Saturday, 01 June 2013 10:46

The Marque de Sade: Libertarian or Deviant?

The Marque de Sade was a man most considered deviant and sexually perverse. A rare gem of his time, de Sade capsulated 17th century society with libertarian views when it comes to, bondage, dominance and sexual pleasure. Can you even begin to imagine what it must have been like to have ‘libertarian views back in the 17th century? Not to say there weren’t any liberals of course, but the Marque de Sade is famous for promoting sex, and not your every day average

missionary “let’s get it on” sex, but what was considered purely depraved, perverted, and sadomasochist sex . In fact the term sadomasochist is derived from his name - “sade”. BDSM goes back – Way back! Even the dominatrix herself is famous in our history. Quite taboo for the time of course, but this sort of sexual pleasure and exploration has been around for centuries. Sade himself was institutionalized for his sexual desires. The Marque de Sade had written several books which reflected heavily on pornographic material. However, compared to today, it’s certainly nothing we haven’t seen nor heard of before.

The Marque de Sade unfortunately had some trouble controlling his primal urges, and instead of practising what most of us commonly practise today, he “took” whenever he wanted, even when it was young girls as young as 13. He also enjoyed the company of men, as well as both at the same time. All the while, the Marque was married with children. Today when we reflect on such a scenario, more than likely we are reminded of political scandals, or dramatic scandals even taking place in our own neighborhood.

“What’s that? You say you caught your husband in bed with another man? Well let me be the first to welcome you to prime time!”

Yes, not so shocking anymore right? Historians who look back at the life of the Marque de Sade have many differing opinions; however, one remains the same – he rose against the Catholic Church with such deviance and moral disregard, that they had no choice but to commit him to a mental institution. Some might consider him a very brave man, considering the ear in which he took his stand against the Church.

Institutionalization however, didn’t stop him, and he continued to pen several books. Most of these books however, we can’t see, because in a state of utter embarrassment his son burned them to a crisp. The fact of the matter is de Sade took on a taboo so utterly in the closet and exposed it for the French to see. He brought bdsm to the level we see today. He explored domination, fulfilled his every desire, and then enjoyed discussing it.

The Marque de Sade considered himself a libertarian, in more ways than one. He was definitely ahead of his time, yet, a bit of a scum bag. In today’s world of BDSM , consent is the number one priority. Adventures in sex have become much more liberal as well. In most societies we are not afraid to talk about our sex lives amongst friends, this includes women in front of men and vice-versa. We have the locker-room chat that boiled to the surface without any shame or regret.

The Marque de Sade represents a step in a very different direction – a bold new step back in the 17th century. Besides, he wasn’t the only one who profited from exotic books. Many of the time attempted and sometimes failed to write about exotic sexual adventures – novels that today we would merely consider a good romance novel. Although misguided, the Marque de Sade should also be considered a folk hero of sorts, a man who didn’t let the mighty church into his bedroom. The very same church still knocking on our bedroom doors to this very day.