Should We Judge Other People’s Orgies?

Laura Frost is a professor of English at Yale University and the author of "Sex Drives: Fantasies of Fascism in Literary Modernism."

She writes in the Los Angeles Times:

Mosley’s marathon session with Mistress Switch is as British as the proverbial stiff upper lip. Not only has S&M had such an allure for generations of upper-class British men schooled in corporal punishment that it has been dubbed "the English vice," but the overtones of Mosley’s antics are also in keeping with past British aristocrats who found Hitler and Mussolini alluring alternatives to parliamentary democracy and the oh-so-dull rule of the mob. This is a country whose second heir to the throne dressed up as a Nazi for Halloween not long ago.

The Automobile Assn. of America, a member of the FIA, has questioned whether Mosley’s sexual behavior compromises his ability to serve as an international figurehead for "the interests of mobility and motor sport." The more important question is, should we require peoples’ sex lives to be consistent with the rest of their lives, or is sex an arena that is colored by — but can also be kept separate from — the ethical and moral imperatives of public life?

Mosley’s cup of tea suggests the latter.

Last year, a startling documentary debuted at the Jerusalem Film Festival. Ari Libsker’s "Stalags: Holocaust and Pornography in Israel" told the story of popular postwar pulp novels, known as "stalags," that featured busty blond female Nazis sexually tormenting Jewish men in concentration camps. (The Jews usually rose up and overthrew the Nazi vixens.) The books sold in huge numbers at Israeli newsstands in the 1960s, until a court case deemed them pornographic and banned their publication. All this unfolded alongside the awful testimonies of the Eichmann trial.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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