resulting work – ‘Miracle, interrupted‘ – was first performed by the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago in June 2001.

It proved to be Christiano’s break-out creation. It earned him the plaudits of the critics, and led to the Chicago Tribune naming him as one of that year’s top sixteen Chicagoans.

The world was eager for Christiano’s talent and his future seemed bright. Unfortunately, it would not be his talents that would determine the course of his subsequent years, but his criminal conviction.

Growing hysteria around child sexuality, the accessibility of Sex Offender registers, and improving internet literacy meant that employing Christiano became a serious risk for any business. Christiano found it increasingly hard to find work. ezgif-3-7f501d9d56In 2008 Paul’s life and career would take a further drastic turn. The year was actually proving to be an unusually productive and busy one for Paul. The dance school where Paul used to teach before his conviction would put on annual recitals in which the students could show their parents what they had learnt, and gain experience performing. The school’s owner, though not able to employ him as a teacher, remained a loyal friend to Paul and supported him as best she could by regularly employing him as a guest dancer/choreographer at these annual recitals.

Given how busy 2008 was proving to be for Paul, she had to veritably beg him to perform:

“The parents get so bored watching the kids do their sweet little numbers. You make it a night worth remembering!”

Paul’s brilliance would prove to be his downfall. A young audience member who had admired his performance on getting home searched for his name on-line and, in a panic, showed her parents what she had found regarding Paul’s presence on Sex Offender registry. The owner of the dance school was devastated at what had happened, and came under such pressure that she was obliged to stop hiring Paul for the annual recitals.

More significantly, Paul was arrested for not having registered in the town where the dance school was situated and where he had spent a week rehearsing for the recital.

Thousands of dollars in legal fees later, Paul was cleared of all charges, thanks to his status as an independent contractor. He had already worked as a dancer/choreographer in more than ten different towns that year (and likewise for several previous years) and the judge appreciated that, logistically speaking, it would be impossible for Paul to do his work were he obliged to register with the police department in each new town he worked in, registration being an unbelievably time-consuming process.

Regardless of the positive outcome of his legal battle the scathing publicity surrounding Paul’s arrest seriously damaged his already meagre prospects for employment – Christiano estimated that in the following six years the repercussions of this incident lost him some 20 dance contracts.

During this period Christiano became a tireless volunteer and administrator for B4U-ACT, giving interviews to newspapers, contributing to radio documentaries, promoting a more humane and rational approach to Minor Attracted Persons. He applied the same thoroughness, dedication and leadership skills to this role as he did to his art.

In 2014, speaking in a CBC radio documentary on paedophilia, Paul sounds at ease with his sexuality, seeing it as a positive part of his selfhood, no longer fearing that he might contain a ‘monster’ within himself:

I’ve embraced it, and accepted it as part of my identity. There is no dissonance any more between ‘the way I feel’ and ‘the way I think about how I feel’. Before, every time I would have a sexual thought about a child, I would immediately chastise myself. Now I am able to let those feelings come and go, and acknowledge that they are there and that is totally fine with me. And I realise that being who I am does not obligate me in any way to behave in reckless or irresponsible ways.“

By then Christiano was dependent on the support of his parents, menial jobs and welfare. Christiano, for lack of work and exposure, saw his status in the Chicago dance community diminish. Audiences and critics seemed to have forgotten about him and his work. This neglect gradually undermined Christiano’s belief in himself and in his achievements. Meanwhile, the Kafkaesque residency restrictions portland-press-herald_3712432-691x1024imposed on him made it a constant struggle to find somewhere to live. He relied on supportive friends and colleagues from the Chicago dance world. These regulations would eventually push Christiano beyond breaking point.

In May of 2015 Christiano was arrested for falsifying his address. He faced at least three years in prison, during which he would be able to pursue neither his art nor his work for B4U-ACT. He also knew that he would be unemployable after his release. Faced with this future, it is understandable that death for him should seem a ‘soaring relief’, as he described it in a note left at the site of his suicide.

II

In order to survive in an extremely hostile culture and society, paedophiles have to make certain adaptations to the way we think, feel and interact with the world. This leaves us with an existential grammar (for want of a better term) that differs significantly from that of someone spared our struggles. We speak with the ‘accent’ of the condition which shaped our soul.

To pursue the analogy: paedophiles are like foreigners in a hostile country who are under great pressure to efface their native accent, but whose speech nevertheless, even after decades of living in their new country, still bears traces of their original language. This accent is probably most audible in the work of creative artists – people whose job it is to explore and report back from the hinterlands of human experience.

Even a raging paedophobe who engages sensitively with the art of a paedophile might be moved by something in this ‘accent’ that touched on hurt, stigma, loneliness, secrecy, and a bitter-sweet relationship with Time (that being a paedophile places one in). But, provided child sexuality isn’t too explicitly or insistently referenced in the art, they would have no reason to associate these qualities with paedophilia.

Christiano, writing about the depiction of child sexuality in the visual arts, identified ‘humor, eroticism, and grotesquery as defining qualities of Sally Mann’s ‘Immediate Family‘ photographs. These qualities also define Christiano’s work and, I suspect, arise from the existential adaptations that he, as a paedophile, was obliged to make in order to be a creative artist in a hostile world.

humor

The poetry in ‘Art’ and the humour in the ‘Joke’ both exist in the gap between what is being said and what is being meant. When paedophilic love is a significant element in an artist’s language this ‘gap’ needs to be very wide.

Christiano fills this gap with anxiety, energy, garrulousness and convulsivity. Christiano interacts with the stage, props, and fellow dancers anarchically, as if he were encountering them for the first time and was ignorant of their identity and function.

There is the sense of an artist trying to say more than the occasion seems to permit. This is especially noticeable when the accompanying music is slow and melancholy and when he is exploring emotions that are reflective.

Being laconic is for those who expect to be listened to, who don’t need to persuade in order to be understood, for those who are ‘cool’. Christiano’s eccentricity and sexuality ensured that he was none of these things.

Christiano is engaged in a paradox: he has to communicate something which must remain hidden. To this end his dance plays like a game of charades. He circles round his meaning without ever coming into contact with it. He overwhelms us with gestures which appear disparate, but which all point towards the hidden heart of the work. The meaning emerges through an accumulated density of these hints, clues, tangents and perpendiculars – in the same way as, in Monet’s late work, a confusion of brushstrokes resolves into the façade of a cathedral when the viewer pulls back.

