Glen has fought for years to escape a brutal home life, one in which he acts as his mother’s only friend and to accept that his father has been molesting his sister for over a decade.
But after dropping out of high school and spending years working aimless jobs, Glen finally turns a new chapter when he enters the thrill of college life.
But with that freedom comes disturbing sexual desires and inclinations. Having become increasingly reliant on his own fantasy world, Glen soon finds himself mired in the world of adult pornography and struggling with his attraction to both women and girls.
Haunted by the damage his father’s actions wrought on his family and other victims, Glen must come to terms with his admiration for the exact thing his father so actively destroyed.
More relevant than ever in today’s hypersexualized world, Lolita in the Lion’s Den or Pre-Tween Juxtaposition is an emotionally provocative read that gets to the heart of some of society’s most pressing issues.
Targeted Age Group:: adults 21 and over
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
True life events compelled me to write Lolita in the Lion’s Den. I always felt that we tolerate people truly being people only to a certain degree. We say we want truth, but how much do we want this? When I read Nabokov’s Lolita and when I read many other books on the subject, it seemed we always got the most horrid kind of main character: a psychopath or a character with anti-social characteristics that offends against a child with no or little regard. I thought about a real-life scenario, where men I knew did not offend but were really struggling with their sexual identities while being well aware and unwilling to actually offend. Yet the society saw them as rapist-murderers. I thought to ask this question in a form of a novel: what if you, dear reader, woke up and found you were attracted to someone under the age of eighteen? This is not an easy subject, but compelling things never are.
Yet this is not all. It also became clear to me that we are overprotecting children. As someone who was part and among continuous abuse, and as one who studies the sex-trafficking trade–and as one who worked in child care for over a decade–I became well aware that we do not take sexuality seriously in our society. When I noted on my past Facebook page that the trend in pornography today is women in pigtails shot on school buses and terms such as barely legal, I got the following response: “I am happy to know that you are up to date with the latest trends in porn. You make us proud.” Though I found myself laughing too, it shows that we do not distinguish between unhealthy sexuality (largely pornography) and healthy sex (positive relationships). We do not take sex seriously. For all of us, we never get a good education about our sexual selves. Kids are in the dark, and that makes them victims. I realized that almost all the research on sex crime points to victims and almost none to the offenders. Yet sex-trafficking offenders are guys like me: middle aged, married white guys with kids living on the safe street. I realized kids, especially girls, need a kind of sexual education revolution in the US, and that can only come from a better understanding of sexuality and all of it’s faces, not just the face we are comfortable with.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Glen really is the best character to look at an unaccepted sexual identity or set of identities and the danger girls face. The Lolita in the book is not a girl per say. Glen puts himself in place of Lolita at times, and Lolita is also used as a word to describe how society sees any girl that is interested in her sexuality. I do not mean her interest in older men. That’s the old school definition of Lolita–a sexually promiscuous girl who likes much older men. No that is what society wants. My definition is a young girl much older men take advantage of and Glen would know this. As he struggles with his attraction for girls, he also understands what makes girls most at risk. He wants to protect them, not harm them. After all, who knows a computer better than a hacker?
“Honey, I have a bit of, well. I have a Lolita Complex, and I think I have had it for years.” I said this facing Sandy in our kitchen out of desperation. I wrote a letter that morning telling her that maybe we should split, that I would come over, help with the kids. I realized earlier that week that I was lying or keeping things from her because my real secrets were never out. She never knew about my family past, about who my father was. She didn’t touch me for a week after finding out. I felt like a criminal, like I was my father, and she blamed me.
I looked in the mirror earlier that week, and I saw my dad fighting through my face. I saw myself the way I really was. Don’t we always see ourselves in a much better light than is actually the case? Unless you are a girl, though, and told you never measure up. There I was a middle-aged man, who, yes, had a job, but I never listened to my spouse. She lived like a prisoner for three years, stuck in a house with twins. I was getting old and ugly and I had these fetishes.
“I got that impression. I knew something was up with you. How bad is it?”
“Well, not bad. I mean, I don’t want to have sex with kids or anything. It’s a kind of fantasy.”
She sat in thought for a moment.
