Response: Slut

Editor Kirsten Larson, Editor's Choice, July 30th, 2014

Slut means anyone, any woman who someone wants to shame...

Feliz Paloma Gonzalez photography
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In our new monthly Response Column, NAILED asks readers to respond to a particular word or phrase. We are seeking raw, honest personal responses that seek less to answer questions but raise them. August’s topic is SECRET, please email your responses to Carrie@NailedMagazine.com by August 18th. (Word count limit: 1,000 words.)

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Response: Slut

Low Blows, by Fiona George

A slut is always prepared. That’s a lie, a slut isn’t always anything, because the word slut never means the same thing twice. It means someone you don’t like. Means someone who gets laid more than you. Slut means someone you can point to as proof you’re not a slut. Slut means anyone, any woman who someone wants to shame.

I’m a slut, a woman some people want to shame, a woman who is always prepared. Prepared with a couple sizes of condoms in my purse. A few changes of panties, just in case I decide to wear panties. A change of clothes. Hairbrush. Deodorant. Travel sized toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and floss. At home, I have the morning after pill waiting to get packed up with the rest of my things.

I’m moving in two days. When I woke up this morning, I didn’t know that. My roommate and I, we had an argument. The kind that only two people who know each other too well can have. Where we’ve both had a full-frontal of each other’s lives for two years. Seen the nooks and crannies of each other, our best and worst sides. The argument where we show each other our worst, and say take it or leave it. This is the argument where we’ve decided to leave it.

I decide to leave.

What we’re fighting about, it doesn’t matter. It’s a fight that was going to happen, whatever started it. It’s been a thunderhead in our small apartment, the threat of a storm, ever since I broke up with my ex-boyfriend. My roommate hasn’t thought much of me since I stopped being a girlfriend and started drinking and fucking. That’s what this argument is about.

And this argument is ugly.

Low blows. That I hope I never turn out like her, all bitter and mean. That I can’t take care of myself because all I care about is getting dick in my vagina. That I hope she’s happy alone, because that’s where she’s gonna’ end up. That I have no self-respect.

Those kinds of low blows.

I stayed away from insults meant for women. Slut, whore, bitch, cunt. I tried to stay away. I didn’t tell her she was a cunt. I don’t believe in cunt as an insult. But how you can believe in almost anything in the heat of a fight, same as the heat of a fuck. How I scream to a god I don’t believe in when I’m about to come is how I told plenty of people she was a cunt, even though I didn’t tell it to her face.

When it comes down to it, I’m moving in two days because I’m a slut. Because my roommate thinks I’m a slut. And I’m not going to live with someone who thinks I have no self-respect. Who thinks my sexual choices render me incapable of taking care of myself. Who blames me for getting mistaken for a prostitute in the bad neighborhood we live in, because of the way I dress. Not going to live with someone who sees my sexuality in the same way as the catcallers yelling at me from their car windows do.

Catcalls, come-ons, propositions for paid or unpaid sex, cops pulling over to make sure I’m not a prostitute. I’m prepared for all that, too. When I walk into the world, into our bad neighborhood. When I dress how I like to dress because of the sun on my skin, because a body is a too beautiful a thing to hide. When I dress how I like to dress, despite the harassment, it’s a protest. Because it’s not my behavior that’s inappropriate. It’s a protest. Out in the world I’m prepared to fight.

Not at home.

She said it to piss me off. She knew my anger lives in my pussy, in my sex, my libido and my low-cut shirts and my short-short cut offs. I made her cry. I don’t blame her for wanting to make me angry.

This wasn’t the kind of fight where we said things we didn’t mean, this was the kind of fight where we said the things we’ve wanted to say. For a while. That thunderhead, we held our lightning there for months. Took months, waiting for the perfect time to strike.

And we meant every word we said.

I’m not going home before I move. Two nights surfing couches won’t kill me; I’m prepared. I’m going to move while she’s at work, even though I feel like a coward. Maybe I really don’t have much self-respect—not enough to stand up straight in front of someone who thinks so little of me, look into her eyes and think a lot of myself. Not enough to go to what used to be home, face the shame shoved down my throat like an unwanted cock. Not enough to push that shame away and say no.

I don’t think she knew she tapped into anger that could fill my dad’s pickup truck. Anger that could pull me out of the shame-space she made, away from judgments barely spoken till the night that argument happened.

