Note: The book may be downloaded from the link at the end of this entry. Also, the links in this article will take you to the original .HTML files at the site where they are published. -- Ipce

Back cover text:

Introduced by Copenhagen's eminent sexologist, Dr. Preben Hertoft, this readable volume, translated from the Danish, begins with three essays on what is really known (rather than what "experts" in the media tell us) about sexual relations between adults and minors. Then follow sixteen fresh, spontaneous interviews with people concerned - an attorney specialising in the defense of paedophiles, a Copenhagen judge, adults who have sexual relations with minors, minors who have sexual relations with adults - even one mother of such a boy. Most of the youngsters found their sexually expressed friendships with adults a positive force in their lives and helpful in the discovery of self.

Crime without victims


Preface to the web edition, 2010

Preface / The Editors

Introduction: Paedophiles Don't Hurt Children / Preben Hertoft, Sexologist

Part I: Discussions

The Image of the Child Molester.

What Science Tells Us / Arne Frederiksen

The Sexual Child / Bent Petersen, Cand. Psych

Part II: Interviews

Counsel for the Defence: "Examining a child witness is always risky." / Manfred Petersen, attorney

The judge: "The emotions involved should be kept at a level suitable to the child." / F. A. Wehner, Judge at the Tribunal of Copenhagen

"One night going home from Scouts.." / Holger, 55 years old

"You won't get a colour television if you don't stop seeing Niels" / Per, 16 years old

"I was afraid that it could turn into abuse" / Sus, 24 years old

"An incredible number of children are left to themselves" / Erik, 42 years old

"I suspect he'll go with my little brother later" / Stefan, 10 years old

"There was always a streak of sadomasochism in me" / Martin, 19 years old

"If I had enough money I wouldn't do it" / Peter, 14 years old

"I think I'm wasting my time and energy here" / Joey, 33 years old

"I've always done what they say I shouldn't" / Tommy, 20 years old

"I spend so much time with children that people ask me if it's because I'm a paedophile" / Kaj, 27 years old

A Case of Assault. "I desperately wanted to escape or scream, but I couldn't make a sound" / Linda, 28 years

"He was not a kind of father figure" / Lotte, 27 years old

"He understands me better than my own mother" / David, 16 years old

Reading Material on PaedophiliaCRIME WITHOUT VICTIMS
A book about paedophilia
Edited by the "Trobriands" collective of authors
Translated from the Danish by Dr. E. Brongersma

Global Academic Publishers
a division of New Perspectives Uitgeverij
Postbus 12731
NL-1100 AD Amsterdam
The Netherlands
This book has been previously published in Danish as: FORBRYDELSE UDEN OFFER, En bog om pædofili © 1986 Tiderne Skifter/Trobrianderne
ISBN 87-7Ø5-262-2
© English translation Edward Brongersma, 1992
First edition April 1993
ISBN 90-6971-045-5


This book discusses a phenomenon on which most people have had no opportunity to obtain clear and objective information.

Sex between adults and children is subject to one of the strongest taboos in Western society. When it does take place it is usually carried out in the utmost secrecy.

Those who are sexually attracted to children are called paedophiles, or child-lovers, or sometimes "child molesters". The young people involved are usually of an age just before to just after puberty.

In this present volume we have tried to discuss as many aspects, both positive and negative, of the phenomenon of paedophilia as possible, by means of interviews and studies. We have not allowed our personal feelings and moral conceptions about the phenomenon to intrude; rather, we have allowed people to speak for themselves: children, parents and paedophiles. We leave it up to the reader to form his or her own opinions. With respect to the interviews, we recorded them as accurately as possible and those interviewed were subsequently given the opportunity to approve of our text. Naturally, we have changed all names and other particulars that could identify the children or their adult lovers.

We have given less importance to the - fortunately rare - examples of sexual molestation or violence against children, for they are described in depth elsewhere. To make a comparison possible we nevertheless thought it necessary to include one case of sexual molestation (interview with Linda).

Having studied the phenomenon of paedophilia from many points of view, we came to the conclusion that relations of mutual love, if allowed to develop freely, have an enriching influence on children, furthering their development. Sexual molestation, on the other hand, with its cynicism and lack of love, may, under certain circumstances, inflict irreparable harm upon the child's emotional life.

The aim of this volume is to try to induce parents, teachers, psychologists, judges and other authorities to listen more closely to what the individual children have to say; to what they delight in, and to what is felt by them to be disgusting.

Just as important, we wish to combat the out-dated norms and moral conceptions that have made all too many children suffer from feelings of shame and guilt about their own sexual behaviour, whether it be masturbation or sexual activities involving other children or adults.

We wish to thank the sexologists Bent Petersen and Preben Hertoft, as well as the lawyers Manfred Petersen and F.A. Wehner for their contributions, the criminologist Berl Kutchinsky for his expert assistance, and the author Erik Thygesen for his help in editing this book. And we are grateful to all the unnamed children, paedophiles and parents who trusted us and talked to us openly about their experiences and their views. On the whole we were met with an unbelievable welcome everywhere, with one single exception: in spite of persistent and repeated attempts, it proved impossible to find even one police officer willing to talk about his or her experiences with what they call "sexual delinquency with minors". This reticence on the part of the police was partly due to their fear of criticism, but it is to be regretted that the reader is thus deprived of this one very important perspective.

- The Editors

Preben Hertoft, Sexologist:

Introduction: Paedophiles Don't Hurt Children

- from Politikens Kronik, 15 December, 1984

Sexual assault is always an unacceptable act and can never be justified. We must be particularly alert when such an assault is committed upon a child. In all contacts between an adult and a child - and not only sexual ones - the adult bears a special responsibility.

During the last few years I have met a number of men who define themselves as paedophiles. They came to me because they were unhappy, were misunderstood or humiliated, or were afraid of the reactions of their colleagues, of their parents or of various authorities. There was always the chance, if things went wrong, that they would be mistaken for violent criminals or even murderers. They loved children - and they did not deny that they also loved them sexually, but this did not mean that they lacked a sense of responsibility, nor that they would ever consider hurting a child. On the contrary, they had often aided children who were in trouble and felt betrayed, and they were upset by the considerable number of children who lead such an unhappy life in our society.

Paedophiles are a group under attack and their situation is an unfortunate one, for in many cases the object of their interest and love will always remain unattainable. Easy solutions to many of the problems facing paedophiles simply do not exist.

There are so many misunderstandings about paedophilia, and discussions of the subject are so often emotional rather than objective - understandable, perhaps, but hardly helpful - that I will try in the following pages to clarify the subject.

Firstly, a definition: the word paedophilia means love of children. We can define a paedophile as a person, generally a male, who feels himself particularly attracted to young persons ranging in age from pre-puberty to those who have recently reached sexual maturity. The paedophile finds sexual satisfaction in relationships with youngsters in this age group, and it is characteristic that as a youth's body becomes fully developed, he becomes sexually less attractive to a paedophile. Why some people become paedophiles we do not know, just as we do not know why most people develop the accepted and so-called normal sexuality. We also do not know how many paedophiles there are. We have no means of changing a paedophile's sexual desires.

The general attitude towards sexual relations between adults and children varies according to the society in which these relations take place. There are indeed cultures where, to a certain degree, relations between adults and children are accepted. In Scandinavia such relations are, as we know, most often negatively viewed. This is probably due to the fact that the child or youth is seen as a victim of assault by an adult, and people assume that the child will be damaged by such an experience, if not physically, then psychologically. The adult is taken for a sexual delinquent, devoid of morality and afflicted with an exclusively sexual interest in children.

But this general view must be subject to closer examination. Violent sexual assaults upon children do occur, but they are not characteristic of paedophile relationships.

It is also not helpful to confuse the exploitation of children, such as might be found expressed in child pornography, with typical paedophile relationships. Child pornography has as little to do with reality as does adult pornography. Finally, there are two more subjects that we must separate from paedophilia: - although not uncommon and liable to confuse the issue - prostitution and incest.

Most paedophile relationships have as little in common with prostitution as do sexual relationships between adults. A paedophile relationship is rarely restricted to purely sexual involvement as it generally involves a mutual emotional interest. It is wrong to reach conclusions about the prostitution of minors and then to apply these same conclusions to paedophilia and its consequences. Child prostitution is first and foremost a social problem and the adult clients of child prostitutes are very often not paedophiles at all.

As for incest, such relations have quite a different background and very different effects on the child as compared to paedophilia. Firstly, the adults involved in incestuous relationships are generally not paedophiles and are thus not specifically interested in contacts with children as such. Secondly, incestuous relationships often imply a brutal breach of trust and misuse of authority. This is precisely the reason why incest can be so traumatizing and cause such serious psychological conflicts. Incestuous relationships are a family problem, and are a sign that there is something wrong with the family in which such relations, often intergenerational, take place.

In former times children were not considered to have sexual feelings and impulses. We now know, from research and observation, that these suppositions are untrue. That children are also sexual beings is, of course, no justification for adults to involve themselves with children. But from our knowledge of human behaviour it should not surprise us that children who are seeking a close relationship with an adult do not necessarily feel that there is such a big chasm between close mental and physical contact in the general sense and the kind of contact which we, often artificially, label as sexual.

As far as older children are concerned, they are usually aware of what is happening, as the following example perhaps may illustrate. Bent, now an adult and married, relates:

"I was twelve when I met G. I had lost a small ring and G. helped me find it. He was about fifty years old and was a seaman. I guessed that his helpfulness might be motivated by sexual interest, for boys perceive such things quickly. All the same, he was a nice fellow and I was glad to have somebody with whom I could gossip."

The relationship between Bent and G. developed into a sexual contact. Bent continues:

"I was always the one who insisted that we do something together. One day when we were out I persuaded him to board an empty boat that lay alongside the quay. As far as sex is concerned, we did a bit of everything. For me he was a comrade. I found it exciting to hear about his life as a seaman, and I could talk with him about everything. I had an outlet for all those things I didn't dare talk about at home. I always looked forward to his ship's return to our town. We had a magnificent time together. But after a few years he signed off and I didn't see him any more. I had, on the whole, a very good relationship with my parents, but I never talked to them about sex and I never told them about G."

Bent's story is not exceptional; on the contrary, it is quite typical, as we know from the many studies now published about paedophile relationships.

I deliberately chose Bent's story as an example, partly because it is the most common kind of paedophile relationship, and partly because in discussing paedophilia one must always be precise and take special care to give the age and sex of the child involved. Relationships with younger children should be approached in a different way than those with children nearing puberty. The sex of the younger partner is also important, as it defines the position one should adopt. However, discussions concerning paedophilia often ramble off into gruesome stories about adult men raping young girls. This tells us more about the fantasies inhabiting the heads of those who tell such stories than it does about paedophilia.

Furthermore, research indicates that adult sexual relationships with children resemble the sexual play that children have with each other more than intercourse between adults.

Most paedophile contacts take place in the home of one of the partners and these partners are usually already acquainted with each other. Although paedophile relations with girls occur more frequently within a rather narrow circle of acquaintances, relations with boys generally have a more casual background. Research shows that the child is often an active participant in the relationship (as described above by Bent), has a positive view of the relationship both sexually and in a wider general sense, and does not feel hurt by it. Boys often continue their contact with the adult for many years after the end of sexual activities. Usually they develop normally, will often later marry and start a family, and will, perhaps, invite their former (paedophile) lover to their home, etc. I don't mention this to idealize paedophile relations, but to counterbalance the tales of horror.

We may therefore conclude that in cases of mutual consent and mutual sexual attraction, sexual activity itself seems to produce no damaging effects. It is to be hoped that this may put parents' minds at rest and help them to avoid being unnecessarily upset and anxious.

Although it is often assumed that "neglected" children in particular allow themselves to become involved in sexual contacts with adults, this is not confirmed by research in the field. Research indicates, rather, that boys who have sexual contacts with adults come neither from particularly neglectful families nor from specific social levels, but that both physically and mentally they tend to be somewhat above average.

I mention these facts not in order to promote paedophile relationships, but to offer some thoughts for reflection. We may start to question whether such feelings are as strange - or, worse, "unnatural" - as is often assumed. Is the adult always committing an assault and is the child always a passive "victim"? Do paedophile relationships always have damaging effects upon children, leaving them perverted or deformed? Are such relationships devoid of any positive aspects?

A calmer attitude towards sexual contacts between children and adults - for we know that these take place, whatever our attitude towards them - has several advantages: parents and others who are responsible for children would suffer less anxiety and the child would be exposed to less traumatization when being examined and questioned by those in authority if and when a paedophile relationship is discovered.

Paedophiles would cease to be regarded as monsters or child molesters who only want to hurt children, and people would understand that they are men just like others, with the same good and bad qualities, men whose feelings and impulses are focused towards an age group where sexual relations often cannot be realized due to concern for the child's best interests. For obviously we cannot make sacrifices of the children involved just to meet the desires and needs of paedophiles. At the same time it would be a great step forward if paedophiles were no longer automatically assumed to be rapists and murderers.

I will close with a few words about the legal age of consent, because in some ways this defines what is understood by the term paedophilia.

Before 1930 the age of consent in Denmark for heterosexual relations was 12! Most people by now have forgotten this and some may be horrified by the fact. The penal code of 1930 set the age of consent for heterosexual relations at 15 years of age, and that for homosexual relations at 18 years. Homosexual activities had previously been forbidden.

In 1974 the Ministry of Justice asked the Council for Penal Law to make recommendations on lowering the ages of consent for heterosexual and homosexual contacts and on the possibility of eventually abolishing set age limits altogether.

After deliberations the Council recommended lowering both age limits to 14 years. Many arguments - particularly judicial - were put forward against the total abolition of fixed age limits. (Report No. 747, 1975).

It was not possible, however, to obtain a majority vote for an age limit of 14, so in 1976 both age limits were fixed at 15 years of age. This put an end to many years of discrimination against homosexuals, although some people were afraid that this law reform would give homosexuals a "free hand" to attack defenseless young men - dark prophecies which were to be proven groundless. On the other hand the police were freed from much useless work and many homosexuals were able to sleep more easily.

Due process of law is always possible in cases of sexual assault, regardless of the age of consent in effect. A lowering of the age of consent does not give a "free hand" for abuse. It does, however, decriminalize most sexual contacts based upon mutual consent and frees many people from unnecessary fears of being involved in a scandal and/or subjected to humiliation, blackmail and judicial punishment.

As noted above, what we can do for paedophiles is limited. However I would like to see a new, preferably objective, discussion on the legal age of consent in the hope that, whatever age limit is ultimately established, more factual information concerning paedophilia will help us stop considering paedophiles as monsters obsessively bent on assaulting children and see them for what they are: fellow humans who are, in most respects, no different from the rest of us.

The Image of the Child Molester

When Thing Go Wrong

Real social awareness begins for most children at eight to ten years of age.

This is when they begin to read newspapers and can follow television subtitles, when they start to discuss nuclear policy with their friends and to take an interest in the adult world around them.

This is also the age at which they begin to discover their erotic needs - that is, if the adult world has not succeeded in instilling in them restrictive sexual inhibitions. And it is at this age that boys become attracted to men they admire and can identify with.

If erotic feelings arise between a boy of this age and an adult male whom the boy likes and trusts, the adult will, in general, not show that he is erotically attracted to the boy, even in those cases in which the boy is impatient and tries to make his desires known. Also, boys of this age experience the strongest homophobic influences. (Homophobia is the fear of homosexuality, present in most men.)

Let us look at a story which shows what may happen when a boy's sexual curiosity and his desire for emancipation are frustrated.

This is not about one particular child, but rather a compilation of the experiences of various boys we have known: Rene, Brian, Kenneth, Dennis. We will call our boy Peter. The object of Peter's first erotic interest is his father. Peter tries to approach his father sexually when he is four; however his attempts are so consistently rejected that sexual play with his father remains physically impossible.

At the age of nine Peter becomes attracted to his uncle, however the uncle also rejects his advances. Peter reconsiders his rejection and is on the look-out for, or perhaps quite accidentally meets, a man who dares to accept his advances.

It is relatively easy for a young boy to make contact with an adult male outside the home when such contact within the home environment is refused him. In Copenhagen, for example, one of the city squares is known by the younger generation as the "Square of Friends." As one boy says, "If you sit down on the Square of Friends you'll have a gay friend within 15 minutes."

Perhaps Peter makes his first contact at the Square of Friends. He is invited to the man's home. They have a good time consuming soft drinks, watching videos and having sex (the days of bonbons have gone forever). Peter leaves with the urgent instruction - perhaps even threat - not to speak about this to anybody. And he is told not to come again.

The next time he goes to the Square of Friends the same thing happens. But now Peter discovers that money can be earned this way. When he asks for a loan for bus fare home the cash is given immediately, or perhaps he gets it without even having to ask. The whole thing seems easier to understand if money is involved, as though money, in some way, absolves those concerned from emotional engagement and responsibility.

Peter becomes acquainted with a man he is allowed to visit more than once, "but not too frequently - and be careful of the neighbours."

At one point in this process, Peter attempts to make the important adults in his life aware of his erotic needs, but his hints are so vague that nobody takes any real notice. Peter soon concludes that his needs are not understood. Young boys in such situations have sharp intuitions and Peter feels that his needs are being intentionally ignored.

Peter isolates himself. He withdraws from his parents, his teachers, his friends. Things begin to go badly for him at school and at home. The conflict cannot be resolved, as open communication is impossible.

Peter's adult lovers are powerless. They cannot come into the open without the risk of judicial punishment and public condemnation. They are all afraid of a more than superficially erotic involvement with Peter. Young boys like Peter can only experience one-time sexual contacts or be party to secret, illegal relationships, at least until they are fifteen.

Peter begins his conscious erotic life when he is nine or ten; it is restricted to casual sex, usually in the form of prostitution, for more than five years - five tender years that have a decisive effect upon one's future social behaviour.

When Peter is twelve or thirteen the inconceivable happens and he meets a warm-hearted man, a man who dares to give free expression to his own and Peter's love. Peter hopes that the relationship will continue, however the decision lies ultimately with the adult. Peter settles down in this relationship and recovers from the unfulfilling life of casual contacts. But now, although he is more at ease in his old surroundings, he dislikes staying at home.

The man tells Peter, "You may come and go as you like. My home is your home. You can be yourself here."

Peter prefers to pass his time with his friend rather than stay at home with his parents who find him difficult and closed. There he can neither talk about nor express his feelings, and so they are not understood. All authority figures around Peter unconsciously react negatively to Peter's homosexuality rather than let him live with it.

Peter's friend would like to talk with Peter's parents. He would like to say: "Hello! I'm your son's closest friend. He's on the verge of rejecting you as parents and turning me into a kind of substitute father. In a marriage you cannot be father and mother to each other, and in a relationship of this sort we shouldn't play the roles of father and son. It's best to stay close to one's biological parents rather than look for substitutes."

He does not, however, dare talk to them. At the worst he would be immediately reported to the police. Perhaps Peter's parents would "only" throw him out of the house and send Peter to a boarding school in the country, depriving the boy of his lover/surrogate father, his mother and his father.

The more a boy's adult authority figures ignore his erotic needs, the more likely it is that he will be tortured by homophobia for the rest of his life, in which case prostitution will, perhaps, be the only way for him to satisfy his sexual desire for men.

Neither Peter nor his friend dare discuss their relationship with others - they are alone with their love and feel they are being persecuted. "Someone's at the door - don't open it."

At home Peter becomes more and more withdrawn, until one night it becomes too much for him and he shows up at his friend's house. "I've run away," he says and goes inside. "I'm going to live with you."

Although Peter is by now only thirteen, he thinks of himself as an adult. Nobody will decide over his life any longer. Never again!

"You can't do this, Peter," the man says, frightened. Peter has no idea how troubling his fear is. Peter is allowed to spend the first night. His friend suffers a sleepless night and stays home from work the next day. They talk and talk. Towards the end of the afternoon the man tells Peter he must go back home. Peter leaves, but does not go home. He goes to the Square of Friends. "I'll find a new man, damn it!" he thinks.

He manages to carry it off for three days by staying overnight with casual acquaintances. On the fourth day he is caught on the street by one of the many people searching for him.

So Peter does go home again. His father is a little proud that his son has managed to take care of himself for three days. His mother is relieved and cries hysterically - her little boy is back.

Peter will not tell anyone why he ran away. Mad at his big friend, Peter abandons him. He feels betrayed and badly treated.

A month passes, then Peter runs away a second time. He is tracked down and caught, and perhaps put under supervision or enrolled in some service for after-school care. He runs away yet again and now he gets to know about hustling and the drug scene.

When questioned as to what is the matter, he will only say that he wants to be himself, to be his own master, and to make his own decisions about his life.

Peter does not dare to open up and talk about what he wants and how he feels. Nobody has the insight to see what it is that Peter wants to be free from, and if a few people do start to suspect, they will simply shake their heads and think: "He is still too young."

Coming Out

The expression "coming out" originated in gay and lesbian circles. To come out as gay or lesbian is to openly acknowledge that homosexuality is an integral part of one's life style.

To come out as a paedophile is to openly acknowledge having sexual desires for boys or girls.

For most gays and lesbians the coming out period is a trying one, often marked by an identity crisis. Coming out for paedophiles is usually even more difficult than for gays and lesbians; many never actually succeed. At first the young paedophile (like most people) experiments with the more accepted forms of sexual expression, having sexual relations with male and female peers or with older males. But not with the most forbidden class of potential partners - boys or girls.

But whichever substitute form of sexual expression the young paedophile may try, it will never give him the sexual satisfaction he is longing for.

Several years will perhaps pass by in this way, with the paedophile seeming to live a harmonious life. However, something is missing and he cannot discover what it is.

He has been aware for a long time that he is fond of children or adolescents. He has played the part of "favourite uncle" on several occasions and the children liked him very much. However, the idea of having a sexual relationship with any of these children is something he has never dared imagine. He has, of course, read about "child molesters" and can in no way identify himself with that kind of person. They are described as evil and cynical child abusers while he could never imagine himself ever hurting a child.

But finally it happens. One day he meets a child that feels a need to be close with him, a child that shows him so much affection that he falls in love. Self-awareness can now no longer be repressed.

It is the beginning of a somewhat awkward friendship. He is miserable because, afraid of his own feelings, he dares not touch the child. There is no question of sexual relations, as he is much too troubled by his own feelings, and the friendship soon deteriorates.

However, self-awareness has been attained and he now begins to actively look for contacts with children.

At first he is not particularly at ease with himself. He is shy and feels ashamed of his own behaviour. At times he returns to his former "normal" life, attempting to persuade himself that his feelings are only imaginary; however he slowly learns to accept that he has to live as a paedophile with all the risks this implies.

The amount of time this coming out process takes varies considerably from person to person. A paedophile who has already lived with other men for some years and who has already attempted to come out as gay will, of course, more easily recognise his paedophilia than an individual who has previously experienced only heterosexual relationships.

Of course, it is even more difficult for a female paedophile. She may never have heard that such people exist, and so it will be most difficult for her to understand that what she had heretofore thought of as her "motherly instinct" was really the mainspring of her sexual drive.

Some paedophiles come out when they are still quite young, others only when they have reached the age of 30 or 40, still others never do. This is a very individual process. Some paedophiles claim they always knew they were. boy- or girl-lovers. Occasionally you will hear a paedophile say that even back when he was ten years old he was drawn to little boys, and has felt the same way ever since. It sounds paradoxical to hear of a ten-year-old "paedophile" seducing a thirteen-year-old, but this is undoubtedly a more common occurrence than most people would like to believe.

The Social Function of the Child-Lover

We have all had the experience of crawling around on our knees and playing with a two-year-old, so soft and cuddly that we would like to just sit and caress him for a half an hour. Then, when after several minutes he gets restless and wants to be put down we know we have to concede to his wishes if our cuddling him is to remain acceptable. Younger as well as older children show very clearly just where they fix their limits and we have to learn to interpret these signals. It is, thus, a combination of knowing your own limits and learning those of the child.
- Nini Leick in the magazine Seksualpolitik, No. 1, 1983.

The standard image of "the paedophile" is of a sinister old man with a big bag of sweets who lurks around the playground and entices young, innocent children to go with him to a big forest where he cruelly abuses them, then cuts them up in small pieces and buries them in a shallow grave.

With such an idea in their minds, many people, understandably, see the paedophile as a monster of the worst sort. That most child-lovers, or paedophiles, are ordinary, friendly people, aware of their responsibilities, is something that neither the children nor their adult lovers ever tell other people. The fear of scandal, nerve-racking police examinations, severe prison sentences and the fear of losing each other keeps them from talking about their good experiences together and about why they are drawn to one another. This is why we never, or only seldom, hear of successful and happy relationships between children and adults.

