Whip Me, Whip Me Hard
It was the 80's.
It seems important to mention because, well, times have changed and things that were normal back then may be shocking today.
Even in France.
Grandpa and grandma'd take me to the French Riviera every single summer for a full month. Albeit with grandparents, it was the coolest time. We'd stay in Ste Maxime, a small town on the French Riviera, and do nothing but go to the beach. For a month.
Summers in France are sacred
The country at large takes time off and goes somewhere sunny, preferably a beach. We spend weeks dreaming about it and preparing for our summer escapade. We buy the newest set of skin and hair products, a new swimsuit; procure the latest beach book; lust over the fresh food we'll get to splurge on.
As it goes with anything sacred,
French summers come with rituals
It is up to all of us to create our own; and during my childhood French summer nights, one of mine was this:
Take a shower to wash the sand and salt off my skin.
Don a PETIT BATEAU cotton tank top and panties. Petit Bateau specifically, no other brand did it for me.
Nurse my sunburn and my hair - now a lifeless mound of hay sitting on top of my head - with the best in Parapharmacie (Vichy, Biotherm, Avène... yes, even as a child - my father was a pharmacist).
Feed on tomatoes, roast chicken and cantaloupes for dinner. La base.
Curl up next to grandma on the couch to watch the TV film series of the summer. And every single summer without fault, French TV would broadcast my absolute favorite...
Angélique Marquise des Anges
Who is the beauty up there on the photo? It is Angélique Sancé de Monteloup, played by the redhead bombshell Michelle Mercier.
Angélique Marquise des Anges is a 1964 French movie followed by a series of 4 more movies that take place in mid-17th century France.
Just by this description, you already know it's good!
Monarchy under Louis XIV is struggling, poverty haunts the streets of Paris and brigands roam the countryside.
Angélique is the last child of her impoverished noble man of a father. Upon returning from her education in a convent, she finds out that she is betrothed to the rich Count Jeoffrey de Peyrac de Morens (played by Robert Hossein, heartthrob of mythical proportions), 12 years her senior, scarred, lame, and reputed to be a wizard (not at all a good thing back then).
She accepts the match but refuses her husband's advances. He respects her wishes, hoping to seduce her.
As time goes by, Angélique discovers her husband's virtues and character and falls passionately in love with him.
Jeoffrey is a free man. His unusual lifestyle worries the nobles and arouses the King's jealousy.
Jeoffrey is arrested, and hereby begin Angélique's adventures to free her husband, penetrate the Court (hornets nest of mythical proportions), dismantle nefarious alliances and become the object of countless manipulations and attacks.
I will preempt the following by saying that the condition of the Woman is not at its best in this film series. It was shot in the 60's and portraying 17th century France, so let's keep that in mind.
But oooooh it is so good!
There are castles and secrets passages and poison and death and magnificent dresses and pirates and whipping and oh my heart!
Yes, whippings. It does get a bit hot, I have to say. The writers MUST have had a penchant for BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance and submission).
I watched this as a child, which now is unimaginable. With my grandma. Even worse. But it awoke something in me every time I watched these movies.
The power plays, the lust, the petticoats begging to be lifted up... tickled me in all the right places!
The next day, my cousin and I would reenact last night's episode. We'd be standing in the Mediterranean sea - water up to mid-waist - at a distance from our parents so they would not compute what we were doing. He would be Angélique and I would be Joeffrey (hey I was the oldest and tallest). I would throw him around in the water, tie him up and whip him good.
I may go as far as crediting Angélique Marquise des Anges for my sexual awakening.
It seems unbelievable now to let children watch such programs. But it was all very natural, it all made sense.