Tuesday, May 15, 2018

If You Don't Say "No", It's Not Rape

I have always understood the "classic" case of rape or sexual assault. The victim says "no" and the perpetrator continues to do sexual things. It is rightly a very serious crime. I have been a bit mystified by the turmoil in recent years around people (usually women) who had the ability to say "no" to someone (usually a man), but didn't say "no", but have felt they were not only treated poorly but are victims of a crime. The Title IX offices on college campuses seem to enthusiastically support such reports and often find the accused men guilty.

The New York Times published on May 10, 2018 a collection <"45 Stories of Sex and Consent on Campus">. I'm an older guy who never was into the hookup culture, even the 1970s version, that being when I became an adult. I learned a lot from the stories.

The most common situation had these elements: a man and a woman are friendly, in a space where sex and romance are definite possibilities. They end up in private somewhere. The man makes a variety of advances (kissing, fondling, removing clothing). The woman enjoys or at least doesn't mind these up to a certain point, but then decides she doesn't want more and says "no", but after a pause the man tries again and again. Eventually the woman gets tired of saying "no" and lets the sex happen -- but resents it.

I have an idea for what a woman could say in that situation. It's roughly, "Hey, you're a nice guy, but when it comes to sexual things sometimes I want to go only so far. And that's where we are right now. You did that before and I said "no". I really mean it, and I'm counting on you to not make any more sexual advances, OK? I'm not just counting on it, but that's the way it HAS to be." I imagine that speech can be given calmly and with a smile. If a third attempt happens, the next step is to physically get out of the situation. If that's not possible, explain that what he's doing is illegal sexual assault of the kind that can get you put in prison.

In my dating life, I certainly listened carefully for "no" and watched for body language indicating discomfort. If a woman had needed to give me the speech I suggest I would feel embarrassed that she needed to, but I would certainly have respected it.

Perhaps other men would react differently. Maybe they will be hostile in the moment. But it's the longer term that seems most to drive the fear among these women -- that they will be thought of as a tease or a bitch and will get a poor reputation.

This opens up the broader question of norms and expectations. My immediate response is that men who would talk ill of a woman for saying a firm "no" are just not the kind of men that women would want to know. They should limit their attention to the men who would respect that.

But perhaps it's hard to identify such men. Or perhaps they just aren't very sexy? A few of the Times stories were of women complaining of a man asking every step of the way for permission. They found it unromantic. Reading between the lines, it was more than that -- they found the men themselves to be unattractive and perhaps even ridiculous. So it seems that men are called upon to walk a fine line -- and even worse, it's not a known fine line but depends on the woman. Imagine a scale from 1 to 10 of just how explicit a woman should be for a man to stop. Perhaps 1 is where a man should ask permission before each step and also stop if the woman's body language is not passionate and enthusiastic to each advance. Perhaps 10 requires the woman to yell or physically struggle. In an ideally harmonious society, men and women would all have the same value in mind -- let's call it 5. The cases that dominate the New York Times piece seem to be about women who think the right value is 3 and men who think the right value is 7 (or maybe as small a difference as 4.5 and 5.5). But when the woman thinks the right value is 7 and the man thinks it is 3, there is another kind of mismatch. A man could get a bad reputation from having a higher value on the scale than the woman, but also for having a lower value. The one fault is being too aggressive and insistent, and the other is being a wimp. No one is going to file a complaint against a wimp, but it's important to note how much such a reputation could hurt an actual man living in the real world.

There are two ways to make a mistake, and they are not that far apart. For comic relief, see <this XKCD comic>.

People in society can debate the right value on the 10-point scale. Feminist activists will pick a low value -- let's call it a 2. Maybe some women are arguing publicly for a 7, but their voices are far softer than the feminist voices.

What do most women really want? The 2016 US Presidential Election provided telling data. One could not imagine a starker contrast between the candidates with regards to the feminist agenda. An unrepentant pussy-grabber versus the first woman nominee -- one who also had her own strong track record on women's issues. And yet the majority of white women voted for Trump. To be fair, that doesn't mean they preferred his position, but they at the very least found some other issue more important. And for that to be true, one might think that a lot of them didn't think Trump was all that bad with regard to how he treated women. Maybe in contrast to the feminist's recommended 2, they think a value of 7 or 8 is right, and if Trump is a 9, it's not that far off.

