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Philosophy of the Boudoir  follows three aristocrats as they indoctrinate the fifteen-year-old Eugénie de Mistival in “the principles of the most outrageous libertinism.”  200 years after de Sade’s death, readers will continue to find shock and delight in this most joyous of his erotic works, now with a new introduction by Francine du Plessix-Gray.”

I looked forward to reading this book for years, but yet again it was a book that fell far below my expectations. At first I was annoyed that it was a play just because I generally don’t like reading plays, but in the end I am very glad that it was a play because they I wouldn’t have to deal with de Sade’s descriptions as often.

The plot of the play was oddly simple. An aristocratic woman was perverting (or “educating”) a younger woman by arranging multiple sessions of depraved sexuality inter spaced with long monologues. These long monologues covered everything I never wanted to know about and then some. I don’t understand why this book which was so heavily focused on philosophy is famous in the BDSM world (the term sadist comes from de Sade after all).

I also don’t understand the ending sex scene (mild spoiler ahead). Why would you force someone to get an STD and then sew their holes shut? Hell, why would anyone agree to any of the sex that this book promoted? I understand that he is a sadist, but he advocates anal sex without lube or stretching. This alone is highly dangerous, he did not have to go into the idea that if it hurts you need to just deal with it for the man (this could end up ripping the anus and causing raging infections).

So while this book was something I had wanted to read since the moment I heard it existed, it was a let down. I am glad I waited years to read it otherwise I would have given up on any of the other suggestions I was given. This book reminded me of Dickens which if you know me means I found it utterly boring and long winded and I don’t understand why people praise it at all.

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1 out of 5 stars. I would not recommend this book.

You can buy this book here.

~Isaiah

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