DAVID, 1986: “HE UNDERSTANDS ME BETTER THAN MY OWN MOTHER.”
The following interview with David, a Danish boy of sixteen was conducted in 1986, the year of its publication Forbrydelse uden offer, En bog om paedofili edited by the “Trobriands” collective of authors and translated from the Danish by Dr. E. Brongersma in 1992 as Crime without Victims. A book about paedophilia.
The introduction to the book by the eminent Copenhagen sexologist Dr. Preben Hertoft (1928-2017) reproduces an article by him of 1984 in which he mentioned conducting interviews with child-lovers, suggesting he is likely to have conducted the interview.
Despite the secondary title, David was aged thirteen to sixteen during the sexual phase of his love affair, which was not therefore Greek love and not pedophilic, but the preface says that the editors’ use of the latter term includes attraction to post-pubescent children.
The preface to the book says “Sex between adults and children is subject to one of the strongest taboos in Western society,” and express hope it might change that by allowing children to speak for themselves on the subject, and, yet the editors of the edition published online in 2010 note that:
The interviews in this book document a cultural phenomenon that was fairly widespread in the Western world until the late 1980's, but which no longer exists. The open-minded and tolerant attitude that was found among certain parts of the population, and which the book documents, has been replaced by fanatic prejudice and mass hysteria.
"He understands me better than my own mother."
David has known Christian (37) for the last five years and they have slept together since David was 13.
David, when did you first meet Christian?
Five years ago, I think, down at the local grill where we were both playing the same video game. I just remember one thing: he was trying to teach me. And it was working, but.... You know that old trick of standing right behind the boy and holding his hand with the joy-stick? [David laughs.] And then one day I went home with him. We sat there and talked and drank soda-pops and... yeah, it was nice.
I remember when he bought a Commodore 64 - under a bit of pressure from me, I have to admit. He'd been talking about buying a computer. And then I wanted to make sure it was one that would be good for video games - because I figured that'd be fun.
It was two years before I went to bed with him. We'd never talked about it before; it was just friendship between us. But I'd known all along that he was a paedophile; he'd told me that in the first week I'd known him.
What did you say when he told you?
I didn't say anything. It didn't matter. He didn't do anything. Then one day he started telling me about all the boys he'd had, and... we finally ended up in the next room. We had a good time. I actually thought it was a little funny; at one point I even started to laugh. I don't know why - I just had this weird need to laugh.
Why? Because the whole thing was so absurd, or what?
It was all so new. It was exciting.
Before it happened, had you thought you might want to do something like that? Had you thought it might be unpleasant? Or had you simply not thought about it at all?
I'd never given it any serious thought. I just suddenly thought, for Chrissake, you only live once. You might as well try it. Since then, we've done it regularly. It doesn't bother me. It feels nice, and comfortable. Love? Well, I wouldn't call it that. At sixteen you're a little old to be the boy most paedophiles dream about. Christian has a friend who goes for very small kids, six or seven years old; that seems to me a little too young. Because I can't see how such boys really know what it's all about, at least in the way that a boy of ten, eleven or twelve does.
Did you know, that first time, 'what it was all about'?
Sure, completely. I'd known for two years already, because he'd told me. So that night it just suddenly struck me: now we're going to try it. I don't mean I regret it - no way. Though at home I'd been brought up with the idea that... Suppose some paedo was going to be hanged in the town square? My mother would be the first one to pull the rope. That's also one of the reasons why my mother doesn't even know Christian exists. At my home I have a code name for him: Lars. If I'm calling from Christian's home I say I'm with Lars. Every time, that's for sure - because it's logical; it fits. Lars has a computer. We watch videos and play with the computer, that sort of thing. So I tell them at home about the things I'm really doing here. And so my mother thinks Lars is a boy of 15 or 16 - but that's not my problem.
What would happen if she found out?
First of all, I'd be beaten until I looked like the Swedish flag. And then I'd be sent to some boarding school, far, far away, somewhere in the boondocks where all the pigs wear license plates. Out there in the countryside child molesters don't exist, at least according to my mother. Christ, I'm always getting warned at home about child molesters!
Is Christian a kind of second father to you? Or is he more like another kid you hang around with?
