This letter is in response to Baby Pedophile. I am also a normal young woman with what might be considered very disturbing sexual fantasies. If you can imagine it, I've probably fantasized about it. Although I've found my thoughts odd, I never thought they were abnormal, because, as you wisely pointed out, we've been told for years that there's nothing wrong with fantasies. Just because you think about being raped doesn't mean you want to be raped. Or in my case, just because I think about raping doesn't mean I want to rape.
I disagree with the shrink that BP is in danger of acting on this fantasy if she keeps it bottled up or that it's an indication of deeper problems. I would like BP to know that I've had a happy and healthy sex life keeping my fantasies to myself (my fantasies are not the kind of shit a guy wants to hear when he asks what you fantasize about). I would also like her to know that I have worked with pre- and grade-school children for many years, and have never once had any urge or sexual feeling whatsoever toward them. My fantasies are a completely separate part of my life and I accept them as such.
I hope my letter makes BP feel a little less alone. I know there must be more of us out there. --Another Baby Pedophile
Well, rest assured that there are plenty more of you out there. When I responded to BP's letter, I assumed her problem was unique--how often do you hear about female pedophiles? But yours was not the only letter I got from a woman wanting to reassure BP that she was not alone, that she was not the only woman in the world "stunned and saddened by--but stuck with--these fantasies," as one woman wrote.
I actually got stuck with a pretty stunning number of letters from women like you, BP and ABP. All wrote in to let BP know she wasn't the only one and that they had managed to keep their fantasies fantasies--and so could BP. To the lasting credit of the female pedophiles who wrote in, none suggested the immediate formation of a North American Woman/Child Love Association modeled after ongoing gay PR disaster NAMBLA (the North American Man/Boy Love Association). BP, if you're reading this, here's another letter.
I was interested in the letter from Baby Pedophile about her supposedly abnormal fantasies and wanted to assure her that she's not as unusual as she thinks. I too am a normal 31-year-old woman who's fantasized about kids and teens with adults for over 20 years. As far as being doomed to a life of pedophilia, give me a break! In my experience, the things that are the most intensely erotic in fantasy life turn out not to be a bit erotic in real life. Here are some examples from my personal life:
Fantasy: Getting caught by parents. Ooh la la!
Reality: What a drag!
Fantasy: Being raped by a stranger.
Reality: A sexual assault by two strangers was easily the scariest moment of my life. No fun at all.
The same holds true for kids, for me and probably for Baby Pedophile as well: Fantasies about them get me totally wet but real kids don't arouse me at all. Nothing, nada, zilch--not even the tiniest twitch of the arousal meter when I'm around a kid. Now, I'm not saying that real-life people whose real-life behavior with children is a problem don't have fantasies about them, but that doesn't mean fantasies lead to behavior. Think about it: 99.99 percent of people who think about fucking Mark Philippoussis aren't going to act out their fantasy. They don't become stalkers, they don't throw themselves on him at tournaments, and probably if they actually met him their priority would be to make conventional small talk and try not to come off as a complete clod, rather than trying to use the encounter to fulfill their own erotic agenda.
The difference between fantasizing about Mark P. and fantasizing about kids is that while it's socially acceptable to say, "I'd fuck Mark Philippoussis in a second," it's not at all OK to say, "There's nothing like a six-year-old's ass, is there?" But any "normal" person, no matter what they think about in bed, knows that fantasy Mark isn't real Mark, fantasy kids aren't real kids, fantasy you isn't real you, and guess what? THEY ACT ACCORDINGLY! My advice: Treat real people as they deserve to be treated, treat fantasy characters (including yourself) however you like, and keep your mouth shut. You may have plenty of fellow travelers, but who's going to admit it?
--Cheaper Than A Shrink
When I put your letter down, I had but one burning question: Who the hell is Mark Philippoussis? You toss off his name like everybody should know who he is, like he's a standard sexy-boy reference, like "Brad Pitt" or "George Will." But when I asked around the office, no one knew who he was. Odd. So I called a friend who's always up on the cute-boys thing and she told me to check out the Web site www.tennis.com. There I found pictures of Mr. Philippoussis, an 18-year-old tennis player from Australia who made a splash at the U.S. Open in '95. He's tall (six foot four), dark, and handsome, has a 120 mph serve, is nicknamed "Scud," and has a serious case of gorgeous goin' on.
I'm not sure where the fantasy Mark ends and the real Mark begins, but I'd spend a long weekend trying to find out. Your first priority upon meeting him might be small talk, but mine would be figuring out exactly how I could get Philippoussis tied facedown to a bed somewhere--AND ACTING ACCORDINGLY. I've never thought much of six-year-old butt, but 18-year-old tennis-playing Aussie butt--why, it's hard to think of much else after seeing his picture. Thanks for making my day.
Just read your response to Baby Pedophile, and while I liked what you had to say about shrinks, I have to correct you on one point: A fantasy can be banned or disallowed. I know, because I did it. I used to have routine fantasies about suicide (no, they did not make me wet, but they did make me feel better sometimes) up to three or four times a week.
It's been four years, and while I still occasionally wince in psychic pain, I don't think that qualifies as fantasy. In the language of therapists (and for the record, out of the half-dozen I saw, one did help), I could be "sublimating my self-destructive tendencies"--but I don't buy it, because my instincts for self-preservation have increased hugely.
While you may have thought about killing yourself--congrats on getting over it, by the way--it was make-you-wet/-hard fantasies I was referring to when I wrote that fantasies could not be banned or disallowed. It is standard sex-therapist wisdom--not that I'm one of those--that long-held sexual fantasies don't go away when you talk about them. Folks can either accept their fantasies and act on them, or, if the fantasies are physically or legally unrealizable, accept them and not act on them (unless they wanna hurt themselves, or go to jail, or both). But they don't go away.
Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.