Lipton’s Journal/February 1, 1955/413

From Project Mailer

On how I can’t destroy love. The one total impotence I had in my life was with R.P.[1] shortly after I met Adele.[2] I was drawn to R, I found her totally attractive socially, I knew she was drawn to me. But I was afraid of what would happen if it clicked with her, and I was full of sexual beans at the time. I was afraid I would desert Adele. To turn upon someone who really loves me has always been deep in my unconscious the unforgivable crime. So I was impotent with R.P. the first time we tried, I had a panic to quit her. It was only when I came to realize how sexually frigid R.P. was that I could have sex with her, and even then it was the worst, anxious, semi-potent, and possible only on tons of liquor. What a time I gave her.

Before I met Adele, I could never know in advance whether I would be any good with another woman. I think I could make full love to another woman only if I felt Adele no longer really loved me. In the old days before we were married, my heart used to sink every time I realized how much she loved me. It meant I could never be free. Today, I no longer wish to be free. So, I have been loving her. And, slowly, very tentatively, with deep suspicion, she is beginning to believe that yes, truly, I do love her.


  1. Unknown.
  2. Adele Morales (1925 – 2015), who he married in April 1954, was Mailer’s second wife. The mother of his daughters Danielle (b. 1957), and Elizabeth Anne (b. 1959), she separated from Mailer in early 1961 a few months after he stabbed her with a penknife, just missing her heart. He pled guilty to felonious assault and was given a suspended sentence. They divorced in 1962.