#SalonMagazine pro-#pedo articles rescued from memory hole. #Milo #ToddNickerson

Comment: As I predicted, the leftists at Salon Magazine memory-holed their pro-pedo articles after Milo Yiannapoulus’ pro-pedo viewpoints were brought to light. The hypocritical  left cannot allow the plebes to learn how leftists are nothing but hypocritical cunts.

Well guess what, libtards? The Internet Wayback Machine has an archive of the article! IN YOUR FACE, BITCHES!


I’m a pedophile, but not a monster

I’m attracted to children but unwilling to act on it. Before judging me harshly, would you be willing to listen?

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.  

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.

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.  

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.

He Touched Me:

So how had this happened?  Well, I have a pretty good idea.  When I was seven years old, I was fondled in the front yard of my grandparents’ home by a man I barely knew.  It was a one-time event in my life and not a particularly traumatic one.  A man I’ll call Hans, a German who was acquainted with my uncle and aunt from when they lived in Nuremberg, had come to visit America.  He spent a day and a night at their place, and they lived next door to my family along with my grandparents, who shared their two-story brick house.  That day, the man lingered in the house with my grandma, who was stuck with him while everyone else had gone to work, and as neither could speak the other’s language, it quickly became uncomfortable for both.  

Grammy’s solution was to send Hans outside with one of the grandkids.  As I happened to be in the room at the time, I was assigned the task.  “Take him out and show him Papa’s garden,” she told me.  “Tell him the names of the vegetables.  He’d probably enjoy that.”  I agreed.  Besides, even though I knew not a whit of German, I was very much at ease in Hans’s presence.  He was painfully thin, with a messy mop of hair and large glasses.  I should point out that the men in my life, including my father, were gruff blue-collar types who could intimidate me.  Hans was different: gentle, soft-spoken and appealingly awkward—a lot like me!  

I took the man’s right hand with my left (my good hand) and led him out into the garden, which took up most of the front lawn at my grandparents’ place.  I escorted my new friend down the rows of veggies, calling out each one as we passed it, and Hans would gleefully parrot the names.  This went on until we made our way through the entire garden.  I was proud to find myself educating an adult rather than the other way around.  When the English lesson was over, Hans plopped himself down on a patch of earth near the garden and patted the spot next to him, indicating he wanted me to sit there.  I did.  I couldn’t believe this peculiar man I barely knew was so eager to connect with me, the weird little kid nobody liked.  It felt good.

For long minutes we simply enjoyed each other’s company.  Then, out of the blue, Hans slipped a hand into my shorts, even though we were only about 30 feet from the poorly paved country road that meandered through this stretch of country.  This went on for several minutes.  I was confused but not frightened or troubled.  The only thing I could think to say while this was happening was “Peepee,” continuing the English lesson with my pet name for my genitalia even in the midst of my own abuse.  Hans chortled and repeated the word: “Peepee.”  Eventually this came to an end, and Hans, having gotten what he wanted, shooed me away.  I can’t imagine why it didn’t occur to him that I would immediately rat him out; maybe he knew and just didn’t care.  Anyway, he could hardly ask me not to, could he?  I raced back to Grammy and promptly informed her of what had happened.  She deliberated over what to do, in the end asking me to keep it a secret from everyone, including my parents, and ordering me to stay away from Hans.  No authorities were called, and life went on as usual.  Hans stayed that evening with my uncle and aunt and left the next day.  I never saw him again.

Ultimate Causes:

It’s easy to assume that pedophilia is always the result of some early sexualization or abuse, and certainly there seems to be a connection in some cases.  However, evidence suggests there’s no magic bullet that pedophilia can be traced back to.  For every pedophile who was sexually abused as a child there’s another who wasn’t.  Likewise, most abuse victims never manifest pedophilic desires.  Some researchers surmise that pedophilia can be traced back to genetics.  Others believe the cause is congenital, and still others that it’s environmental.  Personally, I think the ultimate cause is likely some combination of those, and that it varies from person to person.  

