25 Marquis de Sade Quotes: Pioneer of Eroticism

Check out our Marquis de Sade quotes and determine if the French writer was a monster or a misunderstood genius. 

Marquis de Sade remains a polarizing figure in French history as a man who pioneered erotic literature. 

Check out our Marquis de Sade quotes below to learn more. 

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Who was Marquis de Sade?

Donatien-Alphonse-Francois, better known as Marquis de Sade, was born June 2, 1740, in Paris, France. 

He is remembered as a French nobleman whose erotic writings were responsible for the term sadism. 

Check out these interesting Marquise de Sade facts below:

  • The word sadism comes from Marquis de Sade.
  • de Sade wrote much of his erotic material in prison. 
  • Marquise de Sade was known to sexually abuse men and women. 

What were some of Marquis de Sade’s scandals?

de Sade’s background as an aristocrat entitled him to a good life where he arose in the king’s regiments as a military man. 

He abandoned his military post during the Seven Years’ War. 

After the war, he married the daughter of a high-ranking family and had two children. 

Marquis had an affair with another woman in the first months of his marriage.

Marquise kept a separate private room where he fulfilled his lustful desires. 

He invited prostitutes to his room, subjected them to sexual abuse, and was sent to prison for abusing women.

He was freed after several weeks and returned to his lifestyle of indulgence, which put him deeply into debt. 

de Sade hired a young prostitute and severely abused her.

She was locked up in his little room and subjected to vicious sexual abuse. 

She escaped and told the neighbors about the ordeal; her wounds and injuries were enough to convict de Sade and send him back to prison. 

Did Marquis de Sade use date rape drugs?

Recently, we have seen the controversy of public figures like Bill Cosby going to prison after being accused of using date rape drugs to sexually abuse women. 

Marquis de Sade is infamous for including these types of harmful substances to drug and rape prostitutes and his male attendants. 

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Marquis was known to keep a pill box full of candies mixed with Spanish fly, the same drug Cosby is accused of using. 

His guests thought they were having a sweet treat after dinner, but instead, they were being tricked into consuming drugs so he could abuse them. 

People thought Marquis poisoned them and told the authorities of his behavior. 

He had to flee the country to avoid arrest for his crimes. 

To learn more, check out our Marquis de Sade quotes below. 

Short Marquis de Sade quotes about nature and pleasure

de Sade believed our natural state includes sexual pleasures. 

Below are some of his most memorable quotes. 

1. “It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.” — Marquis de Sade 

2. “Your body is the church where Nature asks to be reverenced.” — Marquis de Sade 

3. “Lust’s passion will be served; it demands, it militates, it tyrannizes.” — Marquis de Sade 

4. “In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.” — Marquis de Sade 

5. “The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind.” — Marquis de Sade 

Famous Marquis de Sade quotes about happiness and God

Marquis de Sade believed in Nature over God, and these quotes demonstrate his belief system. 

6. “Truth titillates the imagination far less than fiction.” — Marquis de Sade 

7. “All universal moral principles are idle fancies.” — Marquis de Sade 

8. “Happiness is ideal. It is the work of the imagination.” — Marquis de Sade 

9. “Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature’s mandates.” — Marquis de Sade 

10. “There is no God, Nature sufficeth unto herself; in no wise hath she need of an author.” — Marquis de Sade 

Marquis de Sade quotes and sayings about making your mind

de Sade was a man who challenged popular ideas and did not care for the opinion of others. 

11. “A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!” — Marquis de Sade 

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12. “My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care?” — Marquis de Sade 

13. “I’ve already told you: the only way to a woman’s heart is along the path of torment. I know none other as sure.” — Marquis de Sade 

14. “They declaim against the passions without bothering to think that it is from their flame philosophy lights its torch.” — Marquis de Sade 

15. “Lust is to the other passions what the nervous fluid is to life; it supports them all, lends strength to them all ambition, cruelty, avarice, revenge, are all founded on lust.” — Marquis de Sade 

The top Marquis de Sade quotes about faith and appreciation

de Sade’s writings and teachings on faith, love, and sex revolutionized how his peers saw the world. 

16. “No lover, if he be of good faith, and sincere, will deny he would prefer to see his mistress dead than unfaithful.” — Marquis de Sade 

17. “Happiness lies neither in vice nor in virtue, but in the manner we appreciate the one and the other, and the choice we make pursuant to our individual organization.” — Marquis de Sade 

18. “The primary and most beautiful of Nature’s qualities is motion, which agitates her at all times, but this motion is simply a perpetual consequence of crimes. She conserves it by means of crimes only.” — Marquis de Sade 

19. “All, all is theft, all is unceasing and rigorous competition in nature; the desire to make off with the substance of others is the foremost – the most legitimate – passion nature has bred into us and, without doubt, the most agreeable one.” — Marquis de Sade 

20. “One is never so dangerous when one has no shame than when one has grown too old to blush.” — Marquis de Sade 

The best Marquis de Sade quotes on the dangers of shame and the powers of sensual excess

Marquis de Sade is remembered as a man who encouraged others to pursue their highest pleasures. 

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21. “Sex is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow the one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the other.” — Marquis de Sade 

22. “The ultimate triumph of philosophy would be to cast light upon the mysterious ways in which Providence moves to achieve the designs it has for man.” — Marquis de Sade 

23. “Sensual excess drives out pity in man. Marquis de Sade The more defects a man may have, the older he is, the less lovable, the more resounding his success.” — Marquis de Sade 

24. “There is no more lively sensation than that of pain; its impressions are certain and dependable. They never deceive as may those of the pleasure women perpetually feign and almost never experience.” — Marquis de Sade 

25. “Nature, who for the perfect maintenance of the laws of her general equilibrium, has sometimes need of vices and sometimes of virtues, inspires now this impulse, now that one, in accordance with what she requires.” — Marquis de Sade

What is sadism?

Many people have heard of sadism and its opposite, masochism, but what do they mean?

Sadism is a psychological disorder where sexual urges are gratified by inflicting pain on another. 

The German psychologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing who received the word from Marquis de Sade coined the term in the nineteenth century 

Sadism is linked to masochism which is when sexual arousal results from receiving pain. 

Like anything else, there are levels to sadism. 

Sadism can be playful and inflict minor pain, or it can be extreme and even lethal. 

The sadist gains satisfaction not from inflicting the pain but from the mental suffering of the victim. 

Some consider Marquis de Sade a pioneer of sexual thought, and others see him as a predatory monster who abused people wherever he went. 

What is your opinion of Marquis de Sade?

Do you have a favorite Marquis de Sade quote?

Please be sure to let us know in the comments section. 

Clifton Sankofa has Master's degrees in English, Teaching, and School Leadership. He is a veteran educator and school leader. Clifton has built his career around teaching language arts, social-emotional learning, hip-hop(e), and vegan cooking. Across the country, Black and Brown communities die over preventable diseases. Clifton's aim is to help reverse this trend through cultural shifts. Using hip-hop and cultural-centered activities, he educates young people on how to reclaim their health and heritage through sustainable vegan eating, cooking practices, and literacy skills.
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