At a certain point the law comes in to protect victims (and campus Title IX policies are for this purpose equivalent to the law). But how people relate to each other is a complicated business, and generally society allows for plenty of misunderstanding, hurt feelings and indignation before thinking that law is the proper remedy.

In evaluating the New York Times examples, I felt like very few of them described male behavior that should be deemed illegal. If a woman was not willing to give the speech I suggest, she should have no legal case.

There are exceptions -- one clear one is if someone is unconscious. Perhaps even if they are very, very drunk. But it should be a high bar.

It is relevant how women get into these situations. If you get very drunk at a party where others are very drunk and there is a lot of sexual activity going on, you are putting yourself in harm's way regarding insistent advances. This does not in any way excuse rape, but I think it properly requires a higher standard of proof and a more clear "no". If you spend the night in the same apartment with someone you don't know very well, you're also not keeping as safe as you might. If you're not willing to give my proposed speech, maybe better not to get into that position. "Blaming the victim" is the slogan that may come to mind, but that's not my point -- it is just that legal recourse requires a higher standard of proof and a clearer "no". I will unashamedly say that circumstances are relevant.

If it's important to you to only have sex that you will feel good about and not regret, and you can't tell fairly far in advance whether you're willing to have sex, and you aren't able to clearly say "no", maybe some more old-fashioned techniques are in order. Don't get drunk. Talk about expectations in advance. Go on multiple dates and do not agree to be alone in private with a man until you have established an intention to have a committed relationship. Maybe even hold off sex until marriage.

I think "affirmative consent" is one interesting proposal for where to draw the line -- maybe at position 2 on the dial. I would favor a slightly higher number, but it's part of the debate. But the standard for the law (or college disciplinary procedures) should be much higher. "No" should be what a woman said immediately before something a man did for it to be a crime.

It is also clear that many women do not actually want the number set as low as 2. We can also wonder about women's ambivalence on the subject of sex. It's a common enough idea that people's opinion in the light of day is that they shouldn't have sex at a particular time and place, but that passions and drives being what they are, part of them does want sex. One reason some people get drunk in sexual situations is to lower inhibitions and feel like drunkenness partially absolves them of the consequences of their choices. When a woman sobers up, she could blame herself, but she also may blame the man. Perhaps that blame is well-deserved within the woman's own set of values and expectations. Perhaps he was a jerk. But there is no call for law or a college disciplinary procedure to get involved.

So far we have been discussing adults. But the case of underage partners is also of interest. You would expect underage girls to be more susceptible to the various hazards involved in this situation. They are less likely to be assertive, they are less likely to be astute in judging a man's intentions or the complexities of a social situation more generally. They may be more subject to physical pain. They also will likely have little experience with how the emotional aftermath of various sexual experiences can play out and be more susceptible to regret.

Sex at any age has the potential for emotional turmoil. But for adults, the danger is offset because it is also a vital part of the good life. Feeling good about your place in the world may depend to a significant degree on whether you are having good sex. Young teens may also crave sex, but "I'll get to this when I'm a little older" is a reasonable story to tell oneself. And in any event they have (or should have) the ability to have sex with peers.

That combination of factors is why I favor an age of consent. Men should be deterred from sexual activity with such girls for fear of the consequences. I toy with the idea that if an underage girl does not come to feel that she was wronged, then prosecutors should not pursue the case. But that is not the same as a lower age of consent. Regret matters. Consent can be withdrawn retroactively because it was insufficiently informed and all a man had was "willingness". Legal sanctions are appropriate.

But for adults the situation ought to be very different. If a woman is not extremely drunk, and she does not take the opportunity to object to a man's sexual advance at the time he makes it, then she has consented, from the legal point of view.

Of course the situation can arise in any other pairing of genders of the possible perpetrator and possible victim.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Reply to Danny Whittaker on Todd Nickerson

Danny Whittaker has a website "My Own Worst Enemy", and recently took the unusual step of interviewing Tom O'Carroll for nearly 3 hours and posting the entire interview, <unedited>. Tom O'Carroll is a pedophile activist, and he has been in favor of legalization and acceptance of adult-child sexual activity for a long time. In 1980 he published "Pedophilia: the Radical Case" to promote his view, and he has never wavered from it, as with the passing of decades society's views have become ever more intolerant of the idea.

