Are the lusted-after always lustful themselves?
Published 03/11/2010 | 05:00
If women have often been required by social niceties to hide their desires, acting was one profession where it was acceptable for the female to wear her sex on her sleeve because, well, she was a work of fiction, wasn't she?
Yet this led to expectations about the sexual voraciousness of the actresses off-screen that were as unrealistic as the presumption that 'normal' women only had sex to procreate or keep her husband happy.
Sophia Loren, for example, had this to say: "Sex is like washing your face -- just something you do because you have to. Sex without love is absolutely ridiculous."
Marilyn Monroe was unequivocal.
"I have never liked sex. I do not think I ever will. It seems just the opposite of love."
Just to prove that no group of women can be painted with the same brush, From Here to Eternity actress Deborah Kerr kicked against marriage and monogamy by stating: "Personally, I think if a woman hasn't met the right man by the time she's 24, she may be lucky."
Mae West expressed her relief when sexual researcher Alfred Kinsey confirmed what she had always felt: that a woman desiring sex is not an abnormality.
"If Kinsey is right, I have only done what comes naturally, what the average American does secretly, drenching himself in guilt fixations and phobias because of his sense of sinning. I have never felt myself a sinner or committed what I would call a sin," she said.