What are the intangibels that accompany a man and a women into the bedroom? The subtle qualities that can make a relationship satisfying, and not? Here, some of the country's most public people talk about the essence, as they see it, of that private matter: sex .
Comedienne Phyllis Diller:
"I work with audiences every night and I find people are people. Everybody laughs at the same things, everybody is hurt by the same things, therefore everybody is alike -- and there is only good sex and bad sex.
"The ideal man is sensitive and cares about how the other person feels. Really, men should stop being so uptight about being good lovers and just do what comes naturally. But if a man is worrying about sex and making love he should listen to instruction from a female. It's often unfortunate being a woman to teach a young man because experienced men are much better than beginners; they have been taught by many women.
"Men don't aapproach me. I'm not an approachable woman and I never have been; I wasn't even an approachable child. I was bright, and boys don't approach bright girls. . .
"The male ego is the most delicate thing in the world. It is nurtured in such a way that it is supposed to be solid rock, and isn't allowed to be human. So men assume the role of being completely impervious to any ego threats. That's why you get men who go to single bars wanting sex but no marriage responsibility. . .
"I'm a sucker for beauty -- be it in a man, a woman, a child, a house, or a car. Both my husbands were very attractive. If there is ever a choice in anything I'll always choose beauty. The thing that gets me is an attractive man who treats me like a lady. I'm a candlelight-and-romance lady, and I can't compromise in anything because I know that you can get romance if you wait long enough for that man to come along.
"Women's loberation is never going to change relationships between men and women . . . I'm a third-generation career girl, so I've always been liberated and I take it for granted. And I like being a woman.
"Sex can be a great burden for men, through, because their role is still more important than women's. Men still have to act, while all woman have to do is react."
Actor Rod Steiger:
"Any man who asks a woman to make love to him is an idiot. You don't wait for a woman to say yes. It's matter of vibrations, and I don't believe I can define virbrations. If I could I'd be King Solomon and King Kong put together.
"It's all the cliches -- something happens -- a look in the eyes, a connection, a touch of the hands. Why does one skin feel better than the other? You just exchange looks. Once the woman's eye has given you permission -- and she doesn't tell you -- you feel it. Only then can you really go to bed with that woman. Because you can't very well enjoy the company of a woman in bed if she doesn't want to be there. Unless you knock her out, in which case she is not going to be very exciting. . .
"It is very important not to confuse love with sex or with curiosity. Curiosity had put more people into bed than romance. Although perhaps love may be the continuation of curiostiy. . .
"Fantasies are very important, depending on the day and on your mood. The bedroom must be and must always remain a land of fantasy. It is not a church or a chatherdral or a synagogue or a Buddhist temple, but a playroom.
"Technique can be taught, and two people can be equal in technique -- but not in talent or imagination. Being good in bed is instinct and technique, imagination, talent, and living enough to gather an education out of the pain of your experiences."
Actor Richard Burton:
"The woman who brings out the best in a man -- who is good in bed -- is very rare. In my entire life I have known only three. The qualitites they possessed were a responding passion and a responding love.
"The woman's-lib movement has definitely affected sexual attitudes -- you can feel it in the air. Even the most feminine-looking woman is aware of the movement. Women like that are not going to be taken in by mellifluous voices saying set, cliche'd words.
"Usually I think cliche'd words are probably best to use with any womman, unless she is excessively intelligent, or brusque or slightly lesbian. So the first thing you do with most women is to say how beautiful they are. Nine times out of 10 it works. 'Did anybody ever tell you you were a lovely girl?' 'Did anybody ever tell you that your evyes were divine?'
"You can recognize attraction in a woman's eyes because a woman's puplis diliate when she is attracted to a man.
"I think some men are probably born to be more passionate than others. I know men, for instance, who are virgins at 50. Quite clearly, a clositered life, like that of a don at Oxford -- a pedantic life -- might turn a man into a neuter.
"To succeed in the art of love a man must love the woman -- that is essence.
You must first love, or think you love, the woman. When you are with the only woman -- the only one you think there is for that moment -- you must love her and know her body, as if you were blind and your hands were reading braille."
Model Cheryl Tiegs:
"I'm glad that I grew up in the '50s and '60s because sex was a bit slower in those days -- you didn't just jump into bed at 14 or 15. It was a big deal to kiss or touch somebody; we'd go to parties, play Spin the Bottle, give someone a big kiss, and that was it. . .
"There are periods I go through when I an working too hard -- I'm too busy, too preoccupied, and just don't feel like sex. I'm sure it's the same for the man -- and neither of you should take it as a rejection.
"Men will come on to you if you let them. I put on a cold exterior sometimes when I am working -- if you are too open the man assumes things.
"I don't like it when men look you up and down; they are just trying too hard. And I think the worst approach is cliche'd lines like, 'Oh, you are the most beautiful, fascinating girl I've ever seen -- I'd give up anything for you.' I'm sure they say that to every girl. A look is always better than a verbal approach.
