Marilyn once made the comment `I spent a lot of time on my knees.“ She also made a comment to an interviewer that aspiring starlets who had to put in time on the couch, “deserve everything they can get, Some of those men are such horrors!“ After these experiences, it`s no surprise that Marilyn didn`t enjoy sex and was considered “a lousy lay“. She knew it; she didn’t care. The private Marilyn wasn’t interested in sex. Sex had entered her life by force as a child when she was sexually abused. It re-entered her life in her teens when she discovered the plethora of attention her curves gained from grown men and boys. While working at an army plant, Marilyn caught the eye of a photographer and became an addition to a cheesecake calendar that was sent overseas to “cheer up” soldiers. Not long afterward, Marilyn entered the world of cheesecake modelling and began her pursuit of becoming an actress.
Without the casting couch there would have been no Marilyn Monroe. She offered herself up to the industry’s sexual establishment. For a time she was Johnny Hyde’s girl, then she belonged to Elia Kazan, who loaned her out for a night to Arthur Miller. Every aspiring, beautiful actress had to acquiesce to the male powers that be or her career was over before it had begun. She appeared in many movies, sometimes walking into the part and sometimes “earning” the part by playing the game that was expected of her. It wouldn’t surprise me if her early promiscuity added to her depression and troubled psyche later in her career.
Marilyn’s entire identity first evolved then revolved around sexuality yet she was not a sexually motivated woman. There were rumours of one-night stands with anonymous and famous men alike, but there is little proof to verify it. In his book “Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe” Anthony Summers’ records told a different tale: “My arrival in school with painted lips and darkened brows started everybody buzzing. Why I was a siren I hadn’t the faintest idea. I didn’t want to be kissed and I didn’t dream of being seduced by a duke or a movie star. The truth was that with all my lipstick and mascara I was about as unresponsive as a fossil. But I seemed to affect people quite otherwise,” Marilyn once commented in 1954 when discussing her teens with a writer named Ben Hecht. Hecht was ghostwriting Marilyn’s autobiography but after she married Joe DiMaggio she dropped the deal. Later, Hecht published several pages of her interviews in The British Empire News. Marilyn threatened to sue for misquotations but in fact, Marilyn herself made many misquotes. Any truths in her autobiography were highly selective. Hecht commented he didn’t feel Marilyn was trying to deceive him but he saw her as a fantasizer.
What Marilyn made certain she didn’t tell Hecht would have finished her as an actress. Marilyn did tell Hecht that when she was married to her first husband she had a few sexual encounters when Dougherty was gone overseas. It wasn’t temptation. “I didn’t start to sleep around until my husband went into the service and then it was just that I was so damn lonesome and I had to have some company so I gave in every now and then, but it was just for the company.”
In December of 1945, Marilyn departed with a photographer named Andres de Dienes for Washington State, hundreds of miles from her home with Jim Dougherty. She stayed with de Dienes through Christmas rather than going home to her husband because “most of his camera equipment was stolen because of me. I left the car unlocked.” The two stayed together for nearly a month. When Norma Jeane returned home she refused to discuss de Dienes, who later claimed he had asked her to marry him and she’d agreed. If that was the case then Norma Jean now changed her mind. He claimed he convinced Marilyn to sleep with him after several days working together. “finally it was something she allowed me to do to her.” It’s quite possible that Norma Jeane did indeed give herself to de Dienes for the sake of maintaining his work.
David Conover was the photographer who launched Norma Jeane’s career as a model. He too bragged that he’d had sex with Marilyn but this is unlikely. He claimed he and Norma Jeane developed a lifelong relationship and that he had documents to prove it. He even published them in a book but it is believed the “documents” are forgeries.
Marilyn herself admitted to working as a call girl for a time. She did so because she needed the money. The first time she sold herself for sex she made fifteen dollars. Marilyn continued to visit the bar where she met the man, sleeping with more men and pocketing extra money. Sometimes however Marilyn fabricated sexual encounters and assaults against her. One night when she was married to Jim Dougherty she woke him up tearfully, claiming she’d been outside and a man was following her. “I was going to leave home. And a man followed me and he chased me home.” Stories like these make it difficult to determine when Marilyn was fabricating and when she was telling the truth. She lived her entire life that way.
It was later in life that she swapped the casting couch for the psychiatrist’s couch. Neither one seemed to bring her any closer to finding her Self.