Boylove, or BL, as used by Paraklesis, refers to an emotional and sexual attraction that some men have towards prepubescent or adolescent boys. This attraction involves not only a sexual component, but also those that are affectionate, emotional, and frequently even spiritual and intellectual.  In addition, these feelings are a deep and enduring aspect of a boylover's psychological make-up.  For these reasons, boylovers consider their configuration of feelings to be an orientation, although many in the mental health profession do not agree with boylovers or even with each other on this point.  There is no scientific research to support either view.

Generally, those who identify themselves as boylovers accept BL as a positive or neutral characteristic, rather than as inherently sick, sinful, or evil.  Their experience is that an attraction toward children or adolescents is on average no stronger or more obsessive than an attraction toward adults, and that they can control their feelings as do all responsible people.

Boylovers tend to experience a deep love and affection for certain boys to whom they are attracted.  They desire to get to know them, care for them, and develop a close emotional bond with them.  They enjoy their personalities, and celebrate their abilities and accomplishments.

Boylovers are strongly opposed to coerced sexual acts.  However, there is great variety of beliefs regarding sexual behavior with boys who are sexually interested.  Some boylovers believe sexual expression is always wrong for moral, religious, or psychological reasons, others believe it is wrong due to societal and/or legal consequences, others believe it is acceptable under certain circumstances (e.g., depending on the quality of the relationship and maturity of the boy), and others believe recreational sex with willing boys is acceptable.  Christian boylovers tend to be more conservative in their views than non-religious boylovers.

Like all other people, boylovers do not choose their orientation, and it is not known what causes it.  Most boylovers have normal childhoods, and most boys who grow up in dysfunctional or abusive homes do not grow up to be boylovers.  Most sexologists believe that heterosexual and homosexual orientations develop as a result of complex interactions among genetics, physiological characteristics, and environmental factors.  Many boylovers believe that this also applies to BL.

Many boylovers who have attempted to change their orientation say their ability to love others and their self-esteem have been severely damaged.  The American Psychiatric Association claims that this attraction begins in adolescence, and efforts to eliminate it usually are ineffective.  However, like ex-gays, some boylovers have found change possible.  Many Christian boylovers acknowledge that God can change one's orientation if he wishes to, but feel that he often apparently chooses not to.  God does however promise that his grace will be sufficient, and that his power will be made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Paraklesis believes that boylovers are called to rejoice in what God has given them, and to seek to channel their love for boys in healthy ways.  Most boylovers are able to control their behavior, and many form special friendships with their young friends (YFs) that are life-giving and satisfying for both.



© 2002 Paraklesis