Memoirs of Madeleine
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Category: Erotica/Classic Erotica/Classic Literature
Description: The Acclaimed Erotic Classic! Memoirs of Madeleine is the fictionalized story of the most successful prostitute and madam in Edwardian era Paris. Her uninhibited confessions leave no details to the reader's imagination. Based in part on the life of a real Parisian madam of the period, here is a novel that shocked even the unflappable French, who were dismayed not by its explicit erotic encounters, but its philosophy. As Madeleine says, "I chose the life of a prostitute. Worse than that, according to some moralists, I have become a 'whorehouse mistress.' There are many other ugly words that could be used--but so, too, there are more just and beautiful terms that have been applied to us in periods like the ancient Roman and Greek, when our profession was regarded on a vastly higher plane than many another--that of wife, say. Prostitution! Pray ask your moralist whether all men and women who work with their bodies do not prostitute themselves far more meanly than we, whose toil, if such it be, is, of all forms, the most lovable, seeing that it receives, even as it gives, pleasure? More pertinently still, take your smug married woman--she has the questionable comfort of knowing that she used her sex, an intrinsically temporary appeal, to lure him into the marital trap."
eBook Publisher: Renaissance E Books/PageTurner, 2005
eBookwise Release Date: January 2005
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [258 KB]
Reading time: 163-229 min.
Why do I write these memoirs? Seated here, in afternoon leisure, in my luxurious boudoir at Boulevard Haussmann, while my faithful Fleurette pours me a petite verre de absinthe, a feeling of exuberant satisfaction so overwhelms me that I must find some expression for it other than sensual. Last night, in this very room, I entertained none less than a president of the United States. He was elderly and broken by many cares, and I enjoyed his conversation at dinner much more than his prowess in bed; yet I who have scorned blood princes, stood-or rather lay-in awe of him.
But I am way ahead of my story. Just why do I write? Is it because I feel that in the account of my love life lies the salvation of womankind? Is there any alarm I wish to sound to warn my sisters off any metaphorical rocks? No, rather it is that I wish to record the experiences of my senses while their tinglings are yet echoing through my veins. And if any uncertainty of detail arises in the course of my analyses, I can still re-experience and reexamine those subjective states. To depend on memory alone for other than the mere external web of circumstances, as my good friend Frank Harris does in his autobiography-a nicely autographed copy of which he just sent me-is a sad delusion.
In fact, I am experiencing things even as I write. At a slight gesture from me, my cherry-lipped little Fleurette slips between my thighs. Even as I sit, pen in hand, her pretty head is beneath my light silk peignoir. She brushes aside my chemise with her soft coral tongue, clearing the way to my eager, moist cunny. She hovers, her sweet breath lightly stirring the curly hairs which are just a fraction of an inch from her lips. My heart beats just a few times more and then I feel her hot tongue-escaping from her lips-probe within my own, different lips. Unerringly, her tongue, my favorite instrument of torturous pleasure, circles my already upstanding clit. The warmth immediately spreads throughout my body and I sigh in anticipation of the release I know she will bestow upon me. I wonder again at the capacity of the female form, and I am grateful for the pleasure that can so easily be had. Fleurette, caught up in her ministrations, laps eagerly at the creamy fluid that is already gushing from within me. The taste seems to drive her to even greater ecstasy as she twirls her tongue around my turgid nub and sucks up the tribute that is hers alone. As my crisis approaches, I throw my head back and sob with pleasure.
If I had harbored any doubts about the worthiness of my project, I imagined them flowing away from me-just as my juices had flowed away and were eagerly consumed. I am renewed by my little interlude and ready to again put pen to paper, secure that I am writing an accurate account of the joy I have experienced under the tongue of another woman. Know, dear reader, that if I desired more vigorous amusements, or needed to further enhance my memory of other pleasures, my Maison is the best in all Paris. Even if you know nothing of Paris, you should know that this is no mean boast. I harbor beneath my hospitable roof, not only fourteen selected maidens of varying types and nationalities, but also three handsome red-cheeked boys, and a great blond giant of massive proportions from Finland. Thus my household is qualified to administer to every variety of libidinous pleasure in which either sex may wish to indulge.
But I have digressed considerably-and before I can launch upon the story of my life, there are certain justifications I wish to indicate, certain misunderstandings that I wish to correct.
First of all, I do not pretend that these memoirs are secret. There would be no one more disappointed than my ghost if ever I should peep down from heaven (or more conveniently still, look up from a supine position in hell) and see these notes cast into an ashcan, or used to start a fire, or perhaps hung up in the uncivilized back room of some illiterate to do vulgar service. I have never been so completely preoccupied with the study of the opposite sex that I have ignored the foibles of my own, and I would wager a season pass for the privileges of my establishment that there never was a woman who kept a diary of her love adventures who did not hope that someday it would be discovered and exploited, that men far and wide might read and stand to her appeal, that women would read and be confounded with envy by the variety of her amorous exploits. True, women who marry, at least with the intention of permanency and not with the purpose of performing a Lucrezia Borgia, are known to destroy the diaries and letters of their youth, but since marriage entails the denouncement of all idealism and individualism, this is a matter of mere expediency-women contemplating that fatal step do not keep diaries. And so I am frank in admitting that my purpose is to publish these memoirs some time in the future for distribution to my friends and patrons. Not immediately, of course, for I am still young (only 30 years of age) and though I am already overly plump due to the lazy luxury of my present existence, and I can scarce recognize in these voluptuous breasts of mine the sylphlike figure I once possessed, yet I feel certain that there is plenty more living ahead of me, and there will be correspondingly much to write about.
