On the Grooming of Children & (Actually) Preventing It

@badgaltranny
12 min readMay 18, 2023

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I was groomed.

Not by my family, mind you. No, my parents and uncles and aunties were very keen on keeping all sexual knowledge from me (and other kids in our family, but I’ll focus on me), and they quite succeeded. The grand sum of sexual education I got from my parents was when I asked my mother about kissing (around middle school, I think), and she told me that “Your dad and I tried kissing once and it was disgusting, so we never did it again.” (A bold-faced lie, to be sure.)

Indeed, keeping knowledge of sexuality away from children seems to be the prevailing politic of conservative families (like my own) who fear grooming, and understandably so: my parents were never taught about sexuality as children. And it is why so many parents are in an uproar to hear that their kids in today’s public schools — from grade school to high school — are learning about sexuality in their classrooms. And not only about “normal” (straight) sexuality, mind you; but queer sexuality. Women’s sexuality. Pleasure sexuality. No no, children must not know about such things “until they are ready.” (And if you read on, you will understand why I actually do agree with this sentiment — sexual education for children should not be imposed upon them, but should be administered by a trusted guardian (i.e. parents & trusted teachers (most preferably, a grandmother)), in educative response to them, as appropriate to age level, and most importantly: should take the form of teaching them how to say: “No!”)

My mother told me to stay away from American girls because “you don’t know what their intentions are.” (She never clarified to me what these intentions could be.) She would tsk tsk and change the channel any time an American couple kissed on screen, and even any time Bollywood actresses broke into song (“Even Bollywood has become disgusting nowadays,” she’d say, rushing to fast-forward). My family was much the same. I learned never to ask my family anything about such things.

Which begs the question: since I was taught nothing about sexuality, how did I come to be groomed?

And my answer is precisely that I was groomed because I was taught nothing about sexuality, learned nothing about why it felt good, despite the fact that I felt my sexuality so deeply. Knowing nothing about my feelings — except that they were, for some reason, unspeakable and evil — threw me in confusion and caused it to fester, turned it perverse. It stayed in the shadows and I kept it in the shadows, terrified that it would ever emerge in public. At nights I would deal with myself in guilty fear, not knowing what I was doing, but “knowing” that it was abjectly disgusting and wrong; I “knew” this because my family — by not teaching me — effectively told me as such. I lived in terror, and learned that the only outlet for my sexuality was in the shadows. When I finally got my driver’s license, when I was finally free from my parents’ roof, I sought out the most vile of men, men who did indeed groom me.

So it is clear to us all that teaching children nothing about sexuality is a sure-fire way of grooming children, because the sexuality of children needs an “out” and if the family does not provide one, the child will seek it out amongst strangers who have no good intentions for the child, strange men who prey on the innocent guilt of the child.

And maybe this is precisely why these strange men get furious to learn that children are learning about sexuality in school, why they rail against it as a Satanic “grooming,” because such grooming is, of course, only for them to do.

Hopefully, I have made it clear now that to prevent such grooming, the child must not be left in the shadows. The child needs to learn about sexuality from trusted guardians, or else they will be driven to “find out its secrets” from the scum of the earth, those who prey in the shadows.

But what should this teaching consist of?

Conservative families are often willing to teach their children about copulation (although reluctantly, and with much trepidation). They are willing to teach their children that sex is for reproduction, to make babies. But is this enough?

My answer is no. I knew how to make babies in fourth grade. It did nothing to prevent my grooming. Despite knowing how to make babies, I stayed in the shadows because I learned nothing about why sexuality felt good, and why others pursued it even if they had no desire for children. The pleasure remained a mystery to me. It is the pleasure which I needed education on, the pleasure which drove me to the shadows, and the perverse pleasure of others which I needed to recognize and learn to say “No!” to.

And I do mean education, not fear-mongering. The more adults instill fear into children about the pleasures of sexuality, the more the child (especially as young adults) will run into the shadows in an all-consuming guilt and an inability to say “No!” to predators. Weak children who know nothing about their own sexuality will come to view themselves as inherently perverse. And a child who views herself as such will likely align herself (in secret, in the shadow of night) with the strange men who see her as the same, but tell her it’s what makes her so valuable. Meaning: the groomers.

She will go to them in secret, in guilt, in fear. She sees herself as helpless to pleasure, which despite all her attempts, she cannot get rid of (at least, in private; in public, she will remain mum and perhaps even claim that she has no such perverse pleasure — a bold-faced lie as clear as my mother’s). She will lie awake at night desperate for salvation from her “evil feeling” and when it gets to be too much, she will search for men who can save her. Theirs is a false salvation. It is grooming.

