A few years ago, I went on a date with a guy I'd met in a coffee shop. Things were going great, but then he announced that he was a pedophile.
He said he'd never touched a child and thought that pedophilia should be recognized as a sexual orientation, just like heterosexual and homosexual. I excused myself to the bathroom and stood in shocked silence for several minutes. What had I just heard? I left the date and never saw him again.
He's not, of course, the only person in the world with those feelings and beliefs. Todd Nickerson is another admitted pedophile, and he runs a website called VirPed, short for "virtuous pedophiles." Here, individuals can come together to talk about their attraction to prepubescent children.
This look inside the life of a self-proclaimed virtuous pedophile is unlike anything I've ever seen before. Nickerson's days are spent running an online forum for pedophiles, or minor-attracted people (MAPs), as some prefer to be called. He sometimes fantasizes about "superhero" children who are able to consent to sex, and at the age of 43, he claims that he's still a virgin.video-player-present
Nickerson, who calls himself a "pioneer of pedophilia," says that VirPed helps non-offending pedophiles come to grips with their feelings. The website is filled with posts like the one below, as well as biographies, poetry, and "letters to self" from virtuous pedophiles to their younger selves.
There are also several posts on the site by individuals who were molested as children, many of which express support. A woman by the name of Nancy wrote:
"Thank you from a former sexually abused child ... A big swollen and heart-filled THANK YOU. I never thought in my wildest dreams I would have the capacity to say those words to a pedophile, being a 32-year-old woman who has experienced painful sexual abuse as a child myself. It’s because you, and the other virtuous pedophiles of the world, haven’t done anything wrong for being in the world as you are but have only worked to try to figure out how to make things RIGHT in the world in dealing with this immensely charged and difficult issue. What’s more is I can see how you did this and persevered against all odds, in a very hostile world, risking everything…where people would rather seriously hurt you instead of HELP you and other people like you. Naturally, I was no different and used to feel the same hate and rage. But now I know such feelings do nothing to actually effectively deal with this problem in any fair or helpful way."