The Story of O…Oh…Ooooooh

story-of-oCurrently living in France, a French friend recently informed me that Fifty Shades of Grey was child’s play compared to French novels, and that if I wanted to better understand BDSM, novels that try and involve romance alongside it, and the reasons people enter into such relationships, I should read classic French tale ‘The Story of O,’  (L’Histoire d’O).She also gave me Emmanuelle, which I confess,  have not yet dared to open.

Second confession – I haven’t actually finished The Story of O. Nor can I honestly say I intend to. O is a successful, attractive young woman, in love with a man named Rene. She agrees to be taken to a chateau on the outskirts of Paris, where she is aware she will be subjected to the fetishes of Rene’s friends. And of fetishes, they have many. Within moments of arriving there, she is blindfolded, and as far as I can make out, raped, every which way possible. She is kept there, before Rene eventually takes her away, and gives her to his friend, Sir Stephen.

I genuinely think I could be down with this sort of thing, if it wasn’t for the constant reminder that O only did it because she loved Rene. She didn’t express any joy at the things done to her, nor does she consent out of any regard for her own pleasure. I think that was my main barrier here. That, and they kept asking her to consent to something before telling her what it was. This was actually where I stopped reading…a big fat labia piercing with a tag on. It sounded beyond painful, and the squeamish side of me that I try to hide came out in force. No freakin’ way could I read it.

All in all, it was an interesting foray into the world of BDSM. For anyone who thinks they may or may not be inclined that way, it is definitely worth a read, even just to better outline a person’s limits.

As previously said, I must conclude that if at any point O had revealed that she liked, enjoyed or even relished any of the things done to her, I may have gained more from the book. But to me, it seemed clear that these activities are better suited to two people of the same persuasion – both partners should be getting pleasure. It shouldn’t be one, man or woman,  doing whatever they deem necessary to make their partner happy, and their partner making demands that don’t consider the feelings of the submissive. In truth, it will be a while before I adequately brace myself for Emmanuelle.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Story of O…Oh…Ooooooh

  1. rubyrubble

    I will say there are better erotica novels that deal with BDSM than ‘Story of O’ and certainly I wouldn’t use the Story of O to try and explain BDSM. The Marketplace Series by Laura Antoniou is a series of novels that have more happy submissives and are probably closer to real life than most BDSM fiction (but they’re still only a pretty fantasy). Emmanuelle is a very different type of book from Story of O, with a more engaging and less passive set of main characters.

    I will also say there are submissives who enjoy dynamics where they are made to do things that they don’t enjoy doing. I think (but I’m not sure since I’m not one of them) that the underlying sentiment is that you’re not wholly submissive unless you do things that are solely for your dominant’s pleasure.

  2. Pingback: Of a remarkable book and two very remarkable women | Where do We go from Here?

  3. John

    The Story of O was written by a woman for her lover. It’s a classic of erotic literature.As far as it representing the BDSM lifestyle,well I would guess it wouldn’t. change the story to a person wanting to join a religious order and having to undergo very strict trials to prove their love of God and desire to join this religious order and you have the Story of O

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