platonic slut

February 22, 2020
2 min read

A label Tessa and Kelly came up with for me, because I have so many platonic one-night stands.1

Sure enough, I had platonically “fucked,” without entering into a close social relationship with, half of the people in the room.

“We had a one night stand,” one friend realizes.

“I had mine over the summer,” adds another.

“Tessa is your platonic hookup,” says Kelly.

In the past few days, I realized just how many people this applied to. Teammates, dormmates, classmates, club members, friends of friends, anyone I could get to. People who I had spoken to once, who now say hi to me, but who aren’t “friends.” Former platonic hookups. Not that I wouldn’t want to be friends, or talk more with them, just that I don’t: once is easy. Consistency takes effort and circumstances lining up.

I enjoy good conversations with good people more than anything else, often setting aside work or sleep in pursuit of it. During Phillipian, I went on for hours every single night; over breaks and now without Phillipian, I rotate through friends old and new on Messenger. I flaunt my platonic promiscuity and always seek it, push every comment and conversation towards an earnest, meaningful, personal, vulnerable one. In group settings, in loud, shallow conversations, I am frustrated and seek more. I never get tired of it, I always hunger for more. Am I a platonic sex addict?

It feels weirdly validating, to have a label that people think about and then enthusiastically assign to me. Being a slut implies having power, however twistedly.2 I had really wanted to get better at reaching out to people, getting people to trust me. I wanted to be like Arno, the person everyone could go to for advice and support. At times I felt like I had done it — though for sure with plenty left to learn from his charisma and power to reassure — except Arno had had a rock solid, explosively vibrant friend group. I don’t. I’m just a platonic slut.3

“I’d be down to make it a two night stand,” a friend tells me.

Maybe being a platonic slut isn’t so bad.

  1. The root of this parallel is conflict of social expectation vs. what the actual intense part is/what is actually valued. In romance, we’re traditionally pressured to enter long-term relationships, marry someone, and start a family. Hookups avert all this and just go straight to sex/physical affection. Similarly, the social norm is to be part of a friend group, have best friends to confide everything in, etc. My method of just seeking connections with anyone skips all this and gets straight to emotional vulnerability and trust — thus, platonic hookups, and me often seeking these instead of normal social relationships making me a platonic slut. 

  2. A friend pointed out that the label “slut,” in addition to declaring prosmicuity, traditionally also connotes uncleanliness, immorality, etc., and is rooted in/perpetuates misogny. It’s important to acknowledge that my friends came up with “platonic slut” as a label for me and I’ve been able to embrace it only because “slut” has been reclaimed from its derogatory nature by movements for sex positivity, women’s empowerment, etc. 

  3. Arno is like…healthy platonic polyamority with a main family?