The role of sadism and masochism in fiction attracts serious, scholarly attention. John Kucich has noted the importance of masochism in late-nineteenth century British colonial fiction.[1] This article presents appearances of sadomasochism in literature and works of fiction in the various media.[2][3][4]

Novels Edit

Titles are sorted in chronological order.

Before 1800Edit

  • Anti-Justine (1793) by Nicolas-Edme Rétif – A response to the works of de Sade, written in a like style, describing the opposite, political point of view.

1800 to 1899Edit

  • Personal Recollections of the Use of the Rod (1868) by Margaret Anson, pseudonym of British author James Glass Bertram (John Camden Hotten: York). Reprinted by Blue Moon Books in 2000; also published as The Merry Order of St. Bridget. Translated in French as Une société de flagellantes. Réminiscences et révélations d'une soubrette de grande maison (1901) by Jean de Villiot. Under the nom de plume Rev. William Cooper, Bertram also wrote the fictionalized Flagellation & the Flagellants. A History of the Rod (1869), a best-seller for Hotten.
  • Venus in Furs (1870) by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch – A long, masochistic fantasy, wherein the protagonist encourages his mistress to mistreat him. Many of Sacher-Masoch's other works contain themes of sadomasochism and female dominance of the male. The term 'Masochism' derives from von Sacher-Masoch's name.
  • Letters to a Lady Friend (1879–1880), a serial novella also supposedly by Rosa Coote in The Pearl, a pornographic magazine published by William Lazenby.
  • Lashed into Lust: The Caprice of a Flagellator (1899) by Anonymous. – French novel reprinted in 1908 with "James Lovebirch" as author. Reprinted in 2000 by Blue Moon Books (New York).
  • The Yellow Room (1891) by anonymous (generally attributed to M. Le Compte Du Bouleau, aka Stanislas Matthew de Rhodes). – Novella about an eighteen-year-old girl educated and disciplined by her stern aunt and uncle. Reprinted along with the novella Letters to a Lady Friend, in Whipped into Shape: Two Classic Erotic Novellas by Renaissance E Books Inc. (2004).
  • Gynecocracy: A Narrative of the Adventures and Psychological Experiences of Julian Robinson, by "Viscount Ladywood" [pseud.] (1893)[8][9][10], the author recounts his punishment as a boy at the hands of the governness to whom he is sent, along with three female cousins, after having taken indecent liberties with a household maid. Forced to wear girls' clothing as his ordinary attire, Julian, now Julia, is subjected to frequent flagellations, as are his cousins, one of whom he later marries, submitting to her dominance through continued forced feminization and crossdressing.
  • The Confessions of Georgina (1893) by Julian Robinson (aka Le Compte Du Bouleau, Stanislas Matthew de Rhodès) – a tale of bondage and domination that satirizes the hypocrisy of Victorian morality. Author of The Petticoat Dominant, or Woman's Revenge – The Autobiography of a Young Nobleman (1898), an early classic of male-submissive pinafore eroticism.
  • A Full and True Account of the Wonderful Mission of Earl Lavender (1895) by John Davidson (London: Ward & Downey). Private whipping clubs and other flagellatory adventures from noted poet, playwright, and humorist John Davidson.
  • Tales of Fun and Flagellation (1896) by Lady Gay Spanker [pseud.]. A diverse collection of anecdotes and stories.
  • The Memoirs of Dolly Morton: The Story of A Woman's Part in the Struggle to Free the Slaves, An Account of the Whippings, Rapes, and Violences that Preceded the Civil War in America, with Curious Anthropological Observations on the Radical Diversities in the Conformation of the Female Bottom and the Way Different Women Endure Chastisement (1899) by anonymous (generally attributed to Jean de Villiot, aka Hugues Rebell). Edited and published in London and Paris by Charles Carrington.[11]

