"Just erasing all these pesky 'I made a huge mistake' and 'She never loved me' passages from your diary, dear."
She also went on to have affairs with women. It probably would have saved them both some grief if they'd learned how to say "bisexual" in Hungarian and Russian.
Reason Compelled Nathaniel Branden to Bang Ayn Rand
Archive Photos/Getty Images
Like a lot of teenagers, Nathaniel Blumenthal fell in love with Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. Ruggedly individualistic handsome men outsmarting the rest of the dumb world and sleeping with beautiful women who worshiped them ... it was a smart kid's fantasy. There was also some philosophy she made up, which you'll know if you've spent more than five minutes on the Internet.
More hits than "Karl Marx" and "Sasha Grey" put together.
Like a lot of kids with a talent-crush, Nathaniel wrote to his hero and apparently touched her with his writing, because Rand eventually contacted him back. She met the then-19-year-old Nathaniel and his girlfriend, Barbara Weidman, in 1950, and was immediately impressed with them. Not because he was a confident, strapping young man and her own husband, Frank O'Connor, was kind of a bore; nope, it was all about their ideological connection.
The important thing to know about Ayn Rand is that, in all of her books, ideology is foreplay: The characters argue about objective reality, then have a rough fuckfest in a perfectly art deco bedroom or train tunnels. And like many fiction writers, she wanted what she wrote about to be true.
They got close, with Nathaniel even changing his name from Blumenthal to Branden so it contained her last name -- which was also fake. Rand labeled him her "intellectual heir," and then, in the late 1950s, after Nathaniel and Barbara had married, the inevitable happened: Rand got randy.
She scheduled twice a week sexytime sessions for her and Nathaniel, telling both her husband and his wife that this was completely rational and reasonable and they'd have to get used to it. Never mind that Nathaniel was in his 20s and Rand was pushing 50, and that regularly scheduled affairs aren't rational and reasonable -- it was meant to be. But when Rand became depressed about Atlas Shrugged not immediately changing the world, Nathaniel found himself forced to continue a relationship with woman he didn't want anymore. Then he met Patrecia Scott and did a very selfish thing.