– Notes and Quotes –
Emmanuelle Arsan (1932-2005), Emmanuelle (1967)
Airplane: winged cradle (15)
“…helpless against the temptation of that narcissistic contemplation.” (15)
sating her flesh (16)
Triangular pubis: “The lower angle was very wide, a rather rare feature that had been appreciated by Greek sculptors.” (17)
Swollen sex (17)
Bent fingers caressing (18)
Emmanuelle’s nipples through the stewardess’ blouse: “What a seductive sight!” she pressed one of the sharp nipples with her forefinger, as though she were ringing a doorbell. (22)
“Is it true,” Emmanuelle asked, “that all airline stewardesses are virgins?” (22)
“She lay back in her seat. She lifted her legs one after the other, bending and unbending her knees, working the muscles of her thighs, rubbing her ankles together with a soft rustling of nylon.”
“‘After all,’ she mused, ‘it’s not just my knees that are worth looking at, but all of my legs. No one can deny that they’re really pretty; they’re like two little brooks covered with dry leaves and swollen with perversity, amusing themselves by passing over each other. And they’re not the only good things about me. I also like my skin, and the way it turns golden in the sun, like a grain of corn, without ever reddening. I like my behind, too. And the tiny little raspberries at the tips of my breasts, with their collars of red sugar. I wish I could lick them . . .’” (23)
“His presence suddenly became agreeable to her again. She smiled and closed her eyes. She had a vague yearning for something, but did not know what. She found no other diversion than to resume rejoicing at being beautiful; her own image lingered in her head like a favorite refrain. Her heart beat faster as she sought in her mind the invisible cove that she knew to be buried under its promontory of black grass, where the two brooks came together, and she felt their current licking at its edges. When the man raised himself on one elbow and leaned toward her, she opened her eyes and let him kiss her. The taste of his lips on hers had the freshness of sea salt.” (24)
“…she wanted to enjoy it as long and completely as possible.” (26)
“She had trained yourself since childhood to prolong the pleasure of waiting.” (26)
“Deity of the ruined temple…” (28)
“…the fantastic genie of the ruined temple…” (30)
“…to seduce or be seduced.” (34)
“Her pointed little breasts were scarcely concealed by the symbolic ribbon of her bikini top. ‘They’re pretty,’ through Emmanuelle, ‘but why doesn’t she just leave them bare? They would look even better and I’m sure they wouldn’t give anyone any lewd thoughts.’” (38)
girl’s narrow hips…childish waist (38)
long thick braids, pink chest, neither straw, flax, sand, gold, platinum, silver, ash (38)
Then Emmanuelle encountered the girl’s green eyes and forgot everything else. (38)
…the groove in her flesh (44)
“‘Don’t you cares yourself?’ she asked in surprise. She leaned her head on her shoulder with a sly look, ‘I always caress myself when I read.’” (44)
“Marie-Anne dropped her magazine, arched her back, put her hands to her hips, quickly pushed her red panties down over her thighs and kicked her legs in the air until the panties were off.
“‘I like to go a long time,’ Marie-Anne went on in a tone ordinary conversation. ‘That’s why I don’t touch the top too much. It’s better to go back and forth in the crack.’” (44)
“Inclining her head again, she put her middle finger into her sex, cautiously, delicately.” (45)
“‘How do you like to cares yourself?’”
“‘Why, the same as everyone else!’”
“‘Show me.’” (45)
…the dazzling refuge of orgasm. (46)
“‘All I have to do is touch [the urethra] with my fingertip and I come immediately.’” (46)
“I like to caress myself inside my labia, where it’s wettest.’”
“‘With your fingers?’”
“‘Yes, and also with bananas.’” (46)
“‘But when I’m on vacation I have nothing else to do, so I can caress myself much more. And my life here is going to be one long vacation!’” (47)
“‘What are you thinking about, Mary-Anne?’”
“‘I’m thinking about bananas . . .’” (47)
“‘It was Jean who deflowered me.’” (48)
Jean: “‘You’re a virgin and I’m going to take you.’” (48)
“‘He made me lie on the seat of the car. The top was down and I could see the green heads of the trees.’” (48-49)
“‘I was only seventeen, and barely out of school.’” (49)
Emmanuelle studying math at university: “‘I love math.’” (50)
Marie-Anne on Emmanuelle’s fidelity: “‘How can you prove it?’” Marie-Anne challenged in the acid tone question of a quarrelsome child.” (51)
Marie-Anne: “‘It’s incredible that you’ve gotten this old without ever having ahd anything but those worthless little adventures in your windowless airplane.’ She shook her head sadly. ‘You’re not normal, take my word for it.’” . . . . “‘From now on, will you at least do what I tell you?’” (54)
Marie-Anne: “‘At exactly midnight tonight, caress yourself again. I’ll be doing the same thing at the same time.’” (55)
Emmanuelle giving Jean head: “Jean told her that she looked as if she were eating an ear of corn and she bit him lightly with her teeth to complete the analogy.” (55-56)
“‘. . . I have a feeling that in love there must be something more important, more intelligent than simply knowing how to make it well.’” (58)
“‘I know there’s some kind of progress I have to make, something I lack and have to find before I can be a real woman, your wife.’” . . . . “‘The first thing I have to do is to become more intelligent. You see, I don’t know anything. I’m too virginal.’” (58-59)
“‘Am I dead?’”
