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(La Philosophie Dans le Boudoir)
by le Marquis Alphonse Donatien de Sade
The original, squashed down to read in about 25 minutes
Sade is the champion of absolute freedom - in his case, freedom to indulge in the sexual violence which gives us the word sadism. And this aristocrat of pornographers did actually practice what he preached, which was why he spent much of his life in prison. Not too surprisingly, his books have been banned pretty much everywhere, but not always for the erotica - in the Soviet Union, for instance, it was his politics of individual liberty which made them forbidden.
Madame de Saint-Ange: You know, my dear brother, I begin to have misgivings about the obscene plans for today. At twenty-six, and resolved to take pleasure only with my own sex, I ought to be better behaved, but my imagination is pricked the more. Tell me about your friend Dolmancé, before he arrives.
Le Chevalier: A little over thirty and six, tall, handsome, with a hint of the villain, and most philosophic.
Madame de Saint-Ange: And his fancies?
Le Chevalier: I think you know. He cares only for men.
Madame de Saint-Ange: Oh, my dear! Has he had you?
Le Chevalier: We've had our pleasures, but there's no need to belittle those with strange tastes, they are still as Nature meant.
Madame de Saint-Ange: Oh please, a few details!
Le Chevalier: They were naught beside the pleasures you offer, my dear.
Madame de Saint-Ange: Ah, what chivalry! Anyway, I intend to bring a virgin to the feast. Eugénie, a little thing I met last autumn at the convent, a few lessons will do her good.
Later, In an Elegant Boudoir
Young Eugénie and Madame de Saint-Ange are together embracing when M. Dolmancé enters...
Eugénie: God! We are betrayed!
Madame de Saint-Ange: Be at ease, my lovely Eugénie, this is Dolmancé, a most amiable man. Let us not be prudish! (She kisses him indecently.) Imitate me.
Eugénie: Oh, Most willingly! (they tongue Dolmancé, and each other)
Dolmancé: Ladies! It seems extraordinarily warm here (They undress, Dolmancé begins to inspect Eugenié.)
Madame de Saint-Ange: No, Dolmancé! Not yet! Our lessons first!
Dolmancé: Very well, Madame, I will recline on this couch, and you may begin instructing our student.
Madame de Saint-Ange: This sceptre - the member - Eugénie, is the agent of love's pleasure. It may settle here (She strokes Eugénie), or pursue a more mysterious sanctuary here (she indicates behind). Upon some agitation it may vent a viscous liquor, plunging the man into the sweetest pleasure of life.
Eugénie: I wish to see this liquor flow!
Madame de Saint-Ange: I may liberate it with my hand.
Eugénie: And the balls?
Madame de Saint-Ange: The testicles contain semen which produces the human species within the woman's womb. But a girl ought not to concern herself with that. Onto the couch, my sweet.
Eugénie: Dear God! And all these mirrors, how ingenious!
Madame de Saint-Ange: Examine my own Temple of Venus. The mound above gains hair at the age when a girl begins her periods. Here, above, is the little tongue-shaped clitoris, and all a woman's sensation. To tickle me there would make me swoon with delight. Try so. Ah, pretty bitch, how well you do it! Now, Eugénie, I will teach you how to drown in joy. Spread your thighs. Dolmancé, suck her behind while my tongue licks her. Let's make her swoon. What downy flesh! How you squirm!
Eugénie: Oh, I'm dying! (She discharges)
Eugénie: I begin to love whoredom, but is not virtue opposed to such misconduct?
Dolmancé: Ah, Eugénie, virtue is but a chimera whose worship consists exclusively in rebellion against the temperament. Can Nature recommend what offends her?
Eugénie: But what of pity as a virtue?
Dolmancé: What can that be for one with no religion? Come, let us use reason. The God who permits evils his omnipotence could prevent would be the most detestable of creatures.
Eugénie: You mean that God is an illusion?
Dolmancé: Fruit of the terror and of frailty. What does Christianity offer? The altars of Venus and Mars are changed to those of Jesus and Mary, his drivellings become the basis of a morality, and as this tale is preached to the poor, charity becomes its greatest virtue. Such, Eugénie, is the fable of God and religion.
