The Initiation of Cora: Part 2

Red high heels and school cane on wooden background

Click here for Part 1


As always, I was impressed by the size and elegance of the property. It wasn’t really a castle like in the fairy tales. It was more of a huge, sprawling farm built in the style of the late Nineteenth Century at the beginning of the Austrian imperial era.

The building was square, with a sixty-by-eighty-meter inner courtyard. The courtyard was covered in white gravel, which was a beautiful contrast to the dark-green-painted windows, doors, and roof beams. The walls were yellow with white trim. Classic.

Herrmann greeted us with a couple of unnecessary swats and led us into a white-tiled bathroom off the high-ceilinged foyer. We had half an hour to clean up and enjoy the warmth. We helped wash off each other’s feet as best we could and attempted to warm up inside as well with the rum tea they had left for us. Cora was genuinely shocked by the condition of my behind, but I told her to look out for herself instead of worrying about me. I watched her closely. She didn’t have the initiation behind her yet and was basically still a novice. I felt our “greeting,” which she’d had no way to anticipate, was a bit much for someone so new.

Well, that was for The Consigliere and others to decide. Perhaps it was a test and if Cora had failed there would have been no need to go forward with the rest of her initiation. There is a certain freedom that comes from having no say in how things turn out.

Herrmann brought us our clothes. No shoes. Most of the slaves or O’s in The Castle went barefoot. In Sir’s enormous office sat six men. They chatted. Some smoked cigars, drank coffee.

As Herrmann led us in, I did my best to seem calm and collected as I usually am, even though my feet and pussy were in a lot of pain. My tight-fitting dress caused an enormous burning sensation on my ass. Cora came unsteadily along next to me, her eyes full of tears.

“Ah, the ladies. Please have a seat.”

Sir pointed at two chairs. On the huge leather sectional next to Federico and the Consigliere sat three other men, only one of who was familiar.   Oscar was a well-known attorney, politically connected and often in the media. He was considered a likely candidate to take over a position in the ministry of finance. He was arrogant, successful, unapproachable, and to me, unappealing. It was surprising to see him there. As far as I knew he was not a member of The League. His wife was a good-looking woman in her thirties, known for her involvement with various charities. She never missed a party and certainly never a photo op. The other two men seemed to be friends of Oscar, but I’d never seen them before.

I gave Cora a little nudge to open her legs a bit more and made sure to sit up straight. Oscar’s gaze was fixed right between my knees and I opened them a bit more. I knew from looking at them in the bathroom that our pussies were chafed, our vulvas red and swollen. It was certainly a nice view for those who could appreciate its unique features. I tried to make eye contact with Federico, but he was in a quiet conversation with the two unknown men. The Consigliere sat silently observing Cora. Unexpectedly, he got up and stood behind her. He ran his hand softly over her hair and bent down to whisper something in her ear. He spoke with her for about a minute and I could see her begin to calm down. I was unable to hear any of their conversation but whatever he said to her seemed to work.   I was always curious about The Consigliere and I think he may have been curious about me but we never exchanged intimacies other than physically. Federico was Alexander’s best friend from when they were kids and I think that made him a little uneasy with me. There was an attraction between us he saw as a danger to their friendship.

Sir offered us some coffee, sat down and turned to me.

“You were delayed?”

“Yes, first on the Autobahn, then at the gate by Hungarians.”

He looked at me, and nodded straight-faced. Federico grinned slightly.

“I told Herrmann to make you aware of your tardiness.”

“He did. The Hungarians then showed us a bit of the property. We paid for being late.”

“Good. Would you please show us your marks? I would like to know whether my orders were followed correctly.”

“Naturally.”

I stood up on my toes with wide-open legs, pulled my dress up high and spread my lips with two fingers. The future minister’s eyes nearly fell out. The two other men could only stare.

“The swelling is from the rope they put on us for the walk.”

I turned, lifted one foot up, then the other and showed them the soles of my feet.

