Am I A Slut?

Brittani Lepley
Brittani Lepley

Am I a slut? I ask myself at least twice daily; like a drug for self-doubt, taken with every meal. What does it mean to be a slut? Is it the number of men I have slept with? Does it depend on how many dates I have been on? It is a complicated mathematical function of kisses, virginity, and sex partners? I don’t think anyone has ever called me a slut, but that doesn’t mean they don’t think it.

This is my paranoia. This is her fault. She makes me doubt my own convictions. Makes me wonder if I a bad person, if I have morals at all, if I am a sex crazed ape, if I deserve to be called a lady.

I knew Diana, she went to my school, and we were close. But I never really heard her twisted thoughts until prom night. Diana walked up to me and said, “I cannot believe you kissed him.” I had danced with Jake: we kissed. So what…Right? I don’t know why, but her reprimands and scolding felt like whips cracking open the skin on my soul: guilt oozing out of my wounds. I did not know kissing was bad! But I guess I should have known. Even when Jake and I were dancing, I caught her eyes across the dance floor. Her disapproving glare burned into my soul like a fire torch. It ruined the moment: one second I was a happy dancer, the next I was a raging whore.

Yet other times, she is not all that bad. We had a group sleepover and she asked with innocence how my night with Ian had gone. I gave her the juicy details about the passionate sex and how I had really enjoyed my time with him. Diana would smile like a giddy schoolgirl, and then suddenly and sharply snap back to “I hope you used a condom,” or “You have only dated him for four months!” or “You didn’t suck his dick did you?” I laugh out loud when I remember her pious mouth even saying the word dick, but others did not find it so funny. Her comments left the other girls speechless fearful of what would happen if they dared to be as promiscuous as me. After the questions subsided, I remember lying in bed, looking up, trying to find Mary’s ceiling fan in the darkness. In that thick silence, it might have been the loudest ceiling fan I had ever heard. I wonder if Diana slept soundly.

She never came to my house and I was happy about that. My mother didn’t let her: it’s like she knew this girl would drive me to self-destructive insanity. Funny how mothers are always right. Diana told me not to take birth control. People might think I am a slut. Diana told me not to wear heels with a dress that tight. People might think I am a slut. Diana told me not to wear such red lipstick. People might think I am a slut. Diana told me I should not have kissed that boy. After all, what would people think?

I knew I shouldn’t have told her when I made plans to visit Frank in Chicago. But I did. She asked where I would be sleeping. I told her the truth: in his bedroom in the fraternity. “In the same bed?” The striking bewilderment on her face was almost comical. “Yes,” I pushed, “Sometimes things happen.” Yes, things. “You sleep with someone who isn’t your boyfriend?!”

In one sentence she pounced. She attacked. She bit. She ripped. I bled.

I rambled about how I trusted Frank; how I was single anyway, how it was not a big deal. Right? Her lips tightened and her face went frigid. If I had reached out to touch her cheek, a shock would have singed my fingertip before it even came within an inch of her. The redness of her ears made me wonder if any words worse than my admission of lovemaking had ever dared touch them. The wildness in her eyes made me feel like she was gaping at a six-legged gorilla. Six-legged gorilla? Yeah, that’s me.

I never know what Diana is thinking when she implies that I am too loose with myself. Perhaps she genuinely thinks the way that I act is immoral. Perhaps she lacks understanding and maturity to know that one day she might love more than just one man. Perhaps she knows that men like me, and that makes her jealous. Perhaps she is insecure about her own sexuality. Perhaps I am so insecure about mine that I let her opinion eat at me.

I did not even tell her about Jeremy or Marshall. But when I found myself on the twin-sized bed with Patrick between my legs, I didn’t hear the moans or the cries. I heard Diana. “You filthy slut.” I almost felt the spit from her sharp tongue land on my face as she pronounced that hard T. Disgusting.

If you asked me to name her problem, I could not. She’s just wrong. She’s uptight. She’s judgmental. She’s insecure. She’s prejudice. She’s hurtful. She’s cruel. She’s right?

I’m unsure if my problem stemmed from hers or hers has stemmed from mine. Her judgment, hate, prodding and meddling melts others around her, as if she were the strongest god in the Roman universe. Her aura burns my skin as she struts by me. Diana does this to everyone, but I guess I am an easier target. She writes my daily prescription of self-doubt taken with a tall glass shame. After gulping that down I eat my toast spread with guilt and a little bit of abashment. Later that night I tiptoe to my boyfriend’s room and do it all again tomorrow.

These are the choices I make, but the paranoia is what tears at me. Diana does this to me. Diana has a slut-shaming problem. No, I do not know anyone named Diana. Diana does not exist. Society has a problem. This is its impact on me. TC mark

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