Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Like A Penis!

Thinking about this topic title, I realised something. I actually love cliches. And I realised this because I tried to think about some cliche in erotica/erotic romance that I hated, and I had it planned out that I'd rant about how awful this cliche was and how it once drove me to crayoning on my body while tearing out my hair in a mental ward with Murdock playing the bongos on my titties yadda yadda insane hyperbole yadda.

But that plan got all shot to shit, because I honestly couldn't think of one that I seethe with bongo playing Murdock titty hatred over. Instead, my brain started coming up with all the cliches that I love no matter how many times people wear them thin. Like:

1. Sex pollen. I love this cliche so much, I've actually written a sex pollen story. You know which episodes of Star Trek are my guilty no-really-it's-Yesterday's-Enterprise favourites? The ones with sex pollen in. You know, like that one where Lt. Yar goes all nuts with sex pollen flu, and decides that her best option is the huge battery operated sex toy in the shape of total hottie Brent Spiner? Or "Data", as most people call the character?

Yeah, I love that episode. I love sex pollen. I love how it removes all inhibitions in the blink of an eye, and you can have people do the craziest things because oh you know what? It wasn't them. It was the sex pollen from that vagina shaped flower over there. On a planet that's turned barren and empty because everybody was so busy having sex pollen sex they forgot to eat or drink or bathe. God, I bet the sex was just awful by the time they met their doom. And imagine all the other planets, laughing at that one planet with the vagina flowers. "Yeah, huh-huh, yeah- you know how their apocalypse happened? They sexed themselves to death. Huh-huh." Etc etc.

2. Forced marriage. I think I like this one because in reality, it sounds awful. But in my head, I've been forced to marry Michael Fassbender's cruel Lord of the Manor in the 1800s, and at first I'm all ooooooh, nooooooo. He's going to be cruel and dastardly and is that a moustache he has, all ready for twirling? Oh woe is me what am I going to do BAM. Actually he's a secret gentleman who wards people off with his Mr Rochester ways, and would I like to discover the Mysterees of thee Clitoroos? Oh why thank you Mr Rochbender, that would be lovely thank you oh my aren't you actually totally handsome and not like some gnarled ogre at all. Shocker.

3. Sex slave in some fantasy world castle of Evol Sekz. You know what I'm talking about. Anne Rice made it popular, even though half the things she wrote about would have actually killed most of her characters, instead of arousing them. I can't stop loving it, even when reading about people being painted with honey and probably chased by killer bees or something like it. That happened in the original, didn't it? Either way, that's not what I like about this cliche. I like it because the thought of some Brandon Routh looking motherfucker getting chased while he's dressed like a horse just really...I don't know. Does it for me?

Which probably means I'm contravening the laws of the cliche somehow, because most of the time I see sex dungeons being populated by women and I just want to populate them with hairy, broad chested men. With maybe a Queen at the top of the pecking order, poking at them with a little pointed stick and telling them to do daft things that would probably make them lose a leg, if this were reality.

But that's the fun of a cliche, isn't it? Not the losing a leg thing. The contravening thing. The slight bending of it thing. As the lovely peeps here have already noted, the fun is not in the size of a cliche. It's what you do with it that counts.


  1. The reason that it's called popular culture is because so many people like it. Only snobs see that as a bad thing.
    (I don't recall the killer bees, but it's been a while since I read the Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Maybe I should take a refresher course)

  2. You're right on, Charlotte! Although I do sometimes roll my eyes at romance or erotica cliches, the scenarios that you've highlighted still get me going.

    And that's why we read BDSM erotica - because we can imagine things so much more extreme than would actually be possible.

  3. Kathleen- There were totally killer bees in it. I swear. Honest. Ok, maybe it was just the honey thing and then my mind JUMPED to killer bees. But only possibly.

    Lisabet- Hooray! Someone else likes my cliched scenarios! I thought of another one I like, too- fuck or die. Oh, I love fuck or die! It's true- anything can be possible, in fiction.

  4. There is a certain fandom in which an entire library worth of fic has been devoted to the forced marriage cliche, and you know what? Quite a bit of it is just excruciatingly hot! You know what's going to happen, it's even the same two characters, but it just doesn't matter because it's hot anyway if it's written even passably well. And sex pollen, oh, fuggeddaboutit. I adore a good sex pollen story. You know, though, I think what all the examples you cite have in common is that they're all scenarios in which a character has no choice but to submit to what we, the perverted reader, KNOW is their true desire to have lots of sex. And the kinkier the better.


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