The author Dan Turell wrote an article several years ago in which he suggested that in every neighbourhood there should be a child-lover whom parents could call upon if they had problems with their children. This article attracted, perhaps, less attention than might have been expected, considering its quite sensational central argument. It was just not taken very seriously. Obviously, in contrast to the traditional image of child-lovers, it pushes its advocacy to an extreme. However, the article does show a rare understanding and knowledge of the social function of the child-lover, particularly in interaction with some of society's most vulnerable and exposed children.

It does occasionally happen that a child-lover, under stress, will behave badly, and then the well-known newspaper story becomes a reality. But that is contrary to the general nature of a child-lover. As is implied by its derivation from the Greek, a paedophile is a lover of children. And someone who loves children will not want them to suffer mental or physical harm.

Turell's point of view was that child-lovers do not pose a threat to children's social development. On the contrary, the "community paedophile" could constitute a good counterpoise to the frustrating environment in which many children live.

We find many unhappy children in well-to-do homes where an authoritarian upbringing often restricts and inhibits the child's personality. Many children and adolescents from this kind of setting are deeply troubled by a lack of identity.

Others come from homes with frequent crises and insufficient care, home situations which could lead to early delinquency.

Institutions for crime prevention mainly work with people from the lowest levels of society. There the flood of people in care continues to grow, and the clients are younger and younger. Many child protection agencies uncritically entrust the children in their care to foster families. These boys and girls, already with weakened ego, are exposed by their "punishment" to still greater frustration than they had experienced in their previous surroundings at home. The chance of their establishing a stable relationship with a responsible adult becomes even less likely.

Politicians are burdened with economic considerations, or they are simply not aware enough to see the extent of the problem. We have numerous expert opinions at our disposal and factual reports telling us what could be done, if there was only a real desire to do something about them. One of the many is called Report Number 5 and was written by the Council for Crime Prevention. It deals with the necessity of close collaboration with the clients in their immediate environment.

The conclusion of these reports is that children and adolescents can be helped to stay out of the world of crime by efficiently run interdisciplinary collaboration within the community.

And it is just here that we think the paedophile could play a constructive role. The child-lover, who knows his section of the town and the children living there, who is interested in them and able to gain their confidence, could be a most valuable helper in this kind of social work.

There is often a problem with boys who lack all confidence in adults. Parents, foster parents and pedagogues cannot have any real influence over them, as the boys think they are simply stupid.

In his book, the sociologist Parker Rossman (1979 - see bibliography) describes several cases of delinquent boys whose violent behaviour proved to be based on sexual frustration. Meeting their erotic needs proved to be the key to obtaining their confidence. It is this phenomenon which outsiders find the most difficult to accept. However, it is an experience which thousands of paedophiles have witnessed.

The experienced paedophile has qualities which are lacking in many teachers and other pedagogues: the ability to identify with the child's world, to talk with children on equal terms and to offer guidance without being judgmental.

The affection given and the sexual contact help to shape a mutual return of trust which makes it possible for the paedophile to assist the child in areas other than the emotional and sexual - not rarely with surprising results. Several child-lovers have set themselves up as self-appointed social workers, performing this task with great enthusiasm and without demanding any sexual "reward". There are still few municipal social workers who dare risk their jobs and reputations by collaborating with the local child-lovers, but we know it happens.

The great majority of paedophiles recognise their social and moral responsibilities to the children they happen to meet, to the parents of these children, to society and to themselves.

In every human relationship there arise little battles in all kinds of areas about who shall dominate whom and how. What is finally achieved is a kind of balance acceptable to both partners. Obviously such balance is established more easily between approximate equals.

Children are often considered - by grown-ups - to be weak, vulnerable beings easily manipulated by adults with superior power, greater knowledge, experience, authority and position. Most paedophiles are extremely sensitive to these power advantages and act more out of the child's needs than their own. They are very much aware of the great responsibility they have resulting from their close contact with the child.

But of course it is much easier to support this ideal than to put it into practice. Criminal laws and moral prejudice place in the path of the paedophile all sorts of traps, snares and stumbling blocks. The paedophile must always be aware of these; in every aspect of his relationship with the child, and not just in their sexual experiences, he must put the child's needs and desires before his own.

An example. If you love someone, you delight in pleasing him, surprising him. The paedophile, on the one hand, wants to make sure that he has in his home things which the child enjoys; on the other hand, he must not be too generous with presents - toys or cigarettes, depending on the child's age. The man should be especially careful not to find himself in the sort of situation where he is buying the child's favours with his gifts. Then the child's participation is likely to become a kind of prostitution where he grows calculating and finally wants the sexual contacts to be over with as quickly as possible and visits the man only for his money or gifts. Here the child's desire and need for affection are pushed aside. Obviously when a relationship follows such a course, it can have long-lasting psychological consequences.

Another example. The paedophile has most of his contacts with children who have problems, be they at school, with age-mates or with parents. Feeling protected in the company of the paedophile, the child stays away from his home, avoids his peers, and so he becomes more and more isolated at school and at home. What the paedophile must do is both help the boy and at the same time push him out to make his way in his world.

A third example. There is always the possibility that somehow the police or the child protection authorities might become involved. Disastrous as this may be for the paedophile, the consequences for the child can be catastrophic: panic in the family, a major investigation by the police where the child is interviewed at great length to uncover every unimportant detail about their sexual relations. The child's best friend becomes an object of deep hatred by everyone around him. To the child, none of this makes any sense at all. The paedophile must, if the child is old enough, prepare him for what could happen, tell him that no adult in such circumstances could help him in any way. The paedophile should tell the child how such a catastrophe might come about, and do so without terrifying him. This is a great responsibility which the paedophile has to the child, the child's parents, society and himself.

The Parents

Most parents have no understanding of the sexuality of their own children. It is still generally believed that only as a child reaches puberty does sex enter his life. Therefore the majority of people find it totally incomprehensible that a child can feel attracted to and love an adult friend and wish to express that attraction and love sexually. The idea that a child involved with an adult in a sexual manner is always abused is very deep-rooted indeed. Equally deeply rooted is the conviction that in such relations it is only the adult who derives any physical satisfaction.

Fortunately, the child will form his own opinions on these matters, based upon personal experience. When he responds with affection and trust, this is the best indication of the truth about their relationship. Unfortunately that is not always enough: outside pressure can become overwhelming.

Today, sex between children and adults is viewed very much as homosexuality was a few decades ago. Many parents are happy when they discover their offspring has made an adult friend; they can be very accepting of such a friendship, with never a suspicion arising. But the moment they realise sex is involved, they feel they must at the very least intervene - perhaps not because they themselves condemn the sexual contacts, but more because they are afraid of the prejudices in the people around them. The pressure to conform to social norms affects parents, too. They feel it is clearly their parental duty to prevent their children from having sexual contacts with mature partners before those children become mature themselves.

A mother who strongly suspects that her child is playing sex games with someone else behind closed doors may decide not to interfere, but the moment she opens the door and sees the dancing buttocks of the children, she may feel obligated to intervene and condemn. She may, of course, later, on calm reflection, regret this, but at the moment of confrontation her way of reacting will be determined by her upbringing and how much joy and how much revulsion she finds in sex.

A child involved in a paedophile relationship with very dominating and intolerant parents will often have a conflict of loyalty and feel very guilty. How great this problem becomes will depend very much on how condemning the parental attitude is. At the age of puberty he will most likely experience such a conflict as a natural event in the process of forming his own identity, but before puberty it will often be more troublesome, frustrating and divisive.

In the whole debate about paedophilia, we are inclined to focus rather narrowly upon the sexual element. But there is another aspect which can be almost as upsetting to the parents: the child's identification with an adult other than themselves. Often the adult friend becomes a kind of father-substitute or second father to the child.

Every parent knows that sooner or later the children will leave home, but when, as a child, their offspring consciously chooses for himself a new father, the biological father often feels deprived of his "natural right" to live on through his progeny. This is perceived as a very personal defeat.

The antagonism between the child's parents and the child's adult friend is therefore not necessarily based upon different values of sexual morality. The conflict boils down to who, through his sheer presence, will shape the child through affection and example - a conflict which also lies at the roots of the frequent battles between young married people and their in-laws.

Because of this, adult/child relationships tend to develop most harmoniously where the social and cultural background of the adult friend is much the same as that of the parents, or where the adult friend belongs, in the parents' view, to a social and cultural level higher than their own. In other words, parents are more likely to accept their child's relationship if they feel it is somehow moving their child closer to the path of life they had always envisioned for him.

Where the parents disapprove and condemn, or even try to prohibit the friendship, the partners may be forced to meet in deepest secrecy - and sometimes this may work out surprisingly well. In any case, it will strengthen the youngster's independence, and perhaps with it his self-esteem. This, too, will tend to bolster their relationship.

If the adult friend sees that sexual intimacy is too heavy a burden for the child, he should accept the fact that their love will not be physically fulfilled; that is, after all, better than placing the child in a perpetual situation of stress.

The existing norms and laws of our society make certain that the child and the adult in a paedophile relationship are up against enormous odds. Such a relationship demands much love, immense capability and much diplomatic sense simply to be able to survive.

Ideally, the parents and the paedophile are on speaking terms and can discuss the relationship. We have, somewhat polemically, set up some "good advice for child-lovers". It is not our aim to provoke our readers into committing sexual offences. Our advice also applies to the parents and children involved.

If you, as a child-lover, have a close, confidential relationship with your friend, you will undoubtedly get a great deal of insight into his social situation. At some point you might want to intercede. Maybe you think the child has a miserable life. Maybe you do not like the upbringing he is getting.

Before undertaking anything there are two points for reflection. Firstly, your view is rather one-sided, as your knowledge is based only on the child's point of view. Secondly, parents have legal power and authority over the child until he is 18. Parents decide where the child lives, goes to school, etc.

It would be best, therefore, to discuss the situation with your young friend and try to find a way in which he can improve the life he is living. If this proves insufficient, it will be very important to set up amicable relations with his parents, so that you, as a good friend of the child, can also become a good friend of the family.

Everything becomes more difficult if you have no contact with the parents. Wherever you go, people will wonder what kind of fellow you are, what is your interest in the boy.

Open contact with the parents by introducing yourself as a good friend in whom the child has confided. Be very calm. Introduce yourself with your full and real name; freely give some information about yourself. Be relaxed. You have nothing to hide except the most intimate details and the forbidden sex life, which are only a part of your mutual relationship.

Talk with the boy's parents just as you would talk with anyone else and you will find that they will open up to you, unless they have something to hide.

Perhaps you get on confidential terms with the parents. Perhaps not. You must act accordingly. But always remember that the child is not your son or daughter, but your friend. You can help the child to solve his problems, but you cannot solve them for him.

If the situation seems hopeless, if you cannot communicate with the parents at all, you could approach the child's teachers. Be just as open with them. Tell them that you do not want to meddle in other people's affairs, but only wish to draw attention to the fact that it is your impression that the child has certain problems. Teachers have the authority to take action, whereas you have no authority whatsoever.

Be very prudent when and how you interfere. Parents will often be shocked by the fact that their child went to another with his problems, particularly problems about the home.

If things go very wrong you should contact one of the help organisations. Introduce yourself as a friend wanting to help another friend.

The more suspicious an impression you make, the more distrustful the people you have come in contact with will be. It cannot be over-stressed: if you are discussing the child's case with adult authorities, you should simply forget that your relationship has erotic elements. This is not what is under discussion. Forget them! Nobody will dare to suggest that there is something sexual between you and the child unless you suggest it yourself.

It is quite possible that the question of sexual relations will be asked if you come in contact with certain public officials, but you should realise that this is generally a matter of routine. Most authorities would rather not know whether there is a sexual connection between you and the child. If a child has problems everybody would like there to be at least one adult whom the child likes and trusts. Everybody knows that such a contact is the best means of helping the child to solve his problems. Those with whom you are talking may find it necessary to ask this question, but they would really prefer a negative answer. Reply "no" to the question, as if this was something far removed from you, as if it would never enter your mind.

It is the total situation of the child that you are dealing with and it is your right to take an interest. The assistance laws state that one who comes to know that a child under eighteen years of age is being exposed to neglect or humiliating treatment by his parents or others bringing the child up, or is living in conditions endangering his health or development, is obliged to inform the child protection authorities.

The intimacies which may be taking place between you and the child are not essential to the case at hand.

Homosexuality and Male Identity

By far the majority of sexual relationships between children and adults are homosexual ones (but please don't ask for statistics!). Children who have come into contact with a homosexual child-lover will at a certain point wonder "am I also gay"? This in no way needs to be the case.

The foundation of sexual identity is laid in the first years of a child's life. Already by the age of two, sexual tendencies will, in most cases, be fixed.

In general boys need an adult male as a role model to identify with. In our culture male identification for boys is considered to be a priority in the socialization process.

However, actual physical contact between men and boys is restricted to hardy tusslings, a clap on the shoulder, a boxing blow, a quick and violent pulling of the hair and such. Affectionate caressing is not considered "manly". A boy likes to look at a man's muscles and, although the adult male can permit himself to enjoy the boy's desire to emulate him in the area of "muscles", anything relating to the erotic areas of the body is taboo. Here, the boy has no opportunity for role identification. He learns, rather, to develop his fear of sexuality and, in particular, homosexuality (homophobia).

Many boys are erotically attracted to their adult male role models, with the attraction becoming stronger upon the approach of puberty. Unfortunately, the majority of teachers, psychologists, politicians and parents refuse to recognise this need and attempt (very often successfully) to suppress these erotic desires, offering neither explanation nor justification.

Upbringing is perhaps the best example of this process, as most parents raise children in the manner they themselves were raised. Children learn not so much from the words of adults as from their behaviour, their way of living together and of relating to others.

Many enter adulthood highly homophobic. A few fortunate ones learn at this early age to accept their homosexual tendencies.

Gays generally agree that what they missed most during this difficult period of transition from childhood to adulthood was recognition of their sexual identity and the possibility of sexually identifying with other adults. While still children, they had no opportunity to discuss homosexuality with anyone. Homosexuals were invisible. The homosexuals in their family or in their wider circle of friends and acquaintances never disclosed their true sexual proclivities. The pubescent gay could only identify with heterosexuals. Nevertheless, they were gay.

Most knew they were different in some way. Many thought they were alone in their difference.

It is typical that gays who come out later in life have experienced many long, troublesome problems with identity, while gays who by puberty had already recognised their homosexuality have often had an easier existence. Characteristically, most gays at the start of their lives as homosexuals have had close, intimate relations with more experienced men.

Boys learn about the way men behave towards women in the home, from movies, from books and in the street. They have not the slightest idea, or only a very vague one, of how gay adults relate. And what they do learn (from books, movies, etc.) is usually distorted. This leads to a fundamental uncertainty which often lasts for years.

Many boys, not only gay boys, reject their fathers as male ideal at puberty. Boys of this age are looking for male models, models with whom they can identify and, most of all, in whom they can confide. They need to know that a man can be kind, and can be pleasant company. Physical intimacy creates the deepest familiarity, trust, and confidence in a man's body. And a boy's body will one day become a man's body.

Boys have a need to experience the certainty that there is somebody who likes them, especially during puberty, a time when they are generally dissatisfied with themselves. They have a need for appreciation and respect at this period of mental and physical change. Love and admiration instils personal strength.

They also need to be accepted into the adult world sexually. And they need the companionship of peers for comparison and competition. They need the total spectrum.

Boys learn how to relate to the things they experience from their adult lovers - everything from playing chess and washing dishes to living with others and having sex.

Not every boy in a paedophile relationship is looking for a gay identity. Most of them will later live an ordinary heterosexual life, raise a family and live harmoniously in it. Those boys who are gay will gain experience from the relationship, which will help them cope with an adult gay life.

Some people may form the impression that the foregoing considerations confirm the elsewhere rejected "seduction theory", the proposition that boys can be seduced into becoming homosexuals.

In some cases it may prove possible to seduce a person into a single atypical sexual experience. However, if this experience is not pleasing it will remain an isolated one. No one is likely to voluntarily repeat an experience which he has found to be distasteful or unpleasant.

Thousands of homosexuals have been seduced into having heterosexual experiences. Even more have been forced into heterosexual relationships, but that has never diminished the individual's homosexual impulses.

You cannot seduce a person into acquiring a certain kind of sexuality, but you can, by seduction, help each other to acquire new insights.

Another Bad Story: A Case of Blackmail

It was a bright day in spring when I met Andre for the first time on Vesterbro Square. I was enjoying the pleasant company of some friends under the umbrella of a terrace restaurant when he came to our table and started a conversation with us. He was very nice, very talkative and we were in a ebullient summer mood. It was very pleasant and we talked about all kinds of things. At some point it became clear to Andre (if he hadn't known this from the start) that we were gay. He seemed to know a great deal about this but wanted us to tell him more. He had never before met people who sat in a restaurant talking freely about being gay without lowering their voices.

One's first impression was that he looked a bit neglected - but then no more so than many other boys his age for whom cleanliness and behavioural polish are not paramount virtues.

It was only a few months later that I met him again in the neighbourhood of Rådhuspladsen. I had never seen anything like it: he was covered with dirt, his clothes were ragged, his eyes empty. I doubted whether he would recognise me, but he did. He told me that he had run away from home and was living in Christiania. He didn't want to go with me to my home, but I gave him my telephone number.

A week later he called and said he would like to visit. He didn't look any better and he smelled terrible. He was drunk. He took a bath and I gave him some clean clothes (three sizes too large) and enough money to buy himself a meal plus a banknote of fifty crowns to help out. He didn't want to return to his home. He would look after himself.

He turned up again the following weekend, late in the evening, and asked if he could stay for the night. I let him in. I was very uncertain about what I would and should do, but decided that I must try to talk to him. Perhaps together we could find some solution to his problems.

When it was time to sleep we lay down in the same bed. We talked a lot, and I don't know how it happened - probably in the way such things always do - but suddenly we were in each other's arms. He told me he had done this before, and that he was hustling on the Rådhuspladsen. It was nice, tender I thought. We chatted. But I must admit that now, after all that subsequently happened, I am not sure whether, when he snuggled himself into my embrace to pay me with his body, it had all been planned ahead of time or whether it was just fate playing a game with us.

In the following three months he came often - two or three times a week - always staying for the night and sometimes also coming on Friday or Saturday. He refused to give me the address of his parents. He wanted only to be himself. I wasn't to meddle. I decided that the best I could do was to open my home for him and give him a place of retreat from what I considered to be an ugly existence. If I were to contact his parents or an agency it should be done with his knowledge and agreement. His trust in adults was already not too great, so why should I betray him?

One day a fellow of about twenty showed up at my door. He introduced himself as Michael, was a friend of Andre's and his parents and was an assistant leader in a youth club Andre used to visit. I was glad to meet someone who knew more about Andre and we soon entered into a confidential discussion. Michael told me that he himself had once been a hustler and he wanted to help Andre to escape from this life. He told me that Andre occasionally used heroin and smoked a lot of pot. He gave me the telephone number of Andre's parents and when Andre turned up the next day I got his permission to contact them.

When I phoned, the stepfather, sounding slightly tipsy, threw down the receiver. The mother seemed more approachable and I thought I could hear in her voice that she was honestly concerned but had given up. Yes, she knew that Andre was a prostitute, she knew how he earned his living, but what could she do? She had discussed with the social services about having Andre sent to the Fulton, an officially subsidised sailing ship crewed by delinquent youngsters, but that was six weeks ago and she didn't know how things stood now. She had never heard anything about Andre using or ever having used drugs.

The next day I contacted the social services and they promised to speed things up. They also knew that Andre was a prostitute. I think I got a little bit rude and quite sharply asked them if they were unaware of the usual fate of boy prostitutes, if they had no idea of the world they lived in.

The same evening Andre went back to his mother and stepfather and stayed at home for a few days, but when he left them again it was with his mother's housekeeping money in his pocket.

To make a long story short, they didn't want him on board the Fulton, but he could join a different sailing-ship group in a few weeks time.

I've never been able to discover how the trouble really started, but the next three weeks were very bewildering. One moment Andre was at home, the next moment he was not at home, then he stole his stepfather's motor scooter, and suddenly he was completely gone. I arranged with his parents and the social services for him to stay at my place until he was to leave for the ship, and Michael assisted in spreading this information around the other hustlers on Rådhuspladsen. A few days later Andre turned up asking, with evident surprise and doubt, whether what he had heard was true - that he could stay with me. I confirmed this, but then the stepfather phoned to say that I should send Andre home if he turned up. So, Andre went home.

Two days before his scheduled departure for the ship he showed up again at midnight. I let him stay over, but told him to go home the next day. I began to get nervous, and was troubled by the whole situation. There was so much uncertainty. I had a premonition that there was something threatening in all of this.

The day after Andre should have gone off with the sailing-ship project his stepfather phoned me and said, "Pay 5000 crowns into my bank account before twelve o'clock Friday or I will call the police and report you for sexual activities with a minor."

I asked him to phone back later. I wanted time to think it over.

A friend quickly came to my aid and connected an extra telephone apparatus. When the stepfather phoned back my friend listened in and made notes. I made the stepfather repeat his demand and drew his attention to the fact that he was blackmailing me. Moreover, I let him believe I had recorded the entire conversation on tape. Then Michael called to say that I did actually have to pay; that it would be best for all concerned, most of all for myself.

I refused outright and asked him if this was the thanks I got for my attempt to help Andre.

A week later the stepfather called again, halving his payment demand. I again refused. Another night, the mother called and said that the stepfather was on his way to see me.

"Should I throw him out or call the police," I asked her. "No, no, just send him back home," she replied.

The stepfather didn't show up, and I heard no more from him.

I was truly shocked and afraid. Of course I was afraid of coming into conflict with the police, but the most frightening was being made aware of my own naivety - that I had just not in the least suspected that such a thing was in the making.

Hearing no more, I assumed that all had been forgotten and then, a few months later I was asked to contact a detective at the police department. Section A: violent crimes, murder, sexual delinquency.

On a bleak wintry day in January I went to the office for questioning. They were pleasant - even offered me coffee and cake. There were no glaring spotlights. They were about to arrest the stepfather, as it had been proven that he had attempted to blackmail several people. I had thought I was his only victim, but there were five of us.

Andre was taken to a closed section of a youth institute (Copenhagen's Children's Prison) and was later sent to a foster family in Jutland.

Before starting his examination the detective said that Andre had told them everything so I might best do the same. It was later shown that Andre had told them nothing about the fact that he had visited me, or that the stepfather had attempted to blackmail me, and when he was later confronted with my declaration he gave no comment, only saying it was quite true.

I spoke about my relationship with Andre - 'confessed' it, as this is called - mainly to help them prosecute the stepfather, but also because I felt that my moral conscience was pure. If I had acted in a different way, it could have given Andre the feeling that I was trying to avenge myself. I don't think the blackmail attempt was his idea.

As I believed Andre had disclosed the entire course of events, I didn't want to sit there and tell a different story that would make him appear a liar. His reputation with the police was already not too good and if there was a victim in this case it was surely he.

There was first a short trial of the five of us who had been with Andre, or whom the police thought he had been with. Two pleaded innocent and were acquitted. The other three of us were given conditional sentences on probation. This meant that if any of us were to have a similar relationship within two years after the judgment, the new case would be treated with that of Andre and they would be added together (I had never been tried before).

Michael, the assistant youth leader, was also accused of having had sexual contacts with Andre. Andre had told them this had happened three times, but because Michael denied it, and since there were no witnesses, he was acquitted on this charge, but he could not prevent his being found guilty of being accessory to blackmail. He also received a conditional sentence. They thought the stepfather had a hold over Michael and that he had more or less forced Michael into visiting Andre's clients and giving their telephone numbers and addresses to the stepfather.

The stepfather was given an unconditional sentence of 60 days imprisonment.

One and a half years have now gone by since the first threats were made. Nine months passed between the first questioning by the police and the final judgment. I succeeded in regaining my composure, but it was a difficult experience. The fear of possibly being sent to prison was at times great, even though I was told at an early stage that I most probably would get a conditional sentence. But this fear was really nothing compared to the doubts I had about my own capacity for perceiving situations. During one period I saw ghosts everywhere and hardly dared to talk to or look at a boy under fifteen. I felt my heart had frozen like a lake in winter, but now spring has returned and my heart is thawing again.

I don't know whether I'm a paedophile, and I also don't want to have different labels stuck on me. It is sufficient that I am gay. I refuse to let my love and affection for others be directed by fixed ideas about age.