Eugénie: But, Dolmancé, what of charity and benevolence?
Dolmancé: Be not deceived! Benevolence is naught but the vice of pride in the ostentatious almsgiver.
Eugénie: But surely there must be some actions so evil that they are known across al the earth as criminal.
Madame de Saint-Ange: There are none, my love, not even theft, nor incest, nor murder.
Dolmancé: Not at all! Nature made men with as many varieties of taste just as she made different their countenances.
Eugénie: Let us continue. Tell me how a girl may preserve herself from pregnancy.
Madame de Saint-Ange: Some women insert sponges, others have their lovers make use of little sacks of Venetian skin, called condoms. But of all the possibilities, that presented by the arse is without any doubt the most delicious. Dolmancé, is an expert!
Eugénie: How adorable!
Madame de Saint-Ange: 'Tis the filthiest and the most forbidden which best rouses the intellect. My brother and I often amused each other during our childhood years.
Eugénie: Is not incest a crime?
Dolmancé: Eugénie, a moment of reason- how did the human species perpetuate itself, if not through incest? By what other means could Adam's family and Noah's have been preserved?
Eugénie: Oh! My divine teachers, I see full well that there are very few crimes in the world. But grant, you must, that murder is still a crime?
Dolmancé: Oh, Eugénie, 'tis our pride that elevates murder into a crime. Be frank, Eugénie, have you never wished the death of anyone?
Eugénie: Oh, I would glad see my mother dead, but alas, I lack the means.
Dolmancé: Come, my rascal, I can hold off no longer! I am going to enter you!
Eugénie: Oh! You tear me sir!
Dolmancé: Courage, Eugénie, courage!
Eugénie: Yet I feel the pain grows into pleasure. More, Dolmancé!
Dolmancé: God's holy fuck! Thrice bloody fuck of God!
Madame de Saint-Ange: How the wench has taken to it!
Dolmancé: 'Oh heavens! I'm spent!
Madame de Saint-Ange: Now is the time to return to our discussion- upon the libertine caprices.
Dolmancé: Of sodomy, assuredly the passive man who has himself buggered takes the greater pleasure, since he enjoys the sensations both before and behind. But do avoid acids before sodomite amusements- they aggravate haemorrhoids- and always wash out the juice of one man before taking another.
Eugénie: But if they were in my female organ, should not such purging be a crime?
Madame de Saint-Ange: Sweet fool! Propagation is not the objective of Nature; she merely tolerates it. If, however, some misfortune might occur, notify me within the first eight weeks, and I'll have it neatly remedied. Dread not infanticide- we are mistress of our womb, and we do no more harm in evacuating unwanted matter there than in evacuating another, by medicines, when we so need.
Dolmancé: As to cruelties, when we wish to be aroused, there is no doubt that we are much more keenly affected by pain than by pleasure. My dear Eugénie, cruelty, very far from being a vice, is the first sentiment Nature injects in us all. The infant breaks his toy, bites his nurse's breast, strangles his canary long before he is able to reason. Cruelty is stamped in animals. Cruelty is natural. Education may modify it, but education is as deforming to holy Nature as topiary is to trees. Nero, Tiberius, Heliogabolus, Charolais, Condé, all slaughtered to gain an erection. Queen Zingua of Angola killed her lovers when she was done with them.
Eugénie: Oh Christ! You drive me wild!
Dolmancé: Eugénie- in libertinage, nothing is frightful, because everything is inspired by nature, even the most extraordinary, the most bizarre.
Eugénie: But are not some manners necessary in a governed society?
Dolmancé: Why, by God, I have something here with me. I bought, outside the Palace of Equality, a little pamphlet, which ought surely to answer your question.
Madame de Saint-Ange: Chevalier, you possess a fine organ, read it to us.
Le Chevalier: YET ANOTHER EFFORT, FRENCHMEN, IF YOU WOULD BECOME REPUBLICANS !
Madame de Saint-Ange: Oh, my friend, fuck us, but let us have no sermons!
● Copyright © 2014 Glyn Hughes.
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