Quotes from the Classics
Erotic Excerpts from Classical Texts of Western Literature
What we have tried to do here is to do the wading for you by selecting excerpts from some of the great erotic classics in the world. We have tried to choose excerpts that are relevant and inspirational to lovers in today’s world.
This section is in beta mode. As we edit and collate excerpts, we will be placing them throughout the museum alongside erotic artworks from that era.
We welcome volunteers and interns to assist us in the project!
Song of Songs 5: 4-6 (Old Testament)
Date Unknown but before 1 A.D.
|Comments||The Most Sensual Part of the Bible both Old and New Testaments . . .|
I rose to open for my love, and my hands dripped myrrh. My fingers dripped myrrh.
On the hands of the bolt I opened to my love.”
Teleny or The Reverse of the Medal
1893; London, England
|Comments||As the defendant in England’s most famous sodomy trial, Oscar Wilde was an anomoly for his times, a sensual libertarian living in the stifling confines of Victorian England. In this passage he presents an early forerunner of that neverending question: “When a woman says ‘no’ does she really mean ‘no’?”|
|“No Rene, I beg of you! Could we not love each other with a Platonic love? Is that not enough?”|
“Is it enough for you?” said he, almost superciliously.
She pressed her lips again upon his, and almost relinquished her grasp. The hand went stealthily up along the leg, stopped a moment on the knees, caressing them; but the legs closely pressed together prevented it from slipping between them, and thus reaching the higher storey. It crept up, nevertheless, caressing the thighs through the fine linen underclothing, and thus, by stolen marches, it reached its aim. The hand then slipped between the opening of the drawers, and began to feel the soft skin. She tried to stop him.
“No, no!” said she; “please don’t; you are tickling me!”
He then took courage, and plunged his fingers boldly in the fine curly locks of the fleece that covered her middle parts.
She continued to hold her thighs tightly closed together, especially when the naughty fingers began to graze the edge of the moist lips. At that touch, however, her strength gave way; the nerves relaxed and allowed the tip of a finger to worm its way within the slit – nay, the tiny berry protruded out to welcome it. After a few moments she breathed more strongly. She encircled his breast with her arms, kissed him, and then hid her head on his shoulders.
“Oh, what a rapture I feel!”she cried. “What a magnetic fluid you possess to make me feel as I do!”
He did not give her any answer; but, unbuttoning his trousers, he took hold of her dainty little hand. He endeavoured to introduce it within the gap. She tried to resist, but weakly, and as if asking but to yield. She soon gave way, and boldly caught hold of his phallus, now stiff and hard, moving lustily by its own inward strength.
After a few moments of pleasant manipulation, their lips pressed together, he lightly, almost against her knowledge, pressed her down on the couch, lifting up her legs, pulled up her skirts without for a moment taking his tongue out of her mouth or stopping his tickling of her clitoris already wet with its own tears. Then – sustaining his weight on his elbows – he got his legs between her thighs. That her excitement increased could be easily seen by the shivering of the lips which he had no need to open as he pressed down upon her, for they parted of themselves to give entrance to the little blind God of Love.
With one thrust he introduced himself within the precincts of Love’s temple; with another, the rod was halfway in; with the third he reached the very bottom of the den of pleasure….She was so tight that he was fairly clasped and sucked by those pulpy lips; so, after moving up and down a few times, thrusting himself always further, he crushed her down with his full weight; for both his hands were either handling her breasts, or else, having slipped them under her, he was opening her buttocks; and then, lifting her firmly upon him, he thrust a finger in her backside hole, thus wedging her on both sides, making her feel a more intense pleasure by thus sodomizing her.
After a few seconds of this little game he began to breathe strongly – to pant. The milky fluid that had for days accumulated itself now rushed out in thick jets, coursing up into her very womb. She, thus flooded, shewed her hysteric enjoyment by her screams, her tears, her sighs. Finally, all strength gave way; she fell lifeless on the couch.