He's no second father. And he's not really like another kid, either. He's a good friend. I'd often rather be with Christian than with some of the kids my age, because I always have more say in what we're going to do. When you're with a bunch of kids there's always the chance that if five of them want to do something and two do not, then you've got to decide: you do what they want to do or you leave them. But with Christian, we sit down and talk it over; then you have equal say. Nobody's forcing you to do something. Take one example: two of my friends who wanted me to join them have just been arrested for stealing a bike, and if I'd gone along with them I'd probably have been caught, too - because sometimes you can say what you want and other times you cannot. The closer you get to someone, the better friends you become, the more you like to be with him and the more likely you are to do something you shouldn't, something against society's rules. Lots of people think what I do with Christian is breaking one of society's most important rules, but I don't pay that any attention, because many of them say child molesters should be thrown in prison and all – such people just don't know what they're talking about.
You say the other youngsters in your crowd put you under pressure to do some things, but don't you think Christian now and then puts you under pressure to do certain things, too?
Perhaps going shopping for him when he's too tired, or putting the kettle on the stove, that sort of thing. If you mean pressuring me to do something sexual, then no, absolutely not.
And the other way round?
No, it's... Well, yes, now and then, like, "You go get the newspaper, Christian, 'cause last time it was me that went out for the cigarettes." But going on a trip or something, we always agree.
Yes, but what if you want to go somewhere and he wants to go some place else?
Okay, that can really be a problem sometimes. Like, one day I wanted to go to the Zoological Museum and he wanted to go to the national aquarium. [Here followed a lengthy explanation of why the Zoological Museum was the more interesting.] So we couldn't come to an agreement, and finally Christian just sat down and read a book while I played with the computer. And for half an hour we didn't speak to each other. Finally I decided to make us some coffee. Then everything was okay again - after I had made him go out to the baker's to buy some bread. But, no, mostly we agree on things we do - making a trip to town, going to the baker's... going to bed.
Does he teach you anything?
Yes. I've got to admit I know a lot more about math now, and how to load batteries into a flashlight - that sort of thing. I also learned what a paedophile is. And about different kinds of people, and all.
Did you teach Christian anything?
I guess I've given him a different view of children and people my own age. And I've taught him something about biology; that's my favourite subject. He taught me how to use a computer, and I taught him some of the games you can play on it. But you don't think about that, who's teaching what to whom.
Do you reflect a lot on what people think and believe about paedophilia?
When the subject of paedophilia or child molesters comes up, I pay close attention to what people say, for there always seems to be something new. That happened once in 9th grade biology class, when we were getting sex education. The teacher was very liberal, a 35-year-old woman. We discussed all different kinds of sex. And I was the only one in class who could give a definition of paedophilia - I was even allowed to give a short lecture on it. My teacher was very pleased; some of my friends were surprised - how the hell could I have learned all that? It was hard to explain!
After that first time when you went to bed with Christian, how long was it before you did it again?
Three or four days later, I think.
And since then, have you done it regularly?
Yes, with small ups and downs in how often. There was one period when we did it a lot more than usual. It just depends on how you feel about it.
Which one of you wants it the most?
I don't think you could say. I think each of us can sort of sense when the other is willing. If you say, `Okay, let's do it,' that means you yourself want to do it, right? You can't say one of us wants it more than the other.
Is your need for having sex with each other diminishing or is it staying about the same?
No, I think it is slackening off. As you get to the age of fifteen or sixteen, you become more and more interested in girls; most boys do. You realise more and more clearly that you prefer one thing or the other. In my case, I prefer doing it with girls to doing it with Christian. But we keep on being real close friends - I. expect we'll remain close friends, even when I'm forty years old.
You believe it's the same with him?
Definitely. I'm not the only boy he knows who goes to bed with girls.
Do you consider yourself gay?
Have you ever thought about whether you were 'queer'?
Do you believe all boys could do with men the same things you have done with Christian?
No, not all. Because there are always some who wouldn't for moral reasons, because of their upbringing. And upbringing has a greater influence on some boys than on others. But I think 90% or 95% could have had the same sort of experiences as I've had, if only they'd been invited to. And if they'd been treated the same way I was.
Then you believe most boys would like to do it?
Yeah, I think so. But I also have to say that I'm thinking of boys ten, twelve or thirteen years old. No kid my age who's never done it will be likely to start now. At my age it is seen as homosexual.
I think most of the kids who go with paedophiles are boys because it seems to me that girls have a whole different idea about being together with a man. You have to keep in mind that girls mature earlier than boys, and so it is more decisive to a girl what a man does with her. There can't be very many girls who like having a man stick his thing into her. With a boy it's all pretty much just stroking and caressing.