Whittaker includes a 38-minute introduction to the interview, where he defends and explains his decision to interview Tom. One thing he explicitly considered was going to Virtuous Pedophiles to find someone to interview, and he gives his reasoning for rejecting that approach. My main purpose in this post is to analyze the reasons he gives and rebut them.

He is correct that central to the concept of Virtuous Pedophiles is the idea that many pedophiles never molest children. He reasonably notes that if we are all or mostly lying about that, it undercuts our position. No one can prove definitively that they do not molest children. Whittaker says Tom with his radical agenda has nothing to hide -- but if Tom had ever physically forced himself on a struggling boy, it would undercut everything he says. Whittaker himself has no way of proving to us that he's never molested a child. But he offers specific reasons for doubting Virtuous Pedophiles in particular.

To interview a virtuous pedophile is "pointless because, having seen the comment sections underneath these articles about Virped, most people refuse to believe or just care about the non-offending claim." This fiercely independent thinker is now justifying his decisions by appealing to what people put in comment sections.

"...it's just like a ticking time bomb ... and to be fair ... I don't think [the public who writes comments's] suspicions are entirely groundless". He notes that Todd Nickerson was the most famous Virped example "angling for sympathy by claiming that he's never sexually abused a child, never would, because he knows the harm it can cause because he himself suffered abuse as a child. However, it was later discovered that Nickerson had been posting in forums".

He makes it sound like Nickerson was devious, hiding his past. But in the original article, Nickerson says "In the midst of that dark era in my life, I discovered an unhealthy pedophile forum... Many of its most influential members were pro-contacters ... I found myself taking up the same pro-contacter chants, if only to feel like I belonged somewhere." That's perfectly clear, without going into detail about things he no longer believes. There is no dishonesty or subterfuge here at all. Nickerson's supposed deviousness and untrustworthiness is the key claim that underlies much of the rest of Whittaker's argument. Based on a faulty premise, it collapses.

Here's the first place it leads: "... if the best representative that the likes of Salon can conjure up to put forward as an example of this apparent compatibility between pedophilia and virtuousness is somebody who sounds like they're only committed to virtue so long as they're under duress to do so... If the virtuous aspect of virped is seen by some of its members as just a hurdle to be scaled rather than a grounding principle, then sort of what's the point? Because virtuous pedophiles minus the virtue are just pedophiles."

But let's go back to what Nickerson said -- suicidal, confused, desperate to fit in with the only group who didn't hate him just for existing. Whittaker describes his post as, "if the law were different and we lived in a more sex-positive society he would indeed engage in sex with a child if she was in love with him and she both wanted and initiated it." There are a lot of conditions there that will never in fact be met, but the girl's welfare is central to his thinking. He's not saying that he'd molest her if he could get away with it. Now, society is never going to change to make such relationships accepted in the first place, so his speculations would never have been tested even if he had continued to hold that view. There were plenty of barriers to his becoming a molester, even when he was most vulnerable and thinking least clearly, but to Whittaker he's just an amoral opportunist. It's as if Todd said that if he could take a million bucks from the bank, and everyone else was doing it, and it was legal, and the bank didn't really mind, he might do it. But Whittaker, the fiercely independent thinker, ignores all that and just follows the public emotional reaction in calling him a bank robber.

Much later in his introduction, Whittaker (with admirable openness) confronts some evidence O'Carroll gave that maybe adult-child sex isn't all that bad. Finnish youth who had sexual relationships with older people found it positive an awful lot of the time. And Whittaker notes that if that's true, we ought to reconsider whether adult-child sex is wrong after all. And yet -- Nickerson at his lowest point was entertaining ideas based on this possibility, and those musings remain in Whittaker's thinking as solid evidence that he is devoid of virtue and a molester if he could get away with it.