‘No. I’m your life.’” (60)
“Ariane calmly examined her prisoner’s charms. ‘You’re build divinely!’ she said with admiration.” (64)
“Ariane shrugged. ‘I know you well enough! I don’t need to keep you under prolonged observation to know that you’re beautiful to stun both men and women.’” (67)
Thai bath/massage: “Emmanuelle shivered as the sponge swollen with later moved between her legs.” (70)
Ariane: “‘The walls are supposed to be soundproof,’ Ariane said as they were leaving together, ‘but I heard you right through them. Now I hope you won’t ever try to tell me you prefer mathematics.’” (71)
Emmanuelle: “‘Do you think a woman can make love with men as often as she can make herself come by her own efforts?’”
Marie-Anne: “‘Why not?’”
Emmanuelle: “‘Listen, it’s tiring to be taken by a man!’”
Marie-Anne: “‘And caressing yourself never tires you?’”
Marie-Anne: “‘How often do you do it now?’”
Emmanuelle: “Emmanuelle smiled modestly. ‘I did it a lot yesterday. At least fifteen times, I think.’” (72)
“Marie-Anne always undressed as soon as she arrived.” (72)
“When she noted the ease with which she resigned herself to knowing nothing, or almost nothing, about Marie-Anne, Emmanuelle realized that she had more cerebral and physical enjoyment from giving another girl a lewd spectacle than she would have gotten from witnessing it herself. She eagerly look forward to Marie-Anne’s arrival every day, but it was now less for the excitement of seeing her naked or watching her lascivious games than for the infinitely more scandalous, and therefore more delectable, excitement of caressing herself, stretched out on her deck chair, before her friend’s attentive gaze. Marie-Anne was gone, the spell was not broken – Emmanuelle would imagine her green eyes fixed on her sex and continue masturbating until evening.” (73-74)
Ariane: “‘Are you wearing a brassiere?’ inquired Ariane.”
Emmanuelle: “‘I never wear one. I don’t even own one.’” (81)
Ariane kissed she had never been kissed before – very deeply, exploring her lips, her tongue, all the heights and hollows of her mouth, her palate, her teeth, without neglecting the slightest surface, and for so long that she never knew whether that kiss had lasted minutes or hours. (82-83)
“As soon as they were in her bedroom, Emmanuelle pulled off her clothes as hastily as if they’d been on fire.” (90)
“Stop, moment: thou art so beautiful!”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust)
Christopher: “‘That . . . what do you call it? . . . that gift she has . . . others may sense it . . . They may be tempted to . . . try to take advantage of it . . . take her away from you.’”
Jean: “‘No one can take something away from me that doesn’t belong to me,’ Jean said as if this were self-evident. ‘She’s not my property. She’s not my beauty.’”
“Christopher was puzzled.”
“‘I didn’t marry her to own her,’ Jean added.” (97)
Diaphanous panties, seldom worn
Sensation of caressing
Under a loose skirt
A dress tight
From midriff to bumbliss (109)
“‘Art is made of the wasting away of being.’”
“‘Every conceived object is stillborn.’”
“‘I was taught the opposite – that only robust art has eternity . . .’” (113)
Ariane: “‘Here you are again, Immaculate Virginia!’ she cried. ‘I thought you were mortifying your flesh in some haven of penitence.’”
Emmanuelle: “‘Quite the contrary,’ Emmanuelle replied in the same tone. ‘A Prince of Darkness was comparing my laugh to the art of a strip tease.’” (118)
Golden Priapus (119)
Thou didst create night and I made the lamp,
Thou didst create clay and I made the cup,
Thou didst create the deserts, mountains, and forests,
I produced the orchards, gardens, and groves;
It is I who turn stone into a mirror,
And it is I who turn poison into an antidote.
— Mohammed Iqbal
Mario: “‘You’re beautiful,’ he said without grandiloquence.”
Emmanuelle: “‘That’s the least of it,’ she replied politely.” (124)
A faux aplomb prince
To the art
Of the strip tease,
A mellow piquant aesthetic
Of golden Priapus
The shadows of her skirt
Denied of crossing,
As coastline waves (128)
Doomed to meet
Only those with no gift
For ambiguous tongues
To be debauched
Not to philosophize
“He was apparently incapable, unfortunately, of speaking a single word in French. ‘That seems to be my fate,’ Emmanuelle told herself ironically. ‘I’m doomed to meet only globetrotters who have no gift for foreign tongues.’ The ambiguity of the word ‘tongues’ secretly amused her and goaded her to lascivious thoughts.” (129)
Mario: “‘You mustn’t grant everything to the same person,’ he said in the tone of someone teaching a difficult truth.” (131)
“After all, she told herself, the goal of that evening was clear – she had come ther to be debauched, not to philosophize.” (134)
Eros: aesthetic god, god of love/eroticism (134)
“‘Isn’t it more pleasant to have illusions?’” (135)
“‘Do they tempt you?’” (136)
“‘Not really.’” (136)
“‘Your eroticism sounds like a kind of asceticism! Is it really worth going to all that trouble?’
