Various Authors

One Time


One time, I was a freshman in college, and when I went over to fraternities I basically thought all the people inside of them were men, were coarse, sex-crazed, and I was whatever they weren’t, whatever they lacked.

One time I faked a crush on a guy at sleepaway camp to try to fit in with my bunkmates, only to find myself further ostracized because, apparently, this guy was “obviously gay.”

One time I played Star Wars Risk with my boyfriend and a bunch of his friends, and later I overheard one of them say to another of them, “You never know with a girl whether she actually enjoys the game or just wants to fit in with the guys”—briefly convincing me that my dignity depended on the depth of my passion for intergalactic domination.

One time, while visiting my brother at his college frat house, a guy I’d never spoken a word with asked me point blank if I wanted to hook up—no thanks, I said, so he told me I was uptight like my brother, and when I told him that wouldn’t help, he walked over to the kitchen, opened the fridge, and yelled, I wanna get my D wet.

One time, I got iced, and I was on my knees drinking the Smirnoff, but I was so weak and bad at it (I think I generated tears while doing it and had to take breaks) that the surrounding people, who should have been cruel and pushy, started saying “you can do it!” and other supportive things.

One time, after protesting while my brother and some boys from the neighborhood were pouring salt on slugs, I got revenge by pranking him: I hid fruit around his room to rot, I put peanut-butter on the underside of his doorknob, and I laid a damp towel between his mattress and his fitted sheet.

One time I was at a New Year’s weekend in Sonoma on a mostly men friends group stoner retreat, and I became very worried about sexuality ruining the breezy, co-ed fun, and so I tried really hard to pretend it wasn’t there.

One time (but really a dozen times) I told a guy I’d started hanging out with one-on-one that it was fun hanging out, and he responded by saying “oh yeah? I’m really into you too!” *hug*—after which we stopped hanging out as much.

One time, he entered my room urgently to ask if lesbians were real: or did they [sic] just need Deep Penetration?

One time my first year of college I banged a dude in my dorm and immediately acquired a “reputation,” which only became apparent when I went to a frat party with a group of male friends, where an older guy from our dorm approached me, said “You’re a wild one, aren’t you,” and started touching my breast—in the middle of a conversation, while a whole group of (male) people listened and watched!—and when I tried to slap him to make him stop, he began slapping me back, in the face, kind of hard, over and over; my friends just shepherded me out of the party and I have rarely felt so angry and powerless and unprotected.

One time I ended up in Philly in a frat house and that realization came when I looked around me and I was the only female-presenting individual in the whole house, and it was raining outside and I remember “feeling high” for the first time in my life: the raindrops felt so good and they were falling oh so slowly like each drop was pausing to let me know it was about to fall on me and then gently making its way.

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