Sade and Sex

f11The divine Marquis (1740-1814) de Sade was a child of the Enlightenment, a champion of atheism as was the Baron d’Holbach

We find indeed in his work a few flashes that would not have disowned a Robespierre, a Saint-Just or Marat

I ask you now if it is just the law that instructs one who has nothing to respect the one who has everything.

Marquis de Sade

With Condorcet, he was one of the few philosophers to be still alive when the Revolution beagn. But was he a philosopher or more ?


The consequences of his philosophy

Materialist in the line of atomic (Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, Lucretius), Sade denied the existence of gods.

The idea of God is, I confess, the only fault I can not forgive the man.  Marquis de Sade

Dostoevsky, in the Karamazov brothers, said that « if God did not exist (in the sense of moral guardian) then everything would be allowed. Sade, openly atheist, takes on his own this logic by saying as true the first premise : God does not exist, therefore anything is allowed !

Indeed, the last judgment is only a good account of woman, hell an imaginary place, the door is wide open to sin at all excesses, especially sexual excesses. For there are two kinds of man on earth: the executioner and his victim. Nature alone makes the law: the lion eats the gazelle because it is the strongest and it is in his nature to be carnivore. There is no value judgment to bear in this act that could, at first glance, be seen as cruel. The lion does not go to hell if he eats his victim.

I am the man of nature prior to that of society.  Marquis de Sade.

The strong can (and should) use the weak, especially to satisfy his natural needs, his sexual fantasies. So, got rid of Christian morality, Sade swears by excess: the act is more extreme, the more good.

« Everything is good when it is excessive.  Marquis de Sade

Sade was the negative of Kant, developing a philosophy of full freedom, without constraint, without law, without prejudice and without morals.

Cruelty primarily and particularly in the sex orgy

Cruelty should be sought because it is natural.

Cruelty, far from being a vice, is the first sense that prints in our nature. the child breaks his rattle, bites the nipple of its nurse, strangles his bird, well before having the use of reason.  Marquis de Sade.

The victim must be exposed, totally submissive, but intelligently organized, directed. Pain and crime should not be excluded.

There is no kind of feeling that is stronger than that of pain. His impressions are safe, they do not deceive like fun. Marquis de Sade. 

Against Kant, sade believes that the primary purpose of sex is pleasure, procreation coming in second.

« A pretty girl should take care that spunk and never generate.  » Marquis de Sade.

And especially love flee like the plague

Love has nothing to do with this purely physical act (sex) : it is « of atoms that collide. » Sade assimils love with a terminal illness :

Is love an evil which we can cure? Marquis de Sade.


Sade is located at the top of the scale of sexual freedom when Kant is located at the bottom (made in just over Christian thinkers such as Augustine or Thomas Aquinas ).

Sade will be of course be linked to absolute evil by scholasticism. Not until the twentieth century to be read again and recognized as a separate philosopher.


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