What is sexpionage? If you’re reading this, you can almost certainly guess—and you’d be right. It’s using sexual attraction and pure animal magnetism as a tool to secure military, political, or other intel from opposing forces. It’s as ageless as love, as the world’s oldest profession, as romance itself. Quoted in The Last Goodnight is a warning passed on to CIA trainees, ““The last person to whom you say goodnight is the most dangerous sin.”
Betty Pack, the focus of The Last Goodnight, is a real-life example of an incredibly impactful and successful spy who used the boudoir to target political leaders. She was a brilliant manipulator, utterly determined to support the allied troops in the best way she could. While the almost mythical figure of Mata Hari has since been debunked as an actual spy, you can find more examples of real-life honey traps in this article on Slate (though I was disappointed to see they left out Betty Pack).
Other eyebrow-raising examples of sexpionage are found in movies and books. Even the savviest soldiers on the silver screen found it hard to resist the siren song of the masterful sexpionage artist. There’s Evelyn Salt, an American spy played by Anglenia Jolie in the movie Salt (Jolie also puts a new twist on sexpionage in the satirical Mr. and Mrs. Smith). Pussy Galore, played by Honor Blackman in Goldfinger, is a classic example of the fairer sex using feminine wiles to uncover secrets—and of course the Bond girls are iconic in their portrayal of female spies.
Let’s face it, the promise of sex and romance is tempting and intriguing to almost every warm-blooded human. Unless all our military secrets are designed by cold, unfeeling, computers in the future, there will always be the possibility of sexpionage leading to rumpled sheets and slipped secrets.