Another issue is the role feelings of inadequacy play in forming our sexuality.  Pedophilia may not arise from such fears (otherwise there’d be a lot more pedophiles), but those fears can certainly reinforce it.  I think it’s safe to say that many pedophiles have deep-seated feelings of inferiority in one way or another, or at least we did when our sexuality was forming, and this becomes a downward spiral during puberty and beyond.  Anything can be the trigger of this: disabilities, weight issues, or just general feelings of unattractiveness to peers.  These feelings can be influential on one’s developing sexuality, such that even the severe cultural taboo is not enough to override it.  Indeed, the taboo itself can negatively influence these vulnerable children.

I recall an event from when I was 11, sitting in the family jeep with my dad and his friend Andy when a news piece on the radio reported the sexual abuse of a girl, to which my dad said to his friend something like, “They should take people like that and place weights on top of their genitals until they smash.”  Pretty horrific imagery for an 11-year-old to process, and I couldn’t help but sympathize with the abuser.  After all, I could recall my own molestation perfectly, and I hardly felt it warranted that kind of response.    

The bile has only multiplied since then, and I believe all that hatred just serves to reinforce pedophilia in youngsters predisposed to it.  It’s a form of cognitive bias called the Backfire Effect or polarization.  Everyone does this to some extent.  When challenged on deeply held beliefs, no matter how uncertain or incorrect they may be, we tend to dig in our heels.  With sexuality, that effect is likely magnified because there’s a physiological component, a drive every bit as powerful as belief.  In essence, your brain knows what it likes and isn’t going to take no for an answer.  For that reason, the nature or nurture question with respect to sexual preference is ultimately irrelevant—it becomes all but hardwired soon enough, until it’s all you know.  And it’s self-reinforcing, no matter how much you wish to dig it out.  Eventually it all tangles together with the rest of who you are.  

Getting Schooled:

Things went along OK until I was two years away from graduating college.  I began to smoke pot, a drug I’d experimented with after high school but didn’t much care for then.  I didn’t like it the second time around either; it made me anxious more often than not.  But I did it anyway, largely because many people I respected smoked it, and I wanted to be more like them.  I was trying desperately to reshape my identity before I was thrown out into the real world.  I’d even begun working out, lifting weights and exercising to get in better shape.  On the outside I might’ve seemed pretty normal, but on the inside I was screaming in terror at the prospect of having to “grow up” and be “normal”—which to me meant getting a real job, finding a girlfriend, eventually getting married and raising a family.  Oh, I wanted to be normal, believe me, yet I knew myself well enough to know I wouldn’t be able to carry that charade off for long, and every fiber of my being resisted the forced transformation.

After graduation I fell into the deepest pit of despair imaginable, one that lasted several years, and I’ve only just begun to pull myself out of it.  You can’t experience that much blind terror and pain for that long without being seriously impacted by it.  I still worked out every other day, so I was hurting constantly, since depression saps your brain of the feel-good chemicals that helps to counteract pain; but I felt something, and that was better than the emotional numbness that had overtaken me.  Thus, my project to remake myself into a regular person a complete failure, I retreated inward like a kicked dog, often spending days on end in my bedroom.  At the nadir of my depression I was contemplating suicide daily; some days I could think of little else.  I found some relief in opiates, which I had to obtain illegally because doctors won’t prescribe them for depression and anxiety.  The occasional hydrocodone gave me a moment of respite from the agony I was going through.  I’d tried antidepressants, but they were a joke.  

In the midst of that dark era in my life, I discovered an unhealthy pedophile forum.  Nothing illegal was happening there, but many of its most influential members were pro-contacters, meaning they believed that sex with children was theoretically OK and supported the elimination of age of consent laws.  That forum still exists and I won’t name it here, but suffice it to say, I found myself taking up the same pro-contacter chants, if only to feel like I belonged somewhere.  At the time it was all that was available in terms of an actual pedophile community, and I had nothing left to lose by joining the cause, misguided though it was, and even decided to out myself on that forum.  Over the ensuing years, though, I was often at odds with the pro-contacters and flitted in and out of their clique; I wanted desperately to be friends with people who shared my sexual orientation, even if they held crazy beliefs, but I could never quite reconcile with their viewpoint.  

