Lipton’s Journal/February 7, 1955/528

From Project Mailer

Actually, there’s no contradiction here. I have deep bisexual love with Adele,[1] my sexual habits are formed around women as the envelope-object of pleasure. So, to “go” homosexual would be merely a setback to me at this time. I wish to explore the mountain of sex from the high vista I now have. To change camps, to go over would be to have to start again with new equipment, new guides, new mistakes. Besides, I have the feeling that if I were to find equal sexual pleasure with men and with women, which I postulate as the sex characteristics of the future, the ideal future, I would lose the tension which now furnishes thought.

Complete healthiness is very close to complete passivity of the guiltless sort—and one hardly lives in such a world. Actually, Adele is not worried about my going homosexual nor actively bisexual—what she’s afraid of is that if I take the dirt out of sex I will find her less attractive. She’s wrong on this I believe, but because we went along for years with that as the basic sexual starter in me—the dirty, I can hardly ask her to believe I am changing profoundly so quickly. And besides her despised idea of herself which diminishes every day can hardly believe that I would love her if I were healthy. So a part of her fights my ideas, a part of her accepts them.

She also knows with her woman’s sense that a man must have furnished to him over and over the masculine comfort of having conquered a woman, be it in bed or in thought, but unless the woman resists there is no feeling of victory. Which, parenthetically, is Bill Styron’s trap. Rose—who is an enigma to me—is, at least on the surface, so accepting, so taking, so good, so loyal, so level, that poor Bill strangles in the rage he feels toward her which he feels would be monstrous to express.[2] Or, maybe, I misread them completely.


  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.
  2. Rose née Burgunder Styron (b. 1929), the poet and translator, married William Styron in 1953.