Humans are humans and, after having been friend, beloved and lover with males of ages ranging from thirteen to seventy, I know that the affection is the same; the desire and the need to be united to another person are the same. Friendship and love do not raise questions about age for me.

Of course I will think twice before I start a relationship with a minor again and I'll surely try to act with more wisdom. Maybe I'll abstain from love's most intimate expression, but the love itself I cannot avoid. I won't tie it up.

Love is the flower of life.

Arne Frederiksen:

What Science Tells Us

What is paedophilia? How common is it? Are all paedophiles homosexuals? Why are they paedophiles? Why do the children do it? Does it harm them?

To arrive at an answer to some or all of these questions I have searched the scientific literature on paedophilia and tried to put the pieces of the puzzle together. In some instances I had to seek additional help from more popular publications.

The results of my investigations are set out in this chapter, which shows that the general concept of "sex between children and adults" can better be broken down into a countless number of widely different phenomena that do not have much in common with each other.

We hear, for example, about the drunken husband who satisfies his sexual desires by raping his stepdaughter because his wife is unwilling to let him have intercourse with her, and we hear about the glowing love between a little boy and an adult man, a friendship that will last a lifetime.

One of the first scientific books written about paedophilia12 [the numbers refer to the bibliography at the end of this chapter] starts with an anecdote about a group of blind men debating with each other what an elephant is. One had discovered the trunk, a second collided with the elephant's hind leg and the third took hold of a tusk. Each believed that what he had found was the whole beast. Something of the same thing happens when paedophilia is discussed: up to the present day it has been dominated by the fact that everyone is talking from knowledge about a very small part of the subject and believes that what he or she knows can also be applied to all other forms of eroticism between children and adults. This is the cause of the widespread dissent about the subject.

It is evident that a sixteen-year-old girl who has been raped by her stepfather has not very much in common with an eight-year-old boy who has fallen in love with his football trainer, nor with an eighteen-year-old hustler.

Therefore we have tried in this chapter to unravel threads and to explain the differences between relationships that harm children, and those that are beneficial.

Human Sexuality Has Many Functions

To be able to have a basic understanding of the phenomena we must broaden our concept of sex. Our Christian culture teaches us that every form of sexual pleasure, or lust, is sinful if it does not serve the function of procreation. Other aspects of sexuality are ignored and suppressed to such an extent that we nearly forget about them. And even though, during the last decades, many of these taboos have been swept away, they still lie deeply hidden in our conviction that sex first and foremost has something to do with procreation. However, looking at other cultures we discover that sexuality may have quite different functions in no way related to procreation17.

In the first place, we can engage in sex simply because it feels good; it is a way of satisfying lust and giving us great pleasure. But human sexuality can also be a form of communication - not an end in itself, but rather something which serves to link two persons together. Love is a necessary ingredient for giving people a sense of security. The unconditional love a father and mother have for their children is the most complete assurance that the children will always have the parents' support when needed, however naughty they may have been. Nothing is more frustrating for a child than to be informed that "mother won't like you if you don't behave", because then, suddenly, conditions are imposed upon love and the child begins to feel insecure. The experience of unconditional love is a person's best assurance that he always may count on another's support. Our feelings of caring and love for those fellow humans who are suffering or are in distress also impels us to help such people.

Another form of sexuality is apprentice-love13. This is the attraction a young person may experience towards an adult whom he or she sees as a model or teacher. Apprentice-love is, in other words, an erotic attraction between pupil and mentor, used in the widest sense of the words.

A bond of love between teacher and pupil gives both parties the patience and energy necessary to further the process of instruction. In our Western culture an intimate relationship between teacher and pupil is not allowed. In many other cultures, especially those of the East, such relationships are more widely accepted and are consciously used to further the child's pleasure in learning9.

Best known is certainly the practice in ancient Greece of every respectable man having taken an adolescent in his custody to be his lover and to teach the path to manhood and courage. Sexual relations between the two acquired a ritual significance whereby the adult injected his "masculine power" into the boy17. In our time, too, we may meet with "masculine power" rituals in some primitive cultures24.

We find another form of apprentice-love in the open hero-worship which is so characteristic of boys. When we look at the books, comics and movies boys are interested in we see that there is always a super-hero for boys to admire and adore. The boy identifies with Tarzan or James Bond, imitates him, wants to be like him. The boy strives to be a man, and, by imitating his idol, he learns the role of the male in society.

Obviously, a boy cannot learn the male sex role from a woman, and therefore this form of love is of necessity homosexual44, even though the boy may not be gay in the traditional sense.

An entirely different side of human sexuality, completely suppressed in our culture, is the religious or cosmic sexual experience. In many primitive societies, religious ceremonies or orgies are performed where the participants are brought through sexual stimulation to a feeling of social solidarity, this becoming a nearly transcendental experience of being one with God and the universe. Many among us have had similar experiences, one or more times: perhaps while masturbating alone in nature we have suddenly felt united with the sun, the wind, the sea and the universe26. Such experiences, unfortunately, are not very well regarded in our own culture, and most people prefer not to speak about what they have no words for.

Still another form of sexuality, rightly frowned upon by our society, is the aggressive demonstration of power for purposes other than sexual satisfaction17 (not to be confused with sadomasochism).

Sexual Assault

Fortunately, children are rarely exposed to sexual coercion or the abuse of authority. If I choose to discuss these kinds of sexual acts first, I do so only because they form the basis of the strongest objection to child-adult sex.

Where a child is sexually assaulted or compelled to participate in a sexual relationship it does not want, the aggressor is nearly always a male and the victim a girl20.

It goes without saying that the man's motive is not love. In some cases it is sexual desire, in others it is a demonstration of power; often, it is a combination of both40. Several investigations have shown that men who sexually assault girls are seldom true paedophiles: they are heterosexual males who have difficulty in finding partners and are sexually frustrated. If such a man cannot sleep with an adult female, or doesn't dare to, he takes as substitute a young girl who is markedly easier to master1,22.

The man rarely needs to employ brute force12,20. The case of the young girl who is assaulted and raped in a dark alley is an exception10,20; moreover, the perpetrator of such an assault, when it does occur, is usually a male of about the same age as the girl, and so paedophilia is not involved here at all22.

Stories about such rapes always get wide publicity in the newspapers, creating great anxiety in parents and young girls. Nevertheless such cases are very rare. Much more frequent is the hidden oppression and physical violence to which girls are exposed by those in their immediate environment. It can be the girl's own father, stepfather, uncle or another adult male with whom the girl is in close contact20,38. Such situations are generally kept hidden within the home, seldom reaching public notice. Most cases of exploitation of a daughter are symptoms of marital problems and of the fact that the entire family functions poorly6,22,41. It is only in the last few years that people have started paying attention to this problem, and credit for this is due first and foremost to the feminist movement.

It is a characteristic of these incestuous assaults that the girl offers little if any resistance. She is literally paralysed by fear and does not dare to reject the advances of her own father or uncle or whomever it may be.

These are not cases of physical violence, but of psychical violence which can be far more dangerous. The girl later reproaches herself for having tolerated rather than having offered strong resistance to the assault. She feels guilty for not having protested strongly enough and her emotions of shame and self-hatred are unbearable because of this39,40.

Incestuous assaults are very seldom reported to the police because the inevitable imprisonment of the father or other family member (for about 2 years in Denmark) will threaten the family unit39,41. An experiment in the United States with treatment instead of punishment for incest-fathers has had positive results and has led to a large increase in the number of cases reported41.

The psychological abuse of power which we see in most incestuous relations is only made possible by the girl's dependence on the male family member. If it had been a stranger, she could have protested more easily or she could have threatened to complain to the police. But this does not mean that there is always an abuse of power in sexual relations between parents and children. Harmonious incestuous relationships do exist27,28 even if, for understandable reasons, we seldom hear of them.

Damaging Effects

Children may incur serious psychological damage if they are exposed to sexual assault against their will, and the damage may last for the rest of their lives. Sexual fears, depression and social problems will generally result20. It is not the sexual act itself that is damaging, nor is it the kind of sexual act which took place: it is first and foremost how the child experienced the sexual event or events. If the child experienced the act as an assault, he or she may henceforth be filled with aversion and hatred. Shame and self-hatred are key words to understanding the psychological damage that children may suffer from such assaults6,39,40.

The upbringing of the child is, therefore, of great importance in determining its reaction to such sexual experiences. It has been proven that children who have been raised in a restrictive environment are, in general, harmed more by sexual assaults than are children who have received a more liberal upbringing20. A girl from a strict puritan background who has been taught that sex is the worst evil that can ever befall her but who has not the slightest idea of what sex actually is, will be much more frightened than the experienced girl who has had a more liberal upbringing and who understands what is going on and why the man is doing what he is doing6.

The way people react when they are informed of what has taken place is also of great importance for the child. If the child is told that he or she has been the victim of the most loathsome and shameful act that exists, this will unavoidably have a great impact upon the child6,20,33. Even children who had wholly and freely accepted the sexual relations, and moreover liked them, will be troubled and frightened by such a reaction4. It is still worse when the police become involved13,20,33. In cases of sexual delinquency children are often exposed to long and unmerciful police examinations11. Sometimes the child's statement is not believed. Moreover, it is an unbelievably heavy burden for the child to have to give witness against a man whom he or she loves in spite of all that has happened. If it is the girl's own father whom she, in so doing, will send to prison, she cannot avoid feeling guilty for splitting up the family and making it miserable. No wonder so many children are marked for life by such an experience!

Desired Relationships

It is important to understand that voluntary paedophile relationships have as little in common with those coerced relations and assaults that we have just been discussing than do mutually desired relations between two loving adults and rape. In true paedophilia, we have a child and an adult who love or at least like each other and have agreed to perform sexual acts or intimacies that they both want9,10. Freud's studies have made us aware that children, too, have sexual feelings and desires, even where their sexuality has been suppressed or inhibited to an incredible degree.

A child will not be harmed by a sexual contact that he or she wants and perceives as agreeable, irrespective of the child's age or whether the partner is an adult or another child. Several recent investigations have determined the extent to which children were or were not harmed by their sexual experiences. Previous research had been based either on cases which had been reported to the police or, in several cases, on women seeking psychiatric help after having been sexually abused as a child. In such investigations there is, of course, a preponderance of assault and rape, since consensual relations are rarely reported to the police23, and still less often reported are those that do not result in the need for psychiatric help. These earlier investigations have given quite a distorted picture of paedophilia, as violent assaults only form a small fraction of paedophile relationships.

In later research contact was made with the children and adults involved with the aid of paedophile organisations and underground movements, or by other means4,8,9,10. Here they were dealing exclusively with voluntary relations, and in these cases it proved impossible to detect any harmful effects upon the children. In fact, many children stated that they were happy with the relationship and that they had benefited psychologically from it6,8,9. In research among prisoners, on the other hand, a number of examples of involuntary relations were found and, as could be expected, these included examples where children had been harmed23.

Many of the investigations make no distinction between voluntary and forced relations, but where the distinction is made, it seems quite clear that in cases of consensual relations no form of psychological trauma could be detected as a result of the child's sexual relations with an adult2,6,8,20. As far as we know, there is not a single scientific investigation proving or rendering it probable that children may be harmed by free-will sexual relations with an adult. On the other hand, secondary damage was discerned in some cases as a result of negative reactions from the parents and others4,6,10,13,20.

Homosexual Paedophile Relations

Paedophile relations exist between men and girls, between men and boys, between women and girls and between women and boys. All combinations are possible.

But homosexual relations between men and boys are thought to be the most frequent6,10,14. To understand why, we must recognise that paedophilia has nothing whatsoever to do with the procreative drive. It has to do with a relationship between friends, affording both partners some exciting experiences and at the same time offering the boy a friend he can trust8,9,10. Boys discuss problems and ideas with their paedophile friends that they can never discuss with their parents.

It is easier for a paedophile than it is for most other adults to identify with the child's way of thinking and so he is able to talk about confidential matters with children on the child's own level10.

In such a paedophile relationship the boy identifies to some extent with the man, which is an expression of the "apprentice-love" we discussed earlier13,44. The boy strives to become a man by identifying with his mentor. The boy can learn all there is between heaven and earth from his lover - everything from repairing bicycles to how to treat other people14. And, of course, he also learns something about sex that perhaps his parents were too timid to tell him.

Many see such a friendship as a kind of gay relationship, but this is really somewhat misleading. The boys involved will not necessarily be interested in sex with a male when they later become adults and, in fact, will prefer sex with a woman9,10,14,18. Some of these boys are, of course, decidedly gay and will continue to live as homosexuals for the rest of their lives. For these gay boys it can be most valuable to meet an older and more experienced man who can initiate them into homosexual life. Without this guidance and experience it may be very difficult to come out later and live openly as a homosexual35.

As we have already observed, the boy in a homosexual paedophile relationship is not necessarily gay. It may, however, be even more surprising to discover that the man is also not always gay - at least not in the traditional sense. There are, indeed, many boy-lovers who also love adult women but do not wish to have sex with adult men or young girls. Such a man is, in other words, heterosexual towards adult partners and homosexual towards child partners1,9,10,19,22.

If we understand "gay" to refer to an emotional and social identity, and collectively as a group of people who have a common pattern of life29, then it would be fundamentally incorrect to call a male paedophile "gay". The psyche and life-style of the male paedophile is fundamentally different from that of gays9,22,43. It would be misleading to classify paedophiles as a sub-group of gays14, and some psychologists think that we are faced with two distinct forms of homosexuality17.

Gays and lesbians have always fought against portraying traditional sex roles in their relationships - they think that it is too narrow29. But this does not completely apply to paedophiles, for often they behave and feel themselves more like heterosexual men than like gays14,22 and transmit these sex roles to the boys.

Nevertheless, it would be going too far to pretend that paedophiles and gays have nothing at all in common. They have much in common and to a great degree. The borderline between the two groups is rather fluid and there are men who love (especially young) men as well as young boys.

Erotic relations between men and boys can have very different characteristics. Some relations are short-lived and are purely sexual in essence9. Others may continue for many years and are based upon deep trust and mutual respect8,9,14. The feelings that these individuals develop for each other can at times be so strong that the relationship will last for the rest of their lives. As the boy becomes an adult the sexual interest fades away in both partners, but a platonic relationship can remain4,9,10,14. There are some moving examples of the paedophile assisting at the young man's wedding ceremony, acting as godfather to his children13 and later even starting a love relationship with the boy's sons.

Another phenomenon characteristic of many homosexual paedophiles is a marked interest in the boy's social needs. We often find that paedophiles do a lot for boys who have problems with social adaptation or problems at home4,9, and some paedophiles feel particularly attracted to youngsters who are social drop-outs9,30. In the professional literature4,9,31 as well as in fiction30,34 we find many stories about paedophiles taking care of delinquent or difficult boys and succeeding through their unconditional love in helping them find the right path. The experience of many paedophiles is that these boys have practically insatiable sexual appetites30.

Love is nature's way of linking two people together, and it looks as if nature has wisely provided for the neglected boys in need of an adult's support by attracting them to just the kind of men who, more than all others, are willing and equipped to understand and assist them.

It is sometimes alleged that the paedophile exploits the boy's sexual needs to satisfy his own lust, or that the boy sexualizes a need that is not sexual in the first place. I find that this contention expresses too narrow an interpretation of the word sex. Sexual interaction between an adult and a child should, rather, be seen as a form of communication expressing the child's need for adult support. The sexual act may be seen as symbolic behaviour aimed at establishing an alliance of friendship between adult and child. The boy, in need of an adult male's support, will feel a very natural impulse to enter into such a bond of friendship.

But we should not fall into the trap of believing that all boys who go with adult men are "problem children". The majority of these boys come from harmonious, loving homes8,9,13. Perhaps they feel overprotected and compelled to emancipate themselves from their parents. Or perhaps they are only bent on having adventures9.

Most boys feel attracted to adult males, and this attraction may often find sexual expression9,17. If you question a boy about it, you will most likely hear that sex with a man is quite different and much more exciting than what they experience with age peers10, and that the initiator of the sexual contact is the boy as often as it is the adult9,10. In an American study carried out in 1965 of men selected at random, 4%, as children, had had sexual relations with adult males22. By today this percentage might well have increased14.

Heterosexual Paedophile Relations

No systematic research has been carried out regarding sexual relations between men and female minors that could be compared to the studies we have mentioned of homosexual paedophile relations. Most of what is recorded are cases involving sexual delinquency. Heterosexual male paedophiles lead an even more hidden life than their homosexual counterparts. They have nothing comparable to the gay movement to support them. The only paedophile organisation in the world that had more than a few heterosexual members (13%) determined that only 17% of these were exclusively paedophile while half of the homosexual members were attracted to minors exclusively. As these numbers show, heterosexual paedophilia is less frequently an exclusive phenomenon than is homosexual paedophilia21.

Research shows that male heterosexual paedophiles mainly prefer girls between the ages of 7 and 14, while male homosexual paedophiles prefer boys between 9 and 16. There are, of course, individual differences in both groups1,10,19,21. The differences in preferred age can be explained by the fact that girls mature at an earlier age than do boys.

Of those men who have sexual relations with girls, a certain percentage is not primarily paedophile and would prefer relations with mature women1. Here we are faced with men inhibited in their sexual contacts, men who have problems relating to adult women and as a result turn to girls as substitutes14,22. These men are more concerned with their own sexual satisfaction than with love and care for the young girl. As already stated above, this kind of contact may include violent assault, which undoubtedly accounts for the fact that it is mainly girls who are subjected to sexual assault during childhood20.

We should not, however, underestimate the influence of upbringing. Girls are taught to preserve their virtue and to feel shame if they "go wrong", while boys are encouraged to be proud of and to boast about their sexual experiences.

It is important to make a distinction between heterosexual men for whom a girl is only a substitute and heterosexual paedophile men, even though the boundary between the two groups can be somewhat fluid. The paedophile loves the girl and does not want to hurt her. Such a relationship will harm the girl as little as a homosexual relationship provided she feels secure within it.

The traditional image of a man seducing the innocent little girl is not always true to life. Many girls provoke or invite intimacies. One Danish lawyer even suggested adding to the concept of a "child-seducer" the term "adult-seducer" in reference to such children11.

Usually heterosexual paedophile contacts take place with a man within the girl's circle of acquaintances6,12. It could be her uncle, her neighbour or the father of a girlfriend.

Such relations have, in general, very different dynamics than do the homosexual paedophile ones14. The girl does not identify herself with the man as a boy would10. There is a bit of romance, as if they were playing at being husband and wife14. The heterosexual paedophile relation has, at least when older girls are involved, a pronounced similarity to the relations between two heterosexual adults. But this only applies to the psychic level. The sexual activities are usually more "innocent" and the girls generally retain their virginity12.

Female Paedophilia

Female paedophilia seems to be rather infrequent and there is virtually no information about it. What is written about female girl-lovers or korephiles, as they call themselves36, is limited to the contributions these women have made to various homosexual paedophile publications drawing attention to the fact that they are an ignored groupl5,32,42.

The now defunct English organisation Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) had, according to a survey of it's members, two korephile members21. Later, it seems, the number increased. The Danish paedophile group currently has two korephile members.

Several authors believe that women have more socially acceptable opportunities for intimate contact with children than do men, and so they are not considered deviant if they love children1. But this can hardly be the only reason for paedophile women's "invisibility". Women are taught, to a greater extent than men, to suppress sexual impulses and abide by less tolerant moral principles with regard to sex. Moreover, we must understand that female paedophiles have difficulty in recognizing their behaviour as such if they are not acquainted with someone who shares with them their preference15.

From the rather limited sources I have quoted, and from my own conversations with female paedophiles and their partners, the picture emerges of a female paedophile similar to the male paedophile in a surprising number of ways. Woman-girl relationships contain the same elements of apprentice-love as we find in man-boy relationships. Woman-boy relationships have, on the other hand (as do man-girl relationships), more the characteristics of playing at lover and bride - imitating the activities of heterosexual adults37.

Another striking analogy between male and female paedophiles is that many women love young girls as well as adult males15. In other words, they are homosexual towards children but heterosexual towards adults - a pattern we have already seen in some male paedophiles.

There are, of course, also heterosexual paedophile women; women who are exclusively homosexual or only attracted to children. The variety is just as great as for men, and in the future it will no doubt be shown that there are more female paedophiles than has hitherto been recognised.

Bibliography and Notes

1. Peter Righton: "The adult", in Perspectives on Paedophilia (ref 3), p. 24-40.

2. Graham E. Powell, A.J. Chalkley: "The effects of paedophile attention on the child", in Perspectives on paedophilia (ref. 3), p. 59-76.

3. Brian Taylor: Perspectives on Paedophilia. Batsford, London 1981.

4. Michael Ingram: "Participating victims: A study of offences with boys", in Children and Sex (ref 7), p. 177-187.

5. Frits Bernard: "Paedophilia: Psychological consequences for the child", in Children and Sex (ref 7), p. 189-199.

6. Larry L. Constantine: "The effects of early sexual experiences: A review and synthesis of research", in Children and Sex (ref 7), p. 217-244.

7. Larry L. Constantine, Floyd M. Martinson: Children and Sex. New Findings, New Perspectives. Little, Brown and Co., Boston 1981.

8. Theo Sanfort: The Sexual Aspect of Paedophile Relations. Pan/Spartacus, Amsterdam 1982.

9. G. Parker Rossman: Sexual Experiences Between Men and Boys. Association Press, New York 1976; Temple, Smith, London 1979.

10. Frits Bernard: Kinderschänder? - Pädophilie. 3. Aufl., Foester Verlag, Berlin 1982.

11. Kai Tolstrup: "Om skadevirkninger of sædelighedsforbrydelser mod piger", Juristen 1969, p. 253- 262.

12. J.W. Mohr, R.E. Turner, M.B. Jerry: Paedophilia and Exhibitionism. University of Toronto Press, 1964.

13. Preben Hertoft: Klinisk Sexologi. 2. udgave. Munskgaard, København 1980, p. 278-289. [German translation: Klinische Sexologie, Köln 1989; Italian translation: Sessuologia clinica, Milano 1988.]

14. Edward Brongersma: "Die Pädophile Beziehung", in Pädophilie Heute (ref 16), p. 278-289.

15. Dagmar Döring: "Soviel Liebe and Zärtlichkeit", in Pädophilie Heute (ref 16), p. 153-154.

16. Joachim S. Hohmann: Pädophilie Heute, Foerster Verlag, Berlin 1980.

17. Thorkil Vanggaard: Phallós. Jonathan Cape, London 1972. [English translation: Phallos: A Symbol and its History in the Male World. Jonathan Cape, London 1972.]

18. R. H. Tindall: "The male adolescent involved with a pederast becomes an adult", Journal of Homosexuality 1977, Vol. 3, No. 4, p. 373.

19. Glenn D. Wilson, David N. Cox: The Child-Lovers, A Study of Paedophiles in Society. Peter Owen, London 1983.

20. Michael C. Baurmann: Sexualität, Gewalt and psychisch Folgen. Bundeskriminalamt, Wiesbaden 1983.

21. PIE: Survey of Members. Paedophile Information Exchange, London 1976.

22. Paul H. Gebhard, et al.: Sex Offenders, An Analysis of Types. Harper and Row, New York 1965.

23. For a summary of these investigations, see notes 2 and 6.

24. Tom O'Carroll (Note 25) cites various reports on foreign cultures where different kinds of adult-child sex contacts are common. See also notes 9 and 17.

25. Tom O'Carroll: Paedophilia, The Radical Case. Alyson Publications. Boston 1982.

26. Edward Brongersma: "Boycaught", in Paedo Alert News No. 15, p. 26-28. Coltsfoot Press, Spartacus, Amsterdam 1983.

27. Joan A. Nelson: "The Impact of Incest", in Children and Sex (ref. 7), p. 151-162.

28. Carolyn L. Symonds, et al.: "Forbidden Sexual Behavior among Kin", in Children and Sex (ref. 7), p. 151-162.

29. Wilhelm von Rosen: "Bøssekampens Politik". in Pan, København 1979.

30. Peter Schult: Besuche in Sackgassen, Trikont Verlag, Berlin 1982. (Autobiography)

31. See also the interview with Tommy later in this book.

32. Paidika, 1992, vol. 2, No. 4. Amsterdam

33. M. Zeeger: "Strafbare liefde en gevaarlijke bescherming". Proces 1978, 56, No.7/8, p. 167-171.

34. Alan Edward: Kit. The Coltsfoot Press, Spartacus, Amsterdam 1983.

35. Anette Johansen, Jørgen Johansen: Rapport om homofile. Lindhardt og Ringhof, København 1973.

36. The term "korephile" was created during the Université d'été homosexuelle de Marseille, 1981, according to Catherine Gonnard: "L'Amour des petites files", in Homophonies 1984, 49, p. 30.