Not long after I self-outed, a group of web vigilantes called Perverted Justice showed up.  You’ve probably heard of them; they’re the people behind the now-defunct TV show “To Catch a Predator.”  I was no predator, but that mattered not one iota to these guys; they lumped me together with the child rapists and internet creeps just the same.  As I was already out of the closet as a pedo, I was an easy target, becoming one of the first people they profiled on their Wikisposure page, a site devoted to outing online pedos whether they’d broken any laws or not.  It has since changed hands but still exists online, buried in a dark corner of the internet, and yep, I’m still on it.  Not that I much care anymore.  Perverted Justice had their day, but they eventually burned their own house down.  Back when they were in full effect, however, they managed to make my already miserable existence that much more miserable. After their expose came out, I was fired from my job at Lowe’s.

But things are getting better.  Slowly.  These days I struggle with bitterness and apathy; it’s a constant uphill battle, and there are days I just don’t feel like making that climb.  I eke out a living (barely) on a freelance graphic design business, in a small town where too many people know who and what I am.  Now I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism that I’ve never used and I’m living well below the poverty line, existing on food stamps and the couple hundred dollars I manage to scrape together every month, sometimes augmented with financial help from my parents if the bills get too high.  I tried filing for disability over my arm and my emotional issues, but that was a no-go in my conservative Southern state.  This is what a law-abiding pedophile has been reduced to in this society.  At times I’ve wondered why I’ve even bothered to stay legal.  Maybe prison would be better, even at the risk of getting shanked as a Short Eyes.  At least then it would all be over with.  But alas, I could never hurt a child.  No matter what, some small part of me still holds out hope that things will go back to normal, or as close to normal as a celibate pedophile with little prospect of a future can get.  Besides, like I said earlier, I just couldn’t allow myself to foist this abomination onto another human being.  So I simply endured. Until …  

VirPed!:

I was still caught up in the same nonsense at the pro-contacter forum last year when Ethan Edwards started posting at the forum.  Actually he’d been there for a while.  I didn’t take much notice of him at first, but when I realized he was the constant target of the pro-contacters’ attacks, I sympathized with him and began to pay closer attention to his posts, realizing that he was an anti-contacter like me.  He was there to win over people who were either on the fence about the contact issue or didn’t agree with the pro-contacters’ position but had nowhere else to go to talk about their sexuality.  Until now.  Ethan and his friend Nick Devin founded Virtuous Pedophiles on the notion that pedos needed an alternative to those other forums, a place where they can feel comfortable and get the support they need without the pressure to support sketchy views about adult-child sex.          

I really can’t praise this organization enough.  It’s been a lifesaver for me.  I still get depressed and anxious sometimes, but I’m improving.  I feel better about myself and a little more hopeful about my future these days.  I have other pedophiles in my life that I’m actually proud to call friends, people I would trust my children with if I had any, knowing they’d be safe there.  Many, like Ethan, have raised families of their own, or are still doing so.  A large number of them are quite young.  Despite the prevailing stereotype of the dirty old man, the average age of posters at VP hovers around mid-twenties.  I’m so glad that younger folks are flocking to Virtuous Pedophiles, where they can get the coaching and support that was not available to us older pedos at their age.  It’ll make all the difference as they settle into themselves and learn to accept who they are.   

VirPed itself has become the go-to place for support for non-offending pedophiles and has been mentioned and endorsed everywhere from NPR, Salon and the Atlantic to the New York Times and Toronto Star.  As its popularity increases, so too does its effectiveness.  There are still holdouts, people who believe that pedophilic feelings should be crammed down into the most subterranean recesses of ourselves, never to be discussed in the open, but these folks are going the way of the dodo bird.  Anyway, we’ve tried that.  Take it from someone who has firsthand experience: it not only doesn’t work, it tends to make things far worse.  Please repeat this mantra to yourself: a repressed, unhappy pedophile is a pedophile at risk.             

