From the editors of Penguin Books and Penguin Classics

CLASSIC SMUT

While it seems as though Fifty Shades of Grey is at the summit of smut, classic authors have been up to no good for centuries before Anastasia Steele met Christian Grey. Here are some choice quotes from the most salacious pages of some favorite lascivious classics (plus some suggestions of other places to look…).

The Decameron by Boccaccio:

“She had no conception of the kind of horn that men do their butting with, and when she felt what was happening, it was almost as though she regretted having turned a deaf ear to Perricone’s flattery, and could not see why she had waited for an invitation before spending her nights so agreeably.”

(130 – much more in tales I.4, II.7, and III.10) 

 (even the very beginning of) Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence:

“She was perfectly dim and dazed, looking down in a sort of amazement at the rather tender nape of his neck, feeling his face pressing her thighs. In all her burning dismay, she could not help putting her hand with tenderness and compassion on the defenseless nape of his neck, and he trembled in a sudden shudder.”

(25-26 – more on pages 116, 125, 221-22, 246)

Fanny Hill  by John Cleland:

“Oh then! the fiery touch of his fingers determines me, and my fears melting away before the growing intolerable heat, my thighs disclose of themselves and yield all liberty to his hand; and now, a favourable moment giving my petticoats a toss, the avenue lay too fair, too open to be missed; he is now upon me.”

(110 – more on pages 62-3, 66-71, 76-8, 108-13, 118-20, 151-61… and pretty much every other page in the book)

Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch:

“Wanda smiled and sat down in the armchair. ‘Kneel here – here next to my chair.’

I obeyed.

‘Kiss my hand.’

I took hold of her small, cold hand and kissed it.

‘And my lips –’

In a surge of passion I flung my arms around the cruel, beautiful woman and covered her face, her lips, her bust with hot kisses, and, shutting her eyes as if in a dream, she responded with the same fire – until past midnight.”

(61 – more on pages 37, 41-5, 51, 61, and 114-15)

Madame Bovary by Flaubert (also available as an eBook):

“Any minute now she would appear…–in her flounced dress, her gold lorgnette, her thin little boors, all kinds of elegant refinements he had never had a taste of before, and with all the ineffable seductiveness of virtue yielding. The church, like a gigantic boudoir, was arranging itself around her…”

(213 – more on page 164)

Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos:

“It is not enough for me to possess her, I want her to surrender.”

(270 – more on pages 272, 312, 322, and 332)

Stung with Love, a collection of Sappho’s poetry:

“That impossible predator,

Eros the Limb-Loosener,

Bitter-sweetly and afresh

Savages my flesh.”

(21 – more on pages 35, 39, and 75)

Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana:

“Just as a galloping horse,

blind to all else by its pace,

is heedless of a ditch, post or trench

which may be there within its path,

so two lovers blind with passion

in the fray of intercourse

let loose their most intense impulses

and pay no heed to any danger.”

(58-9 – more on most pages, because it’s the Kama Sutra)

And, finally, Philosophy in the Boudoir by Marquis de Sade:

“Fuck – in a word – fuck! … continence is an impossible virtue, which nature, violated in its rights, instantly punishes with a thousand miseries.”

(33-4 – and more on pretty much every page)


Classic Fridays | The world is full of classics. Every Friday, we close the week with one of our favorites.

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