‘It’s worth a thousand times more! If only for the pleasure of flouting our monsters. To begin with, the most hideous of all—stupidity and cowardice, those two Hydras so dear to men! To men who have never confessed themselves so well as in Hobbes’ cry, truer each morning after three centuries: ‘The single passion of my life will have been fear!’ Fear of being different. Fear of thinking. Fear of being happy. All those fears that are antipoetry and have become the values of the world—conformity, respect for taboos and rites, hatred of imagination, refusal of novelty, masochism, malevolence, envy, pettiness, hypocrisy, lying, cruelty, shame. In a word, evil! The true enemy of eroticism is the spirit of evil.’
‘And to think that I believed some people called eroticism what others simply called vice!’ Emmanuelle mused ironically.
“‘Vice, you say? What do you mean by that word? ‘Vice’ means ‘defect.’ Eroticism, like all the other works of Man . . .’” (137)
A blaze of glory,
A spray of atoms,
To mathematics and ballerina tights!
Mad for knowledge
Wary and wise (139)
Boötes, Libra, Virgo,
The lust for life
Is but a bronzed
On a beach of fire (140)
The only art
That fits spaceman
Is eroticism (141)
And the molecule,
Escaping the garden
In uproarious laughter
At the failure
Of creationist plans (141)
“. . . it seemed senseless to waste time building a new morality on the ruins of the old one.” (144-145)
“There was no morality anywhere, not even an ‘erotic’ one, she thought, that could be better than no morality at all.” (145)
Emmanuelle: “‘No, I don’t think that way,’ said Emmanuelle. ‘But you must admit that your own confidence is also a faith. A kind of religion.’” (147)
Mario: “‘I may die, but I’ll know that it’s my weakness and not my honor.’” (148)
“‘We’ll find our world in some haven of space-time; it will be our love and our reason. And we’ll spend the long vigils of our illusionless lives listening to the din of the quasars. We’ll be happy . . .’ He fell silent.” (148)
Emmanuelle: “‘Let me remind you that a little while ago you put the gift of eroticism on the same level as the gift of poetry. That means it can’t be acquired by will or intelligence. If it wasn’t given to you by nature when you were born, you’ll never get it, no matter how hard you try.’” (153)
Mario: “‘What a common illusion that is!’” “‘No man is born a poet. No people is born a chosen people. No one is born anything. One must learn. Our way of becoming men, of mutating into men, is to reject our ignorance and our myths, like a hermit crab casting off its old shell, and don the truth like a new garment. Thus we can be indefinitely born and reborn. With each ‘abrupt mutation,’ we’ll be more human and we’ll remake our world to suit out pleasure better. ‘Learning’ is learning to enjoy. Ovid already said it, as you’ll recall: ‘Ignoti nulla cupido!’” (153) (you cannot desire what you do not know), Nihil volitum nisi praecognitum (Nothing is wanted that was not previously known.)
Mario, eroticism: “It must at the very least be something that breaks the habit. A pleasure ceases to have an artistic quality if it’s a usual pleasure. Only the nonbanal, the exceptional, the unfamiliar have value. Nothing can be truly erotic that isn’t unusual.’” (154)
Mario: “‘Unlike the inventions of science, the intentions of art lose nothing from having been already made! What does it matter if a horse has already been drawn by the Chinese or the cavemen of Lascaux? The first time my fingers extract a horse from the tenderness my vision, he carries me on his four legs as far as the universe interest me. That is, let me say passing, as long as he and I can be seen together, as long as I can show him off. We need society to look at us. There can be no happy art without a spectator.’” (156)
Mario: “‘You’re afraid that habit does pleasure. You’re right. But don’t we have the gays of others to open up new horizons for us?’” (156)
The laws of eroticism: Unusual, Asymmetry (156), Numbers (163)
The great law:
Emmanuelle: “‘That all time spent doing anything but taking pleasure ‘artfully,’ always in different arms is wasted. Is that it?’” (156)
Mario: “‘The quality of your pleasure will arise from increasing the number of your partners, rather than making them replace one another. Eros hides his secrets from fickle hearts! What good does it do to give yourself if it’s only to take yourself back? The world will not become greater for you.’” (157)
Emmanuelle, The art of pleasure: “‘All time spent on anything but the art of pleasure, in increasingly numerous arms, is wasted’?” (157)
Mario: “‘…it takes at least two to love, while one can have pleasure alone.’” (158)
Mario: “‘Adultery is also erotic. The triangle redeems the banality of the pair. No eroticism is possible for a couple without the addition of a third party. It’s true that the third party is nearly always there! If not in person, at least in the mind of one of the partners.’” (159)
Mario: “‘The lover’s natural place is in the middle of the couple. Although the truth is that a real artist will always prefer several spectators to one.’” (160)
Mario: “‘The pitfall of eroticism is sensuality.’” (161)
Paradox vs entropy
Pit(y)fall and real(m)
Emmanuelle: “‘What you advocate, then, on the pretext of eroticism is depriving yourself of love-making, for fear it would make you have an orgasm! I think I’m going to stick to my original opinion—I don’t give a damn about morality. Or about eroticism, either, if it requires so much virtue! I’d rather have as many orgasms as I want. And as many as I can. I’d rather give my body all the pleasure it loves. I don’t want to measure myself out in little doses, even if it does give my mind some sort of perverse excitement!’” (162)
Mario: “‘. . . don’t confuse the idea of coitus with that of the couple.’” (162)
Emmanuelle: “‘The thirty-two positions?’ she asked sardonically.
