Venus in Furs by Ritter von Leopold Sacher-Masoch
Venus in Furs is a story about a person who dreams of talking to Venus about passion and love - and she's wearing furs in his dreams. The main character, who has no name, tells Severin - his friend - all about these dreams. Severin teaches the man how to free himself from this deadly obsession with vicious ladies -he has to read a special manuscript. So, what's inside it? A tale about a fellow (Severin) who's so passionate about a lady that he deliberately asks to be her slave and wants her to treat him in humiliating and brutal ways.
At the very beginning, the lady (Wanda) despises him for even asking her about it - she doesn't understand his desires and can't get herself to agree. But, later on, she decides to satisfy his wishes and pretty soon she finds this new "relationship" to be very exciting and thrilling, so, she gets more and more into it, while still despising him for asking her to treat him that way. Suprasensuality - that's how Severin describes his experience as a deliberate slave in the manuscript.
Severin and Wanda move to Italy, and that's when he changes his name to Gregor and becomes her official servant. She treats him ruthlessly and viciously.
She even hires three women to further dominate him. However, pretty soon Wanda finds a man that she desires to submit to, and that's when Severin, offended by her betrayal, decides to stop being her slave. This book is the most popular novella by Sacher-Masoch, and it's heavily based on his own life and his experiences. Venus in Furs saw the light of day back in 1870 and still remains one of the best works in the genre.
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