The shift from childhood sexuality to adult sexuality happened for me when I was 15 years old. I was dating a guy who was a year older than me. He was my first “real” boyfriend. I thought I loved him…. Well I guess I did love him, but it was unrequited love. His so-called best friend was a girl. I trusted him to be around her because she was actually quite butch. I thought I had absolutely nothing to worry about, because I thought she was a lesbian.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. He cheated on me with her. However, this wasn’t the type of cheating I was used to at that point in my life. For me, cheating meant talking on the phone with another girl, sitting at lunch with another girl, or (this is the big one) kissing another girl. He actually had sex with this girl…. I was absolutely devastated.
After that experience of truly being cheated on, I began to think that maybe if I had been having sex with him, he wouldn’t have done it with her. I started paying attention to the things I would hear on television and read in magazines in regards to being cheated on. These things actually had meaning to me now that I had been through it. I saw shows where women would try to “get back at” their cheating partner by having sex with his friends, destroying his property, and by fighting the other woman. I read in magazines about “how to keep your man satisfied.” I looked to these cultural cues for guidance. I thought they could help cure my pain.
However, I didn’t realize that these television shows and magazines were not intended to appeal to 15 year olds. I thought that in order to ensure that I would never get hurt again I had to do two things: start having sex, and stop having feelings. So that’s exactly what I did. I shifted from the childhood idea of intimacy within a relationship to what I thought was and adult understanding of the concept.