Mario: “‘Absurd! Eroticism isn’t a question of postures. It arises from situations.’” (167)
Emmanuelle: “Emmanuelle burst out laughing, but she was more deeply impressed than she was willing to admit. ‘When my husband wants to make love with me, should I say to him, ‘Impossible, there are only two of us’?”
Mario: “‘That would be a sensible attitude,’ Mario said seriously. ‘But, as I’ve told you, when the third party can’t be there physically, it’s your brain’s duty to conjure him up.’” (167)
Emmanuelle: “‘I’ll have to be careful not to call two phantoms into my bed at once,’ she mocked. ‘That would make an even number and ruin the whole thing!’” (168)
Emmanuelle: “‘There are some girls, it’s true, who won’t let themselves be conquered. But that’s their misfortune!’” (171)
Mario: “‘Are you ready to give yourself this evening, Emmanuelle?’”
“It was the first time he had called her by her name.” (176)
Mario: “‘It’s because he’s taught you to love what’s beautiful. To love the wonder of physical pleasure given by the penetration of a man’s body into the depths of yours. He’s taught you that love is the dazzling of the senses that you feel when a man’s nakedness crushes yours. That which gives life its constantly reborn splendor is the movement of your hands toward your shoulders to make your dress fall down to your waist and uncover your breasts, and the movement of your hands toward your hips to make your dress fall down to your feet and turn you into a statue more adorable than any dream. He’s taught you that beauty is not in the guarding of your body, but in its offering; not in your waiting for other hands to undress you, but in the haste and freedom of your own fingers creating a reality more human than the heritage of matter.’” (179)
Mario: “‘ad augusta per angusta’” “through difficulties to greatness” (180)
Statue of Genghis Khan: “While her imagination, swifter than her reason, was building a world of phantasms, a nervous laugh showed that she had not lost her head completely.” (187)
“‘You’re not going to make me smoke opium, are you?’” . . . . “‘And what if I . . . take a liking to it?’” (190)
Mario: “‘Nothing at all. In the first place, opium doesn’t make you dream, it makes you lucid and frees you of all bodily miseries and mental fetters. Secondly, before you could feel any effect at all, you’d have to smoke several pipes.” (194)
Mario: “‘My dear,’ retorted Mario, ‘I’m going to tell you a very grave secret. Taken in excess, opium deprives its smoker of a large part of their male ardor. And, as you know, we haven’t come here for the pleasures of the mind, but for those of the flesh.’” (195)
Comely lads, girls, salacious films
Mario: “He resumed his negotiations, then reported to them: I told her we wanted some boys between twelve and fifteen years old, endowed with nimble tongues, classic buttocks, unfailing endurance, robust members, and rich sap.’” (196)
When she got her hands on her again, she would make her swallow her pigtails!
“Why is Quentin so fascinated with boys?” she attacked. “It wasn’t very nice of him to desert us like that.”
She was about to add, with sudden rancor, that he had not seemed so disgusted with women while he was caressing her legs, but Mario did not give her time.
“For a man of taste, the love of boys will always have a quality that the love of women has only in exceptional cases—the quality of abnormality. It, therefore, fits the definition of a work of art that I recalled to you earlier this evening. For me, making love with a boy is erotic insofar as it’s against nature, as imbeciles rightly proclaim.”
“Are you sure it’s not simply in your nature?”
“Yes, I’m sure. I like women. For a long time, going to bed with a man was hard for me to conceive of. Then I made myself listen to reason. I tried it for the first time last year. Needless to say, I was glad I did. As you can see, it took a long time for even my mind to develop!”
Emmanuelle was suffering from conflicting emotions. She wondered, in particular, how much of Mario’s allegations she ought to believe. “And since your first experience, have you often practiced that . . . art?”
