E L James' sadomasochistic erotic series Shades of Grey continues to be a major publishing phenomenon, with the predictable effects on literature.
"Call me Ishmael."
"I'll call thee anything thou wishest, darlin," the captain said, a terrible unholy glitter in his eye, "but first I'll have thee climb aboard yon whaler with me. I've got some... implements I want to show thee there. Something thou've never seen afore, I warrant. Whaling implements, if thou take me drift. Harpoons and velvet handcuffs and the like." His face became dark at some private thought and then he was possessed by a terrible mad cackle of mirthless joy like all the demons in Hell and all the madmen in Bedlam all at once.. "Thou could be me first mate if thou take a shining to it. This ivory leg of mine ain't just for walkin' ye know."
About an hour after dinner everybody was dozing around, some in their chairs and some in their rooms, and it got to be pretty dull. Buck and a dog was stretched out on the grass in the sun sound asleep. I went up to our room, and judged I would take a nap myself. I found that sweet Miss Sophia standing in her door, which was next to ours, and she took me in her room and shut the door very soft, and asked me if I liked her, and I said I did; and she asked me if I would do something for her and not tell anybody, and I said I would. And then there commenced the doggedest set of calisthenics I ever laid hand to, all with rubbing ourselves with lard, and I had to put a bit in my mouth like a mule, and Miss Sophia took to whipping me with a riding crop, which hurt like blisters but was kind of pleasant, too, once you warmed up to it. And later Miss Sophia said I mustn't never tell and I said I wouldn't but I haven't been able to see a pair of leather britches from that day to this without a little secret smile on my face.
Pride and Prejudice
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife, else wherefore have a secret underground chamber with shackles built into the walls, pincers, and a cabinet stocked with rhinoceros horn and oyster shell?
The House at Pooh Corner
One day when Pooh Bear had nothing else to do, he thought he would do something, so he went around to Piglet's house, taking his velvet restrains, satin blindfold, and mink-covered handcuffs...
(Originally posted 2012)