Using Men for Money, Sex and Self-Esteem
Life holds lessons. Some, you must learn first-hand.
As a young teen I had a crush on my brother’s friends. Once, when we were hanging out, my dad ordered me back in the house.
“What were you doing out there with them?”
“Just hanging out.”
“If you keep hanging out with boys you’ll grow up to be a slut.”
I was furious. I couldn’t believe he told me that! To this day, it still makes me mad.
Seeing myself as beautiful in men’s eyes
But in high school I got to hang out with my brother and his friends. It was cool. They all looked out for me, and it was like I had more older brothers.
The bad part was that, as their friend’s sister, I was “off limits.”
I didn’t understand that though and got depressed, thinking no one liked me because I was fat and ugly.
My best friend was skinny, blonde and beautiful, and all the guys liked her.
But things changed. I went to college and met hot guys who had plenty of weed and beer. They hit on me, and I hooked up with some of them.
My skinny, blonde friend said they were using me, that I was their “group hoe.”
I got mad and said I didn’t care if they thought that. Because I was using them.
I thought she was jealous that I was getting the attention now.
Assaulted yet hooking up
But one night one of the guys got mad at me and spit in my face. I got angry and hurled myself at him. But he was stronger and pushed me into a door. When I left he ran after me, said he was sorry, and asked me to come back. Like a dummy I did, and we hooked up as usual.
Sadly, this wasn’t the last time I was assaulted by guys who I thought were my friends.
I eventually decided that I didn’t want to be with macho men like my dad, who is Mexican. So one night when one of these guys tried to get me into a room I told him that I only like white guys. That pissed him off. He called me a stuck-up, racist bitch and told me to leave.
As I grabbed my keys he pushed me. So I scratched his face with the keys. But he had a pocket knife and cut into my right temple. Then he threw me out.
I called the police but the guys said I was drunk and fell on a table. Since I was hysterical, the police believed them and let them go.
I was traumatized, especially since the one guy I had been hooking up with for almost three years didn’t try to stop his friend from attacking me.
I became isolated and depressed.
And I was pregnant. The father called me one day to yell about how I’d acted at “his boy’s” house (the one who stabbed me).
I told him that I was pregnant with his child at the time it happened.
He called me a liar, said it wasn’t his, and said I’d better get rid of it. So I did… It still brings me to tears.
Now I look back at lessons learned. Like this one: Don’t judge an entire race (including my own) by the actions of a few. And don’t say insulting things to people.
I also see that my dad’s attitude – “hanging out with boys will make you a slut” – was limiting me to a sexual thing. I’d wanted to prove him wrong, but in the end I wonder if I sexualized myself.
Having sex with guys who treated me poorly was definitely a bad choice.
I also wonder if I had sex with those guys because I wanted to use them? Or if I did it because my self-esteem was based on being seen as sexually attractive?
Did I have sex with those guys because I wanted to “be one of the guys,” act like a “player” and use them? And if I did, was that a good thing? Is that a good thing for anyone, regardless of gender? Now I think not.
Actually, using men for money and sex and self-esteem was never something I wanted. I just told myself that, so that I could feel in charge of my life.
Now I know that there are a lot better ways of being in charge of your life. And whatever I was doing then, it wasn’t that.
This was written by one of my students who asked to use a pen name.
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