Inappropriate

I never understood the whole “Catholic School Girl” fetish. How is a short plaid skirt with knee high socks that appealing? How is it deviant or freaky when it was such an over-played fantasy? Good girls gone bad? Isn’t that kind of conventional and boring? No? Really? Ok.

But, recently, I finally figured it out. I wasn’t raised in a religious household. We never did the guilt thing. No concept of original sin. No feeling shameful about the body. No belief in purity nor the fear of losing of it. None of that sanctimonious attachment to virginity. I did not understand that the Catholic School Girl fetish was about the guilt that the girl was feeling.

But I had to experience my own version of it to understand. I met a man, who, for every indicator, was my kind of guy. He gave off all the indicators that I was the kind of woman he wanted to attract. Same style, same affinity for all things urban, healthy, fun, we went to the same clubs, had similar circles of friends. He made his attraction clear upon our meeting. The flirting was intense. Eyes catching across rooms, quick brilliant smiles flashed mid-conversation. He let me know he was single. I let him know I was available. We hung out. But… it never went further. I was confused. I found myself calling him a tease. I was frustrated. Is this all you want from this attraction? Just to flirt? He never crossed the line. Never pushed for more. So there was something else there, some barrier that I couldn’t see.

Turns out it was his religious beliefs. He had recently re-devoted himself to the faith he was raised in. He had let little hints slip out while we were spending time together; like why he didn’t drink alcohol, why he didn’t want to go to Burning Man, why he didn’t eat certain foods. But I wasn’t paying attention to all that. I was having fun. I was waiting to have the appetite that was building for this man to be satisfied. Until finally he had to just blurt it out that he was committed to his beliefs; which meant he was not available casual dating. He was looking for a spouse. I was not.

And all of a sudden, what we were doing was dirty! The flirting, the making out, even just the close proximity of our bodies was naughty to him! I was temptation incarnate. And he was there, waiting to be corrupted, willing himself to behave, but finding he could not. Every touch between us became illicit. Hah! Never in a million years would I categorize myself or my behavior as that. But that was the reality he was living in. He was my version of the Catholic School Girl!

It was hot for about 5 seconds.I can see why it is a fantasy. The reality is not very sexy. I respect his beliefs, but I respect my own too. And my set of values placed him in the inappropriate category. All of that anguish and guilt is just not attractive, nor healthy. I am not interested in living out the false dichotomy of sexuality versus spirituality. But playing with it… whole different story. Now when I don the plaid skirt and knee high socks, I am much more aware of what I am playing with.

Airial Clark

As of May 2012, I will have completed my Master’s Degree in Human Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University. Prior to attending graduate school, I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2007 with a double major BA in English Literature and Anthropology while raising two young sons as a single parent. At Cal, I was President of the Student Parent Association. I am a regular contributor to the Sex Positive Photo Project of the SF Bay Area and Shades Magazine. I have presented my original research at multiple academic conferences and symposiums. I will be presenting my Master’s Thesis Study at the OpenSF Conference this June. I have trained with Community at Work to be a group facilitator and am fully committed to the participatory process of decision making.

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