WEIRDLAND: Sex Addiction: Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sex Addiction: Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison


"Treat me like a fool, Treat me mean and cruel, But love me. Wring my faithful heart, Tear it all apart, But love me. If you ever go, Darling, I'll be oh so lonely, I'll be sad and blue, Crying over you, dear only. I would beg and steal, Just to feel your heart, Beatin' close to mine. Well, if you ever go, Darling, I'll be oh so lonely, I'll be sad and blue, Crying over you, dear only. Beggin' on knees, All I ask is please, please love me." ―"Love Me" by Elvis Presley, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, recorded August 1, 1956

The beautiful Ms Linda Thompson shared so much of the Presley lifestyle after the departure of Priscilla that the word ‘relationship’ barely covers what they meant to each other. Linda met him on July 6, 1972. "I was Miss Tennessee Universe and T. G. Sheppard invited me to the Memphian Theater after midnight. I had a lot of trepidation about it. But my girlfriend, who was Miss Rhode Island, said we had to go. So if we hadn’t have gone, I probably would never have met Elvis. I even made a joke about the Dracula look and Elvis wasn’t fazed. He sat down and was very sweet. It was as if we had known each other our whole lives." But the doubts resurfaced that night. "I got home at about four o’clock in the morning and the phone rang. It was Elvis. His speech was slurred. I had never been around anyone who was incapacitated like that. I said, ‘Are you drunk? Why is your voice slurred?’ He said, ‘Oh, honey, I’m just tired.’ Of course, I found out he took sleeping medication, and I am sure he had taken a sleeping pill before talking to me. I wasn’t nervous because he was so down home and down to earth – there really was a sense of humility about him."

"I never felt more loved and more listened to and more known than when I was with him. One of the most beautiful qualities a person can have is humility and Elvis personified that. I always felt that he took the time to listen, to engage in conversation, to look you in the eye, to get tears in his eyes when the subject got to something sentimental. For Elvis it was love at first sight. He invited me to meet his father Vernon. Right away, he was saying, “Where have you been all my life?” It was part of his personality to want to hear things straight. Then we went straight to Las Vegas, where he was rehearsing for his shows at the Hilton. There were times when he was very paternal with me, very nurturing and caring. And there were times when I was very maternal to him because he was such a big baby." The affection bred pet names for each other: "I called him “Gullion” and “Bunton” and he called me “Adriadne” and “Mommy”. She didn’t accept that he wasn’t always the most faithful of lovers: "I tried to understand it. I was very young and he was very needy. There were times when Elvis wanted me to be with him all the time. In the first year, he did not even go to a dentist without my accompanying him. I was with him twenty-four hours a day in that first year. Apparently, he broke his record for fidelity. I knew he was mostly faithful because he never left my side and I never left his. I adored him and so was happy to be there most of the time. I tried to understand the infidelity. He was a prisoner, sequestered with the Memphis Mafia. He always said he only loved me. I certainly felt very loved by him. He would say that in his own way, ‘I am completely faithful to you and I don’t love anyone else.’ I always felt very loved and very treasured and respected by him. When I look back, the thing I most remember about Elvis is his tenderness, his kindness. When he told me he loved me, he had tears in his eyes. He had great passion. He was so sensitive. And very funny. He had a bracelet that said ‘Elvis’ in diamonds and he flipped it over and it said ‘Crazy’."

Linda also believed that he couldn’t refuse women, that as a southern gentleman, he literally didn’t want to be discourteous to their advances. “He wanted to please, and he didn’t know how to be standoffish with women, because that was not how he was raised. He always treated all women like ladies.” She had no doubt about her status with him. Above all, Linda remembered ‘his tenderness, his kindness. He was sensitive, passionate. Also very funny.’ There was another side to him, she always recognised, which to many people would seem in direct contradiction to his womanising and unruly behaviour. ‘He had a very distinct spiritual side,’ she emphasised. ‘He really felt the need for a God’– and, of course, there were always the songs he chose. ‘He grew up in a spiritual environment in Tupelo,’ she recalled. Elvis's relationship with Linda derived naturally into a cordial friendship, when in November 1976,  Elvis met Ginger Alden, a young model from Memphis.

