60 Most Inspiring Mae West Quotes

Mary Jane West, well-known as Mae West,  was an American Screenwriter, singer, playwright, comedian, and actress who went on to become a global Hollywood icon.She was famous for her breezy sexual independence as well as her lighthearted and calm nature.

She had shown her gift towards performing arts while still a child and emerged as a big star as an icon in the Vaudeville circuit and was popular for the wit she often spiced in incredible double entendres.

Mae West’s career lasted for about seven decades during the course where she became a Hollywood legend as well as a writer for several radios and television shows. Her contribution towards the American cinema was so much felt that American Film Institute recognized her and included her in the list of the greatest female stars in the history of American cinema.

Mae is regarded as the wittiest sex goddess and a forthright woman of her era. Mae West said and wrote many things and she has become a global icon for her thoughts and quotes, which have been quoted extensively. Her wise sayings tackled the most sensitive and serious topics in the most appropriate way possible. Below is a collection of the most famous quotes from her work and life.

Mae West Quotes

1. “Ladies who play with fire must remember that smoke gets in their eyes.”– Mae West

2. “All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.”– Mae West

3. “I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.”– Mae West

4. “Love thy neighbor — and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.”– Mae West

5. “Positive thoughts generate positive feelings and attract positive life experiences. You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”– Mae West

6.” I believe that one day the world will judge the witch hunt against homosexuals just as harshly as it judges the Spanish Inquisition and the Holocaust.”– Mae West

7. “Everything’s in the mind. That’s where it all starts. Knowing what you want is the first step toward getting it.”– Mae West

8. “A man can be short and dumpy and getting bald but if he has fire, women will like him.”– Mae West

9. “Good sex is like good bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.”– Mae West

10. “I wrote the story myself. It’s about a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.”– Mae West

11. “Marriage is a fine institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.”– Mae West

12. “I have found men who didn’t know how to kiss. I’ve always found time to teach them.”– Mae West

13. “Good women are no fun… The only good woman I can recall in history was Betsy Ross. And all she ever made was a flag.”– Mae West

14. “Everyone has the right to run his own life- even if you’re heading for a crash. What I’m against is blind flying.”– Mae West

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15. “Cultivate your curves – they may be dangerous but they won’t be avoided.”– Mae West

16. “Right now I think censorship is necessary; the things they’re doing and saying in films right now just shouldn’t be allowed. There’s no dignity anymore and I think that’s very important.”– Mae West

17. “Don’t keep a man guessing too long – he’s sure to find the answer somewhere else.”– Mae West

18. “A man can be short and dumpy and getting bald but if he has fire, women will like him.”– Mae West

19. “There are no good girls gone wrong – just bad girls found out.”– Mae West

20. “When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.”– Mae West

21. “Don’t cry for a man who’s left you–the next one may fall for your smile.”– Mae West

22. “Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.”– Mae West

23. “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”– Mae West

24. “Men are my hobby, if I ever got married I’d have to give it up.”– Mae West

25. “Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.”– Mae West

26. “Love is like a booger, you pick and pick at it. Then when you get it you wonder how to get rid of it.”– Mae West

27. “For a long time I was ashamed of the way I lived. Did I reform, you ask? No. I’m not ashamed anymore.”– Mae West

28. “Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just glad to see me? (She made this remark in February 1936, at the railway station in Los Angeles upon her return from Chicago, when a Los Angeles police officer was assigned to escort her home).”– Mae West

29. “You may think you’re in love when the passions of sex get hold of you, but if you didn’t love the man before, you won’t love him after. Like him, maybe, but not love him.”– Mae West

30. “It isn’t what I do, but how I do it. It isn’t what I say, but how I say it, and how I look when I do it and say it.”– Mae West

31. “Never ask a man where’s he’s been. If he’s out on legitimate business, he doesn’t need an alibi. And, girls, if he has been out on illegitimate business, it’s your own fault.”– Mae West

32. “Well, the end of another busy day. I can’t wait till I get back to bed. If that don’t work I’ll try to sleep.”– Mae West

33. “I freely chose the kind of life I led because I was convinced that a woman has as much right as a man to live the way she does if she does no actual harm to society.”– Mae West

