Anything taken in war, hunting, competition, especially when preserved as a memento; spoil, prize, or award.
Anything serving as a token or evidence of victory, valor, skill.
A symbol of success that is used to impress others.
A carving, painting, or other representation of objects associated with or symbolic of victory or achievement.
Recently I recounted a previous experience from my youth that dealt with my “relationship” with an older man. The story, what I remember of that time, developed into a classic tale of the vulnerabilities of youth and the perverse mismanagement of power and celebrity. My intention was to share what that weird imbalance felt like, looks like and, in my case, share the emotional ramifications that occurred as the result of this relationship.
Why share dirty pain you ask? I share/shared because I can. I share because someone has to speak up, speak out, speak! I share because maybe my story will help someone else.
A reader left a comment on the article that rocked me to my core. A simple sentence, but one that accurately defines my ENTIRE life’s experience with men.
The reader’s comment: “I always wonder when I see these trophy girls what they would say if they could find their voices.”
Trophy girls. Trophy. Yes, my friend, I am one of them—a trophy girl who has grown into a trophy woman. Do you want to know what I have to say? Do you want to know what it is like to be an object of desire? Do you want to know what it is like to be a possession that turns into an obsession? Do you think that if I tell all about the soul-crushing vacancy in my being that threatens to eat me alive, I can help someone else? I sincerely hope so.
Let’s take a brief tour behind the scenes of sexual objectification in the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, otherwise known as the 90’s: In the summer of ’96, I was the arm candy of a very successful entertainment attorney. When I say successful, I mean extraordinarily prosperous. It was a time of private jets, private islands, penthouses, Ferraris, caviar, East Hampton, diamonds, cocaine, exclusive parties and a bird’s eye view of the 1%.
The keys to the Porche were handed over to me, along with a set of keys that opened the locks of a luxurious apartment on East 75th Street and Madison Avenue in NYC. A helicopter was always on standby, just in case. The jet resided next to John F. Kennedy Jr.’s private set of wings, stocked with champagne, fueled up, engines engaged, navigation already pre-set.
We attended lavish balls. We had brunch at the Harvard Club, drinks at the Yale Club, sex in the Presidential Suite of the Four Season’s hotel.
Life was grand. (Not.)
While I was in the company of my attorney boyfriend, I had the rare opportunity to speak with some of the WORLD’s most influential individuals. Scratch that, I spoke with some of the world’s most prominent MEN. Women of influence were scarce, perhaps because women with power usually pick playmate’s who have more to offer than superficial bullshit.
I did meet one man that changed my life for the better, though.
He was one of my boyfriend’s clients. His net worth hovered somewhere in the billions. He had tried marriage three times. He had sired eight children with seven women. A James Bond movie was filmed in his main residence. It had an elevator plated in gold.
One day, while we were all on holiday in Aspen, he looked at me and said this: “Educate yourself. Beauty is skin deep; an educated mind is eternally stunning.”
Did he just insult me? Was that a backhanded slap out of left field? Does he think I am an idiot?
In his own way, he saw something in me that he wanted to groom. Something he thought I should nurture. My mind. Later that evening, he presented me with a gift. It was a book.
“This one, “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn,” he said. “Start with this. You will be able to carry on a sophisticated conversation as well as delighting the eyes.”
Hang on a minute. Was he suggesting that my life is one of a Courtesan? Or a Geisha? Or was it even a cruder suggestion, maybe in his eyes, I looked like a high-priced call girl.
I read the book. I have always been an avid reader, by the way. I also disengaged from that lifestyle. The attorney was in shock. How could I leave HIM? Who did I think I was? Didn’t I know that I belonged to him? Ah, there it is. I was an object. A sexual object. His possession. His obsession. I have never felt uglier in my life.
Looking back even further, I realize this has been my path, filled with potholes I have navigated all my life. Like a lot of women, I have unwittingly been someone to catch, trap, ensnare, keep, control and devour.
For me, It all started in high school, well actually earlier, but that is a different conversation. On an ordinary everyday kind of day, I was sexually assaulted. Trapped. Devoured. Then, later, when I was started to walk the yellow brick road of fashion, I was ensnared by an agent. I was 16; he was in his forties. Didn’t I know that I was everything to him? Possessed. Obsessed. Control of the trophy. That is the deal. The police officer rounded out the trio. How could I deny his love? Catch me if you can.
I married at 18, his biggest trophy. He proceeded to siphon (still does) and profit off of my beauty that I never asked for, sometimes wish I never had.
Even now, it is a rare day that I can have a conversation with a man, married or not, who does not secretly or overtly want to catch, trap, ensnare, keep, control and devour me.
The dust has built up, encasing my heart. Jaded? Yes, I am. Hopeful and trusting, still. Why share this with you? Because every time you see a beautiful woman on the arm of a man, or alone somewhere in public, I want you to remember that she is not just flesh. She is more than her outside reflects, more than you can imagine. Don’t rob yourself of the privilege to know her by thinking of her as a snack. She is someone’s daughter. She is still a little girl in her heart. She is more than a trophy to be paraded around as your dick extension.
I have always been one.
Photo: ©Paul Empson All Rights Reserved