What It’s Like to Be a Celibate Pedophile

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According to some estimates, about one percent of the adult male population continues, after puberty, to be attracted to prepubescent children. The figure of the pedophile is perhaps one of society’s most feared, and, in part because of the deep taboo, the inner lives of pedophiles are not very well understood. This is especially true for the subset of pedophiles who feel attraction to children but who commit themselves to not acting on it; the fact is that unless they encounter the criminal justice system, we are unlikely to learn much about their behavior at all. Support groups are often open only to those who have offended, for instance, leaving pedophiles who refuse to act on their impulses without anyone to talk to.

The plight of the “celibate pedophile” recently gained media visibility when two men formed an online community of support for men and women who struggle with their sexual thoughts about kids. Their anonymous forum, which launched in 2012, has around 2,000 members who come together behind the veil of the computer screen to talk about their feelings. The founders have the express aim of “reducing the stigma attached to pedophilia by letting people know that a substantial number of pedophiles do not molest children, and to provide peer support and information about available resources to help virtuous pedophiles remain law-abiding, and lead happy, productive lives.” But how does a celibate pedophile manage his desire on a day-to-day basis? Is talking about such a taboo sexual desire always a good thing? And how does one lead a happy life when the “true” object of their sexual affection is restricted to fantasy? I spent the last month talking to (and visiting) a 62-year-old man who “came out” as a “celibate pedophile” after he discovered images of children online when his marriage disintegrated in his 40s.

Tell me about yourself.

I am 62 years old, retired after a successful career. I helped my parents through their sad final years, settled their estates. I’ve long been involved with my community and my liberal church. I have friends who I see occasionally. I helped raise my three daughters to independent adulthood. I have many hobbies like puzzles, games, reading history or books by writers like Jonathan Franzen. I enjoy foreign films, chick flicks, and comedies like Airplane. I’m very active online. But I’m divorced, and I have no prospect of any romantic relationship ever again.

Why is that?

I’m barely attracted to any women over the age of 40. I’m not a suave alpha male who can attract younger women. And I’m a pedophile, so I’m sexually attracted to children. I think small girls are just the most wonderful people, and in fantasy or some imaginary world, I’d like to be sexual with them. If I’d stayed married, I may never have discovered my true sexuality.

What does that mean, exactly?

I identify as a “celibate pedophile.” I’m sexually attracted to young girls, but I would never, ever, act on it. Other people use words like “virtuous pedophile” or “gold-star pedophile,” but I don’t like the connotation of reward those terms imply. Usually, when pedophiles talk about this, the subtext is that doing sexual stuff with 12-year-olds would be just fine if not for society’s “up-tight attitudes.” I don’t feel that way at all. Some open-minded people get it, but an awful lot don’t.

Let’s back up and start at the beginning. What can you tell me about your childhood?

I grew up in a small university town — my father was a professor. While I don’t have any major complaints about my parents, I did feel that unconditional love was absent. I was always hoping to get attention — looking for approval. Later, I realized my mom was very self-involved. When my aunt died, I read her diaries and her words validated my feelings. “Oh, my sister’s in a terrible mood and her son can’t cheer her up.” It was striking that there was this implication that a son should be responsible for keeping his mother happy.

Were her demands reasonable?

Sure — if you were totally devoted to your mother. She stayed very close to her mom, so that relationship was her model. My two older brothers were rebellious, so I was “the good son.” She wanted me to make her feel very important to me, but she wasn’t, not in the way she wanted to be. It was hard to get her attention. Support was always on her terms.

She’d aimed to be a clinical psychologist, so I had the same dream. When I was about 16, she got depressed and stopped working. I felt bad for her, but I also resented that she was letting me down as a role model. She once demanded a hug and I refused, then she said she must have raised a horrible son. I gave in but deeply resented it.

All that about a hug?

The status of hugs was in flux where we lived in the ’70s. Only the hippies and New Age people did it.

Okay.