37. See also the interview with Sus later in this book.

38. Lone Backe, Incest. Hans Reitzel, København 1983.

39. Nini Leick: "Incest-ofre beretter", in Incest (ref. 38), Chapter. 3.

40. Eva Hildebrandt: "Terapi of voksne kvinder, der har været ofre for incestuøse overgreb i bamdommen", in Incest (ref. 38), Chapter 7.

41. Carl Marquit: "Krænkeren - personlighedsdynamik og behandling", in Incest (ref. 38), Chapter 7.

42. Lesbia, February-March, 1984, p. 10-17. Paris 1984.

43. K. Freund, et. al.: "Femininity and preferred partner age in homosexual and heterosexual males", British Journal of Psychiatry, 1974, Vol. 125, p. 442.

44. Benoît Lapouge, Jean-Luc Pinard-Legry: L'enfant et le pédéraste. Editions du Seuil, Paris 1980, p. 89-104.


Bent Petersen, Sexologist, Cand. Psych.:

The Sexual Child

Today we realise that all babies are born as sexual creatures. Boys can have erections from birth on and girls can get moist in their vaginas and have an increased flow of blood to their clitorises. Both boys and girls can be sexually aroused by touching the sexual organs. But strong emotional barriers still have to be broken down in the large majority of people before the attitudes and norms of society can be changed to the point where it is generally realised that children really do have sexual organs responding to lust, and that the sexual excitement of a child does not always come from outside, but arises from the child's inner self.

The Israelites

The roots of the attitudes toward sexuality which prevail in our society today must be sought in pre-Christian Judaism. I do not plan here to delve far into Jewish history, but will point out just two fundamental facts. Firstly, that the Jews returned from their migration to Egypt at approximately 1580 B.C., and secondly, that they again became slaves in Babylon about 597 B.C.

Before the so-called Babylonian captivity, the Israelites had a very liberal attitude towards sex. They thought, for example, that it was completely acceptable for a man to have sexual relations with a friend, while, on the other hand, it was totally unacceptable for him to perform sexual atrocities upon a servant who could be forced into submitting to his advances. It was the use of compulsion, not the sex as such, that was condemned.

For the rest, sex played an important role in the culture of the Israelites - for example, in the temple religious ceremonies where both boys and girls were available for the satisfaction of visitors - for a suitable compensation to the priests, of course.

The Israelites who returned from the Babylonian exile had quite different views. Sexual intercourse outside marriage and homosexual activities between men were now forbidden. Society was indifferent to sexual activities between women, as the sexual value of a woman depended on her not being violated, that is to say, her hymen remained intact and, as the Israelites thought that the hymen could not be broken by sexual activities between women, lesbian relations were possible.


The Christians adopted nearly all of the sexual inhibitions, restrictions and prohibitions that the Israelites had developed during the later phases of their culture and incorporated them into the Christian faith. These norms gradually came to be considered laws of nature, but they have always been and still are merely tribal laws and we are still fighting them today.

Laws and codes of behaviour are indispensable for the survival of a society. However, it is dangerous when they are confused with the laws of nature, as has happened in the area of sexuality. People still today suffer from hatred, anxiety, persecution and hypocrisy because they cannot adapt their sexual natures to the laws laid down by a culture 2500 years ago.

Since the time when Christianity incorporated the Israelites' mores on sexuality, sex has been considered a moral issue. It is an unfortunate fact that many people still confuse morality with science when dealing with or discussing sexuality.

The Greeks

I believe that most people have by now heard of Greek boy-love, and therefore I will limit myself to simply reminding the reader that for the Greeks a relationship between a boy and a man involved far more than merely sexual pleasure. For the Greeks the male body was the most beautiful and forest of all works of nature. Their ideal of beauty was incarnated in young boys and adolescents, as is clearly shown in their sculpture and poetry.

For the Greeks it was a requirement that every man should choose for himself a boy or youth to educate in the manly virtues. The youngster was taught by instructive conversation and by the adult being a good example for the boy. The boy was also initiated into the joys and cares of sexual life.

In the Doric states it was even seen as neglectful of one's duty if a man did not concern himself with a youth; it was considered shameful for a boy not to have an older lover/teacher. As a rule, a man gave his son over to his best friend to care for the boy's spiritual as well as his sexual education.

The Romans

When the Romans would lounge back for their meals with family and friends, it was not uncommon that semi-nude young boys and girls be present for their amusement. After those dining had enjoyed themselves by looking at the children, young men would be called in to make love to the youths. Live shows and group sex as amusements for sexual stimulation are in no way modem inventions.

It could also be an afternoon's diversion to have a writer like Martial declaim his poems. The following is a fragment from one of them:

Wet as a meadow bathed by a passing shower, 
Sweet as a wreath upon valerian-anointed hair, 
So smells your kiss Diadumenus, cruel boy. 
If only you'd give it wholly, without reserve!

Other Cultures

Today anthropological studies of so-called primitive cultures are commonly used to help us understand the variations of human sexual behaviour.

Such research shows that humans generally start their sexual lives when still babies by self-stimulation of the genitals, and this is followed at a later age by mutual stimulation of the genitals with an individual of the same or of the opposite sex. Most humans then progress to sexual intercourse by the insertion of the penis into the vagina or rectum.

In descriptions of "primitive" societies it is not uncommon to read about sexual contacts between two individuals of a considerable age difference. Girls not yet into puberty were observed having intercourse with adult men, and adults were observed soothing their children by stroking their genitals. I did not find any anthropological descriptions of paedophilia or gerontophilia, i.e. where children or elderly people were preferred as sexual partners. But there are numerous sadomasochistic descriptions, especially during puberty rites, wherein it is difficult to detect any joyful sexual elements.

Speaking of initiation rituals, I cannot refrain from mentioning a description by a group of American anthropologists who, upon arrival at a South American village, were assaulted by the boys of the tribe starting to perform fellatio on the scientists. It appeared that this tribe believed that the more sperm a boy ingested (be it through mouth or rectum) the stronger he would become.

Our Culture

I know of no other culture where children's sexuality is as severely tabooed as in ours. We have bound ourselves to the Christian myth of childhood innocence and purity, with the result that we now live in a society that gives rise to many sexual conflicts. Everyone of us in one way or another experiences limitations and inhibitions in his or her sexual life. From our earliest childhood we are bombarded with moral codes - to cite just a few: the prohibition against having sex with family members; religious beliefs such as that homosexuality is sinful. We are victimized by the fixed idea that children do not have a sexual life before puberty.

Most children grow up in family units made up of one or more adults, each of whom has his or her own sexual standard of values consisting of taboos and opinions on chastity, morality and sin. Generally, the adult never discusses these concepts with the children, leaving the children to discover for themselves what the sexual standards actually are. And this becomes no easier for the children if the sexual standards of the adults around them are poles apart, while at the same time there is also a strong prohibition against children expressing thoughts, fantasies or emotions about sex.

For example, when my sister, who is one year my junior, and I were five and six years old, our parents told us that if we put a lump of sugar on the windowsill before going to bed at night the stork would come one day and bring us a little brother or sister. The stork came every night for a week and ate our sugar, and as a reward a little brother appeared one morning at our mother's side. My sister was disappointed that there was not also a little sister so she continued putting lumps of sugar on the windowsill, but the stork never returned and we never did get a little sister.

Fortunately, there are not many children today who are still brought up on such tales. But today's children are impressed by another story, to wit, the tale about the small, lively tadpole with its long tail, dancing with a big smile toward the indolent, passive egg which just lies and waits until a male reproductive cell succeeds in winning the race and as a reward may penetrate into the egg and produce a child. This story is swallowed raw by children, and they have no chance to protect themselves from this subtle indoctrination of sex roles. For this is in no way the truth about how procreation happens. In reality both egg and sperm are in motion and at the time they meet it is the egg which, for still unexplained reasons, will pick out a fitting sperm, after which the egg opens and the sperm enters. The egg is actually the active partner, but this does not fit into the role pattern our society wishes to teach its boys and girls, and so there are still today many children who have engraved in their young minds the image of the passive egg and the thousands of active sperm, all of which are competing with one another to be the first to reach the finish line and, as the reward of victory, be allowed to penetrate the egg.

The sex education children get today is straightforward procreation sex. But, although it is true that intercourse can lead to procreation, most heterosexuals today join in the dance of intercourse for purely emotional reasons - not because they want to beget a child.

But children are told nothing about this lustful, voluptuous aspect of sex. They must discover for themselves that sex may be practiced for reasons other than procreation.

And society prefers that the small, new human being lives in total abstinence until it can participate in the procreation game.

Punishment by God

All these factors taken together create conflicts between sexual desires and needs and the fear of punishment by God, parents and society. Such a fear is, to a certain extent, unavoidable in our culture. People are not generally aware of such conflicts, and that is regrettable because they may have a disastrous influence upon one's sexual as well as non-sexual life.

Once I was sitting in a staff room talking to the second-form teacher, when the gymnastics instructor came over to us and said, "Listen, when I went into the washroom, Hans and Grete were standing close together, face to face, and Tulle was standing near them pushing on Grete's behind while she was singing, "Fuck, fuck, fuck!" The children immediately sprang apart and Hans' penis was pointing to the sky." The form master replied, "Yes, obviously the children are becoming `shameless'."

Here, I intervened and asked the two women, each of whom has a boy of her own, "Tell me, when do you think boys can have their first erections?"

The gym instructor answered immediately, "At least by the time they are nine!" Well, we have digressed a bit from the subject of sexual instruction.

My grandparents only started having sex on their wedding night, at least officially, my parents at about the time of their betrothal. Kids in my own generation started at about the time of their confirmation, when fathers whispered to their sons where they could buy condoms and mothers admonished the girls that they should remember to be chaste and follow the narrow path of virtue.

Today, youngsters start practicing sex at about their first ejaculation or their first menstruation. At that time parents start worrying about becoming premature grandparents, so they send their daughters to the physician for some conscience-blurring pregnancy pills, that big security blanket! It helps block the way to factual and effective sex education which ought to teach that sex is really more than just a penis entering a vagina and ejaculating semen.

Where is the information about the fact that sexual feelings may vary from joy, lust, fright, tenderness, anger, to envy and fear of loss? Sex can be an enormous and inexhaustible source of satisfaction, but it can also be troublesome, wounding and hurtful.

Where is the instruction about the importance of reciprocity between the capacity to give and the capacity to receive sexual. emotions and caresses? The nuances of activity and passivity, which we all received at birth with a scattering of doses of femininity and masculinity, are so delicately balanced that there are no two individuals with like amounts.

Sigmund Freud

Freud encountered strong resistance when, at the beginning of this century, he began to write about his sexual theories, but the greatest opposition (he lost many friends for good) was met only after he pointed out that the capacity to experience erotic feelings is present in all of us from birth and remains with us until death. This means that "the little innocent children" are experiencing voluptuous erotic impulses and fantasies. Yes, they are polymorphously perverse, which means that a tendency to all possible sexual variations is already surging through their bodies while still in their mother's womb.

Today, science accepts that human sexuality is present from birth onwards and that psychosexual evolution plays a decisive role in the total development of the personality. Actually, the most impressive fact is that it is during childhood that the most important part of an individual's sexual gift is suppressed.

The little child soon learns, by a rap on the fingers, a disapproving look, emotional coldness from the parents, together with - worst of all - a withdrawal of love, that there are parts of the body and also certain ways of moving that are unbecoming. Within a short period of time the child learns to avoid these "disagreeable sexual feelings" by suppressing them. However, these sexual impulses remain active on the child's consciousness and may succeed in troubling the individual and influencing his or her sexual life for the remainder of life.

Mark well what I wrote above that science has accepted children's sexual life, for, regretfully, most adults still wrongly believe that children lack any sexual feelings and have no sexual experiences. We hear every day such expressions as "the innocent child" or "the untouched child". But all children, without exception, have received their sexuality as a gift while still in their cradle and soon start to masturbate as a natural and quite harmless activity.

It is interesting that very young children try to receive satisfaction from their own bodies. The sexual impulse is not, as with so many adults, entirely concentrated in the region of the genitals. In children the entire body is sexually active and in babies we can observe activities evidently carried out to experience gratification of a sexual need.

The interaction between the child's development of its sexual impulses and the effects of growing up in our society, which is so strongly alienated from sex, contributes to creating sexual conflicts of varying importance. The main cause is, perhaps, that our society equates sex with sin.

Sex = Sin

One of the first things children learn is that their desire for sexual pleasure is denied, ignored or treated as something shameful and unbecoming.

A child learns from its earliest years that it is nice and fine to walk, to make a drawing, to eat, to sleep, to see what's in the pot, etc., but to have sex or to give in to sexual impulses is wholly unacceptable. A child learns to deny its sexuality by being given the impression that sex is dangerous, repulsive, hostile, dirty, loathsome and immoral. These negative feelings are usually stronger in children growing up in a religious environment where concepts like sin and guilt, which are uppermost in people's minds, are connected to masturbation and other tabooed sexual activities.

If adults would just carefully watch the little ones, they would see that children of both sexes like to touch their genitals and they will happily laugh and chatter while their genitals are stimulated - when, for example, they are being bathed or dressed.

Masturbation in Children

A child will stimulate his own penis or her clitoris as soon as the necessary muscle coordination is mastered. But this activity is unfortunately still strongly prohibited in our society and is often met with reproaches and punishment. The little boy's hands are repeatedly taken away from his penis, often accompanied by a rap on the fingers, and the scolding, "You little pig," or "Stop playing with yourself, damn it!" And the little girl is told, "Pooh, your forgers smell!" or "If you don't stop touching yourself, a little mouse will come and eat it."

The disapproval will be even more intense if a child tries to touch its father's penis, or attempts to put it in its mouth.

In former times, when everybody in the home slept in the nude and, if not in the same bed, at least in the same room, a child was in no need of special sex instruction. Children could, from the time they were still very small, see, hear and feel with their own eyes, ears and bodies, what there was to be done.

Today's children who do not often see their parents, sisters or brothers naked are quick to experience nudity as shocking and shameful, connected with feelings of guilt and a guilty conscience. Therefore, I think that it is most important to give a child the chance to feel and learn that all parts of the body are good - including his willie or her pussy!

Ideally, if you fondle a child, you shouldn't fondle just its stomach, bottom, arms and legs, but its genitals as well. The enjoyment involved in caressing and being caressed over the entire body is something that must be experienced to be learned, just as, for example, does learning to sit properly at the dinner table or on the toilet.


Freud's rediscovery of sexuality in children was later confirmed by the zoologist Kinsey, whose team of researchers observed the sexual behaviour of five-month-old children and noted that they experienced feelings of sexual lust similar to those of adults. Very young children masturbate in a number of different ways, but in general they play with their genitals just as they play with their fingers and toes. In so doing, boys achieve a state in which their bodies become tense, their faces red and their eyes get glassy. The child concentrates fully on this activity and is unaware of his surroundings. The masturbatory event reaches a climax after which the child relaxes and often falls asleep.

I find it very significant that children do not close their eyes during climax, as generally happens with adults. Children at this young age have not yet learned to be ashamed of sex.

One thing I should truly like to see is parents saying to their children, when they see the rays of the sun playing upon their naked bodies, that the little toys between their legs "look really nice". If children were told that masturbation was just as nice and praiseworthy as the other good things they did, they could learn to accept their erotic feelings as good, pleasurable and acceptable.

Unfortunately, it is still not unusual for parents to burden their son with lies about his willie falling off if he doesn't stop playing with it. When a child hears this over and over he quite understandably postpones playing with his genitals until he is alone. And so the parents sit in the living room convinced that their children have no sex life, while the latter hide in the dark with their sexual reality. The child is taught "decent" sexual restraint as demanded by our society, and the result is all too often destructive conflicts, guilt feelings and alienation. Every time a child has an impulse to masturbate, to look at or touch the parent's genitals, to experiment sexually with brothers or sisters, or feels the urge to exhibit itself naked, it may come to feel afraid, ashamed and guilty.

It is truly surprising that a greater number of adults are not totally alienated from their sexuality. Most of us, fortunately, have integrated sex into our personalities and thus are able to distinguish permitted sexuality from that which is unacceptable - at least up to the present.

Kiddy Porn

Late in the summer of 1984 concern over child pornography spread like wildfire through the Danish media. Even in the intimacy of the home the child pornography phantom loomed because some sensationalist American journalists claimed Denmark was the world centre of kiddy porn. Panic immediately broke out among the Danish population and the politicians competed with one another in affirming how horrible, how disgusting, how shocking and how gruesome were pictures of naked children with stiff penises, not to mention the unbelievable obscenity of children and adults in sexual intercourse, or images of the stiff cock of an adult being playfully tickled by the little hands or lips of a child.

And this was served up with the after-dinner coffee to people relaxing in their living rooms. The viewers, in a state of shock, carried their uneaten cakes and cold coffee back to the kitchen, and the wave of anger rolled on out of control through the country. But where in all of this is a sense of proportion? We have all seen images of children killed or maimed by traffic accidents, burned alive by napalm, blown apart by bombs, eaten and crippled by leprosy - children naked and with fear-filled eyes being led off to the gas chambers. We can look at these dead, dying and cruelly suffering children while eating our delicious little cakes and washing them down with coffee nicely sweetened with sugar and cream.

But the moment we see children in the simplest - or even only suggested - sexual attitudes, there is an immediate outcry; fury is kindled and the law must at once be reformed to provide for much more severe punishments.

I cannot help laughing a little at this, and for two reasons. Firstly, it is a fact that some of the most outspoken, hard core child pornography that I have ever seen - and I've seen a lot of it - was in America, produced with American child models in American homes. Secondly, I cannot take a country's anger about child pornography seriously when that same country has enough atomic bombs to blow up the whole earth a hundred times over.

I spent last summer writing in a small house by the sea. My typewriter was set up in front of a window only three meters from the room of a five-year-old boy by the name of Peter.

Every evening a young hedgehog whom we called "Sniff' would come from his hiding place to drink some milk we set out for him. Unfortunately, one night shortly before being put to bed, Peter and his age-mate Jonas started playing football with Sniff and after many blows and caresses the creature came to a rather dramatic end.

Later, when the children were tucked in their beds, I saw that they, after crying a while, started chattering with one another, and then they pulled the bedclothes off of each other and exhibited their stiff pricks. Jonas turned over on his back and Peter kissed Jonas all over, as well as taking the little erection into his mouth and sucking on it. Then it was Peter's turn to lie on prone and be fondled and have his prick sucked. After this Jonas turned over once again on his back and Peter lay down upon him to rub his prick rhythmically against that of his friend. Shortly afterwards they went to sleep with their arms around each other.

It seemed obvious to me that their sex play was connected to the death of Sniff: the evident pleasure they derived from each other's bodies and their own helped console them in their sorrow.

What was it I had observed? Was it pornography, a live sex show, gay children's sex, or nothing more than pure, pleasurable sex? If I had made a movie of it there is no doubt what the laws of this country would have classified it as. Those laws are to protect children from sex. But is it so certain that these two boys, these two children, would have wanted to be protected from the pleasurable sensations radiating from their erect cocks? I don't think so, and for me it is very important to consider children as individuals entitled to develop their sexuality with age peers in rooms where adults do not continuously enter. Children need to learn how to look after themselves, to become independent and should have the opportunity to regulate their own sexual needs. Adults shouldn't feel they have to tell children what they do or do not like sexually. We should respect a child's own sexual feelings and needs.

In this case, Peter and Jonas were allowed to love and hug each other without interference, but there are all too many people who call the police and the child protection authorities when they discover that children have lovingly touched each other's genitals while playing at home or in the garden - and this despite all that has been published explaining that such sexual behaviour almost never hurts the child.

Strangely enough, nobody will call the police or the child protection authorities when parents indoctrinate their children with a horror for sex, something that is immensely harmful to the body, a horror that may cripple them forever as partners in a sexual relationship.


Most people love children, and some people are sexually excited by looking at children, by being with them and by touching them. People who love their own children are called parents and people who find in children their sexual object, are called child-seducers, child-lovers, or paedophiles. In the literature about child-lovers we may also encounter the word paederasty. This is used to refer to the relations of men with boys, particularly if the man inserts his erect penis into the boy's rectum. And so the word has also come to signify anal intercourse which has led many people to think of a paedophile as a "child-molester", as a man who will "abuse" and "molest" a child.

In fact, the child-lover is usually a man or a woman with a desire to have sexual contact with children, usually by fondling the child's genitals, with the child simultaneously fondling his or her genitals. There is seldom any direct attempt at anal or coital intercourse. Paedophiles are on the whole kind people who do not want to hurt children. On the contrary, they wish to give the child some of the love and warmth which, sadly, so many children lack at home. If a paedophile treats a child with love and tenderness, the child's sexual curiosity and lasciviousness will run a satisfying course, as will the adult's.

In the last few years there has been mounting public attention paid to incest. Incest refers to sexual relations between persons who are closely related. Thus incest can occur between parent and child - mother makes love to her son or daughter, or father makes love to his son or daughter - grandparents and their grandchildren, brothers and sisters and each other, uncle or aunt and niece or nephew.

In the many incestuous relations that have been studied, it has often been found that the child or adolescent later has serious adjustment problems. The reason is that the adult has commonly taken advantage of his or her greater power over the child. The child experiences this as a breach of trust when the adult is a person whom the child trusts and likes. The sexual contact is often carried out under the cover of affection - an affection belied by all of this taking place in the dark, under the covers and accompanied by the most terrible threats if the child dares to tell.

The psychological effects of sexual relations between children and adults depend to a great extent on the child's sexual upbringing, together with the tales the children have heard about paedophiles. A child who is frightened beforehand, and for whom sex is fraught with prohibitions and anxiety, is more likely to suffer psychological problems.

In by far the majority of cases it is not the sexual events themselves that infect the child with feelings of sex guilt which might disfigure the rest of its life, but rather the reactions of those in the immediate environment.

I am not talking about physical damage, as, for example, injuries to the genitals or the anal sphincter. Such injuries are the result of violence, and violence against children in any form should not be permitted. However, telling children horror stories about evil men gives them little or no protection. Only rarely is a child killed or maimed by a paedophile; in comparison with the number of children killed or crippled by traffic accidents, it happens so seldom that it is hardly worth discussing.

The child who has a calm, happy and fearless attitude towards the sexual feelings bubbling up in his or her body will also be able to experience this aspect of sexuality without undesirable psychological traces being left.

Making love to yourself and making love to others is one of the most precious things in Life. We are very lucky that we were born with the capacity to love and that this capacity is not lost until death sets its final period after our lives here on earth.


Manfred Petersen, attorney:

Counsel for the Defence:

"Examining child witnesses is always risky."

What kind of cases do you mostly deal with?

Cases in which men are being prosecuted for having had sexual relations with boys. These could have been boys they had met casually, or they could have been boys with whom they entertained a relationship over a long period of time.

How old are the boys you are talking about?

From 7 to nearly 15 - the typical age is about 12 or 13. 

What is your role?

The counsel for defence is somebody you can consult for advice, somebody who can give you information about your rights as a suspect in a criminal procedure. The counsel for defence discusses the case with the accused and is his defender at the trial. Of course, it is important to have an attorney acquainted with the praxis in this field. For me it is of utmost importance first to talk with the accused and to get his version of the case. And for the rest, to get the information necessary to judge the affair - the accused's personal attitude, for example.

What importance does his personal attitude have for the outcome of the case?

A major one. For we are dealing with relations that are considered criminal but that involve deep human problems which we cannot quickly solve. Therefore, it is my opinion that imposing unsuspended sentences is questionable in this kind of case.

A complaint is lodged only rather seldom. What restrains people from reporting these cases to the police?

We may assume that many parents do not like to report these incidents. It is obviously a serious burden for a child to undergo examination.

How is the investigation carried out?

The suspect is arrested and brought to the police station for questioning. Once a suspect is accused, he is informed that he is not obliged to make a statement and that he is entitled to the presence of counsel for his defence. It is surprising that so many waive this right for the presence of defence counsel during examination. Many attorneys think, as I do, that the police emphasise, perhaps too strongly, that the accused will have to pay the costs for such assistance.

You think that the police would rather not have an attorney present?

Yes. The police generally think that it will be easier for them to obtain the statement they want if there is nobody present whom the suspect can ask for advice.

What methods are used to get a statement?

The suspect is questioned - and this should happen in the proper manner. But often the police are rather severe with the suspect if they have some evidence and the suspect denies having committed an offence. They often tell a suspect that he will most likely be put in preventive detention if he does not confess.

