Sadism and masochism in fiction
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Each day, the master can only notice the maid's failures and so must, in obedience to his "manual," administer her punishment, assuring her that it is an obligation to an ideal of a higher order that compels him, an obscure compulsion from which neither, seemingly, can escape."--Spanking the Maid (1982) by Robert Coover
"I Wanna Be Your Dog" (1969) by The Stooges
"After wading through so many dull, insipid, if not absolutely repulsive books on the subject, it is a relief to alight at last upon one which tact and clever writing render almost readable."--Catena Librorum Tacendorum (1885) by Henry Spencer Ashbee
Sadism and masochism in fiction goes as far back as the Medieval "power of women" legends. If we consider Michel Foucault's dictum "Sadism ... appeared precisely at the end of the eighteenth century," we must accept that Marquis de Sade (Justine, 1791) was the first author of sadism.
However, there have been descriptions of sadomasochist practices in literature before that date, see sadism and masochism as medical terms.
The word sadism originates from the works of Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade, and the word masochism originates from Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the author of Venus in Furs (1870). However, it is worth noting that the Marquis de Sade describes unconsented abuse in his works, such as in Justine and Venus in Furs describes a consented domme-sub relationship.
Although examples of literature catering to BDSM and fetishistic tastes were created in earlier periods, BDSM literature as it exists today cannot be found much earlier than World War II.
This was also the case in immensely popular Fifty Shades of Grey (21st century) novels by E. L. James.
Titles are sorted in chronological order.
- Fanny Hill by John Cleland - Includes a detailed description of a mutual flagellation scene between Fanny and an English client.
- The 120 Days of Sodom, Justine (1791) and Juliette (1797) by Marquis de Sade - Are written from an extreme sadistic viewpoint.
- Anti-Justine (1793) by Nicolas-Edme Rétif A response to de Sade's works, using a very similar style to describe a directly opposite political point of view.
- Venus in Furs (1870) by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch - Is essentially one long masochistic fantasy, where the male principal character encourages his mistress to mistreat him. Many of Sacher-Masoch's other works include themes of sadomasochism and female dominance.
- The Torture Garden (1899) by Octave Mirbeau - Has been interpreted as an allegorical examination of western society and human condition.
- Les Onze mille verges (The eleven thousand rods) by Guillaume Apollinaire - written around 1906-1907 (the publication is neither signed nor dated).
- Histoire de l'oeil (Story of the Eye) (1928) by Georges Bataille - A short novel.
- The Story of O (1954) by Pauline Réage - Another classic masochistic novel, this time written by a woman, . In this novel, the female principal character is kept in a chateau and mistreated by a group of men, one of them her official lover. Later, she resumes her normal life while secretly becoming the property of one specific man, a friend of her lover's.
- L'Image (1956) by Catherine Robbe-Grillet, (under the pseudonym Jean de Berg) another French woman. It was made into a 1975 film, The Image, also known as The Punishment of Anne.
- Gordon (1966) by Edith Templeton
- Spanking the Maid (1982) by Robert Coover
- Virginie, Her Two Lives (1982) by John Hawkes
- Nothing Natural (1986) by Jenny Diski
- The Ties that Bind (Le Lien) (1993) by Vanessa Duriès
- Marketplace series of novels by Laura Antoniou
- Writer Anne Rice has produced a number of examples of sado-masochistic fiction, including Exit to Eden and 'The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty novels written under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaire.
The following is a chronological list of notable sadomasochistic literature about or involving BDSM, both fictional and non-fictional. Both written literature and comics are included, but not films or video. Series are listed as one item; where publication date is ill-defined, the earliest date is used.
- 1639 De Usu Flagrorum
- In Samuel Butler's satirical poem Hudibras (Part II, Canto I, line 833- ) a lady urges the knight to submit to a whipping as proof of his devotion to her. This is the origin of the maxim "Spare the rod and spoil the child", not the Bible as is often thought, although the maxim is clearly based on Proverbs 13:24 ("He that spareth his rod hateth his son.")
- Thomas Shadwell's play The Virtuoso (1676) includes an old libertine named Snarl who entreats a prostitute, Mrs Figgup, to bring out the birch rods. It is unclear if he is to flog her or be flogged.
