Hello Dr. Robert
I am a 23 year old male from Florida, My wife just had a baby 6 weeks ago. The first time I held my son I got an erection and its always on my mind and it wont get out of my head. Also when I go out in public with him and my wife I get them. This is ruining my life, am I a pedophile because I get a semi erect when I hold my son? I have never had any sexual thoughts about him. I have been around kids all my life I come from a huge family, my fathers one of 9 and my mom is one of 8 I have close to 70 first cousins alone, most of which are younger and Im around them on a weekly basis and I have never had this happen. My sister had a child young and moved back home and I help raise him from birth and not once did this happen. Is it possible that you can wake up one morning pedophile? I have read alot about the subject because (because its taring me apart) and what i can see I dont meet the criteria, I dont have sexual fantasies about children I dont get sexually aroused when I see them or think about them, just this summer I was home from school playing with my brothers kids a one year old boy and a baby girl and I didnt get erect, and then a few months later, this happens. We read all the baby books and where doing things for the baby all the time before he was born and this was the furthest thing from my mind. Im afraid if I dont stop worrying about it Im going to make myself a pedophile. Please help I cant go on thinking like this, its ruining what is supposed to be the happiest time of my life.
I was wondering where could find you response on your website. Is there a place where I can search for it?
No, I do not think you are a pedophile, and I think you should stop worrying about it. If you were a pedophile, you would be having all kinds of thoughts and fantasies about having sex with young children, and you are not having those kinds of thoughts. Just getting an erection when you hold your son does not mean that you are a pedophile.
dear friend and mentor of mine, the late photographer Walter
Chappell, became famous—some would say infamous—for an image he
made of himself holding his young son. In that powerful black and white print we see only
the torso of the man (Walter) who is holding the infant on his chest.
The man has a large, firm erection. Walter was arrested by the United
States authorities while attempting to cross the border from Canada with this
photograph which the authorities said was pornographic. Well, I knew
Walter confidentially and intimately. We traveled together, camped out together,
photographed together, and exhibited our work together in two-person shows. For
a time, Walter lived with me and my wife, Catanya, and the three of us shared many magic moments together.
I imagine that the impetus for your erection was similar in nature to the impetus for Walter's erection which he was proud to show in his photograph--the feeling of masculine power a man can get from being with a fertile young wife and with a son produced by hot sexual intimacy and orgasmic bliss. A young man, a young woman, and a baby—certainly there is something undeniably sexy about that trinity. But nothing about those sexy feelings has anything to do with pedophilia. Therefore, my advice is this: put your mind at rest, enjoy your new family, and appreciate--non-judgmentally for a change--the power and beauty of the male generative force which produces erections at all hours and in all situations, even when one is not even thinking about sex.
On the Ask Dr. Robert Archives page, visitors can find links to this page, as well as to every one of my other replies to questions for "ask the psychologist."
return to ask dr-robert archives
copyright robert saltzman 2008 all rights reserved