I’ve been giving some thought to the notion of my inner slut recently. When I was in my late teens, she spent a nice chunk of time “out and about” but it was different, somehow. Years of education later, I realize that promiscuity can be tied to abuse (disclaimer: not all who are abused act out sexually and not all who act out sexually are abuse victims). If you make a person feel as if they are nothing but a collection of holes… that they serve no purpose other than fucking… they tend to believe it. All I’m good for is fucking? You’ll take that from me? Fine… that’s what you’ll get. It becomes emotional currency. It’s the ultimate self-deprecating behavior.
Many of these early experiences are recalled as if I’m out-of-body. I see myself on a darkening street. I’m 16 or 17, and I’ve chosen to roam the city streets because mom’s on a bender at home. A man approaches… relatively nondescript except for his rather impressive afro (unusual in the 80s). I near him and stop in his path. He acknowledges me, probably wondering who the hell I am in my torn jeans and army trench coat with a pair of handcuffs clipped to one of its shoulder loops (truth in advertising, what can I say?). I speak five words to him by way of introduction: “Do you want to fuck?”
He did want to fuck. We fucked. Ah, JT, what a crazy motherfucker. He was epileptic and would mix his prescription drugs with street fare making for some interesting behavior. He would shatter a car window with his bare hands and call threatening to kill himself before it was all over. Wise and safe decisions? My inner slut did not make those. But I survived because she existed. At that time in my life, she was more like a multiple… coming out to deal with the world on my behalf… shielding me from the things and people I couldn’t deal with.
When I’ve spoken about that short, risky period of my life, it has always been with a twinge of self pity. Poor wawbat, look what she did… here’s why she did it… and the one missing element in all of the retellings is that she liked to fuck. Don’t get me wrong, my behavior then was not safe or sane. I was a damaged human being and I was acting out of desperation and a longing to be loved. The men (no women then) took advantage of a frail psyche and a young body. They were much older and they knew better. It wasn’t so much nonconsensual as it was unfair. The deck was stacked in their favor so they gambled big. I was entirely too interested in their pleasure and not attentive enough to my own needs.
When my husband and I would go to the strip club together, I never acknowledged that I liked it, was fascinated by their muscular yet soft legs wrapped ’round the pole, the freeing of their breasts and stiffening of nipples, their slow crawls to me. No. It was all about him, I went for him, don’t you know. What a good wife. Later, when my husband would cheat on me (over and over again) I would tell myself that I had the right to do the same – though I was much smarter about it and took pride in never getting caught. Three lovers would enter and exit my life during the marriage – one for love, one to answer the question what if, and one… because he was hung like a horse and could sing like an angel. I told myself that the behavior wasn’t slutty… it was payback… it was my turn. It was never with the self awareness that I wanted these people – one of them I had wanted for more than a decade. I didn’t slip and fall on their penises, for chrissake (don’t you hate when that happens?) I chose to have sex with them, but I never acknowledged that to myself…the wanting.
Still later, after leaving my husband, I would live a short but fascinating period of what can be best described as polyamory. I had relationships, quasi-relationships, and lots of playing. I was honest with everyone – you are not the only one – and still, I never acknowledged to myself that it was a thoughtful choice to have that many lovers… and that I wanted… wanted variety in my sex life. Denial.
Now, I’m giving serious thought to who this inner slut is. Do I have an inner slut? Yuh, I do. I definitely do. But is she a multiple? Some inner creature I tap to do what I cannot or will not do? Or is she simply part of the fabric of my being? Does that define me in any negative way? Am I slutty just like I am funny, or intelligent, or creative? Am I slut like I am a woman or a mother or a caucasian? Am I simply, a slut? Not slut in the pejorative sense of the word, but slut in the “I like sex, I like fucking, Please, can I have some more?” sort of way.
I read somewhere (can’t recall where) that a slut is a woman with the sexual morals of a man. If that’s the definition, I am a slut.
And now, this slut has some errands to run.
Image above was found online in an article about a 2011 slutwalk. Creative license has been taken in recoloring and cropping of woman’s face as I do not know her identity.