- In Thomas Otway's play Venice Preserved (1682), Act III, Scene i, an old senator, Antonio, visits the house of Aquilina, a Greek courtesan. Antonio pretends to be a bull, then a frog, begging her to spit on him, and then a dog, biting her legs. She whips him, then throws him out and tells her footmen to keep him out.
- 1750 Fashionable Lectures
- 1785 The 120 Days of Sodom
- 1791 Justine
- 1795 Aline and Valcour
- 1795 Philosophy in the Bedroom
- 1797 Juliette
- Algernon Charles Swinburne wrote poetry on erotic flagellation.
- 1828 The Lustful Turk
- 1830 Exhibition of Female Flagellants
- 1866 The Romance of Chastisement
- 1870 Venus in Furs
- 1873 The Romance of Lust
- 1876 The Convent School, or Early Experiences of A Young Flagellant
- 1878 Experimental Lecture
- 1887 The Whippingham Papers
- 1893 Gynecocracy
- 1899 The Memoirs of Dolly Morton
- 1899 The Torture Garden
- 1907 Sadopaideia
- 1928 Belle de Jour
- 1947 Sweet Gwendoline
- 1948 Shira
- 1954 Nights of Horror
- 1956 The Image
- 1958 Story of O
- 1966 Gor
- 1966 Isabella
- The play Oh! Calcutta! includes at least two segments with sadomasochistic themes. One of them, set in a fantasy of an English girls public school, invites the audience to vote on which of four "girls" is beaten at the end.
- 1973 Gravity's Rainbow
- 1974 Imaginative Sex
- 1975 Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery
- 1978 Nine and a Half Weeks
- 1978 Spectator Magazine
- 1981 Coming to Power
- 1982 Against Sadomasochism
- 1983 The Piano Teacher
- 1983 The Sleeping Beauty Quartet
- 1984 1982, Janine
- 1985 Exit to Eden
- 1988 Macho Sluts
- 1990 Something Leather
- 1993 The Ties That Bind
- 1994 Skin: Talking About Sex, Class & Literature
- 1995 The River Ophelia
- 1998 A Defence of Masochism
- 2001 Kushiel's Legacy series
- 2003 Snakes and Earrings
- 2004 Terminal Avenue
- 2007 L'Étudiante
- 2010 The Marketplace series
- 2011 Fifty Shades of Grey series
- 2011 Sunstone
In the cinema
Consensual BDSM is not generally depicted accurately or sympathetically in mainstream films. However, film-makers often find some way to incorporate BDSM imagery into many films. The following films feature BDSM as a major plot point, not just as an exploitative add-on.
- The Whip and the Body (La Frusta e il Corpo) (1963), directed by Mario Bava and starring Christopher Lee and Daliah Lavi
- Belle de jour (1967), directed by Luis Buñuel and starring Catherine Deneuve
- La prisonnière (1968), directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
- De Sade (1969), directed by Cy Endfield and starring Keir Dullea and Senta Berger
- Venus in Furs (1969), directed by Massimo Dallamano and starring Laura Antonelli and Régis Vallée
- Marquis de Sade: Justine (1969), directed by Jess Franco
- The Libertine, (La Matriarca) (1969)
- Eugenie... the Story of Her Journey into Perversion (1970), directed by Jess Franco
- The Frightened Woman (1969), directed by Piero Schivazappa
- Eugenie de Sade (1970), another Jesus Franco adaptation of de Sade
- Daughters of Darkness, (Le Rouge aux Lèvres) (1971), directed by Harry Kümel and starring Delphine Seyrig and John Karlen
- The Nightcomers (1971), directed by Michael Winner and starring Marlon Brando and Stephanie Beacham
- Last Tango in Paris (1972), directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider
- Justine de Sade (1972), directed by Claude Pierson
- The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, (Die Bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant) (1972) directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
- Flower and Snake (花と蛇 - Hana to Hebi) (1974), directed by Masaru Konuma and starring Naomi Tani
- The Night Porter, (Il Portiere di notte) (1974), directed by Liliana Cavani and starring Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling
- School of the Holy Beast (1974), nunsploitation classic starring Yumi Takigawa
- Wife to Be Sacrificed (生贄夫人 - Ikenie Fujin) (1974), directed by Masaru Konuma and starring Naomi Tani
- Story of O (Histoire d'O) (1975), directed by Just Jaeckin and starring Corinne Clery
- The Image (The Punishment of Anne) (1975), directed by Radley Metzger
- Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma) (1975), directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
- Maîtresse (1976), directed by Barbet Schroeder starring Gérard Depardieu and Bulle Ogier
- Blood Sucking Freaks (The Incredible Torture Show) (1976)
- Sadomania (1981), directed by Jess Franco
- Lady Libertine (Frank and I) (1983), directed by Gérard Kikoïne and starring Sophie Favier
- A Woman in Flames (Die Flambierte Frau) (1983)
- Crimes of Passion (1984), directed by Ken Russell and starring Kathleen Turner and Anthony Perkins
- Seduction: The Cruel Woman (Verführung: Die grausame Frau) (1985)
- Blue Velvet (1986), written and directed by David Lynch and starring Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper and Laura Dern
- 9½ Weeks (1986), directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke
- S&M Hunter (1986)
- Marquis de Sade's Prosperities of Vice (1988), Japanese "pink" film by Akio Jissoji
- Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990), directed by Pedro Almodóvar and starring Antonio Banderas and Victoria Abril
- Tokyo Decadence (Topazu) (1991), directed by Ryu Murakami and starring Miho Nikaido
- Bitter Moon (1992), directed by Roman Polanski and starring Hugh Grant, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, and Peter Coyote
- Spanking Love (1994)
- Venus in Furs (1994)
- Conspirators of Pleasure (1996), directed by Jan Švankmajer
- The Bondage Master (1996), a Japanese indie film directed by Keisuke Konishi
- Dark Prince (1996) (starring Nick Mancuso as the Marquis de Sade)
- Dark Secrets (1997)
- Of Freaks and Men (Pro urodov i lyudej) (1998)
- Lies (Gojitmal) (1999)
- Moonlight Whispers (Sasayaki) (1999)
- Romance (Romance X) (1999), directed by Catherine Breillat and starring Caroline Ducey and Rocco Siffredi
- Quills (2000), directed by Philip Kaufman and starring Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix and Michael Caine
- The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste) (2001), directed by Michael Haneke and starring Isabelle Huppert and Benoît Magimel
- Secretary (2002), directed by Steven Shainberg and starring James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal
- Bettie Page: Dark Angel (2004), a biopic starring Paige Richards
- The Dominatrix (2004), British drama on the life of a career dominatrix
- Going Under (2004)
- The Passion of Life (2005)
- A Year Without Love (Un año sin amor) (2005), directed by Anahi Berneri
- The Notorious Bettie Page (2006), a biopic directed by Mary Harron and starring Gretchen Mol in the title role
- Hounded (Verfolgt) (2007), directed by Angelina Maccarone
- The Pet (2006), a woman (Andrea Edmondson) agrees to live like a pet dog for her master (Pierre Du Lat)
- New Tokyo Decadence – The Slave (2007), directed by Osamu Satō and starring Rinako Hirasawa and Kikujiro Honda
- SM-rechter (2009), Belgian drama based on a real life case
- Pimp (2010), British drama with Kate Sissons as a fetish video performer
- Leap Year (Año bisiesto) (2010), Mexican drama directed by Michael Rowe
- The Choirboys (1977), directed by Robert Aldrich
- Eating Raoul (1982), directed by Paul Bartel and starring Mary Woronov
- Personal Services (1987), directed by Terry Jones and starring Julie Walters
- Exit to Eden (1994), directed by Garry Marshall and starring Rosie O'Donnell and Dan Aykroyd
- Preaching to the Perverted (1997), directed by Stuart Urban and starring Guinevere Turner and Christien Anholt
- Tomcats (2001)
- Walk All Over Me (2007), starring Tricia Helfer as a dominatrix and Leelee Sobieski
- Modern Love is Automatic (2009), bored nurse moonlights as a dominatrix
- Videodrome (1983), written and directed by David Cronenberg and starring James Woods and Deborah Harry
- Tightrope (1984), directed by Richard Tuggle and starring Clint Eastwood and Geneviève Bujold
- Basic Instinct (1992), directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone
- Body of Evidence (1993), directed by Uli Edel and starring Madonna and Willem Dafoe
- 8 mm (1999), directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Nicolas Cage and Joaquin Phoenix
