Over 40 and still holding his v-card. This is not another Judd Apatow movie, but rather something much more serious. It’s the reality of 43-year-old Todd Nickerson, a self-proclaimed pedophile.
Born without his right hand, life wasn’t always too great for Nickerson. Then come the age of seven he was molested by a family friend. Todd believes his shortcomings physically and that abuse are what contributed to his pedophilia. He told VICE in a phone interview, “I think on some level I identified with my abuser more than I did with the males in my family. He was very gentle and clearly interested in me.” It didn’t take too long after the sexual abuse for him to realize his preferences were a little different than his peers.
Doing nothing more than sitting around his grandparent's house at 13, he said that was the day he knew something was off about him after a five-year-old neighbor girl came by. “I looked up, and this little girl was standing there watching me draw. It just struck me, 'wow.’” Soon after he fell into denial and even tried to pray those thoughts and feelings away at church. Years later, those prayers have still yet to be answered.
Todd tried to have adult relationships, but when you’re not attracted to someone - it will eventually fail, which all of them did. Depressed and suicidal, he found a glimmer of hope in an online forum called Girlchat. A place for fellow pedophiles. Once comfortable Todd decided to share his real name, and even made a public profile proclaiming his um, sexual preference. This got out and ruined his life. He not only lost his job at Lowe’s, but his father lost his as well.
While we’re taught to stigmatize pedophiles, what makes Todd kind of a good guy in this situation is that he’s never acted on his urges, although he’s admitted to being tempted once at 18 during a babysitting job. He’s also never taken part in child porn like that guy from Subway. Todd realized what he was three decades ago and has since made a somewhat pledge to himself to never act on it. The people who outed him and made his life a living hell didn’t think those facts were important, but really - they are what separates Todd from the actual perverts out there.
Today Todd is working again, but far from hardware and more with software as he’s a graphic designer living in Tennessee. He has also left Girlchat, and now helps moderate Virtuous Pedophiles, a site unlike the other which is all about pedophiles committing to not acting on their pedophilia. It’s funny how a label can instantly skew our perspective on a person. You hear “pedophile” and instantly think of some guy in a basement with kiddie porn all around, but in reality there are those like Todd who know what they are but also realize they can never have what they want because it’s against the law and morally not okay.