The History of Sex: Paris and Provence -- From Le Marquis to Le Drilldo -- (Chap. VII, Pt. 1)

Chapter Seven
FROM LE MARQUIS TO LE DRILLDO
Porn and Perversion in Paris and Provence


'How delicious to corrupt, to stifle all semblances of virtue and religion in that young heart!'

--The Marquis de Sade, on deflowering a fifteen-year-old, 

in Philosophy in the Bedroom, 1795


The prima ballerina has her breasts out, a topless girl's writhing in a cage, a gimp is crawling around on all fours, and a man in a skirt is marching back and forth with a bucket on his head—while another dancer lies naked in a tin bathtub and fake blood drips down the back wall of the stage.

Bienvenue to the world premiere of Sade: The Theatre of Fools or, as I like to think of it, Everybody Spank Now!—billed as the first attempt to tell the story of the infamous marquis through the medium of dance.

But what makes this twist on the myth unique is its setting.

Rather than the jaded confines of a Parisian theatre, we're in a state-of-the-art amphitheatre out in the clear country air of Provence, on the very grounds of the castle where the ignobleman staged his own theatrical extravaganzas—and committed his most unpardonable crimes.

Poster for Sade
with the Marquis' castle in the background

As if that weren't remarkable enough, our host for this evening is Pierre Cardin, the flesh-and-blood brand name who bought the Marquis de Sade's chateau and now owns much of the surrounding hilltop village of Lacoste.

Bizarrely, the rest of the hamlet is roughly divided between natives—some families date back to Sade's time—and New Worlders.

Of all the places in Europe, America's biggest art college (the Savannah College of Art and Design), based in good-ole-boy Georgia, sends its students here for, um, inspiration.

According to one SCAD professor, not all of them know what they're getting into.

'Some of the students don't even know who the Marquis de Sade is when they come here.'

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