Monday, April 7, 2014

Monster (Nympho)Mania


Sacchi Green


We’ve mentioned the current craze for monster erotica before, chiefly with regard to the monstrous book sales (actually mainly short story sales) the writers in this sub-genre are enjoying. Virginia Wade’s Cum for Bigfoot seems to be the classic in this group, if not the first, with reported revenues of $30,000 a month at one point. If only we more pedestrian smutscribes had known enough to get in on all this before the market was glutted! Or is it glutted yet? There seem to be some problems lately with Amazon suppressing these books, but Smashwords is said to still have plenty of offerings.

Writing erotica requires an understanding of what turns on the target readership. It helps to share that particular kink, but that’s not absolutely necessary. If writers couldn’t portray characters totally unlike themselves there wouldn’t be much worth reading. So what is the appeal of, say, a Sasquatch? Bigger than ordinary men, stronger, probably fierce, not talkative or softened by civilization? Check. Pretty sexy. Hairy all over? Well, not necessarily a deal breaker. And everybody’s heard of them.  Just minutes ago, as I sit here typing, I’ve seen two commercials for some brand of beef jerky featuring “Messing with Sasquatch” vignettes, wherein the jerks trying to play tricks on the big guy get their comeuppance. No sex, of course, but quite possibly inspired by the porn.

Sasquatch was a brilliant choice for erotica. Close enough to human for sexual attraction to seem at least remotely possible, imaginary enough to endow with whatever monsterly powers (or superpowers) the writer (or reader) desired. But now that Sasquatch has been, well, taken, other writers’ flights of erotic imagination have soared on into less believable realms.

The least believable, to me, are the apparently wildly popular dinosaur “heroes”. Taken by The T-Rex? What possible appeal would a mammalian female have for a reptile, except as lunch? But Chrissie Sims and others have made it big with the biggest guys of all. Dinosaurs, being extinct but not imaginary, might not seem to qualify a monsters per se, but the way they’re presented here is as imaginary as any bug-eyed alien monster slavering over a scantily-clad human female on the cover of an old pulp scifi magazine, so I guess I shouldn’t quibble about cross-genus pairings.    

Creatures from various mythologies are popular sex partners, too, which makes a certain amount of sense, since those mythologies were created by humans in the past whose carnal urges must have influenced their imaginations, if only subconsciously. I was disappointed to see that someone has already done recent fiction about a Minotaur; I would have liked to have a go at the two-legged Raging Bull, who was, after all (so the story goes) born from the union of the Queen of Crete and a white bull given by Poseidon to King Minos. The Greeks were way ahead of the current curve when it came to monster sex, what with Zeus taking the form of a bull or a swan to have his way with maidens who caught his fancy.

The alien monster pulp stories were ahead of this curve, as well, with the difference being that they didn’t include much if any explicit sex, and they were aimed at males, while the current batch is out to fulfill female fantasies. Why fantasize about monsters? Let’s face it, in sexual fantasy, size does count, but there’s more to it than that. Power counts, too, not just the power wielded by the impossibly huge, wild, dangerous creature, but the woman’s power in attracting him. And in a culture where sex still has a lingering aura of the forbidden, yielding to an unquestionably overpowering lover, the more dangerous and terrifying the better, might intensify the fantasy sex while canceling out guilt entirely. Really, though, I think it’s pretty much the impossible size factor, and the power trip. (And, for the writer, a way to make the sex seem more and more over-the-top without trying to think up new and original metaphors to describe it. Monsters don’t need metaphors, especially when they’re metaphors in themselves.)

Yes, I’ve been too flippant here, ignoring the truly scary aspects of monsters. The fear and fascination we feel regarding monsters seems to be both universal and timeless. The creatures we should fear the most in modern times are tiny viruses and bacteria, but we’re probably still wired to ancient times when real, savage danger lurked outside the circle of firelight in our caves. Sabre-toothed tigers and giant cave bears and other tribes of slighty different varieties of competing hominids, for instance. That sort of fear may be bred into us.

I’ve had an even more disturbing thought about the modern linkage of monsters and sex. If a child has real, human monsters to fear, and discovers that submitting sexually is the only way to pacify them, if only temporarily… No, I’m not saying that many, if any, people who enjoy reading about monster sex were abused as children, but the thought won’t quite go away.

Let’s be flippant again, okay? Or even just practical, from the writer’s point of view. Which potential monsters haven’t yet been overdone in erotica? To tell the truth, woolly mammoths rather appeal to me. Who needs tentacles when you have a huge, flexible trunk? Hmm. Mastered by the Mammoth? Or does Mastered by the Mastodon have a better ring to it? I have to admit, though, that I don’t like to portray my female characters as being “mastered” by any male creatures at all, even when I'm writing the occasional heterosexual story, but oddly enough “Mistressed” doesn’t seem to be a word, and if it were, it just wouldn’t have the same feel to it.