To be able to take one extreme quality and make if feel like its opposite is the mark of a supreme artist. If Christiano’s garrulous flow so often feels like stillness it is because his best work maintains its underlying unity. This quality is also found in the poetry of John Ashbery, the music of Brian Ferneyhough, and the art of R. B. Kitaj.

eroticism

Could someone unfamiliar with Christiano’s biography perceive his sexuality in his art? Is our work inevitably defined by our sexuality? To what extent must an artist who happens to be a paedophile be a ‘Paedophile Artist’?

In ‘What r u Wearing’ – a pas de deux danced to Scala & Kolacny Brothers’ re-interpretation of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ – Christiano and his dance-partner, Autumn Eckman, interact as if they were a man and child playing, rough-housing together.

Eckman is as weightless as a girl of seven. This illusion of feminine weightlessness is, of course, a traditional part of classical ballet. But Christiano complicates this trope in ways which could be interpreted as emerging directly from his sexuality.

“The song ‘Creep’ by Radiohead has been my personal anthem since my junior year of high school.”

Christiano unfolds Eckman’s body, exposing its pits and crevices to our view. His gestures approach, but keep stopping just short of intimacy–a few inches more and there would be sexual contact. And Eckman is unembarrassed, like a five year-old. Or a girl who desires the adult she is playing with, but isn’t sure what to do with that desire.

Dance must be a particularly difficult art form to integrate children into, and in his essay ‘Riding Red’s Coat-Tales‘ Christiano makes it clear that he is not averse to engaging in the paedophile equivalent of the lesbian poetess who, in a love poem, changes every ‘she’ to a ‘he’ before sending it to her editor:

I questioned whether casting […] a twenty-two-year-old female, to play the part of a young child compromised the integrity of Riding Red’s Coat-Tales, but decided that subjecting a real child to the Wolf’s sexual advances (however dramatized) had more potential to reinstate Red Riding Hood as a casualty of carnal knowledge in the eyes of a conservative public than to, alas, celebrate that knowledge as proof of autonomy.”

Was Eckman therefore a kind of substitution for Christiano? In his dream world, would his ideal partner in this dance have been a child?

grotesquery

Christiano spent his childhood coping with being odd and eccentric. He would then spend his adolescence and adulthood coming to terms with the Monster and Predator archetypes that society blindly assigns to all paedophiles (he makes repeated references to these in interviews and in his writing).

At the same time he was devoted to an art-form that is preoccupied with physical beauty and grace.

In the above sequence Christiano assumes postures which are angular and uncomfortable. We see hints of an insect struggling on its back, the hunch-back of Notre Dame, the splayed limbs of a komodo dragon, a scorpion flexing its tail, a urinating dog, the spastic movements of a cerebral palsy sufferer, a vulture spreading its wings, an ape, the pelvic thrusting of a libidinous disco dancer, the quadrupedal gait of a child affected by polio, a man falling through space, a swastika

We are watching a teratology.

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The need to synthesise the not-quite-irreconcilable opposites of ‘monstrosity’ and ‘grace’ was a powerful motor to Christiano’s art. When these opposites combine the result is unsettling – the viewer is held between the conflicting forces of fascination and fear. The common word for this is ‘creepy‘ – it is used for when a stigma that is meant to be kept hidden shows.

“…I was destined to become a monster, I was terrified.”

Just as the monsters in Christiano’s work draw on Society’s archetypes of ‘the Paedophile’, so I believe that the grace that pervades his work embodies what he knew to be the true nature of his love for little girls.

A friend remembers Paul Christiano

I first met Paul when he appeared on the public GirlChat forum. He was very intelligent and articulate, and his troubled life provided him with a strong sense of service to his fellow MAPs. He was very thoughtful and polite in the sharing of opinions and providing support for others. His arrival there was shortly before he was “outed.” After that occurred, he never let the turmoil this obviously made of his young life deter him from offering help to others. With his promising career in dance and choreography no longer being so promising after the revelation that he was a MAP, he spent a large amount of his involuntary free time helping other MAPs deal with the anxiety of being reviled and the need to manage their attractions legally. Never did he allow his problems stop him from helping others, and never did he take his problems out on anyone he worked or associated with.

Paul Christiano - 2012
Paul Christiano, 2012

In short, Paul was a terrific human being, and the mistake he made that ultimately destroyed his life insured that he knew better than to judge others. He never allowed that to let him to succumb to bitterness or hatred towards anyone. The fact that he refused to hate society back for what it did to him taught me more about compassion than a hundred sermons on the topic by a member of the clergy ever could have.

Paul never failed to call me when I asked him to, and whenever I had a problem I knew he would be there for me. Despite the constant inner turmoil he endured due to being shamed on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life, he never let this anguish show in his public persona, but found his outlet of expression in the artistic work he had a talent for — much like many other tragic artists throughout history. His pain translated into a creative way of providing succor and insights to others. This has allowed many to profit emotionally, philosophically, and aesthetically from the work that Paul was never himself allowed to profit from financially.

Paul spent his final years participating in various interviews and even an online documentary to let his story be known. He did much to advance understanding about MAPs and to offer proof that we are human beings, and not the vile caricatures depicted by the media. He became a tireless advocate of his community’s well-being, and his work with the MAP support group B4U-ACT enabled him to help that same community establish some very important and ground-breaking dialog with the media and the mental health industry. He was a true pioneer, and he was determined to derive the most good out of the tumultuous situation that a single mistake put him in. I’ve met many people in the MAP community whom I love and respect as amazing people during my nearly two decades of association with it, but Paul was one of the top of that august list.

When I heard he had taken his own life, I was devastated. I didn’t know about the final travails that caused him to unjustly face a long prison sentence due to being forced to live in a logistically impossible situation. As a result, I deeply regret being unable to offer him my support. It may not have saved his life, but I really wish he had come to me with the problem so I could have done my best to try, especially after he had done so much for me. But Paul made up his mind, and didn’t want to be talked out of his planned exit from the world. I just wish he knew how highly he was regarded, and I hope he has at least found the peace in death that the system refused to let him have in life.

Paul Christiano deserves to remembered as far more than yet another “pedophile” statistic who became a casualty of a hateful society. He deserves to be remembered for who he was as a person, and all the time and sacrifice he put into helping others; for making the best out of one of the most emotionally trying situations a person can find themselves in for as long as he did; for everything he gave to the world of dance, along with all the unfulfilled accomplishments he would have contributed had he been allowed to continue his career unimpeded; but most importantly, he deserves to be remembered for giving so much to the world despite all it took from him.

