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The fine art of beingaslut

The following was asked to be anonymous for obvious reasons:

The Fine Art of Being a Slut:

I dont even remember the first time my mother told me to save myself. It was something I heard throughout my formative years, usually when she suspected I was doing something less than proper with one of the many older college boys (always Jewish, of course) with whom I hung out during my senior year of high school. The reasons for this continuous refrain werent halachic; my parents were baalei teshuva and knew little of taharat hamishpacha or hilchot negiah. It was an issue of what my mother called self-respect, a concept unfamiliar to most girls I knew in high school.

I lost my virginity to one of those college boys on a drunk and stoned winter night at the 18th birthday gathering I had organized for my best friend. I didnt even know his last name; he was my best friends boyfriends best friend. I felt like I was so cool, so sophisticated, for doing what none of my friends had done before.

My peers didnt find out right away. I was smart enough to tell only a few close friends. Although I was eager to lose my nerdy, goody-two-shoes reputation, I didnt want to take it too far, even though I didnt quite yet know what that was. However, I felt free to take my newfound badassness further, to the point that I was sneaking out with my best friend to see the guy from the party. Eventually, I was caught sleeping with him in my best friends car.

A huge rift was drawn between this friend and me because of the car incident, and she felt the need to discuss it with what seemed like the entire grade. While my friends had always disparaged prudes, girls who wouldnt make out with random strangers at parties, I had never heard criticism of the girls who would hook up with one or more of these guys a night; nor did I hear any comments about girls who would have sex with their boyfriends. The news spread like wildfire; who didnt want to hear about the top student, captain of the Debate Team and member of the All-State Chorus, who was having sex with college guys in the back of someone elses car?

You see, having sex wasnt cool for girls in an Orthodox environment, no matter how ritually observant the surrounding people actually were in practice. While the males had the freedom to do whatever they wanted to little fanfare, the females were watched more closely. The guys wanted virgins; that fact became increasingly clear. I became the butt of jokes, and my reputation seemed to change overnight. I ended things with the guy shortly after in a last-ditch effort to salvage my friendship with my best friend, but the rumors did not stop. I began to miss being a nerd, the one no one thought ever got any guys. Although I found it easier to find new hookups, it wasnt because I became more physically attractive or confident, but because the guys perceived me to be easier, something which I found out is not a compliment.

The reputation I acquired through my promiscuity was that of being one of those sluts. And while I had previously thought that being a slut was something to which I should aspire, I then realized that it was actually self-destructive. Whereas once I had been valued for my brain and talents; now, the males in my grade couldnt see past my sexual behavior.

The defining moment in this long-term realization took place the night of my graduation. My entire grade went to a party at one guys house. Afterwards, some of my friends and I were driven home by one guy who I had been in school with since first grade. One girl playfully asked him, What are you going to remember most about me?

He said, Your beautiful eyes. As she giggled, I asked him the same question out of curiosity. He thought for a moment, rubbing his chin, which already had the stubble of a man ten years older.

Youre the only girl I know whos had sex in the back of a car, he finally answered. All of us in the car opened our mouths with shock; did he actually just say that?

Youve known me since I was six! I protested. Is that really what youre going to remember? He shrugged.

What can I say? Its pretty memorable.

One action. One stupid, mindless action and I had changed my peers perception of me forever. But something that also hit me was the sheer double standard. Although more than half of the guys in my graduating class had had sex more than once, and mostly with girls who they were not dating, no one cared what they did. No one said that they were going to remember these guys for having sex with a girl on a plane, or in Poland, or in any number of places in the school building. But I, as a female, had my reputation tarnished forever.

It was then that I truly learned how to be normal in the Modern Orthodox teenaged community. On the part of females, people could forget sexual indiscretion as long as you didnt actually have sex. But once you crossed that linechaval. Although I became far more observant in college, my high school peers have not been able to forget a few months of mistakes from years ago. A girl I met this year from another state told me that she had heard about me and my sluttiness from a mutual friend. As I approach marriageable age, I fear my reputation following me to the point that I wont be able to find a shidduch. And thats a scary concept. That once you make a certain mistake, youre off the market forever, no matter how young or stupid you were at the time.

My mothers message to me, although trite, was something that resonated with me long after I decided to start keeping Shabbos. As I continue to grow both mentally and spiritually on my college campus, Im learning how to reconcile my values with the right way to be a slut. No, Im not having sex in anyone elses car. By slut, I mean that Im learning the right way to push boundaries, how to not go too far but still make waves. Being an outcast taught me how to be a real leader without using my sexuality.