“This is from walking barefoot over the gravel roads.”

And then I pulled the dress up over my ass.

“Two times, two dozen strokes with a hazelnut switch.”

I turned back around, rearranged my dress and sat down gingerly. I sipped my coffee. The future minister and the two unknown men gazed, bewildered. Federico smiled and The Consigliere stood behind Cora, caressing her hair.

Talk between the men became lively once again and the future minister got busy trying to impress Federico. After about half an hour the gathering came to a close. The two strangers and the future minister said their goodbyes.

“We will definitely be seeing more of each other, beautiful,” Oscar told me, a prospect that held no appeal.

We were alone now with Federico, Franklin and the Consigliere. Sir called Ms. Karmann, who was head of the household staff, on the intercom at his desk and ordered her to get our dresses for tomorrow night. Cora looked at me, puzzled. I had an idea of what kind of dresses he meant.

The Consigliere made his explanation, most of which was familiar to me from previous occasions.

“My dears, Federico, Sir Franklin and I will be participating in a big Soiree near Bratislava tomorrow with both of you. It is a Nuit d’ O, an event with very strict rules following the practices of Roissy. You will both be properly costumed as O’s in skirts and bodices. However, your genitalia and breasts will be exposed and accessible, just like in the book and the film. “At a Soiree like this, every man puts his O at the disposal of all other men present, after some discussion of what will be permitted, of course. You, my lovely Sabrina, will be wearing your red collar, which means anything is allowed. You, dear Cora, will be given a green collar for your initiation. “I will need your consent in this. At any time you may refuse to participate further by using your safeword – deliverance. If you do you will be taken home immediately and never allowed to return. If you choose to remain and undergo the ceremony you will wear the Ring of O and be a full-fledged member of The League. Understood?”

The Consigliere had a knack for making things seem clear and reasonable, though in practice they were often more complicated.

Cora sniffled a bit, and said quietly:

“Yes. I asked for this. I will obey. What do I have to do there?”

“Well, my dear, tomorrow we will be expecting about twenty couples, men with their O’s. They come from all over Europe. Some are very well known people you might have seen under other circumstances. That will not be important here. In addition, there will be six or eight single men in attendance. “Because it will be your initiation you will be the center of attention. You will be presented in the dress of O and the green collar until midnight. That means nobody will be allowed to touch you without my permission.

“At midnight we will proceed with the ceremony. You will be brought to the center of the room completely naked, bound and given five- dozen lashes with the blacksnake over your entire body. “After that, your green collar will be switched out for the red one and you will be entirely at the disposal of all men present. It is required that all in attendance take you at least once, vaginally, anally or orally. Do you understand?”

Cora sat there and looked at the Consigliere, her face gone ashen. I saw her quivering as she glanced over at me.

“Did… you also have to do something like this, Sabrina?”

I nodded.

“Naturally. All of us. Like that, or similar.”

She blinked.

“How… how can I take this, endure something like this? How?”

“You’re not supposed to just take it, or endure it. You’re supposed to enjoy it.”

I remembered what I had been told at my own initiation: “Devotion is not a question of submission. Love, lust, and sometimes simply curiosity will elicit submission. But the woman who devotes herself must also be very strong and sure of her own motives.”

We would soon see if Cora had that strength.

She’d already passed the first test by enduring the punishment I’d brought on both of us. Later she would face a more severe test trial unlike the brutish treatment awaiting our arrival.

I kept it to myself but was of the opinion Cora would not ever become a real O. I saw her as being curious, or perhaps bored with her apparently uneventful marriage. Possibly she’d simply been persuaded by the Consigliere. She would be neither the first nor the last to succumb to his charm. Later, to my surprise, I found out that Cora had pursued him and not the other way around.

