From the first paragraph of “. . . Io mi voglio divertir” in Masters and Servants by Pierre Michon:
In his youth, not to have every woman had seemed an intolerable scandal. But so that you see what I'm getting at—since we can't get at him anymore: it wasn't about seduction; he had appealed, as everyone does, to the two, seven, thirty, or hundred women bestowed upon each of us in accordance with our heights and our faces, our spirits. No, what infuriated him in the streets, in the wings and in the workshops, at the tables of all those who welcomed him, at the homes of princes and in gardens, essentially anywhere women ventured, was that he couldn't arbitrarily decide to have a particular one, a patron's wife, a gamine, or an old trollop, couldn't just point her out with his index finger and have her come and offer herself to him, to be thrown down right there or carried off elsewhere, and be taken. But again, so that you see what I'm getting at: it wasn't about keeping them there, by a law or some other violence; no, what he wanted was for them to want him as he wanted them, indifferently and absolutely, so that this desire made them as wordless as it made him, so that of their own accord they ran deep into a wood, mute, aroused, out of breath, and prepared themselves to be consumed, without any intervening process. That's what he told me, that evening in July, between two coughing fits, and more crudely than I have said: he wanted license; he felt the multiple gift he awaited was somehow due him, but he didn’t tell me what debt it was meant to repay, for which he would never be reimbursed, and the enormity of which, the presumptuousness, made him laugh at himself; he didn't bother asking for it; he just wanted to keep quiet, he wanted offerings to this silence; and he wanted for his to have been the only hand in all those dresses, with no more comment that—as sparkling as a spoken language—silk skirts at the frenzied instant. He didn’t get a penny—evidently, he wanted too much or too little. Perhaps in that regard he was like all men; my condition hardly permits me to judge and, anyway, I live in seclusion.