"The thing that turns me on most is kindness. Sincerity is also one of the most important things, and I can tell in a second if it is genuine. I can recognize the men who are putting on an act. I think men should just be themselves.
"I think you have to verbalize fantasies; otherwise you will never discover your partner's -- whether you like fantasies, whether you have ever had them. But I think fantasies are fantasies and should not be realities. I think fantasies and dreams are what they are and shouldn't be carried out.
Designer Diane Von Furstenberb:
"I believe a woman should flatter a man I believe in making a man feel great; it doesn't cost anything. I strongly believe a woman should compliment a man, as long as the flattery isn't obnoxious or stereotyped. The worst thing one can do is to make someone feel he is being told the same thing you have told someone else.
"I also don't believe a man should necessarily make all the moves. It is a question of chemistry -- and I don't see any reason why the woman shouldn't make the moves. There is no rule. Men are shyer than women. American men are even shyer then European men. American men are also more romantic.
"American men are much more cozy and less threatened by a women than European men are. Women have always been much stronger in America:
There is a pioneer inside every American woman. So American men are much more used to fighting alongside their women. They are very generous in giving of themselves. Sometimes I think American men are too nice and then women walk all over them.
"The most important thing is to be comfortable with yourself, to be in control of your life. But not too much in control. You should always leave room for the unexpected, which is always the most exciting. It's nice sometimes not to decide, especially if you are a woman.
"I think that one's fantasies are very much one's own. You want to live them out, but your fantasies are very personal, and I don't think a man should try to find them out; they will either develop instincitively or they won't.
"But you probably can't have everything from one man. Each person will give you something else. Sometimes I've had wonderful close relationships, but you are still two different people. I think the sucess of a relationship is two people remaining indivduals."
Actor/athlete Jim Brown:
"I am not Superman -- neither is anyone else. When I was a kid all I heard about sex was performance. Sex was never doing something with her. Consequently you wondered about yourself, if you were not doing that.
"Our society approaches sex from the standpoint of a lie. Everything one is taught or hears about sex is from an exaggerated point of view. Sex is not as good as people say, and it's not as bad as people say. It's in the middle, and it's never been put into its proper perspective. Everybody has weaknesses and strengths.
"Many people are insecure abot sex, and I've learned and as I became a man found my own values. Even though you may feel insecure for a while, you quickly get out of that and begin dealing with individual women. You realize that living isn't about performance or nonperformance. It's rally caring for someone and having someone care about you.
"Deep down inside most of my friends feel that way, too, but they don't express it because of a macho type of attitude. . .
"I don't think you have to be in love to make love, but I do think sex with the woman you love has got to be the best sex you've had. Relationships have always been more important to me than sex.
"Every woman is different. People talk about 'what you want sexually' and 'what I want sexually,' but that is assuming that all people know what they want.
"I don't think you can just be good in bed in general, with everybody. If you go around trying to make love to everybody there are going to be a lot of failures. The thing is not to try to find out what is -- not what is supposed to be.
"There are women who want to make love with a man because of his image. Because he is a sportsman . . . I always thought that being a sportsman was like being an overrated gladiator -- like being in a zoo.
"Jim Brown is no different from any other man in the world. Although I might have had the opportunity to love some very beautiful ladies -- I've made movies with Raquel Welch, Jackie Bisset, Brenda Sykes. . . To all the men in the world: You haven't missed a thing. You can't make love to an image.
"Sex is a one-to-one situation, and if you find a lady who cares about you -- and who you care about -- than you are living as good as any man in the world."
Novelist Barbara Cartland:
"Women are still happiest when men are dominant. A woman wants to admire a man, to look up to him and respect him. So a man should be strong, resolute, determined and masterful. I've never yet met a women who wasn't happiest when her man was strong and possessive.
"But women are also idealistic in love and still believe in a knight in shining armor. Women need romance. Every woman wants to know that she is important, that she is wanted and desired.
"Before I was married I went dancing till dawn with a young man, and the next day some flowers arrived with a note: 'Darling -- I want these flowers to see you.' I think that is wonderful wooing. Women want men who take them flowers and tell them over and over of their love.
"I think a man has to be flattered into believing he is a good lover long before he is.
"Men often fail sexually because they are frightened of being rejected. A woman has to be understanding and tactful and must always realize that failure can happen. So many different things can put a man off sex and upset the impetus of his desire: a noise in the bedroom next door, his wife using the wrong scent.
"Also when men get older they worry about the infrequency of their desire, and worrying makes it worse. They need to be reminded that there is no age limit on sexual arousal: The late Marquess of Donnegall was conceived when his father was over 90 . . .
"A man should remember that the act of love is far more important than the contract he is drawing up for a new product.
"I say, then, give your full attention to love and sex at least for that moment. Make it not only physical, but something beautiful and divine -- which it should be."