When I was about to get married, I got a call from dad saying my mother was afraid she might “do something” to herself. He meant suicide. He asked me to help. The message was that if I was going to get married, then I would be lost to her. I said that I really hoped she didn’t kill herself, that would make me very sad, and I wanted her to live and be happy, but I wasn’t going to cancel my wedding. She came, but there a strain in the air, so I figured we could use professional help.

What did you do?

Called the family into therapy. I remember we had to think of what we wanted from the rest of the family and my mother came back with a four-page document listing things she would want from me.

But listen, I know damned well that other people have had it much worse, so I feel like a whiner. And I have thrived. I didn’t set out to complain about my mother. I can’t see any connection to my pedophilia. I’m only discussing her because you asked.

So, let’s talk more about you. What were you like when you were younger?

I picked up on everything around me, and I took criticism hard. My older brothers fought, and I had to dodge the line of fire.

In retrospect, I was definitely looking for the love I should have been getting at home. And then the culture tells you that boy meets girl and then everything is happy. It usually doesn’t work when you depend on your girlfriend to get the love you missed out on as a child. I was a nerd. I had enormous insecurities. I wondered: Will I ever feel really good about myself?

How did you learn about sex? Was it something that was ever discussed at school or at home?

Despite her flaws, my mother had some good points, and one was that she very openly discussed sexuality. When my oldest brother went through puberty, I was there when he was masturbating, so I learned how to do it. I’m grateful to my mother for being open — she said “Do it in private and that’s fine.” An awful lot of men I know still feel guilt about it. But I always knew it was part of a good life. After puberty, I was masturbating at least every other day, unless I had the flu or something.

Did you have an ideal type of girl back then?

Not surprisingly, big boobs and any hint of heftiness were turnoffs, but maybe not enough to keep me away if that had been the only obstacle — it didn’t come up in practical terms. I thought that to be seen talking to someone unattractive or unpopular would threaten what fragile social status I thought I had.

When did you become sexually active?

When I was a freshman in college. I still had immense insecurities, but I met this attractive young woman. We didn’t have intercourse, but we did a fair amount of sexual stuff with each other.

Clothes off?

Sometimes. No oral either way, but a lot of manual. I’d stimulate her. I’d have loved more coming my way, but I took what I could get. With a mother like mine, the idea of pressuring a woman was so foreign. For a few months, we were glued to each other. But she was troubled. And then she said she felt that she had lost herself and broke things off. I think she’d been abused.

Can you isolate the first time that you found a young girl attractive?

My romantic feelings and my sexual feelings are quite separate. When I developed a crush in third grade, I figured that was pretty normal. If other guys felt such crushes differently, I didn’t know — we didn’t talk about these things. Later, I got occasional hints that my friends were lusting after older, fully developed women. To the extent I thought about it at all, I figured that they had to be joking. I thought our tween peers were way hotter than grown adult women.

I’m assuming you just thought that you were attracted to your peers, that there was nothing transgressive about that? But did you ever question your desire? Were you ever attracted to adult women?

I’m one the muddiest cases of pedophilia because I was very attracted to grown women when I got to be an adult and I wanted to have sex with them frequently and with great passion. Other pedophiles I’ve talked to, even those who are married, often report a sort of “dotted line in the bedroom.” Things work, but there’s usually a bit of a stretch. It was much easier for me to hide my pedophilia from myself because I was also attracted to legal, “appropriate” women. I’m not an exclusive pedophile.

Did you always know you were different in that way?

No. In my early 20s, I took a bus trip alone. A family with several children boarded and a 10-year-old girl ended up next to me. I wrote in my diary a candid, “Yum!” without any self-consciousness. Did I realize other men my age wouldn’t feel that way? I don’t think so. And of course I didn’t touch her, or even make any special effort to get her to talk with me. On that same trip, I visited a family with a 3-year-old girl. I remember I enjoyed playing with her a lot. We got on very well. I hadn’t spent any time with 3-year-old girls before. She was just so alive and energetic and totally beautiful. At the time, I just figured this was a good sign for how I would find parenthood rewarding if I got to have a family.