Dissident

V

This blog recently explored the idea that ethical paedophiles make many positive contributions to children’s lives through deeds informed by qualities proper to the expression of any form of love (moreover, I have argued elsewhere that no form of love requires more selflessness, generosity, tenderness and restraint than paedophilia). But the secrecy with which we must cloak our sexuality means that, whilst this virtue may be credited to us as individuals, it is never credited to us as paedophiles.

This invisibility extends beyond our interactions with children to all our talents, achievements and merits.

Sappho, Tchaikovsky, Alan Turing, Henry James, Colette &c are all acknowledged by our culture as having been homosexual. And consequently they provide irrefutable testimony to the potential humanity, talent and value of homosexuals.

But Society won’t tolerate any association between ‘the paedophile’ and positive attributes such as humanity, talent, creativity and virtue. Whenever society learns that a person is a paedophile their talents and achievements are, by whatever means necessary, nullified. And anyone who tries to establish such an association, even if they have been entirely celibate, is punished as harshly as those who have broken the law.

If the person is an established historical figure, or if their contributions are too great to be excised from the culture, then Society instead obfuscates their paedophilia (e.g. Lewis Carroll, Benjamin Britten, Michael Jackson).

Paul Christiano was a major talent who committed a minor offense, one comparable to the possession of a class C drug for personal use. Christiano escaped a prison sentence, but received a life-sentence when he was placed on the Sex Offender Register. The restrictions imposed on him could not have been better designed to extinguish his talent or, failing that, his life. It took fifteen years for things to march, sufficient, to that end. Society, using the means at its disposal, prevented a paedophile it had ‘outed’ from using his passion and his talents to make the world a better place.

***

Difficult friend, I would have preferred
You to them. The dead keep their sealed lives
And again I am too late. Too late
The salutes, dust-clouds and brazen cries.

(Geoffrey Hill – from ‘A Valediction to Osip Mandelshtam‘)

 

36 thoughts on “A Miracle Interrupted: Remembering Paul Christiano 1976-2015

  1. >>>>>>I think many people have a percentage of their sexuality that is paedophilic but has to be awakened in some way – by an encounter or by exposure to erotic material <<<<<<

    What I think now is that all people are capable of being sexually attracted to and/or sexually excited by any other human being, (or object or scene or non-human animal) irrespective of age or biological sex. A homosexual merely is someone who prefers their own sex, a zoophile merely is someone who prefers the non-human, and a paedophile merely is someone who prefers the prepubescent. Hence, we all are capable of any sexuality, of any sexual excitement/act, even those which go against our primary preferences.

    If this view is correct, then child pornography is incredibly dangerous and subversive of the heteronormativity which Western cultures maintain as acceptable, and non-perverse. (Excuse the “p” word, please.) Children, as almost anyone who isn’t a determined sourpuss, will agree: children are vibrant, joyous, and alive in ways which the majority of adults have long forgotten. What this means is that the majority of adults are attracted to children, long before the thought of sex has entered the adult’s head, and are, therefore, easily seduced into sexuality with a child to whom they are attracted. (That was, and remains, a particularly tortured sentence, but I believe I have said what I want!)

    Your comment “I wasn’t a paedophile before a particularly charming little girl turned round and smiled at me. “ supplies a personal meaning to what I’m saying. But, there are some further comments to make:

    What I am talking about is basic human sexuality, i.e., everyone is physically capable of every sexuality, and is psychically capable of every sexuality in different social and personal contexts. (Simplistically, situational homosexuality/paedophilia/etc. NB: I do not mean situational rape or similar acts against the will of the other person or persons.)

    That this is the case says nothing about those who prefer their own sex and identify as exclusively lesbian or gay; nor does it say anything about someone who identifies as being an exclusive paedophile.

    Now, the is where I begin to get in trouble, because my view entails that there is not such thing as paedophilia, homosexuality (male or female), zoophilia, and so on, except in cultural and social senses. The error of our period of time, is that we believe the labels mean more than they do; in fact, we believe that the labels we use mean that the thing actually exists.

    This is a can of worms. I have opened it previously in a letter to Tom, who didn’t like the idea for one reason or another. Recently I discovered that y reply had not been sent… hmmm… bloody yahoo. So I hope he reads this! It is in many ways my reply to his letter of long ago.

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    1. Hmmm, that comes over as more dismissive of paedophiles and homosexuals than I intended.. What I was trying to say in fact was little more than we all have all sexualities within ourselves.. I’m not putting any of the down, not even my own somewhat normative heterosexuality.

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    2. BJ, I want to ask – will you return to active blogging one day? Your last blog post is from December 2016, and the last one not art-related was posted in October 2016. Don’t you have somnething more to write a blog post about?

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      1. Ah, well, Explorer, that is a question I have been asking myself for some months. You could say, with a degree of accuracy, that I have been experiencing a late mid-life crisis.

        As matters stand at the moment, I think I will be taking up writing again shortly. There are some matters I want to write about, e.g., ethics/morality. I tend to disbelieve in moral standards, and even ethical principles, to some degree, so I would like to write about that, especially as it relates to sex generally.

        In the meantime, however, I am slowly revising some essays on paedophilia/adult-child sex, which I hope to self-publish in the near future. In any event, on the art front, I have received a few photographs, from a very disposable email, from someone determined to remain anonymous, that I probably will write about sooner or a little later.

        I guess, when it all boils down to it, that it is too late to change direction. Must work out how to continue as I am, and hope to achieve a little clarity here and there.

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        1. >”There are some matters I want to write about, e.g., ethics/morality. I tend to disbelieve in moral standards, and even ethical principles, to some degree, so I would like to write about that, especially as it relates to sex generally.”

          My next post, all being well, should be an attempt (possibly vain) to work out an ethics of paedophilia from first principles. A big ask, and I may fall on my face. But as Robert ‘Gravy’ Browning said “a man’s reach must exceed his grasp”…

          I’ll be interested to read your response to this still-unwritten essay, BJ.

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          1. >>>>>>an attempt (possibly vain) to work out an ethics of paedophilia from first principles.<<<<<<

            Well, you know I'll read and comment at any stage of the writing, but, I wonder, just what do you mean by "first principles"? Were they handed down by Moses? Or?

