Confessions of Una Dejada

Before my breasts even fully developed, I understood my body walked a fine line.

My older primas would go out to parties or the movies, but before they took a step out the door my tía kindly reminded them, “No vayan andar de culo flojo.” A phrase that directly translates to “don’t go around with a loose ass.” A phrase that sounds silly in English, but is felt harshly in Spanish like rubbing alcohol on paper cuts, even to me, a prepubescent girl with no ass at the time.

Growing up, my abuelita watched telenovelas where Sandra and Ignacio would begin to make love and she’d cover my eyes because young girls were not allowed to watch that. Yet mi prima Jenny was only four years older than me cuando se embarazo. Did her abuela not cover her eyes? Jenny had a baby a couple of months after her quinceañera, a day that marks a girl becoming a woman, except she would have to become a woman while she was still a girl. A chorus of whispers followed Jenny as her stomach grew three times its size. Her child’s birth was partly a celebration, but mostly a lamentation of Jenny’s circumstance because as my tia says only “una dejada” ends up a teen mom. Dejadas are the ones that “give it up” to a man. But how dare they open up their legs, never mind their hearts, to a man?

Una mujer cannot know pleasure before she knows shame porque asi es la cosa. Mi cuerpo is not solely my own, but also my tias, tios, abuelos, and Dona Tomasa from down the street. I’ve been told que exagero. I’m too loud about my discomfort.  

In Spanish, dejar means “to allow.” So when I allow a man to feel the curve of my waist and I allow him to inspire my sighs and moans, I have control over my body. I allow my body to feel pleasure without losing or giving up any part of my worth because

I am a proud dejada.

by Karen Garcia


Karen Garcia