What do you think when you see an adult woman’s body?

I’ve always had this sense that breasts are an unfortunate thing that happens to women when they age, like gray hair. They can’t help it, and it’s part of life, and the women are still attractive, but it’s no improvement. I also gather there really are a lot of “ordinary” men who are just fine with smaller breasts. There’s even a saying, “Anything more than a handful is a waste.”

After college, I moved into a cooperative house. I took up with one of the women who lived there — dating is easy when you live in the same place. We married and had three daughters. The happiest time in my life was when my wife and I got married up until the time we had our first kid. It’s worth reflecting on that. And then we got divorced.

I personally think it takes half the time you were in a relationship to get over that relationship …

Yes, I really wasn’t ready. I had a relationship for about five or six months, but then I kind of realized it wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. I think that played a role in the worst depressive crisis I had: facing the reality I might be single for the rest of my life. I didn’t make a suicide attempt, but I was making plans. I was hospitalized. Later, my co-workers told me that I was walking around the office like a ghost. My psychiatrist said that he would ask me questions and I couldn’t form words. After about six months, I found a good medication combination and came out of that hole.

What was your life as a father like around that time?

I was that father who was on the floor playing with the rug rats. It was rewarding getting to know them as friends. My wife got primary custody, which I agreed to because it made sense. I moved a block away. My ex-wife and I differed on many things, but we definitely shared the view that we loved the kids more than we hated each other. We never said bad things about each other around them.

Did you remain single?

I’m going to give you the conclusion here first — I know you are waiting for this. So, I was having a lot of trouble because at this point in my life I was really stretching the bounds of my attractive range. I was in my late 40s and I would go out with these women and it’s like: Yes, they are very nice, but there’s no real spark here. I could probably have felt satisfied sexually, but it wasn’t enough to make me go through the effort of a relationship.

Because you were attracted to younger women?

We all know that our culture prizes female youth. I think at first that helped mask the pedophilia — I figured I was just more of a slave to patriarchal thinking than most men: We go after young women, and society accepts that. I was dutifully dating women who were roughly my age and hoping for a spark but that spark never came. Now I see what was going on for me was much bigger. So the woman I was in a relationship with was about 40 — and one of a very few women that age I could get excited about.

How come?

She was very smart. Ivy League educated, a great researcher. And she was drop-dead gorgeous with a very strong sex drive. But also, her personality was quite … childlike. That was like catnip, although again, I didn’t really get it at the time. When I look back, sophistication in women was always a turnoff.

Was she physically childlike, or was it more her personality?

She was small, and she had a high-pitched voice. I once gave her some money for her birthday. I deliberately made sure there were not just 20s but fives and ones, and quarters, and I put it in a little ornate box. She loved it. But there were enormous problems in that relationship. She’d been physically and emotionally abused by another man. One side of her was very loving, and the other was suspicious and trying to sabotage the relationship. We went on problematically for ten years before we broke up.

Was that when you realized that you are a pedophile?

I don’t think her childishness had any role in discovering my pedophilia. I’d known for a long time that I found 14-year-old girls attractive, but I didn’t think there was anything wrong with that. I wasn’t going to hit on any of them. It was my attraction to much younger girls that I didn’t understand at all. I had a mid-life “crisis” — well, not a crisis, but a realization.

What did you realize?

My career was on a glide path. The nest was empty. I was alone. So I’m looking at the rest of life — “What’s in it for me?” I started looking at porn — just ordinary adult stuff. I figured I’d see what was out there. I’d been raised to think porn was bad. I’d barely even glanced at it.

What did you search for? Were there particular desires or fantasies that you wanted to explore?

I steered away from women being degraded. That was where the “bad” resonated most strongly for me. There were no moral issues involved, but I also didn’t care to look at gay sex, anal, big breasts, or women giving oral. I don’t remember searching for particular things — but as I explored, I found myself most interested in the “barely legal” genre. They were scantily clad or naked and smiling. I watched some clips of vanilla hetero intercourse where both participants seemed willing. I downloaded about 200 pictures. I found that this was a mild enhancement to my middle-aged life … looking at these images and masturbating. Then one day my childlike girlfriend made a sympathetic comment about people who enjoyed porn. I dared to mention that I had looked at a little.

