Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

Venus in Furs

Severin is so infatuated with Wanda that he requests to be treated as her slave and encourages her to treat him in progressively more degrading ways. At first Wanda does not want to, but later embraces the idea; though at the same time, she disdains Severin for allowing her to do so. Severin describes his feelings during these experiences as suprasensuality. Wanda treats him brutally as a servant, and recruits a trio of African women to dominate him. The relationship arrives at a crisis point when Wanda herself meets a man to whom she would like to submit. Severin, humiliated by Wanda's new lover, ceases to desire to submit, stating that men should dominate women until the time when women are equal to men in education and rights. Probably the first book which blatantly addresses the issue of female sexual domination, this is today a classic of the genre and it is the author from whom the word masochism takes its name.
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Quotes

    Fatyhas quoted5 years ago
    "We are faithful as long as we love, but you demand faithfulness of a woman without love, and the giving of herself without enjoyment. Who is cruel there—woman or man? You of the North in general take love too soberly and seriously. You talk of duties where there should be only a question of pleasure."
    Zeyneb Karechehas quotedlast year
    I felt there was something sacred in sex; in fact, it was the only sacred thing. In woman and her beauty I saw something divine, because the most important function of existence—the continuation of the species—is her vocation. To me woman represented a personification of nature, Isis, and man was her priest, her slave. In contrast to him she was cruel like nature herself who tosses aside whatever has served her purposes as soon as she no longer has need for it. To him her cruelties, even death itself, still were sensual raptures.
    Zeyneb Karechehas quotedlast year
    I have two ideals of woman. If I cannot obtain the one that is noble and simple, the woman who will faithfully and truly share my life, well then I don't want anything half-way or lukewarm. Then I would rather be subject to a woman without virtue, fidelity, or pity. Such a woman in her magnificent selfishness is likewise an ideal. If I am not permitted to enjoy the happiness of love, fully and wholly, I want to taste its pains and torments to the very dregs; I want to be maltreated and betrayed by the woman I love, and the more cruelly the better. This too is a luxury.

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