Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
I’m going to start with the first article by Todd Nickerson, I’m a Pedophile, but not a Monster from Salon.com. There may be parts that I skip over, in which case I will try to summarize, but by and large we’re going to be taking it bit by bit and I’m going to be analyzing or responding to it. I’d rather not give this guy the hits to his thing, but I’m not smart enough internet wise to figure out how to use one of those archive sites. To understand at least some of the framework I’m using to do this, please check yesterday’s post. That being said, for my own sanity, there is going to be some snark.
I was born without my right hand. As a child, this deformity quickly set me apart from my peers. In public I wore a prosthesis, an intimidating object to other youngsters because of its resemblance to a pirate’s hook. Even so, I wore it every day; I felt inadequate without it. I was shy, uncoordinated and terrible at sports, all of which put me on the outs with other boys my age. But I was good at drawing and making up stories for my own entertainment, and I spent more and more time in my own head, being a space adventurer or monster wrangler or whatever character I could think up. These would ultimately prove to be useful skills, but for now they only served to further alienate me from other kids. On top of it all, I still struggled with bladder control—likely due to my heaping pile of insecurities, to which this problem only added more—well into my elementary school years.
But none of this would compare to the final insult the universe would deal me. I’ve been stuck with the most unfortunate of sexual orientations, a preference for a group of people who are legally, morally and psychologically unable to reciprocate my feelings and desires. It’s a curse of the first order, a completely unworkable sexuality, and it’s mine. Who am I? Nice to meet you. My name is Todd Nickerson, and I’m a pedophile. Does that surprise you? Yeah, not many of us are willing to share our story, for good reason. To confess a sexual attraction to children is to lay claim to the most reviled status on the planet, one that effectively ends any chance you have of living a normal life. Yet, I’m not the monster you think me to be. I’ve never touched a child sexually in my life and never will, nor do I use child pornography.
Admittedly, there’s not much to say here. Physically, Todd got a bad rap. Even I can sympathize with his difficulties. Hell, I’ll even admit I do kinda feel sorry for him finding out that he’s attracted to kids. In today’s society, that is a pretty bad curse. I mean, it’s not the only curse, and I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of curses out there which are objectively worse, but still. It is a bad end.
It’s the end there, though, which is our first hint of things to come and which really, I have to admit, bothers me. “yes, I’m a pedophile, but I’m not a monster. And I’m not a monster because I’ve never touched a child sexually or used child porn.”
I’m not going to get into the whole “child porn” thing, but I will say this. Porn is an incredibly hard art form to define and ultimately depends on the person’s own personal judgement. What one person takes as high art is another person’s “porn.” Hell, in my own personal life I’ve seen my own mother define two fully clothed women as porn. Victoria Secret, underwear catalog or pornographic magazine?
So child porn? Well, that can get just as tricky. Maybe even worse. There’s styles of Asian porn art out there which can get very “Child porn” but are completely legal and are not counted as child porn. And then I’ve seen other stuff which isn’t “CP” but has been labeled that way (You can learn more of that from the Comic Defense League, I think is their name). In one of my college classes, a mom had to “black out” her children’s nudity in a home film because it could be “child porn” even though nothing sexual was happening. But a baby on a Huggies box, despite by all logic being “lingerie” is not “CP.” Hell, if the underwear section in a Sear catalog can be “porn” than so can the kid’s swimsuit section.
In which case, Nickerson already has a loophole big enough to drive five day cares through in his claim of “never used child porn.” And I’m sorry, but if you expect me to believe that a living human being with a sexuality has never “Fapped” off to what they’re attracted too…all I can say is this.
But isn’t that the definition of a pedophile, you may ask, someone who molests kids? Not really. Although “pedophile” and “child molester” have often been used interchangeably in the media, and there is some overlap, at base, a pedophile is someone who’s sexually attracted to children. That’s it. There’s no inherent reason he must act on those desires with real children. Some pedophiles certainly do, but many of us don’t. Because the powerful taboo keeps us in hiding, it’s impossible to know how many non-offending pedophiles are out there, but signs indicate there are a lot of us, and too often we suffer in silence. That’s why I decided to speak up.
Sure, not all pedophiles molest children. But most of those people who molest children are pedophiles. I get what Todd is trying to do here, I really do. But ultimately it falls flat on its face for me. Sure there’s “no inherent reason” for a pedo to act on their desire for a child, but that’s like saying there’s no inherent reason for straight people to sleep with each other. Or gay people. Or any people.
Except for the all to inherent reason of if you’re attracted to someone that’s why you sleep with them!