Had you looked at child porn at that point?

No.

Really?

I’ve never seen any, ever.

It’s a little hard to believe you really don’t look at child pornography.

I am against child sex abuse. I’m against doing it. I’m against making pictures of it. I’m against distributing it.

Okay, so what happened when you told your girlfriend?

She was not okay with my online porn explorations. We had several arguments and then she gave me a choice: her or the porn. I resentfully agreed to give it up.

Was she religious? Or was this more of a social taboo for her?

She was not religious, no! To be honest, I’m surprised you’re surprised at this. It seems pretty common especially among feminists to be against pornography. But I pretty much stopped looking at porn.

“Pretty much…”

I wondered what other possibilities there were out there. And as it turned out, a Google image search for something harmless like “bathing suits” yields lots of pictures and many are quite erotic. None of that was “porn.” And you see, porn sites had a hard limit at 18. No one younger showed up there. But Google images had no limit, nor did erotic stories. I certainly wasn’t going to clarify definitions with my girlfriend. But if you search for pictures of college swim teams, you can also ask for pictures of high-school swim teams …

Was this the first time you explored young bodies, visually? Or really engaged your desires using more than just your imagination?

The closest thing to porn I’d looked at before were women’s clothing catalogues in bathing-suit season. But online I started doing the comparisons and found the high-school girls more attractive — actually, I had known for some time that I thought 13-year-old girls were the most alluring at a purely physical level. When you’re looking at a picture on the screen, or reading a story, it’s pretty clear no one is going to feel embarrassed or hurt. So if I had a satisfying fantasy about 12-year-old, I figured that was okay too. If you do an image search for “X-year-old girl,” you can fill in any number for X you want. And that includes girls whose age is a single digit.

But you had three daughters; you must have seen them naked and engaged with them quite intimately. Did they arouse you?

I loved them and appreciated their bodies the way any parent does, and I very much appreciated their minds and personalities, but I really didn’t feel anything sexual or romantic. I was never aroused. I didn’t realize I was a pedophile then. I felt this romantic thing sometimes for girls, but the sexual side was absent. I’d occasionally see their friends naked and didn’t feel any arousal to them either. I think I remember thinking as they aged above 4 or 5, “Oh, well, too bad their golden years are over” … But it wasn’t sexual … Parents can recognize their sons and daughters are hot, without feeling any attraction. This is quite common, actually. You can look up “Westermarck Effect.” We pedophiles almost all feel it.

Well, yes, his logic was “familiarity breeds contempt,” and of course we all know about the “incest taboo.” But let’s be real: That taboo is regularly breached. Men (and women) molest, rape, or harm family members. It happens all the time; we just refuse to talk about it much.

Yes, of course there are men who sexually abuse children, but they are very different from me. Many of these men are not even pedophiles. To go back to your question, I was not attracted to my daughters, but my daughters’ friends were quite fascinating to me. I found them so alluring — and when I say that, I mean many of them but not all of them. We pedophiles are not indiscriminately attracted any more than anyone else.

But the ones you were attracted to — what was that like?

I had tender thoughts about them. I wanted them to like me. If I could do something to make one of them smile or laugh, that was very nice.

Judging from the pedophiles I’ve talked with online, one of the most common misconceptions of pedophilia is the idea that pedophiles want to control kids. I’m sure some child sex abusers are like that, but there are sure a lot of pedophiles who are totally the opposite. They might be popular babysitters, but they don’t set limits about bedtimes or snacks. They really think of themselves as peers, and they’d like the girl or boy to relate to them that way — that’s the fantasy. They want to make the kid happy. This kind of pedophile might not ever offend, since no child wants sex, right? In private fantasy, they can imagine that the girl is eager for sex, but that’s not part of reality at all — there is no path to temptation in that scenario.

