Sex and Children
A personal opinion
Sex and kids, itís a controversial topic. I will make it clear from the start that I am talking about kids within a multiple community rather than kids with their own age appropriate bodies. And this is where I run into trouble with the belief that somehow the kids within a multiple community can somehow be mature enough, developed enough to be able to handle a sexual relationship. To me these kids are kids, they might have had to grow up face, they may have had a lot of adult experiences, but they are still kids. I have heard many times that the kids in a multiple community are extremely mature, and this is usually used as permission to be sexual with them. And yes, some of our kids are very mature in some areas. Sorrel is one of the hardest working when it comes to our recovery, she has skills many of us adults donít, and would consider herself very mature. However when she is hurt emotionally she reacts as an 11 year old, throwing tantrums as only a pre-pubescent can. And indeed she has an understanding of sexuality, and is even thinking of her own sexuality, it is from the viewpoint of a kid. She is no way ready for the responsibility and implications that would come with sex.
There are a lot of amazingly mature real-bodied kids out in the world. But I wonder how many of them people would think sex was acceptable because of their maturity. It amazes me how quick people are to use that as a reason for sex with multiple kids, when the same people talk about sex with real bodied kids as abusive. Years ago this subject came up on another email list I was on, and listening I became to see similarities. The same reasons they used that sex with multiple kids were ok were the ones used by organisations like Man Boy Love, and other paedophile groups or individuals. Now I am not saying anyone that has sex with a multiple child is a paedophile, but I do see the same reasoning coming into play. The child was very mature for their age, we were just showing our love and affection, they enjoyed and wanted it,
Now admittedly, I come from a place of being a victim of sexual abuse, that the majority of the Shire has some, if only second-hand experience of abuse and that will probably cloud my view on this subject. The subject of consent alone is clouded by our past experience. Consent is not legally able to be given if one part is under 15 in this country. If one party is below the age of 15 any sexual contact is legally rape. There is no grey area. Of course that doesnít legally apply to a child self of a multiple community. Which is probably a good thing considering how hard it can be to tell at times. But the idea that a child somehow is able to consent because she is residing in an adult body to me is absurd. Yes, there may be other reasons, and I will get to that in a moment, but on a basic level there seems some that believe if the child is in an adult body she or he will have access to all that adult understanding and reasoning. Maybe this comes for the belief that all the people within the community are some how just manifestations of some real and adult person. That they arenít really children, or whatever the case might be, and therefore if they are all one person then they will all have the knowledge and abilities of that one person. For me I do not believe that, I have never believed that for ourselves, I see each many of the Shire as the person they are. Some may have skills, intellectual knowing beyond their age but I do not see that as being an emotional maturity.
As an abuse survivor the idea of consent is complicated by traumatic learning. For many the idea of saying no to sex or indeed to anything, is beyond their strength and courage. They have been taught that no brings more pain, that no actually makes whatever it is happen anyway, usually worse, usually with an added punishment. For some the idea of saying no simply does not occur, they have no awareness that it is even a possibility. Whilst others, aware that it might be, are usually too afraid to voice that. So can a true yes happen where there is no no. I donít know about that, as an adult there are times when I struggle with saying no, when the idea of refusing someone is too difficult. However there have been times when I have said yes, because that is what I truly wanted. The yes came from a place of personal choice, of being able to identify my desires and act on them at that time. And that is where I think the concept of not being able to say no comes in. If you arenít able to, or do not pay attention to your own desires, your own needs, be they a yes or a no, then I do not believe any yes should count as consent. Because the idea of consent, of having power to act or not comes from knowing that no is an option, and looking at what it is you want at the time, not what you think you should or are required to do.
There are many within the Shire that were taught from before they could take care of themselves that sex was what they existed for. That there sole worth was to be fucked by anyone that wanted them. Some were trained to be prostitutes outside of the family, whilst others did the same group within the family. They were told many times that their body was the property of those around them, that they could therefore be used in any way that was required. Some, in a way to survive, to not go insane and die from this treatment learnt to gain pleasure from such events, learnt to take pride in their abilities to have sex. I am proud of them for being able to find a way to endure the unendurable. However I do not believe that this is a true pleasure, and it is definitely not a healthy view of oneís worth. Sex can be a very pleasurable event. I for one have been known to enjoy it on a number of occasions. But if that is the only avenue you have to find pleasure then it is my belief that it is not healthy. And I even worry if the belief that it is pleasurable is real or is it simply a way to make it all bearable. If you have always believed your sole purpose is to be sexual then the idea of not having that would be terrifying, if you give that up then what are you. If you feel the only way to be alive, to feel pleasure and the safety of a comfortable known place the idea of giving it up would be inconceivable. It is too easy to just continue with that, to look like you are consenting that it is indeed what you want. But if it is what you want because you donít have an concept of what else there is let alone being able to pursue that then to me that is not consent.
There are many that believe if a kid of a multiple community initiates, seeks out sexual contact then that kid is able to handle the sexual contact, and indeed consents and wants it. To be blunt, I would wonder how many of these people would feel the same way if the kid had a childís body. If they would still believe it was acceptable for them to be sexual with a real-bodied child if that child came seeking sex. I hope not many, I hope that most would question the motives of the child, that they would believe that it was never appropriate for them to have sex with a young child. I hope they would instead offer to give the child safe, non-sexual cuddles, or talk about other fun things they could do together without involving sex. I hope they would talk to the child, eventually in a way as not to induce shame and guilt that adults arenít suppose to have sex with children and that there are many other ways to show them that they love and care about them. I would hope that would happen to any real-bodied child. I know it doesnít always, I know many like me arenít given that opportunity. And when the child resides in an adult body I would hope for the same. I would hope that the child is given what they need, love and affection without being used sexually, I would hope that discussions about how love can be shown, and other fun things that can be done together would occur. But maybe I am cynical, I donít see that happening much. I generally see the adult in the situation saying, well they chose it.
But how many of these kids are making choices with all the information that adults have available to them. How many have been taught that the only way to show love is to be sexual. How many have learnt that is what people want from them, that they can choose to give ti to someone as a sign of love because they know no other expressions of love. Children, whether with or without a childís body, can be extremely seductive, can say and act in all the right ways, but I just have to wonder where exactly they learnt to behave like that, and what is there motive for doing it now.
Maybe there are multiple kids out there that have the maturity and understanding to be sexual. I donít know, I personally havenít met any of them. I have met and known of many that play a good game, that can be extremely convincing in their portrayals of consent and power, sometimes so convincing they have managed to convince themselves. But with a little probing the cracks show, the belief that is all they exist for, that they need to show they love someone, or that they simply canít say no. It isnít the child is wrong, or bad for acting on this training, a child who knows no other way can not be expected to suddenly change their behaviour. Maybe if they are presented with other options over time they will be able to learn to make their own choices in life whatever those are. But I do believe it is the adults responsibility to set good boundaries, to show that they do not require sexual contact to express love, that they will not take advantage of someone that does not have the ability to make that decision for themselves. It may sound blunt and rude, but I believe it is the adults responsibility to show the child that they are not like all the other adults in this childís life that took what they wanted without any regard to the childís wellbeing.