tagGroup SexSuzanne in Salon Society

Suzanne in Salon Society


This story is inspired by Literotica author, patientlee's, "What the Hell Are You Looking At?" which in turn is inspired by the 1863 painting Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe by Edouard Manet. It is a painting of two clothed "dandies" and a nude woman having a picnic lunch. In addition there is a woman wearing a chemise, bathing in the water behind the picnic. (It may help if you Google the painting before reading the story.)

I commented saying I longed to be inside the head of the nude woman in the painting. Patientlee challenged me to write a version of the story from the nude woman's point of view.

Suzanne attempted to appear small. Her modern crinoline made the task impossible. Gray silk draped over a restrictive corset and stiffened petticoat. Her effort to be inconspicuous amongst the high born fooled nobody. Gas lamps flickered on every wall of the Marquise's salon. The intimate gathering discussed Edouard's transcendent success or his affront to propriety. Judgment awaited.

The hostess lay face down on her expansive bed while a girl unlaced the corset. Two of the Marquise's close confidants reclined on the bed by her side. Undressing among companions defined an informal mood while flaunting the hostess's status. Social theater and high manners tended to annoy Suzanne, but she resolved to avoid offending the formidable patroness. She couldn't help coveting the Marquise's comfort but suppressed the vulgar emotion.

"Gossip around town holds your husband in high esteem for his political commentary."

It took a moment for Suzanne to realize the Marquise referred to Edouard. After an unseemly delay, she replied, "I have not heard those words." Downcast eyes darted from Lady to Lady testing their reactions to her confession.

Suzanne perched on the edge of a couch mindful of her dress. Edouard's brother, Gustave, hired the seamstress at untold cost to cover Suzanne in a fine example of latest fashion. Marriage to a disreputable painter seldom afforded luxury. The dress probably cost an equivalent of her husband's year of commissions. The Marquise's favor might impress Gustave and uncle Charles enough to end her husband's exile from his wealthy Parisian family.

The girl straddling the Marquise's thighs completed her task and scampered from the bed pausing for a subtle curtsy to the other ladies present. The hostess rolled onto her back with the smile of a released prisoner. Full breasts jostled and swayed under the revealed long linen shift. Smiling around a sigh, the Marquise continued, "It is said the picture has fomented public outrage to end the plague of whores adorning our city park."

Suzanne blushed. Truth would surely astonish the proud young socialite more than rumors of brazen daylight prostitution.

"I have heard she is your husband's mistress, and he ..." one of the Lady's companions giggled, "... shares her with other men."

"It's not about whores - not precisely, is it?" the hostess interrupted.

Suzanne detected the affront of the allegation at the same time she could hardly deny it. The direction of conversation confirmed a week of sleepless worries. The invitation was a pretense to embarrass her. She seethed and struggled to remain humble. "The picture is not about whores in the parks or elsewhere."

"Tell us then. What does the picture mean? How did it come to be?"

Proper prudish women awaited answers. Suzanne struggled to explain, "It is a protest. It protests hypocrisy."

The women collective inhaled. They didn't expect that answer.

"Whose hypocrisy?" Lady Fournier asked with false grace.

Suzanne sensed the accusation of hypocrisy wounded the older woman. The evening started to resemble a battlefield in Suzanne's imagination. She needed to survive and fight another day.

"Explain, if you please," the hostess commanded as the girl returned to unpin the noble woman's hair.

"Edouard started the picture last year. He called it 'The Bath'."

"Who is the woman?" one of the Marquise's companions injected.

Suzanne sighed. "She is my husband's favorite model, Victorine Meurent."

The Marquise's eyebrows betrayed skepticism.

"Edouard intended to diverge from the realism of his training to indulge a new analytical approach. He studied classical pictures in the Louvre. He attempted a modern depiction of a lady bathing. Rembrandt's 'Bathsheba at Her Bath' inspired him."

"Your husband is not Rembrandt," Lady Fournier scoffed.

The Marquise held out her hand to calm her friend and looked to Suzanne. "How did such intention lead to 'Luncheon on the Grass'?"

"The Jury rejected 'The Bath' and refused exhibition. They called it lewd and distasteful. My husband became despondent."

Several heads nodded. The atmosphere in the room reeked from the clammy sweat of false indignation. Suzanne assumed the assorted married women could not be offended by a picture of a chemise-wearing woman washing in the river. Countless nudes hung on the walls of their stately homes.

