My Strange Friendship with Pam

I remember the first time I saw her. She looked tiny, much smaller than the other girls on the team, but she was all over the court. These were two hour practices, both in the morning before school and after school got out. The coach, Mr. Lewis, was very serious and worked the girls hard. I was in the gym because my first long-term girlfriend, Jill, had a volleyball practice and though we had broken up that summer, I still loved her. We were still good friends.

So Pam was a sophomore trying out for the senior girl’s volleyball team, while Jill was a senior returning member and had a power-hitting spot secured. My sister also played on the team so I enjoyed watching their games and practices. It was September 1982. I was eighteen, Pam was fifteen. The image below is her 1982-83 Year Book picture, and it was taken around the time we first started dating.

1982_09_pam

When I learned that Jill was seeing someone else, a friend of mine who was two years her senior, I decided it might be time for me to start looking elsewhere. I actually really liked the guy Jill was dating, and that made the choice somewhat easier.

We began talking in the gym, Pam and I, and were soon hanging out away from school. She was pretty amazing. Smart, athletic, cute and funny. And fun. Imagine Pam’s outgoing personality and dry wit in a beautiful, wide-eyed teenager. She was so self-aware, and though she was younger than I was by three years, she completely controlled the relationship. I just liked being with her.

She was incredibly sensual, and that sensuality appeared effortless. It was just who she was at 15 years old. She knew exactly what she wanted and she used her sensuality to get it. In the gym, the classroom, the halls and the outside world. Even for an older guy like me it was mesmerizing.

We began dating mid-September and spent the next month and a half “hanging out” when our schedules allowed it. We spent much of our time outdoors, enjoying the weather at the Spit, at the river or just playing volleyball or soccer on the grass. We met each others’ parents and would usually hang out in the evening at her place on Chinook Drive, watching movies and just talking. Much of that time we were laying on the couch, in each others’ arms. Making out. Laughing. Making out again. Talking. Making out. Falling asleep.

About a week after we started dating I bought her a t-shirt. It was white with light blue sleeves, and had a 4″ volleyball on the front. I had the number ’69’ stenciled onto the back in black for an extra dollar. Though I was still officially a virgin, I did have some past sexual experiences that I enjoyed. Maybe I was testing the waters with the ’69’? I really can’t remember, though I tend to believe it was more about the shock value than seeing what I could get away with with her. For the record, it was a size too small but she loved it and wore it beautifully.

At fifteen, Pam was maybe 5’2 and the only reason she broke 100 pounds was because muscle weighs more than fat. She was solid, and very athletic, and the fact that she made the senior team as a grade ten attests to this. And gawd, she was so fucking cute. Both her looks and her personality. She had dark, short hair, cut well above the shoulders, almost pixie-ish, and a natural olive complexion. People couldn’t help but notice her. She was beautiful.

I preferred spending time with her alone, rather than in public. She was different when we were alone. Better. More honest. I noticed something early on when we were on the downstairs couch at her parent’s place. After we began making out, she straddled me almost immediately, taking total control. As I looked up at her I became uncomfortable. She was so young-looking. Her next move was obviously going to be to remove her tank top, but she barely had breasts underneath. I stopped her. Hugged her. Brought her back down to earth. And that’s when I began to see the real Pam.

She continued to be naturally sensual. She just couldn’t help it. But when we were alone that disappeared. I like to think she felt safe, like she didn’t have to be that person for me to like her. Because she didn’t.

Though we ended our relationship in November 1982, we continued to see each other at school and socially. And both of us dated other people. I briefly dated another grade ten girl after running into her at the river and at parties. Kerry was beautiful as well, and I quickly learned through her friends that she wanted me to be her first. Talk about awkward. I was three years older than her and I was also a virgin. We had been intimate on a few occasions, and we made out often, but we had not had sex.

One weekend in May 1983, her parents went away. Kerry’s dad was military, and her brother had been in my homeroom for three years at high school but was now attending Royal Roads in Victoria. I even got the “what are you going to do with your life? You should consider joining the military” talk from her dad. When her parents were away, Kerry decided to have some friends over to enjoy some drinks and sit in her hot tub. It didn’t take long until Kerry was drunk and stripping down to her bra in front of me and the other couples. Before I knew it the two of us were naked, alone in her sauna making out. She pulled me out of the sauna and into the shower, then took my hand and led me to her bedroom. Everyone in the house knew what she was doing. Her friends and their boyfriends winked at me, like they had planned this with her.

We lay on the bed for a while, making out and exploring. She was gorgeous, and I was absolutely attracted to her and raring to go, but something wasn’t right. In my gut. She had been drinking, and was acting like she thought she should act, and it was not at all comfortable. I liked her very much, but we had been dating just over a month. I could not get her father out of my head. And her brother. What was she doing? What was I doing? After several minutes of foreplay I made it clear that I wasn’t going to take her virginity that night and we both relaxed a little.