            The difficulty, as far as I am concerned, is that there is no basis for ethics/moral rules apart fro culture/society.. Moreover, one really needs to consider the role which ethics/morals play in our quotidian lives, and the answer is surprisingly little for most of us. (see chapter One of Harry Frankfurt's The Reasons of Love. (Princeton Uni Press, 2004)

            Perhaps, for paedophiles, the situation is such that the consequences of being caught are so severe that at least the law is kept in mind almost constantly. But morals? You see, to treat someone well is not necessarily to treat the according to moral rules or ethical principles. Is being nice a first principle? Hmmm…

            I look forward to reading your essay.

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            1. ahh, to give a full response to your comment I would have to reply here with the full essay that I have yet to write. But I think ethics (not morals) can be based upon more-or-less indisputable facts – there are certain facts that have ethical repercussions – the fact that time is, for all intents and purposes, unidirectional is one of them, as are the many things that make children both fully human, but also very different from adults – what I call their ‘dual status’.

              Anyway I’m really looking forwards to writing this essay – I’m not sure where it’s going to take me – but that’s part of the fun of it.

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    3. I can concur with you, BJMuirhead, that occasional situational attraction can occur in non-pansexual individuals, where they may feel atypical pangs of attraction for an individual who is outside their normally narrow range of gender-centric or chrono-centric attractions. This is especially true if it involves an individual who bears an anatomical similarity to their usual focus of desire. For example, a 12-year-old girl who can pass for 21 may be found attractive to various teleiophiles (until they find out her true age and end up wracked with sociogenic guilt and shame!); or a truly feminine looking transvestite can be attractive to a heterosexual male teleiophile (who may be quite taken aback once they find out that she was actually a “he” in an anatomical sense). Or, on a more personal note, because I look so young for my age (late 40s), and also act much younger, I have here and there caught the interest of a much younger woman in her early 20s, only to have her cease considering me as a romantic partner once she finds out my actual chronological age (because it would “weird her out” to date someone so much older than her due to societal conventions; because her parents and friends would give us both a very hard time if we became a couple; etc.).

      However, I do not believe that the realm of human attraction is completely mutablel, and that everyone is potentially attracted to everyone else as a matter of course. Are there sociogenic factors that determine someone’s romantic and sexual choices in any given society or time period? Of course there are, as my personal experience reiterated above makes clear. I do believe, though, that broad and narrow attraction bases, i.e., a diversity of preferences that hold true as a rule–even though there are always exceptions to rules–is the natural biological and emotional norm for the human species. Socio-cultural norms/expectations and even purely economic factors will influence our coupling choices and decisions, but I think our primary attraction preferences ultimately hold fast in most cases, beyond the realm of choice, even if they must be conducted in secrecy.

      For example, Liberace was not attracted to women, and could not “choose” to be, no matter how much such “flexibility” would have immensely worked to his benefit, as he confided to his boyfriend Scott Thorson, when the latter first told the entertainer he was naturally bisexual (see Thorson’s excellent autobiographical book describing his relationship with Liberace, Behind the Candelabra, and/or the made-for-HBO movie version). All of Liberace’s attempts to date or be sexual with women were forced on his part, and thoroughly unfulfilling. Despite what seemed to be his in-denial mother’s fondest hopes, her famous son never met just the right woman to capture his heart and loins, and lead him away from his fully exclusive interest in members (pun intended, I suppose) of his own gender.

      Why do I mention this? Because too often, those who hold the ideology that labels are entirely synthetic and that everyone is naturally or potentially pansexual if they meet the “right” person outside their natural preferences; or if they happen to live in a highly open-minded society, develop a preening, self-righteous bullying attitude where they admonish anyone who refuses to have a romantic liaison with someone whose gender or age falls outside their natural preferences, if they should happen to be someone with a normally narrow attraction base and are not fully pansexual.

      Pansexuality should be looked upon as a wonderful gift and a great form of romantic flexibility for those whom nature has bequeathed it. However, pansexuality should never be considered an ideal, a form of social or political expectation, that all should try to live up to. Attempting to impose pansexuality on others, such as drubbing them for refusing to consider accepting the overtures or advances of someone whom they are truly and naturally not attracted to for anatomical and/or emotional reasons, is a form of bullying that can even escalate into moralistically rationalized acts of sexual harassment. Having been someone subjected to this in the past by a few male pansexuals, I can readily attest to the profound feeling of anger and violation this can inflict upon you. To be more specific: because I, as a naturally heterosexual male, was not interested in considering them as romantic and/or sexual partners; one of them said I was “fucked up” for that reason, whereas another told me he was disappointed in me because after several discussions he had the impression I was “more enlightened than that” and hence “above” such limits on who I would consider as a romantic partner.

      The problem with such attitudes should be obvious. Whom we are attracted to oftentimes has nothing to do with our level of enlightenment as a person, or how progressive-minded we are, etc. For instance, a bisexual man who is truly attracted to many other men but avoids dating them due to having a homophobic family, or has his own moralistic misgivings about homosexual relations, can perhaps be called out on suffering from a lack of enlightenment, or bowing to societal or familial pressures (presuming the prevailing laws do not actually make it imperative that he adhere to certain restrictions, of course). However, someone who is simply not naturally attracted to the anatomical and/or emotional traits to be found in fellow humans of a certain gender or age group, and who even may find their anatomical status to be repulsive and/or their personalities highly unappealing in regards to forming a romantic attachment, cannot be “open” to such relationships on the basis of “enlightened” ideological stance.

      Now do not get me wrong, BJMiurhead, I am not saying you are behaving that way yourself, nor do I see any evidence that you are trying to promote or push pansexuality as an ideal via a quasi-scientific insistence that it’s the natural state of all human beings. I am simply offering a cautionary statement as to how, if we are not careful, such a promotion can and has led to a form of reverse prejudice and bullying that presents itself as enlightened thinking, much as many politically organized misandrists (yes, of both genders!) have tried to promote blatant hatred and prejudice towards all males as a type of enlightened “opposition” against bigotry and oppression.

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      1. Mr D., Hi!

        Today, I have traveled, as passenger and driver, some 600 kilometres, and can’t give what you have written more than a passing glance. For that reason I am going to print it, read it , and comment on it tomorrow and the next day.