One time, my daughter had a friend stay over and she couldn’t fall asleep. We were alone, and I read her a book for a while, she seemed to trust me. That was a very special moment. I didn’t touch her, and I didn’t fantasize about doing anything sexually with her.

Were you tempted? Or did you reflect on it later and masturbate or have sexual thoughts?

No, back then I didn’t even know I had a sexual attraction to them.

You mentioned the people you talk to online. Are they other pedophiles? How did you meet?

I have been active in an online support group for virtuous pedophiles (or celibate pedophiles) for about a year now. We come together to anonymously discuss the sexual desires the world doesn’t understand or let us talk about.

That seems complicated. There’s a fine line between community of support and normalization, right?

Pedophiles are mostly miserable (at least the ones who come to the community). And after being online for a while, they often feel more at peace, better about themselves while in no way being more inclined to do sexual stuff with kids. How would talking with a bunch of guys who are all completely clear that doing sexual stuff with kids is bad, bad, bad enable anyone? Here’s a typical story you read in the community:

I am a pedophile. I have been struggling with this for 2 years … I was considering suicide for a while, and then I found an article about this site. Just to know that there are others makes me feel a little less alone … I guess what I haven’t said is that I’m thirteen.

There’s a scientist who works with pedophiles up in Canada, and he puts it like this: “The day before a pedo offends for the first time, he was a man trying not to.” He believes men are sent over the edge when they are feeling desperate, hopeless, or totally rejected by society. And that’s why I am strongly against mandated reporting.

That’s when doctors, social workers, and other counselors are required to report a pedophile, right?

I suspect a fair number of teen suicides are pedos, and most would not even reveal it in a suicide note. They can’t tell anyone and that is very, very isolating.

How isolated are you? Does anyone you know IRL know about this part of your life?

My therapist and two friends from college. That’s it. My therapist and I jointly discovered my pedophilia.

So, to clarify: In an effort to avoid porn, so as to not lie to your partner, you found images of children online and that was enough to satisfy you, or enough to use to masturbate or fuel your fantasies for later masturbation “sessions”?

Yes, and as the weeks or months went by, I got embarrassed at how young the girls were getting.

How young?

My peak attraction was age 4. I hope you haven’t fainted …

What images of 4 year olds were you looking at?

Mostly family blogs. You can watch the same child as she ages; people are very liberal when they post images of their children online. You can watch the girl age from 2 to 3 to 6 to 12 … You can see the same girl’s body as it changes.

What do you find attractive about girls that young?

Ultimately? Every aspect.

Can you be more specific?

I think their playfulness is important as is the simplicity of emotions. What you see is what you get. There is no deception. There’s an innocence.

But the desire must also hinge on physical things, right?

Yes, I find them physically beautiful.

Here’s one way to explain it. I also like 25-year-old women. I like their hair, I like the configuration of a feminine face. I like breasts (at least enough to know they are there). I find the curves of hips and thighs alluring. I like their labia, and the knowledge of a vagina within (I also like the idea of a uterus and ovaries tucked away). I like smooth skin. I like a top that’s not too muscular. I like the higher voice. I like typical aspects of the personality — or especially the absence of some typical male aspects, such as competitiveness, a desire to impress with accomplishments, the pressure to appear tough. I’ve basically told you I like women (rather than men) because of the things that make them women (and not men).

And so, I also like 4-year-old girls, and I like them more than 25-year-old women. But I know what you are really asking is why do I like them so much?

Yes.

I like that they are small. I love that. I like that their skin is so smooth, so pure and full of potential — even more than the 25-year-olds. Very often small girls have terrific hair. I like their flat chests and the idea that they have no pubic hair. I’m not attracted to small boys. I like the knowledge that they have all the female sexual organs, even if they are still immature and more potential than reality. I find their personalities very endearing. The world is experienced in simpler categories, there is much less deception and guile. Joy is the joy of the moment — sadness is the sadness of now. A sleepy little girl is adorable, as is a sleeping one. I’ve described what distinguishes a 4-year-old girl from an adult woman and said that’s what I like better. When it comes to girls aged 12–13, my fantasies often involve her excitement about learning about, and trying, sex.

