Children’s sexual fantasies

One thing I consistently hear from pedo-haters as a justification for their hatred and persecution of pedophiles, even non-offending pedophiles, is that children are basically innocent, by which they mean asexual. Ergo, any introduction to sex by an adult is inherently corrupting and destructive to their innocence. There are several problems with this line of reasoning, not least of which is that it implicitly conflates pedophilia with sexual abuse. But another problem with it is that it demonstrates a resounding ignorance of children themselves. For one thing, it fails to acknowledge children as individuals with their own set of interests and motivations. While all children begin as sexually naive, at some point most of them do begin to have some understanding of and even interest in sex, even if it is crude and often ill-informed. And many who have experienced it on some level, including masturbation, know it feels good. Children also fantasize about sex sometimes.

Over on Studio@Gawker, Stephanie Georgopulos, in conjunction with Comedy Central’s new show Not Safe with Nikki Glaser, just put out an article called Stuffed Animals, Cult Leaders, and the Mailman: Yes, Women Have Fantasies, Too, and I think it’s an important piece. It highlights not only women’s sexual fantasies but young girls’ as well. Here are some examples:

“My first fantasy was about being tied up. It was when I saw Peter Pan, the animated version, and they tied Wendy onto the pirate ship and she was trying to get free. I remember thinking that was really hot. Like during recess at school, I wanted to play ‘get tied up.’ That was so exciting to me.” — Jess, 30

Or:

“I was best friends with this guy in third grade, and I didn’t even know what sex was yet, but he gave me his school portrait and I put it on my pillow and humped a stuffed animal (the original sex toy). My fantasy was, I was laying on this bean bag we had in our classroom, and he tripped and fell on top of me, and then we rubbed our bodies together. I didn’t even know what penetration was, but I knew that whatever turned me on involved two bodies rubbing on each other.” — Amy, 28

There you have it—children have sexual fantasies too. I myself had a fantasy around age ten of being forcefully stripped by an adult or another child. I even had dreams about it, and when I would wake up just before being stripped, I often felt disappointed. These dreams were likely inspired by a scene from The Dark Crystal where the Skeksis Chamberlain was forcefully stripped out of his robes, and I remember playacting this scene once with a cousin (though not to the point where I was stripped completely).

Don’t get me wrong: the takeaway from this shouldn’t be that I think children are raging little horndogs who are ready to get it on, or that adults engaging children sexually should be seen as okay. My reason for bringing it up is a little more oblique: to point out how wrong most people are with respect to these issues in general. You see, the pro-contacters understand these things better than the average Joe does, and that is a massive problem, because young pedophiles who find themselves on a board like Girl Chat or Boy Chat can be easily confused by the essential truthfulness underscoring much of the pro-contact agenda, especially in light of how far out in left field the rest of society tends to be on this stuff. There is a point at which the pro-contact viewpoint slips into pure speculation and ultimately wishful thinking, but the transition is more subtle than you may think, and if society is going to have any chance of winning over young, impressionable pedophiles to right-thinking in the face of that seductive pro-contact bias, then it needs to be more honest about these issues.

Moreover, this mistaken view about children as perfectly asexual little angels actually makes them more vulnerable to sexual abuse. Consider: a child who masturbates meets a molester who points out to the child how good it feels to stimulate the genitalia. The child may already know this, but they also know that most adults, including their parents, think they don’t do such things, or even know about them. Who do you think the child is more likely to trust on sexual matters, the adult who tells the child what they already know, or the adult who is in utter denial about these things?

Think about it.

10 thoughts on “Children’s sexual fantasies

  1. Some good points there, especially about ‘the essential truthfulness underscoring much of the pro-contact agenda’ 😉

    I think that the great lengths that society goes to protect children from exposure to sex, sensual pleasure and desire shows that society doesn’t really, deep-down believe children are sexless.