34. “[On the metaphysical:] … I knew in some marvelous way I had touched the hem of the unknown. And being me, I wanted to lift that hemline a little bit more.”– Mae West

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35. “It ain’t no sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don’t break any.”– Mae West

36. “When it comes to finances, remember that there are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin.”– Mae West

37. “Marriage? I ain’t got time for a husband or child. All my life I’ve looked after myself as if I was my own child.”– Mae West

38. “A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars, that’s subtraction.”– Mae West

39. “Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.”– Mae West

40. “It’s all right for a perfect stranger to kiss your hand as long as he’s perfect.”– Mae West

41. “Dress gives one the outward sign from which people in general can, and often do, judge upon the inward state of mind and feelings.”– Mae West

42. “If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning.”– Mae West

43. “Men? Sure, I’ve known lots of them. But I never found one I liked well enough to marry. Besides, I’ve always been busy with my work. Marriage is a career in itself and to make a success of it you’ve got to keep working at it. So until I can give the.”– Mae West

44. “More people saw me than saw Napoleon, Lincoln and Cleopatra. I was better known than Einstein and Picasso. … I changed the fashion of two continents. The style of the Gay Nineties became the rage … women were trying to walk and talk like me. Women became more sex-conscious – sex was out in the open and fun.”– Mae West

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45. “I have never been able to sleep with anyone. I require a full-size bed so that I can lie in the middle of it and extend my arms spreadeagle on both sides without being obstructed.”– Mae West

46. “Too many Broadway actors in motion pictures lost their grip on success–had a feeling that none of it had ever happened on that sun-drenched coast, that the coast itself did not exist, there was no California. It had dropped away like a hasty dream and nothing could ever have been like the things they thought they remembered.”– Mae West

47. “Money is of value for what it buys, and in love it buys time, place, intimacy, comfort, and a private corner alone.”– Mae West

48. “Opportunity knocks for every man, but you have to give a woman a ring.”– Mae West

49. “Reason was nowhere, time was an immovable object nailed high on the wall, except where the world kept shop.”– Mae West

50. “A real farmer. He spent his childhood in the wheat, and his marriage in the hay.”– Mae West

51. “Getting married is like trading in the adoration of many for the sarcasm of one.”– Mae West

52. “The score never interested me, only the game.”– Mae West

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53. “You may admire a girl’s curves on the first introduction, but the second meeting shows up new angles.”– Mae West

54. “Give a man a free hand and he’ll run it all over you.”– Mae West

55. “Say what you want about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.”– Mae West

56. “A woman in love can’t be reasonable – or she probably wouldn’t be in love.”– Mae West

57. “Don’t marry a man to reform him – that’s what reform schools are for.”– Mae West

58. “Sometimes it seems to me I’ve known so many men that the FBI ought to come to me first to compare fingerprints.”– Mae West

59. “All the raves were just words. You don’t want to let words confuse you. Words come cheap.”– Mae West

60. “I enjoyed the courtroom as just another stage but not so amusing as Broadway.”– Mae West

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Video: Mae West And The Men Who Knew Her

As the first “blonde bombshell,” Mae West reigned supreme and changed the nation’s view of women, sex and race – on stage, in films, on radio and television.

Born in a working-class section of Brooklyn, she became a show-business giant, a personality so distinctive she transformed forever the way women and sex would be presented on stage, in films, radio, TV and cabarets around the world.

Included in this retrospective are clips from such films as Night After Night, She Done Him Wrong, I’m No Angel, Belle of the Nineties, Klondike Annie, Go West Young Man, Every Day’s a Holiday, and the evergreen My Little Chickadee. Also included are period archival footage, rare home movies, vintage stills, and interviews with Anthony Quinn, Robert Osborne, Rex Reed, and others.

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Mae West would be best addressed as a goddess due to her prowess in the American film industry. Her acting skills were recognized while still a child and she was so good at it that her career has been spread for seven decades.

Her wit made her a famous person in a depression-era audience but still proved to be controversial attracting calls for censorship from various quarters. All in all, her quotes are very entertaining, inspiring and educative and reading through them leaves you a changed person on how you see you daily life.

Also see the best quotes about Los Angeles

Image credit: New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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