I had just completed my sophomore year in college. I grew up in Boston and had spent my entire life in New England. Now I was attending one of those prestigious but rather prim ‘seven sister’ colleges of which my mother and my two older sisters were both alumni. And that was after years at a dreary preparatory school my mother, too, insisted I attend. After all, mother, grandmother before her, and my two sisters had gone there and it was another of those absurd ‘family traditions’ to which they insisted I, too, adhere. While in some ways it is advantageous to grow up privileged, as I had, it can also be very stifling. Especially in that austere world of the New England aristocracy. We were all so damned ‘civilized’ that sometimes I wanted to puke. Often when your upbringing is overly refined and ‘proper,’ as mine was, one’s imagination becomes very fertile. One dreams of wallowing in more tawdry terrains, of transgressing the bounds of propriety, of deviating sharply from the expectations of polite society… of being free and wild! And this is especially true in the sexual domain where three centuries of Puritanical influence have had their effect on the sexual climate of the region and, in particular, its more ‘proper’ denizens.
Now that I was in college I was better able to exercise that freedom I had so long sought — but only to an extent. For the ‘prestigious’ New England four-year women’s college in many ways only continues the constraints of the kind of childhood I had experienced. Freedom was still stifled, now not only by an old-fashioned puritanism, but by a new form of shrill puritan body of belief — a pervasive feminism which insisted, no less than the pulpit, that only certain beliefs and behaviors were ‘proper’ for a woman. And so, still, I longed for the open, unfettered, spacious freedom I had so long sought. A freedom where I wouldn’t have to constantly conceal my needs and desires from others who would think them inappropriate.
And naturally, as is the case with so many women my age, the freedom I was especially eager to taste at this stage of my life was sexual freedom.
You see, I am blessed (or cursed, some would say) with a intense, sometimes rapacious libido. I was aware of this from the first early simmering moments of my sexual awakening. My girlfriends had long regarded me as being ‘boy crazy’. My chronic yearning for pleasures that could be achieved with the opposite sex — and with one’s own fingers! — had grown steadily to the point where I can now honestly and unabashedly claim that I am quite thoroughly addicted to sex. It’s probably not too much of an exaggeration to say that I am addicted to my own surging, volcanic libido. Maybe one day if this gets out of hand I’ll need to visit one of those Sexaholics Anonymous chapters and confess to my many excesses. But for the time being I am more than happy wallowing in and gorging on hefty doses of uninhibited eroticism.
So the plans I had made for this summer excited me with their prospects. I would be working as a waitress in the dining room of a very expensive and luxurious Wyoming dude ranch. One of my friends in college, Beth, was from Wyoming and had already worked at several of the area’s ranch resorts during high school and college, for several summers now. Through her efforts I was able to obtain a summer job out there, in dude ranch country.
Beth had often regaled me with tales of the kind of easy freedom and looseness people out West seemed to enjoy, so very different from my own rigid upbringing amidst the cotillions and country clubs of New England. Now I was eager and curious to experience that kind of world for myself.