"Go on," Lady Fournier encouraged after exchanging cryptic looks with the hostess.

Suzanne waited for an interruption. When the women remained silent, she continued, "Edouard protested to Jury's decision. Then, he resolved to expose the hypocrisy."

"My husband is a member of the Emperor's Jury," one of the un-introduced women asserted.

Suzanne winced. The Marquise's elderly husband also served on the Jury. Diplomacy eluded the artist's humble wife, so she resolved to continue with forthright confession. "Victorine posed in the studio for the first picture. Edouard revised the picture dozens of times. Each change darkened his mood until he walked the streets at night muttering. Victorine refused to pose again until the darkness passed."

Suzanne omitted her suspicions about Edouard's inability to continue paying Victorine.

"The bather is Victorine but not the nude?"

"No, Marquise," Suzanne conceded. "Well, the nude bears Victorine's face."

"And whose body is depicted?" Lady Fournier inquired.

Suzanne's cheeks burned. "It is me. I posed for my husband in his studio."

"You were not in the park?"

"No, only in the studio," Suzanne claimed while meeting the young Marquise's gaze for the first time. "For the picture," she amended.

Women looked to each other digesting the statement.

Another of the Marquise's young confidants on the bed gasped. "Your husband did not pose you outside amidst dandies and villains for their amusement?"

"Disreputable whore," someone hissed.

"Not outside, no," Suzanne shook her head while looking to the floor.

The sympathetic woman left the bed to sit with an arm draped around Suzanne's shoulders. Several other women gathered closer. For all the righteousness on display, they sensed a salacious story unfolding.

"Come sit on the bed with me," the Marquise beckoned.

"You posed with those men in your husband's studio," a confidant stated while shoving as much as guiding the reluctant participant to the bed.

"No," Suzanne insisted to everyone's surprise.

Lady Fournier strutted to stand by the bed and huffed, "I should hope not."

"I posed for Edouard alone in the studio, and later, Edouard's brother, Gustave, and his friend, Ferdinand, posed."

"What hypocrisy does this expose?" Lady Fournier demanded to know.

"Is the naked goddess Athena ashamed? Does the Venus cover herself? Do spritely wood nymphs bathe in the rivers of antiquity?"

"What are you saying?" The Marquise sounded intrigued.

"Why was the Jury offended by 'The Bath'?"

Several women pondered, and the sympathetic woman hazard a guess, "Those nudes are mythological figures. They are not from our milieu."

"You think live models were not the inspiration for those goddesses cavorting in so many paintings?" Suzanne started to gain control of the dialog for the first time. "You accept a nude goddess with exposed breasts and hairless crotch but not the side of my breast?"

Several gasps indicated shock.

"Your husband thumbs his nose at tradition," Lady Fournier deduced.

"He blurs distinction between reality and artifice," Suzanne articulated her thoughts.

The young Marquise bounced on the bed. Long tresses preserved from maidenhood betrayed the commanding woman's inexperience. Suzanne wondered how often the much older Marquis bedded his youthful bride.

"It is a picture of a real woman, you, that critics attack. How do you respond?"

Suzanne considered the Marquise's question. "It embarrassed me - more then than now. I support my husband's intention, and I believe he is succeeding. Paris has seen his work. He made the exhibition of rejects more prestigious than the Emperor's official gallery."

"Paris has seen you naked and commented on your figure," the sympathetic one noted with awe.

"Is it thrilling?" the Marquise asked.

"Appalling," Lady Fournier scorned.

"I grew to find the attention flattering. The idea - being naked in the park for all to see - and being admired by two men..." Suzanne's words trailed off. She appreciated the nuance of two men gazing upon her body while ignoring Victorine in the background.

"I begin to understand," the Marquise admitted while squeezing clasped hands between her thighs. "You posed in your husband's studio, but that is not the whole truth, is it?"

"I know the men. They are my husband's brother and friend. I became excited by the idea of the picture."

"I can imagine," the sympathetic confidant whispered.

"You imagine yourself a whore," Lady Fournier scolded.

"The notion came from Edouard. Shame gave way to intrigue, and I wanted to explore my husband's thoughts. Was I only his model, a poor substitute for Victorine, or is the picture his secret desire?"

"What did you learn?"