Whittaker speaks as if Salon went to find the most virtuous pedophile they could, and if after combing through 2,000 they could only find Nickerson, then surely the rest must be awful. (They didn't actually go hunting for a spokesperson -- Nickerson approached them.) I argued that Nickerson is actually pretty good. But the truth is that Nickerson is part of a very small group -- virtuous pedophiles who are "out" to the entire world. Most pedophiles we hear of have been forced into the public eye because they've been caught committing a crime. Journalists understandably much prefer sources whose identity they can verify. But pedophiles who are "out" to the entire world are subject to devastating consequences even if they've done nothing wrong. They will lose jobs, friends, family, housing, and even their church. They risk physical violence. If journalists insist on an "out" non-offender as a source, they have a very small handful to choose from. Some journalists recognize this reality and are willing to interview pedophiles whose identities remain secret. It's not ideal, but the extenuating circumstances are compelling indeed. The vast majority of virtuous pedophiles have kept their attraction a secret, with the same skill and judgment they have used to never commit a crime. The Nickerson who outed himself way back on his pedophile forum was by his own account a dysfunctional and suicidal person. The same pain that led him to come out is related to his past pro-contact views. The fact that he's not the 100% ideal poster child for Virtuous Pedophiles is related to why he is willing to be "out". I have nothing but admiration for him and think he's done great things. But know this: the ideal poster children for Virtuous Pedophiles stay hidden. For a quick look at the variety you can find if you're willing to listen to those who remain hidden, see https://medium.com/pedophiles-about-pedophilia.

Later in his introduction, Whittaker defends interviewing O'Carroll on the grounds that he and his conservative brethren really have to look at unpleasant realities if they're going to actually make progress against child sex abuse, instead of just signaling their virtue. Whittaker thinks the general idea of non-offending pedophiles is interesting as one piece of a puzzle for moving forward. But there is one basic question in the air: is adult-child sex a good thing, or isn't it? The vast majority of the public think it isn't. Shared values are an important part of dialog between different groups. Virtuous Pedophiles shares that basic premise. But Whittaker has unfairly vilified those who share that premise, and given a 3-hour platform to someone who doesn't. It seems like a very poor choice if your desire is truly to move forward on reducing child sex abuse.

Whittaker's interview of O'Carroll is acknowledged as being painstakingly fair. But in its clarity it is still a view that conservatives (and 99% of liberals) find highly repugnant. It has the effect of presenting pedophiles in the worst possible light. It is standard fare in polarized debates to find the most extreme proponents of the opposing view and tag the entire opposition with those extreme claims. I will give Whittaker the benefit of the doubt and not claim he intended this, but it is still the net effect.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Disgust as overriding value?

Many people think that proclaiming the message of Virtuous Pedophiles is wrong. Some have launched determined attacks on us, with the result that the VP site is offline temporarily.

I always try to understand my opponents.

One sort of opponent objects on the grounds of the actual consequences. They believe that spreading the Virtuous Pedophiles message will result in net harm to children. The mechanism they have in mind isn't totally clear to me, but they may imagine harm from pedophiles who see a site that urges society to accept them, ignore the (key, central) part of the message that adult-child sex is wrong, and abuse children. Or perhaps they imagine that people will develop an attraction to children after hearing it described as something that (as a thought) might not be so bad. I think they are wrong, and at least in principle we can talk about facts. If we agreed on facts, we would end up agreeing on whether VP is OK because our shared value is reducing harm to children.

I wonder if there is a second kind of opponent. What makes me consider this possibility is Jonathan Haidt's <Moral Foundations Theory>. The basic idea is that while social liberals base their judgments of morality on "care" and "fairness", social conservatives honor those values but have additional foundations that they feel sometimes take precedence, notably "loyalty", "authority", and "sanctity/purity".

For present purposes, the key foundations are "care" for the welfare of children, and "sanctity/purity". Pedophilia -- meaning just the thoughts and not any actions -- is certainly something that violates most people's ideas of sanctity and purity. Perhaps these opponents feel that talking about pedophilia or accepting its existence violates sanctity and purity so much that it takes precedence over care for the welfare of children. Valuing sanctity and purity requires a uniform condemnation. And in fairness we cannot prove that Virtuous Pedophiles has a large effect on the welfare of children, even if we are confident that any effect is positive.

As for pedophiles themselves, we care for them (us) and we argue that there is no need to feel bad about something we did not choose and cannot change. But if sanctity/purity is your overriding value, then you might feel that such people indeed should feel terrible about themselves.