That night I crashed with coworkers, we sat by the fire pit and talked about gender norms, slut-shaming and core values. I couldn’t sleep, stayed up writing the first draft of this. I didn’t know I could really do it—didn’t know I could really leave.

But I did. Packed everything I owned, loaded up my dad’s pickup truck twice, and moved my life in cardboard boxes and garbage bags over to his house. And it took less than seven hours.

Tonight, I’m crashing with coworkers. I have a change of clothes, and clean panties. And when I walk into the world, I’m prepared to face the world in a short skirt, with my hair and teeth brushed. Because I’m a slut who can take care of herself. I’m a slut with self-respect. I’m a slut who is always prepared.

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Fiona George is a Portland native who has been lucky enough to land in Tom Spanbauer’s Dangerous Writer’s Workshop through little fault of her own. She is a proud high school dropout who hopes to get out of food service.

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Purple Hearts, by Rachel Wiley

 

The night my 87 year old Great Grandmother died
she was coming home from a date
but
wet pavement
and
impractical shoes
a broken hip
a body in shock
a passing

The first time I ever heard the word slut
it kettle steam slipped from between the plastic pearl veneers of my Aunt Delores
as a procession of antique soldiers in their dressiest dress blues from the VFW,
where my Mamaw gave out warm plates and warmer hands to troops of empty housed men,
filed one after another
dropping the contents of their left breast pockets into the box where my Grandmother lay
beautiful in too much rouge,
delicate like some ancient corsage
and I decided, right then, that someday
I want to be a slut
just like Grandma
and be sent up to glory on a parade of grateful, unlonelied hearts.

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Rachel Wiley is a poet, performer and body positive activist from Columbus, OH where she is on staff at Writing Wrongs Poetry Slam. She has been a finalist in both national and international poetry slam competitions and her work has been featured on Upworthy, The Huffington Post, and Jezebel. Her first full length collection of poetry, Fat Girl Finishing School is due out fall 2014 from Timber Mouse Press out of Austin, TX.

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Fear of the Slut, by Beatrice M. Hogg

“Don’t wear red. Don’t wear hoop earrings. You ain’t leaving the house in that short skirt.”

I was an African American teenaged girl in the seventies being raised by an adopted father who was in his seventies. We fought all of the time, with the worse fights being about my appearance. I could not wear red – only “fast girls” wore red. Even though all of my friends had pierced ears, I wasn’t allowed to get mine pierced. That would only lead to a proclivity for large hoop earrings, which were not worn by nice girls. And miniskirts – I still remember the banned outfits that to Daddy only meant one thing – teenage pregnancy. Even though the word was never spoken, “Don’t be a slut,” was drilled into my head at an early age. I wasn’t allowed out of the house at night until the night of my high school graduation.

Daddy died in 1975, I had an abortion in 1978 and I entered the eighties thinking that maybe he had been right. But during that decadent decade, I got two holes in each ear and discovered that I looked really good in red. When I started going to rock shows in the mid-eighties, that word was everywhere. My friends and I wanted to go to shows and maybe even meet the band, but we didn’t want to be considered “sluts.” We all knew who those girls were – the ones with the teased hair, boots and tiny skirts who got the backstage passes while we stood around in our jeans and baggy tee shirts. We were better than those girls; we were there for the music, dammit! And as one of the few African American girls in the scene, there was the stereotype of the oversexed black woman that my father warned me about until his dying day. When a member of the Moody Blues tried to entice me to his room with the promise that he had some fried chicken, I was disgusted and furious.

But thirty years have passed and I think back to those days. Thirty years of being responsible, nice, and chaste didn’t get me shit. My memories are of going to the shows, smiling shyly at the hot rocker boys and watching them walk away with the girls that I distained. As I grow old alone, I wonder about my choices.

A few years ago, I read The Last Living Slut by Roxana Shirazi, which detailed her experiences with male hard rock musicians. In the introduction, Shirazi says, “Love your body, love your sexuality, and realize that you are a bad human being only if you are unkind and cruel and do harm unto others – not because of your sex life.” In my fifties, I’m thinking that maybe being a slut isn’t such a bad thing after all.

