The Bedroom Interview with Mink Stole

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The Bedroom Interview with Mink Stole
Mink Stole is one of the triumvirate of cult icons responsible for the unique sensibility of John Waters’ films. Along with Waters and his three-hundred-pound transvestite muse, Divine, Mink lent a touch of grace and authentic femininity to smut masterpieces such as Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Polyester and others. This summer she will appear in Waters’ Cecil B. DeMented, the story of a band of cinema terrorists who kidnap a Hollywood starlet and force her to act in their independent film. Mink plays the tony Mrs. Mallory, a Baltimore socialite who gets caught in the crossfire.


Mink lives on a quiet street in Los Angeles with two cats, a huge backyard and a tranquil blue haven of a bedroom. Her maternal air is disarming; after two hours together it was all I could do not to sink into her arms for a good cry. — Jessica Hundley

* * *

This is such a peaceful place.

It’s my quiet place. I read in here. I sleep in here. But I don’t come in here to work. It took me a long time to know I needed a room that was just my bedroom.

The mirror is beautiful.

Well, I thought it was going to reflect sunlight, but in order to do that, I’d have to put up more mirrors on this opposite side. Then there’d just be too many mirrors. People would think, “Oooh sex,” And it’s like, “No, not sex! There is no sex in this room!”

Is that by choice or by fate?

Both. When you’ve had really good sex and you’ve been in love, you don’t want anything that isn’t really good. What should I wear for this photo? Should I put on my heels?

By all means.

I have a perfect pair of black heels. Lord knows what they do to your feet, but they look great! So, are you going to ask me sex questions? I am so not the person to ask sex questions of!

Why not?

Because I’m not having any!

Well, I know you write an advice column for Glue magazine, and you’re such the mama bird. So I thought I’d ask what you would say to a twenty-nine-year-old woman fresh out of a six-year relationship?

Are you okay?

It’s been pretty awful. Even after six years nobody gives you any sympathy, primarily because you’re not married. But a divorce is what it is, dividing up property, the whole bit.

Damn right it’s a divorce! I would say wait a while. Get used to being yourself again. Nearly all of your twenties was being part of a team. Now you really need some time. That doesn’t mean that someone can’t come into your life and be fabulous right away, but I wouldn’t look for it. Were you and your boyfriend living together? What was your space like?

Tiny, and we shared the house with other people.

That’s not even remotely acceptable! If you really feel like screaming there ought to be a room you can go into and scream. The strain of always being nice is impossible. And there also needs to be a space where you can go away when he’s being a shit.

[After making coffee, Mink takes us out to her backyard.]

So how about you — are you happy being single, or are you looking?

I’m not looking. I’m actually happier being single than I almost ever was being involved with somebody. I think the loneliest times of my life were when I was involved in serious relationships. Its not like I haven’t had crushes on people. I have. I’ve had a little fling here and there and they’ve been fun and devastating and I wouldn’t have missed them for anything. And I’ve been in love. I know what it’s like to not be able to breathe unless that person’s in the room, to have someone lying beside me, looking at me like I’m the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to him. I also know what it’s like to wake up next to someone who’s like, “And what’s your name?”

You know, I’m a cat lady now. A spinster lady with cats.

I think a healthy relationship is the hardest work in the world.

Too much work for me! I have lots of friends. Most of my male friends are gay — gay men make the absolute best friends. You can be affectionate with no ambiguities, no misconceptions. And they’re not in my bed which is not where they belong anyway.

The thing is, if you go without sex long enough, you really stop missing it. And it’s not like I’m no longer sensual. I’m very sensual, I touch things. I make things. I think I’m real sexy, as far as my connection to the world goes. Just because I’m not having sex doesn’t mean I’m not in touch. I don’t feel dried up. You don’t have to be sexually connected to another human to be connected to the world. I recommend pets. Not for sex, but because it’s wonderful to have another life in your world. I have some other life to take care of, other personalities to interact with. And yet, if I want to go away for a few days I can put out the kitty litter, enough food and water and I’m gone. Dogs are a pain. They’re great, but then I’d have to pick up dog poop all the time and
they’re much needier than a cat.

Yeah, you might as well have a man. At least they don’t shit in the yard.

The problem with living alone is this: no surprises. You never come home and there’s a surprise waiting for you of any kind. You bought the flowers and the food in the fridge, no one’s waiting with a video they thought you’d like. But I like being by myself. I find my own company fascinating.

Did you ever want kids?

No, I’m one of ten — I know what it’s like to not get enough attention. I have nieces and nephews and I love babies. Put a baby on my lap and I am so happy — but I don’t want the responsibility. There are times when I can’t even deal with my cats! And babies are just little need machines. People so often want a baby because it will love them. Well, no it won’t, it will need you.

So all I need is a cat and a fun affectionate gay male friend?

For right now that is exactly what you need. Here’s my advice: don’t be waking your kitty up. Just leave it alone. Don’t be touching it, don’t be playing with it, don’t be petting it. Don’t wake the kitty! There are other ways. I like to drive fast. Do you like to drive fast?

Driving fast is sexy.

Driving fast is very sexy. Are you cold? You look chilly. Let’s go inside.

© 2000 Jessica Hundley and Nerve.com, Inc.