I guess I can’t put it off any longer. There’s no point having a blog about hebephilia, sex offences and sex offender treatment if I don’t tell you a bit about myself and what I’ve done, even if it is an uncomfortable topic…
So, here goes: I’m a forty something male from Melbourne, Australia, and I like technology, films, camping and pubescent girls. I admit that I don’t usually include that last one when introducing myself in real life. Would you? It’s an attraction I’ve felt since I was a teenager myself. I got older; the girls I found attractive didn’t.
I’ve long understand that there is a big difference between sexual desire and sexual behaviour. That’s why it has always bugged me that most people seem to use the term “paedophile” as if it’s synonymous with “child molester”. The reality is that many people with an attraction to children never act on that attraction. And people who offend against children do so for a variety of reasons, not necessarily due to sexual desire.
Whilst I never felt I could safely talk about my own attraction to pubescent girls, for many years I was able to boast a clean record – I didn’t act on those desires. I wish I could still say the same. At some point I started photographing girls I saw in public. Candid photos, taken surreptitiously. For the thrill of the taboo. For private viewing later. And eventually, for sharing online with others.
I’m sure most people reading this recognise how wrong those actions were. And truthfully, even I recognised that what I was doing wrong. Yet, I still managed to justify it to myself. To rationalise it as harmless due to its secrecy. “What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.” But: a) that doesn’t make it right, and b) it’s almost impossible to guarantee such actions will go undetected. Sooner or later, someone is going to suspect, and when she does, she will feel violated. Arouse enough suspicion and the impact will be much greater than one vulnerable girl wondering whether you were aiming your camera at her. Eventually you’ll be caught and everything will change. Over the last two years, I’ve dealt with Police, lawyers, magistrates, psychologists, Corrections, DHS Child Protection, as well as family and friends. In future posts, I’ll talk more about each of those interactions.
So, that’s where I’m at now. Trying to wind back the clock to when I was successful at keeping my desires and my actions separate. Whilst I can’t actually turn back time or undo what I’ve done, I can take responsibility for it and make sure it never happens again. I’d like to think society supports me in this goal, but sadly I’m not confident of that.
This blog is primarily a place for me to tell my personal story and chart my progress, mainly for my own benefit. But, even though I’m part of the problem, I also want to be part of the solution. I aim to explore evidence-based approaches to sexual offending, what we can all do to help, and how moral panic within society and politics is not an effective strategy.
Children are precious. Let’s work together to protect them.