This is, in a nutshell, why it’s a good idea there are NOMAPs on twitter.
I’m a non-offending MAP. “MAP” stands for “minor attracted person” and is a more sciencey term for what is conventionally called a pedophile. Which probably made you shudder.
However, I don’t do bad stuff to kids because I am that special type of pedophile known as “non-offending” and “anti-contact”. A lot of people cannot compute this concept because all pedophiles want to hurt kids, right?
Not right. I wrote the below series of tweets after a long, frustrating conversation with people who basically wanted me to die even though I have never done anything illegal or dodgy as regards my pedophilia. Here are the facts, and the reason we’re on twitter.
- Some people (me included) are anti-contact MAPs. We did not choose to be attracted to minors, and we have gradually come to realise that because we didn’t choose it, we don’t have to feel shame that we have this attraction. We can’t change it; we prefer not to live under a rock forever.
- Other MAPs (often younger ones) are only just discovering their attractions. They have good intentions but they hear the daily lie “pedophiles are ticking time-bombs; it’s only a matter of time before you offend” and they are terrified it might apply to them.
- These MAPs feel stigmatised for what they are and decide it’s wiser to keep it a secret. They decide it’s too dangerous to talk to other people about it, to ask for help or sometimes even to think about it too much. So they have to work on this entirely alone.
- Where does a person who can’t talk to other people turn? To the internet. At this point there are three messages they can hear: [a] you’re evil; kill yourself; [b] society is wrong and touching kids is OK or; [c] you’re not evil BUT touching kids or viewing child porn are not OK.
- If they listen to message [a] they’re going to have a terrible life, perhaps harm themself, which may affect the lives of other people around them. If they listen to [b] they could seriously hurt a child or children. These are both the wrong answer to this issue.
- They need to be helped to live a valued, law-abiding life, whether that’s professional or peer support or resources or moral friends. They need it quickly too and without too many conditions. They don’t need reporting if they’ve committed no crime.
- Now for a tricky part. While the attraction to minors is wholly involuntary, dealing with it day to day involves voluntary choices, which are not easy to make…
- The first and easiest decision is to choose never to harm a child and to accept that consent is impossible. Every anti-contact MAP accepts this as the most basic part of being anti-contact.
- A second and much more difficult choice is whether to tell non-MAPs in your life that you have these feelings. With society as it is, there is no right answer to this. Occasionally it might be a good idea but it’s really hard to predict the consequences.
- A third choice is what to do with the feelings inside your own head. Will you fantasise about minors (which hurts nobody) or try to ignore or suppress the feelings. Again, there’s no one right answer to this one for everyone (I say: no harm, no foul).
- In debating the various choices with yourself and others you’re going to think a lot about what MAPs are most like. Are we like gay people? Like kleptomaniacs? People with an illness? People with a genetic condition? People in such-and-such victimised group or another?
- In reality, we might be a bit like some of those things but never exactly like any of them. Ultimately, minor attraction is most like minor attraction. It is unique and calls for a unique response.
- That response therefore has to be based on the facts of minor attraction. [a] It’s unchosen; [b] currently incurable; [c] includes thoughts which harm nobody and [d] need not involve actions which do harm children.
- That last point — [d ]— is where all our attention should go. If our efforts to prevent abuse by MAPs fail, that is the point that will have gone wrong. In other words, getting upset and angry that pedophiles have sexual fantasies about kids is a gigantic, irrational distraction
- Yes, get upset that abuse happens, but understand the simple fact that not all abusers are MAPs and not all MAPs are abusers, nor destined to be abusers. THEN we can work out how we prevent potential abuse by the MAPs we can reach.
- And in the meantime, don’t ban us (the convinced anti-contact MAPs) from twitter, don’t shut us down. Let us do what we can do in a society that mostly doesn’t want to hear about this aspect of the problem. And let @StopSO_UK @virpeds and others help us.
If this makes sense to you, why not find this as my pinned tweet on twitter and retweet it to your followers. @BlyRede