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Sex + Relationships

“If you’re not going to have sex with me, then what are you good for?”

“If you’re not going to have sex with me, then what are you good for?”

…………………

This semester, I have struggled to find topics to write about for my articles. Over the past few months, I’ve realized just how much of my life I have shared through writing for Her Campus and therefore, how much I have given others the opportunity to judge me. I’ve been a bit afraid to write anything too personal this semester out of the fear of what people will have to say about me. People can read my writing and see that I’ve made mistakes…some of them more than once. While this article has been one of the most challenging ones I have written over the past few years, I think it is a moment in my life that is part of an important conversation about upholding the worth and dignity of others. To me, it feels like a topic that is worth taking a risk and sharing, which is why I have chosen to write about it despite how vulnerable it feels.

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One Friday night, I went over to my friend’s boyfriend’s house. I had gone over there quite a few times before and I always had a good time with the people who live there. There was one person in the house who I had actually been seeing occasionally over the course of the semester. It was never a particularly serious situation, but at the time it seemed fun. However, at a certain point on that Friday night, it was not exactly fun anymore. He started being very rude to me, so I told him that I wanted to talk to him away from other people to see what the issue was. 

Standing outside of the house, he yelled the question, “If you’re not going to have sex with me, then what are you good for?” After hearing this and many other hurtful comments, I started to cry. Once he knew that he had made me upset to the point of tears, he began to laugh in my face. I guess in his mind he had achieved his goal. At that point, all I could think to do was run back inside the house and grab my bag. 

Luckily, someone from his house walked me back home to my building. When his housemate asked me why I was upset, I told him a little bit about what had happened, but I left out the question I had been asked. I think I wanted to pretend I had never even heard it. Just hearing the question replay in my head felt absolutely humiliating. 

As fate would have it, as I was entering my building one of my best friends was walking out the front door. Once I saw her, I realized she was not particularly doing too hot, so I brought her back inside. As I was putting her into bed and giving her something to eat, she asked me why I had come back so early. I told her that I would tell her in the morning. Needless to say, when I told her what happened the next day she was not pleased. 

…………………

I’ve had experiences with men saying rude comments to my face in the past. In fact, certain articles from semesters past have mentioned those times. However, this moment felt different from the others. It was truly the first time I had ever felt degraded based on what I was choosing to physically provide to a man. While it may have been said by a person whose opinion of me should not matter, his question has made me wonder just how much I am being judged based on the choices I make about what I do or choose not to do with my body. 

My first day being back at school since I was asked that question made me look at my high school students differently, especially my female students. Since my students are not much younger than I am, I’ve wondered how many of them will someday have to hear another person say something like that to them. I’ve also wondered how many of them at sixteen years old have already had to hear another person say something like that to them. 

I hope that I never have to hear another man speak to me like that ever again. The fact that something like this could very well happen to me again bothers me and to a certain extent, even scares me.

While this situation has shaken me a bit, it has reminded me of some important things. I have been reminded of the great support system I am lucky to have. I am grateful for my friends who have gone on long walks with me, taken me to Chick-fil-a, and sat with me while I cried. I am grateful for my parents who have reminded me how much I am loved and how much of a loser the person is who said that to me. This situation has also reinforced how vital it is for me to teach my students the importance of respecting and upholding the dignity of others. 

To answer the big question I was asked, there are many things that I can provide to a person that go beyond sex. I could choose to name some of those things, but I do not feel that I need to. My worth as a human being far surpasses what that question implied. I will never allow myself to feel as if I am an object for another person’s use.

Erin Sousa

Stonehill '22

Erin is a senior at Stonehill College and is from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, also known as "Chelmsvegas" to its residents. She is majoring in Secondary Education and English and hopes to become one of those hip and stylish high school English teachers with really cool glasses. Erin loves Maine beach days, country music, and anything to do with mermaids. She writes about her misadventures on Her Campus because she believes everyone is a little crazy, everyone's life is a little crazy, and we can find comfort in being reminded that we aren't alone.
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