The Illustrated Delta Of Venus

ISBN: 0491027737
ISBN 13: 9780491027731
By: Anaïs Nin

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About this book

In Delta of Venus Anaïs Nin penned a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hatmaker named Mathilde leaves her husband for the opium dens of Peru. Delta of Venus is an extraordinarily rich and exotic collection from the master of erotic writing.

Reader's Thoughts


Probably the best book ever written about sex. Recently I brought up Delta of Venus on a drunken night out. All of my friends had read it, girl and boy, and all said it opened them up to sex from an early age. Erotica becomes cheese easily but Nin is so good at it that this never happens. She writes of sheer sensuality, of power play between genders, curves and wetness and moonlit nights, moments of real passion. Shots of semen on a woman's hands become waves lapping up on a beach. Nin also plays with incest, necrophilia, paedophilia, all kinds of taboos, and somehow it never feels exploitative or dirty. It's all in the name of exploration, to open her mind and yours, to make you think about what feels good to you and why. You'd be wise to take your time reading this one, as there's only so much of it you can handle in one session. I'm sure Nin would agree: It's best to take it slow.


dear reader,so, this week, i was thinking of changing things up, and doing something different instead of my regular "welcome!" thing. but hey, i think i got a good thing going with that. so...welcome! whew! haha, gotcha! yes, friend, welcome, one and all, to another week in "this week in books!" up to "bat" at this week's "game" is a solid "pitch hitter" who can really "pack" "heat": anais nin, and her great collection of fantastic fantasies, entitled "the delta of venus." haha, i guess that's where they go the joke, "women are from venus," because she's a woman, and that's hilarious, so it's a joke! ok, let's go!REVIEW:man/man, man/woman, woman/woman, man/man/woman, woman/man/woman, woman/woman/woman.drugs.pedophilia.pedophiliac rape.going to the


this book is super hot. Didn't realize it was all erotica till i cracked it open on the plane ride home from France. Felt a little warm under the collar for the whole ride ;)Deals with some scandalous themes. Incest, necrophilia, pedophilia, rape, bestiality, voyeurism, exhibitionism, some low key BDSM, homosexuality, etc etc. Not quite the abundance of themes you might find on the interwebs, but markedly better written than most of what you'd find there. Even if the thing she is writing about would other wise be distasteful, she somehow manages to make it seem hot.

Ironman Ninetytwo

Some of the stories were somewhat interesting - although the most interesting stories really strained credibility. Perhaps I'm a prude, or perhaps modern times are somewhat different than the 70-odd years ago these stories were written - but surprise endings of pedophelia and incest really put me off and pedophelia, at least, I think should not be a subject for pornography, any more than snuff porn. The introduction says these stories were written for a patron with very specific requirements, and so perhaps there was some subversion, an attempt to provide exactly what was requested but still defy control.On the other hand, erotica written by a women from the pre-war "dark ages", when things were much more secret, and much more patriarchal, should be recognized.


I truly didn't know what to expect but was impressed with her descriptions and her stories. And I have such a high regard for her as a sexual, female libertine in that time period. I didn't feel that any of the stories in Delta were perverse at all. They were all sexually charged people enjoying themselves. She did not delve into the world of any fetishes or anything super kinky so this is mainstream. She words things so eloquently but isn't too verbose. Her language is just perfect for eroticism. What I loved is how she phrased things. As a woman, I have seen the standard porns that are made for men of course. Watching a blow job where the guy typically just rams his dick in the chicks mouth, we see him get excited and her fake boobs bob, is quite frankly not very exciting. In her book, she describes fellatio as "he offered his penis to my mouth" and then goes on to describe how hot it is. Her descriptions are definitely more made for women. But they are also more just realistic of real life sex and real fantasies of sexually charges people. Another great example is the woman and her lover having sex by the window as people walk by. This is the stuff that a couple would really do and try to get away with. I liked it because to me it was somewhat realistic which made it totally hot. Expect to be aroused the entire time by Anais's vivid fantasies!


