the doll games
shelley and pamela jackson


interview: molly

Obviously Alice Ann at least was working out issues about desire and sex and relationships, like practise for the real world. Do you see ways that things that you were thinking about or worrying about in your real life came into the doll games?

It’s interesting, ‘cause just when you said that I had this memory of, Oh, maybe Bad B***** didn’t always win out! I just had this memory of "Oh, poor Bad B*****!" Bawling somewhere. Being left behind–or being walked on, even–that some sort of other...


Retribution would come, maybe it was from Ken or maybe from Good B*****, literally walking over her.

That certainly happened in our games. We had these bad girl and bad boy characters, and we used them, in the same way, to act out our sexy fantasies, but they were always punished in the end. Later on we worked out ways for our good characters to have sex too, but it was always kind of contrived, because we always had to make it be like they didn’t really want to, or they weren’t trying–

You totally hit it on the nail. The Bad B***** would have sex and be exploring in a totally different way but she ultimately would–sometimes, not all the time–get retribution. The Good B***** would be left behind and crying but she would always be somehow clean and on top of everything in the end.

We wanted to play the sex games, but we couldn’t completely lay claim to that desire, so we put it off on the characters that we despised, and we made bad things happen to them. Before that point, we got to indulge lots of our fantasies, but we put a lid on it by making sure there was punishment also for that behavior. It’s interesting in retrospect what weird little moral despots we were.

I like the distance with which you speak of it. "Yes, we had our moral agenda."

But there were good things about it too, we were constantly playing out stuff around gender.Though that was what was weird, actually: Our bad girl character was also our feminine girl character. And our heroes, the ones we liked, who also didn’t really have sex, were all really androgynous. And that was also what we thought was cool. But it was as though we totally associated sexuality with being traditionally female. Like, if you were a real person, in the sense that you didn’t quite have gender, or you weren’t playing the gender game, then sadly that would also probably mean you didn’t [wails] get to have sex!

"Sadly"! But then being a real woman meant that you had sex but you’d also be bad?

If you were real woman in the sense of fake-y feminine kind of glamor girl woman. Then you could have sex.

Racy, exciting, and doomed–although the bad one wasn’t always doomed, that was the great thing about Alice Ann.

Do you think there was any sort of subliminal same-sex undercurrents going on in the games?

Well it’s interesting, because I kissed Alice Ann who was Sleeping Beauty, and then one of the first women I fell in love with in college–

Was B*****.

[Laughs.] Was B*****. She stood in the corner, a full-figured woman–

On her tip toes–

Very hard breasts, pressing against me–No, had long red hair, like Alice Ann did. And she was dark and moody, and wrote poetry, and listened to Led Zeppelin. And I just fell head over heels. And I at the time was wearing pink sweaters, and little green skirts, and I was in sports, but I was all good, I was good Ken, but Ken so confused he thought he was a woman–

Whoa, that’s trippy!

I know, that’s too confusing.

You thought you were good B*****, or something.

Yeah. But it was kind of like that cycle back again. And with her I did so many fun drug adventures and that was when I got into an accident from drinking, I crushed my skull in, I was in a coma for a week and a half. So in a way in exploring this life of Bad B***** I got majorly hurt and had my whole life turned upside down.

But–Oh my God, this twists around in such an interesting way–but, you know how those B*****s, once they’d lost a limb or damaged themselves in some way–?

[Shouting:] Grew more exciting!

They were liberated to be Bad B*****!

[Shouting:] Yes! That’s it! And it happened then!

[Shouting:] You were free!

[High fives.]

The dents in my skull stand for it!

That’s so beautiful! OK, we’ll stop there.

Molly is a thirty-five year old writer, dancer, musician and massage therapist who lives in Olympia, Washington.