Now sure, this argument of Todd’s does perhaps have merit. Because I promised to do this honestly and not based on gut reaction, I’ll give an example. Deus Nobiscum recently wrote a post about why gay men/people should stay chaste and single under Catholicism. DN is himself openly Same Sex Attracted, as he calls it. (I am really sorry for bringing you into this man. DX). But at least DM has a moral and religious framework to build his argument logically to work within said religious framework, and Catholicism has a long history of emphasize chastity.
Todd, however, is trying to build the same argument in a society which has a moral frame work all about sleeping with the person you’re attracted too. As so many people have insisted on preaching: abstinence doesn’t work. And claiming that you’re an okay person simply because you aren’t committing the “Sin” doesn’t really make you an okay person.
Also, I don’t think he’s really making anyone feel more comfortable about pedos by saying “we don’t really know how many pedos are out there, watching, not touching, but watching.” Yeah, all I can think of reading that is hooray, here comes McCarthy.
The Discovery of an Alternate Sexuality:
Many gays begin to recognize their sexual preferences sometime around puberty, if not before. For me it was the same. I was about 12 when the first inklings of a sexual preference bubbled up in me, though at the time I thought little of it. As I turned 13 it occurred to me that what I initially took as a phase had begun to solidify into something more troubling. Even so, at this point I could still convince myself that I was within the realm of normalcy. Then something happened that all but removed my ability to continue this self-denial: my Eureka Moment.
First off, not sure how many gays are going to appreciate the linking of their sexuality to that of pedophiles. If Milo from Breitbart is anything to go by…well, it’s not going to be pretty. But then again, NAMBLA was part of the early gay rights community, so I’m guessing it’s going to be individual people. Also, I’m 99% sure that everyone starts to recognize their sexual preferences by about puberty.
Admittedly, I knew when I was five, but then I’m an odd duck.
Also, there’s something odd here. At age 12-13 Todd was already grasping the fact he was attracted to “kids.” Except, well, he was a kid too. Hel, when I was 12 I was attracted to girls who were 7 and 8, but that doesn’t make me a pedophile. That merely means I was attracted to people in my age range. And there’s a reason I point to 7, we’ll get to that in a minute. But unless Todd was looking at a baby in a diaper and thinking “Damn, I wanna tap that shitty ass,” I’m not entirely sure how “pedophilia” this attraction really is. Because really that’s like saying who is 20 is a pedo for thinking a 17 year old girl is hot. (And yes, I realize there are people who do think that and that’s why we’ve got the age of consent laws that we do, but seriously. That’s not pedo).
But let’s get to this Eureka moment.
One day, as I was sketching in my grandparents’ living room, a neighbor of theirs came to visit with his seven-year-old daughter in tow. At first I hadn’t noticed her because she was quiet. I only heard my grandpa and his neighbor chatting in the kitchen while I sketched. Soon the little girl walked into the dining room and stood at the archway entrance to the living room, watching me draw. I can still see her today in my mind’s eye: dressed in blue jeans and a nearly matching denim jacket, with pristine blue eyes and a halo of wispy blond curls framing her face. She seemed somehow larger than life and almost ancient in the way she stood so perfectly still. Then, just like that, she was gone; she and her father left. That singular moment, though it could scarcely have lasted more than a few minutes, has become seared into my memory.
First off, Todd doesn’t say how old he is at this moment. If he was 12, love at first sight. If he was 22, yeah, complete pedo.
That being said…this is kinda creepy. He’s talking about a 7 year old girl in terms I’m more used to seeing in Noir novels describing the dame that’s gonna get our Hero into so much trouble. Hell, I’ve heard Lauren Bacall described in less sensual terms in a noir film. And yes, I know, I’m probably letting my emotions get the better of me here and I’m not being totally objective but, shit.
And I’m no innocent. I have the internet. I’ve been to 4chan and places beyond. I have seen some dark and twisted stuff sexually. Hel, the closest thing I have to a best friend at this point is Mordgud, and she’s a damn necrophiliac. I’m in a marital relationship with Hela, and some of those images out there of the skeleton thing can be true depending on her mood, so I am typically not one to judge sexual attractions or orientations.
But the way he talks about that girl, it just squicks me out for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because she’s 7. Maybe it’s because he’s engaging in so much projection. But after reading that, I’m pretty sure he might be telling the truth about not using child porn, because that image he has is unbeatable.
Honestly though, I find myself at a loss for words to explain why and how I find that just so wrong. And maybe that’s what Todd wants, he couches it in the familiar terms of seduction and beauty and wants to draw you in and make his world seem repeatable and right to the reader. And maybe that’s what wigs me out on this so bad. I can feel that manipulation happening and my mind is trying to reject his trick.
But hey, congratulations Todd. You managed to make even a “necrophiliac” look at your sexuality and go “ewww.”
We’ll continue in part two.