My sexual thoughts

The following questions concern sexual thoughts and fantasies. It is useful to distinguish between the two.

What are thoughts?

Thoughts are all mental activity including ideas, opinions, beliefs, values, judgements and impressions. Thoughts are the voice in our head which govern what we do. We are not always aware of our thoughts but they are always there. Thoughts can be automatic, fleeting or more prolonged. Thought processes provide us with the capacity to reason, use logic, common sense and put ideas together. Your mind is seldom empty of thoughts-even when you are asleep your mind is active.

What is fantasy?

Do you ever think about winning the lottery? How would you spend the money? Where would you go?

This is one example of a fantasy. A fantasy is something that is imagined and develops from our thoughts. It is a mental image or pattern of thoughts that can be triggered independently or by an external situation or stimulus. Any fantasy that initiates feelings of sexual arousal or heightens arousal is considered a sexual fantasy.

Now consider the following questions.

1. Do you have sexual thoughts about children in the following age range?

  • 0 – 5 years
  • 6 – 12 years
  • 13 – 18 years

2. Are these sexual thoughts about?

  • Boys
  • Girls
  • Both boys and girls

3. How often do you have these thoughts?

  • Everyday
  • Once or twice a week
  • Occasionally

4. Are you aware of what triggers your sexual thoughts about children? (e.g. a sight, sound, an image, a person, mood or situation)

5. When do these thoughts usually occur?

  • At night
  • During the day
  • At anytime

6. Do you have sexual thoughts about adults?

  • Yes
  • No

7. If the answer to Q6 is yes which sexual thoughts do you have most often?

  • Sexual thoughts about adults
  • Sexual thoughts about children
  • About the same

8. If the answer to Q6 is no and you have only ever had sexual thoughts about children how long have you been aware of this?

  • All my life
  • For a few years
  • I only recently became aware of this

9. List the feelings you experience when having sexual thoughts about children.

10. What do you say to yourself when you have sexual thoughts about children?

11. What do you feel like doing when you have sexual thoughts about children?

12. Do your sexual thoughts about children ever develop into sexual fantasies about them?

  • Always
  • Sometimes
  • Never

13. If the answer to Q12 is ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’ please consider the following in relation to the content of the fantasy:

  • The child is consenting
  • The child has been persuaded, forced or coerced
  • The child is unhappy, distressed.

14. How often do you masturbate to sexual fantasies about children?

  • Always
  • Sometimes
  • Never

15. Do you have any other sexual thoughts that concern you?

16. Do you feel more emotionally close to or intimate with children than you do with adults?

17. Do you feel you relate more easily to children than to adults?

18. Do you spend a lot of time in the company of children? (e.g. at home, work or when engaging in leisure activities)

19. When reflecting on your answers consider the following statements and identify which you think best applies to you:

  • Most of my sexual thoughts are about age appropriate adults.
  • Most of my sexual thoughts are about children. (If this second statement applies to you, what is the age range of the children you have sexual thoughts about?)
  • I have sexual thoughts about both adults and children but the majority relate to adults.
  • I have sexual thoughts about both adults and children but the majority relate to children.

20. Based on your answers what do you consider to be your main/primary sexual interest?

  • Prepubescent children
  • Adolescents/teenagers
  • Adults

21. Do you consider this to be an exclusive sexual interest (e.g. restricted/limited to this interest alone)?

22. Having considered which statement in Q19 is most appropriate to you, identify what concerns you have about these sexual thoughts. REMEMBER that sexual thoughts – of whatever type – do not of themselves determine behaviour and it is possible to manage the sexual thoughts that concern you.

Having given these questions some thought you might find it helpful to summarise your thoughts before continuing to the next section.

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