I’m a 21 year old guy attracted to girls between the ages of 4-11. Towards girls younger than 5, it’s almost entirely an emotional attraction. I have this great affection for them and want to protect and care for them. As they get older, they become more attractive and the emotions start to feel more romantic as well as protective.
This all started when I was 13 and I began working in the 2-3 year old class at my church. I really enjoyed it and soon discovered that I had a talent working with kids. Looking back I can see my attraction starting around that time although it wasn’t until I was 16 that I really noticed that I was attracted to children and not until 18 that I finally admitted to myself that I was an MAP. With that realization, at that point in my life, I spiraled down into depression.
Throughout my adolescence I kept doing volunteer work with younger kids. The mentality I had was that I was only sexually attracted to older girls so if I avoided them there would be no problems. However, one day I was even more depressed than usual because it was my birthday and I had no friends to celebrate it with. While I was at church in the pre-K class, a girl I had a protective “crush” on was being extremely adorable, I just wanted to hug her and know that someone cared about me. I didn’t do anything inappropriate but it was then that I started to think that this was a problem.
I reached out to some people I knew online (non-MAPs) and told them about my attractions. A few stopped talking to me, however I did find one person who was willing to stick with me and help me figure all this out and it changed everything. I was finally able to talk about my feelings and all that I was going through. I also reached out to other MAPs and eventually had a large group of people that I talked to almost every day. With their help, I began to accept myself and slowly the weight of my minor attraction lifted. While I’m still very much attracted to children, it is now much easier to manage and live with.
Now at 21 years of age, I’m studying hard in college and am transferring to a four year university in the fall and will be living in the dorms. I’m very excited about meeting new people and making new friends. Aside from helping kids, I also enjoy reading, playing video games, and spending time with my family. I still struggle with hiding such a huge secret from everyone I know, although I confided in my brother and sister and they’ve both been very supportive of me. I’m so thankful for that. My life isn’t perfect, but I feel that things are finally moving in a positive direction. I finally have hope for the future.