So why do you think you are attracted to young girls?

You keep asking this in different ways, or so it seems. And I don’t blame you. But, I have no idea. Some of the pedophiles try to come up with evolutionary explanations, but the ones I’ve heard are silly. Some scientists say it’s “crossed wires,” which I don’t think is quite right. But an additional connection, or absence of inhibitory connection or something, is a possibility.

And men have this rather strong sexual urge in general. But if you’re asking why I in particular have this, I don’t know.

And if someone asked you: Why have you not acted on this desire what would you say?

I can list about ten reasons, but the biggest is that I would really risk hurting the girl emotionally. Hurting her really badly.

What about physical pain?

Oh gosh, eek, yes. Causing pain would be a total turnoff. But it isn’t hard to imagine (in fantasy) some sort of physical change or medical procedure or hormone treatment or something that (in fantasy) solves the size problem (in fantasy). I put in the extra “in fantasy” because so often people lose track of that — this is fantasy, never to be acted upon. In all these fantasies, the girl is very much present as a person too — a person who either really enjoys this or is at least okay with it. If she wasn’t, the fantasy would instantly cease to be arousing — then I would have a girl who needed something else and I would be attuned to providing her what she needed.

What do you think about the morality of this? Is it okay to have sexual fantasies about small girls?

I have some embarrassment, but no guilt. I had long ago figured out my ethical stance about the difference between thoughts and feelings. And I decided that actions are right and wrong — feelings are not — feelings are just what they are and can be complicated and inconsistent. And one part of happiness is honoring feelings while treating people well. So celibate pedophilia fit right into that very easily.

Given the distinction you make between fantasy and actions (or feelings and actions), I’m curious to know: Do you think it would have been wrong for you to have had sexual fantasies about your own daughters?

I don’t think it would have been immoral. But … Whether I would have wanted to go that way or not is something I’m not sure of.

It does seem possible that having fantasies about a particular person would tend to strengthen your thoughts about them in that way. I’m not sure. I think it might well have struck me as, “That’s not right.”

Even now, I’m hesitant to have fantasies about girls I see day to day.

Say you have granddaughters, would you leave them alone with someone who is like you? Or, going back in time, your daughters?

Let’s assume I had granddaughters. I think if I knew the person really pretty well and had heard them talk about their sexual attraction and how it works for them, then I would be okay with it. But if six people applied for a babysitting job and one is a pedo and five aren’t? I guess I’d have some inclination to go with the five who aren’t. In today’s world, where the celibate pedos stay hidden and are unknown, it’s a harder call. Occasionally a lawyer will write an article saying pedophiles deserve civil rights and protection from discrimination. I personally think that’s a bridge too far at this point. I don’t expect people to trust pedos to babysit.

But what would be your concern? That they would have fantasies about the children? Would that make you uncomfortable? Or do you have a latent fear that they would act?

I have no fears about fantasies other people have of my kids. If I walk down the street and some guy looks me over and that night has a fantasy of torturing me to death and eating me for dinner — I don’t mind as long as I never find out about it.

And as for the kids — well, I have fantasies about other people’s kids, so it would be intellectually dishonest of me to say it was different for them.

It seems to me like you’ve thought an awful lot about how to think about these things, but that you haven’t really struggled nearly as much with the desire to act. Is that because that option has never been on the table for you?

No, not at all. I was dealing with girls for years, quite intimately. Having them crawl all over me their friends and the Sunday-school kids and all. I never got aroused. I was always thinking of their welfare.

I think sometimes people use “attracted” to mean different things. Some think it must mean “I can see a path from here to having sex with this person” — following social rules and conventions. That’s not what I’m talking about. And maybe some guys would rather just suppress the attraction completely. For me, when it comes to the younger ones, it’s a mix of parental protectiveness and romantic desire.

