Age Play Is Being Used To Treat Pedophiles
Yes, you read that right! The final and most controversial presentation of the day was David Ortmann, LCSW’s “Age Play: Eros, Practicality, and Walking the Edge.” Age play is a form of consensual role-playing where you pretend to be a different age from your own. Babies, teenagers, and grandmas are all fair game. A tame version of this is dressing up like a school girl and having your partner spank you; adult babies are another example. Ortmann’s presentation focused predominantly on how he has seen age play work to help pedophiles (as well as hebephiles who are attracted to pubescents and ephebophiles who are attracted to post-pubescent adolescents) not act on harmful impulses—rather than molest anyone, through age play, they can pretend to do so consensually with another adult. He calls this group of people “AEAOs, or Alternative Erotic Age Orientation,” and has said he has seen success in helping them not act upon desires by engaging in age play with legal adults.
“I use age play as a conscious sexual intervention with the AEAOs I have worked with in my private practice over the years with great success of keeping them from putting themselves in harm’s way by viewing illegal material, and avoid putting themselves and a young person in harm’s way by acting out with a child,” Ortmann wrote to NYLON in an email. Obviously, this is a controversial topic, but Ortmann sees it as his job to help them. In some states, like in California, where Ortmann practices (along with New York), mandated reporting laws make it difficult for such individuals to seek treatment without being reported to authorities. “I became a social worker, and later a sex therapist and psychotherapist, to work with the people society had thrown away. At first, it was the homeless and chronically mentally ill. Now, it’s the sexual outsiders—the maligned, the feared, and the brutally misunderstood. It’s my job. I take it very seriously, and I am going to continue to hold a safe space for them to come to,” he added.