Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Radicalism of Mailer

1. Sexual vanity probably has an inverse proportion to sexual sophistication. When we're young, we have to believe we're the greatest gift given to women because if we didn't, we would know how truly bad we are. When I was a kid, I remember I had an older cousin who was immensely successful with women. And I was always obsessed with performance. He used to say to me, 'You're wrong on that; performance has nothing to do with it.' I never knew what he meant. It took years -- he was considerably older than me -- to come to understand what he was talking about. Performance is empty sex. Performance is push-ups. I mean, we've all had the experience of making love for hours, and getting that airless, tight, exhausted feeling, you know, my God, will she ever come? For God's sake, please, God, please, let her come! I have a bad back today and one of the reasons is that I worked so hard when I was younger.

2. The connection of female sexuality with cats is not for too little. You cannot dominate a cat with your will. If you do, the cat goes right around you. Sexuality is the same way: Can't dominate it. So over the years, as you come to recognize this, you begin to approach it from the side, so to speak.

3. Pictures of men and women making love is not going to hurt people as much as it's going to help them. It gives them -- and I would include pornographic movies -- an education in that part of sex which is universal, as opposed to that part that is particular. Those tragedies of high school kids who get married too young, only to discover three, five, eight years later, with a couple of children between them, that they weren't meant for one another at all -- and so split -- come about because sex is so compelling when they're young and they know so little about it. That's a profound error we've all made one way or another. We mistake the beauties of sex for all the beauties of the particular person that we're with, that is, think the particular person beautiful because of the sexual feelings they arouse in us. We don't understand those feelings are more or less universal, and could be felt with someone else. The faculty of choice is not present.

4. My sexuality, I expect, is aroused by knowledge. The moment I know more than before, I'm excited. Those gritty Poloroid shots in Hustler are often more interesting. They communicate. You know, the picture of some waitress in Sioux Falls. I know more at that moment about Sioux Falls, about waitresses -- even if they're lying, even if she isn't a waitress, there's something about the very manifest of the lie that is fascinating. It arouses curiosity. Whereas superb pictures of models can get boring. There tends to be a sameness in them. Aren't enough flaws present. The very question of the sordid is tricky.

5. As you get older, you need fantasy less and less. Let me put it this way: Fantasy gives resonance to sex so long as it's on the threshold of reality. If two people make love and play a little game, and pretend they're other people, well, that's perfectly all right. Finally they have to do the acting job. It's not just fantasy. But if a man and a woman are making love, and the man secretly thinks that he's fucking the Countess Eloise of Bulgaria, and the woman is visualizing a stud from Harlem for herself, then they're in trouble whether they know it or not. Essentially they are masturbating.

6. The innermost parts of the female body exposed, that gets me hot. A fine pair of breast, a beautiful ass. Hands can get me, not hot, but started. I mean, some women have beautiful hands. It's really not important. To find a woman attractive there has to be some one feature that truly keeps pulling you back. It could be her face, her hands, it could be her toes -- you don't have to be a shrimper to love a woman's feet, because it isn't literally the feet that turn you on. A certain statement about the private nature of that woman's sexuality is in the part of the body that excites you.

7. I will make one general observation: It's very dangerous to stick it up a woman's ass. It tends to make them more promiscuous.... A woman doesn't want it up the ass because she's doing her best to be faithful to that dull pup she's got for a man, and she knows if it blasts into the center of her stubbornness, that's the end of it. She won't be able to hold her fidelity any longer.

8. People with conventional lives very often are tremendously drawn to orgiastic sex. That's their artistic expression. That's the way in which they are fighting society.... I mean, Saturday night they have a ball with their friends, who either live next door in the next ranch house, or they drive 300 miles to see some other swinging couple. On Sunday they all go to church together. And they're giggling a little. They're living two lives at once. They were having that ball last night, the four of them, now they're in church together. And nobody's going to know. Some people can only feel a sense of balance and satisfaction, happiness, I might say, if they're living two lives at once. Orgiastic life provides that. Orgiastic life provides a lot of solutions for people.

9. It's my general experience that if you don't feel jealousy at all, a woman will have profound doubt of your love. A little jealousy is marvelously aphrodesical, you know that, but real jealousy, when it takes over, is delusional, and has all the dirty pleasures of delusion. Delusion is one the of the most profound forms of mental activity. If we have a delusion, we are, in effect, a detective on the scent of a case, picking up clues all over the place.

10. Love asks that we be a little braver than is comfortable for us, a little more generous, a little more flexible. It means living on the edge more than we care to. Love is always in danger of being the most painful single emotion we can ever feel, other than perhaps a sudden knowledge of our own death. La Rochefoucauld has that wonderful remark that half the people in the world would never have fallen in love if they had not heard of the word. I think that most people I know, maybe three-quarters of the people I know, have never been deeply in love.

11. It isn't that love is blind. Love has intense, laser-like tunnel vision, you know, which probably would be a closer way of describing the nature of how love sees.

Norman Mailer


Blogger Aaron said...

Are these all quotes of Mailer? Where did you find them?

August 28, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings savage...the best game is no game. Remember that.
- Das Amand

November 05, 2009  

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