Elvis invited Priscilla’s family, including her parents Paul and Ann Beaulieu, to his dressing room. He spoke to Michelle, Priscilla’s sister, about his hands. He was self-conscious that they were very bloated. But Priscilla had noticed them three years earlier on the day they met in the judge’s chambers and signed the final divorce decree. As they sat with their fingers entwined, Priscilla grew alarmed at how puffy Elvis was. “I knew something was different; something was wrong. I could see it in his eyes, I could feel it in his hands.” Now in Vegas, Paul sensed that “he didn’t want to let us go. He kept thinking of topics that would prolong the conversation, asking us what we needed and wanted.” After the divorce, Elvis had called Ann and said, “Please speak with Cilla,” and begged her to try to convince his ex-wife to come back to him. “It was a very sad conversation. I felt how desperately he wanted to keep his family together.” Ann knew that her daughter was determined to move on with her life, but she told Elvis that she would do what she could. “Please do,” he pleaded. “I want you all to be part of my family.” It was like a sword through her. “Elvis,” she said, “we’ll always be part of your family.” Priscilla knew Elvis held out hope that they would reunite. “I’d take Lisa over to his house and he’d say, ‘Cilla, go do what you have to do now. Go see the world. But when you’re forty and I’m fifty, we’ll be back together. You’ll see.” She would later say that in the last year of his life, “We underestimated his emotional pain. And he lacked the means to fully express that pain.” 

Ginger Alden was learning that being on the road and staying cooped up in Las Vegas was not the heady trip that it appeared. Once the glamour wore off, Ginger was homesick for her mother and sisters. And, Elvis learned, she missed a young man she had been seeing in Memphis. One day, in their bedroom in the Imperial Suite Elvis was seemed frustrated and adrift. She rarely saw him like that, and asked what was the matter. “Elvis found out that Ginger had a boyfriend, so he told her to call him and tell him that it was over, and she wouldn’t do it. She kept saying no.” Elvis and Ginger exchanged heated words, and then in anger, Elvis picked up a glass of orange juice and threw it across the room. Shirley had just taken the plastic off her dry cleaning, and now it was covered with sticky pulp. Ginger shrugged it off: “Oh, I was so mad! But he felt bad about it, I could tell. It was sad. Linda had taken off with David Briggs, and he wanted to show her that he could get someone who was prettier and younger.” Elvis seemed all too desperate to make the romance bloom, while others accused him of keeping Ginger a virtual hostage. More and more, there seemed to be nothing Elvis wouldn’t do to win Ginger’s affections. He went to her grandfather’s funeral in Arkansas on January 3, 1977, flying her family to Harrison, Arkansas, and then accompanying Ginger on the twenty-mile drive to Jasper for services in a tiny rural church. 

Elvis was more impetuous in all matters of love now. On January 9, he spurred his dentist, Max Shapiro to marry his young fiancĂ©e, Suzanne, in Palm Springs that very day, waking Larry Geller in the middle of the night to come perform the ceremony. Elvis bought the rings, and Ginger stood in as maid of honor. “When Elvis met Ginger,” Geller observed, “something came over this guy. Part of it was beautiful, because he just so desperately wanted a real relationship. The next morning, he said to me, ‘Man, I can’t believe this girl! I look at that woman’s eyes, and it’s my mother’s eyes.’ So for the first month, he was really just nuts over Ginger.” Elvis had confided to Geller about a previous sentimental dilemma. “I have to make a decision. It’s between Ann-Margret and Priscilla. I really love them both, but I’m choosing Priscilla because I want a wife who isn’t in show business, somebody who will devote herself to a family.”

In Vegas, 'Memphis Mafia Princess' Shirley Dieu had caught Elvis taking Ginger’s hand and putting it between his shoulder and neck. Then he placed his own hand on top of hers, and patted it. “See Shirley,” he said, “she loves me just like you love Joe.” It worried Shirley and other friends as to how far Elvis might go. Nothing about his involvement with Ginger indicated rational thinking. In Palm Springs, especially, Elvis seemed to have almost no control over his impulses. Ginger was a symbol for Elvis, whom he could project his dreams onto, whilst in denial about what was going on in his life: his health problems, his waning youth, his conflicts with Colonel Parker. On January 26, 1977, Elvis came to Ginger and proposed with an engagement ring. “It was like old-fashioned times, he was on his knees,” recalled Ginger: “He asked me to marry him, and I said, ‘Yes.’” She was sitting in his black reading chair in the upstairs bathroom at Graceland, and he pulled out a green velvet box and produced a stunning eleven-and-a-half-carat diamond worth $70,000. He was in such a hurry for it, that jeweler Lowell Hays took the stone from Elvis’s own TCB flash ring until he could find a replacement. Ginger was now the second woman to whom Elvis had proposed in a bathroom.

