VirPed Panel: 07 April 2024

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  • VirPed Panel: 07 April 2024


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.

“K” asks:

If you were able to clear up one misconception about pedophilia, or any other form of attraction to minors, what would it be? Additionally, how has that misconception affected you?

There are so many misconceptions and inaccurate stereotypes. It’s hard to pick just one, but I’ll try to pick the major one. I think that the perception that MAPs and child molesters are one and the same drives inappropriate laws, unnecessary oppression, and general societal hatred at the idea that someone is minor attracted. How has it impacted me? I’ll just say that societal attitudes drive politicians who create laws. Some penalties and restrictions are reasonable, and serve to protect kids. Some are not and do not.

The biggest one for me is that most people consider being attracted to children to be an inherent moral failing, and that someone that is attracted to children must automatically be an evil person. It’s a sexual attraction that is never chosen by anyone. Who would be insane enough to choose such a thing? Someone can be a very good person and still have an unwanted attraction to children. It affected me profoundly when I was coming to terms with this in my teenage years. I thought I was the only person in the world that had these feelings but never wanted to hurt anyone. It was very isolating.

There’s this misconception that we have these overbearingly powerful carnal urges, and we must try really really hard to repress them or we’ll do something horrendous. I think this misconception even sneaks into academic research into minor-attracted people. Certainly, the word “urge” comes up a lot.

I think many MAPs work smarter, not harder. We don’t resist the urges, but instead find healthy outlets for them, such as masturbating to fictional sexual material, or fantasy, or age-play with adult partners. I’ve got into watching some VTubers whose personas are children, and they sort of fill that hole in my heart where romance would go.

Fat-free yoghurt. That’s the idea. It’s like yoghurt… without the fat. You want to eat yoghurt, but it would be bad if you ate fat, so you eat fat-free yoghurt instead. This is a good metaphor.

Goodness, I think we could write a book about all the misconceptions about us (in fact, some people have!) but I’ll pick one that has particularly affected me. There’s this nasty idea that our attractions are an uncontrollable impulse, that we need to be kept as far away from kids as possible because there’s a “chance” that we will molest them. We’re seen as an inherent threat to kids, a ticking time bomb. Society can’t conceive that a non-offending, anti-contact pedophile can interact with kids, have a positive impact on their lives and not cause any harm.

When I was figuring this out for the first time, as a teenager, I believed the ticking time bomb myth and thought I was an inherent threat to children. I was scared to be around them, because of the harm that I might cause. Over time, I learned that not only could I safely interact with kids without harming them, it was a very rewarding and fulfilling experience for the kids and for myself. I worked as a camp counsellor over a few summers, and I volunteer with kids in my local community. I always get a lot of joy out of doing this, and I’m absolutely not a threat to the kids I work with. Society thinks that people like me shouldn’t be anywhere near kids, which is a dangerous and harmful myth to spread as it makes pedophiles think that they’re a threat to children when they’re not, and causes them to stay away from kids when there’s no need. I can positively say that spending time with kids through work and volunteering has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

It’s important to understand that pedophilia is an attraction, it doesn’t affect our impulse control or our moral compass. If a pedophile has difficulty controlling themselves around kids, then they have additional issues that aren’t related to their pedophilia. Do we assume that teleiophiles are an inherent threat to other adults because they’re attracted to other adults? No, that would be absurd. So why assume that for pedophiles and children? The base assumption should be that pedophiles in general are not an inherent threat to anyone, since teleiophilies in general are not an inherent threat to anyone, and if individual pedophiles are a threat, that needs to be proven.

Others have already covered the more obvious ones, so I think I’ll go with the idea that the end goal for us is to no longer be attracted to kids. Though I wish I could not be into kids it’s impossible. That’s part of who I am and it makes as much sense as Gay conversion therapy, and is about as effective. The goal is to be able to handle the attraction safely and to live comfortably and happily with it. For me the point where I was happiest is when I had good outlets for my attractions that were safe and non harmful, and when I had learned to accept my attractions and that they don’t make me a predator, child molester or any other forum of terrible person.

The idea that our attraction to minors can be described as “urges” rather than simply as attraction. No one would describe, for example, a heterosexual man’s attractions as his “urges” towards women.

Others have already said the most obvious ones so I will go with the one I call the “blind gatekeeper fallacy”.

When people debate questions like “should pedophiles be allowed to be around kids?”, everyone answers, “absolutely not, I would never let that happen!” without realising that kids and pedophiles are in the same spaces frequently - and also not realising that this common event isn’t the nightmare situation they’re imagining.

This is because pedophiles are in families and communities already. We aren’t born on some island somewhere and groom our way into society on false pretences. We aren’t grown in a lab and let loose by the government.

We all have families. Many of us have younger siblings or cousins; some of us are still in school. Some of us, as teens, got asked to babysit.

Some of us work as server in retail or restaurants, as sports coaches, lifeguards, or other roles directly with the public, and kids show up there. Some of us work in social services or medicine or law enforcement. Some of us process data about people, including minors. Some of us write stuff that kids could read.

The vast majority of the kids we interact with won’t even be the right gender or age or appearance for attraction to even matter. And even if they are that doesn’t mean we would act unethically anyway.

And, yes, some of us have some sort of a formal role around minors that we discharge with complete professionalism. In a way the blind gatekeeper fallacy helps such people get on with their jobs because it prevents people considering that a competent and ethical teacher could also be a pedophile.

I think when people start to realise a member of their family or community has this attraction - and when the realisation comes absent any bad behaviour by that person - they will reconsider their idea that we should all be rounded up and put outside the city walls, or that that’s where we came from in the first place.

For me it would have to be that all pedophiles will necessarily act on their attraction by preying on a child. Following that I would say that using fictional sexual material will necessarily lead to offending. Neither is true, but both contribute great harm both societally and to MAPs. I lived a life of anxiety and paranoia just waiting for the other shoe to drop. How relieved I was when I learned that there was no such thing!

Many of the biggest and most hurtful misconceptions have already been taken. I’ll do this one. Note: I am talking to the general public here, and not the questioner.

That somehow, not talking about pedophilia as a real thing is gonna make the problem magically disappear. Push the bad under a rug and pretend it doesn’t exist. That’ll solve it, right? Most people would say no, but that answer seems to change when the topic is pedophilia. I usually like to say that suppression does not equal prevention. Pedophilia need to be addressed. Because it is real. People have pedophilia, people are pedophiles. We exist, and we don’t exist as a creepy dungeon crawler ready to pounce kids at any given moment. We’re your father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, son, daughter, nephew, niece, cousin, friend and co-worker. We could be anyone and you would not know it.

Not addressing pedophilia as a real thing, a thing that only involves molesters and monsters. That creates individuals who struggle. It creates individuals who feel alone, abandoned, with no one to talk to or share their feelings to. It creates individuals with so much self-loathing that it might drive them to suicide, or possibly offending. (I was close to the former, never the latter.)

Addressing pedophilia as a real thing, something that needs to be understood and helped. That creates individuals who can recieve help. It creates individuals who have someone to talk to, and won’t feel so alone. It creates individuals who can find self-acceptance, and in turn find the ways to live with this that makes them happy individuals. (Today, I am this individual.)

Isn’t that sacrifice worth it? Letting go of your disgust towards pedophilia as a topic, and being open-minded and understanding instead? It might save a persons life. It could also save a child.

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