Okay, so there is this girl I have a crush on. The question of gender is no longer really a big deal for me since I've come to terms with my sexuality, but there's another problem. It turns out she's only 13, while I am 17. To be fair I was convinced she was 16 until she told me, and she is very mature for her age.
Anyways, I'm not going to try anything with her because I wouldn't feel comfortable with it, but do you think that I'm perverted for liking someone so young? I'm almost eighteen and she just hit her teens, does this make me a pedophile? I mean she's fully developed so I'm okay right?
Posts: 19 | Registered: Aug 2011
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As long as you get consent really right, any sexual relationship between adolescents is not problematic at all.
Most places have allowances in their age of consent laws for a person four years younger than their partner to legally consent to sexual activity with that older partner. So even in the eyes of the law, in some cases, fully consenual sex not be problematic or harmful to either of you.
However, you only have sexual feelings for this person. Feelings are never wrong, we cannot control our sexual feelings, and they do not mean we actually want to act on them. People can be sexually attracted to anyone and it is never wrong, and our sexual feelings and attractions are always beyond our control. However, we never have to act on our sexual feelings or attractions, especially not when we do not feel comfortable acting.
A pedophile is someone who is attracted to children, because they are children. You are attracted to this person because you like this person, not because of her age. Furthermore, she is 13 - teenagers are not children.
I'd also add that it's really worth acknowledging your discomfort... it's probably hinting at what you already know about the different places you might be at as 13 and 17.
Understanding and acknowledging the power disparities, practical obstacles, possible hurt and limitations which come from the differences in situation between people in relationships is actually, I think, an important skill that helps us be supportive and healthy sexual partners (and friends) rather than abusive ones, so it's already a good thing!
Posts: 694 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011
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I thought a paedophile was someone who was attracted to children, regardless of whether that's because they're children or for whatever other reason? And obviously, even being a paedophile is not wrong, it's raping, sexually assaulting and sexually harassing significantly younger born homosapiens (which you will be doing by pursuing sex with them) that is wrong rather than the feelings themselves. Which I think is probably what you were saying anyway?
To the OP, what others have said, you're not a paedophile as she's a teenager and not a child and I don't think you have to worry that your motivations are bad as you like her for who she is rather than being attracted to her because she is younger (and consequently less powerful) than you are. Do make sure to check that a sexual relationship between the two of you is legal where you are before you start one (if you both want to, of course), and think carefully about how to ensure the age difference doesn't result in anyone getting hurt, etc. (and whether you think you can handle it, if you thought you couldn't it would be better for both of you to be upfront about that.)
-------------------- Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see. Posts: 840 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2008
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I'm kind of in the same situation as ananab. I'm 19 and I am attracted to a 15-year-old girl. She's fun to talk to and I really like her. And we discuss sex sometimes - not having it, but our past experiences, feelings, etc. - and I'm afraid that 1) I am a pervert and 2) if someone saw what I write, could I be arrested?
Posts: 12 | From: Florida | Registered: Oct 2011
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'Pervert' is rather an unhelpful word here, because it doesn't mean anything concrete; it means different things depending on who you ask, because everyone has different ideas about what is 'right' or 'wrong'. I think you are giving this age gap relationship the consideration it needs in thinking about the differences in your ages, which is an awesome and responsible thing to do!
Instead, it's a good idea to go on whether or not you think your relationship with this girl is harmful to her. Relationships are either healthy and equal, or unhealthy and/or abusive. Relationships with age gaps are a little more prone to being unhealthy for the younger partner. This is due to the age difference causing a power imbalance - due to differences in psychological development and amount of freedom and agency in the world. However, relationships in which there is an age gap where everyone is aware of the possible power imbalance and taking care of the younger person can be just as healthy as relationships without that age gap.
It may be good idea to discuss sexuality in person with her - if this is possible - instead. That way you won't need to worry about anyone seeing your letters / typing. There are no laws against people talking in person.
The age of consent in Florida is 18, BUT, if someone is under 24, that person can legally enter a sexual relationship with someone who is sixteen and over. I know you said that you have decided not to engage sex yet, but some places have age of consent laws that extend to explicit text messages and sexual sharing online, although usually this is about an underage person sending you pictures of themselves naked, which can get you into a serious amount of trouble.
If you wanted to be super careful, you could only talk to her about sex privately in person until she is sixteen, when you can then go back to typing /writing, as it cannot possibly cause you any legal trouble.
Here is a link about Age of Consent laws and some info about sexual sharing online:
most married adults are a few years apart, its totally excusable, the problem arises when you turn 18 and shes 14, someone who didnt like you could possibly prosecute you even though its perfectly ok.
Posts: 4 | From: virginia | Registered: Nov 2011
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