This may open a nasty can of worms – may trigger some?
One day recently before breakfast my wife warned me that we had received a serious email and i should try not to get triggered by it. she was afraid that I’d just read it and freak out. Someone we used to know from our college days had been arrested for aggravated child p0rn. his wife emailed us when she got our Christmas card and told us the news and that she had divorced him when she found out. They have several kids that are young adults now. What made it even worse was that he had been in a career that made him a specialist on children – he had done tons of research, written books, and was recognized in his field as an expert.
we googled his name and the city and discovered newspaper articles about the case. they raided his home and found 5 computers and hundreds of DVDs full of the crap - much of it with kids under 13. he was apparently also trading internationally. rather than try to deny it - he tried to justify it as therapeutic and used lots of psychological mumbo-jumbo to defend himself. he was a university professor at a well-known institution. He was fired as soon as the case became known.
i wanted to vomit! i felt sick. and tainted. and guilty by association. it hit me harder than a random news item because i knew the guy. and maybe more…
I have had a history of surfing the web for photos that I used to try to re-enact and control, understand and reinterpret the memories of abuse in which I was involved. From what I’ve read and heard, that’s pretty common. I had tried to steer clear of the illegal ones that had under-age models. I didn’t want to be even indirectly linked to or associated with the perps who produce that garbage. I thought I was better than that.
and then I started to think about it…
yeah - i know that my favorite flavor of p0rn was different from CP - but have you ever tried explaining the fine distinctions of different types of p0rn to someone who hasn’t been exposed to it? like the difference between the amateur self-pix and the professionally produced stuff with big-name “models” or “performers”? the web-cam stuff that is real-time and personally solicited or subscribed versus the videos that are scripted and produced? I know that the child type is illegal and that kids are abused to produce it. so that is definitely outside the pale. I would never knowingly go there.
but then i thought - maybe even the legally-of-age technically “adult” kind may involve some abuse. who knows if those guys who may be barely past their significant birthday – whatever age that is in their home country – are being subjected to intimidation, threats, and actual physical and psychological abuse? Some of them look younger than they are – and they are coveted for that reason. The fact that they may be slow to mature physically – may also mean that they are emotionally less mature – so does a magic age really mean that much? I know that I looked much older than my actual age – I matured way too early and at 14 probly would have passed for 19. That would have given me a free pass to “perform” in those photo shoots and films. No one would have guessed. That wouldn’t have given them the advantage of having a boy who looked under-age but was actually legal. But I’d have been much more compliant and submissive to command than another boy who was actually the older age that I appeared to be. And I can’t help but wonder – how the guys who star in the photos and films found themselves on that path? I’ve read some stories here of kids – unquestionably under-age - that were forced to do it. does anyone as an adult freely choose it because it is so much fun or whatever – or are they ALL victims – either grown up survivors of CSA or adults who have been used and exploited?
I talked about it with another friend by PM and with my T and that helped and I thought I was over it. but last night the subject came up again – and I was still disturbed by it. I wouldn’t call it “triggered” exactly – but upset and saddened and affected in my emotions and possibly my conscience. so i am still very conflicted - feeling like both a victim and a perp –feeling abused because I identify with the exploited boy “models” – and feeling guilty for having looked at any pix of whatever age guys. It really makes me feel rotten to think that I may have contributed to the abuse and exploitation of anyone – whatever their age and legal status - because if no one looked at it – no one would make it.
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9