Like most, I was a tween when I thought I knew what "love" was: My first so-called date with my first so-called boyfriend, not to mention a large group outing with my friends and his friends, was at the movie theaters. Pop culture showed us that movies are the perfect date and wrapping your arm around her shoulders is the perfect move. My hormonal guy friends showed me that teenage movie dates involved making out, hickies, and other things I found to be utterly trashy at age fourteen. This guy made me realize that not trying to hard was the perfect way to spend a movie date. Like most short lived, premature relationships a lot of our time together was spent at the local theater. On one of these particular occasions, without thinking about it, my right leg slipped and rested on his left thigh. After years of being romantically awkward, I finally felt comfortable with someone of the opposite sex. More even, I felt comfortable talking about it, about attractions, attractive reactions, and something we called, as childish as it may be, "legsex."
At the time I held the little things like these very dear to my heart. I thought being comfortable with this person meant that I loved him. But as quickly as I realized that "legsex" was as universal as holding hands, I realized that the moment at the movie theaters that night was a pivotal point in my growth as a sexual woman. I wasn't in love. And I would become comfortable with numerous men, with "best" friends, like what he was and should have been all along.
How then do I separate lovers from comforters?