Slut forever

Sex on Tuesday

I don’t remember the names of half the people I’ve had sex with. I don’t give a single fuck about where they are or how they are doing. I don’t think about them ever, and quite frankly, I’ve lost count. I’m proud that, sexually, I know what I want, and I get it. I love being a slut.

When I was a freshman, I would meet someone at a random point of the night, and without exchanging names or majors, I’d have sex with them and return myself home. It was sex, and nothing more — occasionally a friendship, but oftentimes just fucking.

Later in the year, one of my Clark Kerr Campus building mates casually mentioned to me that I was garnering a reputation as a “slut.” As someone who was banned from their hometown bookstore for having sex in the store’s sole bathroom stall, the claim didn’t feel insulting. But time went on, and the averted eye contact, hushed whispers and rumors that I was various fraternity men’s “groupie” all piled up. I wondered if my sexuality made me embarrassing, if my behavior meant I was shallow, if I should feel bad or empty or unwhole. This confused me as the same men I hooked up with passingly did the same to women at an identical frequency. I wondered to myself if they were ever made to feel immoral for being sexual?

I quickly came to the realization that the answer was no.

When I go home to my parents, sex occupies a weird place in our lives. My parents are funny, wonderful people, and I grew up in a pseudo-sex-positive, nude-friendly household, where my mother preached the benefits of airing out the vagina and my father pinched my mom’s butt while frying eggs and making jokes about anal in Tagalog. Maybe I would think it’s weird that I can hear them fucking quite frequently, but I think I outgrew that after the ripe old age of 12. I was raised by the residential king and queen of PDA, who normalized making out in the noodle aisle of 99 Ranch Market, but I still never talk with my parents about sex. Sometimes the radio silence is so potent that I wonder if my parents think I’m a virgin, but then my mind returns to the realm of reason.

Maybe it’s a Pilipino thing, I wonder to myself. Between colonial gender roles and impositions of the rigidity of Catholicism, it’s in our blood and tradition and culture to feel shame regarding sex. I see how they struggle to balance the body-centric guilt they were raised on and their own private experiences of appreciating sex. They tell me that if I sleep with someone, I need to marry them and that I should be wary of being “easy,” all the while encouraging me to be independent and never take relationships too seriously — being young is all about having fun, they say. They occupy a state of contradiction, and among the laughter at the confusion of it all, sometimes a pit of fear hits my stomach walls.

Sometimes I think about them knowing what my sex life has looked like. Sometimes I wonder, even though I was raised with the understanding that sex was a natural, God-given right, if my parents would call me a slut. If they would think I was a bad person because of what I have done and who I’ve slept with. I wonder if they would love me the same, knowing that I didn’t feel shame or embarrassment in being a slut, either.

When I have sex with someone new, especially if they are a man, I refrain from talking about past sexual encounters. Even if he feigns “wokeness” and is a self-proclaimed feminist, I fear the predispositions he was inundated with: notions of femininity and womanhood built off tired tropes of innocence and how these have been internalized into reluctantly admitted truths. All the while I swallow the hypocrisy I regularly drown in, allowing him to be the sexually explorative, open-minded man society allows him to be.

When I walk into my lectures and discussions, I silently pray that no one has read my column. I hope no one can configure me as a sexual being in the classroom, because then there is no way they can recognize me as an academic one. I see the way intelligent women are desexualized, unable to be both brilliant and sexually feminine, as if the two are somehow mutually exclusive. I feel the tension of not fitting perfectly into a mold of hypersexuality. I feel how others are challenged that I refuse to be reduced to one dimensionality.

Deep down, though, I love being a slut. Being a slut is possessing the energy of the sun and radiating that power out of your pores. It is honing in on self-awareness and sharpening the skill frequently. It is a knowledge that transcends the self. It is an acceptance of what you are yet to learn and a revolutionary capacity to challenge the hegemonic. It is not consenting to mediocre sex. It is riding dick and eating pussy with identical fervor. It is being naked as often as you’d like. It is admiring yourself in the mirror endlessly. It is masturbating before midterms to blow off some steam. It is talking over the men in class. It is challenging the teacher. It is refusing to be mansplained, to be talked down to, to submit or obey. It is biting back and drawing blood.

I love being a slut. I love reclaiming my body. I love reclaiming the language that attempts to desecrate it.

 

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