WELL-TRAVELLED PETER, CA. 1972-79
“S.55: Peter”, a 22-year-old Englishman working in the airline industry, was one of the ten people interviewed in 1978 or 1979 by London psychologist D. N. Cox for his book, jointly written by G. D. Wilson, The Child-Lovers: A Study of Paedophiles in Society, published by Peter Owen, London in 1983.
Though the authors describe Peter’s sexual interests as “paedophilic”, in conformity with the secondary title of their book, they implicitly used this term inaccurately as one of convenience to encompass anyone attracted to those below the prevailing age of consent (for girls) of 16. As a man attracted most of all to boys of 13, Peter was correctly a hebephile and his love affairs were “Greek” in character.
Besides their interviews of child-lovers, Wilson and Cox provided “a summary of each person in terms of the unique features of that individual’s lifestyle as perceived by the interviewer, recognising that this represents a subjective impression rather than objective data.” Here is that of Peter:
Peter was concerned that we should be given the ‘whole’ picture with respect to paedophilic behaviour and following his initial interview contacted us to see if he might come in again to provide us with more information, which he did. He appeared to be very much at ease discussing the paedophilic lifestyle, and he described in some detail the international scene, particularly as it occurs in countries where age of consent is not a factor, as in the Philippines. He gave the impression of being a travel agent for his paedophilic friends as his work in the airlines allows him to travel extensively and investigate circumstances in other countries. He came to the second interview with pictures, most of which he had taken himself, to give us examples of the types of boys he found attractive.
This interview took place over two sessions but for present purposes these will be summarised together. Peter was relaxed throughout the interview and showed no inhibition in discussing his situation. Physically he was small in stature, with mid-length hair and a short beard. He was twenty-two years old, and came to the interview neatly dressed. Due to his work in the airline industry he has been able to pursue his paedophilic interests in countries where it is not illegal. He provided a great deal of information regarding the situation of paedophiles in countries like the Philippines where he has spent considerable time. He gives the impression of an individual who has adjusted well to his circumstances and expresses no desire to change. He requested a second interview as he felt there was more information he could provide that would be of use to us and expressed concern that we might not be getting the whole picture of paedophilia. He brought photographs, many taken by him, of boys that he considered attractive.
Peter indicated that his sexual interests are exclusively homosexual and directed almost entirely towards young boys, although he has had sex with adults in the past. The age range which he finds attractive is 10-16 with the prime age being thirteen. With respect to physical qualities, Peter expresses a desire for boys who are slim, have long hair and a minimal amount of body hair. Psychological qualities which are regarded as attractive in children include devotion, gentleness, loyalty, eagerness to learn and curiosity. ‘They don’t seem to have all the hang-ups that adults do.’
Peter currently lives with his parents and says they have known about his homosexual interests since he was fifteen. At this time he became friends with a group of gays who were living next to his family’s home. On one occasion he attended a party at their house which resulted in a police investigation in which he was questioned about what the men had done to him. Therefore, he says, ‘I have had experience on both sides of the fence.’ Although the police were attempting to prosecute the men involved, neither Peter nor his parents wished to bring charges.
At this stage in his life Peter had a girlfriend as well as being involved with other men. Over the next few years, however, he found his sexual interests beginning to focus almost exclusively on young boys. Although he had always found young boys generally attractive it was when he was about eighteen that they became physically attractive to him. Peter’s parents apparently tolerate his paedophilic behaviour fairly well; although they do not openly condone it, they do allow him to bring boys into the house during the day. His mother is described as being dominating and bossy while his father is quiet and easy-going. Their relationship is said to be good and they seldom argue. They have an open attitude towards sexuality and appear to have discussed the topic with him. His early sexual experience was one of mutual exploration carried out with a female cousin.
Peter’s sphere of activity has been considerably expanded by recent trips abroad to countries like the Philippines, which he describes as ‘probably the best place in the world for a paedophile to live’. According to Peter, there is no minimum age of consent in the Philippines and sex between adult men and young boys goes on quite openly. Among other countries he has visited which he regards as more liberal with respect to paedophilia are Thailand and Mauritius. In Britain it is possible to have a relationship with a boy, but it is made difficult by the intense suspicion aroused by any contact between men and boys. Peter has had his home raided by the police in a search for pornographic material or anything else that might incriminate him. Some information obtained by the police led to the questioning of a boy with whom Peter had been involved, in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain a conviction. As a consequence, he is now careful not to write down any names or addresses, or to keep letters that might be used against him.
Despite this fear of prosecution, Peter does find it possible to have relations with boys in England and provides as an example an involvement he had with the son of friends of the family which lasted for three years. The termination of such relationships ‘is sort of a mutual thing really, because most of the boys I have been with are heterosexual’. The boy becomes interested in girls and Peter loses sexual interest in them as they grow up, although the friendship usually remains. As to the effect that such a relationship will have on the boy, Peter believes that it will frequently be positive as it teaches them something about the development of relationships and caring about somebody other than themselves. This is seen to be of benefit in future heterosexual relationships.
With respect to his future Peter entertains the possibility that he might get married and have children of his own. This could only occur if the woman was aware of his interest in children.
Fantasy plays an important role in Peter’s sex life, particularly when he is in England where he does not have any relationships with boys at the moment. Now that he is travelling a lot he finds it possible to develop relationships where it is more acceptable. Peter thinks it likely that someday he will leave England and live in a country like Denmark where he believes the attitudes towards paedophilia are more liberal.
Peter expressed distaste for violence inflicted upon children, maintaining that the real paedophile loves children. ‘People seem to associate violence against children with paedophilia. If somebody attacks a boy, rapes him, or murders him, they automatically assume that person is a paedophile because it’s a boy. It’s like saying that if a heterosexual man goes out and rapes a woman, you’ve got to ban heterosexuality.’ Whereas the public imagine that paedophiles prey on boys, usually it is the child who initiates the sexual contact and is the more adventurous party in the relationship.
Peter estimates that he has been involved in relationships with between twenty and thirty boys, the majority outside England. Generally he feels good about his paedophilic interests, while acknowledging that in this country it would be better if he wasn’t one. He expresses no desire to change his behaviour although at the request of his parents he has seen a psychiatrist briefly. This experience he describes as ‘boring’. He does not believe there is any ‘cure’ for paedophilia. He does believe it is possible for a paedophile to be involved with children without sexual contact, ‘because a lot of it depends on a person’s sex drive’.
In the second interview Peter began by presenting pictures of boys that he found attractive, some of which he had taken himself. They were mostly of boys in Scandinavia and the Philippines. He went on to describe his activities in the Philippines in some detail. In particular, he talked about the village of Pagsanjan which he calls ‘the boy-lovers’ capital of the world’. His paedophilic lifestyle appears to be completely open while he is there. Boys stay with the paedophiles for long periods with the consent of their parents. Peter described meeting the families of many of the boys he has been involved with there and the way in which they openly condone his involvement with their children.
Peter also cited some movies that paedophiles have found particularly enjoyable. Examples are Death in Venice, The Champ, and The Last Snows of Spring. In providing examples of child movie stars who are idolised by paedophiles he remarked that ‘on physical attraction the one area of a boy that will attract us is his backside; that is the main area of attraction. A boy in a pair of jeans like that [looking at a picture of a young boy] is attractive.’ Looking at a picture of two child stars he notes that these boys became a cult with paedophiles as ‘they symbolise everything that most guys look for in a boy’.