“Maybe I’m a sexless sex goddess.” – Marilyn Monroe to Life magazine journalist Richard Meryman, 1961
The sexiest woman in America didn’t have an orgasm until the last year of her life. Despite her famous love affairs and marriages, not to mention the fact that she was the symbol of sex to millions of men worldwide, Marilyn Monroe’s inability to enjoy sex was something she was open about to close confidantes (male and female) and her psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson. Greenson counseled her extensively on what was called, in the common parlance of the time, her “primary frigidity”, and Monroe worked very hard with him to overcome her sexual issues.
As a young girl, Marilyn Monroe was treated as a sexual object before she was ready to handle the implications of it, a common problem with girls who develop early. Her beauty blossomed very young, and it ended up being her ticket out of anonymity and pain. For that reason, she never resented her looks. It was her work as a pinup before she was even under contract that got the attention of the fans.
In movie after movie, Monroe showed up as the eager yet innocent sex goddess, the naif in a cruel world who somehow managed to maintain her hopeful spirit, her sense of humor. Many of these movies were interested in demeaning or humiliating her, punishing her for the fact that she elicited desirous feelings in men. The Seven Year Itch, while mostly famous today for the skirt-blowing-up scene, is a nasty piece of work which puts Monroe in the unenviable position of being portrayed as a circus freak of sex appeal. Tom Ewell plays her ogling downstairs neighbor, and the way he views her shows the attempt to turn her sexiness into something dirty and lewd. She is so “hot” that she has to keep her underwear in the freezer