Matters of love, of desire, of reconciliation and surrender exist with or without our consent. Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch offers insight and observation, with a raw, ragged edge:

Certainly,” I said, “I have often told you that pain holds a peculiar attraction for me, and that nothing kindles my passion quite so much as tyranny, cruelty and above all unfaithfulness in a beautiful woman.

So noted, Leopold.

—Media Lizzy