One parallel case might be parents who are opposed to sex education in schools, as it violates sanctity and purity, even if it results in more unintended pregnancies and STIs. Another might be those who think homosexuality is wrong, even if it is not a choice. I believe some Catholic priests came out as gay, while emphasizing that they honored their vow of chastity. But the Church decided that was fundamentally not OK -- the attraction itself was wrong.

If these opponents exist, it will be much harder to convince them. But at least we could understand each other and I could offer them a grudging respect for holding true to what they value.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Pedophiles working with kids -- shocking?

One recent criticism of Virtuous Pedophiles online was that we don't object to our members working with children without telling the responsible adults. Surely no organization that truly valued children's welfare would allow such a thing!

First, I get the feeling. "What? Some pedophile is working with kids and they don't tell the parents? Eeek!" I was raised to believe all the same things as you, and in my gut it makes me nervous. The only pedophiles I'd ever heard of growing up were molesters, and it is alarming for a molester to be working with children.

I now do think it's often OK for a celibate pedophile, but it's a conclusion I've reached from thinking, not just feeling. I've heard the stories of hundreds of pedophiles online and I know that volunteering with kids often works out just fine. It's true that we at VP don't condemn such volunteer work (or paid work). That doesn't mean we give it blanket approval either. We urge the pedophiles in question to pay close attention to their reactions. Is there temptation? Is it getting worse? If so, then it's time to take decisive action to make sure the kids stay safe. If that means no longer working with the kids, then they should no longer work with kids.

That aside, you may argue, surely it would be wise to confess to being a pedophile so the responsible adults can make their own decision. It might be, except for the matter of prejudice -- the huge matter of extreme prejudice.

Perhaps you think that some Russian in the 1930s Soviet Union was an enabler of Communists because he did not stand up proudly and say he was an anti-Communist and opposed to Joseph Stalin. If you know any history, you know that would have been suicide. The circumstances made it morally permissible to keep silent and participate in Stalinist society. Pedophiles today have every reason to stay silent and let no one know they are a pedophile. We face loss of jobs, family, friends, housing, social support networks -- and risk physical violence as well, even if we know that we pose no risk to children.

So perhaps you would argue that if the pedophile can't consult with the responsible adult, then he should just be sure not to work with children. It's best to be safe. But how far would you go? If a family with young children moves in next door, must a pedophile move out? If he has an extended family including nieces and nephews, should he disrupt family routines and never socialize when they are present? What if there's a good deal on an apartment that happens to be across from a playground. Is he obligated to pass on it? (An awful lot of housing is pretty close to some playground or other). All these things might seem reasonable if you think of a pedophile as nothing but a potential molester. But pedophiles are people too. Our lives are as important to us as yours are to you. How far should we go to honor that "Eeek!" gut feeling?

Consider other people who pose risks. If you're a man who is attracted to 16-year-old girls (which is most men), should you never consider teaching high school? Society doesn't think so, because it recognizes that ordinary men are perfectly capable of teaching 16 year old girls without molesting them. Many pedophiles are similarly capable of interacting with children without posing a risk to them.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Q&A from a HereticTOC thread

There is a thread in Tom O'Carroll's blog criticizing Virtuous Pedophiles. Several questions in the later comments were directed at me, but I no longer felt comfortable answering them in that blog. So I'm answering them here. I welcome replies here to continue discussion about them.


@Ethan Confused Edwards You accept ‘close-in-age expectations’ I am only assuming, why? Please explain what makes it positively different from age disparient ones. I hear this seldom by anti individuals and they never offer any reason, so assess to me why.

In this post I set the stage with many things I suspect you'll agree with.

In this post I explain why age-discrepant relationships warrant different treatment. It's a matter of competing costs and benefits, not some grand moral absolute.


Mr. Ethan Confused Edwards, How on earth is sexual activity even remotely related to smoking crystal meth? Like really? I have heard some dumb comparisons from antis and anti contacts, mostly from the former, but this is really taking the cake on being dumber than virtually all of comparisons made by dolts on the internet. (aka antis)

This question is in reply to a post I made on GirlChat: . You can search for "crystal meth".

