Flirting with BDSM and the Right

16Jul12

spanking the maid, Flirt 1949spanking the maid, Flirt 1949spanking the maid, Flirt 1949The pictures above are scans from TipTopper taken from a 1949 magazine, Flirt.

Flirt was the creation of US publisher Robert Harrison who is more famous for outing Liberace and Rock Hudson as a ‘Lavender Boys’ and Robert Mitchum as having a criminal record (later quashed) for taking drugs in another publication of his, Confidential.

Whilst on one hand Harrison was something of a pioneer in the area of pushing spanking and BDSM into the mainstream, he did also couple this with a moralistic right wing agenda that often manifested itself in the form of homophobia and perhaps misogyny.

Harrison also published and appeared in pictures (and movies) with Betty Page (and others), apparently sometimes wearing a pith helmet or posing as a slaver when spanking women on screen.

He was finally brought down by Ava Gardener, who is said to have objected to his attacks on Rock Hudson, whose career was undoubtedly damaged by the revealing of his homosexuality. She sued him, although losing the case, or at least not winning it, Harrison did agree to lay off Hollywood stars after that, which in effect killed off Confidential.

Back to the pictures above with their rather crude attempt at faux French; they are three from a comic strip which appeared in Flirt and if you didn’t follow the story, the maid has borrowed her mistress’s dress but is caught when a newspaper photographs her in it. The maid is then spanked and put in the corner. However, she is happy because either she has been spanked or because she has been allowed to keep the dress, the punch line being deliberately ambiguous.

Thanks to TipTopper for this contribution.



3 Responses to “Flirting with BDSM and the Right”

  1. 1 paul1510

    Damian,
    1949, I certainly couldn’t afford imported magazines at fourteen, though I was definitely interested.
    The only Harrison that I know of, is surnamed Marks!
    Paul.

  2. 2 Scarlet

    Fascinating story. I loved Rock Hudson.

  3. 3 DJ

    I hadn’t heard of this Harrison before either – i think he was rather overshadowed by Irvin Klaw.

    I can imagine Rock Hudson was the answer to a maiden’s prayer and may have even fuelled a few spanking fantasies until one realised that he had other leanings.

    😉


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