I've apent the last couple of days doing some soul-searching. I am going to just admit it. Right now. I have not been alive long enough. I was a child of the 90s, when there were still many folks that believed that all gays should be castrated. Pedophilia, basically, was the most evil thing ever. Stranger danger was all the rage. Westley Allen Dodd was still on everyone's mind, five years later. My experience, as a gay boy, has been shaped by the fear of persecution. I've learned to be open-minded about everything. That's how a lot of kids in my generation grew up. I'm not alone on this.|
Overall, I guess I can only give you my opinion. I choose to not call myself pro or anti-contact. Instead, I guess I'm more pro-respect. I think pedophiles should respect a child's body and emotions, above all, and that it should always be up to the child whether or not to engage in any kind of physical activity or contact. If a child should want to kiss or touch or do anything, it should be respected. I don't feel that it should ever be up to the adult. Thats pretty much where I stand. I think more people agree.
I guess, ideally, that people who aren't pedophiles have difficulty wrapping their minds around the whole respect thing. That's really the big issue. The sexual offense thing is a hang-up, the way that's worded, but it also doesn't help that children are still learning a lot of other things and feel the various trials of life a thousand times more deeply than we, as adults could ever hope to. Many folks believe that a child's mind is too preoccupied and that sex adds a level of unnecessary complications. This is because sex complicates the lives of many adults. This stems from a number of different conflicting issues. Society-wise, we don't give ourselves or anyone else a break when it comes to sexual interaction.
The big problem, though, I have found (and this is coming from someone who works in the field of education) is that children, at their core, at their very essence, are sexual creatures. They just are. I don't mean to say that all children are, but children do seek out physical, sexual, and emotional interaction for as long as they exist. This is a scary concept to people, and, to be honest, I understand and sympathize with people who don't want this to be the case. Children are, in so many ways, creatures of nature who are intensely resilient and capable of thinking that is light years beyond what we are capable of comprehending, and when we experience a being who operates to that degree of poetic living, it's special. To many people, sex is something that one should keep private, and children do not believe in privacy. They can't. Ambiguity is such a dangerous thing when you're a child.
Until quite recently, I didn't think that it was possible for an adult to have a deep, emotional sensual, yet safe, love relationship with a child of any age and that pedophila was little more than a cruel curse, like vampirism or something, for those who act on their ururges and for those who don't. Without talking about myself anymore than necessary, I received a hell of a crash course in my private life in regards to this sort of thing. I don't blame this board, because what happened would have happened anyway, regardless of whether I posted on here or not. It was, however, an important life lesson.
I would be lying if I said that I didn't still struggle with this idea. It really isn't easy to accept that you've spent so much of your life being wrong about something, especially when it relates to children and you work with them and went to school to understand the psychology and logical process of children. If there were one thing that I would want anti-pedophile people to know, though, it would be that I would never harm a child or do anything to bring discomfort or distress to a child's mind or body. I would never exploit a child or demand anything of them. I would never support the physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of children, ever, and I know that many of the people here feel the same. To avoid screwing up my own life, I would never seek out or view any kind of illegal pornography. I would never do anything, ANYTHING, that would make a child feel like less of a person. Period.
I think that those of us who have slipped or made decisions that resulted in serious trouble and suffering, I have immense empathy, for both you and for the folks who may have been hurt in the experience. It never feels good to reminded of your mistakes all the time. It makes me sad that this world isn't very forgiving when it comes to these things. I also feel as much empathy for those of us who were taken advantage of by adults or friends that you trusted and were betrayed by, because I see that this has happened a lot. I could never understand the level of sadness you all have suffered. Basically, I have empathy for everyone, especially those who have never acted on their desires and struggle to find an outlet that would help ease the feelings of lust you have, because I have a feeling that this description applies to the folks who merely lurk here and have yet to post anything. You are the folks that my heart goes most out for.
Just because I believe in the idea that a child's body should be their right to do whatever they want with it, does not mean that I believe in abuse. Many folks, though, have difficulty with that when it comes to sex. So, I think the best way to go about this is to raise children in a way that is healthy. I think that it's important to not be afraid to acknowledge that a child has sexual needs that they have difficulty meeting on their own, and to have sympathy. To not automatically assume that there's something wrong with the child.
We spend so much time seeing ourselves as being mentors of children, as parental figures, that we forget about the fact that children can teach us just as much.