I raised it in a particular context to make a particular point.

I was reacting to "Whether we should allow children the freedom of to choose where to invest their energies is the point of contention." This is a fairly strong children's rights view. I personally think adults rightly put limits on some children's behavior. My reply was, "I wonder if you'd feel any impulse to intervene when a child chooses crystal meth or heroin." I hoped to get the reader's support that a prohibition on children using crystal meth would make sense. It makes a person feel good and energetic. Lots of adults enjoy taking it for extended periods. I presume kids would react the same way. In those respects it is comparable to sex (though partner sex for kids is typically far less exciting). But it is addictive and has long-term negative effects. IF you accept that children having sex may have long-term negative effects (even if they are willing), then it seems to me that the situations are parallel. Arguing the long-term effects is a different part of the discussion.

So if you think it is a ridiculous comparison, I put the ball in your court to explain what is ridiculous about it.


I once read an article about VPs, describing some of their recruits; the latter were basically people who had been addicted to CP and were struggling to overcome it. It reminded me of Alcoholics Anonymous. Often people who have emerged with efforts out of an addiction become more puritanical about drugs than those who did not fall into addiction in the first place.

This may be true, but I'm not sure what the point is. When I hear people anguished about CP consumption, it usually does contain a strong element of self-hatred. But there are excellent legal reasons to abstain from looking at CP, which would apply whether a person is morally bothered by it or not.

I also noticed that some VP leaders said to be attracted to little girls aged around 4 or 6, a very young age at which consent cannot be informed.

I'm the prime example of this. I try to keep the older kids in mind too and think I mostly succeed. Yet some pro-legalization people think kids that young can consent. They know whether something feels good or not, so why not? That's the argument.

My ultimate fall-back position is, "Let the ordinary folks (teleiophiles) decide the appropriate age of consent." It's a matter of trade-offs and statistical patterns, not some absolute morality. It's easy to imagine that in some far future they would say 12-year-olds can give valid consent while 4-year-olds cannot. I understand that.

I guess that there are not many “virtuous” hebephiles, since in reality a 11-year-old can normally understand basic sexual information.

There are a great many hebephiles in VP. They presumably disagree with you that understanding basic sexual information is the criterion for adult-child sex being OK.

(cf. the studies on mentally handicapped adults, those who succeed in validating their sexual education and are thus judged competent, have in average a mental age of 10.5).

This is an interesting comparison group. A big difference is that the adults typically will have a strong sex drive, and the question pertains to whether their life-long experience will include sex or not. I suspect I would support a more lax standards for such adults.


If someone – say, VirPeds – still fails to comprehend that the war on (pro-contact) MAPs is actually the war on (sexually active) kids, there is some more info to consider.

There is a strong temptation in any argument for people to latch onto the most extreme views of their opponents. I hold a much more moderate view. I fully agree that there is a sex panic and would like to end it. Criminalizing selfies is terrible, as are making sex play between children of similar age illegal, or calling a kid under age 12 a sex offender as if he was an adult. Also terrible are sex offender registries, mandated reporting, residency restrictions, and civil commitment. As are criminal penalties that are far harsher than for other crimes that cause similar harm. But I'm against making adult-child sex legal. Good policy draws the line somewhere.

... authors who are smart enough to acknowledge the absurdity and atrocity of the CONSEQUENCES of the child and intergenrational sexuality supression, such as Satanic Panic or modern teen sexting panic, are still unable (or, maybe, unwilling? or just afraid?) to recognise this very supression as the CAUSE of these consequenses. Without accepting – and eliminating – the cause, fighting consequences is an endless and hopeless struggle.

You are implying some sort of inherent unity in this suppression -- all or nothing -- and I don't see any evidence for that.


In the discussion about the VirPeds on the GirlChat, initiated by my post accusing them of defeatism, another post on the topic was made by me – yet too late, since the debate were ending already. So, it was left largely unnoticed – or, at least, not replied to.
It would be useful to provide a link to it here:
It is an attempt to describe the reasons why societal acceptance of consensual intergenerational sexuality will lead to decrease in real (not “statutory”) rape of children (as well as of adults).
What do you think about it?

