After years of trying to make it as a solo artist
in the male-dominated music industry, I knew the
drill: If they didn’t want to fuck you, they
weren’t interested in talking to you.
Image was a major factor in building a successful singing
career, and I felt tremendous pressure to dress and act very sexy.
Growing up I’d always been extremely awkward and shy.
Sometimes I’d go a week in school without saying a word.
I had a super skinny body, a big nose, and a
huge frizzy mop of hair with fluffy bangs.
To succeed in the music industry I’d either have to
cut my head off and start with a completely new face
and body, or pump up the sex appeal.
So I put on a tight dress, fake eyelashes,
a bright orange spray-tan, and neon lipstick.
My first teenage sexual experience consisted
of hours and weeks spent half naked with the
same very well endowed boy and not the first
clue what to do with him.
We groped endlessly in the dark (literally
and metaphorically), both teetering on the
edge of orgasm but never quite making it.
I Wasn’t Bold Enough
In today’s terms, I wasn’t sexually empowered.
It took a few more years and several rereads
of The Female Eunuch before I could either
contemplate tasting my own menstrual blood
(as Germaine Greer famously advocated) or
feel entitled enough to orgasm with a man.