Sexophobic therapy invades the gay community

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[Michael] Lew [psychotherapist] simply pills professional rank on those who dare to disagree. Some people who had sex with adults as children or adolescents may initially claim that it was harmless fun. But after sufficient "therapy" at his basic rate of $75 an hour, Lew told me that all such persons in his experience have recognized that they were molested.

My recollection of the sex I had as a boy with men has never been authorized by a therapist, but it bears mention anyway. For as far as I can remember into my childhood, sex was a realm of play and delight. Mostly there were the solitary joys of masturbation, but I also sought out sex with other kids and adults. I remember the big, pink hard-on I had as a five-year-old on the examination table as Dr. Peters did her routine sexual probings, a (unilateral?) erotic experience whose remembrance fueled jerk-off fantasies all through pubescence. I also remember how disappointed I was at age nine when the inspection for ticks before lights-out on a class camping trip required taking off all but our underpants in front of our cute teacher.

My sexual luck turned when I was 14, and I started a relationship with a 22-year-old I met through Gay and Lesbian Youth of New York. There followed a number of sexual encounters with men, including a brief and pleasant tryst with my uncle, who takes vicarious pleasures in my open gayness. Some of the sex was ecstatic, some ordinary, and all of it quite consensual. More than that, it was empowering. Having as an adolescent a network of adult friends diminished my dependence on family and school (the primary loci of child abuse). Though sex was not always the basis of our relationships, neither were they distorted by sex being absolutely precluded.

Lew never grants that experiences like mine are possible. He draws all of his evidence from a clinical sample of persons who have sought him out because they are pained by their early sexual encounters. Similarly, pre-Stonewall psychiatry based its diseased pictures of homosexuality on the troubled and institutionalized gays who were the only ones accessible for study. This methodological failure should fall within Lew's political memory as a gay person, but instead he (and virtually all his colleagues) reproduce the error with intergenerational sex. [...]

It does not raise progressive hackles in the least that under Massachusetts porn law, hatched with full support of Gov. Dukakis, it is a crime punishable by a minimum of 10 years in jail or a $10,000 fine to photograph or even paint a merely naked person under 18 or possess with "intent to disseminate" a depiction so produced). The right wing has filled the vacuum left by the failure of progressives to confront such dangerous silliness, a failure that GCN's interview with Lew exemplifies. That vacuum has been filled with extraordinarily oppressive legal machinery. [...]

It is these laws, not sodomy statues, that the state will use to liquidate the lesbian and gay community should the U.S. ever make the transition from authoritarianism to fascism. And yet, because such draconian legislation has so far only targeted the margins of our community, most activists have shamefully ignored it. [...]

GCN's obliviousness to the resulting danger does not just betray inexcusable disregard for the legions of gay men in jail for five, ten, 15 years, or life on account of consensual sex with adolescents. It shows disregard for the freedom of us all.

source: Article 'Sexophobic Therapy Invades the Gay Community' by Bill Andriette; Reprinted in: NAMBLA Bulletin, vol. 10, n. 7; September 1989 (June and 10.5 wrongly on cover); Originally: Gay Community News; 23 July 1989