Lipton’s Journal/January 20, 1955/207

From Project Mailer

The Perfect Secretary is never the wife even though we call her an office wife. Rather, she is the Confidante, and what men seek in a secretary is the woman to who all can be told. In proportion as the secretary is the perfect confidante so she is the perfect secretary.

As a corollary, I think it’s probably true that the sort of high-minded marriage where the mates hope to be able to confide[1] (word echo: confine) everything to each other usually ends in a sexual bust, for part of the nature of marriage, part of the excitement of marriage rests exactly in the fugue of mutual deceptions and mutual revelations which are constantly altering. We fuck to uncover a mystery—in extension it is truly the mystery of life—but in its immediate sense it is the mystery of personality, and there is something tasteless in fucking someone we know too well, which is why marriages which retain their sexual excitement create new elements of deception even as old ones are revealed, and that is also why a man and a woman who have been good close friends for years can rarely strike up a good fuck—they have become instead mutual boss and secretary.


  1. Mailer adds fuck I die in the margin with an arrow pointing to “confide.”