1900 to 1999Edit

  • "Frank" and I (1902) by Anonymous. Originally published in three volumes in England. Edwardian novel of flagellation pornography. A wealthy young man, who is "a lover of the rod", takes in "Frank", a teenage girl disguised as a boy. A 1983 film was released as Frank and I and Lady Libertine.
  • Maud Cameron and her Guardian (1903) by Charles Sackville, privately printed for subscribers only (Golden Birch House: London). Author of numerous flagellation novels published in London and Paris including: Two Lascivious Adventures of Mr. Howard – A continuation of Maud Cameron and her Guardian (1907), The Amazing Chastisements of Miss Bostock (1908), Three Chapters in the Life of Mr. Howard (1908), Whipping as a Fine Art – Being an Account of Exquisite and Refined Chastisement Inflicted by Mr. Howard on Grown-up Schoolgirls (1909), et al.
  • Woman and Her Master (1904) by Jean de Villiot, pseudonym of Georges Grassal – a novel of flagellation erotica translated into English by Charles Carrington from the original 1902 French edition, La Femme et son maître.
  • Birch in the Boudoir (1905) by anonymous (attributed to Hugues Rebell, real name Georges Grassal), translated and published in Paris by Charles Carrington. Reprinted in 1989 by Blue Moon Books as Beauty in the Birch. - An exchange of racy letters about the amatory and disciplinary experiences of a new master of an English school for wayward girls and a woman living in an Arabian harem.
  • The Mistress and The Slave (1905) by George Merder – a study of female domination and sadomasochism as an upper-class businessman is enslaved and brutalized by a Parisian street-girl. Translated from the original French edition, La Maitresse et l'Esclave (Maison Mystere, ca. 1903).
  • La Flagellation Passionnelle (1906) by Don Brennus Aléra, pseudonym of Roland Brévannes. Between 1903 and 1936 he wrote and illustrated around 100 historical and contemporary novels about flagellation and crossdressing petticoat punishment.
  • Les Onze mille verges (The eleven thousand rods) by Guillaume Apollinaire – written in the 1906-1907 period; the publication is unsigned and undated. Picasso thought this was the finest book he had ever read.[12]
  • The Beautiful Flagellants of New York (1907) by Lord Drialys (The Society of British Bibliophiles [Charles Carrington]: Paris) – follows an intrepid traveller's adventures from Chicago to Boston to New York. Originally published in three volumes, one for each city. Reprinted by Olympia Press as The Beautiful Flagellants of Chicago, Boston and New York.
  • Nos Belles flagellantes (1907) by Aimé Van Rod (Édition Parisienne: Paris). French author of dozens of flagellation novels including: Nouveax Contes de Fouet (1907), The Conjugal Whip (Le fouet conjugal) (1908), Le Fouet dominateur ou L'École des vierges, Les Mystéres du Fouet (both 1909), The Humiliations of Miss Madge (1912), Les Malheurs de Colette (1914), Visites fantastiques au pays du fouet (1922), Le Precepteur (1923), Memories d'une Fouettee (1924), et al.
  • The Way of a Man with a Maid (ca. 1908) by Anonymous. First published in France, exact date and author unknown. Three-volume Edwardian novel of abduction, sex and sadism. Often reprinted as a single volume under the shorter title A Man with a Maid. Adapted to film in 1975 called What the Swedish Butler Saw.
