A few months ago, not long after breaking things off with Heath, I hooked up with a friend of mine. BAD IDEA, you holler, but chill out; we were more friends by association. Our social groups overlapped significantly, but not to the point where I saw him every weekend even when we lived in the same state – which, at time of hookup, we hadn’t in three or four years. I’d had a very minor crush on him since undergrad, because he is tall and not horrendous looking (tall and not horrendous looking is my type) and occasionally funny. (Funny is my REAL type, but it’s a rare quality. Dudes don’t THINK it’s a rare quality, but it really, really is.)
Regardless: we’re at a friend’s wedding, he stares at me all night, he gets grabby at the after party, we hook up.
Not right. The hookup was meh at best. Of course, while unfortunate, a meh hookup is forgivable.
What is unforgivable is my reaction to this below-average hookup.
Before he scooted out the door post-bizness time, I kissed him and revealed my crush. I told him I liked him. In my defense, I at least qualified it; it wasn’t like I spilled my heart all over the place or anything (I think I would’ve stuck my head in a oven the next day if I had), but nonetheless, I told him I liked him. I told him I had liked him for a while.
Why? Why did I do this? That question has been revolving around my head since the event. What made me tell a guy for whom I had neutral feelings, during a boring and unfulfilling sexual experience, that I like liked him?
Why did I give him that power?
Slowly, it came to me. One word, spiraling up from where it had been hidden all along:
I told a guy I didn’t really like – not in that way – that I liked him. In that way. Because I was afraid to be the kind of person who might be identified as “slutty.”
Once I figured this out, I sat and stared at a wall for about an hour.
I am not someone who puts any stock, at ALL, in someone’s promiscuity or lack thereof. Slut-shaming is vile and upholds double standards that have no place in my life. I don’t care if you sleep with someone on the first date or after marriage or never. As long as the sex is enthusiastically consensual and protected, knock yourself the hell out.
Therefore, the realization that I confessed something embarrassing because of societal pressure on women to not be “slutty” was disappointing in so many ways.
Allowing yourself to be categorized, or to categorize others, as sluts merely gives men power over women in bed that they do not deserve to have.
Next up: Why Won’t She Sleep With Me!? On Sluttiness (Part II of II)