Dear Penthouse

I am having a conflict and I would like to share it. Not sure how I missed this story but I just came across it today. It’s from November 2013.

http://guyism.com/sports/former-nfl-cheerleader-tries-give-12-year-old-oral-sex-gets-probation.html

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“Garner — who is married — was subsequently charged with aggravated sexual battery and solicitation of a minor for rape of a child, but those charges were reduced to a single felony charge of reckless endangerment.”

Imagine if you will … NFL player follows 12-year-old girl into the bathroom, unbuckles her pants and attempts to perform oral sex on her. Tells police he thought the 12-year-old was a grown woman.

So there’s that. The lack of balance in how we judge these situations. The boy might be considered a lucky bugger, worthy of high fives from his friends. Or he might be panicked. Overwhelmed. Confused. Embarrassed. A girl could feel each of these as well, but if it were an NFL player she might also garner high fives from her friends.

It’s a fact that boys usually mature later than girls, both physically and emotionally. Any grade seven or eight class picture will back this up. Of course there are exceptions, like the guy who shaves in grade eight or the small girl who is a late bloomer, but it’s the norm and often why high school girls date older. Many twelve year old boys are just beginning puberty, while many twelve year old girls are two years into puberty and already menstruating.

Any guy will tell you that this is not a simple matter, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleader in the bathroom thing. I was twelve years old when I read my first Penthouse Forum letter and became good friends with my penis. Remember Penthouse Forum?

“Dear Penthouse. I never thought it would happen to me …”

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Personally, I was thirteen when I had my first sexual experience with another person. It wasn’t with a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader but it was with a Robb Road Cougar cheerleader. She was grade ten, two years older than I was, and it wasn’t rape, believe me. I still remember it fondly. If anything, it caused me to feel that a girl should and would make the first move if she was ready. And that was really cool.

I had no idea what I was doing, only what I was feeling. And for the first time it wasn’t my own hand. No intercourse, just a nude roll in the hay and some sexual exploration. For me that was a pretty good deal. My two closest friends were also part of this evening of mentor ship, each with their own Robb Road cheerleader in their own room, and I am certain it had no ill effect on either of them. In fact it still invokes a knowing smile when I run into one of them, girls or guys, over thirty years later.

My second sexual experience was also with a girl who was older than me. And my third. And my fourth. By grade nine I was running out of older women who were interested in younger guys so I began dating girls my own age and things changed. The younger girls were no longer taking charge so my sex life took a fairly long hiatus. In fact it wasn’t until grade ten that I found myself in a position where a girlfriend was initiating sex again. And that was because it was a natural step after having dated for two months.

Some of my best sexual experiences were with girls and women who were much older than me, and though a few of them were manipulative and awkwardly persistent, I never considered it rape or sexual assault. Inevitably it was my choice whether I participated or not, and even at twelve years old I was able to make that decision. Was my cheerleader experience a stress-free situation? No. I was a twelve year old boy and it was my first sexual encounter. Though my penis was full grown, my pubic hair had not caught up so there was some embarrassment wondering what she would think, but that disappeared quickly. She was obviously pleased with my “manhood”, and that alone was enough to make me feel good.

Back to the article above. We don’t know all the facts so it’s difficult to know what went on. If the NFL cheerleader forced herself on the boy than he will certainly be traumatized by the experience. When I look back at my grade seven class I can definitely pick out a couple of guys who may have felt that way. But what if it was not forced, just awkward? What if, like 90% of the boys in my grade seven class, the kid enjoyed masturbating to Penthouse Forum and was actually an eager, active participant with the hot, older cheerleader? How much trauma would her unzipping his pants and pulling out his penis actually cause, aside from shock and awe?

