VirPed Panel: 09 June 2024

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  • VirPed Panel: 09 June 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.

“y” asks:

Opinion on AAM(Adult-Attracted Minor)?

I’m coming from the perspective of growing up as an exclusive pedophile, so I don’t have first-hand experience of being a minor with a teleiophilic (attracted to adults) orientation. But isn’t it normal for teenagers to be attracted to adults? Don’t most non-MAP teens have crushes who are adult movie stars, singers etc? Don’t most of them watch adult porn? Obviously, teens date fellow teens and have crushes on them as well, but the media and pop culture seems to portray teenagers attracted to adults as pretty common (Stacey’s Mom by Fountains of Wayne springs to mind).

So why the need for the AAM label? Are there minors out there who think their attraction to adults is rare? Do they have zero attraction to other minors, thus being the inverse of exclusive MAPs? But if they’re attracted to adults, then when they become adults they’ll just be regularly teleiophiles, right? I personally haven’t interacted with anyone who identifies as an AAM, which may explain why I’m confused about the label. As it stands I don’t see why it needs a label, but I’m open to anyone who thinks otherwise. One thing is certain, though: even if a minor did confess that they were attracted to me, it would still be unethical for me to do anything sexual with them.

AAMs are an oddity. I can’t relate to their experience of being attracted to much older adults. I think there are very good reasons for keeping romantic and sexual relationships with adults separate from them as we do with cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana. There are complications that come from being in a relationship with an adult that are not confined to sex and can result in harm.

If we are talking about young people who have started puberty, I have doubts about the usefulness of “adult-attracted minor” (and would want to know more from any individual who identifies in that way what it means to them). The way some societies (including the US) are set up, children spend the vast majority of their time with others who are very close to the same age. Naturally people tend to be attracted to the people they know and interact with. Having the same experience and life situation would also tend to make people attractive to each other. But outside of that artificial restriction, things are quite different. Girls in particular will tend to be attracted to more masculine, mature, confident, richer men – even in their late teens or early 20s. Some girls have bad crushes on male teachers. Some high school or even college age girls/women will say they don’t date people their own age because they’re not mature enough. Boys may have a harder time making headway with fully mature young women, but many would certainly like to.

If we are talking about pre-pubertal kids, they rarely feel strong sexual or romantic attraction. Maybe there is some for some kids, but I think there is usually a dramatic surge in such interest when puberty hits that makes many (most?) adults consider anything of that kind they felt earlier as kind of quaint. This concept of the “adult-attracted prepubescent” is I believe wishful thinking promulgated by the “pro-contact” pedophiles who think adult-child sex is just fine, and these are the partners who are just pining for adult sexual attention – and if any exist they are a very small group. (Some have been taught through abuse that sex can get them good things, and they might qualify, but it’s a result of pathology, not something normal and natural).

Somehow today large segments of society have decided it’s horrible if an 18-year-old boy feels attracted to a sexually developed 13-year-old girl. As far as I can tell, it’s just that they hate the prospect of any such relationships so much that they have to also condemn the underlying feeling. Evolutionary biologists would have quite a puzzle on their hands if adult men felt no interest whatsoever in females of their species who look like they could get pregnant (and often can). The healthy way to deal with seeing an attractive underage girl is to notice it, not judge yourself for it, not focus on it, but certainly do not do anything sexual with the girl. Even if the girl comes on to you. You may be happier arranging your life so you don’t cross paths with such girls more than necessary.

I didn’t have a lot of exposure to AAM’s growing up. At 14, I was attracted to boys my age and younger. Then my age of attraction froze and never got any higher as the years passed. I have had some exposure, as I aged, to relationships between 14,15 year olds and 18 to 20 year olds. In some jurisdictions, those sexual relationships were illegal. Sometimes they weren’t. Generally, society seems to recognize that it isn’t unusual for a mid teen to have a romantic attraction to say an adult teacher.

How common is it for a younger child to be adult attracted? That is certainly a somewhat controversial question within the MAP community. Sometimes those who may be labelled pro contact or contact neutral argue that younger kids are more likely to be adult attracted than not. I have seen no evidence that’s true, and consider it somewhat delusional. That said, it does exist. I’ve seen some evidence of that, although that younger child may be looking more for a protector, than a romantic/sexual partner.

