Friday, March 23, 2007

Elvis Presley - The women in his life

Several authors have written that "Elvis busied his evenings with various girlfriends" or that his "list of one-night stands would fill volumes." According to eyewitness Byron Raphael, who worked for Presley's manager Parker, the star even had a secret one-night stand with Marilyn Monroe in a hotel room.

However, it is unclear whether the "sex symbol" actually had sex with most of the women he dated. His early girlfriends Judy Spreckels and June Juanico say that they had no sexual relationships with Presley. Raphael and Alanna Nash have stated that the star "would never put himself inside one of these girls..." During his military service, he had "discovered prostitutes and picked up the intense fear of sexually transmitted diseases which led to claims that he had a morbid fear of sexual penetration." Because of his shyness, Albert Goldman says, "no woman ever saw Elvis undressed."

June Juanico "recalls a time when she stood up to Elvis in front of his band of hangers-on, who even then were beginning to accompany him everywhere. He grabbed her arm, took her into the bathroom and declared: 'Look, you are so right, I am really sorry.' He kept her there for five minutes, then swaggered out, his image intact." Julie Parrish, Presley's co-star in Paradise Hawaiian Style, relates, "One time on set I had a real pain in my side - a side-effect, I think - and Elvis scooped me up, carried me into his trailer and shut the door. Outside the crew was waiting and wondering, but Elvis was oblivious to the innuendo. He placed his hand over my side and tried to do some healing on me." Playboy star and actress June Wilkinson remembered that she "met Elvis on the set of King Creole. He invited me to dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. ... Then Elvis gave me a tour of his suite, sat me on the bed in his bedroom and sang to me for two hours. That was it. The next day ... we had dinner again. He was very sweet, and he was friendly. He had more than sex on his mind. He got me to the airport on time, and our paths never crossed again."

However, the singer was not always sweet and friendly towards women. When Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of Joan Crawford, visited Presley, they were watching Bonanza in the TV room. "Elvis had been puffing on a cigar ... as Christina tickled him and kidded around, apparently seeking more direct attention." Suddenly, as Buzz Cason relates, "she slung the contents of her cocktail glass right into Elvis's face. ... The cigar went 'phhhtttt' and he jumped up. ... He grabbed her by the hair. 'Get this bitch out of here!' he screamed, leading her toward the front door as she struggled to keep up with the rather quick pace as he was pulling her locks. Turmoil ensued as the 'boys' scrambled to assist trying to prevent too big of a scene."

Peggy Lipton claims that Presley was "virtually impotent" with her. She attributed his impotence to his heavy drug abuse. Cassandra Peterson, better known as "Elvira', says she knew Presley for only one night and all they did was talk. Priscilla Presley and Suzanne Finstad also claim that the singer wasn't overtly sexually active.

These claims are directly contradicted by comments from actresses like Cybill Shepherd, who acknowledged her affair with the singer and said to have introduced Elvis to certain amorous techniques. However, "Shepherd's much-quoted claims that she taught him the joys of oral sex is viewed with skepticism by other lovers of the King." In her memoir, Ann-Margret (Presley's co-star in Viva Las Vegas) refers to Presley as her "soulmate", but very little is revealed about their long-rumored romance, only that "in a moment of tenderness" he bought her a round bed in hot pink colors.

On the other hand, Elvis dated many female co-stars from his movies primarily for publicity purposes. 17-year-old actress Lori Williams and the singer, for instance, went together for a while "between the making of Roustabout and Kissin' Cousins." She says their "courtship was not some bizarre story. It was very sweet and Elvis was the perfect gentleman." She also claims that Ann-Margret "was the love of his life." Significantly, there was a great publicity campaign about the romance between Elvis and Ann-Margret during the 1963 filming of Viva Las Vegas and the following weeks, which helped to increase the popularity of the young Hollywood beauty. Ann-Margret remained close to Presley for the remainder of his life and also attended his funeral.

It should be noted that the vast majority of books (including both of Guralnick's books) on Presley contain details of his many romances and alleged affairs including many while he was married to Priscilla. It has also been reported that Presley "adored to fondle and suck women's toes, and those in his entourage who were given the job of choosing companions for him would often be asked to check the girls' feet." However, Guralnick writes that for "the more experienced girls it wasn't like with other Hollywood stars or even with other more sophisticated boys they knew." Although they offered to do things for Presley, "he wasn't really interested. What he liked to do was to lie in bed and watch television and eat and talk all night..."

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