Nine and a Half Weeks: A Memoir of a Love Affair (P.S.)
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The classic erotic memoir of an intense and haunting relationship that spawned the film.
This is a love story so unusual, so passionate, and so extreme in its psychology and sexuality that it takes the reader’s breath away. Unlike The Story of O, Nine and a Half Weeks is not a novel or fantasy; it is a true account of an episode in the life of a real woman.
Elizabeth McNeill was an executive for a large corporation when she began an affair with a man she met casually. From the beginning, their sexual excitement escalates through domination and humiliation. As the affair progresses, woman and man play out ever more dangerous and more elaborate sado-masochistic variations. By the end, she has relinquished all control over her body and mind.
With a cool detachment that makes the experiences and sensations she describes all the more frightening in their intensity, Elizabeth McNeill beautifully unfolds her story and invites you to experience the mesmerizing, electrifying, and unforgettablly private world of Nine and a Half Weeks.
principles and our ethics. The fetishistic trappings of sadomasochism have made their way from the sexual underground into the glossy pages of the high-fashion magazine. And McNeill’s book has, one can only hope, outlived its contaminating association with the trashy, reductive Mickey Rourke–Kim Basinger film with which it shares little but a title and the thin outlines of plot. Clearly, much has changed over the years. Then why does this account of a sadomasochistic relationship between two
found an absolute after all? Always, never, forever, completely: I’ll always love him, I’ll love him completely, I’ll never stop, I’ll do what he tells me forever—how stern a theology can you pick? The god of wrath, forever-and-on, unquenched desire, brimstone paradise. I’ve turned a believer of sorts after all, turncoat, traitor to what I have arduously taught myself: don’t cast me out, don’t ever leave me, desire unquenchable, as long as he loves me I’m saved. I’m setting the kitchen timer for
half an hour. It’ll be 3 P.M. then, I’ll get immersed in the new account then, a fat folder to be studied, I’ll plot my strategy. In the meantime I’ll type. The story a woman told me, how she lived with a man for the year it took her to write her first book, how at 11 P.M. every night he’d turn the TV up and say, “When will you be done with your typing?” She became adept at recognizing the split second when she had to stop—somewhere between 2 and 3 A.M.—just preceding the moment when he’d start
hurling chairs, books, bottles. Typing. Recalling in print, pressing wobbly black buttons. A more or less faithful machine recording a process: what he makes happen. The sleepy slave who, at dawn, sits at her master’s feet and recounts in a lullaby voice, a soothing singsong, what has happened to her that night, as the sky lightens and before they go to sleep, endlessly weary, limbs afloat. Rapidly, too—55 rpm? Not that fast. Could I play his secretary, give up this lovely, absurd job of mine,
fingertips. A brassiere next. “Lean forward, honey,” says the smoker’s voice in a conspiratorial, girl-talk tone. “Let’s make the best of things here.” I bend from the waist while she adjusts my breasts, taking each into the palm of one hand, squeezing toward the middle, pushing the pillows of padding underneath and toward the underarm side of each breast. When she bids me straighten up I run my fingers over what protrudes above the stiff lace: my breasts touch, something they normally do only