03 January 2019

Dear Dr. James: How can pedophiles find someone to talk about it with?

Dr. Cantor,

My name is Peter, I am 55 years old, and I am so very tired of being sexually attracted to teenage boys.  There, I said it.  I also want to say right up front that I am not a danger to myself or others.  I am not suicidal, and I am not an offender.

My entire life, I have been cursed by this attraction / orientation / compulsion / obsession / perversion.  Make no mistake, it is a curse, akin to vampirism or lycanthropy, and I want to help science solve it.  End it.  Learn to treat it.  Something along those lines.

I have friends, but no one really knows me, no one knows what I keep locked and chained in the basement of my mind.  I work, pay my bills, sometimes clean my house.  But I cannot wait until my workday is over, and I can race home, lock the door, and be safe.  I made up my mind to find someone to talk to about this, but there’s no safe way to do this, so I googled “therapy for pedophiles” and found your name and email address.

I really want to know the “why” behind my sexuality, and it is a terrible burden to realize that I most probably will never get this answer.  I feel like I live outside of normal human society.  I feel like an alien.

I would like to find someone in whom I could share my story, all of it, in the hopes that something could be learned about how this sickness takes hold.  And I’d like to donate my brain to science when I die, so that it can be researched and perhaps help in finding a key to the disease or (hoping against hope) a path towards some kind of effective treatment or cure for future people cursed with the same affliction.

I can’t talk with anyone in religion, because I refuse to believe in an invisible, imaginary, supernatural being who would ever create a life as painful and lonely as the one I have lived.  I cannot go to a local therapist because of mandatory reporting laws.  I cannot disclose this to a friend because, well, because I can’t afford to lose the few bits of human contact I have been able to nurture over the years.

I know it is folly to ask but can you help me?  Not treat me, or analyze me, or anything like that.  I know that there is no cure, only abstinence.  But help me tell my story, and maybe add a little information to the puzzle that is deviant sexuality.

At the very least, I’ve done what I promised myself I would do in 2019 – I’ve reached out.

Thank you for your time, and thank you in advance of any help you can provide.


Hello, Peter.  Congratulations on finally expressing it.  My own coming out (as gay) was hard enough, all I can do is imagine how much harder it is for you and others in your position.

The very best group I can send you to are the Virtuous Pedophiles at www.virped.org.  In case you have not already heard of them, they are other people who have come to appreciate that they are attracted to kids and support each other in remaining celibate (in some cases) or still maintaining a romantic relationship with another adult (in other cases).  You and they would all benefit from each others’ stories.  I am also posting it here (changing your identifying information) to help remind others in your position that none of you is alone.

Thank you very much for your generous (too small a word!) offer.  Unfortunately there does not yet exist a brain bank (or funding) for a project using actual brains.  I hope very much to be able to help establish such a thing.  It could be an amazing benefit to the generations that will follow you and me.  I certainly cannot not make any promises, but if I (or another scientist I find out about) ever does start such a thing, I will most certainly be doing everything I can to publicize it, including on my website, twitter account, and so on.  

I wish you the best of luck.


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