A Coming Out - a Mirror for the Pedophile
From the very first inklings, all the way up to self-acceptance, a pedophile‘s coming-out takes a course different from that of any other life story. One seeks answers to questions such as:
- Am I truly pedosexual, or is the child a "substitute object" for me (pseudo-pedophilia)?
- What is the cause of my pedosexuality?
- Can and should I change anything about it?
- How can I best deal with this predisposition?
- Can I allow myself my sexuality without hurting the child?
- In what way do children experience sexuality?
- How can I carry out partnerships with them?
- How do other pedosexuals treat children, and how do they manage their own needs?
- What life-survival strategies are there for pedophiles?
- Is one of them appropriate for me?
Under today's threatening social and legal conditions, every pedophilic person must find his own way. Different individuals will have different degrees of success with this. Many, due to mental anguish, become aggressive and cynical; some take the route of self-isolation and depression, of alcohol and self-destruction. Not everyone is able to find a balanced life on their own. A pedophile coming-out group can offer help. Through the mutual exchange of experience, they promote the self-confidence of the individual. This should help prevent the abuse of children. Sexual identity can be examined more objectively, and positive perspectives can be developed.
There are many conceivable ways of proceeding, although not all of them are feasible for, or acceptable to, everyone:
- Denying and repressing pedophilic feelings,
- Warding off sexual desire by effusively lauding childhood,
- Avoidance, whereby one retreats from any contact with children,
- Limiting oneself to masturbation and the consumption of pornography,
- Switching, of necessity, to sex tourism, or to socially-accepted forms of sexuality,
- Compensating via fulfilling diversions to other spheres,
- Renunciation of legal misgivings or celibacy,
- Orienting one's life towards frequent social contact with children,
- Internal reconciliation with an identity experienced as conflicted,
- Emancipatory defense of one's own sexuality in one's own environs,
- Public efforts and political engagement for the betterment of the overall legal situation,
- Self-confident efforts towards mutually consensual relationships with children. Admittedly, these often carry with them the real risks of discrimination and criminal prosecution.
None of these strategies guarantees a satisfying, well rounded life. Participating in a pedophile coming-out group can, however, be a great support in wrestling with all of these issues.
Author: Paul Steinacher, drawing from a paper by the Berlin Pedophilia Working Group, discussed and formulated with the Munich Pedophile Self-Help and Emancipation Group, Munich, May, 1993.