“I’m always careful to let things keep their rarity. Bis repetita placent—as you know, the opposite is true!”
“But,” she insisted, “have you also loved women during the past year?”
He burst out laughing. “What a question! Do I look like a paragon of chastity?”
“Many women?” she wanted to know.
“Not as many, certainly, as the lovers I’d have had if I’d been lucky enough to be a pretty girl.” He added, with a smile of homage to Emmanuelle, “And not as many as the
Bis repetita placent (twice repeated please; do not do what has already been done)
mistresses I’d have had, either!”
This answer did not satisfy her; she became impatient. “Which do you like best?” she asked almost angrily.
Mario stopped. They had reached the place where the clearing gave way to the bridge of planks. He took her by the shoulders and drew her toward him; she thought he was going to kiss her.
“I love what’s beautiful!” he said forcefully. “And what’s beautiful is never something that’s already been done and it’s never something easy. It’s something that you make out of life for the first time, with an act of yourself and the act of someone else, and that you throw toward the infinite before it has time to take on its dead form.”
Man and woman—another world in the midst of the created world.
“What’s beautiful is what didn’t exist before you and wouldn’t have existed without you and will never again be in your power when the injustice of death has felled you on this earth that you loved.”
Haughty in their solitary knowledge. Strong in their exemplary designs.
“What’s beautiful is the moment that was nothing and that you have made unforgettable. It’s the person who was nothing and whose singular form you have lifted up against the amorphousness of destiny and the multitude.”
Straying leaders leading astray, abolishing the map of ready-made roads.
“What’s beautiful is to surmount your pieties toward your nation and your time, your fear of shocking them and being censured, so that a new species will be born of your refusal
to be like your meek fathers, your faceless mothers, your hypocritical brothers, and your fashion-enslaved sisters.”
They are different—but from what ugliness?
They are deviants—but from what stupidity?
They are strangers—but to what herd?
They are beaten—but for what a revenge!
They are exiled—but to what a future!
“What’s beautiful is to hasten to discover, to make you leap without weighing the dangers or remembering past sweetnesses, it’s doing what you’ve never tried before and will never experience again, because the days and nights of your life will be only those which you’ve enriched with an extraordinary act. And is there anyone in heaven or on earth who can give you back the days and nights you’ve lost?”
The moonlight petrifies them; the statue of Mario holds the image of a woman in its hands.
“What’s beautiful is to try everything and refuse nothing, to be capable of knowing everything. Innumerable bodies in our likeness, men or women, ‘heaven or hell, it matters not . . . to the depths of the unknown to find the new!’ “
At the four corners of the crossroads, empty footbridges, straight, unreal, all alike.
“What’s beautiful is what never has the same taste twice and has the taste of nothing else.”
Black hair on bare shoulders between the condottiere’s fingers.
“What’s beautiful is to be the opposite of the gregarious, skittish, lazy animal that you were born.”
The Tartar hero’s burly figure hides the moon.
“What’s beautiful is to refuse to let yourself stop, sit down, fall asleep, or look back.”
The hours of the night have turned, the steel stars revolve out of sight in the brightened sky.
“What’s beautiful is to say no to the temptation that immobilizes you, binds you, or limits you. And to say yes, always yes, however weary you may be, to the temptation that multiplies you and drives you forward and forces you to do more than is sufficient or necessary and more than others are content to do.”
Yellow light from the half-opened door: shadows go in, shadows come out. Night without sleep.
“What’s beautiful is to find a new cause of astonishment every day, a reason for wonder, a pretext for effort and victory over the temptation of the acquired and over the satiation and sadness of age.”
My heart opens to your voice . . .
“What’s beautiful is to change, tirelessly. Because every change is an advance, every permanence a grave. Contentment and resignation are a single despair, and anyone who stops and gives up becoming something else has already opted for death.”
The gong of a temple, muffled by the din of the insects.
“You’re always free, of course, to prefer the peace of tombs, to embalm yourself in the mediocrity of an existence without desires, like a wax virgin in her jeweled shrine.”
Mario: “‘I never tire of the beauty of your legs,’ said Mario. ‘The beauty of your long, lithe legs . . .’”
Emmanuelle: “‘I thought you quickly tired of everything.’” (204)
Priapus, temple, phalluses/religious effigies/priapic fruit, honor one with her hands, afraid he might ask her to use it as a dildo, hoped to make it ejaculate, almost regretted not being able to use her lips, Mario gets turned on, she helps him with his hard, gets him off, he shoots onto some of the dangling effigies, asks Emmanuelle which of the spectators she would prefer, he calls a boy over when she’dve preferred the guy from the bridge of planks with the longest member she’d ever seen, “‘Suck and drink,’ Mario ordered in a matter-of-fact tone.” (205-208)
“A kind of pride urged her to treat the boy in a way that would leave him an indelible memory.” (209)
She gets the boy off, plays with herself, and afterward Mario kisses her for the first time.