Whatever her reasons, I was certain that this beautiful woman was not interested in The League as a thing in itself. She was shocked by the small punishment we had received earlier and visibly shaken by all that followed. If she stayed, she’d look back on this as an easy day.  I wasn’t convinced such a life was right for her but that wasn’t any of my business. She was here of her own accord and been given a safeword like the rest of us that would stop whatever was happening to her instantly and permanently. This was the catch of the safeword. Using it required a very serious decision immediately and under great duress. Once used it would exclude her from The League forever. I was always surprised that none of us ever used ours. I wondered if Cora would be the first.

As always, there were five of us at dinner. Sir Franklin had asked Herrmann and Sica, a small, pudgy, smiling twenty-five year old Italian girl who ruled the kitchen for Sir Franklin and bossed around the huge Herrmann as if he were a schoolboy, to cook an appropriate meal. That meant at least a two-hour affair with nothing less than five courses. That night we got seven. The food was superb, the wine pairing outstanding and the atmosphere almost surreally relaxed, given the circumstances that brought us there. Sir Franklin was a wonderful host, his most important qualification as head of The League. I felt happy and content being with Federico and Alexander, who had been such close friends for so many years they were often thought to be brothers, though there was no family connection between them.

They both told stories of the crazy things they’d done as young men and spoke of their time racing cars. Much laughter filled the room. At some point during dessert the topic of piercings and tattoos came up. There were different opinions on the matter. Personally I don’t care for either of those things on my own body, and said so.

Federico grinned.

“Yeah, that’s true. But I accept it. Otherwise I would have put some rings on her long ago.”

“Practically all of our O’s wear some permanent ornamentation,” Sir Franklin explained.

Sweet Cora was curious.

“What kind of ornamentation?”

Sir Franklin looked at her.

“Normally gold or steel rings on the nipples or sometimes on the labia or clit.”

Her eyes widened.

“On the clit?”

“Yeah. Sylvia, a young lady who was initiated two years ago wears all that plus an additional three rings in each pussy lip by choice. Her pussy can be laced shut so only her ass and mouth are available, something her master enjoys doing to her from time to time.”

Cora puffed out her cheeks.

“I’d like to see that sometime…”

“No problem,” Sir Franklin said.

He rang for Hermann and instructed him to get Sylvia. Cora wanted to know who and where Sylvia was.

Amused, Sir Franklin raised one eyebrow.

“Sylvia is an O who has been with us here while her owner is abroad. She should be hanging from the ceiling in the basement at the moment.”

Before Cora could ask further questions, The Consigliere silenced her with a wave of his hand.

We went on eating and talking, except for Cora who clearly had other things on her mind, until Herrmann returned with Sylvia.

I would have guessed her to be somewhere north of thirty but south of forty, a bit smaller than me. She wore her hair shoulder-length.  She was otherwise completely shaved and, at the moment, completely naked. I’d never met her before but I was aware Sir Franklin had something special planned for her per her absentee owner’s request.  She stood before us in the basic position of presentation: up on her toes with legs wide spread, hands interlocked behind her head.

Sir Franklin pointed at the naked woman with his fork.

“Now, dear Cora, you may take a closer look if you’d like.”

Both of Sylvia’s nipples were pierced with steel bars four centimeters long from each of which dangled a silver horseshoe ring.

Both her outer labia were pierced with four steel rings and her clit was decorated with small garnet studs on a curved bar that went right through the most sensitive spot on her body.

Cora stood up, walked over to Sylvia and asked shyly:

“May I?”

Sylvia’s gaze never left the floor.

“Please, madam. Help yourself to me as you wish.”

I noticed that Sylvia’s backside was webbed with fading marks, evidently traces from her master’s most recent visit. Cora touched the dangling half circles on her nipples.

“How did they do that?”

Sylvia had a pronounced west Austrian dialect, Tirol or perhaps Vorarlberg. She wore a wedding ring, visible on an interlocked hand at the back of her head

“My husband wanted this, and therefore I wanted it as well. It was done here two years ago.”