        I do want to say, however, that I in no way imagine that we can choose our sexuality, and nor do I think that you, or anyone else, should change the unchangeable. Nor did I mean to imply any such possibility. For me, the question is simple: what is human sexuality at its most basic, most foundational. It is this which we build on and create our sex lives out of, as designed (?) by culture… and so on. Situational instances of unusual sexual reactions (turned on by a man, for a hetero, perhaps, or by a kid, for an old old man, perhaps, or….) serve to point toward this “foundational sexuality. They do not serve as a hammer to force someone to try to become other than what they are, . But for me they do serve as a means of criticizing the labels we have given various sexual behaviours.

        Like

        1. Thank you for the reply, Mr. B! It was quite fair 🙂 I actually forgot until you mentioned it that some people find it easier to digest an “involved” online essay or post by printing it out and reading it the old-fashioned way.

          Like

          1. Apologies for taking a few days to read and get back to you, Dissident, and whomever else is reading this.

            I want to start with the notion of a pansexual, and the first thing I want to note is that I have no real idea what people may mean by it in terms of self-identification. However, Kim Rice, in the International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality has this to say:

            >>>>>>>>Pansexual refers to a person who is sexually, emotionally, romantically, or spiritually attracted to others, regardless of biological sex gender expression (of masculine or feminine characteristics), or sexual orientation.
            …………
            >>>>>>Pansexuals recognize the capacity to fall in love with or be attracted to people who are male, female, bigender, transgender, gender queer, intersex, or agender (lacking gender or not identifying with a particular gender).
            …………
            It should be noted that pansexuality (from the Greek pan, meaning “all”) refers to the capacity for attraction to any or all genders and sexualities, not to all sexual acts or all people. This is an  important distinction in understanding pansexuality. Pansexuals, like others, may or may not be attracted to another person; they simply do not limit their capacity for attraction or love based on the conventional concepts of male and
            female.<<<<<<<< (DOI: 10.1002/9781118896877.wbiehs328)

            As a definition, this strikes e as all but meaningless: anyone can be pansexual on this definition; indeed, I could be classified as pansexual because I am spiritually attracted to nearly everyone I meet. Damned if I want to have sex with them, however.

            As a specifically sexual orientation which rejects binaries, however, pansexuality clearly accepts at least one binary, viz., adult-child. Indeed, if we accept Rice's comments quoted above, a pansexual necessarily would accept paedosexuality as an option, as a viable sexuality, moreover, a "true" pansexual surely would not "limit their capacity for attraction or love " to adults alone.

            Let us also consider the following, also from Rice: ". Other definitions include that sexuality does not require a specific human focus and that plants, animals, inanimate objects, and concepts can be sexually exciting."

            A concept by itself can be sexually exciting: we are beginning to enter DSM territory, because the concept of paedophilia may be exciting and a pansexual does not limit their desires according to mere convention.

            I’ve rambled through this stuff about pansexuality for one simple reason: My view is nothing like this.

            My comments on sexuality and the notion that all people are capable of being sexually attracted to and/or sexually excited by any other human being, (or object or scene or non-human animal) irrespective of age or biological sex is based on the notion that outside of culture, and outside of morality and ethical principles (all of which are culturally specific), sexuality seems to me to be nothing more than pleasure, which has the not necessarily desired consequence of children.

            Arguments, be they biological, secular or religious, to the effect that the purpose (telos) of sex is necessary for the continuation of the species, i.e., for the production of children, seem to me to be nonsense. Without pleasure as the goal (telos) of desire and sex, there ain’t gonna be no kids.

            If we accept, as I obviously do, that morality, and sexualities themselves (i.e., hetero- bi- homo- pan- sexual), exist only withing cultures, and that their conceptual content differs from culture to culture, from place to place, from time to time, then our basic human inheritance is that we can be sexually attracted to anyone at any age, etc. Whether or not any particular person’s sexuality is mutable in the sense of being able to change it here and now because they no longer want to be an x-sexual, is a matter for another day.

            Importantly, it is my view that situational sexual attraction, experiences and desires can and do occur only because our most basic sexuality is pleasure. This is, I believe, the sexuality we were born with. What is becomes after, as we grow, is an entirely different matter, it’s cultural, familial, epigenetic, and more.

            Orright, Hope that has explained my position a little better.

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  2. Beautiful.
    While thinking about Paul i’d like to point to the dancing of Belgian singer Stromae near the end of this video:

    Too bad this song, this exceptional cry for a return to mentoring intimacy has not struck a chord with the youth of today. Only half a billion views on Youtube…
    .
    B-b-illion?

    Paul’s family was robbed. I totally respect his decision to end it. And he could have choreographed for Stromae for starters.

    Good discussion here too. Registry isn’t about efficacy in protecting children. It is like war and we are the perennial losers even if we are clear non-combatants. I’m treated almost as if i were a sex offender just because i open my mouth. I don’t know about fighting back in a big way myself, and i’m clear i only want secession, not revolution.

    It’s great to know there are reform fighters working from inside:
    https://www.womenagainstregistry.org/

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    1. Hi Heath,

      The Stromae video is quite disturbing and with a powerful message (is Stromae big on your side of the puddle?). It would have been interesting to see what Paul would have done with this music and scenario.

      Since writing the post I occasionally find myself hearing a piece of music and wishing that I could see Paul dancing to it. Gluck’s ‘Dance of the Blessed Spirits‘ (from the opera ‘Orpheo ed Eurydice’) came on the radio yesterday. Despite being an atheist, I couldn’t shake the idea that Paul might be one of those blessed spirits dancing to music of such heartbreaking beauty.

      Thanks for the link to ‘Women against Registry’ – one can only hope their campaign is effective. There are many horror stories in the ‘innocent victim true stories’ and the site has introduced me to the term ‘predophile’ – a portmaneau of ‘predator’ and ‘paedophile’).

      It’s reassuring to see that women are playing an important role in introducing nuance and reason into issues around child sexuality, paedophilia and offending. I was looking at an article on Lenore Skenazy’s excellent site – ‘free range kids’ yesterday. Whilst there’s no sense that she is pro-paedo one certainly gets the sense that she’s anti-hysteria.

      Skenazy proposes that children use the three Rs – ‘Recognize, Resist, Report’ – to protect themselves – ‘Recognise’ standing in for ‘Recognize that no one can touch where their bathing suit covers.’

      Personally I prefer the three Es – ‘Educate, Empower, Enjoy’. ‘Enjoy’ standing in for ‘Don’t allow anyone to do anything sexual or sensual with you that you don’t Enjoy or feel fully at ease with’.

