I was recently talking with a friend of mine, who is also a pedophile. We were discussing how awful it is to fall in love with a child, only to recognize that it can’t lead anywhere good. That happened to him as a counselor at summer camp. He fell for a boy.
Nothing inappropriate transpired. No one would have known the feelings he had, not even the boy. Nevertheless, in the months that followed, my friend fell into a depression that tore him up inside. He had to let go of the boy, and felt much as a typical guy would leaving a woman he loved in a foreign country.
He explained to me that he decided to find something else to do this summer, rather than repeat all that again. Regarding the romantic feelings, he said…
I would read these blogs and Boylover type magazines. They all say stuff like: “be proud of who you are”, “being a boylover makes you special”, and “maybe one day people might accept us”. And I used to really like hearing that kind of thing, because of course, it makes you feel a little less like crap. But now looking back, I feel frustrated with myself for believing all of it. I think reading stuff like that often masks the truth; it’s easy to fall in love with the romance of it all. People write so beautifully that for a moment you forget just how wrong the whole thing really is. When you boil it down, there’s really no “romance” in falling for a boy (it won’t be reciprocated on his side) and after all you still end up longing for something that you really can’t have. I remember damn near crying in front of my mom over a 12 year old boy – I can only imagine how that must of made her feel knowing that her 21 year old son is torn up inside over some kid. There is no romance and beauty in that!
My friend said it just like it is. I’ve been there too.
Can I just spill it out? Here goes…
Yes, it quickly becomes a very sad story, because there is no romance on the child’s side. There can’t be.
By definition, a young person hasn’t gone through puberty/adolescence, which is the developmental stage where the brain and body prepare for a sexual/romantic relationship. Prior to that, the young person doesn’t have the mental perspective or emotional grasp to actually participate with their full identity. They can’t say “yes” to me, because how can they give away that which they don’t fully possess?
Sure, a kid might enjoy the physical stimulation and sense the emotional intimacy. But he or she doesn’t really understand what’s going on, and what it might mean for their life. They don’t understand what the relationship means to me, or what I’m wanting to get out of it. He or she is not an equal participant. Anything that I do, I do TO the kid and not WITH them. When the child finally grows up and looks back, they will likely hate me for what I stole.
That’s the simple reality of it. A child isn’t ready for sex and romance. That’s why we call them children and not small adults.
And here us MAPs (minor attracted people) are in this blatant, sad condition. Something caused our neurons to be wired in such a way that our subconscious chronological assessment is messed up. Instead of preferring adults our age, or a few years younger if you’re a guy, we are cued in on characteristics of sexual immaturity.
This raw attraction also makes us create a sort of romantic appreciation of childhood. We get emotionally connected, just like a typical guy might fall in love with a woman’s habits and personality, after first being drawn to her appearance. Our sexual response is functioning as it should, however, the targeting mechanism is off.
And so we get pulled into a false reality. We dream up fantasy interactions with kids, creating them to be what we are looking for in a partner. We imagine them to be fully engaged in the relationship, aware, and reciprocating our attention, all with their youthful charm. But no such person exists.
They are children, and can never meet our mature relational needs. If we get involved with him or her, we are pulling them into an adult experience while they are only equipped with the resources of a child’s world. We pillage them.
But what are we to do? We’re isolated with our feelings and frustration. It’s a dangerous situation. On the one hand, we could easily cave and self-justify being involved with children. Sure, it would be pleasurable for a moment, but I think there are few humans as unsatisfied in life as MAPs who abuse.
But on the other hand, we can see the situation for what it is – an errant sexual attraction. It’s not the end of the world. No one goes around 100% sexually satisfied. Sexual attraction is an appetite; that’s how our brains handle it. And, we humans can’t center our lives around an appetite, otherwise it turns into an addiction that displaces everything else. Our lives have more meaning than that.
The difficulty is that it’s so easy to get entirely focused on the feelings of attraction. The anxiety and shame doesn’t help with that. In fact, psychology tell us that tension only helps create obsessive thinking patterns. We need to raise our heads, and wake up to life again.
Yes, we are MAPs and that will always be part of our story. But your identity as a person is much bigger than that. You’re defined by your beliefs and choices. Our lives can be wonderful stories of people who championed the welfare of others, even children, in the midst of challenge.
We believe in a God who isn’t stumped by pedophilia. We are his kids too. He loves us and will join us in the midst of struggle. We need Jesus to be both our Savior and Lord. He’s our Savior in that he takes away the guilt of sin before God, so that we can run into our Father God’s arms like a little child. Jesus is also our Lord in that we obey what he says. He says we must honor God with our sexuality, rather than blindly yielding to our biological feelings. He promises to be with us through it all and bless us with healthy love and intimacy, in spite of pedophilia.
Let’s live in this reality.