IN 1964 I WAS 13, and spent a lot of classroom time sneaking conversations with similarly disengaged students about sex. In Algebra, the most boring of all classes, the new girl from Amarillo tried to explain to those of us girls in earshot what an orgasm was. After several days of unsuccessful explanations, I changed the subject: what was homosexuality? The boy in front of me, whose closely buzzed hair had both fascinated and repelled me for months, piped up with a partially correct and disappointingly minimal answer: it means when boys do it. For me, this was a revelation. But how did he come by his information? He met my stare and informed me that he himself was not a homosexual. But this I had already figured—it had something to do with the haircut.

In that same year of 1964 I also finally felt freed, courtesy of the British Invasion, from the fashion fascism of the ’50s. I bought tight

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.