University of Southern California

Negotiating Sex

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Article by Michelle J. Anderson
From Volume 78, Number 6 (September, 2005)

Adrienne had just turned thirteen. Late one autumn night, after her siblings and parents had fallen asleep, she crawled out of bed, walked downstairs to the basement, unlocked and opened the sliding glass door, and slipped outside.

It was Mike’s idea. He was a varsity basketball player from a nearby high school. Mike proposed they both sneak out and meet on the street halfway between their houses. Wanting Mike to like her, Adrienne agreed.

Mike never showed.

At that hour, the suburban streets were still. Adrienne walked three miles to Mike’s house, where she found him waiting in his front yard. He signaled for her to come into the house. “Don’t make any noise because my parents are asleep,” he said. “They’d kill me if they found us in here.” So throughout the night, Adrienne remained silent.

Mike led her downstairs into the family room. Now that she was inside his house, a deep fear set in, and Adrienne panicked. In her words, “I just completely left my body.” She does not know how her clothes came off. All she remembers is coming back to the intense pain of Mike ramming inside her. He was ripping her apart. She blacked out.

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