I had an experience around seven or eight which might have been either an expression of my preferences or possibly nurtured them into existence. In any event, it has been haunting me for the last week or so and I've no idea why, so I'm giving it some attention.
There was a fairly cute lil girl in my class who one day the teacher told us had some sort of an accident, got amnesia, and would be out for a while. For whatever reason, this seemed to have a profound impact on me. I would fantasize about taking care of her, nursing this fragile girl back to health, and somewhere in this I also found myself falling in love with her, imagining us kissing and snuggling, becoming her hero and protector, all that my young little brain could conceive as romance, and it felt extremely righteous, noble and deeply satisfying to me in terms of what I suspected true love must really be.
I basically fell in love with her through her extreme state of vulnerability and need, and I now think it imprinted heavily on my future orientation. I'm not sure I ever posted about this experience before. I have a few others both before and after it which I think also had an effect on what I came to adore most, but this one may have slipped through the cracks in my many retrospective searches for what may have nurtured me toward my love of young girls and the off-limits vulnerability status which society tends to stamp on their foreheads. Could it be that many of us are not looking at prey, but a form of damsels in distress?
I know that phrase is bound to make feminists twitch with triggering. All the more reason for me to use it. Would love to know if anyone else fell in love with a girl in their childhood who was particularly vulnerable in some way or in need of a defending hero. There is satisfaction in this concept which I suspect many researchers are not very apt to take into consideration in their studies.