"The four of us, my husband, Gustave, Ferdinand, and myself, met for supper when Edouard discovered the Emperor's exhibition of rejects. Edouard seized the opportunity to exhibit 'Luncheon on the Grass' and two other paintings. The dark veil began to lift. We agreed my husband's work will spur the avant-garde. And I said, 'It is too bad we did not pose as depicted.'"

"Oh? What did the men say?"

"My husband agreed. He complained about the trials of assembling figures with inconsistent light and the incongruity of the bather looming over the luncheon." Suzanne spoke quickly and breathlessly. "Gustave and Ferdinand volunteered to reenact the scene."

"Deplorable!" Lady Fournier chastised.

"Oh - my!", one or two others exclaimed.

"Did you agree? Did your husband?"

Suzanne began to shake reliving the moment. "Edouard gathered our supper and the table cloth to assemble a picnic in the studio. Gustave and Ferdinand reclined to observe as Edouard gradually removed my dress."

Suzanne realized the entire group including Lady Fournier now surrounded her on the crowded bed. Several ladies panted and a few looked ready to swoon.

"Edouard moved slowly arranging my garments. I could hardly breathe. The thrill of anticipation overcame my senses."

"Go on," the Marquise begged as she would have begged if present at the evening described.

"I submitted to my husband's touch until I stood bare before his brother and his friend. My husband tripled the number of men who have beheld my body. He held my arms away from my breasts and exposed me. He beamed with pride, and I became one of those painted goddesses."

"Oh my," someone crooned.

"Edouard posed me and stepped away to regard the scene from the vantage of someone observing the picture. I looked to my husband for guidance while my thighs remained parted and heat from my brother in law's gaze warmed me."

"Whore," Lady Fournier condemned.

"Don't be rude," the Marquise objected. "I want to know what happened."

Suzanne understood she shared too much, but most of the other women perched waiting for her to continue. The attention of high born women rekindled sensations similar to ones that night. Confessions seemed more intimate than exposing her body.

"I became terribly self conscious. These two men I have known for years regarded my vulnerability. I could not read their faces. Did they condemn my husband's revelations? Did I arouse lust or pity or contempt? I had no way of knowing."

"Oh, definitely lust," the sympathetic one sighed.

The Marquise continued to rock with her hands between her thighs. She hunched and swiveled her hips in a most peculiar manner. "Was it lust?" the Marquise prompted.

"I must have looked mortified because my husband displayed concern."

"I'll bet he did," Lady Fournier scoffed.

"I complained. I had no understanding of the others' regard and felt like a side of lamb displayed in a shop window. Edouard laughed and chided the other men to show me their regard."

The Marquise's rosy complexion drained to a pallor. Several women caused the bed to tremble. "How did they do that?" the sympathetic and naive one pleaded.

Suzanne coughed and blushed for the hundredth time that evening. "They, um, opened their trousers."

"Were they large?" the Marquise squeezed herself with excitement.

"They were firm and purple and larger than any others I beheld," Suzanne replied with a quaver in her raspy voice.

"I would have screamed and run away," one of the ladies exclaimed.

"A wife must obey," another recited.

Your husband is a pig's penis," Lady Fournier insisted, "and he made you a whore."

Tears silently rolled from Suzanne's eyes. She agreed with the harsh Madame. Exposing herself outside the marriage bed surely amounted to grave sin, but she could not ask for absolution because she could not truly repent. Her loins burned with desire recounting the events, and she longed to repeat them.

"Did they violate you?"

"Can a thief steal what is given?"

"How did it happen?"

"After they unfastened their trousers, the men before me continued eating. They ignored me, but I shuddered to apprehend the pair of salutes betraying their feigned indifference. I held the pose at my husband's direction. Their evident arousal heightened my own until animal lust threatened to consumed me."

Suzanne's chest heaved and strained against her corset. The unconstrained Marquise flushed and closed her eyes. "Continue," the hostess breathed.

"My husband wrapped his arms around me, and I leaned against him while preserving an unobstructed view of my womanhood. Gustave and Ferdinand glanced but continued their discussion of opera and politics.

"Edouard kissed my shoulder with a gentle brush of his lips and nibbled to my neck. His hands roamed from their clench around my midsection to explore my hips and parted thighs. While he nibbled, the others pretended to ignore."

"The other men pretended to ignore you?"

"Edouard's thumbs and forefingers pinched my nipples making my body tingle. I longed for him to touch me elsewhere. I craved release."

"How could they ignore such a sight?"