He soon recovered his strength and rose. She was then recalled to her senses, but only to melt into a flood of tears . . . .
|Author||The Marquis d’Argans|
18th Century, France
|Comments||Since its very beginning almost 2000 years ago, Christianity has always had an uncomfortable relationship with human sexuality. “Sex is for procreation, not recreation”. This is the dominant Christian viewpoint. In fact, the Church tried repeatedly in various morality crusades over the centuries to stamp out the playful side of the human sex drive. However, it is testimony to the flexibility and resilience of our hormones that the Church’s effort at stamping out guilt-free sexuality would often become ‘infected’ with that same raw sexuality that it was trying to wipe out. Witness how the Christian prayers and customs as well as the ideas of sin and punishment have been eroticised in this 18th century excerpt.|
|The venerable Father Dirrag opened his fly. A throbbing arrow shot out of his trousers which looked exactly like that fateful snake which my former father confessor had warned me about so vehemently.|
The monster was as long and as thick and as heavy as the one about which the Capuchine monk had made all those dire predictions. I shivered with delightful horror. The red head of this snake seemed to threaten Eradice’s behind which had taken on a deep pink coloration because of the slaps it had received during the Bible recitation. The face of Father Dirrag perspired and was flushed a deep red.
‘And now,’ he said, ‘you must separate your soul from the senses. And if my dear daughter has not disappointed my pious hopes, she shall neither feel, nor hear, nor see anything.’
Then with his bare hand he released a torrent of slaps on Eradice’s naked buttocks. However, she did not say a word. I noticed only an occasional twitching of her bum, a sort of spasming and relaxing at the rhythm of the priest’s blows.
‘I am very satisfied with you,’ he told her after he had punished her for about five minutes in this manner. ‘The time has come when you are going to reap the fruits of your holy labours. Don’t question me, my dear daughter, but be guided by God’s will which is working through me. Throw yourself, face down, upon the floor; I will now expel the last traces of impurity with a sacred relic. It is part of the venerable rope which girded the waist of the holy Saint Francis himself.’
The good priest put Eradice in a position which was extremely fitting for what he had in mind. I had never seen my girl friend in such a beautiful position. Her buttocks were half-opened and the double path to satisfaction was wide-open.
After the old lecher had admired her for a while, he moistened his so-called rope of Saint Francis with spittle, murmured some of the priestly mumbo-jumbo which these gentlemen generally use to exorcise the devil, and proceeded to shove the rope into my friend.
I could watch the entire operation from my little hideout. The windows of the room were opposite the door of the alcove behind which Eradice had hidden me. She was kneeling on the floor, her arms were crossed over the footstool and her head rested upon her folded arms. Her skirts, which had been carefully folded up to her shoulders, revealed her marvellous buttocks and the beautiful curve of her back. This exciting view did not escape the attention of the venerable Father Dirrag. His gaze feasted upon the view for quite some time. He had clamped the legs of his penitent between his own legs, and his hands held the monstrous rope.
He lingered for some time in this devotional position and inspected the altar with glowing eyes. He seemed to be undecided how to effect his sacrifice, since there were two inviting openings. His eyes devoured both and it seemed as if he were unable to make up his mind. The top one was a well known delight for a priest, but, after all, he had also promised a taste of Heaven to his penitent. What was he to do? Several times he knocked with the tip of his tool at the gate he desired most, but finally, I must do him justice, I saw his monstrous prick disappear the natural way, after his priestly fingers had carefully parted the rosy lips of Eradice’s lovepit.
The labour started with about three forceful shoves which made him enter about halfway. And suddenly the seeming calmness of the priest changed into some sort of fury. My God, what a change! Mouth half-open, lips foam-flecked, teeth gnashing and snorting like a bull about to attack a cud-chewing cow. However, he measured his shoving very carefully, seeing to it that he never left her lovepit and also that his belly neverr touched her arse. He did not want his penitent to find out to whom the holy relic of Saint Francis was connected! What an incredible presence of mind!
I could see that about an inch of the holy tool constantly remained on the outside and never took part in the festivities. I could see that with every backward movement of the priest the red lips of Eradice’s love-nest opened and I remember clearly that the vivid pink colour was a most charming sight. However, whenever the good priest shoved forward, the lips closed and I could see only the finely curled hairs which covered them. They clamped around the priestly tool so firmly that it seemed as if they had devoured the holy arrow. It looked for all the world like both of them were connected to Saint Francis’ relic and it was hard to guess which one of the two persons was the true possessor of this holy tool.