I have heard that the police have threatened paedophiles that their families or employers would be informed about what they have done.

That they are threatened with preventive detention as a means of pressure I have heard about. But I have never come across an example of what you have just said. That would be quite illegal. If I heard of such a case I would file a complaint, as this is not an acceptable way of carrying out an investigation. Threatening a suspect is not allowed.

Wouldn't it be difficult to prove?

It would be difficult to find a police officer who would admit to having employed such threats if he had done so.

What could one do to protect oneself against this kind of treatment?

One can have an attorney present at the examination.

Is the questioning less severe if an attorney is present?

Certainly. It is not the task of the attorney to tell the suspect what he should declare. The attorney is present to discuss the affair and to evaluate statements, and to explain to his client what the consequences may be of making various kinds of statements. The attorney is entitled to advise the suspect not to make a statement if he thinks that would be best for him at this stage of the investigation.

Is preventive detention generally employed?

Yes, it is very commonly used, if the police think there is a risk that the accused may try to influence the child or other witnesses to change their statements. There is also a section in the penal code which permits the detention of an accused person if there is a risk that he will commit new offences.

How long can a suspect be held under preventive detention? 

Generally, until the sentence is pronounced.

Is the child also questioned?

Yes. The police are the first to question the child. Usually the social authorities are allowed to be present. Sometimes the parents are also there. In my opinion questioning children as witnesses is very risky. A child may feel himself under pressure. Children's statements can be very diffuse, especially when they are very young and in cases where a long period of time has elapsed since the events they are being questioned about took place.

What can the police do to make the questioning as considerate as possible?

See that it is carried out by an experienced police officer. For the rest it is mainly women detectives who carry out these examinations. It is dangerous when police officers with no special experience or training in questioning children perform them. It would be an excellent idea if there was some special training given in examining children. Inviting a psychologist to supervise these examinations should also be considered. I once tried to get a psychologist experienced as a professional witness to be present at the hearing of a child. The child in this case was 7-8 years old. But my request was rejected.

In what kind of cases is a professional witness psychologist employed?

In Denmark they are rarely used.

Could the parents demand the presence of a psychologist?

No. The parents are allowed to be present, but this in itself may also put stress upon the child. Sometimes the police examination is recorded on tape. The tape can then be played at the trial. I think it would be best if this was always done. Even if a written report of the examination is made, it is not verbatim and it can be difficult for the child to read through the report and understand it.

What other steps can be employed in the investigation?

The police may question persons who might have some knowledge about what happened. Moreover, they will often search the home of the suspect to try to find incriminating material in the form of pictures or letters.

Porno magazines?

They are very interested in porno magazines. They cannot be used as proof, but if the suspect says that he has not the slightest interest in children and they find porno magazines with pictures of children this will of course be incriminating.

Do you have the impression that the police have a certain moral attitude in these cases, or are they just doing their duty?

I cannot remember ever having discussed moral questions with a police officer, but generally most policemen seem to think that such an offence is something horrible, that it is very serious and should be punished severely. We can say that the tribunals have a more nuanced view. This is also shown by the number of probationary sentences given.

Do you have any opinions about the reaction of the parents in this kind of affair?

Parents react strongly. They are very shocked. This is perhaps a natural reaction, but it is important to inform the parents that these kinds of sexual contacts do not necessarily harm the child. For usually in most of these cases the relationship is entirely consensual - there are so many examples of positive relations, and yet they are nevertheless still punishable. There have been many cases in which the child would have liked to continue the relationship, especially where the child is close to the age of consent. In these cases the age of consent of 15 is unsatisfactory because a relationship is labelled criminal when it is not necessary so. It was therefore proposed to lower the age of consent to 14 years.
    I do not know if I have enough background to decide what age of consent would be best, but I have no hesitation in saying that am convinced that 14 would be acceptable. I even believe that in many cases a still lower age would be proper.

In Holland, the praxis is normally not to prosecute such relations if the child is over 12 years old, save when there is a question of assault or other adverse circumstances.

This seems a reasonable approach to the problem.

Do you believe this could also be introduced in Denmark?

Yes, I think this could very well be introduced. If the age of consent is fluid we'll have problems, but also in other areas we have a provision where it is left to the judge's discretion whether an offence has been committed or not. It is ultimately up to the court to decide whether the contact had been entirely voluntary, so that the accused would be acquitted in those cases in which there was no assault.

Could you give us a brief sketch of the criminal procedure? 

During the trial?


If the accused pleads guilty or something similar the case proceeds as follows. Only the accused makes a statement. If he was prosecuted for ten contacts with a child and admits to five of them, the prosecution will perhaps restrict itself to these five. If there is a statement which the police think acceptable, the accusation can be made without an official act of accusation. In such cases the case may be decided by the judges alone, without calling a jury.

This means that he then is judged exclusively upon his own statement?

Yes. If, on the other hand, he denies his guilt, accusation must be brought by a written act drawn up by the public prosecutor, the accused and several witnesses. First the accused makes a statement. After this the witnesses are heard. Other forms of evidence may be introduced - pictures, letters, etc. The prosecutor speaks after the evidence has been introduced. Then the council for the defence speaks and the accused is allowed to have the last word, as in every criminal case. The court makes its decision based on what was put forward during the trial.

How severe is the punishment in most of these cases?

This depends on several things. For example, the child's age is taken into consideration. Whether the child is younger than twelve or between twelve and fifteen. They take into consideration what actually happened, whether there was some act resembling intercourse - in other words, whether there was insertion of the penis in the child's anus or vagina. Also whether there was a single act, or whether there were more than one child involved and a number of contacts. They might also take the man's personal situation into consideration - whether he lived an orderly life, whether this was his first appearance before the courts, had he been sentenced before, etc.
    If he is a first-time offender, the sentence will be under probation in a large number of cases. If the man has already been sentenced for similar offences, he probably can count on an unconditional sentence of four months to one year of imprisonment.

What rights has an accused during examination and during the trial?

He is under no obligation to make a statement. You cannot be punished for making a false statement in your own case, in contrast to the witnesses, who are criminally responsible. Moreover, one is entitled to supervise the procedure. The accused may be removed from the courtroom while the child is being examined, but he has the right to be informed of the child's statement. And he is also entitled to have the last word.

How do you think the child experiences this whole procedure?

I think it is a very heavy burden for a child to pass through the legal machinery and to make a statement to the police. I even believe we may say it is at least as big a burden for the child to have to do this as the sexual relation itself, particularly if we are dealing with entirely consensual contacts.

Is it difficult for children to understand why their friend is being sent to prison?

I do not talk with the children, but I do indeed believe that many of them have a hard time understanding why their friend must be imprisoned. I know cases in which the relationship was resumed after the case was finished.

Does the boy ever keep up contact with the paedophile during the period he is detained in prison?

Yes, there are examples of that.


F. A. Wehner, Judge at the tribunal of Copenhagen

The Judge:

"The emotions involved should be kept at a level suitable to the child."

Where do you set the limits? Could it ever be illegal to kiss a child on the cheek?

No. In itself that would not be punishable. But one should understand that there can be sexual motives hidden in many things that people do. In the cases that come to trial there will always be a long string of acts with a clear sexual component in them - touching certain areas of the body and such - and then suddenly there comes something more than an innocent hug. If this develops to "pawing", as it is so nicely called, then it offends decency. People's feeling of decency can also be offended by obscene language - of course, I don't propose to give you any examples; many of the nastiest flowers of speech are offensive to decency.

Will it be taken into consideration whether the child itself feels that the relations were offensive?

No. In this area we apply the same principles as in the area of insult. Thistle and mimosa are identical under the law. Whether or not the child, feels abused is not relevant in establishing guilt, but it may be very important in determining the severity of the punishment.

What is of importance for determining the punishment?

We take the actual circumstances into consideration. A rather senile pensioner who touches a few little boys without hurting them in any way will get a sentence under probation. A 25-year-old who molests and solicits little girls in the streets will receive unconditional detention. Quite a number of cases have come to trial involving the exploitation of children of a married couple or of a partner one is living with. In 1984 there was an affair in which the culprit was sentenced to one year in prison. He had intercourse with a girl for several years, and it was determined that he had used force.

But she was his stepdaughter?

She was his stepdaughter. The stepdaughter was put in a very miserable position. If she went to her mother, the relationship between her stepfather and her mother might be disrupted. The case came to trial because the social authorities became interested in what was happening in the home. I should point out that the girl was awarded 25,000 Danish crowns in damages. In Denmark today a prison sentence of one year is seen as very harsh, and it shows that in a case where a child is severely oppressed and the adult abuses the child's dependence, the perpetrator is not treated with velvet gloves.

And if, for example, a man meets a 13-year-old boy in the street and invites the boy to come with him.

This will most likely result in a sentence under probation. I remember a typical example - a man of 46 who, after paying 50 crowns, took a 12-year-old boy to his home, caressed the boy's body and had anal intercourse with him. He was sentenced to 4 months probation.

And if there had been no payment?

The payment is of secondary importance. The outcome would have been the same.

A man comes to know a boy of 12. They become close friends and meet regularly over the next three years and have regular sexual contact.

I think this will result in very severe punishment, unconditional imprisonment. You can never deny that such an affair involves seduction. If there are relationships with children that develop emotional overtones, the emotions involved should be kept at a level suitable to the child, and children are not meant to have sexual contacts with adults. I have known cases where you could see from the statements made that the motive was not love for the child; the motivating forces were the man's complexes and sexual problems. The man couldn't establish contacts with people of his own age and therefore his urges had sought a demented outlet. Some of these affairs end, as we know, tragically. We have cases of homicide which began with a man assaulting a child. The child starts to scream - it is typically girls who are raped - and the man panics. The result is a sexual killing.

I was present at a trial of a man who had previously been sentenced for sexual relations with an 11-year-old. Two years later they accidentally met again. The boy started coming to the man's home. The man refused at first to let him in, but finally the man allowed the boy to persuade him to have sex together.

I can only say that he should have said no to the boy. The adult is supposed to possess normal judgment - something the child obviously does not yet have. Children are, and should be, permitted to be unreasonable, but adults should be capable of using the reason which the child lacks. This sort of relationship is also rather dangerous. We know what happens with boys hustling on Rådhuspladsen: if they cannot hustle any more, they find refuge in various kinds of criminality. This results in their social ruin. They become lost human beings.

What importance would be given to the fact that the boy took the initiative when that was the case?

If it is very definitely proven that a great deal of pressure was exercised by the boy - a boy of 13 is supposed to have some concepts of what you may and may not do - this will certainly result in the punishment, which normally would be about six to eight months, being reduced. If the accused is a first-time offender he will certainly be put on probation.

Couldn't it be said that the child knows quite well what he is doing if he had previously been involved in similar relations with other adults?

Yes. But according to the law he is still entitled to legal protection. Whether it is a girl of 14 with experience, or a girl who is still a virgin is not very important.

When is a probationary sentence given?

The fundamental idea behind giving a sentence on probation is that the convicted man not commit another offence. If there is a reason to suppose that he will, the justification for imposing a sentence on probation disappears.

How do you determine this?

If he has no previous convictions we hope that he will not do it again. I am now referring to normally constituted people. But some of those who are prosecuted are obviously deficient in some way; they have one morbid defect or another in their sexual constitution. A forensic psychiatrist is often consulted to help the judge decide whether a sentence could be imposed on probation, or whether special measures must be taken.

Such as?

Treatment or admission to a psychiatric hospital. We may also make such treatment a condition for experimental probation. 

How frequently are these kinds of decisions made? 

They are relatively rare.

A child claims that something unlawful has taken place. The accused denies it. What must be in the child's statement to enable you to rely upon it under such circumstances?

It should be completely trustworthy. Consistent, reasonable, logical. It is often corroborated by concrete independent circumstances. Somebody observes, for instance, that little Karen snuggles up to people. She behaves strangely; it is difficult to establish contact with her. I remember an affair I had to deal with. A girl who had been functioning apparently normally was falling more and more behind in her studies at school. It was discovered that somebody on the same floor as her home was molesting her. There was no doubt about the truth of the girl's statement. Every time she was questioned about what exactly had happened she told basically the same story.

How do the police examine the accused?

As you can understand, I am never present at the police examination. But one of the rules is that the accused is under no obligation to make a statement to the police.

How often does the accused refuse?

Not very often, because it just drags out the affair. And there is the risk of preventive detention.

Do you believe the police use special means to make people talk?

No. And I do not think it is improper if they tell a suspect who refuses to make a statement that the case may very well take longer because of his refusal. But the police, obviously, are not allowed to threaten, mislead or constrain people. This is affirmed in the code of criminal procedure.

How is this interpreted?

For example, it is not permitted to say to the suspect during questioning by the police, "If you confess, you'll get off with six months, otherwise you'll get two years." But when the police officer draws the suspect's attention to the fact that the sentence may be lower when offenders turn themselves in and confess of their own free will, this is often misinterpreted. Afterwards, during the trial, the accused might say, "The detective read a section of the law to me, and so I thought I would get a reduced sentence if I confessed."

Does the court ever give a reduced sentence in such cases?

I have never seen it happen. It is very rare that someone turns himself in.

A man has had a sexual relation with an under-aged hustler. The boy's father threatens to turn him in to the police unless he pays 10,000 crowns. The man goes to the police and confesses to the contact.

He mustn't expect a big reduction in his sentence. He will get a small one. But it seems he made his confession only to protect himself from blackmail.

What would you advise the man to do?

He must accept his punishment. The mentality of a blackmailer is such that if he succeeds at first, he will return again and again. The victim cannot put an end to it unless he makes a confession, and so he must also face the fact that he will later be tried.

May I ask you about the education you receive to become a judge? Do you learn anything about psychology or sexology?

No. In such areas we must look for instruction later, when we need it.

So you regard that as a lack?

Not really. What we need is a certain kind of experience - how to listen to what is being said and how to make a judgment about it. I have never felt the need for formal training either in psychology or in sexology.

[Editor's note: This interview was made in 1984. Sentencing in Denmark has generally been more severe since then due to the heated public debate over "child sexual abuse"..]


Holger, 55 years old:

"One night going home from Scouts..."

It started when I was 12. We had gym at school and we all showered together afterwards in the locker-room. I had relations with several boys in my class, but I was more interested in adults.
    I'm from North Sealand. I discovered that exciting things went on in the dunes near Tisvilde. I made a lot of contacts and dates there.
    One evening on the way home from a Scout meeting - a Monday evening during the war with the blackout in effect - I passed by one of the young men in the village. He was getting cream puffs [In Danish they're called "nigger kisses" Ed.] from a vending machine. The question just popped out of my mouth: "Are you going to have a nigger kiss tonight? He was. And I got one of his cakes.
    We walked part way down the road together and made a date to meet again on Thursday to play cards.
    When I arrived on Thursday he had a fine fire going in his stove. He suggested strip poker.
    He was the first adult male I went with and I fell very much in love with him.

How old were you?

Thirteen and a half, and he was in his late twenties. But then suddenly he disappeared. I had no idea where he'd gone. The next place I went for contacts was the swimming pool at Charlottenlund. I rode my bike - 45 kilometre there and back. Usually I had to fit it all into the afternoon - the trip and the sex - and so I had to pedal very hard. I made a number of contacts. Some had come to North Sealand. With others, I went to their villages. So, in the summertime I did quite well; wintertime was a bit harder.

Did you realise it was illegal?

Yes. One of the men explained this to me in Tisvilde. He was afraid that somebody would find out what we were doing, but I came from a very religious family so I had no intention of going home and telling anybody anything. I knew the sex was something you weren't supposed to do, but I couldn't fight it. Actually, the man wasn't really gay, but, since I played the part of girl in bed we got on very well together.

You weren't afraid of discovery?

Yes I was, and once it caused a real problem. I had a school friend I was going with one winter. Whenever either his parents or mine went out at night, we would get together, on the pretext that we had homework to do. But there was another boy in our village who was interested in me and knew about my relationship with my friend. I refused to have anything to do with that boy, but then he went to our minister and told him what we were doing. The minister summoned us in for a talk. I was first. Even though he had several sons with whom I had "fooled around", I wasn't afraid of him. I told him I didn't think he should interfere. I told him I knew he was bound to professional secrecy and I thought he should act as though he'd never even heard this slander. As for the rest, I didn't want to discuss it any further with him. So we parted and I heard nothing more from him. By then, my friend and I were already gay. We continued meeting and we still see each other from time to time.

Have you ever accepted money for the contacts you've had?

No. At the most an ice cream or such. And the only thing I could give them in return were some apples or other fruits. We had only a small amount of pocket money in those days.

What do you think about paedophilia?

I don't know what I would have done in those six years, from when I was 12 until I was 18, if I hadn't had the chance to meet men older than I was myself. In other words, I had a very good time with paedophiles, and for the rest, I don't think there should be a fixed age of consent. If there is a need on both sides I don't believe the law should interfere. There was a time, I remember, when I was still 17 and my friend had just turned 18. Suddenly what we did together was criminal and he could have been punished for it.


Per, 16 years old:

"You won't get a colour television if you don't stop seeing Niels."

I met Niels when I was 12. He was 38. We met at a summer camp for children sponsored by the municipality so that children could be in the open air and have fun and take part in various outdoors activities. Niels was a youth leader in the camp. I felt right from the beginning that there was something special between us.
    After summer camp was over I started to visit him at home and gradually we got to know each other. At first we were just friends. Afterwards our relationship was more coloured by love. Perhaps I received from him some of the affection I didn't get at home.
    I learned many things, including sexual things, from him. I had just turned 13 when I asked him one day what sex was like, and couldn't we try it out sometime. So we did. It was very nice. I could never have gone to my father and asked him, "Dad, may I play with your prick?"
    We're not always together. We do fine without each other. Several months may pass without seeing each other. At other times it may be only a few hours between meetings. We have had a quiet and pleasant relationship; we've had good times together when this suited us - we've kissed each other in public and shocked people when we felt like it.
    I'm not jealous when Niels gets it on with another fellow, or when he sometimes takes a girl with him. Likewise, Niels is not angry when he hears about some of my sexual adventures.

What do your parents say about it?

Many parents believe that their children will become homosexuals if they have a relationship with a homosexual. And many parents find it difficult to accept a stranger suddenly coming into the picture. I believe my father was afraid that some second father would slip in between us. My mother was afraid of child molesters and "that thing" happening. She always kept asking me, "What do you do together? How do you pass the time?" She has been asking this kind of questions for four years now, plus making all kinds of little hints. And I can't answer honestly, so it is lie upon lie, and lies being discovered.
    What she likes to do is turn the subject around all the time. She has developed a whole lot of fantasies about our relationship. Her problem is that she cannot be absolutely sure. It is as though she hopes to make some discovery or other, for example, surprising us together in bed.
    She always says, "You must be home by 12 o'clock," or "You absolutely must come home to sleep." Once I ignored her. I had a marvellous night at Niels' place. When I got home she slapped my face and said, "How many times have I told you to come home on time," and, "I have problems too, you know. You're giving me goitre." And so on and on.
    The first time I went to visit him she said, "If he starts to touch you must come right home, for then it's sure he's a child molester," and, "If he asks you to take off your clothes..." etc.
    Both she and my father have some very deep-rooted ideas about homosexuals and child-lovers. They've aired them on me. At one time they nearly gave me a stomach ulcer. I felt tempted to jump into the quicksand, to disappear into a black hole.
    Finally Niels came to my home and tried to talk with my parents - tried! He started discussing it a little with my mother, but my father blew up and tried to throw him out the front door.
    The result is I have to be on my guard all the time. I can never behave naturally.

What does Niels mean to you?

Niels is a tremendous support. If things go wrong at home or with some friends, or if I've met a nice fellow, then Niels is always ready to discuss it. He is much more experienced than I am; he can explain so clearly why people behave as they do. Since I became friends with Niels, I find it easier to discuss things with people and easier to make contacts with others like me. Niels has been a refuge for me. In the beginning he was the only one. I didn't know any others.
    I've never had many friends. It has always been difficult for me to make them. Niels tried to make me accept myself as I am and learn to be relaxed with my friends.
    There were always problems for me taking friends home - Mother's fine room, her silver. This was always a worry. My parents would ask questions about my friends: "What is his father's profession?" and "Does he have quite a bit of money?" It was always better when they were well-to-do.
    I was a spoilt child; I got everything; but gifts and material goods were also used as weapons: "You won't get a colour television if you don't stop seeing Niels."
    These stupid prejudices people have! They've grown up in another age and they don't know anything about gays, for example. My gay experiences have been positive. I have slept with some boys and also with a couple of girls. I don't know whether I will stay entirely gay later on, but I think it is fine that you can love your own sex. The newspapers are filled with stories about homosexuals raping 12-year-olds at the swimming pools and so on. It may be that such stories give people their prejudices.
    It is horrible that some people are ready to put others down because they think they're gay. There was a story - also on television - about a boy who was thrown out of his home because he told his mother he was gay. The same thing almost happened to me. My mother once said to me, "If you're gay, I don't want to see your face here any more."
    They never write about the good situations, where boys have benefited from sleeping with adult men, where they learned something from this, also in the sexual area. There is never anything about that in the newspapers.

Have you ever been afraid of "child molesters"?

No. Because it was always me who set the stage for something. But there is of course this crazy law saying that you must be fifteen before you're allowed to do certain things.

Were you afraid that the police would be involved? 

I was not afraid of the police, but of my parents.

What were your thoughts about your first sexual experience?

It was strange and magnificent at the same time. I couldn't understand why there was such a big gap between what I felt and what my parents had told me about such contacts. Purely sexually, it was beautiful and pleasant, and I didn't think there was anything unnatural about it. But it was a collision between the authority of my parents and my own reality.
    At first I may have been afraid of becoming gay. Now I've discovered that I'm not exclusively gay. Maybe I was afraid to become 100% gay. But it seems to me it would be awfully boring to be purely heterosexual.


Sus, 24 years old:

"I was afraid that it could turn into abuse."

- Interview by P. Schmidt and K. Hansen

I was living in a commune, and there was a 13-year-old boy there at the time. He and I developed a special relationship with each other. If he needed some kind of physical contact or protection, he turned to me - and to nobody else. And it was somewhat awkward. Often, after I put my children to bed for their afternoon nap, he would come and lie down on my bed, pretending he was tired and wanted to sleep. My bed was rather small, so it was really very nice. We would lie close together, part upon and part under each other, and chat about all kinds of things. As time went on we began to caress each other, gently stroking each other's neck and so on. Completely harmless. And then one day I realised that I was in love with him, and that he was also in love with me.

How did you come to realise this?

I discovered that I missed him when he wasn't with me. I was concerned about him. I worried a lot about whether he was happy - that sort of thing. Then one day he told me he wanted to sleep with me. We discussed this at great length. I didn't think it was such a good idea. I had a lover at the time. And he knew some girls of his own age; I suggested that he see if he could sleep with them. He told me that he had already tried. He had gone to bed with two cousins when he was 12.
    One day we went to my bed to have our usual nap. It was during the Easter holidays. We had been to the movies and had had a wonderful time. We were just lying there, touching each other, and then all of a sudden we were fucking. It was a fantastically fine experience. I didn't get the impression that this was an inexperienced boy I was sleeping with. I was amazed. We made love all night long, and since then we have slept with each other regularly.

Didn't you have any scruples about his being a minor?

Yes, I did. First and foremost, because he was a boy with emotional problems and was dependent on me, I was afraid our relationship could turn into abuse. We have talked a lot about this, that we should never allow that to happen. The premises were to be very clear.

Do you think there are other people in a similar position to yours, but who abstain because of the law, out of moral considerations, etc.?

I know a woman of 28 who fell in love with a boy of 15. She didn't know how to deal with it. She couldn't control it. The man she was engaged to didn't mind very much. She lived in the same commune. We talked a lot about it and came to the conclusion that it would be best if she went away for a short time. Because it was also a big problem for the boy. He had a very jealous nature. She never went to bed with him, but her feelings for the boy were similar to those I had.
    I've discussed this a lot with men. They all say that they too - at the age of fourteen or fifteen - wanted to go to bed with an older woman, but that they thought it was wrong to do such things. They were very divided about it.

But the community accepted it?

Yes. Well, we didn't tell people in so many words just how far we went with each other, but it wasn't particularly difficult to see. We didn't hide our feelings; we showered together, were often openly affectionate with each other, gave one another full body massages when we felt like it.
    In the commune we didn't usually talk about who had intercourse with whom, but everybody knew that we lay in bed caressing each other because they could see it with their own eyes. The door would always be open.


Erik, 42 years old:

"An incredible number of children are left to themselves."

