February 10, 2018
Finally, in a book review about dildos in the N.Y Times—it’s a perfect subject for a shamelessly partisan paper—one Peggy Orenstein takes off on my friend Norman Mailer, now long dead and easy to attack. While praising dildos and other machines, Orenstein claims that Mailer, “quaking in his boots,” wrote about the emasculating “plenitude of orgasms” created by the laboratory dildo. Orenstein knows less about Mailer than I know about having a period. Mailer never quaked in front of anyone, although Orenstein sounds pretty horrible—even a brave man might get scared. Here’s the quaking man writing to Ernest Hemingway, a man he’d never met: “To Ernest Hemingway, I am deeply curious to know what you think of this [it’s a manuscript of The Deer Park, Mailer’s second novel], but if you do not answer, or if you answer with the kind of crap you use to answer unprofessional writers, sycophants, brownnoses, etc., then fuck you, and I will never attempt to communicate with you again.” Papa never answered, yet Mailer came to his defense after the fall. I’d hate to think what he’d do with Orenstein. She’d need more than a dildo for a while. Norman, where are you now that emasculated men really need you?