When did [wanting to be sexually desirable] start looking foolish to you?
I think when I realized the consequences of all this love-making. It leads to houses and children, and you really realize what the thing is all about, and how it’s available for everyone in this day and age. Here one was slaving away at one’s desk writing poems and songs, hoping to attract girls or boys or whatever it was, and outside in the world, the sexual revolution took place unbeknownst to the author. Everyone was coupling behind every bush, and here he was still writing the perfect sonnet to attract the girl next door. It became quite apparent that the average chap who worked on Madison Avenue was in much better sexual condition than most of the pop stars and was exercising his appetite with greater facility. It’s much better to be the bass player than the star. Everybody knows that. If that’s what you’re interested in getting. I think that the kind of visibility that one thought was essential is not attractive to the better sexual partners. On the contrary.
Leonard Cohen Looks at Himself by Danny Fields. Soho Weekly News, Vol. 1, #9. December 5, 1974, Thanks to J.J. Harchaoui, who shared this article.