A raunchily revisionist review by Ann Sterzinger. Sheds more light on the Conflict Without Heroes that was World War II.
Is present-day Paris more puritanical than it was under the Nazis?
I’d love to simply dwell on the jaunty visual attractiveness—not to mention the entertainment and historical value—of author Mel Gordon’s recent coffee table book from Feral House press, Horizontal Collaboration: The Erotic World of Paris 1920-1946. It’s by turns a joyful and critical account of the legal sex industry in Paris before, during, and after the two world wars.
I’d also prefer to avoid painting myself into a corner as “That one lady who spends weeks at a time wondering aloud about what the French are going to do with all their enthused new Muslims.”
But as the EU brass continue prying national borders open to everyone who can fit on a boat, it’s almost impossible to read an account of Paris, sex, and the Nazi occupation without one’s mind wandering to Paris, sex, and the new theocrappation.
…Although the extent of said theocrappation depends on how you interpret some viscerally shocking poll data. For instance: does 3 percent of a sample of the French population responding “very favorably” to ISIS while 13 percent respond “rather favorably” add up to 15 percent of the electorate backing ISIS? You parse the adverbs.
But in any case, as my dear departed friend Lisa Falour used to say: Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. (An influx of radical Muslims is comedy gold, in fact; just as France was running out of humorless Catholics, here comes the new boss…)
I am, however, aware that reductio ad Hitlerum is a running gag with all the kids these days; therefore, I shall drive straight on to reductio praeter Hitlerum.
Because if the research in this book is anything like accurate—and Feral House’s longtime reputation might imply that it is—it sounds like the Nazis were more tolerant of, if not titillated by, Parisian sexual culture than our new friends the jihadis.
Then again, the Nazis were also more fun, sexually speaking, than the native French feminists in all apparent likelihood, so there’s that to chew on as well… Not to mention the fact that the Nazi stormtroopers supposedly acted less rapey in gay Paree than the heroic American GIs who came to chase them away.