“Without anesthetic?”

“Some girls have their piercings done after a small injection of Novocain but my husband wanted me to really feel it. I wanted that as well. Unfortunately, I passed out during the clit piercing.”

Cora stared at the woman wide-eyed.

The Consigliere put down his fork and spoke up. I grew increasingly certain of what would happen next.

“Do you like the way they look, Cora?”

Cora turned to her mentor.

“I… yes… it’s all very pretty. I mean, on my… on my private parts it wouldn’t appeal to me. But yes, the nipple rings are very beautiful.”

The Consigliere looked at Franklin and raised an eyebrow.

“Hmmm. Gold would suit her best I think,” he said. “But we should perhaps wait on this until after the initiation. It might be safer.”

Safer than having fresh piercings pulled on, sucked, contaminated with sweat and sperm and possible struck with a whip? I knew the Consigliere would never have permitted such risky behavior involving his new O, but he deferred to Franklin. It was Alexander’s way to give advice and let others give orders.

Cora, still mesmerized, continued to examine Sylvia, oblivious to the conversation.

Cora seemed to amuse Franklin with her wide-eyed amazement at everything she saw. She had a lot to learn, especially concerning how an O was to behave here in The Castle. But she wasn’t an O yet, just a prospect, at least until tomorrow.

Cora ran her fingertips across Sylvia’s nipple again, which went hard instantly.

Sylvia answered quietly without looking up.

“Does it make them more sensitive,” Cora asked.

“Very much so, madam. And my clit as well. The slightest friction down there makes me wet so I am most of the time.

The Consigliere laughed.

“Cora’s wet all the time anyway.”

Cora, who had obviously been with girls before, stroked the little jeweled bar lightly, then traced a fingertip between Sylvia’s labia. A shudder rippled through Sylvia’s body and her eyelids fluttered down.

Cora looked over at Alexander, who shrugged.

“We can always have it done later if you change your mind,” he said calmly. You can sit down now.”

Sylvia spoke again softly.

“Excuse me, gentlemen, but I would very much like some of your sperm. May I?”

Federico and Alexander nodded. Sir Franklin gave his permission. Sylvia got down on all fours and disappeared under the table.

I felt a bit cocky as the most senior O present.

“And me? Can she also pleasure me?”

Sir Franklin laughed.

“Of course! Sylvia, did you catch that, Sylvia?”

She already had Federico’s cock in her mouth and all we heard was “Mmmmhhhhmmm.”

After Sylvia finished under the table she was led away by Herrmann. She had also visited Cora and me with her tongue, lips and fingertips, demonstrating admirable technique with women as well as men.

Cora, the obedient wife of Albert, son of the rich owner of a printing company, reached down and pulled Sylvia by the hair. Cora’s legs shot out to the sides and she braced herself on the sides of the chair. A few minutes of wet sucking noises from Sylvia’s labors and Cora went stiff, letting out a surprisingly loud howl Looking at the impressed faces of Alexander, Federico and Sir Franklin.

At a gesture from Franklin Herrmann ushered Sylvia out of the room but not before the naked girl could give us all a proper curtsy and thank us for using her. Cora watched her follow Herrmann out, her footsteps light as a dancer’s. Yes, Cora had a lot to learn and she was beginning to realize it.

I had no doubt tomorrow night’s initiation would be memorable in all respects.

Not far from Bratislava, Slovakia

The dark Mercedes Vito with the tinted windows rolled up to the border near Bratislava. I couldn’t help wondering how the customs officers would react to what we weren’t wearing if we were stopped or were made to get out of the vehicle. The formal clothing of O that we wore for Cora’s initiation was beautiful and elaborate, made from heavy silk, though not much of it. If we removed our hooded cloaks Cora, Daniela, and I would have been practically naked.

Cora wore golden sandals held on her feet by very thin straps beginning at the instep and tied up around the ankle. I had received the same in silver. It wasn’t easy to walk in them but walking was not our purpose.

