'Let's Say I'm A Pedophile'

By Dan Savage
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 16 | Posted Feb. 2, 2010

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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.)

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 16 of 16
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1. SandyLester said... on Apr 30, 2012 at 12:15AM

“Sorry if you are a pedophile, you should be locked up forever.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Apr 30, 2012 at 06:20AM

“Dude, you are one sick evil monster.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Apr 30, 2012 at 06:42AM

“Lets acknowledge good murderers like say the ones that hunt down and kill pedophiles.”

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4. Anonymous said... on Apr 30, 2012 at 10:30AM

“Dan Savage, apologist for NAMBLA.”

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5. hurting for over 50 years said... on Jun 10, 2012 at 12:39PM

“Paedophilia destroys innocence, childhoods, and lives. There is no such thing as a good paedophile. The 'theoretical' paedophile is not a paedophile if he has no thoughts on molesting, any more than Dan Savage is a theoretical woman.”

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6. Anonymous said... on Jul 8, 2012 at 02:53AM

“Interesting hypothetical. Here's another.

Lets say a man - an ordinary, good, man, has a button. This button, is connected to a series of detonators, each wired with explosives, inside the heads of 5 random people all over the world. The man with the button has no knowledge of who these people are, where they are, or what they do - they are total strangers to him, and he has no way of ever knowing who they are, until he presses that button.

Now, this man says he doesn't wish to ever use the button. He resists the urge to use the button, as he knows full well the button would hurt people. But he has a sick urge to press that button. He says he can supress it, but you know he's tempted to push it every day of his life.

I'm asking he get rid of the button.

There is nothing good to be gained from the button. There is no way he can use the button to help someone, it can only be used to hurt people. He says he doesn't want to hurt people, so why does he need the button?”

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7. Anonymous said... on Jul 16, 2012 at 01:39AM

“How do you get rid of the button if the button IS you?

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8. Anonymous said... on Aug 5, 2012 at 08:37AM

“You people make me sick, he is a pedophile because thats what he's attracted to, not that's hurt anyone. You think he should be locked up? What about every man that ever thought, "god I'd love to see that woman naked," is he also a rapist now? This isnt hard to understand, if he didnt commit a crime, and is keeping himself in control, he does NOT belong in jail nor is he to be detested. He is asking for help and clearly deserves it, have some compassion.

Grow the fuck up you asshats.”

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9. Anonymous said... on Aug 18, 2012 at 08:09PM

“The button is not him, its his sexual urges. Chemical castration will get rid of the button, with no major effects to any other area of his life. It will also take a load off his mind, because if, as he claimed, he does not wish to ever act on these urges, chemical castration will remove his urge to.”

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10. Gretchen said... on Nov 30, 2012 at 05:23PM

“Theoretically, if someone were to be a pedophile, then the right thing to do would be to tattoo their forehead, describing themselves as such, so that parents would know who to protect their children from. Theoretically. Then if hypothetically speaking, some poor child were victimized, it would be easier to find the person to castrate. Theoretically. Poor sick wack-job!”

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11. Nan said... on Jan 1, 2013 at 09:43PM

“If you think you will harm a kid, do whatever it takes to permanently and irrevocably stop yourself. Period.
I don't envy those whose deviant urges can potentially devastate the lives of others, but clearly the vast majority do not restrain themselves. Such is the nature of perversion; perverse individuals are driven to express their foul urges with extreme frequency and variety. Whether the gay circuit or child porn rings, deviants are never satisfied with occasional expressions of their urges. It must be constant and thus the danger to society. Print that if you dare.”

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12. Anonymous said... on May 8, 2013 at 07:22AM

“All you people commenting are fucked up in the head and need mental help and consoling. Pedophiles are not bad— they just like children, like how other children likes children and how parents like their children. Studies show that the most common pedophiles are aged 12—15. Yeah, go casturate your 12 year old son, you sick fuck. Pedophiles are not a threat to harm, child molesters are, so find a moelester and do your dirty work. And I guess you should also casturate all the gays too because if you are gay, it's a mental disease. Grow up and your head out of your ass, pedophiles are awesome and they run your local YMCA so holla up in the hood ;)”

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13. Mary P. said... on May 8, 2013 at 07:34AM

“Actually I know some pedophiles, my babysitter, Jerry confessed to me that he is a pedophile after a while because he cares about the safety and security of my little Emily and I appreciate that he told me so. I still use him regularly because Emily is so fond if him and they many fun games together and now she actually enjoys bath time, which is a miracle; she always hated bath time and to physically undress her and get her in the tub was like bloody murder and now she undresses by herself so easily. She gets so excited for this bath time she and Jerry play together in the tub, but she wont tell me what It is, it's a secret she says So all in all they are ok in my book.”

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14. Gregg A. Gold said... on May 21, 2013 at 03:20PM

“Dan Savage is a sick, angerous invidivual. He is not pursuing "human rights" or "equality" in the true sense, but lives for the day when the homosexual agenda in all its ever demanding, sick, sadistic, self-centered, narcissistic glory is successfully implemented into every facet of society. Pedophilia is a mental disorder, as is homosexuality. Many homosexuals (but not all) are pedophiles. NAMBLA, the most vile organization in the USA, is regularly defended pro bono by the ACLU, the second most evil organization in the USA.

Let us never forget 10 year old Jeffrey Curely, who was stalked, abducted, molested, tortured, mutilated, then strangled by Charles Jaynes and Salvatore Sicari, on October 1, 1997. Earlier that dasy the two homosexual sickos accessed NAMBLA's website at the Boston Public Library. The ACLU rushed to defend them and NAMBLA. The case was dismissed on a terchnicality. pedohpiles are dangerous. They MUST be removed from society for the good of our children.”

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15. Anonymous said... on Jul 2, 2013 at 02:56PM

“The real sick and evil monsters are the people who think this man should be thrown in jail. He hasn't done anything wrong and doesn't plan too”

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16. Anonymous said... on Feb 3, 2014 at 08:55AM

“I do not agree with castration for pedophiles because as a straight male, I know my libido serves more useful functions to my daily living than the urge for sexual relations. Libido also works as a stimulant in helping one get up and out of bed, have work-related ambitions, think up great academic ideas, and you will even see most focus-related prescription medications have the side effect of increasing libido. I would argue that there is another option besides eliminating the libido of a pedophile; it's to channel that energy in a more positive way. Also I bet there are pedophiles out there who can actually, in part because of their biology, sincerely care for children in a way that is actually beneficial to them. Michael Jackson was one of them.”

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