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • kissmeimshomer November 8, 2010, 11:29 AM

    Reminiscent of Easy-A…?

  • Anonymous November 8, 2010, 11:29 AM

    awesome post. i support you. there is a guy out there who will be understanding.

  • Dr. Shrink November 8, 2010, 11:34 AM

    If she self-identifies as being a baalas teshuva/from a BT family, I wouldn’t worry too much. I can’t imagine a guy would agree to go out with her knowing she is from a BT family and were less religious when you she was younger, and then hear about the story and change his mind. In some ways, she is lucky that she weren’t raised in a frum orthodox home. If that were the case, she would be screwed…in a way different than the back of a car…

  • Dr. Shrink November 8, 2010, 11:39 AM

    I wrote that post without any proofreading…the grammar was almost as bad as comments posted in VIN…

  • anon November 8, 2010, 2:01 PM

    You really were the victim of a double standard. B”H you will find your shidduch, with someone who is not judgmental. And shame on all these “friends” for speaking lashon hara.

    I felt a lot of sympathy for you in your post, but I was a bit puzzled by your conclusion. Why do you have to identify as a “slut” at all? The word itself is emblematic of the double standard. And why do you feel a need to make waves? I hope that you find your true path in life.

  • Anonymous November 8, 2010, 3:08 PM

    1) I think your “friend” (she sounds like a real sweetheart, I highly doubt anyone with half a brain or good character judgment would like her) should stop talking. Spreading Lashon Hara like wildfire isn’t exactly a Mitzva, and it harms others.

    2) At least you aren’t a self-righteous fresh-out-of-seminary preaching type (or at least you don’t sound like one). Many of them were not exactly angels before, but they come back acting like they are perfect Frum little angels. People should stop being so full of it, and I admire that you aren’t.

  • Telz Angel November 8, 2010, 3:31 PM

    Hooray for your humanity. My suggestion, if your life is really being impacted by reputation ghosts and you cannot get a date or find social fulfillment — consider a move to another city. There is a certain freedom that comes with a refresh. Crazy, I know — and I expect comments that attack me for it.

    Speaking to a female friend of mine the other day, I understand that sex among frum singles is alive and well; both in Jerusalem and in the upper west side of NYC. At least in the M.O world people are usually using protection and engaging with each other in somewhat healthy and consensual ways. In some portions of the charedi world, the preferred route is a prostitute. Imagine how hard it it to get remarried if your charedi husband gave you an STD before the get.

    But youthful experimentation in the MO world is a reality that we’ll have to do a better job dealing with. We are plagued with unhealthy behaviors regarding sex and money. Hopefully moshiach will come and both will proliferate en masse.

    • DRosenbach November 8, 2010, 10:02 PM

      Unhealthy behaviors should proliferate en masse?

      • Telz Angel November 9, 2010, 1:51 AM

        Sex and Money.

  • s(b.) November 8, 2010, 8:26 PM

    Anyone who will judge you for a high school indiscretion isn’t the right guy for you. In time, I think most folks learn that tznius comes from the inside out, and you don’t advertise because you’re confident in your knowingness (and, hey, if you’ve got it, there’s no need to flaunt it).

  • ari November 8, 2010, 11:10 PM

    this post reminds me of that movie easy a

  • Michaltastik November 8, 2010, 11:34 PM

    Someone said she should have grown up frum? I think she went to a co-ed modox school because I’m telling you, no one in the public school would care or maybe you went to a weird school. The other possibility that crossed my mind is that they only talked so much because you were a goody two shoes. Most of the girls in my high school were having sex and in cars. If someone tried to talk like that, people would be like, so? And didn’t you say the friend was sleeping with her bf?

    I’ve heard that stuff goes on in my community and I don’t live on the UWS. I think it goes on in a lot of communities. Whoever said Chareidi go to prostitutes…. yep my otd friend says there are chareidi guys that go to bisexual parties and sleep with men. I bet their wives think they’re off learning, too.

