Updated: Dec 3, 2022
The story of how I; as a 17-year-old nerdy virgin from North Timbuktoo; came to be known internationally as ‘Sex Kitten’ by so many of my new peers and mentors in sport, is a doozy! Apparently, anyway …
I have never heard it. Not ALL of it. But I DID catch that one tasty tidbit, as it floated above the crowd from some unknown mouth ...
“Lilly white but in the moooooonlight!”
... but the rest, quite frankly, is a mystery to me. I did, however, surmise the essence of things from these tidbits and the catcalling; certainly enough to know what they THOUGHT they saw. Funny, that’s not how I remember it.
But memory is a funny thing – it changes with perspective. All I can tell you is the gist of what they heard in some epic story about me ... versus what my truth felt like.
Apparently, in this story I was a sexual dynamo of Olympian proportions, with legs up to her armpits, accomplishing feats of astounding sexual acrobatics!
And that, is how I met many of my heroes; the people who governed my sport, the professionals I had been reading about in the monthly edition of Horse Sport Magazine since I was six, the people who would later coach me, officiate my sport, select my future teams, and become my peers, mentors and friends. That’s how many of them came to know me: as ‘Sex Kitten’.
‘Sex Kitten’ was conceived in the eyes and imaginations of others in the months leading up to this date in ways I can’t attest to, but I will never forget the day of her birth.
I was attending the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event with my mother, for the first time. Spectator tickets for this huge event had been a gift from my mom, Keitha, for my eighteenth birthday. At that age, I was on the Young Riders leaderboard for the second year - a long-legged flash out of nowhere on a little crossbred Irish draft named O’Reilly.
My sights were set on the 1992 Olympics with this gutsy little jumping machine; an ambitious goal, only possible if EVERYTHING went to plan. I saw my shots at making it to my first Olympic Games by the age of 22 as totally doable. But tight. There was not a lot of wiggle room, and I knew that a pregnancy would ruin everything. Pregnancy was NOT in ‘The Plan’.
Understanding the odds of pregnancy from Mrs. Hanson’s health class, and applying them through the lens of our notoriously bad ‘Lockton Luck’ … I understood my chances, and developed a ‘panty rule’. As in, the panties stayed on.
In-the-closet gay boys loved me! And I loved them. Together, we were BOTH safe!
To be honest, it’s not like at this age my ‘panty rule’ was very frequently challenged. I mean, I had been taller than ALL the boys since they could remember – it freaked most of them out! I am sure you are all shocked to hear this, but I was not one of the popular girls. I was a pretty lonely kid.
Measuring in at just a hair under 6’1”, and as a strong farm girl and athlete - not to mention the daughter of a veterinarian, which I think of as a farmer’s daughter, but with access to some pretty serious tools – people along the way have mistaken me for being invulnerable to some things … and certainly for being ready for more than I was.
I have looked for all the world like an adult, since I was 15 or younger. It was a lot to carry. It got harder as I was introduced to the crazy world of International Three-Day Eventing and the debauchery they considered normal. It was what we witnessed all around us.
Drinking. Riding. Partying. Fucking. Group sex. That was the norm of the generation I grew up with in sport.
But I was just an ass-kissing, people-pleasing, ambitious, star struck kid, that afternoon I leaned over the fence of the vet box after the cross-country phase of my first Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, to shake the proffered hand of a new friend.
She nearly choked on her gum when she registered my name. Her eyes widened in incredulity, and she blurted;
“You're Paige? Paige Lockton?”