Girllove is a map attraction to girls. A person experiencing such an attraction is called a girllover (commonly abbreviated as GL). Another word for this attraction is korephilia, although it is most often applied to girlloving women in particular.
Girllove is an attraction towards significantly younger children or adolescents who are girls. People who find this attraction personally important to their identity may call themselves girllovers.
Girllove does not need to be exclusive or preferential, girllovers may also be attracted to boys and non-binary children, as well as women, men, and non-binary adults. Their own gender may also vary. A girllover may have other identities, such as boylover or childlover. Girllovers who are attracted to particularly young girls may call themselves little girl lovers, commonly abbreviated as LGL.
History and Community
The girllove identity emerged much later than boylove. It appears that before late 80s girllovers were mostly referred to as "hets" or "hetpeds" by their BL counterparts (following the common assumption that these people were all men). One of the first written pieces, mentioning girllove, is a third issue of a magazine Uncommon Desires, out in 1989. This text also gives us one of the first definitions of girllove:
By "girl-love," we mean a loving and nurturing erotic/affectional (though not necessarily sexualized) attraction to girls and women under the age of 18, always mindful of the developmental needs and desires of the subjects of our attraction.
- Uncommon Desires
Historically, girllove and boylove communities were often separate, due to common beliefs about inherent differences between boys and girls. Tom O'Carroll recalls that GLs were even looked down at:
In these circumstances, much to my disgust, GLs were often disparaged by the BLs in PIE. All too often I found it necessary to challenge self-righteous BLs who would claim outrageously, without any evidence, that BLs are the nice guys and that "the real molesters" are the GLs. This allowed them to scapegoat GLs as the cause of society's hatred, just as many gays would point the finger at all CLs. The rationale for this discrimination, insofar as there was any, often invoked the newly fashionable feminist thinking of the time: men were being portrayed as oppressive and exploitative towards the traditionally "weaker sex." BLs perspicaciously noted that boys were not members of the weaker sex. Ergo, men did not oppress or exploit them! Or something like that.
- Tom O'Carroll for Alicelovers Magazine
The gap was significantly lessened through creation of inclusive initiatives, such as mental support space Life Line, and later through appearance of less homogenous, more diverse map communities on mainstream social media platforms.
The girllove logo (pictured above) was developed somewhere around 2000. Some of its original designs included presenting the outer heart as blue, assuming the girllover to be a man by default.
In 2018 a map ally Charles made a GL flag, following the pattern of the map flag. The little girl lover symbol was designed by Pappy in 2020 on basis of the little boy lover symbol. The teen girl lover symbol was added by Lecter in 2023.
There isn't much known about women in map activism due to decades of erasure, but the bits of information that we do have indicate that many map women are GLs.
We're aware of only two books about female childlove. "Op een oude fiets moet je het leren" ("Special Women's Issue" of Paidika) is MOSTLY about female girl-love, "Daar sta je dan... alleen!" is ONLY about female girl-love:
An interesting Dutch book about female childlove is "Op een oude fiets moet je het leren" (1992), written by feminists Marjan Sax and Sjuul Deckwitz (and others). It is about erotic and sexual relationships between women and young girls and boys. It includes interviews and discusses the historic, psychological and sociological aspects of women-child relationships. The ISBN number of the book is 90-6012-885-0. The English version, "Special Women's Issue" of Paidika, includes almost the same articles as this book.
Another good, but also sad, Dutch book about female childlove is "Daar sta je dan... alleen!" (1984), by Danielle Vandenbosch. It is the diary of a sixteen year old girl, describing her discovery of her special feelings for and relations with young girls. The ISBN number of the book is 90-71033-01-5, but the book can only be bought via Stichting Jep, Eindhoven (the Netherlands). Their phonenumber is +31-(0)40-434434.
- Female Childlove site
The Female Childlove site also posted a letter from a female GL Isabella with a following confession: "It wasn't before I was past 30 that I realized I was also pedophile. I always thought of age as being unimportant and of homosexual pedophilia as being part of homosexuality, so I never put any borders between ages or who I fell in love with or felt attracted to."
- John Ruskin (8 February, 1819 - 20 January, 1900), an English writer and philosopher. According to his own admission, he fell in love with 11 year old Rose La Touche, whom he met when she was 9 or 10 and proposed later, when she was 17. He also made numerous requests for his artist friend Kate Greenaway to draw nude girls for him.
- Lewis Carrol, aka Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (January 27, 1832 - January 14, 1898), an English writer and mathematician. He is known for a very intense emotional relationship with Alice Liddel, who was 3 years old when they first met, and also for a special interest in taking photos of little girls, sometimes nude.
- Humbert Humbert, the protagonist of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. He is an adult man with an almost exclusive attraction to young adolescent girls.
- Thomas Lynn, one of the key characters of Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. He meets the protagonist Polly when she is 10 years old and falls in love with her as their friendship develops in the following couple of years.
- Ougai Mori, one of the antagonists of Bungou Stray Dogs manga, written by Kafka Asagiri and Sango Harukawa. He has an ability to summon a supernatural entity, which he willed to take the form of a 10-12 year old girl, whom he calls his wife.
- Korephilia, A Map in Love, Katie Cruz.
- MAPs are queer, but are we in here? Heretic TOC, a comment by Tom O'Carroll: ">am I right re. the heteroped > "girllover" thing being around the start of the 90s? Depends what you mean by "thing". It looks as though you mean the term itself, in which case I think you are right. I cannot recall us talking about GLs in PIE. To the extent that we had a term, in the 1970s it was "hets", or "hetpeds". One of our magazines, called Magpie, had a section for GLs but the terms "GL", or "girllove" were not used. Instead, it was called "Hets Corner"."
- Uncommon Desires, 3.
- A Modest Proposal... by Tom O'Carroll, Alicelovers Magazine, issue 2.
- Visions of Alice.
- Female Childlove, Library via Wayback Machine.
- Female Childlove, Isabel via Wayback Machine.
- John Ruskin’s sexuality, The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia.
- Was Lewis Carroll a Pedophile? His Photographs Suggest So, Lorena Muñoz-Alonso, January 30, 2015, via Artnet.