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The Story of O Files #6: Artists of 'O'
I wrote the story of O
This novel, sexually explicit without being crude, is indeed the story of O, a woman whose love for a man leads her to increasingly submissive behavior - allowing herself to be sexually used, violently beaten, and physically mutilated, which releases her independence of thought, and eventually causes her to abandon her individual identity. As O's submission deepens and becomes more extreme, the novel simultaneously deepens its thematic explorations of the relationship between surrender and freedom, the nature and demands of love, and the spiritual aspects of sexual desire. The Story of O begins as O is taken by Rene, referred to repeatedly as "her lover", to an isolated chateau in the French countryside, where she is ritualistically and repeatedly subjected to the constant, at times violent, sexual desires of the men there. She is, she is told, being trained in the way of submission, learning how to dress, behave, and react in total sexual obedience as a manifestation of her love for her lover, her trust in him, and her faith that he loves her in return. Over the painful course of several weeks, O is trained physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually in the ways of surrender. Rene eventually returns, tells O that she is to be taken back to their home, and prepares to leave with her.
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Desclos did not reveal herself as the author for forty years after the initial publication. Desclos claims she wrote the novel as a series of love letters to her lover Jean Paulhan ,  who had admired the work of the Marquis de Sade. The novel shares with the latter themes such as love, dominance and submission. Story of O is a tale of female submission involving a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer named O, who is taught to be constantly available for oral , vaginal , and anal intercourse , offering herself to any male who belongs to the same secret society as her lover. She is regularly stripped, blindfolded, chained , and whipped ; her anus is widened by increasingly large plugs ; her labium is pierced and her buttocks are branded. Over the course of this training, O falls in love with Sir Stephen and believes him to be in love with her as well.
Story of O Summary & Study Guide Description
F ifty years ago, an extraordinary pornographic novel appeared in Paris. Published simultaneously in French and English, Story of O portrayed explicit scenes of bondage and violent penetration in spare, elegant prose, the purity of the writing making the novel seem reticent even as it dealt with demonic desire, with whips, masks and chains. Pauline Reage, the author, was a pseudonym, and many people thought that the book could only have been written by a man. The writer's true identity was not revealed until 10 years ago, when, in an interview with John de St Jorre, a British journalist and some-time foreign correspondent of The Observer, an impeccably dressed year-old intellectual called Dominique Aury acknowledged that the fantasies of castles, masks and debauchery were hers. Aury was an eminent figure in literary France, and had been when she wrote the book at the age of She could scarcely have been more highbrow, nor, according to de St Jorre, more quietly and soberly dressed, more 'nun-like'.