The classic lament about celibate pedophiles is that we can never know love or satisfying sex. But many of us, perhaps a majority, are non-exclusive. We can have short-term sexual relations with adults if we want.  Even when the attraction is decidedly iffy, we can also get involved with partners where we perform sexually but aren't really into it. Gay men and lesbians have done this in heterosexual relationships, especially in times and places where homosexuality was severely stigmatized. It was far from ideal, but it often worked. There are also some partners who identify as asexual and are happy to be in a relationship with no sex. The rewards from relationships are about far more than sex.

The biggest problem is something else: pedophilia is so highly stigmatized that it is a very rare dating partner who would learn of your attraction and continue dating you. So if you are aware of your pedophilia and consider it a big part of your identity, and don't want to keep big secrets from your partner, your chances are very poor. Pedophiles who do form such relationships seem to be of two basic types: those who don't mind a relationship with big secrets, and those who haven't admitted to themselves that they really are pedophiles when they get involved. Over 300 women have written to VP having discovered their husband or boyfriend is a pedophile. One reaction they have never reported to me is the man shrugging and saying, "I'm comfortable with it and I just hoped you'd never find out."

Of course there are those who feel absolutely no sexual desire for adults, but it is this other large group that is held back by stigma that surprised me.

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