She didn’t live long enough to experience good sex or beautiful lovemaking. Yet, she sure experienced her share of teen petting and making out.  I would not say she was slutty or promiscuous but she was absolutely boy crazy. She enjoyed dressing to attract the opposite sex. I can still see her in her black silky sport shorts.  Her olive-skinned legs glistening and  flawless.  Her breasts full and cleavage-rich. The envy of all of us C cup wannabes.  She was curvy, not thin. Her smile beguiling and mischievous. Her laugh infectious and often inappropriate. Boys loved her. Girls loved her. She was my best friend growing up.  She didn’t live to see 21.

When I think back now, Laura was highly sensual, much to the chagrin of her devoted Catholic mother (who we referred to as Hail Mary Full of Grace). Laura loved music, fragrance, the feel of Angora sweaters on her skin.  She loved touch and sexuality.  We talked endlessly about kissing, sex, exploring. She was uninhibited when the rest of us were nervous about 2nd base. She even chose boyfriends based on her heart’s desire rather than the popularity scale. Imagine. I was never as bold, funny, vulnerable or free as she was. I sometimes wonder why she picked me as her confidante and longtime friend. Perhaps my listening skills endeared her to me. Perhaps she could see my latent sensuality.  Perhaps she felt my acceptance of her.

How Sensual Women Live

After watching, My Week With Marilyn, I began to draw correlations between Marilyn Monroe and my lost friend. Both embodied child-like qualities.  Both also smoldered sexually with their body language and curves. In both the starlet and my friend there was an openness to and trust of the world that left them vulnerable to other’s judgment. Why do we like to crush such lovers of the world? I suspect we are jealous of their freedom and authenticity.

They connected with others through a heightened sensuality, an acute awareness of feelings and the senses. They exuded aliveness. There is nothing more attractive.

Both Laura and Marilyn needed a man/boy in their lives.  They were afraid to be alone. For all their individuality and uniqueness they were not independent. They were susceptible to loneliness, being used and rejection because they put themselves out there so often.

I have no idea what kind of a conversationalist Marilyn Monroe was.  I recently read in, Marilyn Her Life in Her Own Wordsthat she was not a club-hopping sort.  She preferred quiet evenings at home listening to music (Ella Fitzgerald, Sinatra, Mel Torme) or parties with close friends. No doubt wherever she was and whoever she was with, that breathy voice drew listeners.

Marilyn was known for her come get me open-mouth smile and lack of undergarments. No one wore clothes (or didn’t wear clothes) like Marilyn.  Her presence and comfort in her body drew the attention of photographers and eventually movie producers. She often played the blonde bombshell but also successfully included comedic elements in many of her roles.

Laura loved to talk about music, boys, humorous topics. She was no shrinking violet. She had her own brand of dancing and dressing. She knew what looked and felt right for her. She had an effortless creativity. I remember her drawing crosses at the corners of her eyes with black eye-pencil. She told me they symbolized the angst she suffered because of her parent’s suppressing values. Laura was never really suppressed. It was just fun to be mopey.  It went along with the music she adored at the time – The Smiths, Depeche Mode, The Cure. Laura once found a mannequin hand and decided to use it in a skit for Spanish class.  She pulled her real hand into her shirt sleeve and used the fake one to point, scratch her head and touch other people. The added comedic element was a surprise and completely off the cuff.  Original.

Only the Good Die Young?

I am still drawn to the acutely alive and sensual.  Aren’t we all? Only at this stage in my life I’m willing to put myself out there as well.  Laura’s ways and life-affirming style come to me often now.  I even occasionally find myself asking, What would Laura do? 

I’m ashamed to admit towards the end of my time with Laura, her actions struck me as immature and even slightly annoying.  We were in college by then.  Time to use your head.  Stop being so naive. Why did I feel the need to be so uptight? I remember being a little afraid for her, like the world might eat her up or she wasn’t going to be able to find a job or real boyfriend/husband. I wanted her to be serious and mature like the rest of us drones.

She remains child-like and wild in my memories as she, like Marilyn, died way too young. Laura passed away in her sleep of a congenital heart defect at age 20.

I often think Laura added years to my life with all the belly laughs we shared.  I’m so thankful she lived fully and freely during her time here.

Who is the most sensual person you know? How do they affect you? 

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