“I don’t want any more bombs with you. I want security, damn it! I just never know what is around the corner. You dropped that letter on me earlier. You want to give up, don’t you? On us?”
“No, honey, I don’t. But I feel that you cannot accept this, all this shit.”
“I want you to see someone about it and see what they have to say. I worry about Zoey, you know.”
“I am fine with seeing someone. I told you because that is what experts say to do, that the best thing is to tell people that are close to you. I feel stupid. It’s not the main thing with me, but it eats at me, maybe because of my father.”
I cannot recall the conversation further, but unlike what I thought, she did not scream, run out of the room, or call the police. Of course, she thought I was being unreasonable. I went to see Doctor S, the conversation I had earlier in the story, came home, and met her with the kids on the playground.
She looked nervous, waiting for the verdict.
“Well, what did he say?”
“He said I was normal, but he said to be careful. You worry about Zoey, but he said many men can have attraction to their daughters. It’s what they do with it that is critical. I am not attracted to her, you know. She is three.” I grimace. “He said we need to work on our relationship.”
I was ready to move on and be happy. Sandy broke into tears. I think what men have to learn about women in relationships is that a woman crying is a good thing. That is the pathway to healing for women. The worse thing to see from your “girl” is a straight face or no emotion. If you are getting that, you are in serious trouble. On the contrary, I had to deal with so much shit as a child that I think I was always in a kind of combat or combat-ready mode, “deal with it and move on.”
So I have a bit of a thing for girls, no specific age, just how they hit me, how they are presented among other triggers. It’s more normal than abnormal and even if it is abnormal and the doc does not want to tell me that, I am not hurting anyone. I am moving on. But Sandy was still hurting, and even through my self-centered thinking and even through my nasty criticism of psychology, Dr. S. said something that seeped in: “You keep talking about how you want to help others—girls, your wife, family—but you seem to talk a lot about YOU.” Dr. S. said something I needed to hear. “Glen, with all due respect, you are being a dick!”
“It’s like a knife, Glen, you keep sticking me with it,” Sandy said—”All this shit. I want you to say you are sorry.”
She said this to me for weeks, even months. I was numb and angry. Finally, I said to her, “I am too angry at you to say I am sorry. That is like a boyfriend looking at his girlfriend whose father compromised or raped her and telling her that she owes him an apology! What do you want from me? I was a victim in this.”
I was still not getting it. I needed to see her point of view. I needed to understand that she was willing to be with me despite all my flaws, but what she wanted was love. Would you want to be with a guy like me? She wanted to know that I was sorry, that I loved HER.
“You know how disgusting it is for me to look at you and think you are a pervert? You may be looking at girls? Did you think how humiliating that is for me? I used to have you on my arm, and I was proud. I felt good. When I was young I was kind of the ‘Queen Bee.’ I made friends and people looked up to me. Now I have you, and I am ashamed to be with you.”
This time I listened instead of storming off.
“Glen, maybe you are a pervert, then you have to accept that, but don’t expect other people to accept it. Don’t expect society to. I think a lot of men like young girls, and I think their wives know that. But that does not mean their wives want to hear about it. Go ahead and write, but stop talking about going into psychology and making a career change now. Where does that leave me? You have a career and I struggle to survive just to see the next day, and then you talk about changing careers. I don’t even have one!”
“I know,” I said. “I am sorry.” Yes, I got accepted into a sexology and psychology program, but the workload would truly be too much. What I realized was that Sandy and I were seeking the same thing: stability. I wanted a place to study and talk about what affected me, my sexuality, and my life in a more positive way (rather than hiding and jerking off now and then). She wanted a sincere relationship with me, and she wanted a career of her own.
I said, “You asked me why I kept things from you, and the Lolita thing is why. When one has to always hide in the shadows, then life becomes a lie. On some level people have to hear about it. I can never be who I am. I knew this was hurting us because I could not tell you the truth. It’s funny. I am writing, you know, and no therapist ever got it, but I was talking about a book idea to a stranger, an editor in New York, and I told her the first sentence of my synopsis for my memoir and she said, “Oh, my, you were so vulnerable as a child, you wanted to save your mother, your sister, and the girls around you, and you feel that you failed…”
I broke down and sobbed like a baby. I told her I was sorry. Sandy embraced me warmly, the way she used to.
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