The Lolita Complex goes both ways.

While Humberts are in a position to exploit the age difference for the rest of their lives ("That's the thing about high school girls...I keep getting older, but they stay the same age..."), we Lolitas must act quickly before we seep uncomfortably into womanhood. Nabokov refers to the "echoes" of nymphetry being visible in grown women, and it is to this that many of us cling tenaciously, myself included. At some point, plaid skirts and kneesocks will make me ridiculous as opposed to adorable. I fear that point will be soon, or that it has passed and I didn't notice.

There is benefit to being an Echo. True Humberts will be sharp enough to detect even the faintest trace of nymphet, long as she is kept alive and petulent somewhere under the dimpled thighs and diverging hips. Wise Humberts do not put themselves in moral and legal danger by taking advantage of the sensual precociousness afforded by true nymphets. In plain terms, no matter how much that thirteen year old wants to fuck a given Humbert (an believe me...some of them really, really do), it is best to deny them catagorically. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

But as an Echo, at any age past fourteen (the official boundary for pure nymphetry that becomes diluted as time progesses), we become more and more acceptable partners as our personal numbers swell (18...20...34-24-34...). A nymphet's Echo in a twenty-year-old is completely legal, moral, and will not be taken advantage of. We know what we're doing. And even better, we know how to do it.

I used to mourn the loss of my years. I thought I was leaving my childhood behind. I realize now that I can take it with me. I can pick my Humberts so much better. And they may dally with me with no fear of legal repercussion. The inherent danger in being a teen girl has been conquered. Huzzah!

Not to say that I'm slutting around with every good-looking older man I can get my hands on. Quite the opposite. I'm totally monogamous with my (slightly younger) boyfriend. But it's the principle of the thing.