Story of O

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Story of O (French: Histoire d'O, IPA: [istwaʁ do]) is an erotic novel published in 1954 about dominance and submission by French author Anne Desclos under the pen name Pauline Réage.

Desclos did not reveal herself as the author until four years before her death, forty years after the initial publication. Desclos said she wrote the novel as a series of love letters to her lover Jean Paulhan,[1] who had admired the work of the Marquis de Sade.

Contents

Plot

Published in French by Jean-Jacques Pauvert, Story of O is a tale of female submission about a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer, O, who is blindfolded, chained, whipped, branded, pierced, made to wear a mask, and taught to be constantly available for oral, vaginal, and anal intercourse. Despite her harsh treatment, O grants permission beforehand for everything that occurs, and her permission is consistently sought.

At the beginning of the story, O's lover, René, brings her to the château of Roissy, where she is trained to serve the men of an elite group. After this first period of training is finished, as a demonstration of their bond and his generosity, René hands O to Sir Stephen, a more dominant master. René wants O to learn to serve someone whom she does not love, and someone who does not love her. Over the course of this training, O falls in love with Sir Stephen and believes him to be in love with her as well. While her vain friend and lover, Jacqueline, is repulsed by O's chains and scars, O herself is proud of her condition as a willing slave. During the summer, Sir Stephen decides to move O to Samois, an old mansion solely inhabited by women for advanced training and body modifications related to submission. There she agrees to receive a branding and a labia piercing with rings marked with Sir Stephen's initials and insignia. At the climax, O appears as a slave, nude but for an owl-like mask, before a large party of guests who treat her solely as an object.

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