The below are answers given by selected members of the VirPed forum who are all pedophiles. They are speaking for themselves and not for the organization.
“Anonymous YouTuber” asks:
What was your initial reaction upon discovering that you were in fact attracted to minors? Did you simply accept it or was there some form of internal wrestling?
It was a while ago, so my memory is hazy, but there was definitely no acceptance in the beginning. The feelings of “oh-no”, guilt, shame developed quickly. An unhealthy acceptance developed at some point between then and two years ago… Meaning I ‘accepted’ that I must be a bad person, and I also allowed myself to believe that I must therefore be destined to offend/do something to a child one day. That gave way to a healthier, but still unhealthy acceptance (“Ok, I’m never going to do anything to a child, I respect them too much for that and I have self control… but I still feel like a creep/monster/bad person for having these desires and this interest in little girls)… And finally, after joining virped, the healthiest, ’true’ acceptance developed (Actually, I didn’t choose to have these feelings and nothing I did caused me to have them, I am therefore not at fault/guilty because of them, and they’re just feelings un-acted-upon. Yes I had sought out and looked at things I shouldn’t have, but I’m human, and a little bit of guilt about that is a good thing because it stops me from repeating that behaviour)
Lots of denying, trying to make myself believe that I would somehow grow out of it. After about 10 years of denial and not seeing any change, I eventually began to accept it.
Deep denial. First I thought I was just gay, and I spent a good deal if time denying that. It also took me awhile to understand that my attractions weren’t normal. At first I figured everyone must be interested in people who are a bit younger, but as I got older and older… it didn’t take me too long to figure it out. Being able to acknowledge or verbalize “I’m a pedophile” that only came within the last year. It’s been a long time wrestling. A decade plus.
I can’t really talk about “discovering.” I was attracted to young children when I was a child myself, and I never stopped. Many times I wondered why, and tried to stop being attracted, but that only lasted so long. I suspect that part of it goes back to moving out of state just before puberty; girls my own age weren’t willing to “play doctor” with someone they just met, but younger girls were still available.
My pedophilia simmered in the background during the 25 years of my first marriage. Five of my siblings were sexually abused as children and nearly every family I knew had a history of CSA. I assumed that all guys liked little girls but I also knew that it was wrong to act on the attraction. Society convinced me that I would eventually offend. I did not consciously acknowledge my pedophilia until I was 60.
I initially looked for information online. Though I got lucky and came across the Virtuous Pedophiles website fairly quickly, I stumbled into a lot of hate on Twitter shortly thereafter, and that led to me going into denial for 3 years while my mental health spiraled.
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I tried not to even think about it until near age 50. Whatever it was, it was a long phase I was going through, I thought. I figured I was unique. The internet changed everything. I went on a voyage of self discovery and was really thrilled to meet others like me, who eventually, I was able to meet and it brought me out of my self protective shell. At no point did I ever consider that I could be a threat to children.