What a sight, especially for a young girl who knew nothing about these secrets. The most amazing thoughts ran through my head, but they all were rather vague and I could not find proper words for them. I only remember that I wanted to throw myself at the feet of this famous father confessor and beg him to exorcise me the same way he was blessing my dear friend. Was this piety? Or carnal desire? Even today I could not tell you for sure.
But let us go back to our devout couple! The movements of the priest quickened; he was barely able to keep his balance. His body formed an ‘S’ from head to toe whose frontal bulge moved rapidly back and forth in a horizontal line.
‘Is your spirit receiving any satisfaction, my dear little saint?’ he asked with a deep sigh. ‘I, myself, can see Heaven open up. God’s infinite mercy is about to remove me from this vale of tears, I . . .’
‘Oh, venerable Father,’ exclaimed Eradice, ‘I cannot describe the delights that are flowing through me! Oh, yes, yes, I experience Heavenly bliss. I can feel how my spirit is being liberated from all earthly desires. Please, please, dearest Father, exorcise every last impurity remaining upon my tainted soul. I can see . . .the angels of God . . . push stronger . . . ooh . . . shove the holy relic deeper . . .deeper. Please, dearest Father, shove it as hard as you can . . . Ooooh! . . . oooh!!! Dearest holy Saint Francis . . . Ooh, good saint . . . please, don’t leave me in the hour of my greatest need . . . I feel your relic . . . it is so good . . . your . . . holy . . . relic . . . I can’t hold it any longer . . . I am . . . dying!’
The priest also felt his climax approach. He shoved, slammed, snorted and groaned. And then he stopped and pulled out. I saw the proud snake. It had become very meek and small. It crawled out of its hole, foam-covered, with hanging head.
What else shall I tell you? Dirrag left, Eradice opened the door to the alcove and embraced me, crying out, ‘Oh, my dearest Therese. Partake of my joy and delight. Yes, yes, today I have seen paradise. I have shared the delights of the angels. The incredible joy, my dearest friend, the incomparable price for but one moment of pain! Thanks to the holy rope of Saint Francis my soul almost left its earthly vessel. You have seen how my good father confessor introduced the relic into me. I swear that I could feel it touch my heart. Just a little deeper and I would have joined the saints in paradise!’
Parachutes and Kisses
|Comments||Erica Jong achieved fame in the sixties with her sexual feminist novel “Fear of Flying” that describes the sweet anonymous pleasures of the ‘zipless fuck’ and showed that a woman can be sexual, sensual, intelligent and eloquent at the same time.|
|“How delicious for a woman of thirty-nine to have a twenty-six-year-old lover; no wonder men did this for so many years – still do, in fact. The delights of playing mentor, the ego trip of being wanted by youth itself (‘I am youth, I am joy!’ cries Peter Pan), the pleasures of playing Pygmalion – all these are not inconsiderable – and they can be enjoyed if one knows enough not to take the liaison too seriously.” p.98|
|“…thing remains constant: you cannot love a cock if you do not like its owner. Oh, you can like it well enough – well enough to spasm once or twice, before rolling over and wishing the man astrally transported out of your bedroom, but your cannot clutch it, love it, trust it with your pussy, squeeze it between your labia like a miser squeezing a gold coin, rub it against your clit like a lump of butter against a bumpy bundt pan…. she could not love a cock that did not have a sense of humor, that had not read Shakespeare, that regarded pussy as a creature to be humbled – or still worse, a creature to be feared. p. 146-147|
|“Now, the English language is curiously limited where sex is concerned. It seems to be divided between latinate, medical terms like vagina or cunnulingus and Anglo-Saxonisms. Sure, there are people whose puritanical brainwashing makes them wince at the mere mention of such four letter words – but at least these words represent the language of feeling, the language of powerful emotion, while the latinate words smell of disinfectant.” p.148|
|“…all romantic love is fantasy…Once the person is tamed and domesticated, something goes out of the love.” p.263|