      Like

      1. I don’t think Stromae is particularly well known in the US or Canada. I’ve read a handful of articles about him each year since i ‘met’ his music in 2014, and this is the best:
        http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2015/4/29/stromae-america-tour.html
        It links to several of his hit songs, effectively summarises his history, and addresses the question of his lack of popularity in the English-speaking Americas, written as it was during his 2015 US tour.
        I think he is just the sort of ‘star’ who would have worked beautifully with Paul, and may well have been inspired to risk his popularity (to which he seemed little attached) in order to include us in his rainbow perception of humanity.

        I recall Skenazy’s clear-headed rebuke of the foolishness over the plush truck with that loose approximation of the Good Humor logo…

        Blessed spirits and Good Humor be with us all!

        Like

  3. I cant really add much, here. I didn’t know Paul, either…He was attracting my attention, though, because, other than myself [or Nigel], Paul was one of the first media producing/engaging MAPs I started to pick up on and feature.

    It blew me away, listening to his interview regarding B4U-ACT…Things were changing…and, as often happened…I felt so inadequate, having all this drive, energy and gusto…but not being able to do that, myself.

    It was obvious, this was a very special person…

    As it were…he killed himself about a year later…if that…I could only put up a brief memorial, as I didn’t know much about him…but knew someone important to us had died.

    Thank you for writing and sharing this, LSM…This is precisely the type of thing I envision, from when you were discussing that website idea last month.

    Like

    1. >”(… but at least he succeeded with that suicide thing. I just recently failed. Fuck, I envy him for this.)”

      I’m not sure what to say in response to that: part of me wants to say “please don’t” and part feels like sending you a “sorry you failed in your suicide attempt” card.

      The first reply is selfish. Being a paedophile in contemporary society can be a form of hell and the person who dissuades someone from committing suicide is not going to be the one who has to live that person’s life for god-knows how many more years. I think people should be able to decide when to end their lives – such decisions can be rational and reasonable. My father – suffering from a chronic illness – would, in all honesty, be better off dead. We treat dogs and cats with more humanity than we do ourselves, since we are willing to take the responsibility to end their suffering when that suffering becomes excessive.

      The second answer is wrong because well, why is it wrong..? I don’t know how old you are Melorder – in a way I hope you are young (i.e. under 35)- because if you are I can reassure you that many things that are unbearable when young get easier as you get older – the passion and the desire dims, and so does the hope – and that is merciful; one resigns oneself more readily to the idea that life falls short of one’s dreams and aspirations and finds value and inspiration in lesser things than love, passion and desire. The episodes of despair are fewer and briefer.

      Of course the flip-side of this is that the moments of joy are fewer and briefer too – but I can contemplate now, with reasonable sanguinity, the likelihood that I’ll never again have a lovely little girl sat on my lap, getting over-excited or staring deep into my eyes too long. A decade ago that thought would have taken the breath out of me as surely as if I’d been hit in the solar plexus. Nowadays, I think it, feel a twinge, feel thankful that somewhere in my past I’ve had some such moments, then go out into my garden to watch the kingfishers.

      Anyway – I hope that your troubles ease. Don’t be one of the fallen – we need good minds like yours.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for your detailed answer. I choose the “sorry you failed in your suicide attempt” card. There should be a service which would put every card received via mail behind glass somewhere in a public space in every country and bigger city.

        BTW, while I’m quite a pædophile (if only those security cameras could talk about the faces I make to them when seeing a cute li’l girl…), my suicide reasons were entirely different. Anyway, why do you think I’m a good mind?… 🙂

        To be a bit on-topic, I tried to look up Paul in Wikipedia, but
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Christiano
        redirects to
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_Humanity_Institute
        What the hell? Poor dude doesn’t even deserve a Wikipedia page?

        Like

        1. >”Anyway, why do you think I’m a good mind?… ”

          Haha – I recognised the typical sense of humour of your nationality in that question.

          Maybe it’s just my feminine intuition…

          I’ve certainly seen you do interesting things in a field in which we share an interest, but which isn’t paedophilia.

          >”To be a bit on-topic, I tried to look up Paul in Wikipedia, but
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Christiano
          redirects to
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_Humanity_Institute
          What the hell? Poor dude doesn’t even deserve a Wikipedia page?”

          Yes, there’s a Paul Christiano who teaches something to do with technology, and who occupies quite a presence on the internet.

          And you’re right – there should be a Wikipedia page for Paul Christiano.

          Is there is anyone out there who knows anything about setting up a Wikipedia page I’d be happy to work with them to set one up for Paul.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for writing about my friend Paul Christiano. The legal system clearly tormented him until his death. He had to use another address on the sex offender registry because he could no longer afford to commute to work. He was barely making enough money to live on because he couldn’t maintain a job due to his sex offender status. We really have to get rid of these sex offender laws. They ruin lives.

    There was a documentary by Amelia Evans about minor attraction. Paul was filmed for it, but we haven’t heard anything from Amelia since Paul’s memorial. How disappointing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. >”He had to use another address on the sex offender registry because he could no longer afford to commute to work.”

      That makes the injustice of it so much crueller. It really is insane that these Sex Offender laws persist. Even the police and the criminologists say they don’t work and do much more harm than good. But, of course, politicians both partake in, and must pander to, the mob mentality.

      Re the Amelia Evans documentary – I have found this – the photos at the top of both pages look to be of Paul:

      http://independent-magazine.org/2015/05/10-to-watch-2015-amelia-evans/

      http://www.lef-foundation.org/NewEngland/MovingImageFundGrantsDirectory/tabid/230/g/1306/Default.aspx

      there’s also the following:

      I’m guessing that B4U-ACT must have ultimately been the match-maker for Paul and Evans. I wonder if it’s worth contacting them to see what’s happening with this film.

      What chronology I can piece together from the above suggests that she will have been filming in Summer 2014 – and that the project was still live in May 2015 – with a lot of work in the can. I wonder if Paul’s death derailed the project? I also know that documentaries can take a lot longer to edit than to film.

      If I can find a contact for Amelia Evans I’ll email her and ask her what is happening.

      Like

      1. If one completely dehumanises another group of people in one’s mind, if one percieves them as fiendish monstrocities devoid of anything valuable in themselves, when no cruely is enough. No matter what atrocities one has comitted against the demonised group, they still would be not satisfying. For the one demonising other, only a complete extermination of the other will be sufficient.

