The reservedness in which I dipped my foot into the varied social pools had its effect on my ability to make any headway with the opposite sex. For years I would pine for girls, all of whom resided in the upper strata of the social hierarchy, lusting after them, unable to understand why they would prefer to be with the bland, characterless teenage boys instead of me. I could offer them a balance of charm, intelligence, and good looks that these ubiquitous dullards could never match. On the other hand, I knew several girls, some of whom were fairly attractive, but who mostly existed in the more outlying social spheres who were quite interested in me. Their friends would tell me they liked me, encouraging me to ask so-and-so out, but I would never act. And, as a result, for most of my teenage years, any girl I finally worked up the nerve to ask out, rejected me, denying me my first kiss until I was much older than most of my contemporaries. And, like most teenage boys, or so I thought, I was obsessed with sex. When I was 12, I discovered a stack of VHS tapes hidden in the back of my father’s liquor closet and I quickly became fanatical. As with anything I would take an interest in, the need to watch them, to observe them, began to drive my actions. I would hurry home from school on days when my siblings had sports practice just so I could have the house to myself, to study these tapes, and of course, to jerk off my teenage cock, which I had started to form a new relationship with. This continued throughout high school, watching the films, broadening my perspective on what was sexually acceptable, studying the techniques, and fantasizing about what it would be like to finally have the opportunity to reenact what I had seen with any number of the girls that I wished would notice me. But, I never really got that opportunity—at least not the way I thought I would. I did however get the opportunity to spend a month in Berlin during my senior year, which looking back may have been the most important event of my young life. My school had been selected to participate in a program that sent top students overseas for part of a semester and although I didn’t qualify on grades alone, my vast and varied activities and interests pushed me into contention for one of the coveted slots. And, of course, my parents fully supported this.