Almost two years ago, I began dating a young woman.

Let me rephrase: Two years ago, I asked out a young girl, my equal chronologically, who was much less mature than I at the time.

For many years, I have prided myself on my individuality, my intelligence, my maturity, my seamless compatibility with adults. It was with this attitude that I embarked on a journey that would fail miserably and leave burning, stinking wreckage in its wake.

Two years ago, I was invited to go on a road trip to Six Flags with my girlfriend and her family. Her twin sister had also invited her boyfriend to join the trek, so it was a full vehicle.

This young woman's parents had not had sex since their daughters' birth, sixteen and a half years ago. They delighted in controlling every aspect possible of their daughters' lives, and being informed of every detail not controlled. I was a threat to this family unit, because I encouraged individual voices and actions, I valued secrecy, and I expressed my views with zeal to other people. If I turned one of their daughters into an individual, I would have ruined their way of life.

Six Flags was uneventful. On the way back, we stayed in a hotel, payed for by the girls' father. The family of four shared a room, and the other boyfriend and I shared a room. We rented movies from the front desk and proceeded to watch them with our significant others. Though this young woman and I had professed our love for each other several times, we had yet to consummate the relationship with a kiss, until that fateful evening in our hotel room with a movie playing. As a matter of fact, this young woman had never been kissed before. It happened in slow motion, as first kisses do, and was quite a moving experience for both of us. I went to bed with a smile on my face.

Her parents asked me about it in the car the next morning, blaming me for stealing their poor, innocent daughter's first kiss. They accused me of depriving many boyfriends to come of the opportunity to take her first kiss, and called me a bad person for doing it. I try to protest, looking to my mate for support, but she hangs her head, unwilling to aid me in an explosive situation. Her parents are not sane.

The talk escalated. They began to decide that it wasn't acceptable for their daughter's first kiss to be in a hotel room, or with me. They concluded that there was nothing they could do to prevent her from kissing me, but that they could force a "do-over" of the kiss the previous night. They ordered me to kiss their daughter, in front of them, to negate the events of the night and create a controlled "first kiss."

Being told what to do doesn't sit well with me. Being stingy with public affection as I am, the thought of locking lips with this young woman in front of her family was less than appealing. Being the idealist that I am, I much preferred the real first kiss that took place last night, and not this pathetic attempt for a more "acceptable" ravaging of their daughter's innocence. Being the introvert that I am, I was astonished that this young woman before me would go and tell her parents the juicy details of our exploits. This was an uncomfortable situation.

I said "No." That should have ended it. I had expressed that I was not comfortable doing what they told me to do, and they should have accepted that. They didn't. The Mistress directed the Mister to pull the vehicle over to the side of the highway, and turn off the engine. He did. Taking a camera out of her purse, she again directed me to kiss her daughter and informed me that she would immortalize the event because I had been so stubborn.

I'm reminded of child pornography. The thought flashes through my head: "This is what those poor children must feel. They're beaten and degraded into submission. They're guilted into feeling that they've done something wrong. They're forced to do something they don't want to do so that they can return to the safety of their home, or their bedroom." I'm 250 miles away from my home, and my Mom and my Dad. I have no protection. The only ally I have is obediently complying with the Mistress's wishes.

I refused again. For fifteen minutes, we sat at the side of the road, baking in the Georgia Summer sun. The Mistress had forbidden the Mister from opening any windows. I was standing up for my ideals. I was standing up for myself as a person. I was standing up for the ownership of my relationship with this poor young woman. I was standing up for the sanctity of teenage love.

However, I wanted to go home. I wanted to be safe again. I kissed their daughter, and the Mister ignited the engine and took me home. It was in that moment that I surrendered control of my relationship to her parents. In that moment, I compromised my individuality. In that moment, I ceased to be a strong individual, and became a shameful, cowering, fearing inferior who flinched at the slightest parental disapproval incurred by his actions.

It was downhill from there. My schoolwork bombed. I began to cut myself. I expressed to this young woman that the world would be a better place without her family, and without her to carry on the genes. I expressed my willingness to remove them from existence if nature did not take care of it myself. I dropped out of high school. I've been at home for approximately 5 months now. I have no job, no car, and no money.

I am traumatized for life, and can only hope that scar tissue can work miracles.