The fetish lifestyle been explored in fiction by authors for hundreds of years. Here are five classics of BDSM literature that are well worth checking out.

BDSM Literature: Five Kinky Classics


The Story of O, Pauline Réage (real name Anne Desclos), published 1954


With its very explicit scenes of S&M violence and aggressive penetrative sex, The Story of O was about as hardcore as mainstream novels got in 1954, let alone within the genre of BDSM literature. The author used a pen name and was generally considered to be a man until around ten years ago, when her true identity was revealed. The book is hugely intense with an almost dreamlike, elegant style and deals with the kinkiest of scenes in the third person, so remaining slightly reserved.
The sadomasochistic mood is set from the start, as O, a glamorous photographer, is ordered by her dominant lover, Rene, to get into his car and strip. She’s taken to a nearby chateau to be introduced to the members of a secret society, eye contact is banned and O is soon dressed in bondage clothing that includes a leather collar and cuffs. Like a good sub, O is happy to prove her love to Rene by getting into whatever hot and steamy situations she’s told to.

Venus in Furs, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, published 1870.


The submissive star of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s is Severin, a man with an almost clinical desire to be mistreated by cold, cruel women in killer heels and red lipstick. The story is largely told through conversations between characters, and it’s during one of these sexually charged chats that Severin’s friend mentions a dream about a statuesque woman swathed in furs.
Severin elaborates on his desire to kneel at the feet of a powerful woman, being aware of her anger, hearing the movement of her furs and understanding that his role is that of an object to be trampled underfoot. However, his real life experience with women is limited, leading him to fall madly in love with a statue of the goddess Venus, which he begins to visit regularly and worship. The authors name was subsequently used by psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing to describe certain bondage activities, hence the term ‘masochism’.

bdsm literature - five kinky classicsDelta of Venus, Anais Nin, published 1977, but written in the 1940’s


Realising that there was a disparity between the way her husband, Henry Miller, wrote about his sexual experiences and her own attitude to sexuality, Nin decided to explore desire, lust and fantasies through BDSM literature from a female perspective. The bondage element is pretty low level, but with artist models dry humping a wooden horse, serial killer lovers and tight fitting cock rings, the emphasis is definitely on the kinky side of sexual pleasure.
Delta of Venus is made up of fifteen short stories, each one of which is a wild ride and totally hedonistic. She touches on the Nazi occupation of France, sexually frustrated priests, underage sex, necrophilia and promiscuity. Forbidden love is a major factor in most of the fetishes, but the dominant theme throughout Delta of Venus is sexual freedom - finding out what turns you on and then doing it.

Justine, or The Misfortunes of Virtue, Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, or the Marquis de Sade, published in 1791


De Sade was a French aristocrat and dedicated libertine who wrote Justine whilst imprisoned for various sexual indiscretions. It’s another historical piece of BDSM literature that contains plenty of jaw dropping material, not least because the central character, Therese, starts off her quest for virtue as a twelve year old child. She recounts the story of her life to Madame de Lorsagne, (who turns out to be Justine’s long lost sister), explaining that while searching for a home and employment, she inexplicably ends up as the sexual plaything of numerous kinky perverts and is initiated into the raunchy world of S&M.
bdsm literature - five kinky classicsThe themes of torture, humiliation and imprisonment are blended with passages that involve De Sade exploring his feelings on vice as opposed to virtue, and various other fetish based philosophies that were still developing in his mind at the time.

Story of the Eye, Georges Bataille, published in 1928


With a surreal edge and a sadomasochistic sexually charged plot, the Story of the Eye is not the kind of book to flick through on the bus. If you love deviance it’s a cracking read, from murder at the point of orgasm, to voyeurism and necrophilia. The unnamed hero and his girlfriend, Simone, explore their passions obsessively and without inhibitions. She gets off on using boiled eggs as a rudimentary dildo, loves being peed on and inflicts a humiliation on the corpse of a priest that’s not for the squeamish.

Did we miss any classic BDSM literature? Let us know in the comments!


 

© Sarka / Dollar Photo Club and Valerie Hinojosa via Flickr

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