Another Mailer Mistress Defends Her Relationship

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
May 6 2010 9:55 AM

Another Mailer Mistress Defends Her Relationship

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Earlier this year, Norris Church Mailer-Norman's "last wife"-published her much-acclaimed book, A Ticket to the Circus , in which she discusses her relationship with Norman , which began as an adulterous one. Now, Carole Mallory, who was never married to Mailer but was his mistress through more than one of his six wives, has also written a book,  Loving Mailer . In an interview with the New York Times today, Mallory defends the role of the celebrity mistress (much as our own Hanna Rosin and Katie Roiphe have defended John Edwards' mistress Rielle Hunter), saying, "You have to understand with these famous men, they go after women, yet the press likes to make it appear that the women went after him. "

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On Mailer's epic adultery, Mallory is also nonjudgmental, saying, "Love is acceptance, and I accepted him as a philanderer." That's not especially surprising-to be with Norman Mailer for many years one would have to accept this as part of who he was. What is surprising is that the following come-on from Mailer was actually successful. According to Mallory, during the couple's first rendezvous, Mailer said, "Take off your panties ... I want to experience your soul." If that sort of line was what worked 25 years ago, no wonder everyone was getting so much more action!

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

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