I go where boys go - to swimming pools, places where there are game machines. Many boys feel flattered if an adult enjoys talking with them and is interested in the things they are interested in. So, it is usually easy to get to know boys in such places.

Do you tell them that you are sexually interested in them?

I don't bring that up at the first meeting; it could easily scare them off. Half-a-year may go by before something happens. There are boys who have visited me numerous times without our having sex. They might bring one or two friends with them, so we amuse ourselves playing cards, listening to records. To me they are often so very handsome and charming, and I tell them so quite frankly. They are overjoyed to find someone who likes them. They're flattered that I find them fascinating. And then, suddenly, it just happens; from flattery to fondling - the distance is not so great. And twelve-, thirteen-, fourteen-year-old boys really need sex. They need other things, too, but sex is terribly important at that age.

Is it clear to them that it is something illegal that they're doing?

No, in most cases this is not clear to them.

Do you tell them?

After I've known them for some time. Then I bring the subject up. Also to protect myself. I have to tell them that they mustn't say anything to anyone about what we are doing.

Have any of these boys asked for something in recompensation for these contacts?

Very seldom do they ask. But of course I usually offer them things when they are in my home: a soft drink, a piece of cake. 

What sort of boys have you had relations with?

All sorts. Sons of unmarried mothers. Boys from institutions. Boys that have both of their parents. Boys from wealthy and middle-class and poor families.

These are mainly children who don't have much parental guidance?

Yes. Mainly boys who wander around and are bored. An incredible number of children are left to themselves. They are happy when an adult takes an interest in them.

Do you also get some emotional satisfaction from these relations?

Yes, very much. I need to have somebody for whom I'm important. Somebody, perhaps, whom I can help bring up. These boys are often out on the streets at night and get involved in petty theft, breaking into shops and so on. They usually tell me about it soon after, and I try to stop them from doing it again. Inevitably, I ask myself whether what I do with these boys is wrong. But I don't think it is. I try to be somebody important for them. They have no place where they can stay at this age. They have nobody taking care of them, and they miss it.

Do they ever feel pressured into going to bed with you because you care so much about them?

I don't believe this has ever really happened. Whether we have sex depends completely upon their willingness.

Were there any who tried to exploit you financially?

No. One boy once asked if he could borrow some money from me - ten or twenty crowns - but that is all. Of course I've lent money to them and forgot about it.

Young girls, do they appeal to you?

Once something happened, but that was a long time ago. 

How about gay men of your own age?

They don't attract me at all.

What happens when you've had relations with a boy and he begins to grow older?

When they become 16-17, they begin to be adults. So my interest in them lessens. It is only fair to admit that.

And do you stop the contact?

Yes. But in many cases they continue to visit me. In certain cases we have continued our relationship until they get married. And I'm still in contact with two or three old boy-friends who are now in their late twenties or early thirties. Some boys still come to me when they have problems with their girl friends. I try to help them solve their problems. I have the impression that not very many are able to discuss subjects like sex and love with their parents.

Do you find your life satisfying?

I am indeed happy in the company of boys. They give me a lot, emotionally and otherwise. But I do sometimes feel a need to talk with an adult.


Stefan, 10 years old:

"I suspect he'll go with my little brother later."

I got to know Christian through Torben, my mother's lover. He came to my birthday party.

What happened on your birthday?

I baked cake figures and got presents, including an old tape recorder that didn't work very well. Christian repaired it.

You became friends because he repaired your tape recorder?

Yes, and because he was good with computers. I went to his home and saw his computer. We became better and better friends, and he also came here.

What did you do together?

We took a trip to Copenhagen. We went to Tivoli. We won a lot of things at the shooting stand. He was terribly good at that. He won all the time.

Did you know that Christian was a paedophile?

I didn't know what it meant, but then Lasse began to talk about child-lovers and such things.

Who was Lasse?

He was one of Christian's friends. At first I thought that paedophiles were people who tied little children to a pole and danced a war dance around them and then ate them for dinner. Later I asked Christian if paedophiles were, in fact, like this. He said they weren't. So I was more relieved.

Did you know that Christian and Lasse were paedophiles? 

Yes, I found out. Lasse told that he had even been in prison because of it.

What did you think when you heard that Christian was a paedophile?

Nothing special. He was my friend. I thought that he was sweet.

Could you see that he liked you very much?

Not at first. That came later. Every time a handsome boy passed us he would say, "Oh-oh-oh," and such. So I thought he was only interested in boys about twelve or thirteen years old. Then he told me about another boy he had known. And so it happened.

What happened?

We started with this great kingdom.

You started what?

The great kingdom. We began...

It was he who began?

Yes, and so I jumped into it too. But he didn't begin at once - wro-o-o-om! That came a little bit later on.


That is difficult to explain.

Did he say that you were beautiful?


Did he kiss you?


What did he do, then?

I can't remember very well.

What did you do together?


What did you think afterwards?

Nothing really.

Do you feel embarrassed about discussing it?


Will you tell me something about it?

About what?

About how you started doing it.

I've already told you.

Not really.

I thought at first that he only had eyes for girls. One day we were walking and he said, "The fifth person we meet, we shall go to bed with." First a lady passed and he said "Pooh." Then an old man passed and he said "Pooh" again. And then no more came. He told me that he didn't like girls, but liked boys. He showed me a few pictures of a boy he had known and told me stories about him.

How often do you meet?

Every day. We never skip a day.

How often do you do it?

Do what?

Go to bed together.

It varies.

Once a week?

No. Perhaps once or twice a day. Sometimes three times. 

Is it you who wants to do it so often, or is it him?

It's both of us.

Do you ever not want to?

Sometimes I'd rather do something else.

Do you ever want to when Christian doesn't?

Yes, it's sometimes me, sometimes him.

What happens then?

If one of us doesn't want to do it we just don't do it. 

Do you sleep together?

Always. No, we didn't for three nights.

What else do you do together?

We go sailing. Sometimes we go to Odense and have a meal. Sometimes we go to the beach for a swim. Sometimes my little brother comes with us. But it's not so much fun when he comes along.

Why not?

He thinks that he can decide about everything. He says, for example, "Torben is my friend and Christian is yours." 

And what does your mother say?

She says, "Oh, you two are always quarrelling about who is your best friend."

What does your mother think about Christian?

She thinks that he is sweet.

Does Torben think so too?

Torben thinks Christian is a genius. He's an expert in computers and everything else. Today he repaired our radio. It was buzzing. He said, "I'll fix it right now; there's only something wrong with the antenna."

How do you usually spend your day?

I go to school and Christian works.

What happens when you come home from school?

I don't always go straight home from school. Sometimes I play a little handball or go to the recreation centre. Sometimes we go to the city and sometimes we go to Lasse's.

Do you ever play with your friends?

At school, not at home.

Did you ever do it?

No. Yes, perhaps in the first grade. This was before I got to know Christian.

How long do you think you'll continue to be with Christian? 

That is a difficult question. You almost have to be a professor to answer it.

Many years?

I suspect he'll go with my little brother later.

You think, then, if that happens, he won't want to be with you any more?


And then you'll look for another friend?

I don't know. I can't tell that now.

Perhaps a woman?

Never in my life.

Women are stupid?


Your mother too?

That's different. She is very sweet. I've always thought so. 

Do you like Torben too?

Yes, but not in the same way.

Does he play with you sometimes?

Not now, but before I knew Christian...

When something very fine happens between you and Christian don't you feel tempted to tell your friends about it?

No, because something could happen to Christian - it could be reported to the police.

You're afraid of the police?

Yes, a little bit.

What do you think the police would do?

They would certainly say, "Now, Stefan, tell us what you do together. You'll get a fried sausage afterwards!" They will certainly also say that Christian is corrupting little children.

And what would you say to them?

That it's not true.

Do you think the police will come?

They might. Some day.

How could the police find out?

Some witches live in the neighbourhood, and if they find out they will call the police. But I made an agreement with my mother that she would pretend to be Christian's fiancé. 

But she's engaged to Torben.

She can have two lovers at the same time.

How old do you think a person should be before he can have sex?

Zero years.

Stefan's Mother:

Shortly after I became acquainted with Torben - we were in Kloster Moster, a music place here in Svendborg - we met one of Torben's good friends, Christian. We invited him to visit us at home and he came to Stefan's birthday party. My family was there too, and a number of friends. Christian spent a lot of time in the children's room that day, together with Torben. One of Stefan's presents was a tape recorder which he needed to be shown how to use. Stefan was very, very happy that day.
    Christian came again the next day. Stefan became quite interested in this young man, in part because he played in an orchestra. A few days later they went to Copenhagen together and Christian started sleeping every night in our home. Stefan was quite infatuated with him and they roamed the town together. I kept entirely out of it.

Did you foresee all that later happened?

No, I didn't. Even though I knew quite well that Christian was very fond of children, I could only see that Stefan was happy in those days. He was happier than I had seen him in years, and I knew that it was because of Christian. It was clear to me that Stefan was in love.

Was he indeed?

It radiated out from him. He behaved the same way I do when I'm in love. I have never seen him so happy. He was singing all the time and chattering about Christian. He really could not be bothered with anything else. They were always showering together, chattering, fooling around and locking the door. It was fine with me.

When did you realise that they were having sexual relations?

Two or three weeks after Stefan's birthday. I wanted to know, so I asked Christian point blank if they were having sex. He said, "Yes, something is going on." I didn't know exactly what was happening. I had a vague idea of how paedophiles made love, but I never asked them. Stefan came once to me and asked what he should do because he couldn't get an orgasm. I was glad he came to me with his problem. This was the only time I discussed it with Stefan.
    He plays up to Christian. For example, he puts a ladle between his legs. Or maybe he'll say, "You want to step inside for a suck?" He caresses Christian quite openly. I think that's nice.

What do you think he gets out of the relationship?

Stefan had never had a close contact with a man. I have lived with two men with whom he had no relationship at all; they just hated and insulted him. No body contact whatever. Now his need for this is being satisfied, and that is important, a very good thing in my opinion.
    Stefan was always jealous of his little brother because he visits his father. Stefan never saw his own father. This is the first time that Stefan has had a relationship with a man.

Couldn't he have such a relationship without sex?

Easily, but he wants the sex, too. That radiates out from him. 

He has said that he is afraid that Christian is more interested in his little brother?

I don't believe that's true. Stefan is simply being jealous. 

Why is he jealous?

I don't know, but he must be allowed to live this love to the end. Nobody must hold him back. Besides, this relationship has strengthened the relationship between the two of us, too. I'm now permitted to touch and kiss him, which he had not let me do for some years.

How often do they meet?

Every day. It has become a daily event for all of us, to be together with so many people, and I think it's fine. I have a lot of confidence in Christian and I am only really concerned when he is with other paedophiles.

What do you fear?

I'm afraid he'll make more adult friends, that he'll forget that somebody is in love with him right here. It is not very often you'll find parents who thinks it's all right when their child falls in love with an adult. I sometimes get the feeling of being exploited, but this fades away when I see what a good time Stefan is having.
    There have been periods when I thought the relationship was becoming too much, that Stefan was forgetting to play with friends of his own age. But he has now reached the point where he can sometimes choose to be with his friends and not with Christian. I think this is very good.

It has been a month now since I last talked to Stefan. Has something happened in the meantime?

Yes. One Saturday morning I saw two well-dressed men walking towards me. I knew immediately that they were police officers. I was afraid. I started trembling and felt very bad.
    They came in and introduced themselves. They wanted me to tell them what I knew about Christian. This I did, and added that he was a paedophile. They didn't know what the word meant, but they couldn't understand why I wasn't afraid of him - a paedophile assaults every child he approaches.
    I could not accept this description. I told them that Christian came often to our house because I liked him very much and because he worked with Torben in some affairs. And that of course Stefan and he had also been together a lot, but that there was no reason at all to suppose that there was anything sexual between them.
    They didn't believe me and wanted to talk with Stefan. I allowed this, but only on my conditions, which were that I should lead the conversation. Stefan was fascinated with the police and asked if he could see their badges and guns. That was all right. He chattered the whole time. I thought, "Shut up, this is going wrong!" I told Stefan why they had come. I said that it was because Christian was suspected of having molested him - I think I even used the word "fuck", that they had fucked together which was, of course, illegal.
    They asked him whether Christian ever tried to undress him. He answered that he was quite able to do this for himself. And they asked if Christian had ever asked him to touch his peepee. He only said, "Pooh!"
    So they left and said they wouldn't do anything further in this case. None of us believed them.
    Christian came that same evening. I told him what had happened and that it had gone well. I was terribly annoyed by it, for his sake. He has been haunted by the police and by the courts his whole life, and only because he is a paedophile. Stefan was happy to see him again. The police couldn't destroy their love! I was incredibly happy to see that.
    A few weeks later the police returned. They wanted to see some pictures they thought Christian had made of Stefan. I signed a declaration allowing them to search the whole house, but of course they found nothing. I had taken anything there was away.
    We didn't dare to let Christian sleep over with us any longer. They threatened to take the children away from me. It was an empty threat, but when they say such things to me it only makes me more stubborn.

How did Stefan take it?

I think it is a terrible pity that he is not allowed to live this love through without interference from the outside world. But he takes it like boys of his age usually take such things. He thinks it's fun to play cowboys and Indians with the police. But I have given him some of my fears, because I don't want them to break him during an examination. I'm afraid that one day they'll come to look for him at school and question him when I'm not there.
    Torben and I have talked with a psychologist whom we know. He has also interviewed Stefan a few times. If the social workers and health authorities interfere, we can now say that Stefan is already seeing a psychologist, in which case they would be obliged to use our psychologist in any criminal case they might want to bring.

What do you think is going to happen?

For our own sakes I hope we will be successful in keeping the relationship hidden, that it will become second nature for us to hide it. I am angry about this for Stefan - that he has to hide his love. But we are forced to do so. The positive side is that he is not alone. Most boys have to hide these things from their parents too.

You think it can go on?

I hope it can continue just as long as Stefan wants it to. I hope when it ends, he will do it and not somebody else. But he has also become paranoid and almost doesn't dare to do anything sexual with Christian. He's afraid somebody will catch them. Imagine being in such a situation! It is not the way one would have wished to see one's child's first love evolve.
    He says that when he's an adult he wants to be either a paedophile or gay. He must decide this for himself. Let him try out everything. But I would not like him to become a paedophile.

Did you have any sexual experiences as a child?

No, I didn't. I come from a home where I never saw my parents naked. I didn't know they fucked. I was told that children were brought by the stork.
    For many, many years I was sexually miserable. I believe that was because of my ignorance. The first time I went to bed with a boy it was done in secret and I couldn't talk to anybody about it. I didn't have the slightest idea what you even did. As a result of all of this, I made up my mind that, by God, my own children would not grow up that way!


Martin, 19 years old:

"There was always a streak of sadomasochism in me."

My mother re-married just after I turned thirteen. I soon came to like my stepfather very much. My mother suffered from bad nerves, and had been very unstable, but he and I had an excellent relationship. Their marriage lasted only five months. I was allowed to choose between living with him or with her and I chose to live with him; I'm still living with him.
    His ideas about bringing up a child were quite different from those of my mother. He believed that an immediate spanking was all right and settled everything. I agreed with him and still do. Besides, it used to stir up my hormones a little. There was always a streak of sadomasochism in me.
    Fourteen days after my mother left us I was to be spanked for something that I had done. I think I'd probably earned it. It was certainly no pretext on his side.
    When I pulled my trousers down, my cock was stiff. This, of course, he noticed; it made quite an impression on him, for when I had got what was coming to me, he embraced me and hugged me, and a few minutes later all our clothes were off and we were having sex in every possible way.
    It was wonderful. From then on we've had sex together, but not connected with punishment. These two things were kept separate. Still, he is a very good father. Even if he spoils me a bit at times, he doesn't back down on his demands on me, for example, that I should be home at an appointed hour. He's the boss at home, which is only right since he's 19 years older than I am.
    The day after our first sex, the initiative came from me, not him. He didn't want to force me to do anything in sex.
    He has quite deliberately taught me that I shouldn't sleep just with him. I should have experiences with others, and with girls, too. This has worked out just fine; sometimes he'll take a girl as well. But I consider him my best sexual partner. He is still a young man at 38. And handsome.
    We did every kind of sex right from the start - not just jerking each other off with our hands, but doing it from the front, and from behind and all such things. The first time he penetrated me I was only 13 so he had to be very careful, but after a few minutes it began to feel just very nice.
    I haven't the slightest idea how common such relations are. We began when it was very much against the law, and so I never breathed a word about it to my friends.
    When I started to have sex with girls I realised how much I'd profited from what I'd learned. I was 16 when I first had sexual intercourse with a girl. She thought I was an old hand at it; it seemed like I'd done it many times before. I wasn't afraid of touching the various parts of her body.

What was it that made you initiate relations with him?

It was sheer luck. We were two people in perfect harmony.

What kind of need was satisfied by doing this with him?

The need to have physical contact with an adult. If I had tried that with a girl my own age, neither of us would have been mature enough to provide it. My life up until then had been rather troubled and insecure; we kept moving from home to home; my mother had a lot of short-term relationships. What I was desperately looking for was somebody who liked me, in every way. After we had sex for the first time I realised that was what I had been looking for and longing for ever since he had come to live with us, because I had been taking every chance I had to be alone with him - naked in the bathroom etc., etc.

Did he have the same feelings for you?

He has told me he had a lot of internal conflict during that time. Although he liked my mother enormously, he was quite interested in sex with me.

Had he had relations with other adults or with boys?

Not with adult men, but there had been some other youngsters.

He's not interested in adult men?

If it's somebody his own age, it must be a woman.

And little girls?

I don't think he's interested in them, not in minors. And if it weren't for the fact that our relationship has been going on for several years, I don't think he would be interested in me any longer. We have slowly grown older together. We get on well with one another and we experiment with different things. But he might get interested when he meets a 15-year-old boy.

And how about you and women?

That can be fantastically wonderful. Last winter I had an affair with a girl for some months; we went to bed together a lot. Now we are more like just friends, but we occasionally still want to have sex with each other.
    But the sexual experiences I remember best are the ones I've had with my stepfather. You can be so relaxed doing it with someone older than yourself, someone who takes the lead. It's easier to let yourself go. I don't mean that I'm passive; it's just that it can be very nice when the other person takes the lead. I guess many people have the same feelings.

Was it first and foremost sex that you found so fascinating?

No, not just the sex. We weren't jumping out of our clothes and into bed all the time. Being together and going about our daily routines was also fine. Sex was the frosting on the cake. It helped create a feeling of intimacy; it made it possible to talk about all my feelings or crazy fantasies or problems at school, for example.

Wasn't he afraid your relationship might be discovered?

I don't think so. Even though I was still pretty much of a child when it began, I was aware of a lot of trust on his part. We also talked about things and made plans - for example, that I would sneak off to my room in a hurry if somebody rang the doorbell when we were making out on the sofa, but I don't think anybody knew anything. Everyone in the family thought he had a knack for taking care of me.

What do you think your mother would say if she knew?

She wouldn't accept it. So we are always careful. Somebody might want to hurt my stepfather.

Was not being able to talk about it to others a burden for you? 

Not really. It's so good to be together. We have something good for us both, entirely for ourselves.

Have there been times when you didn't want to go to bed with him?

Not as far as I can remember. But if I was dead tired or had a headache, he would understand. During those first years I craved sex. It was so new. The only way I'd been able to satisfy myself before was by masturbating, and so it was a great thrill to be able to have sex with somebody else as often as I could.

Do you still consider yourself gay?

No. I can confidently say I'm bisexual. I can have enormous pleasure in sex with a girl.

Did you ever have feelings of attraction towards men before you got to know your stepfather?

Yes, I think so. At that time I was very much interested in coming into contact with real men. At swimming pools and such places I often thought, "What a handsome fellow - I wish I could get to know him a little better!" I didn't stand there hoping he would actually tear my clothes off and fuck me, but something like that was going through my unconscious head.

You were very dependent on your stepfather. The chance of your successfully resisting him if you didn't want to be seduced was rather small.

I could have gone and lived with my mother if I had wanted to, but this never crossed my mind. I have never regretted that I chose to live with him.

Could you ever have been interested in a relationship with somebody outside your home?

Perhaps a gym teacher or a sports trainer, someone I met in some natural way, but it could never be as close a relationship as you have with somebody you're living with in the same house.

Were you jealous when he went out with women?

Sometimes in the beginning, but we talked it out and I could see it was stupid to be jealous. When I was sixteen he encouraged me to have relations with girls.

You still keep your relationship with your stepfather secret?

It could still get him in a lot of trouble if it came out. Many people are convinced that you can be seduced into becoming gay, and somebody would certainly say his seduction was responsible for me adopting a bad sexual life-style. But he most certainly didn't do that! He initiated me into exactly what was right for me. I can see this now. It is only because it fitted me so perfectly that our relationship has been able to last for so many years. I don't believe you can change people very much. You can show them some of the possibilities, open things up to them that otherwise might never have come to the surface.


Peter, 14 years old:

"If I had enough money I wouldn't do it."

How did you become a hustler?

I really don't know. I've had sex with men since I was... [He thinks it over.] ...six, or about that. And so when I lived on Vesterbro I discovered there was some place called Rådhuspladsen. Once you've tried it, you do it again. I've been coming here now for two years.
    I get 200-250 crowns each time, sometimes more. I spend the money on toys, slot machines, going to the movies and now and then to buy hash. I've run away from home, so I stay at houses of different friends and acquaintances, or clients.
    Last summer I ran away from home for the first time with someone I knew. I was caught and put in a foster home. Later, they moved me to another foster family farther away, near Slagelse, because I ran away whenever I could from that first family. They were old people.

How was it when you lived at your own home?

Sometimes it was all right; at other times it was sheer hell. 

Did they know you did things with men?

I told my mother that I went to Rådhuspladsen. She knew it very well. I wasn't living at home when I told her.

The first time you ran away, it was...

Just for fun. Just to be free and do something crazy. That time I had been stealing - motor scooters and such things. But I don't want to do that any more.

Do you remember the first time you had sex with a man?

No, but I can remember a few of the early times. My stepfather had a bar. A lot of drunks used to come there. I often went to a grass field where they would be sitting, so I got to know a few of them. I really cannot remember how it got started.

Do you find it gives you pleasure; do you have fun doing it?

To have sex with men? It's not just fun - it's wonderful! [He looks straight into my eyes and smiles. He is a handsome boy.]

And what about love? Did you ever fall in love?

I think I was five years old the first time I slept with a girl. She was thirteen. But I didn't get anything out of it. I just lay there and sucked her cunt.

Have you ever fallen in love with a man?

Yes, the one I'm going with now. I'm in love with him and I have sex with him too. It's fine. He is 18.

Do your parents know where you are living?

No. I hope I can stay in hiding until I'm 18; after that nobody will have any authority over me - not my mother, not the child protection agency.

Do you have to stay in hiding? Is there no authority you could talk to?

Like what? I wouldn't be allowed to live as I want. I can't get a room of my own. I'm not old enough.

What about a youth home?

I don't like living in an institution and having "instructors" chasing my ass all the time. [He smiles a little, enjoying the ambiguity.] You can't even let out a fart without them knowing about it.

You might be sent to a foster family.

They wouldn't dare do that. I would just run off again.

It would be wonderful if people could respect other people's way of living.

"Instructors" certainly don't. [He grins.] They want you to be just like them. Mamma mia!

Do you have any plans - dreams, visions for your future?

Yes, to get a motor-cycle or a boat. Or to get a well-paid job. A job doing something I like and that pays enough money.

A family?

Family? [Wondering.] I have never thought about... I don't think so. [Suddenly excited.] Maybe I'd like to have a wife and children and all that, but my wife would have to accept the fact that I sleep with men too. I'll think about it in any case.

Would you still go to Rådhuspladsen if you had enough money?

I don't think so. I'd let the others hustle for that money. If I had enough money I wouldn't. I'd certainly have a steady friend but I wouldn't go to Rådhuspladsen. Most of the boys there end up as junkies. That's shit. I'll definitely steer clear of that. The only hard drug I've tried, apart from hash, is two pep pills. I got so sick, you wouldn't believe it. I was with those fellows every day, and so I couldn't help talking to them. I know about someone who died from it.

You are sure that you can avoid...

Yes, because I don't go around with them. I go my own way and they go theirs.

What are your clients like?

Very nice people. A few have tried to cheat me, but with the rest I've had no bad experiences. Some are young, some are old - I never ask their age. If they ask me mine, I tell them I'm fourteen. It is useless to lie and to say I'm fifteen to go home with them. Because then if we are caught... They have to know how old I am so they can decide whether or not they're going to dare take the risk.

