Sleeping Beauty, A Paraphilia

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Sleeping Beauty, a fairy tale so rampant with sexual abuse that it actually has a word named after it. “Somnophilia,” also known as the sleeping beauty syndrome is a paraphilia in which an individual becomes sexually aroused by someone who is asleep or unconscious (this can be considered rape). Can any other fairytale boast to having a fetish named after them? Original versions of fairy tales often overlooked a key aspect that is considered as one of the most important words in today’s society. Consent. Consent is key. The distinction between the words “yes” and “no” have been clearly defined. How have the modern adaptations of fairy tales have introduced consent in their retelling? I’ll be focusing on how the idea of consent has been introduced in recent adaptations of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and how they’ve evolved from their original versions.
Basile’s Sun, Moon and Talia, the oldest version of Sleeping Beauty is a prime example of non-consensual sexual activity. Talia (Sleeping Beauty) having pricked her finger on flax falls lifeless. Her father, the King, sits her on the throne and leaves, unable to stand the sight of his daughter in such a state. A falcon belonging to a King hunting nearby flies into the abandoned castle and the King in search of his bird stumbles upon Talia’s lifeless body. Entranced by her beauty, he engages in sexual intercourse with her impregnating her and leaves her body as he found her, lifeless. Talia gives birth, all the while asleep.

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