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Was Marilyn Monroe asexual? Her autobiography is revealing
Queer Gaze Asexual

Was Marilyn Monroe asexual? Her autobiography is revealing


July, 2023: This article was updated to remove bylines at the request of the author

It’s safe to say that Marilyn Monroe is the most sexualised woman in film history. But was she also one of the most prominent asexuals of our time?

The possibility of her leaning on the asexual spectrum still has researchers and activists talking.

Asexuality feels like a rather new term, but it can be traced back to the 1890s. It began gaining prominence after the 1940 Kinsey Scale included a ‘no sexual attraction’ category.

This is partly why recently resurfaced excerpts from Marilyn Monroe’s unfinished autobiography, written around the same time, are so curious.

“My story” is an unfinished autobiography penned by the starlet herself. She describes her early adolescence, her rise to stardom and her marriage.

Tucked into the crevices of that story is an inherent disinterest in sex.

Why I was a siren, I hadn’t the faintest idea. There were no thoughts of sex in my head.I didn't want to be kissed, and I didn't dream of being seduced by a duke or a movie star. The truth was that with all my lipstick and mascara and precocious curves, I was as unsensual as a fossil. But I seemed to affect people quite otherwise.
Excerpt from "My Story" - Page 4

Monroe explains that she didn’t quite understand her sex appeal, nor did she think about sex or have the urge to be seduced.

The world’s most sexualised starlet didn’t understand her own appeal - it says a lot.

Monroe seemed perplexed as to why everyone was so fascinated with sex. She even thought it was a benefit that her marriage was long-distance.

The first effect marriage had on me was to increase my lack of interest in sex. My husband either didn't mind this or wasn't aware of it. We were both too young to discuss such an embarrassing topic openly.
Excerpt from "My Story" - Page 29

As someone who identifies as asexual, this drew me to find out more. It’s how I felt for so long. Reading it was overwhelming, my personal experience overlapping with Monroe’s.

However, we should be careful not to ignore that Monroe was vocal about having sex and enjoying it. But she also experienced the same disinterest in it as I do.

Many people assume that asexuality equals abstinence. But it’s not that simple - it’s about the level of sexual attraction you experience.

We can’t give Monroe a posthumous label, but my personal experience overlaps with hers - and it’s overwhelming.

Still, what we are left with is a mystery. We will never know how Monroe really experienced her sexuality, nor should we give her - or anyone - a concrete label posthumously. But it’s definitely interesting to observe.

It’s a real shame that so many people throughout history missed out on the chance to fully understand themselves.

It took me about 25 years to figure out that I was asexual. If I had heard about a well-known actress who was asexual – whether it was Monroe or not – growing up would have been much easier.

It’s exactly why I’m dedicating my career to getting better asexual film representation.

I hope that I’ll play my part in an evolving education around sexuality on screen, so no one feels as alone as I did.

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