"I believe they taunted me. The waited for me to demand their attention. Their fiendish ploy required me to volunteer what my husband did not give and they would not take until offered."

"A woman needs to know she is desired. It must have been infuriating to be ignored." The Marquise spoke from apparent experience.

Suzanne broke from her reverie to look around the room. The girl had been busy attending the visitor's laces. One woman's petite breasts lay exposed by the gape of her loose shift. Many of the women huddled half dressed devoting rapt attention to her tale. Nipples made prominent points at the apex of the Marquise's bountiful mounds. Suzanne's own body quivered.

"I leaned forward onto hands and knees," Suzanne continued. "I tested my husband's resolve by crawling ever closer to Ferdinand's staff. I longed to embrace Gustave, but I could not yet debase myself to accept my husband's brother."

"He didn't stop you?"

"No," Suzanne recounted. "I waited for Edouard to chastise me or pull me back or command my obedience - anything. My lips closed around Ferdinand, and he clasped my hanging breasts. He squeezed in echo to my mouth's motion as if I controlled his hands. My eyes closed, and I rocked telling myself it was a dream or a nightmare."

"Filthy whore," Lady Fournier cursed and received a chorus of objections. The other women demanded continuation of Suzanne's story.

"I parted as Edouard entered me easily from behind. His hands gripped my hips. Each time Edouard pulled, he dragged my mouth almost away from Ferdinand's dagger. Then, Ferdinand drew me back using hands on my breasts and the rebound from Edouard's thrust to drive his member deeper into my mouth."

"What did your brother-in-law do?" the Marquise could barely speak while rocking with staccato rhythm against her trapped hands. A familiar musk permeated the room.

Suzanne cringed revealing the most appalling detail. "I lost myself in the push and pull of two lovers until my reservoir of arousal overflowed. I succumbed to la petite mort. The physical world faded until I opened my eyes to behold the amused glimmer in Ferdinand's eyes. My cheek rested against his throbbing cock still awaiting relief. I looked to Gustave with renewed curiosity, but in Gustave's place, I found only Edouard."

"Oh, goodness!"

"It was Gustave inside you?"

"Indeed. He remained inside me. The men, my lovers, paused only to savor my surrender to pleasure. As I regained my faculties, they regained their ardor. I collapsed from my hands and knees to lay on my stomach. Gustave covered me, Ferdinand made love to my mouth, and Edouard watched with nothing betraying his interest other than the red knob pointing from his trousers. In fact, he conversed with Ferdinand as if I wasn't there, and Gustave occasionally grunted his opinions as well.

"Gustave rolled me to my back and thrust my knees apart. He rutted like a wild boar. Ferdinand stroked his own shaft until it burst unto my face. His seed flowed down my cheeks to my ears and neck. Gustave found his release and rolled away sated."

"You must have been spent," the Marquise observed.

Suzanne noted with interest: the Marquise evidently found her own release during the last soliloquy. Some of the younger companions glowed with content as well.

"You poor degraded girl," Lady Fournier mused with a hint of compassion.

"Be that as it may," Suzanne elaborated, "The realization of Gustave in my loins renewed my heat. I called to Edouard to comfort me in the manner of a husband. He stood over me where I remained on my back with legs parted. He held his tool wavering uselessly above out of my reach. The devil commanded me to self abuse."

"You did not," Lady Fournier exclaimed.

"I did. I gave myself the relief my husband denied. I did it with full intention and no remorse."


"Not at all," the Marquise corrected.

"Is that the end?" one of the more timid confidants inquired.

"Edouard has commanded my debasement twice more since that time." Suzanne continued, "and he beseeches me to observe his copulations with Victorine Meurent."

"You poor darling." The Marquise embraced Suzanne.

"You misunderstand," Suzanne smiled sheepishly. "Victorine has become my bosom companion. Three men are not enough to quench the fire in my loins when I observe her with Edouard."

"You are not humiliated?"

Suzanne grinned. "I am the mortal goddess risen from paintings of antiquity. True hypocrisy arises from secret delight in pleasures publicly condemned. Edouard will be renown for revealing Venus in our times, and I am no hypocrite. Let Paris behold my body and revere it as they revere Bathsheba. Let them revere Edouard Manet as they revere Rembrandt."

Historical note: Manet pioneered the transition from Realism to Impressionism. He depicted controversial contemporary subjects. His early masterpiece, 'The Luncheon on the Grass' (Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe), became a rallying point for the bohemian avant-garde.

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