Ginger often questioned Elvis’s medication use, she would say later, and tried to get him to not take the packets that Dr. George Nichopoulos (aka Dr. Nick) prescribed and Tish Henley doled out like clockwork. It was, in fact, the reason for some of their arguments. “Although I asked him to try not to use the medication that I thought he did not need, and there were times that he didn’t, I truly believed that in time I would be able to convince him.” However, on the morning of August 16, 1977, Ginger had no opportunity to reason with him because she was heavily medicated herself. She had menstrual cramps, and about 6:30, Elvis had called Tish Henley and asked her to bring up something so Ginger could sleep. The beauty queen would later say she took Quaalude tablets, but the nurse, who kept her drugs under lock and key in her trailer, would insist she sent up one Dilaudid pill, though the opiate was far more powerful than anything Ginger could have needed for menstrual pain.

Ginger didn’t watch Elvis like Linda did. Finally, at 2:20 P.M., Ginger turned over in Elvis’s huge bed and found it empty. Had he never come back to sleep? She noticed his reading light was still on, and thought it peculiar. Ginger knocked on the bathroom door. “Elvis?” There was no answer, and so she turned the knob. “That’s when I saw him in there,” she said later. Elvis was slumped on the floor, angled slightly to the right. He was on his knees, his hands beneath his face, in a near praying position. His pajama bottoms bunched at his feet. Elvis had seemed to fall off the toilet. He laid so still, so unnaturally still. Elvis’s death had not been quick. Nor had it been painless. But if Elvis had called out, Ginger likely would not have heard him, so deep was her drugged sleep. Ginger was in a state of shock. “I didn’t want to think he was dead. God wouldn’t want to take him so soon.” Elvis Presley had died of polypharmacy complications in the bathroom at Graceland, at the age of forty-two. Elvis had crawled several feet and vomited before dying—but he didn’t want Ginger to see any more, and sent her into the other room. Then he called for an ambulance, and got Dr. Nick on the phone and mumbled something about a heart attack. Ginger was struck with “an overwhelming sense of sadness, disbelief, and feeling as if Graceland had also died.” —"Baby, Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley and the women who loved him" (2009) by Alanna Nash

A new classification of sex addiction as a mental disorder by the World Health Organization could monumentally shift the conversation surrounding a condition that's often deeply misunderstood. Experts who treat sex addictions hope the classification will help change the disorder's perception from a moral failing to simply a medical issue. In its new International Classification of Diseases, WHO defines "compulsive sexual health disorder" as a "persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior." The new classification means that sex addiction can be diagnosed based on a list of criteria. Experts also hope the new classification will chip away at a larger goal: destigmatizing sex addiction. Most sex addicts, Magness said, are ordinary people. "Most of the people that I work with are people with very high morals, very responsible, leaders in their industries, physicians...," Dr. Milton Magness said. For those people – the vast majority of whom are men – experts hope the diagnosis will open the door for treating sex addiction like any other mental health issue. Source: eu.usatoday.com

Brett Farmer places Elvis Presley's "orgasmic gyrations" of the title dance sequence in Jailhouse Rock (1957) within a lineage of cinematic musical numbers that offer a "spectacular eroticization of the male image". Lester Bangs credited Elvis as "the man who brought overt blatant sexual frenzy to the popular arts in America." Elvis would grow up to be a beautiful man with soft characteristics (full lips, sleepy eyes) that coupled with his swinging dance onstage accounted for his wild sex-appeal. Elvis's traditional upbringing and high testosterone levels confirmed him as a full-blown heterosexual. The adult Elvis saw no conflict in his desire to wear mascara and carry a gun—the symbolic phallus—at the same time. Albert Goldman's biography Elvis (1981) was clearly attempting to sneer and deride, to debunk the "Elvis Myth", to deplore the squandered potential, even to revel in the degradation. For many fans and critics, Goldman's research was undermined by his intense personal dislike of Presley. The popular music historian Charles Hamm even wanted Goldman's Elvis to be reclassified as fiction. Goldman's research was limited to merely recording with every sign of glee, how Elvis's talent, once arisen, fell back into what Goldman sees as the traditional illiterate half-coma of popular culture.

