Why is this woman clutching herself under her dress?

woman clutching herself under her dress

Let’s just say she’s got an extremely good reason.

If you haven’t clicked yet, this old canard of a passage from The Story of O may put you in mind of the extremely good reason:

O suddenly felt her legs, still doubled-up above her, being pulled taut in the same direction: straps had been fastened to her ankle bracelets and thence to the columns on either side, while she lay thus between them on this raised dais exposed in such a way that the only part of her which was visible was the double cleft of her womb and her buttocks violently quartered. Anne-Marie caressed the inside of her thighs.

“It’s the most tender spot of the whole body,” she said, “be careful not to harm it. Not too hard now, Colette.”

Colette was standing over her, astride her at the level of her waist, and in the bridge formed by her dark legs, O could see the tassels of the whip she was holding in her hand. As the first blows burned into her loins, O moaned. Colette alternated from left to right, paused, then started again. O struggled with all her might, she thought the straps would tear her limb from limb. She did not want to grovel, she did not want to beg for mercy. And yet, that was precisely what Anne-Marie intended wringing from her lips.

“Faster,” she said to Colette, “and harder.”