        And – this is especially said – “demonisers” usually cannot be dissuaded, cannot be shown that their super-negative asssessment of others is objectively incorrect. Any attempt of critique will be met with fury, rejection and censorship – as any attempt to refute the misconceptions about paedophilia outside the Paedo-sphere demonstrates. For “demoniser”, any critique of the demonisation dogma is perceived a kind of “demonic seduction” that has to fought by silencing and persecuting the alleged “seducer”.

        And, as for Paul Chritiano – I wish him good journey outside this tormentous world. No matter where is his spirit now, I hope it is better for him there than here.

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        1. thanks Explorer –

          >”No matter where is his spirit now, I hope it is better for him there than here.”

          I hope so too. His spirit, for me, speaks in his work – I know that after I’ve handed in my keys and gone to join the silent majority I’d like best to be remembered through my art. Today is the second anniversary of the public announcement of Paul’s death. I’m going to watch ‘Two Sides to every studio apartment‘ then go into my garden and watch the sun rise behind Mount Vinson

          Like

      2. That makes the injustice of it so much crueller. It really is insane that these Sex Offender laws persist. Even the police and the criminologists say they don’t work and do much more harm than good. But, of course, politicians both partake in, and must pander to, the mob mentality.

        Indeed. I think Explorer put it very well in his response to you, but if I may add: I don’t think too many people care about the effectiveness and even outright cruelty and counter-productive factors regarding the sex offender laws. To many of them, these laws are not fully about that (if at all). After all, how can constantly tormenting someone put them in a stable mental state? For that matter, how can disallowing a group of people to achieve gainful employment help them reach a level of stability?

        To many, these laws are not so much about protecting children as a form of vindictive revenge and venting against someone who offended their sensibilities in a most extreme way. Transgressing against the concept of the Innocent Child, and invoking the image of the paradigm’s close cousin, the Exploited Child, is like violating a strongly held religious conviction in a theocracy. They want the Kind person in question to be hurt, tormented, inconvenienced, and just flat out punished simply for being alive, and for the rest of their lives, whether they are in or out of prison.

        Kinderfolk have been heavily dehumanized, so humanitarian ethics are not applied to them; they are seen as fair game for what would otherwise be considered “cruel and unusual punishment.” They are the Other, and “Others” are not considered protected under laws or cultural conventions that are supposedly designed to protect people from callous mistreatment. These laws and regulations may not serve the cause of justice, but they do quite nicely in satisfying a desire for revenge.

        As you yourself noted, politicians are more interested in getting re-elected and pandering to popular sentiment than they are to applying legal conceptions of justice to an “Othered” group. They also largely benefit from the increase in governmental power over the lives of all common citizens in society that these laws result in. The average person is often so filled with an emotionally charged desire for vengeful punishment against whoever may be The Other that they willfully overlook the fact that any group of people being subject to draconian laws is usually a first step towards gradually broadening the number of both groups and individuals who will be subject to such repression in the future. Politicians are well aware that unbridled emotion often overcomes reasoning and principles, and this is why moral panics and hysteria have traditionally played right into their hands.

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        1. I very much agree, Dissie, I think that publicly-accessible Sex Offender Registries are a form of communal sadism – and the effectiveness or the ethics of it are, to the mob, irrelevant. For them no sentence is sufficient. Living in a country where there are no such registries (I’m not even sure that there are SO registers at all) – it seems that countries like the US are in the grips of a kind of insanity. But engaging with Paul’s story really brought home to me how such registries undermine a person’s life – imagine what Paul would have gone on to do, to create, if the ‘registry’ had just been private, or not existed at all. I don’t get the impression that the restrictions imposed on Paul served any purpose in reducing his liability to ‘offend’ – I think he’d long decided that he wouldn’t cross any lines. The cp was a mistake (whether cp should be a crime at all is another question – is cp illegal because it allows the state to more thoroughly monitor and persecute paedophiles?)- but most people who make small mistakes are allowed to learn from them and move on.

          How many men and women, how many adolescents, who, like Paul, are driven to suicide by persecution and stigmatisation but that we never hear about? Who commit suicide because they believe what society tells them – that they are monsters – and because they are indeed good people, can’t live with themselves?

          Have you received the email I sent? Thanks again for your contribution – your personal knowledge of Paul brings a vividness and humanity to the essay that I was not able to. I’m sad that I never knew Paul and never will.

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          1. Email was just received, will reply soon!

            I know it’s sad that you will never get to meet Paul in person, but at least through studying his body of work, it will be like you knew him after all, as a surfeit of his feelings, thoughts, concerns, and talents are fully on display therein. It’s not the same as the pleasure of knowing the man in person, of course, but it is most definitely something, and it allows Paul to touch the lives of people long after his untimely demise. The Kind community, as well as the many outside our community who appreciated what he contributed to the world of dance/choreography–and will forever yearn for what more he could have done if only he wasn’t hurt by the vengeful laws of the system–will see to it that he is never forgotten. Perhaps a book should be written, and/or a documentary, dedicated to covering Paul’s life, all that he contributed to the world, all that he suffered, how his gentle nature proved that MAPs are not monsters, and what his life story says about the persecution and ruination of lives wrought by these draconian and shaming sex offender laws. It will be a lesson that many can learn from, including those who sit in the exalted seats of government.

            As for whether CP should be legal or not, that is a subject best covered at length in a blog of its own, but I will make my basic opinion known: It should certainly not be illegal, and should in fact be reasonably regulated by the government, who can all but remove its potential for unsavory practices by keeping it from going underground. These are the reasons I say this, in short:

            1) Criminalizing CP is a form of censorship, and even “a little” censorship in a purportedly democratic system goes a long, long way towards starting, or at least aiding and abetting, witch-hunts and rationalizing censorship on a wider scale via an incremental basis.

            2) Yes, I will admit that CP and sexting can potentially cause humiliation to younger people who may later regret its proliferation, either immediately or at a later point in their lives. However, supporting its criminalization for that reason is sometimes well-intentioned but nevertheless emotion-driven overcompensation as a “solution” to that particular problem. This humiliation factor can be be largely nullified not for punishing people for viewing these images or vids, but by doing something our society should have accomplished by now: opposing the very idea and practice of shaming others for sexual expression, denying people jobs on the sole basis of alleged sexual impropriety, or in any way judging people for sexual precocity. The problem of shaming is to be blamed on our societal mores, not on the availability of erotic depictions of children in imagery or art. The criminalization overlooks this important matter.