Those individuals who have the courage to come forward and lay claim to this affliction with the understanding that they only want to use their pedo powers for good should be commended, not hated and feared.  You can’t imagine how difficult it is to tell people you’re a pedophile, even a non-offending one, and even if those people are other pedos.  Truly, the very concept of a pedophile who neither molests nor wants to molest children is often anathema to people’s way of thinking.  The long-held belief that pedophiles are destined to abuse kids is a tough one to overcome, yet many of us get just as upset as—if not more upset than—non-pedophiles when we read accounts of sexual abuse, not only because we hate when one of the little people we love most suffers, but also because, whenever yet another pedophile is arrested, it reinforces the reigning paradigm of the pedo as ticking time bomb.

For better or worse—mostly worse—we have this sexuality, and unlike with most sexualities, there is no ethical way we can fully actualize our sexual longings.  Our desires and feelings, if we are to remain upright, are doomed from the outset.  Indeed, whereas the majority of crimes can be bounced back from, society doesn’t extend a mulligan to molesters.  I understand why, but that doesn’t make the burden any lighter to bear, particularly for those of us who have minimal or no attraction to adults.  And for the pedos who are lucky enough to be able to form working relationships with adults, there are a new set of concerns: What if we have children?  Will I be a threat to them?  Can I ever share this fact with my spouse?  Can I ever love and want her as much as I do a child?  

So, please, be understanding and supportive.  It’s really all we ask of you.  Treat us like people with a massive handicap we must overcome, not as a monster.  If we are going to make it in the world without offending, we need your help.  Listening to me was a start.

Todd Nickerson is a freelance graphic designer / illustrator and an aspiring author. He’s also a moderator at the Virtuous Pedophiles forum. He currently lives in Tennessee. If you have questions or comments, you can reach him at starkroth@yahoo.com.
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I’m a pedophile, you’re the monsters: My week inside the vile right-wing hate machine

My pedophilia essay outraged the right. My attempt to humanize a real problem brought out their nastiest rage

My article “I’m A Pedophile, But Not a Monster” was published last week and it has been a whirlwind since. I’ve spent days doing radio interviews, even an appearance on TV (HLN’s Dr. Drew on Call), but mainly just answering the hundreds of emails that have poured in. Yes, the vast majority of them have been supportive.

While there has been a visible backlash, predominantly from the political right, in private it has been a different story. This piece has generated debate and controversy all over the world, well beyond my wildest imaginings. When I first approached Salon with the idea, my editor was receptive, but throughout the process of refining the piece, she asked me if I really understood what I was getting into. Her concern was palpable. I assured her I did, which was mostly true; I had no idea it would blow up as quickly as it did, and the bigger it got, the more of a tempest it became. Even so, I have no regrets. I knew when I wrote it that it was going to be an important piece, something unique and necessary. And so it was.

First, the positives. Of the hundreds of emails I’ve received, somewhere on the order of 95 percent of them have been thoughtful and respectful. Interestingly, perhaps 70 percent of these have been from women, many of them survivors of abuse themselves, who have pointed out that my article has helped them understand the issue better and even to make some peace with their past. Here’s an example (and yes, I have her permission to reprint this):

“Having survived sex trafficking, molestation and rape all at the hands of people I knew and trusted starting at age six, I am a very aggressive defender. I was drugged and trafficked by my biological crackhead father as a young child. Yet I am compelled to thank you. For your honesty and bravery and not going the other extreme creating more victims. It took a lot of courage for me to come out with my pain, and as you have never made anyone else suffer at your hands, I respect your honesty and struggle.”

Most notes were from people thanking me for my willingness to shed light on a little-understood issue that few scholars or experts want to approach. A few people admitted to me their own secret attractions for children, how they felt alone and uncertain how to process their feelings. I directed them toward VirPed; membership growth, which has been fairly steady since I joined over a year ago, has swelled over the last few days. What really surprised me was how many women confessed pedophilic desires, which is often thought to be an exclusively male predisposition. Others have contacted me to work with them on anti-child abuse and pedophilia-related projects. All necessary steps toward what I set out to achieve: a bridge between the celibate pedophile community and the non-pedophile population, setting an example for pedophiles who may not realize they aren’t doomed to molest kids, and creating an environment where we can all work together to end child sexual abuse.

