I Didn’t Realize I Was the School Slut

I Didn’t Realize I Was the School Slut

How could someone ignored by men be a slut?

Image for postPhoto by Trinity Kubassek

It wasn?t until I was several years out of high school that my friends told me that I was always the ?most experienced? one of our group.

At first, I didn?t understand what that meant. Yes, I?d had sex before most of my friends, but I wasn?t particularly young when it happened. Yes, I?d had sex with two men before our high school graduation, but I didn?t understand that, for my school, that was a lot. Perhaps I was ?more experienced? because I?d made the mistake of having sex with two older men that, in retrospect, I had no business being with.

Towards the end of high school and college, I came to understand that my role was somewhat of a sexual guru for my friends.

I didn?t mind the title or the job description. When my friends were starting to have sex, they came to me with their struggles: issues with their partner, trouble getting into it, not being sure what they?re supposed to do. I liked being there to help.

In time, though, the questions started to turn into subtle accusations.

?Well, you?ve just had so many more years of experience than us.?

?Can your partners keep up with you? It?s just that, you?ve experienced a lot.?

?You?ve clearly had a lot more wild nights than I have.?

It took a long time to hear what they were saying: ?You?re kind of a slut, aren?t you??

I never minded being a slut.

Don?t misunderstand me. Anyone can label me a slut any day of the week and it doesn?t hurt me. Trust me, I?ve heard it all and there are very few ?insults? left. I embrace my sexuality. If that makes me a slut in your eyes, and you think that?s a negative thing, that?s your issue, not mine.

But the thing that confused me is that the people who tend to refer to me as ?sexually experienced? knew me best in middle and high school. And that math doesn?t add up.

Throughout high school, I was bullied. And I don?t mean in the Mean-Girls-women-are-scary-jungle-cats kind of way. I mean that every day, throughout middle school, two boys would follow behind me and make elephant noises wherever I went.

I mean that, at the beginning of high school, a boy pretended to be interested in me, just because his friends thought it was hilarious he was acting like he was into the fat girl. I mean that, when some people found out I had asked a guy out, he was ultimately bullied for it. He was never my friend again and I hold onto the guilt of knowing he was bullied because of me.

It was never the girls.

Granted, there was one girl who was mean to me from kindergarten to high school graduation. But it wasn?t a universal thing. In general, the girls were nice. Even the popular girls that movies tell you are just cruel and ruthless.

For the most part, I learned that all girls are struggling their way through high school because of their fear that their appearance isn?t good enough. Even the girl who most consider to be the prettiest girl in school would tell you that she doesn?t like parts of herself.

While that sadness can manifest in needing to bully others to feel better about themselves, I always found the opposite. Plenty of girls recognize that self-loathing in others and try to make life a little easier for them.

I remember in my sophomore and junior year, when I was struggling with an eating disorder, a girl who was on a field hockey team (which was a big deal at my school and made you automatically popular) would compliment me a lot on my appearance.

I got a lot of compliments in general when I was in the middle of an eating disorder that would forever change the way my body looked and the way my mind works.

When I ultimately beat the disorder, I gained a lot of weight back, which, to me, was heartbreaking. That girl continued to compliment me, going beyond my appearance. I remember running in gym with her, even though she could run a mile in 6 minutes and I could run one in about 12.

You know what I also remember about gym class? Two boys, different from the elephant noise ones, running circles around me while my jerk of a gym teacher played ?Fat Bottomed Girls?. I always hated that song. The two boys would run around me and sing it to me while laughing.

Being a ?slut? came out of a desire to be wanted.

While my friends were asked out on dates and called beautiful, I was ridiculed by boys. One of my closest friends is a pageant winner, a model, and an actress. I can?t name a boy at my school that didn?t want to be with her. The boy that pretended to like me to make his friends laugh referred to her as Katy Perry because they do bear somewhat of a resemblance. But he would usually add in that she was far prettier than Katy.

I learned I couldn?t be desirable, I could simply be the butt of a joke.

I never dated or slept with a boy I went to high school with, which is why I turned to Tinder and other online dating young. Though the men who were interested in a 17-year-old were men I should never have been around, it doesn?t change the fact that hearing a man call me beautiful for the first time made me want to do anything to hear it again.

In time, my friends learned about my escapades and then others learned about it too and before long, the fat girl also became the school slut. Go figure.

I sometimes wonder if I had expected or even wanted things to change at school. As if suddenly being desired by some man would make the boys I wanted to be into me, be into me.

But a school is its own little society and that society had cast me out a long time ago.

To this day, I remain a slut.

In a sense, I suppose to many, I remain a slut. I?m in a happy, non-monogamous relationship and I currently live with my primary partner, who tells me every day that he finds me beautiful, though my mind sometimes slips back into old thoughts.

He?s only telling me that as a joke. He could never really find me beautiful.

It?s a voice that?s learned. It?s a voice that still makes me want to do anything I can to feel desired.

But it?s a voice I will continue to quiet because, one day, I hope to see myself through his eyes. Whether or not anyone else sees me that way no longer matters. All that matters is if I learn to see it.

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