Howard Hughes is a name that has long loomed large over the world of Hollywood. He was a billionaire who became involved in the film business simply because he had the money and he wanted to be in control. Over the course of his life, until his passing in 1976, he became progressively more insulated until he finally shut himself off from the world. But in the early part of his career there were a number of rumors about Howard Hughes's life in the bedroom. The billionaire producer dated almost every blonde bombshell in Hollywood, and if the crazy stories about Howard Hughes are to be believed, he hooked up with a fair amount of the male stars as well.
The following Howard Hughes facts are rumors wrapped in a shadow. Hughes was larger than life while he was alive and stories about his proclivities only grew after he left this world. Not many of the people who experienced Howard Hughes' rumored deviancy in the flesh are still alive, but despite the lack of firsthand accounts, these stories still persist.
Hughes Liked To Watch Starlets In The Pool
While staying at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood Hughes requested that his room overlook the pool. This might seem like an innocuous request but he did so because he liked to spy on gals who were swimming. If he thought someone was especially good looking, he would have them called up to his room for an afternoon tryst.
As The Telegraph reports, it's unclear if Hughes ever actually was successful in summoning a girl this way.
Hughes Was A Sadist
Howard Hughes tried to keep his proclivities under wraps, but after he passed away, a slew of books came out about what he got up to in his personal time. Supposedly, in 1932 Hughes was dating Ginger Rogers (who was married to Lew Ayres) while also seeing Richard Cromwell - a closeted gay actor.
Biographer Darwin Porter writes that Hughes saved his sadism for the men with whom he slept. He wrote:
[Richard] was always willing to do Howard's billing, even if it humiliated him. If Howard wanted his feet massaged or his big toe licked clean, Richard was at the bottom of the bed servicing him.
When Hughes wasn't sleeping with Richard or Rogers he used rent boys as his side pieces and he grew more sadistic as he got older. An interview subject in the book who supposedly hooked Hughes up with escorts claimed many of his paid "boys" told him "that they didn't ever want to see [Hughes] again." However, he saved his sadism for Cromwell. Porter wrote, "When [Hughes] learned that Richard found anal intercourse painful, guess what? Howard insisted on penetrating poor Richard nightly and Howard was overly endowed." Cromwell claimed that after nightly encounters with Hughes, he always bled.
Hughes Preferred A Very Specific Kind Of Intercourse
In Howard Hughes: Hell's Angel, Carole Lombard claims that in her brief dalliance with Hughes she discovered that he enjoyed a very specific kind of intercourse with women. She allegedly said she'd found out Hughes' favorite way to have relations with women, adding that she "had to look it up in the dictionary. Intermammary intercourse, it's called."
Even though there aren't any news stories backing up Lombard's claim (and unfortunately she passed away at the age of 33 in an airplane crash), it does jive with the fact that Hughes was a sadist who loved to dominate his partners.
He Was A Part Of The Burgeoning BDSM Culture
In the book, Howard Hughes: The Secret Life by Charles Higham, the author writes about Hughes' proclivities for having gobs of anonymous relations, and he mentions that the billionaire really only told his uncle Rupert about what he got up to. Higham claims that Hughes was involved in "scenes of punishment: of torture and bondage in dungeon rooms in which he was the dominant figure."
Howard Hughes's desire to be dominant in all aspects of his life certainly points to the billionaire being interested in bondage.