Sexual education cannot stop at teaching children about “how babies are born.” To prevent the grooming of children, to have prevented my own grooming, it must also teach children (in a non-judgmental way) about sexual pleasure and how to say “No!”— or else children will run to scummy men whom they believe will teach it to them, who will not allow them to say “No!” In short, they will become prey for groomers.

Okay, so we have made it this far. We have seen through the error of the “teach children nothing about sex” method, and we have seen through the error of the “teach children only that sex makes babies” method. We have learned that to prevent children from becoming prey for groomers, to empower children to come to their trusted guardians (instead of scum) with their questions about sexuality, children need to be taught — at least a little — about sexual pleasure — and this is not at all because we are perverse pedophiles who want children to feel sexual pleasure, but because children are already aware of and feeling it, especially around puberty (which for girls, is even earlier than boys, around the ages of 8–12; meaning, around third grade (!)). The education, teaching them to strongly and assuredly say “No!” to exploitation they recognize, is necessary precisely because we don’t want children to seek sexual pleasure at the hands of groomers and disgusting perverts.

Thus, at the very least, to prevent the sexual feelings of little girls from being taken advantage of, children should be responsibly taught by trusted guardians (i.e parents & trusted teachers (preferably, in my opinion: grandmothers)) about sexual pleasure in response to their questions — and above all, how to say NO to people who would take advantage of their ignorance of these feelings — as age-appropriate, which for most, is in grade school.

We want to raise kids who are able to stand against the grooming of scummy men, after all — and they cannot do that unless they know how to own for themselves what these scummy men are after. Girls who are taught to fear their pleasure, to deny their biology, or taught nothing about it — rendering it unspeakable — do not learn how to own it for themselves, and if they don’t know to own it for themselves, they would not know to say “No!” or Yes. Instead, they learn (all by themselves) to discard their own responsibility completely and give it away to a predatory other who will “take the unspeakable burden off their hands.” This is an abjectly-disgusting state of things.

All right. So to prevent grooming, children must be taught about sexual pleasure. They should be greeted with their guardians’ open arms rather than a stiff shoulder or slap (which will only make the children turn towards the shadows).

What should this education be? This education should be one which in which guardians model healthy intimacy, and empower children to own, not fear, and self-control, their own sexuality, by saying “No!” without guilt or fear. Indeed, if they do not learn to fear it, they will learn to control it all on their own — and they will learn to guard themselves, quite naturally, against groomers who prey on their innocent ignorance.

And here is where the truth of the conservative patriarchal family’s resistance to sexual education exposes itself. If girls learn about their own sexuality — and learn how to identify when others are attempting to take advantage of these feelings (“own” for themselves), and learn to say no to such perverse advances, if they see their mothers say “No!” to their fathers without guilt or fear— they will become empowered, resistant to any grooming authority, which means a resistance to the society which — through threats and coercion — forces a girl to wait like a doll on a shelf until she finds a husband, the society which wants women to be nothing more than breeding mules in child beauty pagaents, which wants to steal and hoard women’s pleasure all for their men. Indeed, this authority should be resisted, with hell and fury.

Of course, this begs the question of teaching children about queer pleasure. Now, in a conservative society, all sexual pleasure (especially, that of a girl) is indeed, against the established order of things.

But, you say, how about the LGBTQ+ type queer? Should children learn about that too? And my answer should be obvious by now. My answer is: no, at least not right out the gate. Sexual education of any sort, straight or queer, should be responsive to the individual child — it should come as a healthy response to the child’s questions. And I don’t think it’s the role of the public education system to teach this, since their education materials are factory-like and “once-size-fits-all”, meaning: not tailored to the student. Nor should they be — public education is not a conducive space to deal with intimate private issues.

If guardians teach children that it is okay to come to them with their questions, if they model healthy sexuality in front of their children (such as parents kissing before work, or holding hands, or saying “No!” without fear or guilt, or cuddling while watching TV), no one will have to instigate or force sexual education upon the child (which, indeed, is perverse). Remember, the child will seek this education out on her own, and if the child feels that she can come to the guardian, the guardian will be able to answer the questions appropriately.