  • Realistically Speaking November 9, 2010, 3:34 AM

    I guess I am what you would call one of those “disparaged prudes” that saved myself for marriage. I have no regrets doing so. I from a FFB family. Although I’m pretty much down to earth, I do admit sometimes being naive about the world outside of me. Its not a shocker to me that FFB’s sleep around. Do I justify their sexual illicit activities? No. But who is going to save their virginities for their soul mates when they are pushing 40? If I were still single, I wouldn’t know what I would do and decide whether its still worth my while to wait around or not. I was never taught about abstinence for the record.I was only told that boys and girls are not suppose to talk to each other, let alone touch each other before marriage because its one of those things “that are not done” in frum circles. It was assumed that we knew better than to cross the line less we not only damage our reputations but our families suffer from it as well. Not everyone listened though. I knew of bais yaakov girls who would go clubbing and getting drunk with non-jews. Although I had enough self respect not to sleep around with random strangers, I was not strictly shomer as I should have been.I couldn’t fathom the idea of dating guys who were shomer. I crave for emotional and physical romance and most people who are shomer are clueless in that department.This woman mentions the double standard of guys who she slept with now only want to marry virgins.Ironically, I dated a guy who admitted sleeping around with girls on our first date. I felt it wasn’t fair for me to have saved myself for someone who didn’t do the same for me so you can imagine how that date ended.I am now happily married and my physical and emotional intimacy is satisfactory.We were shomer until our relationship got more serious. In some ways, I wish I were more shomer before we’ve gotten married but then again I wonder how we would have been able to pull it off had we have been. Where do I stand on premarital sex one may ask? Yes I believe sleeping around has its repercussions and can be damaging which is why singles collectively decide that they are in no rush to get married.And when they finally want to settle down, they have to reconcile their past with the person they want to marry. After all, why buy a car when you can rent one instead? I think self respect in an important factor in one’s image and self esteem. I do believe that people sexually benefit more from saving themselves till marriage than those who didn’t wait till 18. What was done was done. Everyone has skeletons in their closets. Yes, we have to live with our mistakes.But we all got to find a way to forgive ourselves and move past it. The best thing would be for this woman is to disassociate from her “friends” and find a man who can look past her sexual activities and love her for who she is or find someone who has been on the same boat.

  • Synapse November 9, 2010, 6:45 AM

    I’d date her. We all do stuff we later regret, even stuff of this kind of nature. More important than anything else, people just need to learn to let go. A mistake you made in the past is no big deal unless it continues to define you (or rather that it haunts you). Then I’d say you shouldn’t be dating anyone until you can work your issues out.

  • BH November 9, 2010, 9:47 AM

    This letter makes me rethink my path to being frum. The judgemental aspects of being religious make me feel like I am being sufficated- from wearing a wig to cover my hair, having my body covered with clothing, not being able to pat a guy on the sholder, and repressing any kind of sexuality feels unnatural to me. To get through it I will go away for a weekend to a place where nobody knows me and wear whatever I want, eat whatever I want, and actually hold my husbands hand in public. It gets me through the hard times. To this girl I say: there is a whole world out there with many kinds of Jews- ones who wont give a crap that you once slept with someone in the back of a car. Ones who wont judge you harshly because they follow their love of Hashem from a place of true love, not because they are trying to be more stringent and more bound then the next guy to ‘prove’ they love Hashem the most.

  • relax November 9, 2010, 8:10 PM

    What you did is practically a rite of passage amongst human beings. So you had sex with a dude in the back of a car, big deal.

    As you grow up you’ll realize that its not a big deal and any guy with an ounce of depth will be happy to date someone as introspective and honest as yourself.

    The double standard is quite apparent, you either have to deal with it or find a new social circle. The Modox community in NYC is merely a lifelong continuation of high school with all associated pettiness.

    good luck woman

  • . November 9, 2010, 8:40 PM

    You sound like you’re a pretty mature, open-minded, and thinking person. I have doubt you’ll get over it and stop worrying about what happens if some other people can’t.

  • anonymous November 10, 2010, 9:28 PM

    You’re very strong for being able to write this article; it can’t have been easy. I applaud you for not trying to hide who you were or are, and I think that any guy who doesn’t recognize the ways you’ve grown and changed from this experience doesn’t deserve you.

  • Islander Canvas November 11, 2010, 3:12 PM

    This girl is all slutty and all, and might not find a husband?

    But, what about the frummies at the high school yeshiva’s who have slept around with the other boys? Or about the one who got pregnant, and made the baby “invisible” and gave the baby to a gentile? BTW true story, and her brother is a rabbi.

    Or, about the frummy teens who have slept with the Rabbi. BTW also true story, it is in that screwed family!

    They went and married the above baby give awayer.

    So, whats the point?

    Go and get stitched, and the problem is solved, and say that everybody lied. $500.00 only, and your good as new. They can’t prove anything. You want the name of the doc?

    The worst thing you can do, you can marry a gentile (they don’t seem to mind), and then you can convert him, lol!

  • Kurt Schwitters January 24, 2019, 9:38 PM

    Half the women at Brandeis are in the dark about what part goes where. So much for being the smart girls at the science fair!

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