But a man can also put his thing into a boy's anus....
Yes, that's so. I've heard that some people do that, but we never did.
You never thought about doing it?
I never thought about doing it.
What, then, do you do? Suck each other?
Mostly he does that to me. We suck, lick, kiss, caress, stroke each other all over, that sort of thing.
Did you ever try it with boys your own age?
No, only with girls.
You're not tempted to do it with another boy?"
No. I cannot imagine it. With someone your own age, that would be more homosexual. Especially when you're fifteen, sixteen or seventeen, all boys and girls would think of it that way.
People are so afraid of being queer?
No. If you know you're gay, accept the fact that you're gay, then you're not so scared of being that way. It's more the reaction of your friends that worries you.
If your friends found out about the relations you're having with Christian, what do you think they'd say? Would they call you a queer?
I don't know. I've never thought about it. They probably would, if they found out. But, what the hell, you'd have to make the best of it... if that happened. But I don't think it will, because I keep school and my leisure time separate. My leisure time, that's my private life, and the other kids at school have nothing to do with it unless I myself want them to.
And what if the police became involved all of a sudden?
I'm sixteen now and the age of consent is fifteen, so, I would just tell them to fuck off.
But what if Christian has taken some risky photos of your when you were younger?
Or if Christian let it slip out to someone?
First thing I'd do would be to leave home, before my mother found out. My mother would take it the hardest of all the people around me, that I know. But I don't really worry about such things. If I really had to run around worried all the time that the police were after me, I'd go crazy in less than a month.
Do you think Christian is afraid of this?
No, not since I turned fifteen. Because they couldn't prove anything. As things are now, the chance of this happening is like zero. Because neither of us wants to have the police on our necks, so why are we going to tell anybody?
What's the best thing about your relationship?
The friendship. That's what I appreciate the most.
How often do you see each other?
It can vary. Sometimes I won't come for three weeks, and then I'll be there every day, coming by as soon as I can. But it's mostly just for friendship and the chance to talk with somebody who understands you differently from the way your parents do.
How do you mean?
If I have problems at school my mother always assumes it's my fault and I have to stop acting the way I do. But Christian feels that there may be something wrong with the other kids. Well, you can't do anything to change your school friends, but it's a lot different when you talk such things out with someone who isn't always telling you it's your own fault. And he has more time to discuss such things with me.
He understands you better?
Absolutely. He understands me a lot better than my own mother. That makes me a little sad. I think your parents of all people should devote the most time to you. They should understand their children better than anybody else. But the way things are heading these days, it is just the opposite. And if things keep on like they are, I think it may be up to the paedophiles to keep many of our kids from going crazy. Like my Danish teacher says, there are children with the keys to their homes hung around their necks on a string and twenty crowns in their pockets for something to eat in the snack bar, and then their mothers and fathers leave for work. The more such neglected kids we have the more frustrated individuals will grow up and become socially maladjusted. And the more adults there are to whom such kids can go and talk, the fewer social problems. But, of course, it depends on what kind of paedophile the kid's visiting.
Couldn't this role be played by teachers, youth leaders, school psychologists, that sort of people?
No. The school psychologist just goes through his daily routine. Several years ago I went to the school psychologist regularly and I just got the same talk every time. I don't think a school psychologist has the time or energy to put himself in the place of any one child. And that's really lousy, because there's a great need for someone who could do that. But it will never happen unless society changes.
Many people say that children only go to paedophiles because they want attention, and they pay for this attention with sex.
I don't believe it - if that were the case there'd be something wrong with the paedophile; he'd be a man who only thinks about sex. A paedophile who understands boys knows when the child wants to do something sexual. And if the boy doesn't want sex, then doing it anyhow would give no pleasure to the paedophile – I think at least to most of them. A relationship where the man is only interested in sex won't be very good. It will last for maybe half a year, at the most. Sooner or later the child is going to ask himself, `What am I doing here?' And then he will automatically start spending more and more time with his age-mates.
You never thought about it as an exchange?
No. I continue to believe we would be just as good friends if I'd never gone to bed with Christian. Maybe our relationship wouldn't have been quite so intimate, now that I think about it, but our friendship and companionship would have been just the same.
But did sleeping with each other strengthen the bonds of your friendship?
We certainly got to know other sides of one another. You can talk more freely and openly because when you've gone to bed with someone, you know that person better.