When I went through menopause, I became incredibly horny. I started to write rock star erotica, starring my favorite musicians. Not flashbacks, but stories starring fifty-plus me with rockers who are also fifty-plus these days. Who says I can’t fuck the drummer AND the guitarist? It’s my fantasy, so I can do anything I like, including leaving out the reality of the bad backs and lower libidos of fifty-something men. I showed the stories to selected female friends, a few of whom were shocked. In the introduction to Shirazi’s book, the male editors called Shirazi’s story, “the most grippng real-life account of female depravity we’ve ever read.” “Female depravity?” I didn’t agree with all of the choices that the author made, but I wouldn’t call her depraved. I’m amazed at some of her exploits and also envious of her bravado. She made had sucked some rock star dick, but she decided who’s dick it was going to be. Good for her.

Maybe that is the facet of “slut” that I want to embrace, being able to make my own decisions about my sexuality. Is an older woman in a revealing outfit necessarily desperate and sad? Maybe she just feels good in that outfit. Is a woman who takes many lovers trying to prove something to others? Maybe she just likes to fuck. And what is wrong with that between consenting adults? Morality aside, why should I care what other people think about my choices? As long as a woman isn’t putting herself in harm’s way and being safe and responsible, who cares what anyone else thinks?

Another book I read was A Round-Heeled Woman by Jane Juska. At age 66, retired teacher Juska decided to place a personal ad in a paper that stated, “I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like.” Slut? Who determines who is, or isn’t, a slut? The jacket of Juska’s book proclaims, “It’s high time someone revealed the fact that older single people are as eager for sex and intimacy as their younger counterparts.” But would Juska’s book have been as positively received if she had been running around with rock musicians? Or only men under 30? Now, at 57, I doubt that I’m gonna get a backstage pass for showing off my sagging tits, but is it too late to be a sexuality active woman and maybe snag a musician for a few sweaty hours? He doesn’t need to be famous, just dexterious. Is it wrong to even want to? Maybe I should stop fearing the slut and start embracing her. I’m going to Las Vegas with a friend tomorrow. Should I take condoms? I do have a small cache of them that I picked up at the women’s clinic, even though I haven’t had sex since 1998. I did pack some hoop earrings and something red, because you never know…

I’m sure that Daddy is rolling over in his grave.

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Beatrice M. Hogg is a coal-miner’s daughter from Western Pennsylvania and has lived in Sacramento, CA for 23 years. She has a BA in social work from the University of Pittsburgh and a MFA in creative nonfiction from Antioch University Los Angeles. She is working on a book, “WTF: Five Years of Bad Decisions” and her essays on music, family, homelessness, and long-term unemployment can be found on her blog here.

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Slut, by Jacob Parry

Bloody charming is the way I would explain the word slut (detect the sarcasm). I have never fully understood people’s necessity to viciously label and stereotype women in their tendency to sleep around. Most of the time it is not even true, I have found most of the time when I’m told somebody is a slut they turn out to be so far from it that I wonder what fucking planet the informer was looking from.

I’m a man, and to be completely honest, my gender seems to be utter hypocrites in this matter. If they were to sleep with five women in a night, they would be called a legend, but if a woman did the same thing they would instantly be labeled a “slut” or a “sket” (variety). This show of blindness in society never fails to shock and irritate me.

This brings a story to mind from when I was at college. A woman I met was constantly battered with names like these from the day I met her. Even on occasions that she had slept around, it had been purely for the purpose of enjoyment. In this sense, she reminded me a lot of myself. She may have been what society deems a “slut,” but she was one of the nicest and most genuine women I ever met, and as I write this, I can say without a doubt that I would not have passed my first year at college without her help, and wouldn’t be where I am today.

So, next time you call a woman a slut, think of where she has come from, where she is going, and the people she may have helped along the way.

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Jacob Parry is a writer.

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Heritage, by Jacqueline Kirkpatrick

I was a slut
long before I was born
because I am my mother’s daughter

Oh, you’re Cindy’s girl?

with a capital S.
my mother’s cunt owned everything from South Pearl to Knox Street, including the back alleys, bar stools, back seats of cabs in abandoned parks, her tongue having licked a thousand —–
regrets
that were mine
not hers

my father unknown
a disgusting stain in a dive bar with a broken neon name
a shove against boarded windows
it took him just four minutes to create me
a mistake
the possibilities endless
but always I am born to be
my mother’s daughter

a Slut

I keep her a secret
because she has been used against me
you’re just like your —-

thrown at me
like a punch
in a fight
about how I am home late
drunk and hair undone
eyes glazed
lipstick on my teeth
bite marks on my inner thigh
regrets
that are mine
not hers

history repeating itself because we are all just the prophecies coming true of our families past
never born innocent
never a blank slate
born a

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Jacqueline Kirkpatrick is a MFA student at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. She has recently been published in South84, BurningWord, and Empty Mirrors.

