I shared two incidences that seem in my mind today, to be the two most significant events of my promiscuity but there were others which set the concrete that was forming in my heart.
Back in high school, I'd made a brief attempt at pursuing a modeling career. On a random visit to Gates Pass, my dad and I had met a photographer who wanted to photograph me. My claim to fame, he'd told me, would be my 'incredible eyelashes'. (He was quite adept at flattery.) He took me on a couple of shoots where I put on a bikini and posed among some construction equipment, complete with sprayed on oil. He then offered to take me with him to Mexico for a 'real' shoot. Thankfully, my father had seen through his scheme and declined the photographer's 'generosity'. I was livid! (And sooooo very naive, I marvel at the things I believed then. Eyelashes!!! Seriously, any girl can have those with a pair of falsies and some glue!)
In my naivety, I imagined that I could have what Vogue and Cosmo advertised if I simply looked the part. Among all the humiliation of my earlier life, I somehow still believed that I was beautiful, even beautiful enough to join the ranks of Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer. (Yeah, it was naive, but young people have hopes that aren't always quite realistic. And besides, who needs to be 6ft tall, the agents just hadn't seen me yet, that was the only real holdup.)
I was operating under a very specific belief. If I am a model, it will mean that I am 'good enough'. Or maybe even that I am better. So I pursued that goal.
I shopped for just the right ensemble in which to present myself at the local modeling agency. (Did you know those are really just schools expecting payment from would be models? Erhmmm.........I didn't.) I found a short, tight skirt, a cute jacket and a strapless top with the highest heels I could manage. To that, I added reasonably well applied makeup and a rather pathetic effort at 90's hair. I was so sure they were going to feel lucky to have me.
'Well, this isn't what I was expecting', I thought to myself. But not to worry, once the photographer saw me, it'd all be good. I set about answering the questions and filling in my info. When I got to the bit about how I'd pay, I began to worry. Looking more carefully, the realization hit me that this was actually a school to prepare people for a career in modeling.
After finishing the paperwork and finally being ushered into a room to actually talk to someone, the stark truth hit me upside the head. I was too fat, too short, probably needed a boob job, needed to tone and I'd require a ton of training to learn how to walk right, hold myself right, blah, blah, blah. I weighed about 132 lbs at that time in my life, I was 5'7. When I looked in the mirror, I thought I looked pretty good, but the truth was, I didn't look like a model.
Not to be deterred, I went back the next week for a 'trial session'. I really had no idea that modeling was actually hard work and required technique. In the end, I could pay up for lessons, quite a few of them for a quite a few dollars, or 'there' was the door. I walked through it.
I was crushed. My hopes for 'making it' were in the toilet and I realized I was going to have to figure out how to live. Reflection is an interesting thing. I've spent years telling people I modeled as a young woman. I suppose on some very small level it is true, but really, it is just how I wanted to be viewed. I wanted to be seen as a woman who held sway over the world through remarkable beauty. Somehow, I thought that would put me in a better light than the reality.
The reality was that I was an ordinary pretty girl. Lots of girls are pretty because God makes girls pretty, it's part of the plan. But beauty doesn't define or elevate any one of us above the others. It's a gift like any other, from the Maker, for His glory and our good.
I reconnected with a guy I'd known in high school who was recently out of jail for selling drugs. I'd liked him in school and thought perhaps we could rekindle something. We couldn't, but it required sex to determine that.
I dated a few guys from work. One was a great guy who had a girlfriend back home. The reality was, I didn't date him because he wouldn't date me. He was faithful to his girl, a genuine good guy, but I told myself we were dating. And I hoped I could lure him away from her.
The other fellow was a confessed, practicing alcoholic, but I didn't mind. He was someone to be with when I was lonely. Meaningless, empty sex.
One man I dated as a challenge. A friend told me that she could get him into bed before I could. He was 32 years old, married, and the father of a two year old. I took up the challenge, and won. What a lousy prize! He was the biggest pig of all, a mechanic with a garage full of pornography and no shame in the way he spoke to me or about me to others. He humiliated me often by 'bragging' on our sexual adventures as I stood there. It wasn't any challenge at all to get him to bed, but I fell for it all the same. He was a philandering pig and I his accomplice. Once again, I was willingly participating. In the end, his wife found out and he divorced. More shame. I was to blame, at least partly, for the break-up of a family.
I slept with another mechanic when I needed my car fixed. I was living cheaply, smoking away most of my earnings and barely managing to survive. But I still wasn't ready to do anything different. I was still grasping at what I thought would fulfill.
My life at that point had been greatly informed by lewd Jackie Collins novels which painted a vivid picture of the need for a young woman to be a confident 'bi%$*' and a distorted 1980's entertainment industry and I was pursuing that dream for all I was worth.