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Am (Was) I A Pedophile, Or Is This This Self-Loathing Homophobia?

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ECC83fizz | 18:45 Sat 11th May 2024 | Family & Relationships
10 Answers

Warning - some may find this subject matter distressing.

So, I'm a single almost 35 year old bisexual man who needs some advice.  Since I was about 14, I've always struggled with my sexuality, but I've only tried dating women and only had a couple flings with guys as an adult.

However, I recently came in contact with a handful of former schoolmates who were all a year below me.  We were in the same running club and did other after-school stuff, so we became close friends.

One of these guys, "D" (33), I had known the longest out of all of them.  Shortly after I turned 17, it became clear D and I were attracted to each other, and some "other" stuff started going on in secret between us. 

Not only was it harder being a teen in a same-sex relationship in 2006-07 compared to our straight peers, he was underage (15) for about 4-5 months after this all started.  I began thinking I was becoming a paedophile and I eventually withdrew from him and other mates at school.  I also had fleeting thoughts of suicide at that time over the whole thing, and I started believing the myth gay men were paedos like some in more extreme circles still try to promote.

Fast forward to now, these same thoughts seem to creep up whenever I see some Reddit or Twitter post post complaining about a similar age gap between two fictional teenagers on a tv show or book, or something similar.  I know it's eaten away at my mental health whenever I've tried dating someone, and it even cost me friendships recently.  Usually alcohol is involved.

Currently D is  single.  I've seen him about 5-6 times irl since December.  Neither of us felt like we wronged each other as teenagers over what we did, and we seem to be growing closer each time we meet as grown men.

His dad is quite conservative so I want to give him some time, but at some point I'd like to ask him out.

I just hope this guilt over a 19-20 age gap between us as teenagers doesn't end up ruining this.  I don't know how to get away from these thoughts.  Can anyone help?




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paedophilia is about children below the age of puberty, not 15-year-olds, so you can acquit yourself of that one. If he'd been a 15 year old girl you wouldn't even be wondering.

Forget the guilt. You're both grown men who can do as you please.

I'm sorry you feel this way and advice on this topic is way out of my league but I would like you to wipe out one of your worries. It seems a lot of people bandy the word paedophile around without knowing what it means. It means being sexually attracted to children who've not yet gone through puberty so even if what you did when you were younger was probably not legal you were definitley not (and are not) a paedo.

When I was 17 I was dating a 15 year old girl for a while.

I wasn't a paedophile then and I'm not one now. I don't feel guilty about it and nor should you.

I haven't been attracted to 15 year old girls since I turned 18.

Uh huh.

Question Author

douglas9401: could you please elaborate?

Hi ECC - I'm sorry this feeling has gnawed away for so many years and made other relationships so difficult.

Please set your mind at rest, you aren't and never were, so that's sorted that.

Go find your friend, pick up where it left off and leave the past completely behind.

You deserve to be happy, to be loved, you have a lot of life left to enjoy, good luck 😘

I'm suspecting doug may not be convinced by your tale.

Matters little since, if you are on the level, others have given good advice and explanations.

distressingly long - yes...

Question Author

davebro3 - yes to which one?  

ECC,  I think davebro is being flippant about the length of your opening post.  Best to ignore his post.

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