What I want to focus on now is the continuing misconceptions, prevailing fears and willful ignorance I’ve encountered because of this, both about pedophilia itself and about Virtuous Pedophiles as an organization. My experiences doing the Niall Boylan Show (Irish talk radio) and the Dr. Drew on Call TV show taught me that pedophilia is still largely a gut-level issue for a lot of people. One caller to the radio show said that she didn’t want to know what pedophiles think and lambasted the show itself for even giving me a platform. I told her that no problem was ever solved by refusing to understand the issue. We’ve been in that mode for a few decades now—has it fixed the tragedies of child abuse and child porn? Nope. If anything, this attitude has only increased the problem, since pedophiles at risk of offending are unlikely to seek help in this severely hostile environment. This caller fancied herself a reasonable person, but she decided this issue was beyond any reason. Unfortunately, this viewpoint is all too common.

Another point that arose on Dr. Drew was that pedophiles are by nature compulsive. This opinion comes from the extant data, almost all of which is based on people who’ve been arrested, since non-offending pedophiles tend not to self-identify or participate in studies. What do you think that data is going to show? Yes, criminals are often compulsive, but this data says little about people like me, who haven’t offended. This point should be obvious, but these kinds of statements demonstrate the dearth of levelheadedness when it comes to this issue. Logic gets chucked out the window. Dr. Drew himself even suggested that, because I was using hydrocodone, I might’ve abused kids without knowing it. First off, I never took more than two or three pills a day, well within what is generally prescribed, even though they weren’t being prescribed to me. I never blacked out or even came close to being out of touch with reality. I’m neither stupid nor a massive risk taker. And being a doctor, he should’ve known that opiates pretty much obliterate your libido anyway.

Nearly all of the callers suggested I seek professional help myself, as did Dr. Drew. Well, I already tried that . . . more than once. My counselors were nice guys, but there was little they could do for me. They knew they couldn’t “cure” me of my sexuality—that doesn’t workon anyone and it won’t work for us. All they could do was lend a sympathetic ear. Another caller said I should do whatever it takes until I’m rid of this. For those of you who feel this way, question: are you going to foot the bill for that? In case you missed it from the first article, I am quite poor. I can’t afford that, and my state, Tennessee, is one of those that turned down the new Medicaid funding, leaving me without medical insurance. I am far from the only pedophile in this situation. And again, even if I could afford it, what could they do for me? As well, a lot of pedophiles are afraid to seek medical help because of the mandatory reporting laws, fearing that they could be reported even if they’ve done nothing wrong.

As for VirPed, one of the panelists on the Dr. Drew show suggested that our forum was dangerous because we lacked oversight. I didn’t get a chance to respond to this (nor to several other accusations leveled at me, since everyone pretty much just talked over each other and I politely stayed quiet until addressed directly by Dr. Drew himself), so I want to answer that point here. First off, it isn’t like we are operating in secret. Membership is open to anyone, including non-pedophiles, providing they follow our rules and aren’t just there to make problems for us. We’ve also worked with notable experts in the field, most prominently Dr. James Cantor, who holds a membership on our forum. And there’s nothing stopping the authorities from joining our forum either; I have little doubt that they are there, looking over our shoulders. So we do have some oversight. Besides, all those pro-contacter forums we’re competing against have no oversight either. Should we shut our digital doors while those forums continue to operate, until we get an official stamp of approval? Remember: when it comes to anti-contact pedo forums, we’re the only game in town. That being said, I am officially extending an invitation to any experts, scholars, counselors or authority figures who wish to learn from us, or even keep a watchful eye on us. We have never closed our doors to anyone who didn’t mean us harm.

With regard to angry respondents to my article, the greatest amount of flak has come from the far right, who smeared Salon for daring to allow me to speak, as if silencing pedophiles somehow equates to fighting sexual abuse. I want to state for the record that the members of our forum come from all political, religious and philosophical stripes. We are a pretty diverse group, but we really don’t fight about God or politics internally—our mission is too important to get caught up in that. But according to Breitbart and company, since Salon was willing to publish my piece, it must mean they have some secret agenda to “normalize pedophilia.” The constant refrain of these folks is the old slippery slope argument, where they resort to appealing to people’s fear of a future where anyone can marry anyone, or anything. These ultra-conservatives reject the notion of pedophilia being a sexual orientation not on scientific grounds but on purely political ones. They resist the word that best fits our sexuality (which many experts are now using themselves); in so doing, they are assuming that people are too dumb to understand that a term does not justify an activity. It is merely recognition of a state of being.

