As we all know, some BDSM players derive great good fun from drafting and agreeing to contracts. You’d think that would be a game only lawyers could love, but no. Slave contracts, contracts of submission, ownership agreements: there are many different kinds, and lots of kinky people take great joy in them, even though such documents almost never have any actual and effective legal implications.
Nor is this a purely modern play practice! Here’s an excerpt from a “Contract of Conjugal Prostitution” that recently appeared in a Vanity Fair profile of a famous French dominatrix. Apparently a French writer named Alain Robbe-Grille proposed the contract in 1958 to his wife Catherine. Although she never signed, she is said to have “willingly submitted to its regimen of whippings and torments.” Here’s the part about the whippings, as recently translated into English:
On the appointed day, at precisely the designated time, his wife shall present herself at the rendezvous, dressed strictly according to instructions. Unless receiving orders to the contrary, she shall kneel immediately before her husband, eyes lowered, hands behind her back, and shall remain thus until summoned.
Torments inflicted upon her may either be varied or, if it so pleases the husband, repetitious; once more, it is not the place of the young woman to judge their value. Should she grow bored, become impatient, or weary of any treatment inflicted upon her, she may console herself with the notion that the man to whom she belongs is thus afforded pleasure and his pleasure is the sole purpose of the exercise.
Finally, she shall be beaten repeatedly during each session, on any part of the body chosen by the husband, with a leather whip acquired specifically for this purpose, for as long as he so desires; none of the blows, however, should be delivered with sufficient force to tear the flesh or produce conspicuous bruising. No visible marks resulting from these torments should remain beyond the period of a few hours. Moreover, the victim shall have the option, when she no longer believes herself able to bear the torment, of begging respite.