The Sex Lives of Spies Are Stranger Than Fiction

By
Photo: AP

The juicy vintage gossip served in Bobby Baker’s Politico tell-all this week introduced a new generation of Americans to Ellen Rometsch, pictured, the Elizabeth Taylor lookalike and purported East German spy who was kicked out of the country in 1963 when her blow jobs had become a threat to national security. According to Baker, Rometsch used her highly rated oral sex skills on John F. Kennedy and then-Congressman Gerald Ford, the latter of which was caught on a tape that J. Edgar Hoover used to blackmail him into giving him the details of the Warren Commission investigation into President Kennedy’s assassination.

Back then, they called them “head-jobs,” but otherwise, not much has changed. Spies still have extraordinary sex lives. Earlier this week, spy historian Nigel West made the case to All Things Considered that the mysterious death of Gareth Williams — the MI6 spy was found naked, dead, and padlocked into a duffel bag in a bathtub at a London safe house in 2010 — was probably a sex accident.

“The key to the padlock, which had been closed outside the bag, was underneath Williams’s body,” West explained, and “85 percent of his Internet browsing was to self-bondage sites, to claustrophilia sites.” More evidence that Williams was into the advanced stuff includes a large and expensive collection of women’s dresses in his size and a long, red haired women’s wig.” Assuming claustrophilia was Williams’s thing (and he’d been practicing), anyone can see it was a total accident. “The tricky part is to have the hasp of the padlock over the handles and then to use the fabric of the bag like a glove, if you like, to close the padlock,” West mused.

West told NPR he doesn’t believe novelists will be inspired by Williams’s case, because it is “so bizarre that you really put at risk a suspended disbelief of the reader.” I’ll go one step further: These spy sex plots would even be a little too implausible for the porn viewer.