Count Donatien Alphonse François|
Marquis de Sade
(1740 - 1814) France<
Soldier and author born in Paris into one of the oldest, but poor, noble families of Provence. He started a military career and participated in the battle of Cleves. In his youth, Sade developed a reputation as a libertine, following in the steps of his father, who was once arrested for cruising men.
In 1772 he visited a bordello in Marseille, gave the prostitutes some aphrodisiac they thought were poison, and had his man-servant sodomise him. For these crimes the fugitive Sade and his man-servant were sentenced to death, and were burned "in effigy" (their portraits vere burned).
In 1777 he was arrested and put in prison in Vincennes and at the Bastille, where he started to write the books that established his fame. Freed, he lived in poverty, until Napoleon took power. He was then again imprisoned because of the obscenity of his work, before finally being committed to an asylum, the Charenton institution, where he died.
He wrote plays and novels dealing explicitly with a variety of sexual practices, especially sadism, that is a tendency to derive sexual pleasure from inflicting physical or mental pain in the others. But Sade was not a sadist, he was a passive sodomite who wanted to be whipped and then sodomized... or vice-versa. And he was a bisexual.