Someone showed me an interesting Tumblr post today. It was a “story-time” regarding the blog “authors” experience. For context, this blog is heavily riddled with nudity and other adult-content and could arguably be stated, promotes and invokes sexual desires. The “story-time” is essentially about a young man who DM’d the “author,” asking if he could post his (explicit) pictures on his blog. The “author” goes on to note how the younger individual was “lit” and had a nice body, but however, appeared “young.” So the “author” proceeds to ask the young man’s age, in which at that point, he “truthfully” informs him that he is 19: of legal age.
The “author” further writes how older men, specifically, older gay men, could be seen as pedophiles if they knowingly and carelessly interact with younger men with the motive of sex. It was also stated that the “author” was 16/17 when they experienced multiple romantic/sexual dynamics with 30+ individuals , which, is the reason why they are knowledgeable and so expressive in promoting the safety of younger men. They know that the porn industry and older men in general, prey upon younger men because of how “easy it is to mold their minds” and “manipulate them.”
Practicing what you preach can be a difficult thing, particularly when it comes to things that are heavily centered around a moral compass. If safety, sexual and overall, was a concern for anybody, truly, particularly on Tumblr, they would not have a blog that mostly displays highly vivid sexual acts. After all, people lie. So what’s to stop a 14, 15,16,17-year-old from creating an account and having the capability of viewing any page they happen to run across? It just perplexes me how individuals “preach” about the concern and safety of others, but you would be hard pressed to find a post that refers to condoms, public health statistics, or hell, even a CDC link. You’d also be hard pressed to find posts about what these “preachers” are actually out doing in their community, aside from being an individual that can just promote them sexually.
If the “author” truly cared about the safety of young gay men, the “author” would not even allow themselves to be in a position where anyone, particularly a young gay man, could just DM their nudes. There wouldn’t even be a space for that level of comfort because that energy wouldn’t surround the aura and digital space the “author” has created. To be perfectly clear, I’m not saying such spaces shouldn’t exist. We’re all human and I’m sure the majority, if not all, have thought and/or physically experienced some form of sexual desire. However, we are specifically speaking about the safety of young gay men.
The reality is that, no one is hardly ever safe these days. People have literally sent their location to me and they haven’t even bothered to ask my name. We, as a gay community, have become so consumed with sexual desires and presenting ourselves in a sexual manner that verifying someone’s age is not even a thought for some, even if the individual may appear to be younger. I wouldn’t personally call it pedophilia, but I would certainly call it carelessness for oneself and others.
We do not live in the times were people meet up, go on dates, and just so happen to have sex afterwards. We live in the times where people send nudes as a form of greeting and hooking up is arguably more effortless than ordering a meal at the drive thru at peak hours. This is not all stated in a way to cause fear or shame, because there isn’t anything shameful, to me, about sex. YOU just have to be AWARE, SAFE, AND ACCOUNTABLE, for yourself. It’s no one’s responsibility but yours and unfortunately, people do not put your safety first.
There are men out here that will gladly prey upon the “broken” young men of the world. You also have impressionable young men who are anxious and eager to explore the world. Some of which, whom have no one to guide them. I had no one to guide me. I leave you with this: young or “old,” just remember to be aware. Remember that it’s okay to be different. You don’t have to be so quick to go with the times or “fit in” to a status quo especially if deep down you feel as though it’s not for you. You have no one to impress but yourself. Be EXACTLY what you wish to seek. It’s VERY important to remember that the energy you put out into the universe is the energy you attract and/or will receive. Move at your own pace. Never be afraid to disassociate yourself from individuals and/or situations you feel could be harmful to your safety and/or overal well-being. Be logical and take time to access individuals before inviting them into your mind, body, and world. Never be afraid to stand firm in your beliefs and standards. If someone thinks it’s “lame” not to send nudes, than so what. You’re not entitled to do anything you do not want to do. PERIOD. Be safe. Be smart. Be brave. Be adventurous. Be YOU. Live your best life and become the best version of yourself you can be.
- Alex N. Wanderland
I’m an individual who believes that personal space is very sacred and a privilege to experience. I’ve never been one to just randomly link up with individuals, specifically for the sole intent of having a sexual experience, but I’m also not saying that it’s never happened. I too, was a younger individual who happened to date and/or be involved with older individuals beyond a friendship level. I did however, not involve myself with anyone 30 and above. I learned the “game” QUICK and realized that I was seen to a lot of older men as “fresh meat.” I always disassociated myself when I had the slightest inclination of being seen as an “object,” which, ironically, I had a lot of experience in. I was also the “short, small/petite” guy and I’ve always been a target that, I assumed appeared “weak.” However, I’m no genius, but my mind has always been far from “lackluster,” even at a “young age.” I was in an accelerated program in elementary school. I excelled in the arts. But I also know, that even without a support system, emotions and our minds can sometimes fail in protecting ourselves.
If you ever feel you need to reach out to someone, to just vent about life, my contact info is also available to utilize, feel free to shoot me an email. As far as other resources:
Trevor Suicide Prevention Line
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
HIV/AIDS Treatment Info Services
Mon–Fri, 12 pm–5 pm EST
Covenant House’s Nine Line (a crisis line for youth and their families)
National Runaway Switchboard
National Youth Crisis Hotline
Child Abuse Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Hotline
Drug Abuse Hotline
If you want to e-mail someone your own age who can help you sort out things, send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have more time, you can also check out: www.youthresource.com (click under “peer educators” at the top). Where you can read the bios of young LGBTQIA folks just like you and write directly to them for their help.
If you want a more old-fashioned way to connect with LGBTQIA youth, you might want to try a pen pal! After you write to these groups, they’ll send you an application form which you send back (with a photocopy of some sort of ID from you, so they can make sure you’re a young person). Then they put you in touch with young people in the US and abroad with similar interests.
IYG Pen Pal Program (for youth 12–21 years old) PO Box 20716 Indianapolis, IN 46220
International Pen Pal Program
(for youth 13–24 years old)
PO Box 3823 Los Angeles, CA 90078-3823