If then the present is not to be the last page, why do I write now? It is because that handsome little doctor who comes to look after us every now and then (and who sometimes involves himself more personally in his examinations) tells me that I have a slight aneurysm of the heart and unless I cut down on the unendurable pleasures that are frequently mine, I may develop serious endocarditis. Although I admit the possibility, I am troubled very little-for personally I suspect that monsieur le docteur tells me this only so that he may come to see me more often-and coming more frequently, collect more fees-and judging from the currency in which he collects his fees and the fact that the dear boy would never be particeps criminis to my death (though an unobjectionable manner of dying it would be) I really need not fear. But the threat of death is as good a reason to start as any, so when I have long since retired gracefully from my last encounter and the girls carry on the show in my stead, I shall distribute copies of these memoirs to those who ignore me, and knowing my past, they will kneel admiringly before me even as the maidens flocked worshipfully about the chair of the Chevalier de Seingalt in his old age.
That consequently my private life may fall into the hands of the so-called morally minded, I know too, and for their eyes I wish to pen this challenge. Apart from some maladjustments in my adolescence, I have never for one moment had cause to regret the method of life I chose. The punishment for sexual promiscuity, to employ the terminology that our puritanical forefathers afforded us, are mainly imaginary. I have had the advantage of attending an American medical school for two years, and the reader may accept my assurance that if (and I emphasize this if) conditions afforded legitimate medical attention, the avoidance of both venereal disease and unwelcome offspring could be ensured beyond doubt. And I who have never permitted a rubber to be used within me, say this: It is far from my purpose to mislead some little miss into getting herself into misfortune of any type, and especially not those to which I have made reference. There is no kind nature that takes care of such matters, as you who are more experienced no doubt ruefully know, and it is only because I must not insult the intelligence of the more enlightened, nor transform the character of these notes from a book of memoirs to a textbook on contraception and prophylaxis, that I refrain from giving to all who need it the wealth of information that is mine.
I know how criminally misleading many books are on this point. Having adopted sex as my life work from the moment of the full maturing of my reason, I have pursued its science and lore into every cranny of literature. Thanks to the kind aid of my many patrons and admirers, and to some extent due to my personal efforts, I have gathered an unusually fine collection of erotic books. Hence I feel justified in making the observation that through some unfathomably perverted sense of propriety, writers will cover their pages with the most unmitigated licentiousness and yet fear to violate the law or convention against the spread of contraceptive and abortive information. It is bitterly amusing too, to note further, that the books that sin the worst in this direction are those written by men, narrow and puritanical even in their pornography, and even purporting sometimes to be the genuine diaries of women. Torrents of the male ejaculate are poured into us, our thirsty wombs suck it up, and yet our heroines invariably remain untouched by consequences. How preposterous this is only those of my own sex can realize. The avoidance of impregnation and its dire physical and social consequences is the primary and major issue in every woman's life. It was in my case particularly. No woman can completely enjoy the embraces of her lover-or even her husband-no matter how overpoweringly delicious his rhythmic contacts may be, if there is any fear of this kind in her mind. And yet this is something that women characters (created, no doubt, by brutal men who do in writing what they dare not do in fact) never tell. Another glaring disparity that many such works delight in making continued use of, is the scene where a fabulous ten-inch member, invariably compared to an ox's leg, is thrust into the vagina of a young woman. That such an effort would tear through the perineum of even a tried woman, and inflict fatal internal injuries, is never considered. (Ed. note. e.g. the case of Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, who put Old Point Comfort in Virginia Rapp) I hope to be more sincere and accurate in my accounts, for the truth of my life has been sufficiently strange and interesting to discourage any use of fiction.
Another justification-though doubtless the reader is getting impatient and muttering, "If this woman doesn't do some fucking soon, I'll ditch this book and read the Bible for a thrill"-but I can't just dive into my tale until I have made my position clear. I chose the life of a prostitute. Worse than that, according to some moralists, I have become a 'whorehouse mistress.' There are many other ugly words that could be used ... but so, too, there are more just and beautiful terms that have been applied to us in periods like the ancient Roman and Greek, when our profession was regarded on a vastly higher plane than many another-that of wife, say. Prostitution! Pray ask your moralist whether all men and women who work with their bodies do not prostitute themselves far more meanly than we, whose toil, if such it be, is, of all forms, the most lovable, seeing that it receives, even as it gives, pleasure. And those who are artists, and sell the innermost thoughts of their souls, do they not prostitute themselves in the worst way? More pertinently still, take your smug married woman-her smugness comes only from the delusive safety-certainly not happiness-that comes from complying with conventions. Basically, she is the worst prostitute of all-sexually, in her manual toil, in the shackling of her mind and will, and in the degradation of living lies that are the very backbone of this institution. She knows well that if she had originally been honest with her husband-if she had given him what he was entitled to as a lover-he would not have married her. But no, she has the questionable comfort of knowing that she used her sex, an intrinsically temporary appeal, to lure him into the marital trap.