Why was I not able to just fuck these girls? Was it because of my relationship with Jill? Had two years of respecting Jill’s wishes taught me something that I couldn’t shake? Or was it just me? I would have had no problem making love to Jill , had she not wanted to wait. But she was older. And we were in love.

In June 1983 I went to a grad party at D’Esterre House in Comox. I remember it being awkward for me, as Jill was there with her boyfriend and I was feeling like I didn’t belong. Just after midnight I was about to leave when I noticed a commotion in the parking lot. Two people were fighting and a group of people had gathered around them. It was Pam and her boyfriend, Tyrone, and they were both throwing each other around. Yelling and screaming. Really going at it. I stepped in between them, but both still wanted to get at each other. Definitely alcohol fueled. Almost immediately I was grabbed by one of the onlookers and punched in the head. “Stay out of this!” he said. “Fuck you, Rick! She’s a friend,” I replied. The guy was a dick. A bully. I ducked the next punch and laughed at him, which brought more. I kept smiling as he tried to hit me and I dodged the punches. A couple connected with the top of my head but didn’t hurt. And I didn’t throw back. Pam screamed at me to leave it, so I stepped back and walked away. It was not my business, I guess. I went home.

After that I didn’t see Pam for over a year, as I had moved on to UVic for first year arts. Living in residence was a new experience for me, and I was finally able to free myself from losing my first love. I had said goodbye to my virginity that summer and now welcomed sex into my life. It was pretty cool, all of these young women away from their parents for the first time and exploring their own sexuality. After spending the school year sleeping my way around the university, I decided to stay in Victoria for the summer and moved into an apartment in Oak Bay. It was while riding my bike in Oak Bay that I ran into Pam. Again. She was staying with her Aunt in an apartment at the top of Fort Street, right at Belcher Avenue. It was less than a mile from my own apartment. She’d been there for two weeks and she was bored, she said. Did I want to hang out?

1985_09_pam_family

By 1984 Pam had let her hair grow longer and was now a blonde. The above picture with her family was taken around this time. This is what she looked like that summer. We pretty much repeated our previous relationship, spending most of our time together outdoors in the sun. I just enjoyed being on her arm. She turned heads in her bikini at Willows Beach. Big time. She turned heads in her shorts and tank top at the mall and on campus. Heck, she even turned heads on the bus. She was approaching eighteen now, heading into her senior year of high school, and she was very aware of her sexuality. It was amazing spending the day with her and observing how people responded. Anyone that knew Pam at this time would say the same thing. She had ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is, and she knew she had ‘it’ and she worked ‘it’.

While playing tennis one day at UVic, we were approached by two young guys to join them for some doubles. Pam was hesitant, as I was basically teaching her to play, but we gave it a go. She picked everything up quick and was actually pretty good, but she liked to act as if she wasn’t and then surprise people. It took me a few minutes but I soon recognized one of the guys as an old family friend, Jeff Mallett. Our parents had grown up together in West Van and Jeff and I had played baseball and soccer together in Gordon Head. I hadn’t seen him in at least ten years but he still looked the same. Apparently he recognized me as well.

We stopped and talked about the time he spent at our cabin with his sister and parents. I asked about them. His dad still owned the restaurant in Oak Bay, though his parents had divorced. Right. I knew that. At that time Jeff was an ‘All Canadian’ soccer player for UVic but he was considering a transfer to Santa Rosa, he told us. That was in California, near San Francisco. Smart kid. He went on to be one of the founding members of Yahoo and currently owns a share of the San Francisco Giants. There’s no doubt in my mind that he approached us that day because he couldn’t stop watching this beautiful girl running all over the court in her tank top and shorts, chasing after my shots. I’m sure he would not have noticed me at all had Pam not been with me. One of those strange synchronicity moments, maybe.

While in Victoria, Pam and I spent most of our evening together-time at her Aunt’s place in Oak Bay, watching movies and just talking. We would lay on the floor in front of the TV and make out, but it never went any further than dry humping. Our clothes stayed on. I’m sure it could have gone further. In fact I’m sure it would have, had I made a move. Lord knows I thought of her in that way, but I still couldn’t get past the relief I saw on her face when I first turned down her subtle advances two years prior, and I felt like that became a bond in our relationship. A bond I could not break. She never pushed it after that, though she didn’t shy away from affection at all. And I never tried to push it either. We would even tease each other about it, with “what if?” kind of scenarios, but there was no pressure to act, and that made it comfortable for both of us. I felt this strange urge to protect her, having seen that side of her at such a young age. It was now two years after that, and she was still the same Pam on the inside. I feel honoured to have gotten to meet that person under the mask.

We got bored of having little money and no transportation in Victoria, so we decided to pay our parents a visit in Comox. I had been hitchhiking up and down the Island for a few years prior, but Pam had never tried it. I told her we might get lucky and catch a ride all the way in one shot or we might get stuck in French Creek for the night. I had experienced both. We headed out to the highway and began our journey. By Mill Bay it was apparent that my thumb was not needed, so Pam told me to sit on the curb and watch her get us a ride. It was funny seeing her in those cut-off denim shorts working her magic. She knew what she was doing.

