I’m 14 years old and recently I’ve been worried about some problems. And I blame myself for all that knowing that I can hurt somebody. When I was 13 I didn’t know about all the paraphilias that existed and never thought of anything related to it but I had an experience with my dog. I never forced or touched my pet in any way and it lasted a few seconds until I realized it was bad and never did it again. Also sometimes I tend to watch people in their private parts. now that I’m aware of the consequences I avoid doing it cause I can affect other people and also myself. I know watching people like that is normal during adolescence but I can’t help feeling guilty. Do I have a problem or do I need help about this experiences?
A. Generally speaking, it is normal for adolescents to be sexually curious. Sometimes that curiosity will go in the direction of an animal. It is a mistake that is more common than people would like to admit. It is a mistake and is wrong for many reasons. Mistakes happen but they should not be repeated. If you learn from a mistake, it will not be repeated.
Animals should never be a part of the sexual equation. They are helpless creatures who cannot consent to sexual acts. This is in part why harming animals is now considered a felony offense. Animal cruelty of any kind is considered a “crime against humanity.” It’s also considered a precursor to a larger crime.
Sexual contact with animals is never okay. It is considered abusive, exploitative and it is illegal in the United States. It’s also risky to one’s health. Over 200 zoonotic diseases can be transmitted to humans through sexual contact with animals. Some research also suggests that individuals who engage in these types of sexual acts with animals have themselves been victims of sexual abuse.
You mentioned feeling guilty. That is a good sign because it indicates that you have a strong sense of right and wrong. That level of insight and awareness is a very positive sign. It significantly decreases the probability of your repeating the same behavior.
I would encourage you to consult a mental health professional who can answer your questions about sexuality. A therapist will not be judgmental or surprised by your questions. Therapists receive training in human sexuality. The more open and honest you can be about your curiosity, the more clarity you will receive about your sexuality. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle