Originally written by French author Gabrielle-Suzanne Bardot de Villeneuve and later re-written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast) has had countless adaptations in Theater, film and television – most notably Disney’s 1991 animated film.
It has changed a lot since it’s original version, trimming down its large cast of characters and vast collection of magical elements, but it’s the backbone of the tale remains – Belle, through a series of unfortunate events, finds herself face to face with a hideous and aggressive Beast, only to gradually find there’s more to him beneath the surface. Eventually they fall in love, the details of his curse from a petulant prince – Sometimes this prince merely rejects the advances of an evil fairy and she curses him – come to light and the spell is broken, reverting him back to his original appearance.
As far as fairy tales go, Beauty and the Beast doesn’t come laced with the macabre edge of a Brothers Grimm tale. Instead it enchants through its complexity and its intriguing and mysterious narrative that gradually reveals its twist over time.
To this day, the animated version of Beauty and the Beast is among my favourite adaptations. It is not my absolute favourite, I think that honour would go to The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but it’s somewhat a personal film for me.
It was in my teens that I realised that I could identify with the Beast – an outsider struggling with his identity, his inner turmoil. In my twenties I would see it as something primal, and link it to my own primal tendencies, but as a teen, I understood his emotional turmoil – his struggle to let go of that anger.
When I first started writing this blog, I wrote a lot of erotica based on Disney, or should I say fairy tales. Ariel became a Slave to the villainous Ursula, Anna realised she could temper Elsa’s insecurity and rage and I’m sure I wrote about the rape of a woman dressed up as a princess at a Disney park.
I write this because it was interesting to read the reactions from readers when I published these stories. Most were conflicted at the idea of twisting these stories in a dark manner, but confessed they enjoyed eroticism of such a concept. Some even wrote in personally to me to express such internal conflict, with some even going as far as to express anger.
Surprisingly, and the reason why I mention this, is because Beauty and the Beast was the most common fairy tale raised, by people who would write in, as being something so grand and erotic that they personally connected with. It wasn’t Snow White being violated by the Evil Queen, it wasn’t Sleeping Beauty being raped whilst under her spell – it was the interaction between Belle and Beast.
Even in a vanilla context, there was that meme captured from the Disney adaptation: At the moment the Beast reverts to human, a subtitle has Belle saying ‘Change Back.’
In a vanilla context, one can see why – the smooth and gentle appearance of the Beast’s true form isn’t as appealing as that rugged, domineering animalistic form. Maybe normalcy isn’t as interesting as the persona that came out through Beast’s internal struggle in his transformation.
In a BDSM and D/s context, we fall further down the rabbit hole. The Beast represents this dominant force, this aggression there that Belle has to fight back against, like pushing through ocean waves in a swim.
Belle is a prisoner to the Beast at first, a Slave to his whim. Forced to confront – head on – his relentless anger and beastly appearance.
Behind all this, I would wager that people would sense the total power exchange amongst the two. Belle, after all, has had her life traded for her own fathers – to a literal beast of a man. For all intents and purposes, her self has been stripped away no matter how hard she fights back.
So there is that underlying psychological aspect at play, but let’s dig a little deeper – what is it that toys at these concepts within the mind of a submissive. I can only guess. Is it the anger that entraps their mind in sickening sweet arousal? Is it the idea of having all right taken from them? Is it being yelled at cruelly? At the whim of animalistic desire?
There is a joke that it’s a bestiality situation – and I’ve no doubt some consider that fact arousing. You’ll find no judgement from me here. But I think with some it is the concept of this animalistic persona. This primal entity.
As a dominant, I will admit that the story brings conflicting emotions to the forefront. I am fascinated by the concept of total animalistic behaviour. Degradation and humiliation and primal anger – all of these things make my cock hard. Entice my mind.
All of these aspects in this scenario, that I can sense in the Beast, are things that make up the darker side of my brain. Things that I’m drawn to outside of looking at this fairy tale.
Kidnapping and letting go of societal norms and structures – these are all fantasies that come to mind when I read or see something like this – these are things that I’m normally interested in, but also things that I just happen to look between the lines and see for myself.
The primal aggression and possession that are aspects of me bring bouts of guilt and shame. Suddenly I’m confronting these feelings and it’s both wildly arousing and a little deflating, as if thinking and feeling so animalistic is inhuman.
The thing is, I’m not alone – whether it’s a lewd drawing or a short story ebook, the psychological component has been mulled on and explored by others – countless others – throughout the years, some probably through the Disney adaptation and some feeling guilty just like you or I out there, dear reader.
That just means it’s nice to know I’m not the only one out there with deep, dark thoughts.