I am non-exclusive. At 11 I realised I was gay, and was attracted to boys my age, but I also felt sexual attraction for men a lot older than me, say, in their 30s. This seemed pretty normal to me at the time, and something that heterosexual girls my age talked about experiencing too. It seemed common and didn’t need a special label in the way ‘gay’ did.

Years later, I noticed “AAM” accounts on social media, but left them alone as unsuitable people to interact with. I think over time I came to regard a lot of such accounts as fakes (either adults pretending to be teens to get access to real teens, or ‘pedophile hunters’ decoying).

If AAM is also a real thing experienced by actual minors, then I assume it means they can ONLY be attracted to adults and are incapable of attraction to peers. If that’s correct, I guess that’s non-normative. I can see how it could be distressing, since they wouldn’t feel comfortable seeking relationships with their peers.

However, unlike pedophiles, time is on their side. They will grow into a better fit with their attractions. Pedophiles never can.

The existence of underage people attracted to adults doesn’t change my opinion on adult-child sexual contact. It is wrong, for all the reasons stated on the VirPed website, and more.

I don’t think anyone gets to have an opinion on someone else’s identity. Identities exist to empower people who want to express information about themselves. Excluding cases where bigots make up identities to mock people or make certain groups look bad, all identities fulfill that purpose, whether we understand them or not.

For example, most cisgender people (myself included) don’t understand what it feels like to be a gender other than our assigned gender at birth. However, transgender identities still deserve our respect because they are a critical way for trans people to express and experience the disconnect between their assigned gender and their gender identity. Trans identities serve a purpose for trans people, regardless of how anyone else feels.

My view on AAMs is similar. To my knowledge, being attracted to adults as a teenager is developmentally normal for non-pedophiles, and I don’t know what it would mean for that to be an aspect of one’s identity. However, some people feel that those attractions are important enough for them to use the AAM label, and it costs me nothing to respect this thing that is clearly important to them (obviously, this would not extend to inappropriate relationships).

As for whether AAMs are real, I know a few people who use the label to express a real aspect of their identity. Granted, there are bigots who appropriate the term to make MAPs or real AAMs look bad, pro-cs who hide behind the label while pushing false claims about abuse, and minors who call themselves AAMs while seeking out inappropriate relationships with adults, usually due to grooming or a bad financial situation forcing them to do anything they can for money. But as with other identities, the existence of bad actors (or kids who are victims of awful situations) is not a reason to gatekeep or censor people who use that label to convey information about how they perceive themselves and want others to perceive them.

It shouldn’t need to be said, but an identity does not justify ignoring the mechanisms put in place to protect children. Adults who receive sexual advances from any minor are responsible for rejecting those advances and should encourage the minor to seek whatever support they need to stop. Likewise, any adult who seeks out an inappropriate relationship with a minor should be held accountable. The minor’s identity labels change nothing about that.

I honestly wouldn’t want to interact with any minors that were attracted to me. It sounds pretty painful to deal with emotionally, though it’s not something I would ever feel in danger of ever acting upon.

Of course AAMs exist. You (the person reading this) (assuming you’re a teleiophile) know how attractive adults are. Maybe that’s not what the question is asking though.

It seems fairly mundane, but I guess some kids feel like they need the label. I think that’s fine. Let them be. They’ll figure out who they are. That’s the whole point of growing up.

This is a difficult one, as I really don’t feel like I should sit here and have an opinion about a group of people I don’t know too much about. And to be honest, I think a bunch of pedophiles talking about minors who are adult-attracted might be seen as a bit weird. Nevertheless, I do know that it happens that children, even prepubescent ones can get feelings for adults resembling an attraction. It might be strong and persistant for them aswell. I do hope that they have the safe, trusting adults around them for them to talk to about it, if they feel it to be difficult. Luckily for them, their attraction will later be normal, they will grow older and they will most likely still be attracted to adults. It ain’t that way for us.

I wasn’t aware of that term (AAM - Adult Attracted Minor) until this question came up. To my knowledge it’s not unheard of for young people (teenagers, preteens maybe) to have or develop crushes on adults (for example schoolchildren having crushes on their teachers, or kids fancying movie stars, singers, etc). Do those count as AAMs? Or would an AAM be someone who is primarily attracted to adults more consistently, in a more general sense (i.e. not someone who develops crushes on specific adults) If the latter, it’s not something I have any re-callable knowledge of.

I don’t have much of an opinion on them, other than wondering why they feel the need to label a fairly normal attraction. It’s more common than not for older teenagers, especially, to have some degree of attraction to adults.

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