Sympathy for an Unsympathetic Crowd

Note: This post has been automatically imported from my old blog. Formatting may be incorrect.

Meditate, for a moment, on your sexual desires. Thing about what it's like to be unattached romantically and to see someone who is emotionally and physically attractive. Imagine the joy and excitement of pursuing the other, ultimately leading to a mind-blowing first fuck. Visualize the resulting healthy, sexually charged relationship that brings happiness to so many aspects of your life.

Now I'm going to take that all away from you. You still have your desires, they're as strong as ever. But you can never act on them. Doing so would entail committing a crime so vile that you could never be redeemed. You can't tell people about your desires, not even a therapist, for fear of violent social ostracism at best and, more likely, criminal prosecution. You can't watch porn that would satisfy you: even porn that just pretends to show what you desire is forbidden. The very best you can hope for, if you're lucky, is to find one partner you can trust completely who is GGG enough to work to try to approximate what you crave. Imagine living your entire life like that, doing your best to cope on your own and hoping against all hope that some day your desires will just fade.

This is what life is like for paedophiles. Surely, some of them are the purely evil scum who remorselessly abuse children like the monsters we see on TV. But some are what Dan Savage calls "good paedophiles": those who have the sexual desire but recognize that acting upon it would be terribly wrong and who just want a way to cope. If such people go to a therapist for help, the therapist will likely be bound by law to report them to authorities, at which point their lives will be over. They can hope for extremely understanding partners who are willing to act for them, but most will be lucky if they escape the confession conversation physically unharmed. And not only is child pornography illegal, but digital alterations or even cartoon animations that make legal interactions appear like child abuse are also off limits. Such paedophiles lead an extremely difficult life, and, although it can never be forgiven, it is at least understandable that some slip and give in to their desires.

It doesn't have to be this way, though. No, paedophiles can't have what they want the most. But if we as a society got over the ridiculous notions that some (or all) kinds of sexual desire are immoral as such, that people are slaves to their passions, and that any outrage can be justified to Protect the Children, then things could improve. Paedophiles should be able to safely discuss their desires with a therapist, who might be able to help them learn to cope or even redirect their needs. They should be able to tell their loved ones and expect understanding and support, not revulsion. They should be able to create and view digitally altered or animated porn of any kind. They should be able to join kink personals sites looking for partners willing to create a facsimile of their desires. But for them to have all of that, we are the ones who need to change.