Thursday, September 10, 2009

Interesting Quote...

"Eroticism differs from animal sexuality in that human sexuality is limited by taboos and the domain of eroticism is that of the transgression of these taboos. Desire in eroticism is the desire that triumphs over the taboo. It presupposes man in conflict with himself."

- Georges Bataille

Hmm... seems familiar, no?


mark said...

This is an interesting quote, but I'm not sure I agree with it entirely.

While I would agree that the difference between human sexuality & animal sexuality is our consciousness, or in this case, self-consciousness, I'm not sure that in all cases it is really related to taboo.

As a pervert from birth, I am no expert on what vanilla folks finding compelling, but I don't get the sense they see sex as always taboo. Some see it as simply pleasurable or natural or a means of connection/intimacy, etc. While I think the idea of taboo may make vanilla sex more exciting, especially for younger people, I'm not sure it is necessarily a primary source for its eroticism.

I would say that the sense of kink being taboo and a transgression of norms does play some part in the pleasure/eroticism that I derive from BDSm, but I'm not sure it is the only reason I find it exciting. As a life long fetishist, I can't actually put my finger on exactly why I find my desires so erotic, but as I said I don't it is only the sense it being taboo.

Anonymous said...

I want to have my throat slashed while violating the girl to whom I will have been able to say: you are the night.

Mistress Veronica NYC said...


While I rarely think that a philosopher fully encapsulates in a phrase what the essence of something is or is not- I feel like Bataille makes an important point. Whether talking about "vanilla" sex or not. I mean, I think that many of us try to make a distinction between "us" (BDSMers) and "them", partly in a way to separate ourselves from the "normals"- a natural tendency when a group feels marginalized or threatened.

I feel like sexuality is much more fluid than it's given it credit for, and in that sense, we cannot really separate BDSM from vanilla sex too much. What I mean by this is: When does something cross over from vanilla into kinky? When someone spanks you during an orgasm? When someone pinches your nipples? While it is clear that some things are just out there, I don't like the "us" vs. "them" attitude many BDSMers take.

I also don't think that Bataille meant to say that people are cognizant of the role taboos play in their own sexuality. That, or perhaps people think about things that they do not have the courage or opportunity to act out. So- actually being able to prove whether or not taboo figures into most people's sexuality would be impossible. There is a reason why tranny and ass-play porn are two of the most popular genres.

Then there's the final question I have, which is: how does one define a taboo? The more widely you define it, the more possibility there is that Bataille would be onto something. It is sort of subjective, is it not? Could it be that kinksters define taboos more narrowly than vanilla people? Merriam-Webster defines it as something that is: "banned on grounds of morality or taste". Surely, what specifically qualifies as amoral is purely subjective. When I think of taboo subjects, that includes: racial stuff, child porn, incest porn, and bestiality. To someone who is a bit more rigidly or conventionally "moral", perhaps the list would be longer.

If you think about it this way, then Bataille's theory would qualify for "vanilla" people as well.

advochasty said...

Actually, what I really like about the quote is the notion that eroticism triumphs over the taboo. So much about my connection to my own sexuality is about redemption and deliverance.

Not that what I'm "triumphing" over is taboo or "bad" per se, but I have spent a lot of my life feeling marginalized or threatened because of my desires. So I like his thought about triumph.

I've felt lots of conflict with myself in my life.

The conflict is a dimmer voice these day though.

Cool quote. Thought provoking thoughts as well. Such a smarty...


DSC said...

hmm.. so if you have no taboos.. you're not erotic?..

Mistress Veronica NYC said...


I feel like Bataille saw this "triumph" is the actual act of "transgression", not necessarily as a redemptive act. However, I like your version better.


I am not sure if he meant it to be so black and white, but I just ordered Story of the Eye, and Eroticism, so will get back to you on that.

DSC said...

I just wonder, because it would seem a valid point that without mental limits of taboos and eroticism that follows, would that make one a sociopath, in capable of real enjoyment because the hole in their "soul" can never be filled. But then I also wonder is taboo something given to us by puritanical thinking and that had we not had that sort of thinking we would have more sexual freedom.

sorry.. just musing.. it is a thought provoking quote

Mistress Veronica NYC said...


Again, I am unsure what your point might be.

Anonymous said...

Taboos are not subjective, banned means social prohibition or forbidden by law. Societies and cultures define taboos. Sexual taboos in our culture are rape, incest, necrophilia, bestiality, pederasty... All of these are found in his erotic writing.

Rape does not exist in the animal kingdom. It's forbidden in most human cultures. The desire to be ravished or to ravish exists, rape fantasy is common in erotica and porn. Likewise incest, etc.
I think that's what he's talking about.

Mistress Veronica NYC said...


I disagree. I think that taboos are subjective, yet informed by society. For instance, I am aware that say, sexy nuns are taboo- but does that disgust me like an incest taboo or bestiality? No. Would that seem extremely wrong and fucked up to a strict Catholic? Probably. So, in a sense, I believe they are subjective.

Anonymous said...

When you think of Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn, does that disgust you?

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