Cora’s dress had been made up in warm brown tones. The flowing skirt was a bit lighter than the brown bodice, which tied in the back and lifted her breasts just enough to display them perfectly, new gold rings glittering in the muted lighting of the car’s interior. Our skirts were slit in the front and back, held together by five-centimeter waistbands. They were designed so the sides could be flipped up and fastened at the waist with a button to provide unobstructed access to our intimate anatomies. Our breasts were fully exposed. My bodice was grey and my skirt was black. Daniela’s “uniform,” was identical but all in white. She wore very high peep-toes instead of sandals. Daniela was an O from Italy. She lived in The Castle with Sir Franklin and served next to Ms. Karmann as his personal secretary. A little taller than most, Daniela was slender, with small but firm breasts and perpetually erect nipples. Her dark hair fell just past her shoulders. She had a very pretty face, despite somewhat sharp features, that men enjoyed getting messy. Our makeup was subtle but our nails were painted a bright red, high and low. Cora and I both wore rings on our second toes. Hers was gold, and mine silver. I wore a ring, just like Daniela, on my pointer finger. It was the ring of O, a simple flat silver band with a small ring attached to it.

All three of us had our hair up and fastened with gold or silver barrettes. Cora’s big, beautiful nipples were swollen and looked tender from Herrmann’s needlework.  I was still rankled by Federico’s indifference to my concerns about them, but I understood that this was just his way. Other people’s concerns weren’t his.

We crossed the border without being stopped at all. Herrmann seemed to know Bratislava well. He steered the Vito confidently through the city. The Consigliere sat in the passenger seat next to him. The girls occupied the middle row while Federico and Sir Franklin lounged in the back.

Daniela had been scooting around in her seat for the longest time and these bumpy streets weren’t helping one bit.

“I have to pee. Please.”

This was probably going to get interesting.

Hermann whispered something to the Consigliere, and both of them laughed. Alexander turned around towards us.

“If you can’t take it anymore my dear, Herrmann knows somewhere where you can relieve yourself.” Daniela nodded and then looked out the window. Her face turned red. She knew what little dare was about to present itself. Sir Franklin spoke up from the back.

“Herrmann, are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Yes, Sir Franklin. If you don’t mind?”

Sir Franklin laughed quietly. “Of course. But please watch out for my girl, okay? We don’t want to get stopped and be delayed because she can’t contain her bladder.”

Herrmann promised to make sure it wouldn’t happen.  Daniela and I exchanged a look, imagining what humiliation they had in mind for her.

Daniela and I had only seen each other at The Castle two or three times. She was legendary for always participating in the hunts, a thing I had never done, nor did I plan to do.  She’d tried it four times and always lost, not a record I cared to best. After the second time she had to realize she would always get caught. I assumed she preferred it that way, which was a significant difference between us. The O’s of The Castle were ordinarily expected to accede to everything their Mentors requested of them but the hunts were an exception – hazardous duty and strictly for volunteers. Of course, occasionally a Mentor or member, of the hundreds of whom only twenty held Mentor status, would request that a woman he brought into The League take part in a hunt, but nobody could make this a command. The hunts were the hardest and most brutal challenge any of us would face. Most of the women participated initially hoping to elude the hunters and collect a very substantial reward. That wasn’t how things usually went.

The task seemed simple enough, if also utterly terrifying. The woman would be set out naked somewhere in the wilderness. Owing to the presence of a few high-ranking Austrian, Italian, German, Hungarian, Czech, and Slovakian officers in the community of societees the cruel game was often played on military training grounds. The hunted girl was given a map and a target destination she had to reach before being captured.

The size of the all-male hunting parties depended upon how many enthusiasts were available and how many were willing to contribute to the cost. Every participant had to put up a hefty sum. A bit of the money paid for expenses, but the rest went to the woman if she won. The prize was generally in the neighborhood of ten thousand euro, a nice neighborhood by almost anyone’s definition.

