"Tread me underfoot!" I exclaimed, and flung myself face to the floor before her.Yes, Masoch actually touches on the cruelty paradox, though not in any depth. He's more interested in idea that...
"I hate all this play-acting," said Wanda impatiently.
"Well, then maltreat me seriously."
Goethe's 'you must be hammer or anvil'is absolutely appropriate to the relation between man and woman.In short, the message is; Equality is hard work to achieve, so why not just give in. Besides, women unfettered by morality are so very marvelous...
And yes, he's already setting out on the cuckold fantasy, something I would have said does not interest me except that if you make it a Sapphic cuckolding fantasy, then I'm in hog heaven.
Did this book influence my fantasies? I'm not sure.
I came to it in my pre-Internet youth looking for answers and found only an uncomfortable mirror. Severin, the "hero", faces the familiar real-world problem of drawing a strong woman into an S&M relationship.
He succeeds so far by topping from the bottom, and then - and I haven't got to this bit yet in my reread - she ostensibly tries to cure him by ambushing him with more than what he wished for. He flees the reality of the fantasy and sets himself up as a Gorean-style master.
What was this ending suppose to be? A sop to morality? A warning? It didn't feel like happily ever after. Perhaps Masoch was saying: Warning - most women don't actually want a lifestyle relationship.