On Nudism and Pedophilia

‘5.30 till 6.30 “David Lord” Magician Extraodonaire (sic). His magic is so funny it’ll make you laugh.’

Well thank goodness it wont make you shit your pants. The above was taken from the programme of the Elephant Rock First Annual Nude Performing Arts Festival which is happening 22nd-24th Jan near Brisbane somewhere.

Strictly a ‘naturist’ event, rather than a leery pervy event, only adult couples are allowed to go and cameras are banned. More info at nude-aus.org where we also learned that on Jan 29 the Free Beach Association of Queensland is holding a dinner at a winery. Strangely it has a fancy dress theme. They offer the helpful advice – ‘bow-tie at least’.

The week, Sat 5th -12th Feb, is Nude Australia Week during which you could go on a Nude Ghost Tour of Brisbane’s Boggo Road Jail. Ever keen to support a good cause, we ourselves will be eschewing clothing (except occasionally shoes and socks… and maybe a bow-tie) for the entire week. Feel free to join us.

We think you might have guessed that here at Loadedog, we celebrate all things nude, we like to be able to get nude ourselves, and we are very happy when other people get nude too. So we support the Australian Nudist Federation (ANF) and all it’s good works, but, on a serious note, we think the affiliated Young Nudists of Australia may be pushing things too far in a society that is incapable of dealing with the issue of pedophilia.

Possessing images of naked children, in a pornographic context, is a crime here. And yet how does one define that pornographic context? Of course, if the subjects of the photos are engaged in sexual acts, the case is clear. But what of simple nude pictures of children? If you have a horde of images of naked children, perhaps the case is also clear.

Are there people who can get turned on by pictures of naked children but never lay a finger on one? If so what the crime? We ourselves have been aroused by some strange stuff. Of course, if the children have suffered abuse during the taking of the photographs, this becomes unsupportable. And some will argue that the taking of a photograph of a naked child, and its eventual distribution to interested parties already constitutes abuse, regardless of the circumstances of the photo shoot.

On the ANF web site there are a couple of images of naked children mucking around in a playground and in a swimming race. They are nor sexually suggestive in any way. If you’re sure you wont be offended, have a look at the images here and here and tell us what you think. If you get sexually aroused, can we ever so gently suggest that you consult a psychiatrist.

Pedophilia would appear to be rife in our country. As a parent, we feel like it’ll be a miracle if our kids reach maturity without succumbing to an adult’s sexual predation. While we hate the thought, and would feel anger and revulsion towards the perpetrator, we also know that by far the great majority of pedophiles are former victims of child sexual abuse themselves.

Does throwing such people in prison, to likely suffer more abuse, solve this problem? Does having a register of pedophiles, and chasing them from town to town, and harassing them with news crews, help these (mostly) guys to resolve their issues? Does our current policy of criminalising pedophilia help at all?

Where does a latent or practicing pedophile turn to if they genuinely want help? What would happen if someone went, as we suggested above, to see a psychiatrist to confess an abiding interest in little boys buttocks? What is the current treatment?

Rather than attempting to offer concrete solutions for an extremely complicated problem, our only suggestion is that, collectively, we accept this as our problem, not just their problem. Steady as she goes will result, as sure as night follows day, in thousands of spoiled childhoods for generations to come. Debate?

Gertrude Replies:

Your piece on the nature of paedophilia is interesting.

I think our culture priveleges visual stimulii above other sensory data, and therefore images such as you discuss are already overburdened with meaning and message even before they become the focus of someone’s fantasy. Perhaps that’s how images can become the centrepiece of someone’s fantasy.

We have been warned that we are not allowed to capture images of group activities at my daughter’s pre-school. This is good news for anyone who’s ever had to sit through a viewing of someone else’s child’s pre-school play, but it also gives a worrying indication of the measures required to protect images of our loved ones from exploitation. Being a victim of sexual predation as a very young child, I am hopelessly sensitive about any discussion of what treatment is required.

In the end, it is about being able to resist our baser urges; don’t pick your nose while waiting in traffic; don’t order the lobster when you’re splitting the bill down the middle; don’t buy that Whitney Huston CD; and.. DON’T FIDDLE WITH THE KIDDIES.

The sexualisation of children is really the sexualisation of fear, pain, and shame. If our society is routinely turning out people who have become enamoured of such brutality, then it is a systemic problem and not one that will be remedied by punishing the individual. In fact, if you think about it a little, it is no wonder such aberrant behaviour is increasing, given the frequency with which people of all ages and backgrounds are confronted with glorified images of suffering and violence.

Having said that, my first reaction is that they should all be castrated, locked-up, made to eat ground-up glass, etc etc. For the last 33 years I have had flashbacks of abuse everytime I hear the question “do you like that?”, and at other times too. That’s kind of hard to live with. It makes ideas of forgiveness hard to embrace. Perhaps if we could punish perpetrators by giving them all of their victims bad memories, their self-hatred, loss of innocence, sense of alienation; perhaps then I’d be satisfied.

I don’t really want to make some sick pervert suffer. I just want to alleviate my own suffering.

Gertrude

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