Belly of the beast

Sex on Tuesday

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Yes, Becky, next to whom I am frying eggs on an industrial-size skillet, I fucked your ex-boyfriend last night, and he told me I’m the best he’s ever had. You, yes you, are eating dinner on a countertop that I’ve ridden dick on twice, but don’t worry — I sprayed it down with organic, plant-based, all-purpose surface cleaner. Maybe I am fucking that dirty-haired, van-occupying co-oper you have a kind of, sort of, open “thing” with after that shit Band Night, but maybe I’m not. It doesn’t really matter anyway — I’m just having a good time.

Welcome to the Berkeley Student Cooperative, or BSC, a housing system born and bred off the promise of providing low-cost housing to first-generation, low-income college students who could not afford to house themselves throughout their time in Berkeley without these services — though the system is run-down with privileged, white, hippy wannabes, all of whom spend copious amounts of time desperately attempting to revive some mythic, free love past. From the moment I signed my housing contract, I have taken full advantage of this cooperative sexual energy to reap what, in a way, was never mine.

As the child of poor, Catholic immigrants, sexual liberation was not a fundamental lesson of my upbringing, nor was a crash course on lesbian pornography or anal play, but I quickly learned how to fill in the blanks. From chronic childhood masturbation to the bona fide slut I have become, I discovered my love of skin on skin, my obsession with teeth and blood and the feeling of semen on my tongue, and my desire for more, more, more. Fast-forward, and the Berkeley Student Cooperative has become my playpen — my experimental hub where I have strength-tested everything from self-control to sexual stamina. I had, in record time, discovered my niche in this sexual hierarchy of social capital and implicit bias.

So I wasn’t crunchy or white, unable to fit squarely into the colonized beauty standards of my peers. I, however, comfortably fit the bill for the “ethnic” fetish that fixates itself in the fantasies of half-woke, suburban, white kids. Upon moving into my first BSC house, I quickly discovered that I gave off an air of island-bred exotic, ethnic enough to make you feel like an ally but not so brown that it strays from the eurocentric standard, woke but never forthcoming enough to white shame you to guilt. I became everyone’s first brown-girl fuck, perfect for anyone who wanted just a taste, or a small affirmation in their belief in the benefits of diversity. This light-skinned, pretty privilege gave me a golden ticket to a world of sex and exploration that reached beyond my wildest fantasies.

My first sexual encounters in the BSC tended to follow a very specific pattern: someone complimenting me on my skin, on my nonoffending brownness and how I had the “perfect tan,” or saying they liked my hair, following with an eye-roll worthy “Can I touch it?” And like a zoo animal on display, I mewed for attention, craving the satiating pleasure of validation from my privileged, white captors. I permitted this spectatorship because in BSC, sexual capital equals popularity. So, if you are a person of color, everyone has been indoctrinated to believe that you are not sexy — you are merely the token poverty porn. You are not associated with the fun, sexy, party culture that makes the BSC unique or beautiful. You are a monolith, a picture on a brochure, a diversity statistic; leave the fun for the white folks.

So here I am, naked on a stripper pole, snorting crushed Adderall off of someone’s flaccid penis, licking whipped cream off my roommate’s breasts for the entertainment of my 50-plus housemates during the iconic “Bachelorette” party my co-op throws. Here I am, performing sexy, brown-girl “cool.” Here I am, kissing girls, kissing guys, fucking you, fucking me.

Sex in the BSC has been my key and my prison, but most of the time I feel free. I have found myself between the legs of countless white girls with unshaven mousy brown pussy hair because #resist, and sexually repressed brown boys who can’t decide if I am their Madonna or their whore. I’ve had threesomes with my best friends, fallen in love with 120 people, and somewhere in between the orgies, group showers and sex in the stairwell, I had life breathed into me. Through foreplay and sex and skin skin skin, I found my joy and comfort and orgasm. And I’ve never looked back.

So to you, my faithful reader, welcome to sex on Tuesday.

Not relationships on Tuesday. Not love on Tuesday. Dripping pussy, wet on the sheets, sweat and heat, blood on the tongue, all taste buds and goosebumps, sex.

Welcome to the belly of the beast.

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Rizza writes the Tuesday column on sex. Contact her at [email protected] .