I hitchhiked between Victoria and Comox at least ten times in the previous year, and I made the trip many more times after. Never have I made it so quickly with so many rides as that first time I hitchhiked with Pam. Each time we were dropped off, we did not wait more than two cars before someone else stopped, and though a few of the guys were disappointed when I jumped up to join her, well fuck them. We were a pair. Take it or leave it. Some of the rides were awkward, with us having to turn down beer and offers to “go party in Nanaimo for a bit”. Fortunately that would be followed by a half hour drive with a nice grandmother or a couple who didn’t think we should be hitchhiking when we were so young. It was always a pretty interesting trip, hitchhiking up and down the Island, but doing it with Pam just made it all the more fascinating. And quicker. Ten different rides took less than three hours to get home, about the same time that it took driving with my parents and going the speed limit.

Pam’s dad Barry was the local furnace guy, and a bit of a gruff sort. I didn’t know him well. Carol was very sweet and definitely Pam’s mom. She flirted with me pretty much every time we were around each other. Like mother like daughter, I guess. By this time they were living off Centennial, on Douglas Street by Robb Road School, and Pam had a ground floor bedroom. It was tricky climbing into her bedroom window because it faced the street and was well lit by a street light. But we managed. We weren’t a couple at this time. We were friends. I enjoyed spending time with her, for obvious reasons, and she apparently enjoyed spending time with me. As I said, she may have felt safe, I don’t know. And no, I was not unattractive. We enjoyed some very intimate moments, long passionate kisses and hours in each others’ arms, but my instincts stopped me from going any further.

I now recognize that I’m an empath, and that has helped me understand some of my past behaviours that might seem strange to others. I have probably slept with close to 70 women during my lifetime and every one of them initiated and took control of the situation, or we would not have had sex. The 20-plus women that I lay naked with but didn’t have sex with will attest to that. My motto was “Unless you are sure, we ain’t doing this.” Strange but true.

This is not something I have talked about with many people, but Pam will certainly remember. Telling someone that you dated Pamela Anderson is a lot like saying you beat up Georges St. Pierre. The response is disbelief, so you learn to keep it to yourself. Sometimes people would hear about it from a mutual friend and put two and two together … where I lived, my high school, my age … and then I would get the inevitable question. “Did you fuck her?”

I always had trouble when somebody would ask if I had sex with Pam. “I mean come on, man! You went out with her for how long? You had to!” I never told anyone that I did, but I also never said I didn’t. I left it up to them. Why? Because I was embarrassed. Had I known Pam would become Pamela Anderson, maybe I would not have stopped her that first day on the couch. Maybe I would have learned how experienced this beautiful 16 year old girl was and maybe she would have become my first sexual muse. Maybe I would have banged her two years later on her Aunt’s shag carpeting. Who knows? All I know is I didn’t. And it seemed like the right move at the time.

I had a feeling in my gut back in 1982, looking up at this young goddess as she ground down on my pelvis with hers. I was just eighteen myself, and the only thing I knew was she was seriously turning me on, but didn’t appear fully comfortable doing it. It was almost robotic, and different from her natural sensuality and flirting, and that made me uncomfortable. I did not know about her past sexual history when we were dating, in fact I believed she was either a virgin or at least inexperienced. I also felt that she was too young to be so damn sensual.

Learning about these new revelations clears a few things up for me, for sure. I am pretty certain that I know who was involved in the grade nine gang rape. Shit. Pam and I first began dating when she was early in her grade ten year, likely within months of the rape itself. Though I didn’t know it at the time, it all makes sense now. I did ask her once about her ex, who I hadn’t met, but she didn’t like to talk about him and I didn’t push any further.

I don’t know how to feel about these new revelations. I feel sad for Pam, but I can’t say I am surprised. And as much as I have watched her both succeed and struggle in the years since, I never stopped caring about her. I’ve never stopped hoping she was happy. I often wondered why she bleached her hair and had plastic surgery when she was so perfect the way she was. And then I would see how successful she was becoming and figured she knew what she was doing. But there was more to it than that. It all makes much more sense now.

What her babysitter did was sexualize a six year old girl, making her believe that sex would lead her to love and acceptance. I know several guys who took advantage of this both before and after I dated Pam, and I wonder how they are feeling now. Or if they are feeling at all.

I’m so glad to hear that her father, Barry, was not involved, though I can only imagine how he feels after learning about this. And I’m extremely proud of myself for following my gut. As strange as it may sound, there was something about the Pam Anderson that I got to know that made me not want to sexualize her, and has allowed me to feel for her every time someone laughed or made fun of her later choices. “Don’t you dare!” I remember thinking. “You have no idea where she’s come from.” Or what she may have been through.

Well, now we all know.

1987_09_pam

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