Lipton’s Journal/February 7, 1955/502

From Project Mailer

This has all been a preface to note 499 and my reactions to it during lunch. It seemed over-simple to me. What must be added, and what the mechanical analogy of changing gears clouded completely, is that people being infinitely more complex than machines, do not have the limited option of a machine. It takes much more to strip sexual gears than to strip automobile gears, and so the refusal to shift into higher sexual gear is very often partial—so many men and women are “hangers.” They move from higher to lower gear and back again.

There is a certain type of dame who for years is half-castrator half-wanton, castrating some men, being conquered by others, often doing both with the same man. One reason I fell so hard and so fast for Adele[1] was that I sensed immediately how very little of the castrator she had in her, less than any woman I’ve ever known. And I with my delicate-wild (the opposition is consciously worded) sexual appetite am more than normally vulnerable to the castrating powers of women.

Another man’s hot fuck is so often my psychic castrator because this is one part of women that I am incredibly sensitive to, although I’m more than blind to so much in women.


  1. 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.