Sober Teen

Friday, May 07, 2010

Question

I made a lot of mistakes in my junior year of high school. I started drinking beer, which was not a good idea because it led to me having sex before I really wanted to. I got a bad reputation for being a slut. Other girls stopped being friends with me, and then the only people I had to hang out with her the "bad kids" who encouraged me to do even more outrageous things. I finally decided, after a guy tried to turn me over to his friends once he was done with me, that I had to stop. The sex wasn't even pleasurable. I did it because I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted somebody to like me. And I still don't understand why guys will pressure you for sex and say anything to you, then treat you like shit once they get off.

I stopped drinking and told my mom I needed to go to Ala-Teen. This is a great program that helped me get sober and understand myself better. It also helped me deal with the fact that my dad is an alcoholic and my mother just won't stand up to him or confront him with his disease. She didn't have any problem with me going to meetings; she drove me to them but didn't want to come to very many herself.

The problem is, what do I do about my reputation in school? I still have a whole year to get through. I stopped seeing my friends who drank, even though I am worried about some of them, and I have got my grades to come up. But I'd still like to have a boyfriend. I get approached every now and then and asked out but I am afraid to say yes. I am suspicious that all the guys in this school still think I am the local booty call. I have sexual desires but it seems like sex with guys wasn't going to satisfy me, so what exactly do I really want? Girls don't turn me on. I just feel really lonely. By trying to be healthy, have I made myself so good that nobody else will want to hang out with me?

Answer

This is a tough situation. First of all, hang on to the fact that high school sucks. You will be out of there in one year. Life after high school is ten times better. In the real world, all the kids who were cool in high school get stuck in sad lives, and it's the freaks who take off, meet other freaks in college, and have creative and fantastic lives. Just don't drop out, whatever happens, because you do want to go on to college and get an education that will help you to make a decent living.

Continue to go to meetings. Talk about the problems you are having in school. See if you can get phone numbers from teens who understand your situation, so you can hang out with them after school. If your mother was willing to support your meetings, hopefully she will understand that spending time with sober people your own age is a good idea. Who knows, you might even meet a cute boy in program.

When guys ask you out, find out more about them. I think you need to set up a test to see whether they want to get to know you or just have sex. Set up a first date that is very un-sexy, like doing homework in the library or having dinner with your family. If he won't agree, that's your answer.

eenage boys as a group are fairly dense about women and sex. Often nobody has taught them that respecting women is important if you ever want to have fun with them. They don't value intimate relationships. They have their own ambivalence and shame about sex which they project onto their partners. It's sexism at work.

Unfortunately, because of differences between men's and women's bodies, and our culture's denial of women's pleasure, it's easier for boys to enjoy their early sexual encounters. Adolescent males are focused on being able to have intercourse. They don't understand the principle of giving pleasure in order to get more. And they haven't learned to enjoy touching and pleasuring a woman, just for its own sake, because it is beautiful and fun. The fact that you are disgusted with males your own age doesn't mean you are gay or bisexual. It just means they don't know how to be good sexual partners, and you aren't old enough or experienced enough to be assertive and tell them what to do.

Masturbation is a harmless alternative to icky sex with disrespectful jerks. And you'll learn things that you can share with a more considerate and mature lover. Next time you have sex with another person, resolve to put your own needs on the agenda. Pleasure should be mutual. I can understand (barely) that not every man, especially a young man, knows how to stroke or lick a clitoris. But it's actually not that difficult to learn. If he's not willing to learn, he deserves to go home with a boner in his pants and a bee in his ear.

This might be the hardest year of your life. Think of it that way and hang on. Once you get that diploma, your life is going to take a turn for the better. I promise.

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