  • La Comtesse au fouet (1908), by Pierre Dumarchey (Pierre Mac Orlan) – the story of a cruel dominatrix who turns the male hero into a "dog-man". Under the pen-name Miss Sadie Blackeyes, he wrote popular flagellation novels such as Baby douce fille (1910), Miss: The memoirs of a young lady of quality containing recollections of boarding school discipline and intimate details of her chastisement (1912), and Petite Dactylo et autres textes de flagellation (1913). And as "anonymous" wrote Masochists in America (Le Masochisme en Amérique: Recueil des récits et impressions personnelles d'une victime du féminisme) (1905).
  • Éducation Anglaise (1908) by Lord Kidrodstock (Édition Parisienne: Paris) – early and unusual text featuring forced cross-dressing and flagellation. Boys and girls in an English boarding school are dressed alike in girls' clothes. They receive training by means of the discipline of tight corsets, narrow high-heeled boots, etc., reinforced by frequent application of the whip or the birch. Illustrated with ten drawings by Del Giglio.
  • Coups de Fouet (1908) by Lord Birchisgood [pseud.] (Édition Parisienne, Roberts & Dardailons Éditeurs: Paris). Author of Le Tour d'Europe d'un flagellant (1909), et al.
  • Les Cinq fessées de Suzette (Five Smackings of Suzette) (1910) by James Lovebirch [pseud.], published in Paris. Author of many popular flagellation novels such as L'Avatar de Lucette (The Misadventures of Lucette), Peggy Briggs, Au Bon Vieux Temps (all from 1913), and The Flagellations of Suzette (1915), Paris: Library Aristique.
  • Qui Aime Bien (1912) by Jacques d'Icy, pseudonym of author and artist Louis Malteste (Jean Fort: Paris), illustrated by Malteste. Writer of many books of spanking/whipping erotica such as: Chatie Bien (1913), Monsieur Paulette et Ses Epouses (1921), Paulette Trahie (1922), Brassée de faits (1925), Les Mains Chéries (1927), et al.
  • Le règne de la cravache et de la bottine (The Reign of the Riding Crop and the Boot) (1913) by Roland Brévannes, pseudonym of Bernard Valonnes (Select Bibliothèque: Paris) - humiliating animal roleplay, female-dominated men are forced to crawl about in bear suits. A theme explored in several of his books; in Les Esclaves-montures (Slave Mountings) (1920) and Le Club des Monteurs Humaines (1924), men are turned into obedient cart ponies.
  • Fred: The True History of a Boy Raised as a Girl (1913) by Don Brennus Alera, pseudonym of Roland Brévannes – classic story of humiliating petticoat punishment (Pinafore eroticism). Followed by the sequels Frederique (1921), Frida (1924), Fridoline (1926), and Lina Frido (1927).
  • Récits Piquants, chaudes aventures: scènes de féminisme. (1914) by Gilbert Natès, illustrated by G. Topfer. French compilation of various episodes of whipping. The punishers are all women, the victims boys and girls, young men and women. In several cases the male victims are forced to wear female clothing.
  • Esclaves Modernes (Modern Slaves) (1922) by Jean de Virgans, illustrated by Gaston Smit – unusual tale of power exchange (BDSM) with white European women whipped and abused by African natives. Virgans also wrote Flagellees in 1909.
  • Le Dressage de la Maid-Esclave (1930) by Bernard Valonnes, pseudonym of Roland Brévannes (Select Bibliothèque: Paris) - two-volume story of women trained as cart-pulling ponygirl slaves.
  • The Discipline of Odette (1930) by Jean Martinet [pseud.] (Éditions Prima); English translation of the French whipping/spanking novel Matée par le fouet.
  • Bagne de femmes (Jail for Girls) (1931) by Alan Mac Clyde [pseud.], Librairie Générale: Paris. One of the earliest of dozens of sadomasochistic novels by this unknown author. Followed by Dressage (1931), La Cité de l'horreur (1933), Servitude (1934), Dolly, Esclave (1936), et al.
