David Bruce: Sex Anecdotes

When Sara was 10 years old, her parents got divorced, which she took hard. Both parents started dating other people quickly, and both parents started having new significant others sleeping over. One morning, she came home from a friend’s house earlier than she was expected, and she saw a man in her mother’s bed. Sara started crying, but her mother convinced her that she had slept on the couch. Sara was young enough to believe her then, but a few years later regarded that explanation as “pretty hilarious.” Her father was more open with her. She didn’t have her own bed at his home, so when he had a girlfriend sleep over, he simply told her, “You’re sleeping on the couch tonight.” Sara says, “I understand about those kinds of arrangements.”

Comedian Rusty Warren talked about sex in public before “decent” women were allowed to talk about sex in public. For example, when sex researchers Masters and Johnson identified approximately 349 sex positions, Ms. Warren joked that she knew only three sex positions—but she knew them good. One of her hits was a song titled “Bounce Your Boobies,” which Air America host Randi Rhodes played occasionally. Later women comedians recognized her as the pioneer she was. Lily Tomlin requested an autographed photograph of her, and Elaine Boosler sent Ms. Warren a photograph inscribed, “Thanks for blazing the trail.”

Kenny Ortega was able to choreograph the movie Dirty Dancing because he had relevant experience from high school. Whenever a new hot record came out, he and his friends would meet and play the record over and over—sometimes 50 times—before the next Friday night’s dance. Those dances were known for their bottled-up sexual tension. Mr. Ortega says, “It was not uncommon for our high-school dances to be shut down because of all the gyrating and rubbing up against each other. The vice principal would routinely come out on the stage and announce, ‘If there is any more dirty dancing in here, the dance will be cancelled.’”

A junior high student asked a teacher, “Would you answer a question about sex?” She asked in turn, “Don’t you have a health teacher?” He replied, “Yes, but I’d rather ask you.” Reluctantly, she said, “All right. What is it?” The boy replied, “I don’t have a question right now.” Later, the boy and several of his friends approached the teacher. The boy asked, “Didn’t you say that you would answer any question that I had about sex?” The teacher said, “Yes,” and the boy told his friends, “See! I told you she would,” then he and his friends walked away.

Dance impresario Paul Szilard once saw ballerina Nora Kaye wearing lots of jewels, and he asked her, “Nora, are these faux, or are they real?” She replied, “Darling, they’re real.” The fabulous jewelry had come from rich man Harry Winston, who unfortunately did not pay for it, and who later asked for it back. Ms. Kaye did not want to return the jewelry. This led to a lawsuit, and the judge ruled against Ms. Kaye, forcing her to return the jewelry. When Mr. Szilard asked what had happened, Ms. Kaye replied simply, “Well, my dear, I f—ked for nothing.”

Politicians often do not understand art. Martha Graham choreographed Phaedra, and Isamu Noguchi created a bed to be used as a prop on stage. Congressman Peter Freylinghuysen of New Jersey was bothered by the bed, but Ms. Graham informed him that the bed was uncomfortable, only one person could lie on it at a time, and it was totally unsuited for any kind of amorous activity, although the congressman was welcome to give it a try. Ms. Graham then added, “I think eroticism is a lovely thing. Don’t you?”

At the very beginning of her career, opera singer/actress Grace Moore made the rounds of booking offices, hoping for a job on Broadway. One of the men in charge of casting looked her over, then said, “The voice may be okay, but lift your skirt, girlie, so I can see your legs.” She slapped him, then made her exit as she told him, “I don’t sing with my legs.” In her autobiography, You’re Only Human Once, Ms. Moore later wrote, “Managers seemed never to consider the voice as a separate entity from what went on below.”

In the early years at Walt Disney’s animation studio, sometimes the male workers and the female workers would have affairs and sneak into motels. Whenever that happened, they always used the name of Ben Sharpsteen (and wife). Mr. Sharpsteen was a producer and a director and a straight arrow. (By the way, according to Disney employee Jack Kinney, having an affair with a female co-worker was known among male animators as “Dipping your pen in company ink.”)

Anna Rosenberg, who gave President Franklin Delano Roosevelt the idea for the G.I. Bill of Rights, helped iron out difficulties between management and labor unions. Sometimes, she did this by using humor. Once, labor lawyer Philip Sipser told her, “Now look here, Anna, I know these men, I spend my time with them, I work with them, I play with them, I eat with them, I sleep with them ….” At this point, she interrupted Mr. Sipser and said, “Phil, you got me there.”

Texas actor Marco Perella once performed in a production of The Odyssey in front of an audience of schoolchildren. In one scene, the actors were in a cardboard boat pretending to be rowing. The actor playing Ulysses (Odysseus) improvised and told the rowers, “Hard on, men! Stroke! stroke!”

Richard Gere did not not like being known as a sex object after making the films Looking for Mr. Goodbar and Days of Heaven. Several interviewers asked him about just that, and at one interview he got mad. He snapped, “You want to see a sex object”—then displayed his penis.

Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, was known as an English orator, statesman, and libertine. Voltaire told this story about him: A courtesan once saw him and told her fellow courtesans, “Seven thousand guineas a year, my girls! And all for us!”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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