            3) Good people like Paul, as we well know, have their lives ruined simply for viewing said images. Is this type of ruination seriously less severe and better justified than whatever type of ruination a person may be imagined to be subject to because of others seeing their nude pics or vids, underaged or otherwise? We need to seriously think about that, only this time with our reasoning faculties and not our emotions.

            4) The criminalization of CP does indeed, as you alluded to, serve the purpose of enhancing the surveillance powers of the government to hunt down people collecting or even simply viewing the images–not only over MAPs, but all society in general, and neatly provides a rationale for this type of privacy invasion. It also rationalizes vast swaths of tax-payer money put into not only these huge surveillance operations, but also in costly entrapment schemes and encourages the media to demonize everyone who has ever looked at such a pic, or thought certain thoughts while looking at it, as reprehensible monsters. It is very similar to what has been wrought by the War on Drugs. Is this seriously less invasive than people looking at erotic pics and vids of younger people, whether fantasizing about it or not?

            5) It has gotten to the point, as was inevitable from the start, that criminalizing CP has resulted in younger people themselves being arrested, convicted, and shamed on sex offender registries, thus proving the main purpose of these anti-CP laws are not to “protect” kids from “exploitation” or combat “child abuse,” but to suppress the very idea, let alone documented evidence of, child/youth sexual expression.

            6) It’s a form of thought control, Plain and simple. If the law can justify punishing people for their thoughts while looking at this or that image or reading this or that text, what else could it rationalize punishing us for in the future? For what we may dream about while in REM sleep? If we should be found out to be yearning for the “wrong” things, even if not within the context of looking at certain imagery or reading certain texts? I wish I was being flippant here, but I’m actually not.

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          2. >>>>>> is cp illegal because it allows the state to more thoroughly monitor and persecute paedophiles?<<<<<<

            I am going to go out on a little limb of Kincaidian truthiness here: Child pornography is illegal for the simple reason that we all love it. What?

            It was Kincaid who pointed out that American (and by extension Australia, UK, etc) like their children sexy and, if not submissive, then so darn cute that we just don’t care about their behaviour. It was Kincaid who pointed out the hypocrisy of liking children sexy and loathing the paedophile, because, after all, we are all theoretic paedophiles as long as we like or movies full of sexy children.

            I am being a little silly about this, but only just. We all, paedophile or no, like the sexy provocative child of the movies, and what this suggests to me is that a lot of “innocent” cp may well be liked by the majority (of porn users, at least).

            Never having seen cp, beyond Hollywood’s best and worst, it is difficult to say, especially as I personally kew one man who was bound, raped and bashed repeatedly by three men, the whole lot being filmed and sold over and over again for more than twenty years. I know that this is not the type of material being talked about here, and I have read enough of what most of you have said to be confident that films such as that would horrify you, as it did me when he was relating his story.

            BUT, when the average person who watches the network news thinks of cp, this is the type of stuff they are thinking about. It also is the type of material that psychologists are shown in their training (or so one psychologist assures me, having seen this type of material during his training).

            I have rambled just far enough fro my main point, to almost repeat myself before posting: Cp is presented as being the worst, most horrifying material, and I suspect that this is because most would enjoy it if they saw it, especially if it is anything even vaguely similar to Hollywoood’s treatment of sexy young children.

            Enough said, or this will turn into a long essay full of qualifications, caveats, and more…

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I think you may have a point BJ – that restricting access to CP might be a way of preventing paedophilia from spreading. I think many people have a percentage of their sexuality that is paedophilic but has to be awakened in some way – by an encounter or by exposure to erotic material – I wasn’t a paedophile before a particularly charming little girl turned round and smiled at me.

              And, I mean, watching a beautiful little girl in the bath my thought is ‘you don’t need to be a paedophile to find her beautiful – maybe ‘sexy’, but not captivatingly beautiful.

              On the other hand I wonder whether the easy availability of homosexual porn that can be enjoyed in the privacy of one’s own hand has increased rates of homosexuality? I wonder if all the current alphabet soup of sexual identities – LGBQTPDQSOB – is down to people being able to find a more accurate reflection of their sexual identity through the amount and variety of pornography available nowadays – when I was a student all I had was the dodgy book-shop with a back room next door to Victoria Station – the choices were limited – women, women with big tits and men – and, with the children’s section of the clothing catalogue, those were the identities that I carved out my sexual identity from.

              I’ll have to give James ‘Kinky’ Kincaid a revisit. I liked his ‘Erotic Innocence’ but got bogged down with all the post modernism at the start of ‘Child Loving’ – but Tom has assured me that once past that chapter it’s worth reading.

              Like

        2. >”the Exploited Child, is like violating a strongly held religious conviction in a theocracy.”

          This is basically it. They do not even care about what the input is on behalf of the child. If the children likes what they’re doing or not matters not to them at all when it comes to upholding these ridiculous values they seem to establish as guiding principles over their own kids. Despite of that, they do not see this act as forceful, even though with close out of the box observation, you could easily identify how currently children are being held against their will in order to satisfy the stereotypes that are imposed to them via their “mentors”, which is in reality these people aren’t even mentors, they are manipulators, which is ironic since that’s what they call us as. However, if they really think that raising children this way in general, rather than letting them explore their healthy curious thoughts, then I cannot see them as any more than that. Whatever they may call it as “protecting” them, it is not about that at all, otherwise, the children’s say would be of extreme importance. What have come over humanity to think that prohibiting children from growing by themselves is a good thing? How could such thing ever be conceivable? These things makes me believe evolution isn’t even a thing. How would modern society benefit from enforcing them to not think by themselves until “you’re old enough”? They do not need to wait when they can start right there and now, if they are willing.

          Like

      3. “If I can find a contact for Amelia Evans I’ll email her and ask her what is happening.”

        The film’s website says ‘Minor Attraction is currently in production. All media requests, details about anticipated release of the film and inquiries about how to support the production should be made by email. [unvoicedmedia@gmail.com]’ http://minorattraction.weebly.com/

        Like

    1. Thanks for that ‘person’.

      Paul was indeed an inspiring person – one of the functions of art is to let us know that we are not alone, to tell us that others have experienced and struggled with what we are enduring alone. His art has profoundly moved me. I think there is no art-work I know of that speaks quite as deeply and articulately of the condition of the paedophile in contemporary society.

      Thanks for the link to the Bobby Griffith film – I was not aware of his story.

      Like

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