  • Dresseuses d'hommes (1931) by Florence Fulbert (Jean Fort: Paris), illustratied by Jim Black [Luc Lafnet]. Story of men dominated and punished by women.
  • Sous la tutelle (Under Supervision) (1932) by René-Michel Desergy (Jean Fort: Paris), illustrated by Luc Lafnet – story of spanking, whipping and enema punishment. Author of numerous spanking and flagellation novels such as Trente Ans (1928), Severe Education (1931), Diana Gantee (1932), and Chambrieres De Haute Ecole (1934).
  • Memoirs of a Dominatrice (1933) by Jean Claqueret (Jean Fort: Paris). French author of many whipping/spanking novels: Clotilde et Quelques Autres (1935), Humiliations chéries (1936), Pantalons sans défense (1938), et al.
  • Le Volupte du Fouet (The Pleasure of the Whip) (1938) by Armand du Loup, illustrated by famous French artist Etienne Le Rallic under the alias R. Fanny.
  • The Story of O (1954) by Pauline Réage – A classic masochistic novel, by a woman. The protagoniste is kept in a château and mistreated by a group of men, one her official lover. Later, she resumes her normal life, while secretly becoming property of one, specific man, a friend of her lover's.[14] It was made into a film in 1975.
  • The Whip Angels (1955) by XXX, pseudonym of Diane Bataille (The Olympia Press: Paris) – a pastiche of a Victorian erotic novel; the author was the second wife of French writer Georges Bataille.
  • The Passionate Lash or The Revenge of Sir Hilary Garner (c. 1957) by Alan McClyde [pseud.] (Pall Mall Press: Paris) – Alan Mac Clyde was a popular house name used for erotic books from the 1920s to the 1970s.
  • The Ordeal of the Rod (1958) by Bernard R. Burns [pseud]. (Ophelia Press: Paris).
  • Gordon (1966) by Edith Templeton – once-banned novel about a woman in postwar London who falls into an intense submissive relationship with a psychiatrist.
  • The Master Spanker (1966) by Edward Landon (Unique Books), Venus In Bondage (1969) by Lurene Jones (N. P. Inc.), and Margo Lee: Diary of a Teenage Sado-Masochist (1969) by Red Young (Classic Publications: Los Angeles) are representative examples of the hundreds of S&M pulp novels produced in the U.S. in the 1960s by Corinth Publications, Taurus Press, Black Cat Books, Gargoyle Press, et al.
  • Tarnsman of Gor (1967) by John Norman – first in a series of 27 erotic science-fiction novels set on the planet Gor. The novels describe an elaborate culture of sexual master/slave relationships which have spawned a BDSM lifestyle subculture of followers who call themselves Goreans.
  • Je... Ils... (1969) by Arthur Adamov – With stories like Fin Août. About Masochism, regarded as an "immunisation against death", but does not aim at erotic arousal.
  • The Marquesa de Sade: Erotic Mistress of Exquisite Evil (1970) by Joseph LeBaron (Hanover House: North Hollywood) – adapted from the film produced by Jaybird Enterprises.
  • Memoirs of a Slave (1976) by Rene Michel Desergy (Janus Publications: London) – a typical example of the many books and magazines fetish publisher Janus produced in the Seventies.
  • Pagan Sex Orgy (1976) by Randy Palmer (Eros Publishing Co., Inc.: Wilmington, Delaware) – reflects the then-popular Seventies revival of occultism in books and film. Cover and illustrations by Bill Ward.
  • The Correct Sadist (1983) by Terence Sellers (Grove Press: New York) – reverses the dominant-submissive roles of The Story of O to create a post-feminist American myth about power.[15][16]

