Marquis de SadeYou know him, you love him, you’ve read about his naughty deeds. Okay, maybe you don’t love him, but dare we celebrate his birthday? What the hell, let’s! It’s


Born to an aristocratic family in Paris, France on June 2, 1740, Donatien Alphonse François de Sade was a revolutionary, a soldier, politician, philosopher and writer, but known best as the man so horny that even (!) the French locked him up for his sexually licentious lifestyle.

A Libertine who publicly espoused exploring one’s sexual fantasies to the fullest, including minor violence and bondage, he did so in an age where all these things were commonly practiced, but never openly discussed.

As an illustration of how devoted he was to kinky sex, the “S” in S&M, the word sadism, comes from his name. De Sade’s biggest mistake was breaching the hypocrisy of the age by openly hiring prostitutes and his own employees of both sexes to participate in his orgies, and then writing about it.

He had to be either pretty dim or supremely arrogant to think the Catholic Church wouldn’t notice he was having way too much fun and feel obliged to set him on fire or something equally nasty.

Taking a walk on the wild side was a huge no-no in the 1700s.

The upshot was that de Sade was incarcerated in various prisons and an insane asylum for about 32 of his 74 years for the crime of being kinky. He spent his final 4 years staging his plays in an insane asylum and having an affair with the teenage daughter of an asylum employee, true to himself until the end.

•Suggested Activities: Using your imagination.

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