Are we really so shocked about erotic sex stories of bondage and female submission?

I love reading all the coverage EL James has created on female submission with her book 50 Shades of Grey, but are we really so shocked to learn of a woman’s erotic sex stories and her writings of bondage, whips and butt plugs? It certainly has not been the first time that it has created controversial opinions but women have been quietly writing quite extreme and explicit erotica for many years and in some cases far more excessive in its descriptive text. Such works having remained in print for many decades have found their writings accepted into the high echelons of literary achievement, holding the power to create huge readerships.

It was 60 years ago that one such erotic book was published. It was a story portraying highly explicit scenes of bondage and violent penetration dealing with desire, whips, masks and chains. The nature of its content was such, that many always declared it to have been written by a man, as few women even in the 50’s were thought to be able to write erotica. As with so much erotic literature, the age of the writing has never had any bearing on the level of sexually explicit erotic content portrayed.

Story of O, or L’Histoire d’O by Pauline Reage became the most widely read contemporary French novel outside France in 1960’s. It is the story of a young French female submissive who is taught to be always sexually available, offering herself as she does to any male who shares the same secret society as her lover allowing them to use her as they wish.

The story begins when O’s lover, René, brings her to be trained to serve the members of an elite club at a secret chateau in Paris. Initiated into the society with complicated rules: she learns to not look any man in the eye nor speak to any of the other women. She must wear a corseted dress that exposes her breasts, a leather collar and cuffs. O welcomes all this, understanding that the harsher the treatments she endures, the more she proves her love.

After an initial training, René hands O to his elder stepbrother Sir Stephen, a more dominant master. René wants O to learn to serve someone whom she does not love. The tale continues to twist and play on domination, love, submission and desire. The extent of her submission is quite extreme and throughout her story she is regularly stripped, blindfolded, chained and whipped, something that would shock both then in the 50’s and now.

Yes fascinatingly the author’s true identity was never revealed until 20 years ago, Pauline Reage, the author, was a pseudonym an impeccably dressed 86-year-old intellectual called Anne Desclos. The paradox as is often the case, that the creator of such writings wore little or no make-up, an intellectual woman who preferred a dress code of quiet elegance and who lived a small existence with her parents and son. Who would have thought that beneath an unlikely exterior raged such passions but someone who understood the power of sex and that desire could ignite such yearning compulsions.

The story was finally made into a film 20 years later by Emmanuelle director Just Jaeckin.

Comments & Sharing

Please comment as I would love to hear from you

Simple Share Buttons