21st centuryEdit

  • Freedom is Slavery by Louis Friend - A collection of BDSM short stories.
  • Clive Barker's Jericho, a video game from 2007, features several sadomasochists as villains, for example SS-Commander Fräulein Hanne Lichthammer and Governor Cassus Vicus. The appearance of Arnold Leach's (the game's villain) fanatic followers appears to be inspired by BDSM-culture as well, for some of them wear Bondage Masks, Gags, metal Blindfolds or even Barbed Wire over their faces.

Specialist publishers of S/M fictionEdit

Mainstream films Edit

Consensual BDSM is not generally depicted accurately or sympathetically in mainstream films, to say the least; however, film-makers often find some way to incorporate BDSM imagery into many films. The following films feature BDSM as a major plot point, not just as an exploitative add-on.[18]

Art movies:



Television Edit


  • Full Exposure: The Sex Tapes Scandal (1989), made-for-TV film. Police investigate underground S&M clubs looking for a serial killer. Vanessa Williams plays a hooker/dominatrix who videotapes her clients.
  • Mercy (film) (2000) HBO cable-television movie starring Ellen Barkin and Peta Wilson. Murder mystery leads to a secret S&M society.
  • Jack of All Trades is a comedy-adventure series set in the 1800s starring Bruce Campbell. In the episode "X Marquis the Spot" (2000), Jack visits the island resort of the Marquis de Sade and competes in an S&M-themed obstacle course race that parodies Survivor.
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2007); in the fourth episode, "Belle" (Billie Piper) takes BDSM lessons from a professional dominatrix as a favor for her accountant who is a closet submissive.
  • Dollhouse (2009); the beginning of the 9th episode shows Echo (Eliza Dushku), returning from an assignment as a leather-clad whip-wielding dominatrix.
  • On the Alias (2003) 2nd season episode "Second Double", Agent Bristow (Jennifer Garner) goes undercover as a German dominatrix in a Berlin leather bar.
  • The FOX series The Inside episode "Old Wounds" dealt exclusively with S&M, and was criticized by the Parents Television Council as a result.[20]
  • The television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has featured Melinda Clarke as professional dominatrix Lady Heather in five episodes, most notably in the 90-minute special episode "Lady Heather's Box".[21]
  • Season 4 of HBO series Six Feet Under features a character (Joe) who wants to adopt a submissive sexual role in his relationship with Brenda.[citation needed]
  • A Family Guy gag depicts main characters Lois and Peter suiting up for a sadomasochistic session while having a mundane conversation about unrelated matters from the plot of that episode ("Let's Go to the Hop"). Toys have been made of this scene.[22] In the audio commentary for that episode it is noted that such a practice seemed normal to them.
  • Season 1 of the FOX medical drama House, episode "Love Hurts" a patient is deeply involved in a BDSM relationship.
  • Rex Van de Kamp of Desperate Housewives was unveiled as a lover of S&M, much to the disgust of his wife, Bree.[23] In Come Back to Me, Sharon Lawrence plays Maisy Gibbons, a dominatrix who walks across Rex's back in stiletto heels.
  • Season 2 of NBC's Friday night drama Homicide: Life on the Street, in the episode "A Many Splendored Thing"[24]. Detectives Bayliss and Pembleton investigate a murder in the S&M club scene. Bayliss expresses his disgust at the 'perversion', but the episode ends with his return to a leather shop, where he purchases a studded and belted leather jacket. This episode is the beginning of the character's sexual awakening, as he becomes comfortable with his bisexual feelings.
  • ER (TV series) – a professional dominatrix with broken fingers and her male slave, who was injured in a fall during a bondage/suspension session, are admitted to the emergency room.
  • Private Practice – in the 2nd season, cast member KaDee Strickland is seen roleplaying as a German dominatrix with a latex outfit, studded collar, and a whip.
  • Season 5 of FX's Nip/Tuck has Sean crossing paths with a Hollywood agent (Craig Bierko) with horrific wounds on his chest and the dominatrix (Tia Carrere) who inflicted them on him in the episode "Carly Summers".
  • Rescue Me (TV series) (2009) – In "Initiation" (Season 5, episode 15), Callie Thorne's character seduces Tommy (Dennis Leary) dressed as a cheerleader, Playboy bunny and latex-clad dominatrix. They are briefly seen paddling each other in a fast-motion sequence.

Drama Edit

  • Thomas Shadwell's play The Virtuoso (1676) includes an old libertine named Snarl who entreats a prostitute, Mrs Figgup, to bring out the birch rods. It is unclear if he is to flog her or be flogged.
  • In Thomas Otway's play Venice Preserved (1682), Act III, Scene i, an old senator, Antonio, visits the house of Aquilina, a Greek courtesan. Antonio pretends to be a bull, then a frog, begging her to spit on him, and then a dog, biting her legs. She whips him, then throws him out and tells her footmen to keep him out.
  • Jean Genet's play The Maids (1947) concerns two maids who play out dominant and submissive roles.
  • Genet's play The Balcony (1957) is set in a brothel where clients and staff perform various fetishized roles while a revolution brews outside.
  • Kenneth Tynan's play Oh! Calcutta! includes at least two segments with sadomasochistic themes. One of them, set in a fantasy of an English girls public school, invites the audience to vote on which of four "girls" is beaten at the end.[citation needed]