Mario: “‘It’s very important for a woman,’ he commented thoughtfully, ‘to drink sperm often, and from many and varied sources.’ His voice suddenly became ardent: ‘You must do all that because you’re beautiful.’” (210)
Mario commenting on Emmanuelle giving him a handjob in the sam-lo:
slipped her hand inside his trousers and took hold of his sleeping penis. Only then did she begin breathing again.
“That’s good, Emmanuelle!” he said. “I’m very proud of you.”
“Yes. Your act deserves to be admitted into the kingdom of eroticism, because convention requires men to take the initiative and women to follow their lead. A woman who makes the first move, at a time when a man isn’t expecting it at all, creates an erotic situation of the highest value. Bravo!”
She felt in her hand that his approval was not purely moral.
“Remember that principle in other circumstances,” he went on, “and you’ll always find it to your advantage. Needless to say, however, it’s subject to the clause of novelty, according to the rule.”
“What do you mean?” she asked. She began caressing him gently.
“If you’re a gentleman’s habitual mistress and you take off your clothes in front of him, even if he hasn’t asked you to, there’s nothing unexpected in it. And therefore there’s no eroticism in it. But if your ambassador introduces you, during lunch, to a diplomat who’s passing through Bangkok, and asks you to take him to see the temple of the Reclining Buddha; and if, afterward, having invited him to have a cup of tea in your parlor, to refresh himself after his guided tour of the city, you sit down beside him on your best white silk sofa and casually take off your blouse, shaking your hair in a perfectly natural way, that spontaneous act will leave an imperishable mark in his memory. On his deathbed, his last thoughts will be of you, and it will be your image that comes to haunt him and console him. After
that beginning, of course, a whole range of possibility I open to you. Or you can provisionally stop there and, with your breasts bare, ceremoniously pour him a cup of tea without neglecting to ask how many lumps of sugar In usually takes. There’s a good chance that he won’t be able to remember. That, moreover, is how you’ll know what’s most appropriate to do next. If he answers ‘eight,’ or ‘fourteen,’ or ‘an inch,’ don’t expect him to take the next step; give him two lumps and move closer to him. Then proceed as you’ve just done with me and ask him whether he prefers to ejaculate before or after drinking his tea, and wherein your hand, your mouth, or his cup. What happens from then on doesn’t matter much. The climate has been created. And the masterpiece, as you like to say, is off to a good start. If, on the other hand, your visitor still has some semblance of composure, leave it to him to do the right thing, that is, to grab you and behave like the wild beast that you’ve unleashed in him; it will be entirely to your benefit.
“On another occasion, for the sake of variety, you’ll take off not only your blouse, but all your other clothes as well, without ever losing your urbane manner or showing even the most fleeting emotion. When you’ve taken hold of your skirt with your left hand, stepped out of it with your long ballerina legs and sedately dropped it onto a footstool, and when you’ve taken off your panties, if you’re wearing any, and safely tucked them away in the vase of orchids, you’ll sit down again to the left of your visitor and lean back on the cushions of the sofa with a gracious smile. If he turns out to be paralyzed with astonishment, you’ll tell him, to put him at ease, how you were raped the day before by two plumbers armed with wrenches, and how much pleasure you got from it. Give him a long description of your tormentors’ organs and the liberties they took with your body.
If he still doesn’t move, masturbate in front of him.
“And finally, on a third occasion, with another distinguished visitor, you won’t undress, but as you’re lifting the teapot, and before asking him about the sugar, you’ll say to him quite simply, ‘Shall we make love after we’ve had our tea?’ If, by any chance, he should decline, on the pretext of an old wound, a vow he made at the bedside of his Carmelite godmother, or an article of the Code of Hammurabi that forbids ejaculation before sundown, you’ll answer in a proper tone, without showing any resentment, ‘You’re right. I can’t imagine what came over me just now. When I married my husband I promised to be faithful to him, and since I’ve never deceived him it wouldn’t be fitting for me to begin today.’ The imbecile will be desolate at having missed his chance to have the rare pearl that you are. If he changes his mind, be intractable. If he tries to abuse your innocence, call the police and see to it that he’s given the maximum sentence. No jury will give credence to the wild assertions he’ll make in his defense-the truth!”
Emmanuelle was delighted by the size to which Mario’s member had grown as the result of her nursing. Nevertheless, she said to him, without trying to attenuate her sarcasm: “If I remember correctly, Professor, I made a similar offer to you less than an hour ago. Since you’ve insultingly rejected me, I’m going to turn you over to the first policeman I see.”
He gave her a kindly smile. “I adore your hand; don’t change your way of using it. My dear, you mustn’t try to make yourself seem more foolish than you are. You know very well that our relations have nothing in common with the situation I’ve described to you.”
She could not see where the difference lay, unless it was in the absence of tea. But she was in no mood or condition
to argue: the caresses she was giving him had inflamed her own senses; even the jolting of the springless rickshaw on the rough street added to her pleasure.