Still, for that many sales…

Let’s wind down with a brief snippet from a story I wrote about dragon sex (published in She-shifters edited by Delilah Devlin for Cleis Press) except that the dragon was a shapeshifting deity masquerading as a greenery-covered island in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, and took human form for most of the sex. Here’s a bit of pre-shapeshifting foreplay:

Seok-Teng stumbled, unbalanced, and still managed to slice the kris across the smuggler’s throat before he toppled backward into the sea.
She swung around and saw what he had seen. A golden eye gazed down at her from the island’s greenery, and then two eyes, in a long, elegant, emerald-scaled head that lifted to regard her full-on.  
“I had him! He was mine!” Seok-Tengs’s blood-madness ran still so hot that she felt no fear, no amazement that a dragon such as she had seen only on painted screens or the prows of festive longboats was here before her in the flesh. If indeed dragons were made of such. “I needed no help!”
The dragon seemed to laugh, though what difference there might be between a dragon’s laugh and its snarl Seok-Teng did not know. Indeed, as her blood slowed, she scarcely knew whether she herself dreamed, or imagined, or even lived. She held the kris upright, flat between her breasts, as talisman rather than weapon; it quivered, but gave off no heat. 
Heat of another sort did warm Seok-Teng’s flesh as the dragon’s gaze moved slowly along her body. Did dragons lust after human women? She had never heard such tales, but after all, she herself lusted after women, though so far only in her dreams.
“Why not?” The voice was not her own, yet unmistakably female—and it spoke from inside her own head. “Who can know so well how to please a woman as another woman?”
A dream, then. That sort of dream. Already Seok-Teng’s loins stirred with longing. Her bedroll would be damp and tangled when she woke. If only this dream would take her far enough for relief!
The boat she stood upon had floated nearer to the island. Seok-Teng looked full into the golden eyes, not flinching when the dragon’s green coils, their scales textured to resemble leaves, loosened from the rough limestone enough that its neck could arch outward above her and descend. Even when a flickering forked tongue, impossibly long, darted across her belly, Seok-Teng held her ground, though she could not suppress gasps and jerks at the tantalizing sensations it aroused. 
“Set aside your noble blade,” the voice said, “if you would taste of more tender delights.”
She sheathed the kris but kept it belted at her hip. This time the dragon’s laughter echoed inside her head, drowned out soon by Seok-Teng’s own cries as the deep-coral tongue lapped at the paler coral tips of her high breasts, teasing and tweaking at them until they hardened and darkened and sent bolts of pleasure close to pain down through her belly into her cunt.
“How brave are you, girl? Enough to follow me?” The voice seemed uneven now, almost breathless. The long tongue reached down between her thighs and slick lips to find the jewel of pleasure there, and a low, rough moan was wrenched from deep in Seok-Teng’s throat, followed by a keen wail as the stimulation ceased.

   

8 comments:

  1. Wow, Sacchi, you could really put the "mammoth" in the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica!

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  2. Replies
    1. Daddy X, brilliant! Somebody should write that, but I may not be the one.

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    2. Sacchi, maybe you could do Mastodomme...

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  3. Jeremy, I should have thought of that! I wonder how Maxim feels about monster sex. He did take one of my stories about a demon gargoyle.

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  4. I haven't read Taken by the T-Rex, but monster sex does work for me as a reader if done right. I agree that I've been distracted by scientific concerns (ie what interest would this monster have in a female mammal?). If that stuff isn't mishandled, however, what I like is actually a complete lack of emotion and alien motivation, so the sexual contact is incidental, potentially dangerous, and potentially unnoticed by the monster in question. For a great example, see the SF story Spar, which I quite like, and which really turns me on.

    That said, your speculations about the reasons are interesting, plausible, and unsettling.

    As a side note, I hadn't realized She-Shifters included such a broad range of shifters (dragons!). That's cool. I've got to put this on my list to check out!

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  5. A dragon shifter in Ha Long Bay! How did I miss that one?

    As for the Sasquatch craze - I don't think we decide what we write. Even the author of this series must have felt a frisson at the notion, leading her toward over-the-top fiction and great sales as a sort of after thought.

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  6. Sacchi, I can accept your mind-reading female dragon who can disguise herself as part of the landscape (and sentient landscapes seem to be a theme of yours). The T-Rex as a playmate I can't fathom, for the reasons mentioned. In general, I don't understand the craze for Monster Porn, but obviously, someone is snapping it up, so to speak. Monsters in literature generally do seem to be a metaphor for something else, such as monstrous humans or monstrous qualities.
    Sacchi, the only other writer I've read who can invest the natural world (aka the Goddess) with sexiness is Starhawk, though her fiction isn't erotica per se. I think Annie Sprinkle has done some kind of outdoor ritual/performance thing intended to demonstrate erotic attraction to Mother Nature. The natural world as a source of sexual energy could be an upcoming theme here.
    One thought that occurs to me about "monsters" is that fear (including the fear of sex in general that runs through Western culture) makes the feared being/entity seem like a monster.

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