Just Do It
When I was 24, I took mushrooms at a party in a seedy part of Hollywood and got it on with a bunch of strangers in a hot tub. There’s nothing inherently wrong with mushrooms + strangers + hot tub + heeeey, but the situation was wrong for me, because I wasn’t really enjoying myself. My focus was on putting on a show and making other people happy, not myself. And these were spectacularly gross people—anyone else could have seen that, tripping or not. But the craziest/saddest/worst part of the whole evening wasn’t that I was faking moans for people who couldn’t have cared less about whether I was enjoying their drunk fumblings, it was that I ran into someone from high school in the hot tub. Do you understand? I was naked and tripping and groping and being groped and through the fog I heard someone say, “Hey! It’s John from CHS.”
The hot tub incident came towards the end of a time in my life, between ages 12 and 24 approximately, when I was really into being performatively crazy. The thing people say about young women who flaunt their sexuality the way I did is that they’re like that because their dads were dicks. I know that isn’t the case for everyone, but it was for me. My father, as I’ve chronicled here, here, and here, was a dick. Though he was successful, erudite, and often quite charming, he also taught me to hate myself, mostly by calling “stupid” and then calling me “crybaby” after I started crying because he called me stupid.