I think you have to be a little on the sick and twisted to get off on this book. Well, parts of it. Here are some examples of the icky ickiness Anais Nin writes about in Delta of Venus.-Dude lays in bed early in the morning, and some kids who live in the house come in and horse play around his room. He gets a hard on and encourages them to frolic about on top of the covers.-Same dude, decades later, takes custody of his teenage son and daughter. Then he fucks 'em.-A different dude burns some lady's cootch with a hot pipe.-Another dude helps some man take a dead body out of the river and then he fucks the dead body while water pours out of her orifices. -A lady rides a horse bareback, and gets all horny from the feel of the horse's rough coat against her clit.-etcEw, right? I mean, she does have some good stuff in the book, but honestly, it's so overshadowed by the ick, that it's hard to lose oneself in the writing. That being said, I'll admit that the reason we read Anais Nin in 2009 is to gain some perspective on the history of erotica, moreso than for sexy fun times. There's no doubt that Nin was remarkable--after all, she's female working in a male-dominated industry--but her writing is flat and stale (kinda like this review). Very few of her stories were fleshed out, and I found that she was missing the intense emotional connection I'd expect from a woman writer; the poeticism is noticeably absent. I'm completely and utterly disappointed. Maybe I set my expectations too high...Here's the blurb on the back of the book (this edition published in the 1970s):Thirty-five years ago, Anais Nin created the female language for sexuality. She did it for a wealthy male patron for $1.00 a page. He ordered her to "leave out the poetry," but she simply couldn't. The publication of Delta of Venus now makes available to the rest of us the seductive, erotic and full-bodied nature of her writing. And it reveals Anais Nin as a woman ahead of her time.Well Mr. (or Ms.) Blurbist, you couldn't be farther from the truth. Or further. Whatever.

Regina Andreassen

Erotica is one thing that I appreciate and enjoy, but necrophilia, pedophilia, sadism (you don't burn someone's is NOT OK), and so forth, is a different thing. I don't think the book is beautifully written either, and it is not creative at all. Clearly, Anais Nin tried to be original and perhaps that is why she felt the need to go that far; well, perhaps that should have been expected if we remember that she had an incestuous relationship with her dad, and was married to two guys at the same time. The characters, as portrayed in the different stories, were ridiculous caricatures, and evidently, she had not idea what she was talking about. Apart from the 'erotica' there was so much nonsense: Opium in Peru and alpacas in Brazil! Just to mention a few 'inaccuracies'. I know it was just fantasy, but that doesn't justify idiocy and ignorance. Nin never felt proud of this work. She wrote it mainly to make some money that she needed desperately, that is why the different stories were not meant to be published but read by a private 'buyer' with a special taste for sex... hte one who has paying her and other authors to do that.Overall, a terrible book...I threw it where it belonged: to the rubbish.Oh, and please, don't try to convince me- or the others who agree with me- that I am wrong..simply because in this particular case I am sure I am not... ;)BTW, we can call Anais Nin a diarist, but she was not really a novelist! She has to be one of the most overrated writers ever! I am not saying this because I am a prude, because I think I am the opposite, quite liberal. Yet, I have read thousands of books since the age of 4 (it is totally true), perhaps that is the reason why these days I don't find many books that I consider good literature. I may be called a snob, and perhaps I am a snob; but I have to be loyal to myself and Anais Nin doesn't do anything for me.