    An analogy is that of a lion wandering around in a field of grass – a farmer doesn’t have to protect his grass from a lion wandering through it because it’s absolutely got no interest in eating grass and probably takes no notice of the grass around it.

    If children were naturally asexual society would not have to hide sex from them since, like the lion in the field of grass, they would take no notice of it when they encountered it – it would not register in their consciousness.

    In my experience children are enormously curious about sex and will focus in on it pretty determinedly whenever they encounter it. That’s why if you want to keep your children ‘innocent’ you have to actually go to great lengths and efforts to maintain it – hiding your own sexuality from them, preventing them seeing animals mating, hiding any books, films etc which contain sexuality, telling them the minimum about it, not relating any information or education you do give them to ideas of desire or pleasure…

    The way society acts with children and sex is less like a lion in a wheat field and more like a horse in a wheat field – doing everything to keep them separate, fencing the field round, preventing anyone from walking their horse anywhere near it and severely punishing anyone who should let their horse actually wander into the field and graze on its natural food-stuff.

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    1. Yeah, much of society is pretty schizophrenic when it comes to children and sex. Parents can hold two completely opposing views and either be unaware of it or unwilling to even consider the contradictions in their own viewpoint, and that actually puts them at greater risk for abuse than less.

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  2. Very good and important topic. Anyone who affirms that children are somehow not sexual beings is just ignorant. We’ve known this forever. That, of course, doesn’t mean that adults should interfere in their sexual development. I wanted to comment on this part, however:

    “Ergo, any introduction to sex by an adult is inherently corrupting and destructive to their innocence.”

    It’s funny to hear in many articles and news stories how “pedophiles” (meaning child molesters) often “groom” children by “teaching” them about sex, telling them about masturbation or showing them pornography in order to “lower their inhibitions”. On the other hand, you hear about progressive sex education programs where they want to do exactly the same thing (with the exception of showing them pornography) at increasingly young ages, like teaching kids as young as 5 or 6 about masturbation. Either it’s a terrible thing to do or it’s something an adult should teach a child, and it is essential for their growing up into sexually aware and healthy teenagers and later adults, but it can’t be both things. Of course I realize the intention with which it may be done can be the difference here, but I still find it ironic.

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    1. Yeah, I think how we view these things often it depends on context. There’s a great line from Jenny Kitzinger, from an essay about these very issues, where she says, “The twin concepts of innocence and ignorance are vehicles for adult double standards. A child is ignorant if she doesn’t know what adults want her to know, but innocent if she doesn’t know what adults don’t want her to know.”

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    2. ‘Tis a difficult topic to change, especially in a society where sex has been traditionally very taboo. Maybe with the new ideology of sex positive education, this could be something that changes slowly.

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  3. Lot’s of good points made here. I know I certainly had sexual fantasies as a child, some of which started at a fairly early age. Sure, they weren’t as intense or detailed as my sexual fantasies became after I moved into puberty, but I definitely had them. In my case, I was actually fairly obsessed with sex and pornography as a child, but that had more to do with the aftermath of CSA and was not what would be considered healthy or normal childhood sexuality. Either way, the belief that children are asexual is definitely a misguided one.

    On the other hand, I am a firm believer in the innocence of children. To me, the innocence of children is one of the most beautiful and wonderful things about them. However, I believe that most people define innocence improperly. Innocence is not synonymous with asexuality, yet people conflate the two as often as they conflate pedophile with child molester. Innocence and asexuality are two completely separate concepts, and even children who’ve been repeatedly sexually abused retain much of what I see as their innocence. Does exposing children to sexual acts that they are not ready for damage their innocence? Sure, but so does exposing them to completely nonsexual acts of graphic violence. Still, you can not take a child’s innocence away completely, as much of it is as innate to being a child as smaller bodies and cuter faces. It’s something they grow out of and loose naturally as their minds develop and they experience more of the world. Before that, it can be tarnished, but it can not be taken away.

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