- The Cell (2000), directed by Tarsem Singh
- Ichi the Killer (2001), directed by Takashi Miike
- Killing Me Softly (2002), directed by Chen Kaige
List of films Dec 2021 from the Wikipedia category:
24/7: The Passion of Life, 8mm (film), 9½ Weeks, À l'aventure, A Woman in Flames, A Woman's Case, American Psycho (film), Año bisiesto, Baba Yaga (film), BDSM in culture and media, Be My Slave (film), Belle de Jour (film), Bettie Page Reveals All, Bettie Page: Dark Angel, Bibliothèque Pascal, Bitter Moon, Black Box (1978 film), Black Dynamite, BloodSisters (1995 film), Blue Velvet (film), Body of Evidence (1993 film), Broken (1993 film), Colour Blossoms, Cool Devices, Cruising (film), De Sade (film), Deuteronomium - Der Tag des jüngsten Gerichts, Dogma (studio), Dogs Don't Wear Pants, Downloading Nancy, Eating Raoul, Entrails of a Virgin, Eugénie de Sade, Eugenie… The Story of Her Journey into Perversion, EuroTrip, Exit to Eden (film), Fashionistas (film), Fetishes (film), Fifty Shades (film series), Fifty Shades Darker (film), Fifty Shades Freed (film), Fifty Shades of Black, Fifty Shades of Grey (film), Fireworks (1947 film), Flower and Snake, Flower and Snake (2004 film), Frank Booth (Blue Velvet), Fred Halsted, Fruits of Passion, Going Under (2004 film), Good Little Girls, Hellraiser, Ichi the Killer (film), In a Glass Cage, In the Realm of the Senses, Iris (2016 film), Jill Rips, John Thompson Productions, Just Before Nightfall, Kelly + Victor, Kick-Heart, Kink (film), Kinky (film), La Bonne, La Prisonnière (film), Lady Libertine, Lies (1999 film), Life Is Sweet (film), Little Deaths (film), Liza (1972 film), Looking Glass (film), Ma Mère, Maîtresse, Mango Kiss, Mano Destra, Marquis de Sade: Justine, Matador (film), Melancholie der Engel, Mercy (2000 film), Miley Cyrus: Tongue Tied, Moonlight Whispers, Mulher Objeto, My Mistress, Niggas' Revenge, Night Terrors (film), Nymphomaniac (film), Of Freaks and Men, Open House (1987 film), Payback (1999 film), Personal Services, Piercing (film), Preaching to the Perverted (film), Prison Girl, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, R100 (film), Red Nights, Romance (1999 film), S&M Hunter, S&M Sally, Sade (film), Secretary (2002 film), Seduction: The Cruel Woman, Shogun's Sadism, Short Cuts, Shortbus, Shrimp (film), Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist, Silver (film), Singapore Sling (1990 film), Sorority Party Massacre, Spanking Love, Story of O - Chapter 2, Story of O (film), Submission (1976 film), Succubus (film), Suite 16 (film), Swept Away (1974 film), Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom, The Amityville Legacy, The Belt, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, The Bondage Master, The Cell, The Cell 2, The Chambermaid Lynn, The Christmas Season Massacre, The Clairvoyant (1982 film), The Comfort of Strangers (film), The Duke of Burgundy, The Embryo Hunts in Secret, The Image (1975 film), The Killer Inside Me (2010 film), The Laughing Woman, The Maids (film), The Night Porter, The Notorious Bettie Page, The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak, The Piano Teacher (film), The Punisher (1989 film), The Slave Ship (film), The Story of Joanna, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, The Torture Club, The Whip and the Body, The Zero Years, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Tightrope (film), Tokyo Decadence, Tops & Bottoms: Sex, Power and Sadomasochism, Venus in Fur (film), Venus in Furs (1967 film), Venus in Furs (1969 Dallamano film), Venus in Furs (1995 film), Vlees, Vomit Gore Trilogy, Walk All over Me, Wife to Be Sacrificed, Wild Orchid (film), Yes, We Fuck!, Zipperface
- Aristotle and Phyllis, c. 1485, from the medieval legend Lai d' Aristote, illustrated by the Master of the Housebook
- Jupiter and Thetis (1811) by Ingres, Thetis is depicted in the painting by Ingres as pleading at the knees of Zeus: "She sank to the ground beside him, put her left arm round his knees, raised her right hand to touch his chin, and so made her petition to the Royal Son of Cronos" (Iliad, I).