T. E. Lawrence
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO (1888–1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The extraordinary breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, have earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title popularised by the 1962 film based on his life.
T. E. Lawrence's sexuality
Lawrence's biographers have discussed his sexuality at considerable length and this discussion has spilled into the popular press.
There is no reliable evidence for consensual sexual intimacy between Lawrence and any person. His friends have expressed the opinion that he was asexual, and Lawrence himself specifically denied, on multiple occasions in private correspondence, any personal experience of sex.
There is considerable evidence that Lawrence was a masochist. In November 1917, Lawrence was captured by the Turkish military, heavily beaten, and sexually abused by the local Bey and his guardsmen. In his description of the event, Lawrence wrote “a delicious warmth, probably sexual, was swelling through me”, and included a hyper-detailed description of the guards' whip in a style typical of masochists' writing. After he returned to England, Lawrence hired Robert Bruce, a military colleague, to flog him regularly, and arranged to be subjected to severe formal tests of fitness and stamina.
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