John Sexton’s article for Breitbart attempted to paint me as a terrible person, since the author apparently had no good arguments against my actual position and never bothered to ask me to clarify the points he was confused about. First off, Sexton attacks me for not narking out the people at the pro-contacter forum who were supposedly doing illegal things. This is purely a straw man attack, since I never observed anyone there doing anything illegal or admitting to illegal activity (which is actually forbidden by that forum’s rules). Before I respond, I want to say that I considered naming the forum here. I didn’t want to, but since I’m being forced to defend myself on the grounds that I haven’t really been vigilant about my anti-contact position, with the implication that I was likely involved in immoral activities myself, I almost felt I had no choice. But ultimately, I decided it was worth weathering the accusations not to give that forum the publicity they so desperately seek. At the risk of embarrassing myself for some stupid things in the past, you can seek out my old Wikisposure page if you like; it’s still out there, doing its mischief, so it’s not hard to find the name of that site if you are truly interested.

The point is, the site is not in the darknet. It has been operating openly for years. With respect to Sexton’s accusations, VirPed founder Ethan Edwards said it best:

“Law enforcement and vigilantes have both known about that board for the fifteen years or so it has been operating. They have apparently not had any legal grounds for shutting it down. There is no way to stop infiltrators who are on a mission. But somehow, the moral obligation falls to each and every depressed and confused pedophile to be an infiltrator and mole? Give me a break.”

As I said earlier, I never witnessed any illegal goings-on at the forum, nor heard anyone confess to molesting kids or using child porn. What exactly does Sexton expect me to have done? I should point out here that politically, most of the forum’s membership, including its moderators, actually fall into Breitbart and Sexton’s camp: they’re raging anti-government libertarian / minarchist types who believe their oppression is largely down to a feminist conspiracy. If you don’t believe me, go ask them yourself. Anyone can sign up and post there.

Another accusation of Sexton’s is that, because I pointed out in my article that I was still posting at that place (“still caught up in the same nonsense at the pro-contacter forum” as I put it) just over a year ago, before I joined VirPed, that must mean I was still repeating the pro-contacter BS. All I meant by that was that I was still there, butting heads with them over those issues, trying to belong but also arguing with them—sometimes for days on end—over the contact issue. Trust me, they have all of their debate points well thought out. It was incredibly frustrating to argue with them, but I held out hope that I could convince some of them to see the light. I couldn’t. I used every argument at my disposal to try to win them over. When that failed, I begged them, cajoled them, even attacked them for making these ridiculous claims from behind their anonymous nicks. Nothing worked. They behaved more like a cult than a supportive community. If you didn’t tow the pro-contacter line, they harangued you constantly. They embraced anyone who endorsed their position, including a self-confessed Nazi sympathizer, until even they could no longer tolerate his drivel. And they only continued to countenance me because I’d been there for so long and had once been in their camp. They knew I had nowhere else to go, and they figured if they badgered me long enough I would eventually break. Luckily, Ethan came along and offered me an alternative, and the rest is history.

But according to Sexton, I somehow supported the pro-contacters simply by hanging out there. Remember, I originally joined because there was nowhere else for me to get the support I longed for and talk to others who knew what it felt like to have this sexuality. That continued to be the case until VirPed came along, which I only became aware of because Ethan was scoping the place out just for people like me. Was Ethan also supporting the pro-contact stance by his mere presence? By this logic, Jesus must’ve been a sinner and criminal for deigning to hang out with sinners and criminals.