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From Gus to Chastity, Fiction by Allison Frost

Dear Chastity,

God, how many times have I written those two words. You can’t know how many letters I’ve started over the years. I never finish them, never send them. But it’s always OK because I think, better just to talk anyway, letters are so formal. But then somehow a year goes by, then two, then 10. The distance between hello and goodbye shorter every time.

I guess it was always that way really, since we only lived in the same house for a few years. You were just four when I went to live with Nan-nan in high school. Had to go to get away from Dad but still, always felt bad that I wasn’t there for you more growing up, you and Violet, especially. Now that we mostly just see each other at weddings and Christmases, it’s funny what gets stuck in your head. Like the thing you said a few Christmas dinners ago, after dinner, after coffee, after everyone else had gone home or gone to bed, when it was just us kids. The thing you said about being the family slut, despite your name, maybe even because of your name, and the six of us laughed and Violet knocked over her red wine in that damn goblet she always wanted to drink out of and we all jumped up with our napkins to try to stop it from going on Nan-nan’s doilies. We saved all but one. For some reason I can’t get it out of my head.

Your name, that word, Chastity, slut. How I wasn’t there for you when you could have used someone to talk to in 7th grade, 8th grade, whenever it was that you started to have sex, how maybe if I were there, we would have talked, how I might have told you about my first time and how maybe you wouldn’t have gotten pregnant at 17. Maybe, who knows, maybe you wouldn’t have had to give up Xavier.

I don’t know why but something just won’t leave me alone til I write this letter. So many Dear Chastitys, one of them has got to make it through.

Chastity. What a heavy fucking burden. No one should have to bear that. What were our parents thinking? Don’t answer that. I’d apologize for my normal name, except Augusta isn’t exactly normal and having Gus for a nickname is something I’ve gotten used to but it’s taken a while. I wish I would have told you all this a long time ago in case it made a difference, maybe it wouldn’t have. The only thing I know is that I have to get it out now. I have to finish the letter. Just one dear Chastity.

I’ve never told anyone this before and maybe you of all people could understand when I say that I always wanted to lose my virginity. Soon as I found out I had a virginity. Pretty much like any boy my age. Except I was a girl. That was always my problem. Maybe for both of us.

I read Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret, Judy Blume, Lady Chatterly’s Lover, The Magus, seemed like every book I read, everything that wasn’t for school anyway, was about this thing I had no experience with. And that thing was sex. And I wanted some.

If there was some kind of honor in having sex with a girl for the first time, I didn’t want to award it to anyone. For sure, I didn’t want anyone else to make me bleed, no bloody sheets for me, thank you. I used a series of objects to try to bust my own hymen. Pens, magic markers, trial size bottles of lotion, bigger trial size bottles of lotion, containers of all sorts that were stored in bathroom closets and drawers and cupboards under the sink that I could have my way with and wash off and replace without anyone being the wiser. It was a dark blue plastic bottle of face cream that finally did the trick.

It seemed to take forever before I actually had sex. With a boy. I didn’t know you could have sex with another girl til much later. Hadn’t expanded my reading list yet.

I was 16 my first time. There was beer, there was pot, there was a dude. There was an RV parked in front of the dude’s house. There was also a best friend who had set the whole thing up with the dude, a guy she’d had sex with before, who I always thought was cute, a guy I used to have a crush on in 8th grade. I thought he’d do just fine, and left the details to her. I know you’re not asking for advice, but if you’re about to do something that’s going to change your life forever, never leave the details up to someone else.

Passing around the joint, pretending I’d smoked lots of times before. I’d smoked once before. Drinking Bud light like it was water, which it pretty much was. It hits me at some point, maybe after the third hit on the joint, that the plan is that we’re all going to have sex in this RV. Yeah, OK, sure, why not? Seemed too late to object. My friend and her dude crawled up to the loft area, slid the little semblance-of-privacy curtains closed behind them. Me and the dude in the “living room” that’s for sure no bigger than Nan-nan’s bathroom. Enough streetlight through the windshield and the tinted side windows I could see the dude’s face. His smooth brown skin, his long dark lashes. Kind eyes. Making you feel important eyes. I remember why I used to like him. His name was Manuel, Manuel Estrella. You might remember him, he went by Mannie. That was as close as I ever got to falling in love with him.

