Let’s say, theoretically, I’m a pedophile.
I’m not stupid or evil, so I’m not gonna do anything. I’m not even gonna look at porn. I don’t even look at kids in public, and anyone of whatever orientation who’s been to a crowded beach knows how hard that can be.
So what the fuck should I do? Chemical castration? But I haven’t DONE anything and I don’t plan to. Am I obliged to tell anyone? Good way to lose friends and get the shit kicked out of me. Can I keep babysitting my friends’ kids when they need a hand? After all, if I were into adult women, people wouldn’t see anything wrong with leaving me alone with a couple of those.
My sex drive was put together wrong, Dan. What the fuck do I do? Live alone and hope Japan starts producing affordable sexbots before I’m too old to care?
You know, theoretically. If I were a pedophile.
Knows It’s Wrong
“My heart goes out to people to whom nature has given something as powerful and as distracting as a sex drive and no healthy way to express it,” says Dr. James Cantor, a psychologist and the editor in chief of the research journal Sexual Abuse. “Pedophiles are not the only folks in this position, but they are by far the most demonized, regardless of whether they have ever actually caused anyone any kind of harm.”
My heart is going out to you, too, KIW. As I’ve written before, we should acknowledge the existence of “good pedophiles,” who are burdened with a sexual interest in children but who possess the moral sense to resist acting on that interest. It’s a lifelong struggle for “good pedophiles,” and most manage to succeed without any emotional support—to say nothing of credit—whatsoever.
Unfortunately, science doesn’t know much about pedophiles like you, pedophiles who haven’t done anything, because the social stigma is so great that most nonoffending pedophiles never seek treatment. And what research has been done, says Cantor, isn’t very encouraging if you’re looking to free yourself from your attraction to children.
“There is no known way of turning a pedophile into a nonpedophile,” says Cantor. “The best we can do is help a person maximize their self-control and to help them build an otherwise happy and productive life.”
The psychotherapies that are available, says Cantor, “were designed to assist people who have already committed an offense. These therapies have less to provide to people who already have the skills and drive to keep themselves from ‘acting out.’” Your best option, according to Cantor, may be the one you’re clearly not too enthused about: “Castration, both chemical and physical,” says Cantor, “can indeed be used to eliminate or take the edge off one’s sex drive.”
“Nonoffender pedophiles have told me that chemical castration has given them relief,” Cantor adds. “So it’s unfortunate that we use the term ‘chemical castration,’ which evokes all kinds of emotions. When you get right down to it, we are talking only about taking the same medication used by, for example, prostate-cancer patients—some cancers are accelerated by testosterone, so blocking testosterone is part of the treatment.”
And as for babysitting …
“It is true that a regular, heterosexual man is not going to commit an offense against every woman he finds attractive; however, most women are capable of recognizing when an interaction is starting to go south. Most children are not. So although there is every reason to believe that there exist cats that can successfully be in charge of the canary, it’s not a good idea for the cat to be the one making that call.”
So no babysitting for you, KIW—to protect the kids, first and foremost, but yourself as well. If it ever comes out that you are a pedophile and you were in the habit of babysitting-without-touching, your friends are unlikely to take your protestations—you’ve never touched a child—at face value.
“I wish I had better news,” concludes Cantor. “I also wish that more people did good research on this so that one day I could have better news to give.”
One of the reasons given for the nomination of Pope John Paul II for sainthood is that he “whipped himself with a belt, even on vacation,” according to a new book. If that’s what it takes, why isn’t David Carradine a saint? What is the link between Catholicism and sadomasochism? As a former seminarian, perhaps you can explain this.
When Holiness Is Painful
First, I was in the preparatory seminary—a high school for boys considering the priesthood—not a full-blown seminary, WHIP. (I stopped considering the priesthood when it dawned on me that I could still wear dresses, fuck boys, and live in a big house filled with Catholic kitsch without becoming a priest.)