1. Book of the Month - Story of O Extract

    Story of O by Pauline Réage Delving into Story of O to find an excerpt that would provide a suitable taster was exceptionally difficult.

    Not because it was hard to find something appropriate, but because the book is so hard to put down once you start reading, I didn't know if the extract would ever end!

    I think journalist, critic and author Graham Greene described the book best: 'A rare thing, a pornographic book well written without a trace of obscenity'.

    The following extract illustrates that point perfectly, using the passionate and elegant language that the whole book is laced with.

    "You are here to serve your masters. During the day, in connection with the maintenance of the household, you will perform whatever chores are assigned to you, such as sweeping, putting the books back in place, arranging flowers, or waiting upon table. Your tasks will not be more onerous than these.

    But at the first word or gesture you will stop in the middle of whatever you happen to be doing, addressing yourself to your one primary task, your only significant one duty, which is to avail yourself to be used. Your hands are not your own, neither are your breasts, nor, above all, is any one of the orifices of your body, which we are at liberty to explore and into which we may, whenever we so please, introduce ourselves.

    In order that you bear it constantly, or as constantly as possible, in mind that you have lost the right to withhold or deny yourself, in our presence you will at all times avoid altogether closing your labia, nor will you ever cross your legs, nor press your knees together (as, you recall, was forbidden to you directly when you set out for this place), which will signify, in your view and in ours, that your mouth, your belly and your behind are constantly at our entire disposal.

    Before us, you must never touch your breasts: your bodice lifts them supplicatingly to us, they are ours. During the day, since you will be dressed, you will raise your skirt if ordered to, and whoever would have you will use you as he likes, undisguised; but he will not whip you.

    The whip will only be applied between the hours of sundown and dawn. But over and above those whippings, which you will receive from whoever desires to whip you, you will be punished, in the form of further whipping, at night for any infraction of the rules during the day: that is to say, for thoughtlessness, for insubmissiveness, for having raised your eyes upon whoever speaks to or takes you: never must you look any one of us in the face.

    If our night-time costume, what we are wearing now, leaves our sex uncovered, it is not for the sake of convenience, since it would be just as convenient otherwise, but for that of insolence, so that your eyes will focus themselves there and nowhere else, so that you will come finally to understand that there resides your master, your lord, to whom all of you is destined…"

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