Again, if she forced him to be an unwilling participant it’s a totally different story but, unfortunately, the law doesn’t feel that way. Even if he initiated the sexual contact and was mature for his age, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleader is now considered by law to be a convicted sexual offender, and lumped in with the tiny percentage of the population who are true predators, who seek out and prey on their victims, and pedophiles, who enjoy sex with young children. So the twelve year old boy must now go through the court process, with police and lawyers and victim assistance representatives pounding into his head that he should feel bad about what happened. That it was sick and twisted, and the cheerleader deserves to be punished for what she did. For a boy who was physically ready for this experience, that there is your trauma. It’s not the incident itself that’s going to have a negative effect on his emotional well-being, it’s the aftermath and the way society handles it that will inevitably shape his future.

Let’s digress for a moment. I have a friend who played junior hockey from age seventeen through twenty. He was a defenceman, about 6’3″ and 190 lbs, and very Nordic looking. Blonde kid. Model material. He never had to work very hard to get laid. It just happened. He was partying one evening with a few teammates and friends and had had too much to drink, so he sat down on the couch and passed out. The next thing he remembers he’s being led upstairs to a bedroom by a girl he recognized, but didn’t know. He’s very drunk but manages to make it to the bedroom with her assistance and flops down on the bed. She immediately climbs on top of him and they begin to make out.

Pretty quickly she begins undoing his pants and his thoughts turn to his whiskey dick. Embarrassment begins to set in as he sobers up enough to provide at least some resistance. Not going to happen, he tells her, but she believes she can make it happen. With her mouth. After several minutes of unsuccessful attempts to get him hard she gives up and moves back up beside him on the bed. She continues to give him a softy hand job while undoing her own pants, then grabs his hand and places it under her panties. My friend responds by finger-banging her for a few minutes before giving up when he notices her frustration at her own lack of success. Oh well, he thinks. I told you so.

My friend is far too drunk to drive and the girl offers to give him a lift home. When they arrive at his house she asks for his phone, and proceeds to enter her name and number into his contacts. She also enters his information into hers. Call me, she says.

The next morning he can barely remember the evening, let alone the encounter. She texts him numerous times over the next two weeks but he’s not interested. He regrets the incident, and is certain it would not have happened had he been sober. “How old was she?” He actually has someone else he is interested in and involved with so he ignores the texts. Two weeks later he is visited by the police at his home. They want to speak to him about the night at the party.

He’s obviously baffled by the police involvement but just wants to clarify what happened and clear his name. He gives a statement to police describing what he remembered, which was pretty much what I have explained above. He tells the truth, naively thinking it will clear things up. After completing his statement he is immediately charged with sexual assault and spends the night in jail. He’s released the following day with restrictions on where he can go and who he can be around. The process has begun.

A year and a half later he is convicted of sexual assault and receives a 12 month sentence, two years probation and a place on the sexual offender registry. The reason? He admitted that he “finger-banged her for a bit” and she claimed she was drunk. Nothing else mattered. He was guilty because she apparently could not consent, and the fact that he was far drunker than her did not matter, nor did it matter that she drove him home afterward.

There is so much that is obviously wrong with this that I really don’t know where to start. He is a good kid, and was on his way to a possible career in pro hockey. Likely the minor leagues or Europe, but professional none-the-less. The charge and subsequent conviction put an end to those dreams, and the 12 months in jail changed him drastically, and not for the better. Fortunately his friends and community understand the situation and recognize the injustice. Any stigma he feels from being a convicted sexual offender is somewhat countered by the support he has from the people who matter in his life. But still, how does this happen?

The girl who pressed charges felt jilted. Shunned. Embarrassed. She was what they call a “puck bunny”, someone who goes to every home game and even some away games, slobbering over these young “studs” as they get off the bus, as they head onto the ice and as they head back to the bus after the game is over. Like a rock and roll groupie. When he didn’t text her or respond to her texts, she broke down. Her friends and family questioned her and she lied, saying that he forced himself on her while she was drunk. That’s all it took. It was her way out of the embarrassment, I guess.

