(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)
I’m a huge tease.
I’m serious. I’ll flirt you up, down, and all around town, but as soon as you start showing interest in me, I retreat, usually. I’ve pretty much been that way my whole life, but now there’s an added edge to it. When a guy’s flirting me up, or whatever the terminology is, and I feel like maybe we’re getting close to some sort of physically intimate contact, I get terrified that everyone around me will think I’m slutty, that he’ll think I’m slutty, and the only thing that runs through my head is, what would “RM” think? RM is my roommate from freshman year. I’ll explain.
When I was a freshman in college (oh, so many years ago) (okay, 5 years ago), I went through a “crazy phase”. See, my whole pre-college life I’d been a typical good girl, never really stepping out of line, never wanting to rock the boat, never acting on any, any, of my impulses. Let’s just say it was a combination of being raised with an overabundance of Catholic Guilt, and a really oppressive desire to make sure people liked me. Although, (digression) I did have a priest when I was in high school who actually told me that masturbation was okay as long as I made it a way to connect with myself and explore my own body, and didn’t fantasize about other people while I was doing it. Interesting. Anyway. Good girl. Good Girl. Like a fucking dog. I. Did. Nothing. That I wasn’t supposed to. Then, I moved away from home and into a dorm with a girl who had become my best friend over the summer preceding college. RM.
Cue disaster footage.
Okay, it wasn’t actually that dramatic, but I did begin to, as they say, act the fool.
Any time I would party or drink or smoke something, I could feel RM’s disapproval hitting me over the head. Not that she didn’t drink, or party, but when she did, she never got as overtly sexual as I would get. I had never had an outlet to express any sort of sexual feelings toward anyone (well, there was my first boyfriend, but that was a majorly ridiculous situation and way too long of a story for this post), so I would let it out while I was drunk. And I was always so, so ashamed of the way I would act while I was drinking, even if it didn’t lead to anything more than me hardcore hitting on some (usually sober) guy and him politely turning me down. I thought I was a whore. And RM just didn’t seem to understand my need to let myself go. She judged the shit out of me, and I got really tired of it. It got to the point where I actually made out with one of her ex-boyfriends at the end of the year, and she told me I was slutty, and we didn’t talk for a while. Granted, I shouldn’t have made out with him. But somehow this idea of me as a slut imprinted itself on my brain, and I’ve had a really difficult time since then shaking the notion that my sexual needs are deviant and disgusting.
I’m not sure if it was her intention for me to feel this way. She had been through a sort of crazy phase in high school and had already gotten over it by college and learned how to have fun, drunkenly when the occasion arose, but mostly safely. So I think it was a sort of big sister thing where she was fed up with me and my antics right at the point when I felt like I was beginning to discover my limits, and was pushing my boundaries. And she didn’t really have any tolerance for the antics, partly because I think she could see the desperate place they were coming from since I was in a terrible relationship and really confused about my place within my carefully constructed jenga tower of ideologies. And once I got out of that relationship, the walls came tumbling down, and I exercised my right to be a ridiculous mess.
But as it happens, at some point I started to grow up. I left behind the Catholic Guilt, and the Catholic Thing in general, and began to move down my own path. I learned that I really like being in a relationship when I can feel safe to be wildly sexual, and where such behavior is acceptable and fun. I’m trying to accept the fact that I’m a sexual person and not let the ghostly judgments of the past weigh too heavily on my mind. It works sometimes, and other times, not. It’s a process, I guess.
I’m not excusing RM for not supporting me when I needed it most, but the good thing that came out of all this is that I learned to rely more on myself for my own judgment of Myself.
I’m wondering, have any of you experienced anything like this post-sexytime guilt?