I discovered my attractions in my 50s and I knew I’d never act on them, so they never troubled me much
I’ve read the six testimonials included in this collection as of today. What will strike outsiders is not so much what they contain as what they lack — the authors are not child molesters! They describe complicated and often painful lives within that premise, but that is the premise.
My story lacks that too, of course, but also lacks something else — the anguish. I didn’t discover I was a pedophile until I was in my 50s. I had strong attractions to women or girls my own age through my 30s, and the ups and downs of my emotional life largely revolved around how things were going with such relationships. I am most definitely a non-exclusive pedophile.
As an adult I found 13-year-old girls to be especially attractive, and as I surely was not going to act on it, this didn’t trouble me. I realized some other people thought it was inappropriate, but I was comfortable with holding unpopular beliefs in many parts of my life.
When I was younger I got a lot of education, worked hard for political causes, married, helped raise three girls, and started a successful career as a software engineer. Then in my early 50s I reached a period of mid-life questioning. Now my career was unexciting and on a glide path to retirement, I was divorced, had an empty nest, and realized I would never get remarried. I decided to see about doing things for just me, and one was looking at pornography — I had considered it off limits before. Much was unappealing, but I liked barely legal girls if they were smiling. That was porn, but there were also innocent pictures, including smiling girls in bathing suits. This provided a new dimension, because while no one is below 18 in ordinary porn, there is no lower age limit to innocent pictures. This was around 2005, when images began appearing in a flood on the web, accessible via ever-better versions of Google Images. The age of girls I found most attractive kept getting lower and lower. I ended up with a peak attraction at age four.
I found some pangs of embarrassment at this, but nothing major. I had long since adopted a philosophy of life that clearly separated feelings from actions. Feelings are complicated and messy and inconsistent. You can accept them, even a flash of the shocking idea that you wish your parents would die. There is nothing immoral in your thoughts and feelings. What matters is how you behave towards others. Ideally, you channel your feelings into a single way of acting that is what you mostly feel and that is in line with your best impulses. So an attraction to children fit this pattern. There was nothing wrong with viewing innocent pictures in the privacy of my own home, and of course the children would never know.
Now some aspects of my past made sense. I had often felt a special sweet pang for young girls in my life. I was sometimes aware it had a vaguely romantic component, but I felt nothing sexual. My realization now was that I had been hiding the sexual aspect of the attraction from myself, and the romantic component was a full-fledged romantic attraction.
With other demands on my time fading, this attraction to children was getting to be a focus of my life. Of course I couldn’t act on it, but I began to resent that I had to keep it a secret. I wanted to be known for who I was, and I couldn’t be. The existing forums all seemed to encourage the idea that adult/child sex should be legalized, and I disagreed strongly. Nick Devin had the vision for an anti-legalization pedophile organization, and I realized that was just what we needed and joined forces with him. Virtuous Pedophiles was born in 2012, and five years later all signs are that we have created something of lasting value. We’ve received a lot of press and partly as a result of our efforts the concept of the virtuous pedophile is becoming more widely known and accepted. There are many good-hearted people who had just never considered the possibility of a non-offending pedophile before.
We also wanted to run a peer-support forum. Once we hung out a shingle on the virped.org site for pedophiles who don’t want to abuse children or even talk about making adult-child sex legal, the flood gates opened. We have received roughly 3,000 email inquiries from pedophiles who share our vision. Many who join have found the peer support group valuable, including some of the authors of the other testimonials. But most tell a tale of great suffering, and I hadn’t really thought much about people like that or even known that so many exist. I’d already been married and raised children and easily made peace with my attractions when I discovered them. I just wanted to have my attraction accepted. Everyone else had suffered so much, typically when they realized their attraction in their teens.
I had started my explorations as a form of mid-life selfishness. One thing led to another and as co-founder of Virtuous Pedophiles I have come to find myself at the center of political action again, including serving a whole bunch of people who are suffering unjustly. It is an engrossing and rewarding retirement project. I was deeply involved in political projects when I was young, and once again I’m working to make the world a better place.
The activism hasn’t replaced my own private fantasies of young girls.
Compared to everyone else’s, my personal story is boring. Maybe there’s a place for letting boring pedophiles know that they are not alone either.