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.


What We’re Loving:

I am continually captivated by the underwater art of “eco-sculptor” Jason deCaires Taylor—or, rather, what happens to it. Taylor submerges his work—predominantly human figures—in the waters of the West Indies and in the Gulf of Mexico. Over time, the permanent installations come to act as artificial reefs, attracting corals, aggregating fish species, and increasing marine biomass. Most of Taylor’s figures stand with their faces upturned to the surface, their eyes closed, as they are silently and arrestingly overtaken by algae, sponges, and hydrozoans. The overall impression is one of indomitable spirit within metamorphosis: creatures coming to life. —Anna Hadfield


… one day when a smudge of paint on his index finger took the shape of a face, a face that spoke to him and told him, ‘Paint sacred art.’ …

Rachel Maddux, “This Side of Paradise”

I have another tumblr called Stereotaxis; from the OED: 

Biol. and Med.

Involving or designed for the accurate three-dimensional positioning and movement of objects inside the brain.

When I decided to transfer my wordpress blog over here to tumblr, I also decided to fold Stereotaxis in as well. On the old blog, I described it as a neuropsychoanalytic microblog, which is about right: just stuff that I culled from the internet about psychotic speech, technological pluralization of the senses, artificial intelligences, and the little electrochemical ocean that washes around in our skulls. I’ll probably write up some meta posts about all the themes that little blog explored (usually with minimal commentary).

This is the first thing I would, in the past, have posted there. There’s something ineluctable about this pure voice which speaks from within as if it is from without, the echo that compels this person to reorganize the world in the name of God. 


Duck Egg Pasta with Grilled Cabbage

This was a real farmer’s market uber-meal. The duck eggs were from the Oaks of Mamre farm, which has the most exquisite eggs I’ve ever had (if you want the chicken eggs, get to the Urban Harvest farmer’s market early or they’ll always be sold out). As you can see, they were huge, with way more yolk compared to whites than chicken eggs. There are great recipes for rich, egg yolk pasta, so I thought they would be perfect.

The cabbage was from Utility Research Garden, my favorite of the local farms here in Houston. Grilling cabbage makes it just about as good as it can get, especially if you get a bit of soy sauce between the leaves (though not in this recipe). 

The resulting dish was very, good. I also grilled some bread and did over-super-easy duck eggs to top, but alas, no pictures.

Now that you can reblog your own tumblrs, I’ll be doing a little sideways posting from the food blog me and some friends post pictures to …