I have a confession to make: I adore drinking wine – white or red – and have been a fan of rosé, especially the dry varieties, for many years. As a lover of most things French and sensual, on a recent mini break to Queensland’s ‘granite belt’, I couldn’t resist ordering the La Petite Mort Rosé from a restaurant wine list.
The cool, high country and decomposed granite soils of the area make for unique and excellent wines – the label got my attention, andthe wine did not disappoint!
As I was drinking, my curiosity sparked and I did a little digging about the origins of the term ‘La Petite Mort’. The little death as a metaphor for orgasm is fairly mainstream, and has been used as a title for many things, including restaurants and a ballet, and is referenced widely in music lyrics.
The term was in use as early as the 16th century, originally referring to a fainting fit, later enlarged to include ‘nervous spasm’. More recently the term has been used to describe a sexual orgasm as a spiritual as well as physical release, an orgasm so intense it feels like an out of body experience; the feeling of having expended life force, of having died a little.
Surely, a little warm death is even better? (sung beautifully by Stringmansassy):
La petite mort is commonly used in literature, although not always in a sexual way (i.e. Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles) and literary critic Roland Barthes used the term to describe the experience of reading great literature.
I’m sure I’ll find a way to slip it into my writing…
I’ll leave you with a beautiful but sad song…
a tout a l’heure…