But I do mean appropriately. A guardian cannot “shut down” their child through fear-mongering. This applies to when the child exhibits and expresses LGBTQ+ attraction, too. If the guardian wishes to prevent the grooming of the child, the guardian cannot “shut down” the child’s queer questioning. Yes, feel free to educate the child about religious prohobitions against homosexuality if you/the child is religious. But do not hate the child for these questions, nor ‘goad’ the child on if they are merely wondering. And indeed, contrary to popular conservative belief, the most-groomed children are not straight ones, but actually LGBTQ+ children who have been “shut down” and thus, ran into the shadows, into the arms of predators.

By all means, try to teach your children about their sexual pleasure without teaching them about LGBTQ+ pleasure. If you can do it, all the applause for you — you have a super-duper straight child.

Remember: sexual education should be responsive to the individual child. If the child expresses no queer sexuality, if they come to you with no questions about it, then you have no need to teach them about it, other than perhaps a basic acknolwedgment of queer people that they may see and wonder about. But if you cannot accomplish this, do not freak out. Queer children are normal. Queer children feel LGBTQ+ forms of attraction as early as middle school, some even in elementary school. If your child comes to you with such questions, answer them as how you would answer any child of GOD whom you wish to save from grooming: teach them how to own their responsibility. Or else, they may end up like me.

I’m only writing this because I’m tired of conservative America blaming LGBTQ+ folks for the grooming of America’s kids. “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” — Matthew 7:3–5. I’m tired of them judging parents who take their kids to drag storytime, who show them Disney movies. Because education is not grooming; it is grooming’s only prevention. And all things considered, these parents are probably doing a much better job on that front than the accusers are.

And anyway, opening your child’s eyes to the diversity of human beings (gay, straight, trans) which they will see in modern Society is different than teaching them about gay sex. It is preparing them for the world; and hopefully, as GOD-oriented folks, we raise our children to love everyone, rather than fear them. This includes your LGBTQ+ neighbors.

Overall, I believe the ideal education of children can be summed up as follows: to teach children all you can about the symbolic order (the “way things are”, the sciences of the World, the religions and philosophies) and motivate them to truly Act — regardless of the matrix. To Act means to aspire towards immortality.

Indeed, Plato (or was it Aristotle?) thought there were three ways a human could achieve practical immortality. 1) to birth children, 2) to birth artworks (poetry, etc.), and 3) to raise a young boy. (This last one is defined in a rather homosexually-pedophilic way, as a relation between older man and younger boy — considering that this is the foundation of Western philosophy, it seems that the conservatives who cry “groomers!” may need to realize the threat is inside the house!)

Those who wish to raise children, go for it! But “keeping the species alive” is no longer much of a concern (despite what Elon thinks), so don’t worry if your kids don’t want to go down that route. They can carry on your name in other ways — inspire your children to make their whole lives a work of art, to act creatively. Inspire your children to teach!

There are so many parents who have raised their children while being openly queer or actively queer-supporting (i.e. lesbian mothers, inviting gay friends for dinner, etc.). Their children have not exploded. They have not become monsters. Indeed, most of them are actually quite kind, and… straight.

Educate your kids. Teach them to love rather than fear. We need no more powerful cowards in this world. We need creatives — and LGBTQ+ folk have always been the ones for that.

The ultimate goal of education is to learn how to live a life beyond desire. My utopia is a world not in which people are “sexually liberated” but one in which people are *liberated from sex*. (My thinking is rather Hindu in that way.) The way to teach this is to meditate on the question: “What would it look like to live my life without desire?”

This is not advocating for living a life without desire, but simply, living a life not controlled or oriented by the dictates of desire (which does nothing but lead one into an impossible labyrinth, for desire is never-ending). It is to teach them to identify goals beyond desire and to work towards these more creative, immortal, and splendid goals, instead of the perverse goals of others. And the only way to really accomplish this mammoth spiritual feat is to learn how to self-control desire (think: Lord Shiva who wraps the serpent of desire around his neck) so that the child learns how to harness its power so as to drive them towards these purer goals.

Teaching your children to fear their own desire will only make them capitulate to it, and live a life of perversion or a life groomed by perverts. Teach them to aim for the greater path beyond desire, so that they live lives which actually mean something great, a life liberated from the corrupting potentials of sexuality, a life of substance rather than something ephemeral. This is the spiritual path, and it cannot be attained through fear-mongering.

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@badgaltranny

@badgaltranny is an artist and lawyer working to wage Art upon Law, so as to transform theatres of law into theatres of the oppressed.