As for the accusations that our relations are insincere, unnatural, or too frequent, little reply is necessary. Nothing is more wearying than crawling into the same familiar hole night in and night out, knowing in advance every move, every grunt of one's partner-and yet, just such a hypocrisy does the marital status breed. Wives must submit to their husbands out of duty or fear. Husbands serve their wives frequently with no inclination at all other than duty or perhaps a jealous fear that she will seek outside relief if he does not assuage her. A wife is of frigid temperament and is brutally forced to submit, or a wife is of a more ardent turn and rides her husband to an early grave-for veritably, no one man is up to the task of quenching the desires of an ardent woman. Both monoandry and monogamy are sadly unworkable hypotheses. Every spouse may think that his or her union is the only unfaithful one, yet ice men and bill collectors leave other than their commodities or receipts behind them in more cases than one-and cuckold husbands grow horns outside the marriage bed that do not come in pairs and do not stay erect indefinitely. Such is easily proven by the statistics of our profession.
Again, let any wife who will, deny that she does with her mouth what she cannot otherwise do at such phases of the moon as she is incapacitated below. We will not believe her. And how many married women are there-sans hemorrhoids-who have not had their pretty bottoms broken into from behind? Provided of course that their bottoms are charming enough to inspire that flattering toughness in their husbands that is essential to the execution of this not-easy task!
Your so-called 'saving sense of sin' can save you only from suspecting your neighbor of the things you do. Everyone believes that he or she is the only one who sinks to these secret doings, and it is well for this that the law protects, to some extent, the privacy of the marital chamber. I affirm again that there is more vice inside the married state than there is without. And vice with few or none of the thrilling recompenses that should normally go with them.
And what does a married woman get out of all this? A home and food, yes, but for this she pays with perpetual labors (household and otherwise) that would earn her untold luxuries if she were her own mistress. At this point one may object, indicating in refutation that the majority of my sisters and colleagues in the lightening of men's burdens never attain the riches and fortunes that I have. To this I reply that for them I have but scant sympathy. In most cases it is the fault of no one but themselves. True, it may be some comfort to consider that there are failures in all walks and professions of life: There are as many poor preachers as prostitutes-only the latter do not cite the former as evidencing the wages of righteousness. But I believe-and my own life will considerably further demonstrate my belief-that any woman who is at all equipped to give pleasure to men, can climb to the level where she can command the worth of herself. That is to say, that at the very least, she can earn a comfortable living. In our field, as in no other, is it our privilege to ourselves determine the price of our commodity. It is as easy to get a 2,000 franc check from a man with 1,000,000 a year as it is to get 20 francs from a poor dirty laborer-easier and more justifiable-for a stiff prick has neither conscience nor discretion, and the price may be raised at the same rate as the temperature of one's pursuer. A girl may think one of two ways: She may cut her price so as to salvage something of the evening, or-to my way of thinking-she could haughtily turn away ardent admirers and thereby whet their appetites and maintaining the illusion of unattainability. I do not say that all can achieve the beds of dukes and princes-though judging from the amount of fucking these worthies do, there is room for a considerable number yet-but there are many intermediate stages, all preferable to the gutter or the bondage of marriage. Consider too that over ninety percent of the world's wealth is in the hands of the aristocracy and the capitalists-and it is this leisure class who require amusement most-who, if they do not support more than three mistresses at a time, at least change them frequently-and it is not inconceivable that for a night or two, not of work but of pleasure, a shrewd dame may get enough to put her by comfortably for life. In this profession as in any other that is better recognized, there is plenty of opportunity for the employment of initiative and the projection of individual personalities. I wish only to impress the reader that our profession is not inconsistent with the possession of intellect and refined sensibility of a sort. In evidence, I submit myself and these, my writings, in negation of the base generalizations that have been leveled against us. The day of the hetaera, that courtesan of ancient Greece who held an esteemed position in society, is at hand again. The vicious ecclesiastical powers that ousted her in order to establish their religion-which had at its core the degradation of all woman-are now themselves passing from favor. A new and more beautiful paganism blossoms forth in the seats of our highest civilization. That the economic factor casts a shadow of aspersion on us devotees of the art of pleasure is doubtless lamentable; but until the same reflection is removed from all the arts, pursuits, and professions of our modern world, those who sit in judgment of me ought not consider this in the evaluation of my life.