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8. Hilton mothers give their daughters sex lessons
Kathy Hilton taught her daughter Paris not to perform fellatio because it would put "holes" in her cheeks, according to Jerry Oppenheimer, author of the exposé House of Hilton. A tradition of sex lessons amongst the Hilton women supposedly originated with Kathy's mother; a source in Oppenheimer's book claims Big Kathy wanted her daughter to know "all about sex, and how to perform sex, literally the best possible way." To that end, Grandma Hilton allegedly asked a young man to teach her Kathy how to have sex in a van in the front of their house. Although this is probably all spurious and mean-spirited invention, House of Hilton sounds like a pretty awesome book. — CB


7. Marilyn Monroe did porn
If a Marilyn Monroe porn reel existed, it's hard to imagine anyone who wouldn't want to see it. Does it? According to FBI files turned up by The Smoking Gun, Joe DiMaggio once tried to purchase a "French-type" movie of "Marilyn Monroe, deceased actress, in unnatural acts with an unknown male." And in 1980, a Swedish photographer unearthed a silent reel from 1948, featuring an awkward young actress with a striking resemblance to Monroe.  After intense scrutiny by everyone from the American Film Institute to Penthouse, the film is still a mystery: no one can be certain that the actress is Marilyn. Does it matter? — GW

6. Gallon of semen, stomach pump, etc.
You might have heard Rod Stewart was rushed to an emergency room, where he had a quart of semen pumped out of his stomach. Your friend disagrees, claiming it was Lil' Kim who collapsed at a party, suffering from the same ailment. Someone else heard the same rumor, but about Elton John, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Jon Bon Jovi, Alanis Morissette or Britney Spears. The first pop-culture references usually implicated a gay-seeming male rock star (Bowie, Stewart), but today the most popular lore surrounds sexualized female performers (Britney). Urban-legend authority points out that most stomachs can't even hold that much liquid, that you'd have to perform blowjobs for three days straight and that semen, "in any quantity, isn't toxic." — CB

5. David Bowie's wife walked in on him and Mick Jagger having sex
Some have said that the rumor about Mick Jagger and David Bowie having an affair in the '70s was fueled by prurient homophobia. We prefer to think it became popular because it's fucking hot. Regardless, according to, the rumor was started by Angela Bowie on The Joan Rivers Show. Recently freed from a gag order against her ex-husband, Bowie told Rivers that "I caught him in bed with men several times. In fact, the best time I caught him in bed was with Mick Jagger." She also specified that the men were naked. David and Mick's lawyers quickly denied the story, after which the ex-Mrs. Bowie did some extreme backpedaling, saying they hadn't necessarily had sex just because they were naked in bed together. Then came this passage from her 1993 memoir Backstage Passes : ". . .when I walked into that room and found Mick and David together, I felt absolutely dead certain that they'd been screwing. It was so obvious, in fact, that I never even considered the possibility that they hadn't been screwing. . . I didn't have to look around for open jars of K-Y jelly." — GW

4. Mikey died from eating Pop Rocks and soda
Remember Mikey, the little advertising mascot kid who liked Life cereal? "Mikey likes it," and all that? Presumably, Mikey, though he liked Life cereal, was not as much a fan of exploding. Luckily, contrary to popular opinion, John "Mikey" Gilchrist did not explode after eating Pop Rocks and chugging a Coke, and the combo of Pop Rocks and soda isn't deadly — although it may cause you to lose your lunch. The rumor will probably never go away, but Mikey is alive and well, as you can read in this transcript of a 2000 CNN piece including the ex-cereal enthusiast. — JW

3. Nancy Reagan was a blowjob queen
According to Kitty Kelley's biography, the future first lady "was renowned in Hollywood for performing oral sex." Back when she was Nancy Davis, the actress reportedly went down on many an actor "not only in the evening but in offices. That was one of the reasons that she was very popular on the MGM lot." You have to shift your conception of '80s conservatives around a little to buy this, but it's worth the effort. — Ada Calhoun


2. Suri Cruise is a scam
Does Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' larvum actually exist? Cruise is so strange, and Scientology so shadowy, that it's easy to imagine the whole thing is some kind of conspiracy. Not helping matters: Holmes's press-friendly, four-year pregnancy; the media-whorish couple's failure to exhibit their offspring in public for months after her birth; and the rumor that Tom Cruise auditioned a stable of actresses for the part of his wife (among them Jessica Alba, Keri Russell and Scarlett Johansson). Then Vanity Fair got the photos, the result of days of shooting around the Cruise estate, and the smiling, glassy-eyed features editor was on Larry King declaring that Cruise and Holmes are the best parents in the world and that Scientology "didn't come up" during the shoot. So for the first time in history, documentation only made the existence of the subject seem less true. — AC

1. Richard Gere and the gerbil
Throughout the '80s, accusations of gerbiling (i.e. "coaxing a live gerbil into your rectum for the purposes of sexual pleasure") haunted several D-listers, including a news anchor in Philly and a Cleveland Browns linebacker, before permanently latching onto Gere, who was allegedly rushed to the hospital for emergency rodent removal. Hearsay ballooned into the most famous celebrity rumor in history when someone faxed dozens of Hollywood offices a fake ASPCA press release claiming that Gere had "abused" a gerbil. Since then, the legend has been passed around locker rooms and the writers' offices of animated series (South Park, Family Guy). Perhaps none of Gere's interviewers have had the guts to go there, or maybe there's some kind of publicist-issued fatwa, but Gere has never publicly addressed the rumor. Would you? — CJ

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