“The “lost girls” in question are Alice, Dorothy and Wendy—three women of varying ages and backgrounds—who converge on a Parisian hotel just shortly before the beginning of World War I….
“You’ve got these three characters that sort of represent our childhood. Now, one of the things about sex is that, almost by definition, sex is one of the landmarks that divides being a child from being an adult,” says Moore of recreating the protagonists of the Oz, Wonderland and Peter Pan books. “That is why the characters seemed so useful, and also that, to a certain degree, with any story about a child—unless it ends with them dying horribly—there is the implicit assumption that they’re going to grow up.”
Growing up, as it’s defined by Lost Girls, involves a number of increasingly graphic situations—almost every sex act imaginable, and among other things, corruption at the hands of the Red Queen, a Freudian flying boy in green tights and a renegade tornado, all either recounted or played out as an army of tanks descend upon their hotel.
“When I first started writing comics for adults, I found myself forever needing to explain that, no, I wasn’t writing those kind of adult stories.
The boundary between pornography and erotica is an ambiguous one, and it changes depending on where you’re standing….
It is one of the tropes of pure pornography that events are without consequence. No babies, no STDs, no trauma, no memories best left unexamined. Lost Girls, however, is all about consequences. It’s also about more things than sex – war, music, love, lust, repression and time, to pick a handful of subjects (I could pick more). It’s the kind of smut that would have no difficulty in demonstrating to an overzealous prosecutor that it has unquestionable artistic validity beyond its simple first amendment right to exist.
Nothing in a novel dates as quickly as the sex scenes. In 1960, 200,000 copies of Lady Chatterley’s Lover were sold in Britain on the first day the ban was lifted — in part because of the treasures therein implied by Mervyn Griffith-Jones, prosecuting counsel, in his famous question to the jury: “Is this a book you would wish your wife or servants to read?”
To which I say: yes. Make the missus and the footman and the scullery maid read it but spare me, please. Sex in the movies has developed its own absurd conventions: watching, say, Indecent Proposal, with Woody Harrelson writhing around on Demi Moore’s bulletproof chest to the accompaniment of some bombastic power ballad, one is aware subconsciously that this is as non-naturalistic as the “mad scene” from Lucia di Lammermoor. I’m told that when the Warsaw Pact went belly up and the poor deprived Commies suddenly got the latest Hollywood flicks, they took the athletic couplings for cinéma-vérité — not only did the decadent West have bigger cars and houses but they got better sex, too — and made the mistake of trying it at home, greatly overburdening Soviet chiropractors and only adding to the strains on the fraying Russian health system. But novelistic sex isn’t like movie sex: you can’t take refuge in conventions; it reflects on you personally.