Sexton goes on to say that, with my article, I was “literally saying that not being a child rapist deserves special commendation.” I was not literally saying that. If I was literally saying that, I would’ve said that. Exactly. (Mr. Sexton needs to brush up on his dictionary.) Nor did I imply it. I used my article to give people a better understanding of where I was coming from, and to ask them to try to be more tolerant and open-minded about pedophilia as a condition. That’s it. Moreover, his point was based on the straw man argument that the community I belonged to was doing vile and illegal things in front of me and I simply looked the other way. Never happened. I feel I must stress this point again, but that discussion board has operated fully in the open for about fifteen years; anyone could join at any time and still can, including law enforcement folks. If there was any cause to swoop in and arrest its members, that would’ve happened long before now. No, I didn’t refrain from naming the site because it was shady; I refrained from naming it because I didn’t want to give them any publicity. Someone at the Breitbart site even suggested that I must’ve been seeking out child porn to even find such a site. Well, Perverted Justice found it easily enough. Were they also looking for child porn?

Then there’s Alex Crowder’s lunacy by way of Alex Jones: No, Salon.com, I Don’t Need to ‘Understand’ the Plight of Pedophiles. Again, the implication in the very title is that somehow kids are protected by willful ignorance. What reality does Crowder live in where things are made better by refusing to understand them? Never mind that his solution to sex offenders is to shoot them in the head, which goes beyond even the Old Testament law of an eye for an eye and warrants a comparison to the Nazis (who did execute sex offenders—not to mention the disabled—alongside gays and Jews); his solution to even confessing the attraction is exile from society. As if I haven’t already largely exiled myself. Seriously, ask my friends and family; I’m a notorious recluse who only ventures into public when absolutely necessary.

My takeaway from all of this right-wing bile is the same thing I realized about the vigilante groups who persecuted us: these people really don’t care about protecting kids. They have a political investment in maintaining a hardline approach to anyone who defies their simplistic black-and-white worldview; if kids are harmed because some pedophiles weren’t able to come forward and seek help in this apocalyptic environment, well then, they’re just collateral damage. I received emails from some haters who insisted I had to be abusing kids, even though I would have to be a moron to out myself if I were. I almost think these guys hate me more for being a celibate pedophile than if I really had abused kids, because I defy their need to view all pedophiles through the baby rape filter, and thus they don’t have to bother thinking about the issue with any kind of complexity or empathy at all. If they truly cared about kids, they would realize that society is better served by an atmosphere where pedophiles are not afraid to come out and identify themselves.

As one caller to the radio show pointed out, I am putting my name and face out there for your benefit as well as mine. You now know who I am and have the option to keep your kids away from me if you so choose. It makes little difference to me. For the record, my friends and family have long known my sexual orientation, and they haven’t stopped me from hanging out with their kids. They know me, and they know that harming their children is the last thing I would ever do. But it doesn’t hurt my feelings if you feel like you must shield them from me. Even so, the fact is, most child molesters aren’t even pedophiles anyway. They are situational offenders, and many studies (one by Kesicky, Andre & Kesicka and another by Nationaal Rapporteur Mensenhandel en Seksueel Geweld tegen Kinderen, both published last year, being the most recent examples) show that perhaps as much as 60 to 85 percent of abusers fall into this category. These are people who abuse kids for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with attraction: substituting a child for an absent or sexually unavailable adult, lack of scruples plus curiosity or boredom (often combined with poor impulse control), or because they get off on exploiting their power over the child or violating the taboo itself, to name some of them. Many parental abusers fall into this category. There is often concern expressed about pedophiles having children, but the Westermarck effect tends to counteract any attraction we might have for children who are closely related to us, especially our own. Ergo, most incestuous abusers aren’t abusing because of an attraction to their child and likely aren’t even pedophiles. Persecuting self-identified pedophiles certainly isn’t going to stop these people.

So, I again want to thank those of you whose outpouring of support, encouragement and love have been an amazing boon for me and my friends at VirPed. The article I wrote isn’t going to solve our problems in and of itself, but it has made clear to me that many people—perhaps the majority—really do want to better understand this issue and to help celibate pedophiles like me lead better and more fulfilling lives. And, of course, we all have the mutual goal of keeping kids safe. For those still on the fence, I hope you come to see that I’m not your enemy. I am here to educate you and assist you in whatever capacity I can.

Todd Nickerson is a freelance graphic designer / illustrator and an aspiring author. He’s also a moderator at the Virtuous Pedophiles forum. He currently lives in Tennessee. If you have questions or comments, you can reach him at starkroth@yahoo.com.

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