What do you think about the age of consent?

It would be best to fix it at zero. There should be no age limit. It's better to make love than war.

The purpose of an age of consent is to protect children.

It's the kids themselves who go there, isn't it? So that's a lot of nonsense. But it would be lousy to let men sleep with six- or seven-year-olds who don't want to do it themselves.

Would more men force children to do such things if there was a zero age of consent?

I don't think so. But there would be more people who dared to have sex with children, that's for sure.

Have you ever been involved in a criminal case against any of the men that you have slept with?

Yes, when I was still young. I was questioned lots of times in criminal cases. In those days, I told them everything. Today, I wouldn't say a word.


Joey, 33 years old:

"I think I'm wasting my time and energy here."

I've met many paedophiles in various countries. I was born in America and have traveled all over the world in an attempt to find a place where I can live in harmony with my desires.
    Paedophiles are a very isolated group. Most of them don't dare to say anything or to talk to anyone. But I do. I'm very open, sometimes at my own expense and risk to my safety. It can also work in the opposite way. A police officer once told me, "I've never talked before with one of you people who was as open as you." Perhaps this was also the reason why my sentence was so light.

Could you tell me about this case?

In Holland I had a neighbour who was a prostitute. She lived with a pimp. They had three children. The older two, of eleven and eight, were his. The third, a son of two, was theirs.
    The parents were very primitive, and the children lacked any sort of contact with them - body contact, emotional contact. They just existed.

How did you come into contact with them?

On the street. The children invited me to come up and visit their parents. And so we became friends. The mother liked to be free of the children when she worked and so I was allowed to look after them.
    Eight to ten months went by that way without any trouble. The oldest boy was completely crazy about sex. The eight-year old heard from his older brother that we were having sex with each other, so he wanted to take part too.
    At that time I also had to baby-sit in the weekends. The father was in prison sitting out a two-month sentence. The mother went there every week to visit him.
    It was during this time, when the father was away, that the mother tried to make me go to bed with her. I refused and she got angry with me. She knew that I was having sexual contacts with her children. She said, "You let my children see you and play with you and go to bed with you, but you won't let me."
    I was arrested two or three days after the father returned from prison. Because of the youngest boy. I hadn't really done much, but I had sucked him because he liked it. He was only two and was just starting to talk. One day while his mother was giving him a bath, the child said, "Suck it, Mom. Suck it." I was arrested and thrown in gaol for three days of questioning. I was very open. I said, "Yes, I'm a paedophile." I spoke about my feelings for the children, explained what had happened, and how and why.
    At first they were rough and mean towards me, but later they became rather pleasant. My residence permit wasn't taken away, but my attorney said to me, "I advise you to leave the country before the trial. I believe you will come off badly this time." It was the second time I had been caught in Holland.
    So I fled to Denmark. I was sentenced in absentia and got a very mild punishment - two weeks imprisonment on probation and a fine of 1000 guilders. I don't have that much money; if I did I'd like to move back to Holland.

Why do you think your sentence was so light?

First of all, because the mother was a prostitute. The judge could see that the child was miserable at home. Secondly, because the child and I had done practically nothing. There was no money involved, as in many of such cases. No question of prostitution, nor of using the child for porno pictures.
    I was sent to a psychiatrist. He was a very fine fellow. He wrote a nice letter, an attestation, in which he said, among other things, that paedophiles not uncommonly have a positive influence on children, especially where the children lack affection and attention at home.

How did they treat the children during the police examination?

I don't know, but I got a copy of the police report of the examination. I couldn't recognise anything that was written there. I got the impression that the police had put words into the children's mouths based upon their own impressions of what had happened.

Have you seen the children since?

I met the eldest in the street once. He was very friendly and sweet towards me. The police had also told me that he wanted to come and see me right away if he could. He really was in love with me. It was very nice to hear the police saying such things.
    I also wanted to be with him, but his parents and the system blocked the way. I think that's a pity. I think I have got something to offer him. It's not only a question of sucking cock. It often happens when I'm in contact with a child that I'm told things even the parents know nothing about - things having to do with their views on life, their innermost thoughts, their problems.

What kind of problems?

For example, there were two children whose father fucked them in the arse. It hurt. They were afraid to tell, because they were afraid of losing their father. Because they liked him.
    They could talk it over it with me. If they discussed it with a teacher at school or one of their friends, the father would surely have problems. He was one of those very isolated paedophiles. He wouldn't even admit to himself that he was a paedophile.
    The biggest problem for paedophiles is and always will be that they must keep it a secret, that they can't discuss it with anybody without all hell breaking loose.

What influence does this secrecy and fear have on the children?

I think this makes them doubt whether what they are doing is all right, because nobody else will support them in this view. I'm the only one. I tell them that it's all right, that it's very good. It's your body, you can enjoy it.

What will happen if you're sent to prison?

It wouldn't change me, if that is what you mean. If I have to go to prison, it will mean that I'll be in contact with a bad group of men whose ideals are quite different from mine. Murderers and such. I've not killed anyone. The only illegal thing I've ever done is to touch a few children where you're not allowed to touch them.
    I wonder if this isn't all bound up with parents' frustrations. Maybe parents feel tempted to crawl into bed with their children. Not consciously, of course; they'd never admit that. They'd knock me down if I'd say such a thing. But I believe it is true. Anyway in many cases.

Tell me about some of the children you've known.

One thing they generally have in common is that most of them don't have it so good at home. They're children who are neglected at home. Children like to meet someone who is honest. They crave justice. Adults have learned life's game of facades and lies. Children are more down to earth. They don't have a guilty conscience when they tell the truth. With children I know where I stand.
    I feel I have a sense of responsibility because I have a big influence on children. That's why people hate me. They're afraid I have more influence on children than the parents have themselves. I teach children to be individualists, and that's not appreciated.

What about the sexuality of very young children?

There is something pure and direct about them. They're still unspoiled. They have a lot of sensations, and they have a great need for contact.
    I think it is wrong to figuratively cut little children up into pieces by making them believe some parts of the body are healthy and good, while others, those parts normally covered by underclothes, are bad and dirty. When we divide up the bodies of children this way we create problems.
    Adults won't admit it, but I'm firmly convinced that even very young children have sexual feelings, even if they're not as developed as an adult's, but those feelings are very strong nevertheless. And they like to share them.
    So, I've learned how to approach them. I don't start by throwing them onto my bed or by asking if I can suck them. I'm nice to them, fondle them a little, kiss them, talk with them. I have no expectations and make no demands. If something is going to happen the initiative should be theirs. In regards to me, they can scold me or be mad at me, just as they like. I prefer their being honest with me and saying what they mean. And so I make a different impression on them than other adults do. Children have their own world, a world about which most adults know nothing. Occasionally an adult comes along who is very open and will accept children for what they are. I think I see them as they really are.
    But it's not just sex I'm looking for. That's a part of it, just as it is for everybody. Sex is a part of our lives. It is also a part of the life of a two-year-old or an eleven-year-old child.

If they are permitted...

They do it anyway, whether it is allowed or not. When they can't do it openly they masturbate secretly, and perhaps they grow up and become just as short-sighted and inhibited as their parents were.
    My own mother is one of those. Sex takes place in the dark, under bedclothes. You must turn off the light and you must not talk about it.

You were not allowed to masturbate?

I masturbated often, and got a stiff cock and that was fine. But my mother wouldn't tolerate it if I touched myself there. I remember once when I was four or five. I was playing with my prick in my mother's bedroom. She cried, "You mustn't do that!" She told my older brother to go and find the big kitchen knife. She threatened to cut my prick off. I really thought she was going to do it. I was very frightened.
    Maybe this is one of the reasons why I became a paedophile. I'm not attracted to women. I'm afraid of them. Psychiatrists say so. Perhaps they're right. But they can't convert me.

Did you go to a psychiatrist yourself or were you sent to one?

Once I went myself. I had joined a religious group and so I came into conflict with myself because I was told that what I was doing was wrong. I paid this psychiatrist $38 an hour for listening to me. I went to see him for two months. He got rich. I got poor. Finally he said, "You don't need to come anymore. I can't do anything for you. You should just relax and have a good time."
    I got to know some boys and made out with them and had a fine time for several years, until I was arrested. Then I had to go to a psychiatrist again. This time I was forced to. And he was an idiot!

He tried to treat you?

Treat me? He experimented on me! He had a phallometer, a glass cylinder that he put over my prick. With various instruments he could measure the blood pressure in my cock. He showed me pictures of naked people of different ages to see if his instruments indicated a reaction.
    I told him that I preferred children four to six years old, or in any case before they reached puberty. After a month of testing and experimenting he told me that I preferred children four to six years old, or in any case before they reached puberty. How clever he was!
    He gave me some medicine to lower my sex drive. He said that I should go twice a year to a hospital for a liver puncture to determine whether it had been damaged by the medicine. I never took any of the medicine. It was a female sex hormone. Progesterone, its name was. Why should I take such stuff? Because other people are frustrated?
    I knew someone who took it. He had a weak personality. His sex drive was weakened, but it's difficult to say whether by the medicine or by his fear of being caught again.

You got off rather easy every time you were caught?

I've been lucky. It is as if I've been protected. This sounds religious, but I have been protected by good people. I follow my natural impulses, at any expense, and because of this I sometimes take great risks.

Don't you think you exaggerate the risk?

Perhaps. I am afraid of electronic data processing and supervision, and of being a victim of experiments. Because I'm one of those whom men of science can't influence or change. On the one hand they're astonished. On the other they're angry because I have my own free will and they don't like that.
    If the world turns fascist again, as it did during World War II, they will say to the men of science, "Yes, go ahead and do what you like to him. He's worthless." Paedophiles are easy victims. Who would defend a paedophile?

Do the children see that you are afraid?

I don't think so, for I'm foolhardy. For example, I enjoy the moment when I'm in bed with a child and then I'm indifferent to what might happen afterwards. You should be careful not to infect children with your own paranoia. That's why I never say to them that they mustn't tell anyone what we're doing together. I just tell them that it's something private. "Your father and mother don't talk to you about their sex life, why should you talk about yours to them?" I also tell them that they should tell the truth if they're ever questioned.
    I don't think children can understand why their parents are so afraid of these things. For example, once a five-year-old boy said to me, "I think it's nice to do this. I would like to do this with my mother too, but she doesn't want to. Why doesn't she want to?"
    I didn't know what to say to him. His mother was very jealous of me because I had this special contact with her child which she hadn't been able to establish herself.

Did you discuss it with her?

I discussed her jealousy with her, but I didn't discuss the sex. I thought she should bring the subject up if she wanted to. She understood quite well that I was having a sexual relationship with her son. He said to her: "You know, Mom, Joey likes to suck my peepee." She was surprised and asked him, "And you like it when he does this to you?" He only grinned and said, "Yes, I like it." She never said anything to me at all, although I lived with them for a year and a half.
    I think she was afraid. She discussed it with other people, but never with me. This was irritating. I didn't dare broach the subject because I didn't think she was ready to accept such an approach.
    Many of the parents I've known have reacted in the same way. They know very well what is going on, but they don't want to discuss it. If they discussed it, it would be as if they admitted that they knew about it. And if it were to become a police case later they wouldn't be able to deny having had any knowledge of it. Many parents are very reserved because they don't want to put their security at risk, or their social appearance.

Have there never been any parents with whom you could discuss it?

There was one mother, in this country. Her son was allowed to sleep with me, and sometimes stay with me. But then he was sent to a home for children because his parents didn't take good enough care of him. When he came to say goodbye to me he said, "I can't sleep with you any more, but my teddy bear would very much like to sleep with you." And so he gave me his dearest teddy. "His name is Thomas, like me," he said. I kept the bear with me for many years and grew very attached to it. Last Christmas I gave it to another boy because I didn't have enough money to buy him a Christmas present.

Have you been subjected to economic exploitation by children?

I'm opposed to paying and I'm shocked when I meet children who demand money. Then I lose all interest in doing anything with them and prefer to go home and masturbate. I think it is wrong when they are so materialistic.
    But I did go with a boy a few times, ages ago. This is not an excuse, but I'd try to avoid it if it happened again. A boy I knew well wanted to get 15 crowns. He knew I was excited; he deliberately turned me on. He made me horny, showing me his prick and his arse. And at the climax he said, "I must have 15 crowns, please." It was difficult to say no. I gave him 15 crowns, but I got no pleasure from it. And I don't believe that I will ever do it again.
    I also knew one boy in the States who wanted money. He had run away from home and had no money and no place to stay. He slept on the street. It was terrible to see. I offered to help him get an honest job making things he could sell in the streets. I thought he shouldn't sell his body. So I told him, "I'd like to go to bed with you, but you won't get any money for it." I bought him something to eat and gave him some money, but without having sex. I think it's wrong if children get the impression that their body is up for sale. Prostitution - it's not for me!
    I don't think that any of the children I've met were actually harmed. It is possible that their parents or surroundings did harm them. Perhaps I was indirectly responsible for this, but they were not harmed by the things we did.

How were they harmed?

They needed the emotional contact that we had - what adults would call the sexual contact. They couldn't see anything wrong in it. And then, when I was arrested by the police, the children couldn't understand why. They were troubled. They will, perhaps, later have difficulties in becoming attached again to another adult - they'll be afraid of the same thing happening again.
    It would be better if parents were more honest with themselves. If a paedophile has had contact with their child, it would be best for all parties, including the child, to discuss things with the paedophile instead of going straight to the police. He should then tell them in great detail exactly what had happened. Children are questioned about their private life. This is destructive.
    If it's a case of force or rape, that's different. But there should be somebody who can help in these situations too.


A child rapist is probably very isolated and troubled; he acts in conflict with his own conscience. He has a difficult life. He has nobody to discuss it with or to identify with. Paedophiles don't find role models in the majority. They have nobody to compare themselves to or to identify with.
    Heterosexuals have role models. When boys are growing up they can compare themselves with their fathers. You miss this if you're growing up as a paedophile. I wasn't even twelve when I began to go to bed with little children. I had no role models at all.

How do you see your future?

I can well imagine fleeing the Western world and going to live in a very different kind of society.
    There are many children in the world in need of affection and support. I won't abuse them. I think I'm a very responsible person.
    Here, in the West, we are subjected to the crazy idea that there is something wrong with the sex organs. It would be interesting to see how people think about those things in other parts of the world.
    But there are language problems, and problems with getting a job and earning a living. I'm not especially materially minded. I can live quite well in a tent if necessary.
    I think I've seen enough of the Western world and its insanity. I think I'm wasting my time and energy here.


Tommy, 20 years old:

"I've always done what they say I shouldn't."

I really cannot remember if it was Niels or Finn who was the first. And I don't know whether you could really say Finn and Niels were child-lovers.
    This was 8 years ago. I was about 12 at the time, coming home after living with a foster family in Ålborg.
    Finn asked me if I wanted to go to his house and smoke some pot. I did. There was a small group of us there. After the others left he started to caress and fondle me. At first my eyes must have gone wide as fried eggs, but I wasn't afraid. I was so high and woozy that I had no energy left to resist him. Besides, it wasn't unpleasant.
    So I slept with Finn. I kept going to his house for a long time. We were often together.
    One day a friend dragged me over to Niels' house. I was given to understand that he was gay. That was about at the same time as my affair with Finn, because I remember going to both places.
    I also slept with Niels a lot for several years. Later, the sex just faded away, but we still see each other, and from time to time we still "do it" together.
    I'm bisexual. I also have a girl-friend. She doesn't know Niels and what we are doing. It's better that she doesn't find out - she has too many prejudices - even though I've tried to give her shock therapy.

What does she say, for instance?

She doesn't want to go and see him any more, and that's shitty. We could have such a good time. There's so much we could do. I can imagine us having a threesome - sex together, the three of us.

What attracted you to Niels?

I've always done what they say you shouldn't do. Occult and mystical things fascinate me - and gays and child-molesters. I was curious and wanted to find out what it all meant.

And what did you think after you tried it?

The first time I was amazed that two men could actually do it. I had no idea it could be so wonderful. It was a nice surprise. 

Had you by then also been with women?

I was fifteen before I slept with a girl of my own age. Before that I had slept with some adult women - one of 23, for instance.

Did you take the initiative or did they take it?

Both. One of them came on to me. The other was married to one of Niels' friends. He didn't object.

Did it make a lot of difference for you whether it was a boy or a girl - an adult or somebody your own age?

I couldn't do it with a boy my own age. Even now I couldn't. I don't know why. Maybe because I never felt secure or friendly with my father and mother. That was something I always lacked. Security and friendship I got from Niels. It is from him that I received the support I needed.
    At that time I was committing crimes. I got caught and sentenced. I was sent to Randers. I ran away several times - hitchhiked. I always went straight back to Niels. So, I think our relation will continue for many years. I don't think I'll forget Niels until the day one of us dies.

You were in love with Niels?

I wouldn't say that I was in love. I don't think I could ever fall in love with a man. No. I couldn't say that. It was more a question of feeling safe. Niels was the only person I could visit and talk with, whatever was wrong. There were never any inhibitions on my part - probably because we had this intimate relationship with each other.

Could you have had the same confidential relationship if you hadn't gone to bed together?

I don't think so. Strong emotional bonds grow out of it. People think that a child-molester is a big, brutal pig wallowing over a poor little child. But it was not like that.

Did you ever meet such a fellow?

No. Once when I was still pretty small a man asked me to go with him in a row-boat one evening. I didn't dare. I was afraid he might abuse me and drown me afterwards. It would have been all right if he had gone about it in a different way, a way more to my liking.
    I remember another experience. I was seven years old. It was in a public lavatory. There was a square hole in the door. I sat down to shit - my younger brother was in the toilet next to me. Suddenly, somebody put his prick through the hole in the door. It was an old man. He promised to give me ten crowns if I would suck it a little bit and so on. I damn well refused! Would I touch it then with my hands? I told him if he didn't go away I'd start shouting and screaming. He stayed put - so I did start to shout and scream. I tried to go after him, but he soon disappeared. I thought this was fucking great fun. I wasn't afraid because I knew he couldn't get to me where I was.
    I think that was the first time I saw a stiff cock. I remember how I just stared and stared at it. I didn't really know what it was, until, all of a sudden... Christ, was it that?
    But maybe I really felt attracted to it in some way, because I was always fascinated with my own cock when I was a kid.

Do you remember more from the time you were younger?

I've always been real restless, even when I was very young. I wasn't more than four when I ran away from home for the first time. There was so much energy in my body that I couldn't sit still at school. I was classified a behavioural problem boy and sent to a boarding school.
    There I met a girl by the name of Jette. Right from the first day we were lovers. I was nine or ten; she was probably a year older. We wanted to see what sex was all about. I inspected her little cunt and we wanted to try fucking. I had a hard on - of about three centimetres, and I couldn't get it into her.
    After Jette there was a girl called Maj-Britt. She wanted to try the same thing. People shouldn't pretend that children don't have sexual lives. Not to mention the fact that all boys have been fascinated by some woman teacher at school.

Did you ever feel it was somehow perverse or bestial to have sex with a man?

I was attracted to it, drawn to it. I thought it was exciting. 

You realised it was forbidden, didn't you?

That didn't bother me in the least. It didn't matter to me what adults thought. I had met so many teachers and they always just stood there and talked over my head. I lived in my own world. As long as I was allowed to do the things I thought important for me, the rest didn't matter. What was important to me was to grow up in a hurry.

Why did you want to be an adult?

It was much too difficult being young. There was always somebody who could make decisions about me. I was a criminal then. I began very early with booze and cigarettes. Suddenly, I had developed some needs that had to be satisfied. I didn't go to school. My whole existence was very troubled. I calmed down only after I met Niels. Until a few years ago Niels was more important to me than my mother and father. He was my friend, my comrade, my lover.

And father?

Yes indeed. My father is 57 so I don't have a very good contact with him. My mother is 55. They could never understand me and I could never understand them. We have been running around in opposition to each other for years. My mother has a bad case of nerves because of me.
    I've always been obstinate. When I got angry, my aggressive feelings were so strong that I just had to do something. And I couldn't very well beat my mother, could I? So I would smash up my own things as an outlet. This, too, stopped after I got to know Niels.
    I stopped with crime after a four month sentence for car theft and burglary. I never did anything like that again.

What did your parents say about your visiting Niels?

They weren't happy about it. I remember that once Niels wanted me to go with him on a trip to Sweden. He came to our house to talk it over it with my mother and father. It was all right - until they heard he was gay. Then they refused to let me go.
    I got real mad. I ran away. It was only to get away from home. Without my parents' permission, Niels couldn't take me with him. I was under 15 and it would only have caused problems.
    I was already quite independent by then. Nobody could tell me what to do or how to do it, and certainly not my father or mother. The only one I really listened to was Niels.
    I was really afraid that the authorities would intervene. A few years ago I didn't want to stay at home any longer, or live with a foster family. The authorities finally accepted it then, and I was allowed to live with Niels.


Kaj, 27 years old:

"I spend so much time with children that people ask me if it's because I'm a paedophile."

It is now 5 years ago. I was 22 and she was 12. I lived in a very small flat and she lived next door.
    Each flat had a post-box on the landing. We would go out to look for mail at the same time. My little cat would run up to her and sniff her. She asked if she could come and play with it. I happily agreed. So, she came in to play with it several times a week.
    She proved to be very sweet and affectionate. She liked to snuggle up against me and I couldn't resist the temptation of pressing my body against hers and giving her little kisses.
    We started kissing each other every time she had to go home to sleep. She was happy to have a place where she could stay. She lived in a flat as small as mine with her father who slept there during the day because he worked in a pub at night. She didn't like to bring her friends home because it would disturb her fathers' sleep.

She lived alone with her father?

Yes. They kept their address secret because his wife wasn't supposed to know it. She had the parental authority, but she really didn't care at all for her daughter. The girl preferred staying with her father. So they had, so to speak, fled together.
    I thought it was wonderful having such a nice little girl living next door. I had company every day. Nobody ever objected to her visiting me. People thought she was a happy, friendly child.
    She had learned to deal with all those things you normally only learn to deal with when you are an adult - to be thrifty, to go shopping, to prepare food, to clean up - she did them all herself.

Did her father do anything?

He helped her a bit, but he needed to sleep because he was tired after his nightly drudgery at the pub. He was glad to have a neighbour who took care of his daughter and with whom she could visit. He said that she could visit me but I must not hurt her.

What did he mean?

I don't know.

He realised you were turned on by her?

Yes, he knew that. He couldn't help noticing. Other people noticed it too. More than one person shouted jokingly at me in the street, "When are you two going to get married?"
    Well, they stopped shouting this, eventually, and so we didn't get a visit from the police. They would have been welcome: we hadn't done anything unlawful.
    People admired her because she was incredibly clever. She was just like a little mother. She would ask me, "Shall I clean up your room?" "Should I cook some food so we can eat together?" She did most of the offering, but sometimes I offered to clean up her flat.
    We realised later that we could just as well leave the doors to our flats open so that we could come and go without having to knock. And so the two flats were sort of joined together and it was as though we were husband and wife. We took turns preparing the meals for each other; we took turns with the dish washing and the cleaning.
    We didn't go any further than a goodnight kiss. We talked a lot about sex. She was curious about the women I'd known. And she asked straight out, "Did you have other women before me?" I answered, "Well, do we sleep together?" I told her about a woman I had lived with. "What was she like?" she asked. That's how we started to talk about sex. It seemed that she wanted to try it and so did I, but neither of us dared. We both knew it would be illegal.

Was this the only reason you didn't dare?

Perhaps you're always a bit nervous the first time. It would have been the first time for her. She spoke about a boy she had met at school. His name was Ole. I said, "Why don't you bring him home with you?" "No, he must never know about our relationship. That could destroy it!"
    But she did invite some of her girl friends. This was also very nice. We exchanged records and books.
    She was brave and bright and full of humour. One day she put a notice up on her door that amused me a lot. It was a heart with the inscription, "Guests are kindly asked to dry their feet before entering, and if they have sweaty toes they are asked to keep their shoes on. Greetings from Jane and Kaj."

Her father - wasn't he jealous?

No, he wasn't. One morning she came in to my room in her night-dress. She couldn't understand why her father hadn't come home and woken her up. She decided to wait up for him. She was worried that something might have happened to him because he hadn't returned home from work on time. This showed her anxiety and her love for her father. When he finally got back in the afternoon he was limping. He had been involved in a traffic accident and had been to the casualty department at the hospital. He said, "I bet you didn't go to school. There's no point in sending you there now - just for the last hour. So we might just as well sit down and relax and enjoy ourselves."
    He taught her that all people were equal, children as well as adults - and treated her as an equal. This is good. So I wanted to do it too. It is the same way I behave in my flat when a lot of youngsters come.