Feeling less like reading a book and more like taking a heady, decadent wander through other people's most intimate secrets and fantasies, this one is definitely not one for the tenderhearted as all flavours of sexual appetites and behaviours feature within, including but not limited to voyeurism, exhibitionism, violence and, more extremely, incest, bestiality and necrophilia.The dreamy, sensual prose puts you in a slightly drugged frame of mind, much like the opium dens that also feature highly, and while being explicit it somehow never descends into obscenity or vulgarity (though I realise that this is highly subjective - I can imagine some people I know throwing the book across the room in horror at some of the depictions within and probably never speaking to me again).Considering that the closest I've come to reading erotica, other than the odd episode in Anne Rice books, were the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (which let's face it, is no kind of erotica but instead trashy romance, and not even well written romance at that) I was surprised at the high standard of writing throughout, which is never better than when dealing with the sexual awakenings of the female protagonists, and while I never engaged with the text on a purely visceral level it certainly stimulated me intellectually and left me thinking for a long while afterwards about my own attitude towards sex and intimacy.I'll definitely be picking up more books of this ilk in the future.

Dan Keating

It's difficult to figure out where to begin discussing Anais Nin's masterful piece of overblown erotica, "Delta of Venus."Perhaps the best place is to begin by saying that this is not erotica that one would expect to find today. I've admittedly only read a small sampling of "modern" erotica, but what I have read there was extremely tame and inoffensive in comparison. This feels as though it comes from Nin's deep-seated desire to explore sexuality rather than just titillate. There's plenty of titillation too, don't get me wrong - but interspersed you'll find pedophilia, genital mutilation, necrophilia, and a whole ton of rape, almost all of which occurs without negative consequence. Indeed, many of these things are shown in a vacuum - a character loved fucking a fresh corpse and never suffered any repercussion afterward, save that his enjoyment of the experience left him yearning for a similar one from a still-living companion. The moral vacuum aside, there were several times throughout reading "Delta of Venus" that I actually found myself wishing that I'd read it in high school - or even that it was required reading in high school. So many people from my generation learned about sex through shoddy American pornography and even shoddier American pop culture. There's very little room in either of those mediums for an exploration of sensuality, of the ability to slow down while simultaneously becoming more heated, to see that sex isn't just a series of acts which are selected from a menu like one selects items at a fast food restaurant. Probably the greatest thing about "Delta of Venus" is its utter lack of shame, especially in its discovery of itself. That's a lesson more people should learn, as quickly as possible.And hey, a chick has an orgasm while kneeling in front of a priest and confessing, and in order to disguise it she falls forward and pretends to be weeping. That's just inspired."Delta of Venus" is, admittedly, over-the-top. The characters within are almost entirely ribald in their feelings, and many of them discuss in a terribly forthright manner exactly what is on their minds, in situations where it's difficult to believe that they wouldn't show a little more restraint. That, plus the exquisitely ridiculous character of some of the sexual encounters (which never become tacky), give the novel a kind of hyper-realistic quality. These are the real thoughts and feelings and actions of people who cannot possibly be real in the most literal of senses, but absolutely have to be real in the most metaphorical of senses. They represent some of the most extreme drives and desires which most of the time we keep hidden.I'd heavily recommend "Delta of Venus." It's definitely going to offend some people - okay, a lot of people - and I figure there would be some resistance to my feeling that teenagers, who are just beginning to develop their sexual identities, would be better off getting this perspective too than to just learn what sex is from rap music videos. All that aside, it's worth seeing another side to sexuality.

Astrid Reza

I had to make this book one of my must-have-list-of-book. So far it’s the best erotica literary writings I ever read. It literally makes you wet yourself. What really intriguing is what Anais explain in her preface (which adapted from her diaries). Doing it for a dollar a page, which apparently create one of her best collections of erotic stories. She needed the money to pay her and her friends living expenses, which she described that “Everyone around me irresponsible, unconscious of the shipwreck”. How necessities create wonders to writers:POut of the fifteen stories, Anais had her best in writing “The Hungarian Adventure”, “Marianne”, “Elena” and “The Basque and the Bijou”. I like her way in making erotica, which portray women awakening sexuality. Following what D.H. Lawrence did in his writings about sexuality and the complexity in man and woman relationships. Anais made it more gripping with the use of language entirely beautiful in creating her description. She did invented the language of sex that so different from her predecessors (which are dominated by man)I’m entering my second reading in my second summer with Anais, which make one of the best parts of summer holiday reading.