“The sam-lo doesn’t know the sight he’s missing,” remarked Mario.
He whistled. The sam-lo turned around; his eyes went from one of his passengers to the other, and brightened with a broad smile.
“He likes us,” noted Emmanuelle.
“Yes, we’ve found an accomplice. It’s not surprising, because he’s handsome. There’s an international freemasonry of beauty. A certain number of things are permitted only to those who are beautiful. Montherlant once pointed out quite rightly, in a letter to Pierre Brasseur, that ‘licentiousness is not at all vulgarity; it is prudishness that is vulgarity.’ “
“Courteline said it before him: ‘True modesty consists in hiding what is not beautiful,’ “ quoted Emmanuelle, rather proud of her erudition.
“Are you ashamed of your breasts, then?”
“Oh, no!” With the hand that was not caressing Mario, she pulled her sweater out of her skirt and began taking it off. He helped her. For a moment she had to let go of his erect organ, but it was only a brief interlude.
“Now I wish we’d meet someone,” he said.
“Isn’t the sam-lo good enough as a witness?” she pleaded, in spite of herself.
“He’s no longer a witness, he’s a participant.”
He whistled again and the Thai looked back from his saddle. He seemed keenly affected by Emmanuelle’s near-nakedness and the rickshaw swerved sharply. All three laughed loudly. Emmanuelle felt as if she were a little drunk. It was too late for it to be the effect of the brandy.
Mario’s wish was granted. A car passed them and slowed
down abruptly. Emmanuelle thought it was going to stop and her heart skipped a beat. But it went on. It had been impossible to distinguish the faces of the occupants.
“Some of your friends, perhaps?” Mario suggested cruelly.
She made no reply. Her throat was constricted. She preferred to think only of caressing him well. Another rickshaw came toward them, with two American sailors crowded into it. They screeched like peacocks when they discovered the spectacle. Mario and Emmanuelle pretended not to see or hear them. The sailors gesticulated desperately, trying to stop the two vehicles, but neither driver showed any reaction and they both continued pedaling at a steady rate.
“I’m sorry there’s no cup,” Emmanuelle said. “Where would you prefer to ejaculate, in my hand or mouth?”
Mario did not answer immediately. She leaned down and took him first between her lips, then deeply into her mouth. She heard him reciting:
“ ‘Continue till I say to you,
“Alas, I can’t hold back, my love!
Alas, dear God, I can’t hold back!”
Then withdraw your little mouth
To let me, dying, heave a sigh
Before you bring me to the end.’ “
Curiosity made her interrupt her work; she straightened up and asked, “Did you make up that amorous poem?”
“Absolutely not. It’s from La Premiere Journee de la Bergerie, by one of your sixteenth-century compatriots, Remy Belleau.”
“Good heavens!” she said, laughing.
Before she had time to get back into position, they stopped in front of the gate of Mario’s garden.
He slipped away from her hands, leapt out of the rickshaw and buttoned his trousers. She also got out, bin did not judge it necessary to put on her sweater; she held ii in her hand, along with her purse. Her breasts showed an admirable curvature in the moonlight.
He opened the gate. The sam-lo was now standing beside his rickshaw with no visible emotion, apparently waiting to be paid. All at once, Mario jumped onto the seat and swiftly pedaled the vehicle into the garden before the Thai could make a move. Emmanuelle and the sam-lo looked at each other and burst out laughing at the same time. He was not at all upset by Mario’s prank; for the moment, in fact, he seemed much more concerned with admiring Emmanuelle’s contours than with recovering his property. She was the first to go after the runaway. She found him standing in front of the log steps of his house, exultant, holding the rickshaw by the handlebars.
“What a madman you are!” she reprimanded him tenderly.
“I also love your breasts,” he said, as though announcing a decision that he had reached after long reflection. “I’m lucky!”
She was more flattered than she was willing to admit. The sam-lo rejoined them, smiling, and without haste. Mario spoke to him—a real speech, with intonations, silences, and eloquent effects. She wondered what he could be saying. The sam-lo’s face showed nothing that she could use as a basis for conjecture. Suddenly he replied, looking at her at the same time. Mario resumed his discourse. The Thai nodded.
“There, it’s settled, and I’ve found my hero!” said Mario. “Another example of how a man will sometimes go far away in search of what he could easily have found in front of his door!”
“What? Do you mean …”
“Of course. Don’t you deem him worthy of my favors?”
This time, Emmanuelle felt almost on the verge of weeping. Mario’s graciousness during their ride had made her forget his previous rebuffs. More or less consciously, she had been expecting him to take her in his arms as soon as they were inside his house. She was ready to spend the rest of the night there if he asked her to, and had given up all thought of going home. He could have done with her whatever he wanted, and now it turned out that he wanted nothing! The only thing he had in mind was to find a young man for his bed! She looked at the sam-lo; her eyes were so blurred with tears that she could not see him distinctly. Was he really so handsome? She recalled having thought that he had the face of a boxer . . .
