The Sexual Undertones Of Sleeping Beauty Have Spawned Off Quite A Bit Of Erotica

Shreemi Verma , 29 May 2017
Sleeping beauty
Sleeping beauty

Whenever anyone says Sleeping Beauty, Disney’s 1959 animated version is still the first reference that pops into our heads. But did you know that the fairytale has some very interesting origin stories? The sexual undertones of Sleeping Beauty has also spawned off a fair bit of erotica in movies and in books. Let’s investigate further –

The original Sleeping Beauty (French: La Belle au bois dormantThe Beauty Sleeping in the Wood“) by Charles Perrault, or “Little Briar Rose” by the Brothers Grimm, is a classic fairy tale which involves a beautiful princess, a sleeping enchantment, and a handsome prince.

The earlier elements that constituted the story are quite dark as compared to the watered-down Disney version we’ve watched and loved.

Take for example, the earliest known version of the story – Perceforest (1528). Perceforest is composed of six books that describe a fictional origin of Britain.

The third chapter of book 3, “Histoire de Troïlus et de Zellandine” is known as the basis for Sleeping Beauty fairytale. In this version, a princess named Zellandine falls in love with a man named Troylus. Her father sends him to perform tasks to prove himself worthy of her, and while he is gone, Zellandine falls into an enchanted sleep. Troylus finds her and impregnates her in her sleep; when their child is born, he draws from her finger the flax that caused her sleep. She realizes from the ring he left her that the father was Troylus, who later returns to marry her. Rather different from Aurora‘s story isn’t it?

Other origins of the story can be found in the versions collected by Brothers Grimm namely Sun, Moon, and Talia by Italian poet Giambattista Basile (published posthumously in 1634) which were later written as the Disney movie we know and love.

But even after the 1959 animated film, Sleeping Beauty has inspired a number of adaptations, many of which have a fairly large amount of erotic undertones. Let’s have a look at some examples –

The Sleeping Beauty Quartet written by Anne Rice

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty Quartet

This four-part BDSM book series written by Anne Rice is set in a medieval fantasy world.

– The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty: The first part of the series starts with Beauty being awakened by sexual intercourse instead of a kiss, introducing her to a world of sexual adventure which includes both maledom and femdom scenarios amid vivid imageries of bisexuality, homosexuality, ephebophilia and pony play.

– Beauty’s Punishment: The second book deals with Beauty being auctioned off as a sex slave in a market and servicing the Arabs who have taken over the kingdom.

– Beauty’s Release: The third part shows Beauty becoming a part of the Sultan’s harem and her subsequent release from sexual slavery. Despite attaining freedom, Beauty realizes that she enjoys the sensual servitude as long as it’s voluntary and marries Prince Laurent, who was also a sex slave before he’s called back to rule his kingdom.

– Beauty’s Kingdom: The last book takes place 20 years after the events of the trilogy with Beauty and Laurent continuing the sexual service of their kingdom, but with the people’s consent.

The book series is reportedly being made into a television show, but the talks are still in the pre-production stage.

The Stepsister Scheme written by Jim C. Hines

The Stepsister Scheme
The Stepsister Scheme

This revenge drama take on Sleeping Beauty is rather interesting. In this version, the prince raped Sleeping Beauty (who is named Talia) while she slept. Talia wakes up after giving birth and uses her gift of grace to become a highly skilled martial artist. She develops a strong dislike of fairies and unrequited feelings of love for her friend and ally, Snow White. Badass mofo.

Sleeping Beauty directed by Julia Leigh

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

This version is a 2011 Australian erotic drama film that was written and directed by Julia Leigh. The story is about a young, unemotional university student (played by Emily Browning) who begins doing erotic freelance work in which she is required to sleep in bed alongside paying customers.

You can read more about the various versions of Sleeping Beauty here. Crazy eh?

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