Monday, May 18, 2020

Mae West: Adult Sexuality

“I first went to interview MAE WEST after the collapse of ‘Myra Breckinridge’ [1970]. Like almost everyone else, I was in awe of the woman,” wrote Jacoba Atlas. Let’s read her fascinating first-hand account from 1974. This is Part 19 of 19 segments, the final segment.
• • Image from a Cracked Mirror • •
• • Mae West seemed mummified, somehow rendered sad • •
• • Jacoba Atlas wrote: She’s a tireless worker for charity, but her refusal to meet people on neutral ground bespeaks of a woman who can only function on a well-staged forum. Her comments about the necessity for sex right through "old age" are admirable (“age has nothing to do with sex, sex is a frame of mind, and let me say I’ve got a very good mind”), but her entourage of muscle men makes a travesty of comfortable, adult sexuality.
• • Jacoba Atlas wrote: Eluding the wrinkle-inducing sun, Mae West seemed mummified, a liberated woman who could cope with everything but that most fundamental human challenge — the passage of time. A remarkable woman, somehow rendered sad in her pursuit of a persona that bares little relationship to present reality or to what is and was fundamentally her most outstanding attributes; a keen mind and a quick wit.
• • Jacoba Atlas wrote: Next week in Los Angeles Free Press, Mae West’s own words, 1974. □
• • This long profile by Jacoba Atlas has now been concluded with this post. We hope you enjoyed it.  
• • Source: Los Angeles Free Press, Volume 11, issue 517; published on Friday, 14 June 1974.
• • On Saturday, 18 May 1912 in Variety • •
• • Frank Bohm bought a generous ad in Variety (issue dated for 18 May 1912) to help publicize his client Mae West as "The Scintillating Singing Comedienne, Late of Ziegfeld's Moulin Rouge." Billboard gave the vaudevillian's act a favorable review the following month.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Now there is talk that Jim Aubrey and Hunt Stromberg Jr. will produce for Warner Brothers-Seven Arts a film version of a Mae West play, “Sextet,” starring Mae. It would be her first film since “The Heat’s On” 25 years ago.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “Have we gone too far? Yes. I walked out of ‘Last Tango in Paris.’ People have abused their freedoms.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Ottawa Evening Citizen mentioned Mae West.
• • E.W.H. wrote: Thursday, May 16th — — So finished my stint and then to see Mae West in "Goin' to Town," a roaring comedy in which the swaggering, bejeweled, and predatory Mae continues her variations upon the theme that, to women, love is a "business" and shouldn't be taken seriously, and her practice of eyeing males solely as — — males. Some of her tricks grow tedious, but she is still a striking person.   . . .
• • Source: The Ottawa Evening Citizen; published on Friday, 17 May 1935
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • •
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — —
• •
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 15th anniversary • • 
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fifteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fifteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4,476th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
• • Be sure to bookmark or follow The Mae West Blog
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • taken by Diane Arbus in 1965 • •
• • Feed — —


  1. I so enjoy your quotes about Mae West from newspaper sources, especially when they come from my hometown, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!

  2. • • Thank you, Mark.
    • • Have you ever seen the article referenced here? Jacoba Atlas wrote: "Next week in Los Angeles Free Press, Mae West’s own words, 1974."
    (It would have been their Volume 11, issue 518; 21 June 1974.)

  3. I would be a very poor keeper of the flame of Mae West's infamy if I didn't have a copy of part 2 of the feature Jacob Atlas wrote. I must come over and see you sometime.

  4. • • Ah-hah! Well, Jacoba Atlas had complained that Mae West gave every interviewer the same answers to questions.
    • • That said, is there anything NEW in Mae's June 1974 piece "in her own words"? Perhaps not — — but it's good to ask.