“Don’t begin tormenting yourself in advance again, cam!” Mario said gaily, interrupting, as usual, her somber reflections. “I have a marvelous idea, you’ll see. Once again you’ll be grateful to me. Come in, hurry.”
He opened the door and drew her inside, holding her by the waist. She yielded to him without ceasing to sulk. She had had enough of his ideas. Even so, she was glad to return to the drawing room with its areas of light and shadow, the red leather sofa, and the spicy smell of the khlong. There did not seem to be many boats passing now. It was so late—or so early! She suddenly felt sleepy. What a night!
Mario brought enormous glasses containing crystals sparkling in a green liquid. “Peppermint on the rocks,” he announced. “That will put new life into my beloved!”
His beloved? The word brought a faint, bitter smile to her lips. The sam-lo was standing rather stiffly in the middle of the room. He took, with obvious embarrassment, the glass that Mario handed him. They all three drank in silence. Emmanuelle was so thirsty that she emptied her glass all at once. Mario was right; she felt herself reviving. He abruptly sat down beside her, put his arms around her and kissed her left breast.
“I’m going to take you,” he said. He waited to judge the effect of this declaration.
She was too stunned to show any reaction. Furthermore, she was not convinced.
“But I’m going to take you through this handsome faun. I’m using the word ‘through’ in its literal sense, that is, I’m going to traverse him to reach you. I’m going to possess you as you’ve never been possessed before, and as I’ve never before possessed a woman. You’ll belong to me more than anyone has ever belonged to anyone else. Do I have your consent?”
She did not understand what he meant, or perhaps she was unwilling to understand. But it did not occur to her for an instant that she should or could refuse. Whatever Mario asked of her was right, and she accepted it. The only thing she had dreaded was that he might ask nothing of her.
“Do whatever you like with me,” she said.
For the second time, he kissed her on the lips. Now she was completely happy. And impatient for him to exercise his power over her.
“Your first lover!” he said elatedly. “You’re going to have your first lover tonight!”
She was ashamed of having deceived him, of not having admitted her adventures in the plane to him. But was it important? In a sense, because for the first time she was giving
her entire consent, because with total lucidity, with full awareness, with premeditation, she wanted to be an adulteress, he really would be her first lover.
“The first of many?” he asked, as though to be make sure she had assimilated his teachings.
“Yes,” she answered.
How wonderful it was to abandon herself so completely! A woman who gave herself to only one man could know nothing of the step that Emmanuelle was now taking in promising all of herself to many men, an unlimited number of men. No other woman could ever be as adulterous as she was at that moment. Who else could perform the miracle of deceiving her husband, for the first time, with all the men who would want her in the future?”
“You’ll never refuse yourself again?” he insisted.
She shook her head. She thought, “If he orders me to give myself to ten men tonight, I’ll do it.”
He asked her to give herself only to the sam-lo. She took off her skirt and remained on the sofa, leaning back against the thick cushions, whose softness delighted her. She held her legs apart, with her heels resting on the rug, and put her arms around the sam-lo’s back as he cautiously began penetrating her. When he was completely inside her, Mario, who till now had been sitting next to her, embracing her, stood up and placed himself behind the sam-lo. His hands seized him by the sides and she felt them touching hers.
She heard moans of pleasure escaping from Mario. Sometimes they were almost shouts.
“Now I’m in you,” he said. “I’m piercing you with a sword twice as sharp as that of common men. Do you feel it?”
“Yes. I’m happy.”
The sam-lo’s hard penis withdrew three-quarters of its
length from her, returned inexorably and resumed its movements at a more rapid pace. Without worrying about whether she had Mario’s permission to yield to orgasm, sin screamed immediately and her body writhed on the ill leather. The two men joined their wails to hers. Their compound cry slashed through the night, and dogs answered it in the distance with a chorus of endless barking. But they took no notice of it. They existed in another world. The trio seemed to be regulated by an inner harmony, like the-works of a watch. They had succeeded in forming a profound unity, without fissures, more perfect than any couple could have achieved. The sam-lo’s hands pressed Emmanuelle’s breasts and she sobbed with pleasure, arching her back to let him enter her more deeply, panting that she was happier than she could stand and begging him to tear her, not to spare her, to come in her.
Mario sensed that the sam-lo’s endurance was inexhaustible, but he himself could hold back no longer. He sank his fingernails into his partner’s flesh, as though giving him a signal. The two men ejaculated simultaneously, the sam-lo into the depths of Emmanuelle’s body, feeling himself invaded at the same time by another outpouring. Emmanuelle screamed louder than she had ever screamed before, as the acrid taste of the semen that was inundating her rose in her throat. Her voice reverberated from the surface of the black water and no one could have said to whom her cry was addressed:
“I’m in love! I’m in love! I’m in love!”