Mannie smiles, his eyes half closed. He’s on top of the world. “You ready?” he asks in that way that’s not really a question, more like a warning.

Shit. I am not ready. I remember I still have a tampon in. The very smallest, lightest size one because it’s like the day after the last day of my period and I only put one in just in case, and I was going to take it out before but I forgot about it but now it’s still in.

I scramble to the driver’s side door. “Just a sec,” I say over my shoulder. I leave the door open, no way he can see me, no one out at night on the street in front of the dude’s house. No lights on in Mannie’s house. No one to see me reach down into my pants, find the string, pull the tampon out. Now what? Hurl it across the street. Climb back in through the driver side, shut the door behind me.

“Ready.”

It was not that great. Frankly, it was pretty damn disappointing. All that build-up. I’d tell you it was anti-climactic, if it wasn’t just so on-the-nose. But I’d done so much reading that I knew that there must be something I missed, something that I could find if I had sex more, maybe with someone else, maybe with lots of someone elses.

So that’s what I did. I dedicated myself to it for the next year of weekends. At parties, after beers, after vodka, after smoking out, sex with whoever was into it, in a back bedroom, backseat, front seat, truck bed, hood, alley, just like every other boy my age.

Slutty, yes? Just for us, girls though. You can’t claim the family slut title — I was there 10 years at least before you.

I never thought much about it until the end of junior year.

School’s out for summer party, out in the orchard. Peaches I think. Peppermint schnapps, different best friend. Barb and I hang out together at first, like we always do at first, share a clove. The intense flavor clashes with the peppermint but it’s all perfect somehow. Before you know it, drinking from a flask of a guy at the party. Surprise, he also has peppermint schnapps. What are the odds. It’s fate, he says. He’s funny. He doesn’t smoke. In a blink, we’re fucking a little ways off from the main party in the orchard. His coat’s on the ground underneath us. Who has a coat in the summer? His name? I’m sure he told me, but I could not have told it to you if a gun was to my head. He kept whispering, tickling my ear. The police came and busted up the party. I got home I don’t know how.

His name was Joey. He was in the navy. He was a nice guy, maybe the only nice guy I had happened to fuck that whole year.

I only know his name because he came to my door the next morning. Clean and shaven. A dozen red roses in his hand. He wanted to take me out again. I was embarrassed for him. I tried to send him away, he wouldn’t go. He wanted me to take the flowers. Wouldn’t leave till I did. Did not agree to see him again. Could not. Poor guy. He had to go, I didn’t want to be reminded of the night before, the haze, the blackout, how I had no idea what I’d said or done except fucking him.

And now here he was, a person. In front of me, light of day and all that. He had to go. He had the audacity to have feelings. Offer me roses, love if I would have let him.

The truth is that was actually the only slutty thing I did all year. Turn Joey away. Fucking around was just something I did. For fun, because it was easier than saying no, because why not, because I thought maybe the next time, the next guy would show me what the big deal was all about. I didn’t realize it was Joey that could have done that. That it was love all along. I know how that sounds. Like a greeting card, like an after school special. I’m sorry about that. For what it’s worth, I think it’s true.

I’m sorry I never told you any of this when it might have mattered. When you were meeting your own Mannies and Joeys.

I know how easy it is to get stuck inside the story you tell yourself about the kind of person you are. How you think that whatever happens proves something else you already knew was true about yourself. Except it’s not. It’s fiction. Slut is just a fiction that turns into nonfiction until you call it, call bullshit on it and let it go. That’s all I want for you. For all of us girls.

Oh dear Chastity, I think I’ve done it, finally. Finally finished a letter. Sorry, it’s 10 years late. Let’s just say it got stuck in the mail. See you at Christmas.
Love,
Gus

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Allison Frost has been telling true stories on public radio for the last couple of decades. She’s in Tom Spanbauer’s Dangerous Writers group. She lives with her husband and two incredibly energetic young children in the Buckman neighborhood in southeast Portland. This is her first fiction piece.

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Release the Slut, by Rochelle Newman

The voice in my vagina tried to tell me. The only thing holding you back is me. Your virginity. Lose me and there’s no telling what you’ll do. My vagina was right.

