On Words

on words

So I lost my virginity somewhere in his room. It happened among the piles of dark clothes sown to the industrial carpet−the murky kaleidoscope type particular to universities because it is stain-resilient. But the trouble is not the carpet. The trouble is not that he kept so many clothes on the floor that finding my underwear afterwards took longer than it should have. The trouble is not even him. The trouble is that I “lost” it, or worse, that he might have “taken” it. Because quite frankly, I don’t particularly want to know where it went, nor am I asking for it back.

The truer trouble is that I don’t know how to talk about it. The language I have is restricting, ascribing and denying agency, without considering that my experience might fill the space of more than four letters. The words I’m left to sift through with my pen offer unintentional power dynamics, framing the experience in a way that traps me in a traditional narrative. Because unlike my homeGirls who may be deflowered but not devalued, I don’t feel deflowered if it means he is emflowerpowered at my expense. My loss of virginity wasn’t an exchange, transferred upon penetration. It was a pro-con list with my roommate, questions about his sexual health and a moment of crafted spontaneity.

And I’d just like a word to say that. A word free from connotations of defensiveness and innocence and even empowerment. A word that fills the ears of my listeners with understanding. Maybe it’s already out there, and some girl with a shorter list of expectations and hair the color of mine has carved a place for it in her mouth. Or maybe, it’s already pressed itself against my tongue and I’m just saying it wrong.

 by: Katie Harris, Contributor 

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All images found via Google Image Search. 

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