The hysteria surrounding pedophiles and sexual predators is understandable considering the misinformation that is out there. The interesting thing is many of those in the police, the courts and the correction system understand this. Rehabilitation is only offered to the 5% who are a true risk to re-offend. The true predators. The sociopaths. The others are sent to jail where they are made to attend courses that force them to take responsibility for things they did not do, and made to take psychological exams that assess them as manipulative or in denial when they stand up for themselves. This is all for show, however, as they are soon released back into the community with a set of restrictions that are meant to punish and inconvenience, rather than protect. Corrections and the police know who the 5% are, and they have little concern about the other 95% reoffending. The fact that they are not even offered counseling while in jail or while reintegrating into society will attest to that.

Why do you think it is that of all crimes committed, sexual offenders have the lowest recidivism rates? If all of these people are sexual predators and pedophiles, why do 95% of them never get in trouble with the law again during their lifetime. With all those eyes upon them, do they become better at hiding their twisted behaviours? Are the restrictions placed on them and the threat of punishment enough to scare them straight? Maybe they just simply never were sexual predators in the first place, and the experience of being framed has caused them to avoid situations where another false accusation could be made? Maybe they’ve decided it’s safer for them to withdraw from the society that has beaten them down and made them out to be something they’re not?

The really sad part of all this is that there are people who are true victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse, and these people and their experiences become minimized when the system creates these other “victims” from what amounts to nothing more than consensual sexual activity. There is no leeway with these “offences”, particularly now that we have mandatory minimums for any conviction that involves sex. In most of these cases there is no physical evidence so it’s just he-said-she-said, and if you are found guilty you will go to jail. And for the next twenty years you will be on the sexual offender registry, even though you have never forced yourself on anyone, ever.

My worry is that unless the laws are changed and the way we look at and deal with these situations changes, in ten years 30% of the population will be convicted sexual offenders. Maybe it’s your teenage brother who downloaded the wrong porn, or an old friend who rejected the wrong woman. And what will we do then? Will we recognize through our own experiences that it’s a farce, and begin to accept convicted sexual offenders back into society because we know several people who are on the list and did nothing to deserve it? How will we differentiate between the few who are actually predators and those who were caught up in this dragnet of hysteria? Where will we draw the line? Will we feel safer?

Maybe it’s time to reevaluate the way we handle these situations. If an attractive sixteen year old girl who has already been sexually active for two years decides that she wants to have sex with a twenty year old guy who is a virgin, it’s going to happen. She will find a way, and he will be a sexual offender because he didn’t resist. Or couldn’t resist. I can guarantee you that there are many guys out there who have had an experience such as this and are walking the streets today. Never charged. Should we be afraid of them? Should we arrest them?

Certainly the false accuser is filled with conflict over their decision, and no amount of “support” from the many women’s resource centers can help with that because these “support” systems are not open to the possibility that it may have been consensual. They need it to be non-consensual, or it doesn’t count and their funding will shrink. What kind of trauma is that causing an 17 year old girl who was forced to make a false accusation against someone she loved by her own mother and a bunch of “professionals”? She knows that she wanted it to happen, she knows that she initiated it and she knows that she enjoyed it. She knows it would not have happened had she not took the initiative, yet she is being told that he is sick and twisted because he couldn’t resist. And any attempts by her to express sadness or guilt are quickly squashed, and explained away as “victim behaviour”. “Of course you enjoyed it, that sick bastard!” “Of course he’s made you feel guilty, that manipulative piece of shit!”

This is just food for thought as it’s a highly sensitive issue, but since the number of sexual offenses that get prosecuted is rising while crime in general goes down, maybe we are going about this the wrong way. My intention is not to minimize true sexual assault or child predation. In my opinion there is nothing worse. And that’s why lumping these other non-agressive acts in with the truly predatory acts is wrong, and only leads to confusion, misunderstanding and future emotional anguish for everyone involved. It breaks up families, rather than healing families. It causes children to stuff true feelings for fear of rocking the boat and appearing “sick” themselves. I firmly believe that the consequences of prosecuting these “offenses” are far worse than the consequences of the incidents themselves. For everyone. Except the legal system and the corrections system, which need to be fed.

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.

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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?

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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.

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