Mama Gladys raised Elvis on stories about a twin brother who died at birth, imaginable cause of what Albert Goldman sees as Elvis' bad/good "split personality." Gladys' death seemed to remove his wholesome foundation, opening the way to drugs, overeating, sex addiction, occultism, and guns. Later came his TV comeback special on December 3, 1968 and his bizarre Vegas phase, soon followed by a descent into "infantilism, drug invalidism and madness", all triggered by anonymous death threats (Colonel Parker notified the FBI they came from Charles Manson's circle) and Priscilla's infidelities. Elvis Presley is merely the focus for Albert Goldman’s contempt for a kind of successful regional man or mass personality. Goldman is palpably scared by the vitality of non-intellectual life among humankind. Source: markduffet.com

Like Elvis, Jim Morrison's at times ambiguous appeal belonged to his performing antics onstage. Offstage, Morrison was the most flaming blatant heterosexual you can imagine. He was unswervingly heterosexual in his gender orientation, glowingly sensual and blazingly secure in his very considerable masculinity, ardently devoted to his physical enjoyment of women, and theirs of him, and a gentleman besides. Jim Morrison always craved attention from male and female audiences while his personal sex life was exclusively heterosexual. His face was more than handsome, it was pretty and displayed vulnerability, but he was not feminine. In his eyes something definitely masculine burned. More than masculine, something dangerous. ―"Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison" (2014) by James Riordan

“Being drunk is a good disguise,” said Jim Morrison. His pupils dilated, forming a black core that penetrated me. I felt his violence prickling under my skin, threatening to erupt between us. “Now, what are you? A cunt.” I blundered defiantly. “You’re mine. You’re my cunt.” He gave me a desperate, searching look, his voice was raw. “Do you understand that? You’re only mine.” He scrutinized me, waiting for resistance. I gave none, feeling strangely secure and comforted, as if we were locked together in some primal way. His harshness subsided. Later, lying peacefully entwined, Jim asked, “Do you know what I mean when I talk to you like that?” ”I think so,” I said. I felt he was trying to define sexuality, reducing us to the basic elements. “It’s hard to explain,” he began. “No. I do know what you mean,” I thought I did. Jim agreed, lying down beside me and smiling sweetly. He sighed and rolled his head across the pillow to look up at me shyly, almost worshipfully. His eyes were wide and vulnerable, with a boy’s 'do-you-like-me' look. When he took his defenses away like that, it blew me away. All I wanted to do was reassure him, love him; he was a stray child with no mother, lost in the world. We felt raw and tender in the moment and held each other with all the love we’d never found. It seemed the warmth and strength of those who will forever be friends. ”If it wasn’t for this, life wouldn’t be worthwhile,” Jim said, his voice near tears. The desolation in his words scared me. “You know, we really get along well, don’t you think?” he asked, an astonished look spreading across his face. “We should spend a lot more time together.” “It’s easy to be with you, too,” I smiled. We just stared at each other, embarrassed. “You take birth control pills or something, don’t you? I mean, if we’re going to keep seeing each other, we don’t want you getting knocked up or anything.” “I grew up on them,” I said icily. When we walked outside, the smog in L.A.’s air had produced a twilight mirage of color; the evening sky glowed an incandescent lavender, pink, and salmon. Piled into his friend's tiny convertible, we drove down Sunset Boulevard. The night was warm, the lights sparkling. ―"Love Him Madly: An Intimate Memoir of Jim Morrison " (2013) by Judy Huddleston

It was the greatest night of my life/Although I still had not found a wife/We were close together/We tripped the wall and we scaled the graveyard/Ancient shapes were all around us/The wet dew felt fresh beside the fog/Two made love in an ancient spot/One chased a rabbit into the dark/And I gave empty sermons to my head/Cemetary, cool and quiet/Hate to leave your sacred lady/Dread the milky coming of the day ―Graveyard Poem by Jim Morrison

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