John Doe

This book of porn could not have been written by a man. There is too much caressing with hands, lesbian kissing orgies, and breathing on naked bodies in opium dens. Don't get me wrong, Nin is my kind of woman, but she is very feminine...and not always in a sexy way. For example, a man would never call a woman's sex 'that wound that never heals' completely. Seriously, someone has issues with her body! However, she writes well and most of it is pretty hot. I would recomend this book to drug adicts and lonely women.

Deepa Ranganathan

Fascinating stories, powerful imagery, impact story-telling. Nin's personal life, however, seems more interesting than the stories she weaves.


AUTHOR WEBCAM!!- Hi there… my name’s Anais, what’s yours?- Oh, er… hi Anais! My name’s Pau---- Manny. My name is Manny.- Hi Manny. How are you tonight?- Oh I'm fine thank you. Er.... you have a great laptop there.- Why thank you! It’s a Lenovo Ideapad. Do you think it looks cute?- Oh…yes.- You should see the things I can do with it.- Mm hmmm.- What would you like to see me do Manny? Would you like to see me … type? Or…correct a manuscript? Do you want me to call my publisher? I can complain about royalty payments if you want – I complain really well. You know - if you have a publisher we could complain together.- Could you… could you compose some erotica right now?- Of course I could, Manny! Now, would you like that to be in long luxurious leisurely sentences with metaphors clustered like grapes hanging from a vine turning golden pale in the Tuscany sun? Or would you like it to be urgent, short, sharp, like a James Ellroy sex doll, no word over four letters?- Please… just do what you feel you’re into, Anais.- Why thank you Manny, you’re a gentleman. All right. Let's see now...

David Gillespie

Delta of Venus is a book of short stories by Anaïs Nin. Though the stories were largely written in the 1940s while Nin was writing erotica for a private collector, the book was first published posthumously in 1978. The effect of Nin's dreamy prose, the heightened tease of her language, and the titillation of the poetic images of lovers experiencing the joys of the flesh converge to become one of the best collections of erotica ever written. In Nin's hands, the clinical is transformed into beauty. The descriptions are often graphic, but never cross the line into abject pornography. Some readers may have a problem with distinguishing erotica with pornography, as such, this is not a book they need to read. For readers who know how to distinguish between literary erotica and the Penthouse Forum column, this is a must read. In regards to my own writing, I often have a problem with how sexual matters are portrayed in most modern American literature and film. I much prefer the sensibilities of Nin, and how she is able to explore the combinations of love, lust, and the mysteriousness of human sexuality. I aspire to successfully reach that level of writing.


A broke Anais Nin wrote porn at a dollar a page for an unknown collector who kept telling her to write less literary crap, more of the in and out. Which infuriated her, because she thought he was destroying everything interesting about sex. Which is basically the same debate people are having today about internet porn.And she keeps punishing him for it. In one story a woman has an erotic opium experience, and it's pretty hot I guess, and then suddenly it's like (view spoiler)["And then the guy almost slashed her vagina up because he was a psycho! The end." (hide spoiler)] Which is basically just Nin saying "Ha ha, I killed your boner." In the first story, a dashing guy who's basically The Most Interesting Man in the World from the Dos Equis commercials is bored by normal sex and starts seeking out increasingly perverse experiences. So the first bit, where there's this hot singer lady who goes around to the private booths after her act and blows guys, is - again - pretty hot; but by the end of the story, (view spoiler)[he's trying to shove his cock into his sleeping preteen son's mouth. (hide spoiler)]And that's also a debate that continues today: some anti-porn folks say that the ubiquity of porn encourages people to search out ever-more-extreme forms just to find something new. For what it's worth, anecdotally, this has not been my experience.In any case, I don't know why this guy kept paying Nin. She was pretty much just fucking with him.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

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