Is it a kind of key that opens doors?
Yes, in a certain way. I find that also happens when I've been to bed with a girl. Afterwards you lie there and talk.
When did you start going with girls?
The first time I went to bed with a girl was on my fifteenth birthday. I wanted to celebrate right away the fact that I was at last over the age of consent. Since then I've been doing it regularly.
I have some other feelings when I go to bed with Christian than when I go to bed with a girl, although they're difficult to separate. True, I don't have a... yes, I once had a steady relationship with a girl, but I got tired of it, because you cannot have two relationships in two different places with two wildly different personalities - that's really hard.
What's the difference between being with a girl and being with a man?
You think differently; you act differently; your whole mental process is different. Maybe that's because I'm the sort of person who goes to town and has one night stands; I may never see the girl again. You don't build this up in your mind the same way.
Let's say you're going steady with some girl and she finds out that you're also meeting Christian and going to bed with him, what do you think she would say?
It would be hard to find a girl who would accept that. Because someone who's never experienced this himself looks at it in a completely different light. I think the first thing she'd do would be to break off all connections with me. I think it's awfully hard for a girl to accept this kind of thing. The same would be true of boys. It's hard to accept something which you don't know anything about.
But you might one day have to choose: make a choice between a girl and Christian.
That would be hard for me. I think I'd finally prefer sex with a girl, but I would maintain my friendship and companionship with Christian. But if that happened I'd probably spend more time with the girl. The way things are evolving now, my instinct tells me that Christian cannot go on being intimate with me for ever. The older I get the less attractive to him I become, that's obvious. Sooner or later all that will be left will be our companionship. And I'll be more and more interested in girls.
And you're also getting a little tired of all-male sex?
Yes. Probably. People talk about growing out of it. I don't think I'll ‘grow out of it', not in that way, but I'm definitely going to become heterosexual. I'm sure of that. It's my nature. But memories, especially the nice ones (maybe there are a few bad memories) - the nice ones you're always happy to recall. Maybe you'll say, well that was then. And maybe at other times you'll catch yourself thinking, ‘Wouldn't it be nice to have all of that back again' - even when you're carrying on a steady relationship with a girl.
They are two different things? The one cannot substitute for the other?
They're very, very different. They can't take each other's place. Because in the love of an adult man for a child there will be a lot more feeling, much more comradeship, than there ever is in the relationship between a boy and a girl.
Is there also a difference in being active and passive? Is it that when you have sex with Christian it is he who is active?
Yes, he is the most active.
And how is it when you're with a girl? Do you have to be active then?
Yes, mostly I'm active. It depends on the kind of role you have to play. If you compare a paedophile relationship with that between men and women, then the adult is like the man and the child like the women. And you will always assume that the man is the most active.
Do you feel like a woman in your relationship with Christian?
No! Are you crazy, man?!
Well, that was just what you were saying.
Bullshit. What I said was that's the way other people usually look at it. They compare it with conventional sex. There it's the woman who's passive.
Do you like to play the passive role?
I have to admit, in this case, it is nice. It is so different from when you have to play the strong male role with girls, where it's the man who's supposed to dominate.
Do you feel you're playing more of a role when you're with a girl than when you're with Christian?
Yes. There's more role-playing then.
Do you feel that you've exploited him?
Do you feel he's exploited you?
No. Because when there's no sexual desire, nothing happens. One of the things essential to a paedophile relationship surely is respect. And when one of the partners says no, that means no. You don't put pressure on each other. You cannot do that.
It all sounds very rosy.
Yes, it's really, really great!
Do you believe that all paedophile relationships are so wonderful?
I don't know. I don't believe a paedophile relationship can go on for very long unless it's at least a little rosy.
But I also think that the desire to visit a paedophile, the desire to go to bed with a paedophile, wanes as you get older, because sooner or later you realise you are too old for it, and the paedophile himself will come to the same realisation.
 A Commodore 64 computer is mentioned in the interview as having been bought two years before David was thirteen. This brand began selling in 1982 and David was sixteen in the interview, published in 1986.
 Published by Global Academic Publishers, Amsterdam in 1993.
 This was fashionable even in psychiatric literature in the 1970s to 1980s, but the consensus amongst psychiatrists has since switched back to using its more scientific and original (as coined) meaning of attraction to pre-pubescents.. They would now term attraction to pubescents “hebephilia”; 13 to 16 is the approximate age of the boy in original Greek love.
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