pleasure is pain

December 2, 2018

On the altar of the devil up is down, pleasure is pain, darkness is light, slavery is freedom, and madness is sanity –


Wu Tse-Tian (Wu Zetian) was Empress of China, and the only woman in more than 3,000 years of Chinese history to rule in her own right.

In an account of Wu given in “The Cradle of Erotica” (Allen Edwardes and R. E. L. Masters), the Empress saw sex and power as being closely related. For this reason when holding court government officials and visiting dignitaries paid homage to her by licking and kissing her sex – which she called “Licking the lotus stamen”, a symbolical display of her superiority over men.

Near contemporaneous prints show Wu parting her heavy imperial robes, exposing her small sex, while a man kneels to lick her vagina. One account claims her sex tasted salty; another that it had the texture of crushed pearls. Yet a third suggests she tasted of the willow-coloured water from the dragon-pond outside the palace…Even when menstruating courtiers were expected to kneel in homage to Wu. And frequently, it was said, the supplicant would be expected to continue his ministrations until the Empress achieved her climax.

Could this possibly be true?

Well, over the years, Wu has been demonised by Chinese historians (more because she was a woman than for any other reason). She has been depicted as a usurper, both physically cruel and erotically wanton; and she first came to prominence, it’s been suggested, because of her willingness to gratify certain of the Taizong emperor‘s more unusual sexual appetites…

“With a heart like a serpent and a nature like that of a wolf,” one contemporary summed up, “she favored evil sycophants and destroyed good and loyal officials.”

“She killed her sister, butchered her elder brothers, murdered the ruler, poisoned her mother,” suggested another. “She is hated by gods and men alike.”

Certainly Wu didn’t piss about when it came to holding on to power. During the years immediately following 690 she had 36 senior bureaucrats executed and their family members enslaved – which entailed over a thousand men, women and children being placed under the yolk. She maintained an ultra-efficient secret police. And ruthlessly removed or murdered all her many rivals. But her nights, “Oh her nights were for pleasure”. Even in her eighties Wu kept a harem of pretty young men at hand to ease her boredom. They would minister to her in the heavily perfumed air, surrounded by girls dancing to flutes and lutes; and Wu with her hair unbound and her blood-ravenous nature, naked limbs loosely wrapped in brocade, would cry with delight at the feel of so many young cocks…