|“Men forfeited so much for their worldly power that their life-force, sex-force, began to leave them sooner than it left women. Women were powered by their years, by their babies, by their passage on the planet; men grew oddly depleted. So a woman of thirty-nine and a man of twenty-five met at an equal point sexually. That was the great truth the French novelists knew – but we Americans resisted. p.329|
|“Unstoppered sex brings out all the extremes within us – angel and animal, angel and ape.” p.333|
|“We are plugged into the world of spirit through our decaying, dying flesh. Sex is the motor. Skin makes the electrical connection. Those who scoff at sex, who laugh at the flesh (perhaps because it is not permanent?), do not know that it is not permanence that makes something real or unreal. Molecules change patterns, rearrange themselves – but still the dance of life goes on. Through our skins we become messengers to each others’ molecules. As long as those molecules move, we are alive.” p.376|
411 BC, Athens, Greece
|Comments||Set during the Pelopennesian War. Women punish their men for making war by refusing to make love. Though the play was created as a raucous comedy, it is nonetheless a passionate plea against the futility of war. In this scene the women make their pledge . . .|
|Excerpt||Lysistrata: What would you do for peace?|
Lampito: I would climb up Taygetus, if only I could see peace from the summit.
Calonice: And I too, even if I have to cut myself in two like a turbot and give away half
Lysistrata: Well, ladies! If we mean to force the men to keep the peace we must abstain from……
Myrrhina: From what? Speak on.
Lysistrata: But will you do it?
Myrrhina: We will do it even if it costs us our lives.
Lysistrata: Well, we must abstain from…Penis. Why do you turn away, ladies? Where are you going to? You there, why do you purse your lips and shake your heads at me? Will you or will you not do it? If not, what do you propose?
Myrrhina: I cannot do without it: let the war drag on.
Calonice: Nor I: let the war drag on.
Lysistrata: This from you, O Turbot? Just now you said you would cut yourself in half.
Calonice: Anything else, anything else you like. If necessary, I will walk through fire rather than give up the penis. There’s nothing like it, dear Lysistrata.
Lysistrata: What about you?
Lampito: I too am ready to walk through the flames.
Lysistrata: O what a hopelessly lecherous sex we are! We are the stuff of which tragedies are made, and no wonder, for we are nought but “Poseidon and a boat.” But, my dear Spartan, if you will only join me we may yet together save the situation. Do come over to my side.
Lampito: Oh, it’s hard, I mean, for women to sleep alone, without the companionship of a foreskin. Still, it must be done, I suppose, for we need peace badly.
Lysistrata: You darling, you are the only real woman here.
Myrrhina: Supposing we were to rigorously abstain from what you mention (which God forbid!) do you think we should be any nearer peace on that account?
Lysistrata: Most certainly, far nearer. If we were to sit indoors, painted and perfumed, with shaven coyntes, and without any clothes on except our petticoats of Amorgian flax, the men would get erections and be eager to lie with us. And if we repulsed them and held quite aloof from them I am certain they would very quickly make peace with one another.
Lampito: Yes, take Menelaos for example. I believe a glimpse of Helen’s naked breasts sufficed to make him drop his sword.
Myrrhina: But supposing the men leave us alone, my dear.
Lysistrata: Then love’s labour’s lost, yet there’s leather left.
Myrrhina: Those make-believe dodges are all nonsense. Supposing they take us and push us into the bedroom by main force.
Lysistrata: You must clutch hold of the door.
Myrrhina: What if they beat us?
Lysistrata: Then you must give in, but do it with a bad grace – there’s no pleasure in favours wrested by force. Bother them as much as you can, and they will very quickly get tired of it: you know a man gets no pleasure out of it unless the woman likes it too.
Myrrhina: If you two are agreed on all this, we also will join you . . . .
1970, London, England
|Comments||Though he is an American writer Henry Miller works were usually published in London because his work was banned in the U.S. for many years.|
|“If a woman is capable of inspiring love in one man she must be capable of inspiring it in others. To love or be loved is no crime. The really criminal thing is to make a person believe that he or she is the only one you could ever love. P.49|