Video GamesEdit

  • Due to some of her in-game dialogue, such as "Yes, get angry! Because if you don't punish me, Gensokyo shall be no more!", Tenshi Hinanai of Touhou Project has been labeled a masochist by fans.[28]
  • Larxene of Kingdom Hearts has been considered a sadist.[29]



  1. Imperial Masochism: British Fiction, Fantasy, and Social Class by John Kucich (Princeton University Press, 2006)
  2. An esthetics of masochism? The author wonders if the curators of an Austrian exhibition on masochism in art erred in taking an overly literal approach to their subject From Art in America (4/1/2004) by Barry Schwabsky
  3. Barbara Steele's Ephemeral Skin: Feminism, Fetishism and Film by Lecturer Patricia MacCormack of Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge
  4. Sadism, Masochism, Food and Television
  5. Template:Harv "The term sadism derives from the Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), a French nobleman imprisoned for his libertinism, and for writing fantastic novels, such as Justine [1797] and Juliette [1797] that equated sexual pleasure with the inflicting of pain, humiliation, and cruelty".
  6. Walter M. Kendrick, "The secret museum: pornography in modern culture", University of California Press, 1996, ISBN 0-520-20729-7, p.168
  7. Donald Serrell Thomas, "Swinburne, the poet in his world", Oxford University Press, 1979, ISBN 0-19-520136-1, pp.109,215-6
  8. Bonnie Bullough, "Cross dressing, sex, and gender", University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993, ISBN 0-8122-1431-5, page 211
  9. Richard Ekins, "Blending genders: social aspects of cross-dressing and sex-changing", Routledge, 1996, ISBN 0-415-11551-5, appendix 1
  10. Gynecocracy retrieved 2007-04-30
  11. Emma Goldman, Candace Falk, Barry Pateman, Jessica M. Moran, "Emma Goldman: Making speech free, 1902-1909" (Volume 2 of Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years, Jessica M. Moran) Emma Goldman Series, University of California Press, 2004, ISBN 0-520-22569-4, pp.514
  12. Lisa Z. Sigel, "International exposure: perspectives on modern European pornography, 1800-2000", Rutgers University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-8135-3519-0, p.132
  13. Patrick J. Kearney, "The Private Case: an annotated bibliography of the Private Case Erotica Collection in the British (Museum) Library", J. Landesman, 1981, p.215
  14. Template:Harv "Pauline Reage's The Story of O (1954) made a great impact on lesbian erotic writing..."
  15. Harriett Gilbert, "Fetishes, Florentine girdles, and other explorations into the sexual imagination", HarperPerennial, 1994, ISBN 0-06-273313-3, p.66
  16. Andrei Codrescu, "The Stiffest of the corpse: an Exquisite corpse reader", City Lights Books, 1989, ISBN 0-87286-213-5
  17. Template:Harv
  18. Sadism and masochism in mainstream film
  19. FILM REVIEW; Masochists Always Hurt The Ones They Love By A. O. SCOTT (November 22, 2000)
  20. Parents Television Council Presents: Worst TV Show of the Week - The Inside on Fox By Caroline Schulenburg
  21. "Lady Heather (Melinda Clarke), a dominatrix"
  22. Family Guy 'Nighttime' Peter and Lois
  23. "Cherry says other deleted "Housewives" content that could grace a DVD include an S&M sequence featuring Sharon Lawrence and Steven Culp, who plays Bree Van De Kamp's husband, Rex"
  24. A Many Splendored Thing
  25. Bragman, L.J. (1934). "The Case of Algernon Charles Swinburne: a Study in Sadism". Psychoanal. Rev., 21:59-74.
  26. , Tom Lehrer in Concert, London, 1959.
  27. "Negating O"
  28. Touhou Wikia
  29. [1]


Wood, Robert (1995), Sadomasochistic Literature,, New England Publishing Associates,, retrieved 2007-12-14 

Mendes, Peter (1993), Clandestine Erotic Fiction in English, 1800-1930: A Bibliographical Study, Aldershot, Hants, England: Scolar Press; ISBN 0-85967-919-5

External links Edit

See alsoEdit

es:BDSM en el cine