My reaction in brief was that it was largely irrelevant. You address why actual pedophiles might be less likely to rape children. There are lots of details we could argue about. But the large majority of such rapes are done by non-MAPs, that is where I would expect to see the large increases due to a much wider "she changed her mind" defense, and as I recall nothing you say addresses that.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Virtuous Pedophiles For Dummies

There are bad guys and there are OK guys.

There are guys who think kids are sexy and guys who think adults are sexy.

They're separate. There are four combinations and they all exist.

Bad guys who think adults are sexy are rapists.

OK guys who think adults are sexy are just about all the guys you meet.

Bad guys who think kids are sexy are child rapists and child sex abusers.

OK guys who think kids are sexy are -- completely invisible! If you think kids are sexy and you haven't gotten caught doing anything wrong, you wouldn't tell anyone about it, right?

You've only heard of three kinds of guys: the normal guys, the ones who rape adults, and the ones who molest kids. So all the pedophiles (ones who think kids are sexy) you've ever heard of are child molesters. Naturally you would think they are all molesters. But you'd be wrong, because the others are all hidden.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Practical advice on "coming out"

Pedophiles often feel a desire to come out -- to have their sexuality known. Here are some practical considerations.

Coming out to the world at large is very risky today for most people. But coming out to individuals is possible if done carefully.

One thing to consider is that you are placing a burden on the person you tell. If you expect them to keep this a secret, then they have to be alert to what they say to others -- to constantly monitor themselves. People who care about you a great deal should be willing to take on this burden. But consider this cost if you consider telling people who aren't so important to you.

Sound the person out first for how they feel about pedophiles who don't offend. You could give them a link to the Virtuous Pedophiles virped.org, or any of a number of sympathetic articles and ask them what they think.

Be prepared for the question, "What, are you a pedophile?" Practice a smooth "No" or "No way!" You have just as much right to say "no" as a closeted Jew living in Hitler's Germany in 1944 when asked if he was Jewish. You will surely want to use this answer if the person's reaction to the concept of celibate pedophiles was disbelief and recommending a bullet to the brain. It's a good idea to practice this even if you're not planning to come out.

It helps a lot if the person has known you a long time. They then know your character and can intuitively feel that you're not the sort of person who would molest children. If you have known your soul-mate (romantic or platonic) only a few weeks, then they know far less of your history.

People are worried that pedophiles molest children. To the extent you have children in your life, your bar should be higher on telling people. If you are the special uncle who takes camping trips alone with your niece or nephew, even people who knows you well are likely to become alarmed, even if you know nothing bad could ever happen.

Of course, if you are in serious danger of molesting a child or are molesting a child, then the situation is entirely different and beyond the scope of this post. Obviously, don't do it, and if you are doing it, stop immediately! If you can't within your current life, consider moving a thousand miles away. There are circumstances where turning yourself in to police would be the right thing to do.

It's tempting to write a long confession and hand it over instead of telling. If you really need to come out to someone and that's the only way you can do it, then I can't condemn it. But if at all possible, tell them face to face. If not, use the phone. Text messages, emails, and pieces of paper are all hard evidence. If your judgment turns out to be wrong and the person decides to "out" you to others, don't give them clear proof to show others.

One special category to consider is <romantic partners>. It is understandable if you want to get this out of the way early because you don't want to invest in a relationship which they might well end once they learn your secret. But here it is especially important not to leave any evidence. People are often hurt when romantic relationships break up. We've heard of revenge porn. You don't want their revenge to be outing you as a pedophile. If all the person can do is talk, then you can deny it and others will consider that your ex may be making it up for revenge purposes. If they have hard evidence you're sunk.

Another special category is psychotherapists. You need to be aware of <mandated reporting laws>. Once again, it is best to sound them out on the subject before admitting anything. "I understand what I say here is confidential. What are the circumstances when I might say something and you wouldn't keep it confidential?" If you live or work with children there is a higher risk, especially if you admit any attraction to them.

Finally, try to judge your desperation. It's true that if you've made a plan for suicide, it's better to tell someone who maybe can maybe help you out despite the risks. But don't post it on Facebook. Still use your judgment and start with one or two carefully selected people before you are truly desperate.

I'm not a professional and cannot give professional advice. But the advice is based on online communication with hundreds of pedophiles and my life experience.