Lipton’s Journal/February 21, 1955/645

From Project Mailer

The Burglar[1] with his half-insights, his Germanic Vummmmm! always yammers about the basic masochistic passivity—case closed, human being impossible! But passivity is masochistic only in the eyes of the sup. The man of the distant distant future will be a taker. The closer man approaches to the infinity of God the more he will live in passivity, thought, pleasure, and space. Indeed no human can enrich himself without returning and dipping into the lore of the mind-body. It is the source of all creativity available to us, outside of what we intuit from nature when we personify it. For indeed man is a part of nature and so can comprehend nature by understanding himself. As, for example, the way I now understand animals so much better than before. To be ashamed of one’s passivity is to cripple one’s capacity to give. Those nights in bed where I not only give but where I take, receive, lie passive before Adele[2] are always the prelude to rich activity for me on the following day. Let me fight or seek to repress my sexual impulses and I am nervous and depressed in the morning.

But I have one basic difficulty in sex. I truly hate to accept the orgasm too early. So I delay it, and the result is that my orgasms suffer. Lately, I have found a compromise. When it is coming I relax, I let it take me like a wave, and so it is often better. But I suspect that until I am ready to enter the act of love ready to come so soon as the orgasm takes me, I will never have the full symphony of an orgasm. However, I accept this too for I would not like to lose the joys of loving for an hour or more.


  1. An Austrian psychoanalyst and early follower of Freud, Edmund Bergler (1899-1962) focused on masochism and homosexuality in his many books and articles. He believed homosexuality was a neurosis that could be cured, and saw homosexuals as unscrupulous psychic masochists. Bergler is Mailer’s whipping boy in Lipton’s.
  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.