It was the summer of ’78. I was turning 18 and one year away from graduating college. I was young, having skipped 8th grade and was whizzing through my BFA as fast as I possibly could. I was on a mission: to get out of Los Angeles and back to New York where I belonged. Where I was born. And where, during a summer break, I had fallen completely in love with a Raul, a Colombian sculptor. My junior high school history teacher had introduced us. She had quit teaching.

“You’re in New York? “ she said cheerfully when I called. “Come to my open house. I bought a pottery in Tribeca.”

I decided to swing by, but not stay very long. Which is why it was curious that over an hour later, I was locked in deep conversation with the sculptor on the stoop, feeling like there was nowhere I would rather be. That night, in a Soho loft and in the skilled hands of a sculptor, I was transformed. The slut in me was finally freed.

Now one might argue that sex with the same sculptor, over and over and over again, does not a slut make. One might argue that it was love. But our lovemaking went from the SoHo loft, to the wide open, no-walls Tribeca loft of my Junior High School History teacher, where Raul was temporarily housed and where my former teacher lived and tried to sleep despite our sex twenty feet away. I had discovered sex and a sculptor, ten years my senior, who was up for it whenever and wherever.

Then, as summers do, it came to an end. Returning to Los Angeles, I did what responsible girls who had been transformed into sluts do. I got a diaphragm. Proving my slut theory wrong, however, my diaphragm got no use during my Senior year. I was indeed in love and was certain that it made more sense to starve and sacrifice than to indulge my slut with one-night stands. That final year flew by and I flew back to New York only to find my sculptor in love or lust with another. The tears flowed but my sense of slut was actually a saving grace. She kicked into high gear.

“So you’re seeing someone else,” I reacted matter-of-factly. “So. I’m good with that. That doesn’t mean we can’t sleep together from time to time.”

I rebounded with attitude and a sense of adventure that made the times that we did sleep together even more exciting. I was back in New York and I was available. Let the games begin.

Week one. There was the hunt for that perfect “I’m an actress,” part-time job. A sign on the sidewalk beckoned me into a gym near Times Square.

“Can you give a massage?” the girl at the front desk asked when I inquired about the position.

“I don’t know, but I could try,” I responded with the kind of willingness that may go hand in hand with slut-like symptoms.

Mind you, I didn’t know there was anything slutty about the job. That followed, after the manager led me into a room where he proceeded to disrobe, lie on a table face-down and grunt, “Let me see what you can do.” I poured some oil into my hands, rubbed it around and started to knead the skin on his back, clueless as to what may or may not have constituted an actual massage. Was I just moving skin around? Digging into muscle tissue without any real end benefit? As I was questioning my every move, he flipped himself around.

“Let’s try this side,” he said, making no effort to cover up his slightly erect penis.

Well, I’m here, I thought. I might as well see this through. I placed my oily hands on the genitals of an absolute stranger, and rubbed him until the task was complete. His groan indicated that I may have even done a good enough job to get hired, had I wanted the job. I wiped my hands on a towel, opened the door to the room and made a bee-line for the street. The fresh air felt good, and I took deep breaths as I pulled myself together. What was I really feeling? No one forced me to do anything that I wasn’t willing to do. My hands went where they went and my feet could have walked out at any time. I was a slut. And sluts do things like massage gym managers in dim, dank rooms and then they move on. So I did. To the beds of neighbors, teachers and former teachers, co-workers and cast members, playwrights and other creative types, including a random man standing in line at the museum. Until, one day, I met some other “this-is-it” kind of guy and, as he says, followed him home and never left.

Satisfied sluts can sustain stability. Tongue-twister? Yes. But it’s a truth worth twisting.

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Rochelle Newman is an award winning playwright and stand-up comic who leads a dual life as an advertising exec. She has been published in Advertising Age and other industry publications. She is currently an MFA student at Antioch University in Creative Non-Fiction.

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[Header Photo Credit: Feliz Paloma Gonzalez. View a gallery of his photography on NAILED, here.]

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Kirsten Larson

Kirsten Larson is a Contributing Editor at NAILED. She lives near Portland, Oregon. She loves words and is very curious. She received her MFA in writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She writes for The Huffington Post, and is an Adjunct Instructor at Portland State University. Her work can be found in NAILED, Huffington Post, Pathos, M Review, and several other places. She is currently working on two books.