Tamara the Slut

21Aug08

A pair of handcuffs used to dangle from my bedpost in my freshman year of university. These weren’t used for any sordid purpose — I wish they had been — but merely to be amusing, which they were, at least to me, and to freak out the squares, which they did.

One such square lived two doors down from me in our co-ed dorm. His name was John, though his high-school nickname back in Boca Raton, Florida, whither his family had fled from Kuwait at the beginning of the first Gulf War, had been Captain Conservative. One reason he was so called was his habit of asking new acquaintances within minutes of meeting them if they believed in premarital sex. He, needless to say, didn’t. That is, he believed it existed; he just didn’t think you ought to be doing it. But if you were, or even if, like me, you weren’t but wished you were, you’d have a long-winded debate on your hands. Fortunately, living between our two rooms to buffer me from such tedious and frankly needless proselytizing, as though placed there by the writers of a situation comedy, was our mutual neighbor, Tamara the Slut.

Tamara the Slut certainly believed in premarital sex, and she was prepared to prove it at the drop of the proverbial hat, or, more often, pants. This is why those who heard of her exploits called her Tamara the Slut. This nickname admittedly reflects a sexist double standard, but I shared a wall with her and could regularly hear her muffled moans of ecstasy after bringing home new conquests, so I can attest that it wasn’t entirely unearned. Some nights it was almost impossible for me to get to sleep with my ear pressed against the cold cinder blocks like that.

These conquests included a couple of our male floormates, one of whom she managed to seduce before orientation week had even begun, before anyone else had even moved in. It perhaps speaks to her lack of selectivity that, during an overly earnest discussion as to whether the voice of our generation was Kurt Cobain or if it was Eddie Vedder (this was in 1993, after all), this guy stated in complete serious that this distinction belonged to Phil Collins. But seriously, it should be against all odds that a guy like that should ever have an easy lover. (Okay, one more: No sex required for this man!)

Sleeping with one’s floormates — or “floor incest” — is often something of a taboo in co-ed dormitories (and even more so in same-sex ones, one imagines) given the likelihood it presents for discomfort and drama should the affair go bad. But our floor wasn’t like most. We in fact had five cases of floor incest that year, ranging from one-night stands to long-term relationships. One enthusiastic participant was a bald, 6’10” basketball player dubbed Midnight Oil Guy in our satirical campus newspaper’s coverage of the orientation-week activities. Once, Midnight Oil Guy popped his shaven head though my door to ask his roommate, who was visiting mine, if he could have their room that evening to entertain his girlfriend/neighbor. “Hey, have you heard the news?” I asked in a leering tone. “There’ll be good rocking tonight!” I later learned that this had gotten me perilously close to the ass-beating of a lifetime.

A primary reason for my floor’s discarding of social mores was that we were the only floor in any dorm on campus without a floor senior to administer discipline, ours having been fired, never to be replaced, for making inappropriately lewd comments to Tamara’s roommate, thus learning the hard way that she didn’t share her liberal views on hooking up. This actually should have been fairly obvious, as she spent many nights sleeping on a friend’s floor in a state of annoyance.

One might think that two people so diametrically opposed as Tamara the Slut and Captain Conservative would have hated each other. In fact, she was madly in love with him, or at least lust. Part of her crush was attributable to the fact that he was actually exceedingly handsome. The other part was because he was exceedingly unavailable. (I, by contrast, was merely exceedingly undesirable.) His resistance to her charms simply made her more determined to conquer him.

Because of our lack of a slightly older peer to wield small but arbitrary amounts of petty authority over us, we lived a state of mild lawlessness. This included at least one good-natured hostage-taking. More often, it included me tormenting John, whose serious nature made pulling pranks on him all the more satisfying. Once I stole his mattress and locked it in a bathroom, inadvertently leaving it soaking in a puddle of water, much to my fastidious target’s displeasure. Another time, I pasted a sign on his door reading “No Girls Allowed”, prompting the celibate John to go on a witch-hunt to find out who’d done it. I, of course, denied it, suggesting that another floormate could well have done it. (As this floormate had, unbeknownst to me, just gotten through defending me to John, this was actually a pretty jerky thing to do.)

Nevertheless, my torment of John didn’t preclude our camaraderie, and I once persuaded him to collaborate to pull a trick on Tamara that made use of my trusty handcuffs. Catching her off-guard, he seized her by the wrists, immobilizing them and allowing me to snap a manacle around them. With catlike quickness, I then snapped the other handcuff around his wrist and skipped merrily down the hall with the keys, leaving Captain Conservative and Tamara the Slut handcuffed together.

Not since Tony Curtis was chained to Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones, perhaps, had two so opposed personalities been so closely linked together. Tamara was actually unquestionably quite pleased to be trapped with her squirming prey; John, less so. I hid myself for a good half hour to let John’s fury cool — and to let Tamara’s ardor heat up.

After a while, I heard him calling my name. I peeked out from my hiding place in the laundry room to spy John patrolling the hallways looking for me — alone, with a broken chain dangling from his wrist. He’d been so determined — so desperate — to get away from his amorous admirer that he’d actually strained hard enough to snap the chain of a pair of standard police-issue handcuffs. What could I do in the face of such brute strength and Biblical wrath? I unlocked him and apologized in my most dulcet tones.

After our first year, we all moved out of the dorms and I saw my floormates less. Where they are now, I don’t know. John actually ended up breaking the floor incest taboo himself and dating the girl who lived on the other side of me, though they probably didn’t consummate the relationship until marriage, since she simultaneously also entered a new relationship with Jesus. (That actually kind of puts her, John, and Jesus in a bit of a ménage à trois situation.) As for Tamara, I like to think she eventually got her man. Like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, she nearly always did. They didn’t usually need to be led along in handcuffs, but she always was a little kinky, so I don’t think she minded if they were.



7 Responses to “Tamara the Slut”

  1. 1 Ken

    I feel like there should be a joke about missionary dating (when a Christian dates a non-believer–or brand new believer–in the hopes of persuading them into the fold) and the missionary position here, but I just can’t seem to make it happen…

  2. 2 Scott

    Was Tamara from Regina by any chance?

  3. 3 Scott

    HaHAH! In your recent comments it says “Scott on Tamara the Slut”. Worse is that it was just after “Ken” was “on Tamara the Slut”.

  4. 4 The Saskatchewan Roughriders

    I’m (we’re) pretty convinced that’s not a total coincidence Scott.

    There once was a Tamara from Regina…

  5. 5 John M

    Delores?

  6. 6 Question Mark

    Was her name pronounced ‘Tah-MARE-a’ or ‘Tah-MAHR-a’? It’s a pet theory of mine that every woman with the former pronunciation is sexually bashful, whereas the latter pronunciations are all randy as rabbits. I base this theory on knowing a grand total of two Tamaras.

  7. 7 Peter Lynn

    Jeez, I think it might have been pronounced both ways. I always said “Tah-MARE-a”, but I may well have been screwing it up, along with half the people she knew. She never corrected me, but maybe she was just casual about that sort of thing.


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