But to win she had to make it to the protected zone on the map, the location of which was unknown to the hunters so they couldn’t just wait around for her to show up there. Sometimes, as a special incentive, checkpoints were added to the map.  At the checkpoints there were stamps she would apply to her forearm. Every checkpoint stamp carried an added financial bonus if she escaped to collect it.

The woman got a sixty-minute head start. Normally the time limit to reach the target was twelve hours. For a naked woman, shoeless and without supplies of any kind in a harsh environment this was obviously quite a task.

If she wasn’t able to reach the target in time or if the men caught up with her, she was in serious trouble. Though the hunters didn’t communicate with each other during the search, if one of them found their prey the others were called together. Usually the girl would be whipped right where they found her. The hunters were also free to fuck her in every orifice. For the next twenty-four hours she was theirs to do with as they pleased. There were no boundaries and no rules about passing her on to others. It was very cruel sport. Alexander considered it barbaric and would not permit any of the O’s he mentored to participate.

Nevertheless, there were always women who took the bait. Supposedly the payout for winning was the lure, but I suspect some had additional motives. The lovely Daniela must have found the experience rewarding in some other way, as she never won a single euro in all her attempts.

I’m unsure of every detail, but rumor had it she was openly whipped in a remote border town and raped by every man there who wanted her, not as rare an event as one might suppose, as I later found out to my everlasting sorrow. There was even talk about forced sodomy with hunting dogs. Sir Franklin was silent on the subject but there were a few “meetings,” some apparently quite heated, with all the Mentors following Daniela’s hunt. Alexander prevailed that time and no League girls were hunted thereafter, or at least that was the official story.

Click here for Part 3

About the Authors:

Ernest Greene is the author of the well-renowned novel for Daedalus Publishing, Master of O, reinventing the BDSM classic Story of O set in modern Los Angeles and told from the master’s point of view. His previous work includes co-authoring Coming Attractions, the Making of an X-Rated Video with Dr. Robert Stoller (Yale University Press, 1989) and shared credit with his spouse, Nina Hartley on Nina Hartley’s Guide to Total Sex (2006), from Avery Press, a division of USA Penguin Group.

Greene is a longtime member of the Los Angeles BDSM community, joining Threshold when it was still an affiliate of The Society of Janus. He served six terms as Threshold coordinator between 1989 and 1995. He continued to do orientations for new members thereafter and participated in numerous outreaches to academic groups.

Since 1985, Greene has concentrated his efforts mainly in adult entertainment and adult sex education, serving as Executive Editor of the best-selling fetish magazine Hustler’s Taboo since 1999 and most recently as Chief Associate Editor for Hustler’s All-Sex issues.

Ernest Greene, has participated in the production of adult video for three decades as a performer, writer, director and producer. His body of work comprises over five hundred titles, including AVN award winners Strictly for PleasureMask of InnocenceTristan Taormino’s Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and Jenna Loves Pain. With his wife, Nina Hartley, he has served as producer and director of the Nina Hartley’s Guide series of adult sex education programs for video market leader Adam&Eve Pictures. The series has sold over three quarters of a million videos to date and now comprises forty titles. His own erotic features for Adam&Eve, O – The Power of SubmissionSurrender of O and The Truth About O have thus far seen sales nearing 100,000 units, making them among the biggest selling X-rated feature titles in recent years.

Greene is particularly well known for his groundbreaking approach to the presentation of unconventional sexuality related to consensual domination and submission. He has been active in the BDSM community for nearly thirty years, conducting workshops and seminars and serving as an officer of community groups. He is a retired six-term coordinator of Threshold, Southern California’s oldest active pansexual BDSM organization.  His activism also extends to the world of adult video production, where he held the position of chairman of the board of directors of The Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM) for seven years and to his commentaries on the adult industry Blog for Pro-Porn Activism.

