Men have a secret desire for, obsession with, them. “Why do you have “sluts” listed as a fetish of yours?” he asks me. “Oh” I respond casually, “I mean I like being called one in bed…” A look of understanding washes over his face and he nods before grinning, “you mean the private kind. The slut you are for your lover.” And I nod enthusiastically, giggling a little, before the conversation continues on down a path of discussing our mutual likes and dislikes about television shows.
It is another time with another man. A few weeks later. Yesterday. We are discussing the path we want our relationship to go down—talking about the big date we have planned for next Thursday, the charm bracelet he has bought me. He is speaking in a quiet, sweet tone with a hint of edge to it—he is horny. “You know I am all yours, right? I don’t ever want anyone else, just you.” I amused by this because we haven’t even had sex yet, and for that reason alone I know that he also probably means it. “I know” I answer, quietly. “And are you my little slut?” He asks. I giggle then, “yes. Your own private dirty little slut.” He is delighted by this answer; he tells me it is a very good answer, the best answer.
These encounters—as well as others—have led me to believe that most men harbor a secret desire for the “slutty girl.” You know what kind of girl I am talking about, which stereotype I am referring to. But there are also certain stipulations that come along with it, a certain kind of slut they want. Most men it seems want the kind of girl who is sweet and “normal” doing the day. For instance, the second guy I mentioned likes to spend hours in bookstores while we wander around trying to find books we are both interested in, a kind of game. He talks sweetly to me and suggests that I bake dessert if he gets took cook dinner, he wants to know my hopes and dreams, what my definition of “happiness” is. We bond over our mutual nerdiness and fear of people leaving us, we bond over knowing we will never do that to other unless it is mutual. We both have the same ideas of “fun”, which is a date spent exploring the city and ending with cuddling in bed. That is to say, we have very vanilla interests.
But in private—or even sometimes discreetly in public—things are different. He is less inhibited, and I as well. We have not had sex yet, but we have talked about it and I have learned a lot about him as person. The very core of him, the things he keeps hidden from hi friends and sometimes even himself; when we talk about these things, he stops calling me “sweetie” or “baby” and it is replaced by that word, “slut.” Lots of women object to this kind of talk, see it as degrading in some way, and that is there right. I however love it, it is a way of getting away from who I am, it makes me less inhibited.
But guys like this don’t want actual “sluts”—whatever that is. They want to have their cake and eat it too. It is why they ask the question, “why do you like being a slut” (answer: “because I know I am not one, because it is just for you”); it is why they ask over and over, “you’re my slut aren’t you? Just for me, yes?” They want to believe that it has been no one before them and will be no one after them. They want to believe that you have never gave these same responses to any other man, that he is the only one who you have played this game with. It is why they buy you tokens of affection, call you pet names, kiss you gently on the forehead or on the side of your lips while looking at museum displays, it is why they stare at you in that funny way when you’re twirling pasta on your fork. Because they believe that they are the only ones who have ever been privy to that other side of you; the only ones who has ever felt your hand lightly on them while you examine the mummy display, or browsed albums in a music store.
I know I should believe that it’s terribly unfair and misogynistic to live up to being the Good Bad Girl. Lots of women don’t—they pick a side and wave the flag proudly, ignoring or shaming the other. I don’t blame them, nor do I judge them. However, there is something so fun—so utterly delightful—in choosing to be both at once. In talking dirty to him in my favorite Spider-man t-shirt, the coyness of it all that drives him wild; to be sweet and tangy at the same time.
And that is the true power. I do it as much for my own joy, my own secret desire and obsession, as his.