Why do they come to visit you? Because of your sexual interest in them?

I have sexual feelings for many of the youngsters that come and see me; I won't deny it. Many of these youngsters know it. And they still keep coming.

They want to do something with you?

No. But something like that was suggested with a girl of 13 who came with a boy-friend of 19. To tease me he asked me if I wanted to go to bed with her. I said yes, making it sound like a joke, but I really would have liked to do it. And he understood that I meant it. Her mother had given her daughter the pill so she wouldn't have to tell at home when she slept with somebody.

Had her parents arranged this?

Her mother, really. She said she didn't want to risk becoming a grandmother at the age of 32. I could see that the girl and her mother were really fond of each other. They embrace each other whenever they meet.

How would you prefer to live yourself?

That's hard to say. In any case, I'm fighting for a world where all people will be equal, without discrimination of sex, skin colour or age. But such a world is very difficult to achieve. I can imagine, for instance, that it would be wrong to allow a 12-year-old girl to drive a car.

Are you a child-seducer?

I can't say I am. I prefer to call myself paedophile, because I don't seduce anyone. But I'm not exclusively paedophile; I'm also attracted to adults.

What is your preference?

I have fantasies about all age groups. If people were responsible, they would make sure that a child's first sexual relations were good ones so that the child wouldn't grow up with a fear of sex. Then you wouldn't have all these problems with women who had bad childhood experiences. That's what I think, anyhow. But I really don't know which age group I prefer.

How did you discover that you liked little girls so much?

I'm not sure. But I know I have always been against an age of consent. When I was 15 I began to have sex with a girl of 10. Everybody said, "You can see that she's too young for you." I could only reply that age wasn't important. I was in love with her and she was in love with me, and her mother was happy that she had found a sweet boy. We kissed and hugged each other. There was a bit of sex, but it was only petting.
    It was also at 15 that I began to have little secret affairs with girls of my own age as well as some that were a little older and some that were younger.
    In my neighbourhood there were actually two other girls - one ten and one nine. The other kids in the neighbourhood knew what was happening. I was very surprised when they asked me if I was a paedophile. I could only laugh. A paedophile at the age of 15?

Do you tell people you are a paedophile?

Yes, I admit it openly and frankly.

To everybody?

I don't say I am a paedophile, for I really like just about everything. If somebody asks me whether I like little children, I say that I like them in both ways. When asked what I mean by that, I'm quite willing to explain.

You're often in the company of children?

I spend so much time with children that people ask me if it's because I'm a paedophile. I tell them that's not all there is to it. I don't think about sex all the time. I explain that under no circumstance would I ever do anything against the will of the child.
    People can usually accept that. They are reassured that nothing is going to happen. If only they knew what could have happened - with Jane, my neighbour girl, for instance. I tell them about her. Strangely enough, I have never met with any kind of anger about it, even though much more could have happened, and people understand what could have happened. Most of them just think it's a rather nice, sweet story.


Linda, 28 years old:

A Case of Assault.

"I desperately wanted to escape or scream, but I couldn't make a sound."

I was just ten years old. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, playing in the road with friends of my own age. One of them told me that Kurt would like to talk to me.
    We all knew who Kurt was. He lived on our road. He was 22-23 years old.
    I was surprised by his request because I didn't know him personally. Anyway, I went to visit him and followed him up to his room.
    He talked to me for a long time and said I was a very nice girl and I surely would have lots of lovers when I grew up. I didn't understand what he wanted from me and why he told me all this.
    During this whole 'conversation' he was sitting on the side of his bed. I was sitting on a little stool in front of him. Then he started to let his hands slide over my thighs. Gradually, they worked their way up the lower edge of my panties and my crotch. I was paralysed with fear. I desperately wanted to escape or scream, but I couldn't make a sound. I can still remember the smell of his breath and that his hands trembled a bit and were moist with sweat.
    When he inserted one of his forefingers under the edge of my panties and made it slide to and fro over my thighs, it felt like the rest of the room was melting away. All that remained were Kurt's eyes, his voice, his hands and this all-pervading fear.
    He hooked his fingers gently under the edge of my panties and moved them down between my thighs and into my labial lips.
    He asked me to tell him whether he was hurting me, but I was still unable to utter a sound, even though I was bone dry there and his finger and finger-nails scratched me as he was searching for my vagina.
    It was only when his fingers slipped into the opening of my vagina and probably touched my hymen that the pain caused me to react, and I said: "It hurts!"
    He released his hold on me immediately. He began to talk and talk again - I don't remember what about - and showed me around his house, pointing out various games - darts, billiards, pool, etc. Several times he told me I was welcome to visit him and learn how to play the games if only I wouldn't tell my parents what had happened.
    I promised to keep silent about it, and asked, finally, if I could leave. And so he let me go.
    I ran home in great confusion. I didn't dare look my parents, in the face and refused to leave my room for several weeks. Nobody ever understood why. I was afraid to speak about what had happened. The whole thing seemed so terrible I was sure they would send me to some kind of an institution if I told. I was ashamed and convinced that it had been my fault; that I was guilty too. So I said nothing about it to anybody; I was 25 before I could talk to anybody about it.

Did this experience have any influence on your later sex life?

I have a problem being open making love and letting myself go completely. You could say that at present I'm ashamed of my sexual desires.

What are your feelings about your own sexuality now?

My parents gave me the impression that sex was dirty. When my body began to develop - I was about 12 at the time, - I was told things like, "Shut the door when you're going to the toilet," and, "Lock the door when you're taking a bath," or, "Put some clothes on when you're walking through the room." Trousers and bra were not enough. When I protested and said, "Okay, but only father is here," I got the reply, "That makes no difference; you mustn't run about naked swinging your breasts." It was about this time that it was suddenly forbidden to kiss father and mother goodnight on their cheeks, "Stop all this licking! I won't stand for that sort of filth! You're too big for such childishness."
    The result of this upbringing is that I am still afraid of taking the initiative in physical contacts. I've remained emotionally starved and frustrated.
    Under no circumstances do I want to see my own children exposed to this kind of thing. I let them touch their own bodies and mine; investigate, look at and ask questions about anything concerning our bodies. My husband does the same. We intentionally try to give them the bodily contact they want and often demand.

What would you say to your children if they came home and told you that they had been in contact with a child-lover?

If the child had taken the initiative for sexual contact - that is, had not been molested, forced or seduced - I don't see any reason to report it to the police.
    But if I suspected that the child had not wanted the contact, or if the child came home in tears and frightened, I would go to the police and report it immediately - also to show the child that I would unconditionally stand up for and help him or her. I think that taking revenge can, to a certain degree, lessen frustration after such an unpleasant experience.


David, 16 years:

"He understands me better than my own mother."

David has known Christian (37) for the last five years and they have slept together since David was 13.

David, when did you first meet Christian?

Five years ago, I think, down at the local grill where we were both playing the same video game. I just remember one thing: he was trying to teach me. And it was working, but.... You know that old trick of standing right behind the boy and holding his hand with the joy-stick? [David laughs.] And then one day I went home with him. We sat there and talked and drank soda-pops and... yeah, it was nice.
    I remember when he bought a Commodore 64 - under a bit of pressure from me, I have to admit. He'd been talking about buying a computer. And then I wanted to make sure it was one that would be good for video games - because I figured that'd be fun.
    It was two years before I went to bed with him. We'd never talked about it before; it was just friendship between us. But I'd known all along that he was a paedophile; he'd told me that in the first week I'd known him.

What did you say when he told you?

I didn't say anything. It didn't matter. He didn't do anything. Then one day he started telling me about all the boys he'd had, and... we finally ended up in the next room. We had a good time. I actually thought it was a little funny; at one point I even started to laugh. I don't know why - I just had this weird need to laugh.

Why? Because the whole thing was so absurd, or what?

It was all so new. It was exciting.

Before it happened, had you thought you might want to do something like that? Had you thought it might be unpleasant? Or had you simply not thought about it at all?

I'd never given it any serious thought. I just suddenly thought, for Chrissake, you only live once. You might as well try it. Since then, we've done it regularly. It doesn't bother me. It feels nice, and comfortable. Love? Well, I wouldn't call it that. At sixteen you're a little old to be the boy most paedophiles dream about. Christian has a friend who goes for very small kids, six or seven years old; that seems to me a little too young. Because I can't see how such boys really know what it's all about, at least in the way that a boy of ten, eleven or twelve does.

Did you know, that first time, 'what it was all about'?

Sure, completely. I'd known for two years already, because he'd told me. So that night it just suddenly struck me: now we're going to try it. I don't mean I regret it - no way. Though at home I'd been brought up with the idea that... Suppose some paedo was going to be hanged in the town square? My mother would be the first one to pull the rope. That's also one of the reasons why my mother doesn't even know Christian exists. At my home I have a code name for him: Lars. If I'm calling from Christian's home I say I'm with Lars. Every time, that's for sure - because it's logical; it fits. Lars has a computer. We watch videos and play with the computer, that sort of thing. So I tell them at home about the things I'm really doing here. And so my mother thinks Lars is a boy of 15 or 16 - but that's not my problem.

What would happen if she found out?

First of all, I'd be beaten until I looked like the Swedish flag. And then I'd be sent to some boarding school, far, far away, somewhere in the boondocks where all the pigs wear license plates. Out there in the countryside child molesters don't exist, at least according to my mother. Christ, I'm always getting warned at home about child molesters!

Is Christian a kind of second father to you? Or is he more like another kid you hang around with?

He's no second father. And he's not really like another kid, either. He's a good friend. I'd often rather be with Christian than with some of the kids my age, because I always have more say in what we're going to do. When you're with a bunch of kids there's always the chance that if five of them want to do something and two do not, then you've got to decide: you do what they want to do or you leave them. But with Christian, we sit down and talk it over; then you have equal say. Nobody's forcing you to do something. Take one example: two of my friends who wanted me to join them have just been arrested for stealing a bike, and if I'd gone along with them I'd probably have been caught, too - because sometimes you can say what you want and other times you cannot. The closer you get to someone, the better friends you become, the more you like to be with him and the more likely you are to do something you shouldn't, something against society's rules. Lots of people think what I do with Christian is breaking one of society's most important rules, but I don't pay that any attention, because many of them say child molesters should be thrown in prison and all - such people just don't know what they're talking about.

You say the other youngsters in your crowd put you under pressure to do some things, but don't you think Christian now and then puts you under pressure to do certain things, too?

Perhaps going shopping for him when he's too tired, or putting the kettle on the stove, that sort of thing. If you mean pressuring me to do something sexual, then no, absolutely not.

And the other way round?

No, it's... Well, yes, now and then, like, "You go get the newspaper, Christian, 'cause last time it was me that went out for the cigarettes." But going on a trip or something, we always agree.

Yes, but what if you want to go somewhere and he wants to go some place else?

Okay, that can really be a problem sometimes. Like, one day I wanted to go to the Zoological Museum and he wanted to go to the national aquarium. [Here followed a lengthy explanation of why the Zoological Museum was the more interesting.] So we couldn't come to an agreement, and finally Christian just sat down and read a book while I played with the computer. And for half an hour we didn't speak to each other. Finally I decided to make us some coffee. Then everything was okay again - after I had made him go out to the baker's to buy some bread. But, no, mostly we agree on things we do - making a trip to town, going to the baker's... going to bed.

Does he teach you anything?

Yes. I've got to admit I know a lot more about math now, and how to load batteries into a flashlight - that sort of thing. I also learned what a paedophile is. And about different kinds of people, and all.

Did you teach Christian anything?

I guess I've given him a different view of children and people my own age. And I've taught him something about biology; that's my favourite subject. He taught me how to use a computer, and I taught him some of the games you can play on it. But you don't think about that, who's teaching what to whom.

Do you reflect a lot on what people think and believe about paedophilia?

When the subject of paedophilia or child molesters comes up, I pay close attention to what people say, for there always seems to be something new. That happened once in 9th grade biology class, when we were getting sex education. The teacher was very liberal, a 35-year-old woman. We discussed all different kinds of sex. And I was the only one in class who could give a definition of paedophilia - I was even allowed to give a short lecture on it. My teacher was very pleased; some of my friends were surprised - how the hell could I have learned all that? It was hard to explain!

After that first time when you went to bed with Christian, how long was it before you did it again?

Three or four days later, I think.

And since then, have you done it regularly?

Yes, with small ups and downs in how often. There was one period when we did it a lot more than usual. It just depends on how you feel about it.

Which one of you wants it the most?

I don't think you could say. I think each of us can sort of sense when the other is willing. If you say, `Okay, let's do it,' that means you yourself want to do it, right? You can't say one of us wants it more than the other.

Is your need for having sex with each other diminishing or is it staying about the same?

No, I think it is slackening off. As you get to the age of fifteen or sixteen, you become more and more interested in girls; most boys do. You realise more and more clearly that you prefer one thing or the other. In my case, I prefer doing it with girls to doing it with Christian. But we keep on being real close friends - I. expect we'll remain close friends, even when I'm forty years old.

You believe it's the same with him?

Definitely. I'm not the only boy he knows who goes to bed with girls.

Do you consider yourself gay?


Have you ever thought about whether you were 'queer'? 


Do you believe all boys could do with men the same things you have done with Christian?

No, not all. Because there are always some who wouldn't for moral reasons, because of their upbringing. And upbringing has a greater influence on some boys than on others. But I think 90% or 95% could have had the same sort of experiences as I've had, if only they'd been invited to. And if they'd been treated the same way I was.

Then you believe most boys would like to do it?

Yeah, I think so. But I also have to say that I'm thinking of boys ten, twelve or thirteen years old. No kid my age who's never done it will be likely to start now. At my age it is seen as homosexual.
    I think most of the kids who go with paedophiles are boys because it seems to me that girls have a whole different idea about being together with a man. You have to keep in mind that girls mature earlier than boys, and so it is more decisive to a girl what a man does with her. There can't be very many girls who like having a man stick his thing into her. With a boy it's all pretty much just stroking and caressing.

But a man can also put his thing into a boy's anus....

Yes, that's so. I've heard that some people do that, but we never did.

You never thought about doing it?

I never thought about doing it.

What, then, do you do? Suck each other?

Mostly he does that to me. We suck, lick, kiss, caress, stroke each other all over, that sort of thing.

Did you ever try it with boys your own age?

No, only with girls.

You're not tempted to do it with another boy?"

No. I cannot imagine it. With someone your own age, that would be more homosexual. Especially when you're fifteen, sixteen or seventeen, all boys and girls would think of it that way.

People are so afraid of being queer?

No. If you know you're gay, accept the fact that you're gay, then you're not so scared of being that way. It's more the reaction of your friends that worries you.

If your friends found out about the relations you're having with Christian, what do you think they'd say? Would they call you a queer?

I don't know. I've never thought about it. They probably would, if they found out. But, what the hell, you'd have to make the best of it... if that happened. But I don't think it will, because I keep school and my leisure time separate. My leisure time, that's my private life, and the other kids at school have nothing to do with it unless I myself want them to.

And what if the police became involved all of a sudden?

I'm sixteen now and the age of consent is fifteen, so, I would just tell them to fuck off.

But what if Christian has taken some risky photos of your when you were younger?

He hasn't.

Or if Christian let it slip out to someone?

First thing I'd do would be to leave home, before my mother found out. My mother would take it the hardest of all the people around me, that I know. But I don't really worry about such things. If I really had to run around worried all the time that the police were after me, I'd go crazy in less than a month.

Do you think Christian is afraid of this?

No, not since I turned fifteen. Because they couldn't prove anything. As things are now, the chance of this happening is like zero. Because neither of us wants to have the police on our necks, so why are we going to tell anybody?

What's the best thing about your relationship?

The friendship. That's what I appreciate the most.

How often do you see each other?

It can vary. Sometimes I won't come for three weeks, and then I'll be there every day, coming by as soon as I can. But it's mostly just for friendship and the chance to talk with somebody who understands you differently from the way your parents do.

How do you mean?

If I have problems at school my mother always assumes it's my fault and I have to stop acting the way I do. But Christian feels that there may be something wrong with the other kids. Well, you can't do anything to change your school friends, but it's a lot different when you talk such things out with someone who isn't always telling you it's your own fault. And he has more time to discuss such things with me.

He understands you better?

Absolutely. He understands me a lot better than my own mother. That makes me a little sad. I think your parents of all people should devote the most time to you. They should understand their children better than anybody else. But the way things are heading these days, it is just the opposite. And if things keep on like they are, I think it may be up to the paedophiles to keep many of our kids from going crazy. Like my Danish teacher says, there are children with the keys to their homes hung around their necks on a string and twenty crowns in their pockets for something to eat in the snack bar, and then their mothers and fathers leave for work. The more such neglected kids we have the more frustrated individuals will grow up and become socially maladjusted. And the more adults there are to whom such kids can go and talk, the fewer social problems. But, of course, it depends on what kind of paedophile the kid's visiting.

Couldn't this role be played by teachers, youth leaders, school psychologists, that sort of people?

No. The school psychologist just goes through his daily routine. Several years ago I went to the school psychologist regularly and I just got the same talk every time. I don't think a school psychologist has the time or energy to put himself in the place of any one child. And that's really lousy, because there's a great need for someone who could do that. But it will never happen unless society changes.

Many people say that children only go to paedophiles because they want attention, and they pay for this attention with sex.

I don't believe it - if that were the case there'd be something wrong with the paedophile; he'd be a man who only thinks about sex. A paedophile who understands boys knows when the child wants to do something sexual. And if the boy doesn't want sex, then doing it anyhow would give no pleasure to the paedophile - I think at least to most of them. A relationship where the man is only interested in sex won't be very good. It will last for maybe half a year, at the most. Sooner or later the child is going to ask himself, `What am I doing here?' And then he will automatically start spending more and more time with his age-mates.

You never thought about it as an exchange?

No. I continue to believe we would be just as good friends if I'd never gone to bed with Christian. Maybe our relationship wouldn't have been quite so intimate, now that I think about it, but our friendship and companionship would have been just the same.

But did sleeping with each other strengthen the bonds of your friendship?

We certainly got to know other sides of one another. You can talk more freely and openly because when you've gone to bed with someone, you know that person better.

Is it a kind of key that opens doors?

Yes, in a certain way. I find that also happens when I've been to bed with a girl. Afterwards you lie there and talk.

When did you start going with girls?

The first time I went to bed with a girl was on my fifteenth birthday. I wanted to celebrate right away the fact that I was at last over the age of consent. Since then I've been doing it regularly.
    I have some other feelings when I go to bed with Christian than when I go to bed with a girl, although they're difficult to separate. True, I don't have a... yes, I once had a steady relationship with a girl, but I got tired of it, because you cannot have two relationships in two different places with two wildly different personalities - that's really hard.

What's the difference between being with a girl and being with a man?

You think differently; you act differently; your whole mental process is different. Maybe that's because I'm the sort of person who goes to town and has one night stands; I may never see the girl again. You don't build this up in your mind the same way.

Let's say you're going steady with some girl and she finds out that you're also meeting Christian and going to bed with him, what do you think she would say?

It would be hard to find a girl who would accept that. Because someone who's never experienced this himself looks at it in a completely different light. I think the first thing she'd do would be to break off all connections with me. I think it's awfully hard for a girl to accept this kind of thing. The same would be true of boys. It's hard to accept something which you don't know anything about.

But you might one day have to choose: make a choice between a girl and Christian.

That would be hard for me. I think I'd finally prefer sex with a girl, but I would maintain my friendship and companionship with Christian. But if that happened I'd probably spend more time with the girl. The way things are evolving now, my instinct tells me that Christian cannot go on being intimate with me for ever. The older I get the less attractive to him I become, that's obvious. Sooner or later all that will be left will be our companionship. And I'll be more and more interested in girls.

And you're also getting a little tired of all-male sex?

Yes. Probably. People talk about growing out of it. I don't think I'll `grow out of it', not in that way, but I'm definitely going to become heterosexual. I'm sure of that. It's my nature. But memories, especially the nice ones (maybe there are a few bad memories) - the nice ones you're always happy to recall. Maybe you'll say, well that was then. And maybe at other times you'll catch yourself thinking, `Wouldn't it be nice to have all of that back again' - even when you're carrying on a steady relationship with a girl.

They are two different things? The one cannot substitute for the other?

They're very, very different. They can't take each other's place. Because in the love of an adult man for a child there will be a lot more feeling, much more comradeship, than there ever is in the relationship between a boy and a girl.

Is there also a difference in being active and passive? Is it that when you have sex with Christian it is he who is active?

Yes, he is the most active.

And how is it when you're with a girl? Do you have to be active then?

Yes, mostly I'm active. It depends on the kind of role you have to play. If you compare a paedophile relationship with that between men and women, then the adult is like the man and the child like the women. And you will always assume that the man is the most active.

Do you feel like a woman in your relationship with Christian? 

No! Are you crazy, man?!

Well, that was just what you were saying.

Bullshit. What I said was that's the way other people usually look at it. They compare it with conventional sex. There it's the woman who's passive.

Do you like to play the passive role?

I have to admit, in this case, it is nice. It is so different from when you have to play the strong male role with girls, where it's the man who's supposed to dominate.

Do you feel you're playing more of a role when you're with a girl than when you're with Christian?

Yes. There's more role-playing then.

Do you feel that you've exploited him?


Do you feel he's exploited you?

No. Because when there's no sexual desire, nothing happens. One of the things essential to a paedophile relationship surely is respect. And when one of the partners says no, that means no. You don't put pressure on each other. You cannot do that.

It all sounds very rosy.

Yes, it's really, really great!

Do you believe that all paedophile relationships are so wonderful?

I don't know. I don't believe a paedophile relationship can go on for very long unless it's at least a little rosy. 
    But I also think that the desire to visit a paedophile, the desire to go to bed with a paedophile, wanes as you get older, because sooner or later you realise you are too old for it, and the paedophile himself will come to the same realisation.

ççç Reading Material on Paedophilia Scientific Literature

Baurmann, Michael C.: Sexualität, Gewalt and psychische Folgen. Wiesbaden: Bundeskriminalamt, 1983.

Bernard, Frits: Kinderschänder? Pädophilie. Berlin: Foerster Verlag, 1982.

Bernard, Frits: Paedophilia: A Factual Report. Rotterdam: Enclave 1985.

Best, Joel: Threatened Children: Rhetoric and Concern about Child-Victims. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press 1990.

Brongersma, Edward: Loving Boys, Vols. 1 & 2. N.Y. & Amsterdam: Global Academic Publishers 1986 & 1990.

Constantine, Larry L. & Martinson, Floyd M.: Children and Sex: New Findings, New Perspectives. Boston: Little,
Brown and Company 1981.

Cook, Mark & Howells, Kevin (Eds.) Adult Sexual Interest in Children. London: Academic Press 1981.

Doucé, Joseph (Ed.): La pédophilie en question. Paris: Lumière & Justice 1987.

Eberle, Paul & Shirley: The Politics of Child Abuse. Seaucus, NY: Lyle Stuart, Inc. 1986.

Feierman, Jay R. (Ed.): Pedophilia: Biosocial Dimensions. N.Y.: Springer Verlag 1980.

Hohmann, Joachim S. (Ed.): Pädophilie Heute. Frankfurt: Foerster Verlag 1980.

Li, C. K.; West, D. J.; Woodhouse, T. P.: Children's Sexual Encounters with Adults. London: Duckworth 1990.

O'Carroll, Tom: Paedophilia: The Radical Case. London: Peter Owen 1980; Boston: Alyson Publications 1982.

Rossman, G. Parker: Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys. N.Y.: Association Press 1976; Middlesex: Temple Smith 1985.

Sandfort, Theo: The Sexual Aspect of Paedophile Relations. Amsterdam: Spartacus 1981.

Sandfort, Theo: Boys on their Contacts with Men. Amsterdam & New York: Global Academic Publishers 1987.

Sandfort, Theo: Het belang van de ervaring. Utrecht: Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht, Homostudies 1989.

Sandfort, Theo; Brongersma, Edward & Naerssen, Alex van (Eds.): Male Intergenerational Intimacy: Historical,
Socio-Psychological and Legal Perspectives
. N.Y. & London: The Harrington Press 1991.

Taylor, Brian (Ed.): Perspectives on Paedophilia. London: Batsford Academic 1981.


[No longer published]

Paidika. The Journal of Paedophilia. P. O. Box 15463, 1001 ML Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

NAMBLA Bulletin. North American Man/Boy Love Association. P. O. Box 174, Midtown Station, New York, NY 10018, U.S.A.