Nina Hartley is a pioneering feminist sex  worker, using her body in the service of promoting a sexually sane and literate society. She is thrilled to see a new generation of sex-positive performer/activists take its space and spread the good news about sex. Active as a performer since 1982, her rock-solid commitment to the importance of sexual autonomy has fueled Ms. Hartley’s career in adult entertainment. As a performer, director, writer, educator, public speaker, and feminist thinker for all, no matter their orientation, she’s traveled the world to deliver her message. She believes that sexual freedom is a fundamental human right and welcomes the new social media opportunities for spreading her message of knowledge and empowerment to the widest number of people. She’s the author of, “Nina Hartley’s Guide to Total Sex,” from Avery Press. Putting to use her B.S. degree in nursing, she and her husband, Ernest Greene, have produced the million-selling sex-ed video series collectively known as  “The Nina Hartley Guides,” from Adam & Eve, currently in its 38th episode.  Still active in front of the camera, she and her husband live in Los Angeles.

Ernest’s Website: masterofo.com

Comments

  1. mistressmoon says:

    Can’t wait to read part three!

    • Glad it holds your interest. As I’ve said, I’m not easy to shock (to understate it) but I found something completely unexpected on every single page of these accounts. In the upcoming installment we get to attend the initiation itself and everything about that is familiar in some way and utterly different overall from the kind of thing we’re used to seeing and reading about. Some of it is erotic and some of it is chilling but what makes it all so fascinating is that it really happened as described.

  2. Ernest, agreed wholeheartedly!

    MistressMoon, what was the most exciting aspect of the excerpt for you? It’s such a fantastical tale it must be true, as who could think of such things?

    The next installment is even more compelling, believe it or not!

  3. mistressmoon says:

    I honestly just love the suspense of it all and how far these women will go concerning punishment, being sexually available, etc. I am so excited to read part 3!

  4. The suspense is pretty much always present throughout the book because of the high profiles/ high risks everyone shares. You’ll see how far they really go during the initiation itself, which was, again, partially how I would have imagined it and largely as I would never have expected it.

  5. puppylove89 says:

    WOW! I can’t believe this happened! I read part 1 and 2 twice and am still in awe!

    • Nina and I had to struggle with our own disbelief when the world of The League was opened up to us. From the very first email I received from Fabienne I wondered if someone was pulling an elaborate prank on us. But the more testimony we read from the diaries and letters of the participants, the more credible the whole story became. Then there were the pictures and finally Nina’s meeting with “Alexander.” I started out as a newspaper reporter and remain an incurable skeptic when it comes to things like this, but evidence became increasingly solid as we got to know more about each person involved. What happens going forward strengthens the narrative even further, leading up to a completely unexpected conclusion that I researched online and found to square with press accounts at the time. I have no doubt that the different contributors put their own spin on the course of events, but their narratives overlap again and again. While we deliberately created a fictional framework to make some sense of the whole, what weI’ve seen, heard and read made believers out of us and forces us to rethink everything we thought we knew about “Story of O.” Many things about the novel that didn’t seem to make sense when I first read it I now realize were author’s redactions to protect her immediate circle of friends, who supplied her with the same kind of information we received. If you get a chance, do read “The Image” by Catherine Robbe-Grillet, wife of the surrealist novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet, who was an active dominatrix at the time the “O” was written and the probable source for the amazing visual detail in Reage’s book. Madame Grillet, still very much alive in her eighties, was the subject of a fascinating profile In Vanity Fair a couple of years ago written by a friend of ours who spent some time with her in France. It’s another window into Europe’s secretive, exclusive BDSM scene. There’s really a great book to be written around the creation of Reage’s novel and the circle of associates who contributed to it and then helped keep the author anonymous for nearly sixty years. Much more was known about the societies of O than I would ever have expected. Now that we know more about how they operated and continue to operate to this day we understand much better why Reage so careful about revealing the existence of this shadow world.

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