What do you make of conversations about “the sexualization of young girls”?

That’s a conversation we have been having for a long time … There’s a book, Erotic Innocence, by James Kincaid, about how Shirley Temple was eroticized, too. But we pedos often note that when you take a little girl and put her in makeup and she does adult sexy stuff, it’s mostly a turnoff. I’d wager that’s more appealing to ordinary guys because the girls are mimicking adult sexuality.

In many European countries kids don’t even wear swimsuits in public until they go through puberty. There’s nothing to hide.

If you like girls for being girls, then that stuff is not going to be appealing. Now, not all pedos would agree. But all parents present their kids to the world regarding grown-up themes the way they want. You can send your 4-year-old to the rally with a Trump placard or a Clinton placard or pro-life or pro-choice placards and it’s not that different dressing your little girl in sexy outfits, as I see it. Of course, you hope she’s interested … but then we also let parents send their kids to Sunday school, or study violin, or whatever they don’t want to do.

If you could have a non-sexual consensual romantic relationship with a 4-year-old girl, would you?

I would not allow such a friendship to take on a romantic tone from her point of view. First, you have to peel away all of society’s hysteria on the subject. It’s hard for any man to have a close friendship with a 4-year-old girl. But if there was a good reason — say if I had a granddaughter some day and she had a close friend I could see it being very rewarding if she was delighted to see me, and if I could do things to make her smile, or want to snuggle with me like a kid might with their parent … I probably wouldn’t let myself have erotic fantasies even later, though.

If there was one thing you wished that our culture knew about pedophilia, what would it be? What is the one thing you’d hope people would take away from reading this?

There are a lot of pedophiles who never offend and whose affection for children means there’s no chance we would abuse them. We both care about them and understand that sexual activity would risk causing great harm. It’s understandable that people have never heard of us, because we must remain hidden. People only know about those who offend.

And what does knowing this do, to help people or society … or to stop sexual abuse or power being abused in relationships?

More pedophiles can come out to more people. Then that means that the pedophiles will be happier. It might also protect kids because the pedos who are “out” to some people feel more connected to society and less likely to figure “to hell with it” and offend. People might be able to focus on the right danger signs instead of the wrong ones.

And as someone who has accepted that they have sexual desires that can never be fulfilled, what’s your life like?

It centers around my chair, the mouse, the full-size keyboard and full-size monitor hooked up to my laptop. When I’m offline, I think about what books to get from my local library. Unless I’m dining with people, I put very little effort into food. For me, it’s frozen meals most of the time. But what I might do that the ordinary guy wouldn’t is watch a video of a kindergarten class I’ve downloaded from the Internet. I love watching kids play. I like to see their facial expressions and the way that they interact with the other kids. It gives me a small but very real lift. They are such earnest small creatures slowly getting ready to take their place in the world as the rest of us age and die off. And yes, some of the small girls make me pine romantically, it would be so nice to be part of their lives. It would be so nice to do things for them, make them smile and laugh with my playful ideas. Occasionally I’ll masturbate to a video like this, but rarely. Mostly I look at innocent still pictures of smiling girls for that purpose. Or with my eyes closed and the computer off, bring up the memories of the still pictures or the videos.

While I’m awake, I’ve got this issue all figured out. I’ve had my time at love — in my marriage and in that later relationship. I’m also tied up enough with my pedophile identity that a relationship without revealing that just could never be very close — and I’d be constantly monitoring myself, living a double life. I could reveal it, but that’s an almost certain way to make a date into a last date — and runs the small risk of some woman deciding she is obliged to (mis)inform all my neighbors and church, etc., that there is a dangerous monster among them.

Perhaps in this context it will make sense why I unabashedly let myself fantasize sexually to thoughts of small girls — it is a significant bit of joy in a life that is not abounding in it. I find myself increasingly weary of life. Not really depressed, but also not tolerant of frustration, not willing to take risks. It’s hard to imagine 20 or 30 more years of this.