Monday, July 23, 2007

"It's Got to Have a Human Head!"

... wailed the Black Lace editor.

by Janine Ashbless

A few years back I wrote a story, The Dragon’s Bride, in which a woman has sex with a dragon. (Have you any idea how hard I’d get my ass kicked if I submitted that story these days?) It was a Big Cock Fantasy really. Some people loved it, and some recoiled from it: “Sex with a talking dragon is still bestiality!” they squealed.

“Is it?” I asked, genuinely bemused. Is a free-willed, highly intelligent, self-aware creature who can talk, make moral judgements and understand the consequences of his actions just an animal? Because that doesn’t describe any animal I know.

What it is that makes the dragon/human liaison off-limits? The fact that Oromon is not biologically of the same species as Sheldi? - If I’d written a story about a human and an elf (or a Klingon) would that be as edgy? Or is it the fact he’s a quadruped and she’s a biped? Where’d you draw the line?

The fact one instinctively goes “Yuck!” or “Eeek!” when confronted with a particular sexual dynamic doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a sound basis to one’s reaction. I mean, personally I’m phobic of saliva – anyone who tried the Scarlet Sex Tip of “spitting into your lover’s mouth” with me would find themselves kicked clear across the room. That doesn’t make saliva a moral issue! Examine all motives. Don’t forget that when Captain Kirk first kissed Uhura, that episode of Star Trek was banned from TV - because it was obvious to the studios that the majority of viewers considered racial ‘miscegenation’ morally offensive. Nor is that attitude dead today – ask yourself what proportion of Hollywood movies feature a black hero getting off with a white woman.

Taboos (and violent, visceral revulsion) often manifest in situations where boundaries between categories are in danger of being shattered: black/white, male/female, inside/outside, animal/human, food/not-food, living/dead. Remember how genuinely offended and angry people got in the ‘60s when men starting wearing their hair long – because that mixed up existing gender signals and blurred category boundaries. Most Westeners would find the prospect of eating, say, dog, stomach-churning: dogs are Not-Food despite being edible. Fingernails on the living hand are beautiful; fingernails dropped anywhere else are repulsive. Perfectly acceptable feet or shoes suddenly become Dirty when put on a table.

It’s a very strange relationship we have with the animal kingdom. From a very young age we’re all fed with stories about bears that go on picnics, hedgehogs that spring-clean their houses, rabbits who shop for hats and ducks that want to fly airplanes. We are inculcated with the idea that Animals are People just like us, with feelings and aspirations and personalities. Then suddenly it’s flipped on its head and we’re told that no, animals are there to be crammed into battery cages and minced into hamburger and have oven-cleaner squirted in their eyes. Blimey, no wonder we’re confused.

Fantasy fiction expresses among other things our yearning to go back to that belief that there are beings with whom we share the world that look different to us but are People just the same. Fantasy stories are filled with talking animals, with mythic beasts possessing wisdom and secrets and tantalising mystery. We want to interact with people who share most of our biology but are still Other (Hey, isn’t that a part of all heterosexual attraction?). We see animals as a bridge between us and the natural world we are estranged from. And, being sexual adults, we load fantasy beasts with other significance: animals are spontaneous, they have sex without guilt, and they represent the power of instinct overriding rationality and cultural restrictions. One look at Furry communities lets you know how important the symbolic power of the animal-human is. Pony-girls are a favourite fantasy of many people. Cowboy erotica obsesses about horses and sex in stables. And what about the HUGE interest in lycanthropes in romantic fiction? The entire point of werewolf erotica is the fetishising of the fact they can turn into animals at any moment, isn’t it?

Does this playing around with taboo smack of hypocrisy? Or is it the hallmark of the erotic always to be dancing on the edge of the Forbidden?

My position, for what it’s worth, is …. I think we’re obligated by humane decency to engage sexually only with those of an equal mental and moral capacity to ourselves – anything else is exploitation at some level. And my feeling is that anything you can argue with, challenge, be moved by and empathise with AS AN EQUAL counts as a Person regardless of gender, genetic makeup or appearance – and I see no problem writing about sex between Consenting Autonomous People.

In the real world this category definitely excludes animals (along with children, adults in comas, corpses etc). In fantasy worlds it cannot exclude werewolves, vampires, mermaids, angels … or dragons*.


Here’s a short extract from The Dragon’s Bride

The same story collection, Cruel Enchantment, also had a short story about a werewolf initiation orgy. Do you wanna read the bit where the heroine actually had sex with a wolf? Brace yourselves; here it comes:

“As soon as she was released this time, Michel rolled her over onto her front. Someone took her from behind, quick and slippery and panting, his balls slapping audibly against her pussy, and after he had finished another mounted her. Her first thought was that this man had an extraordinarily hairy chest and thighs – and then her second though was a white streak of incredulity., but Michel held her down hard so that she couldn’t wriggle round and look behind her. She buried her face in his leg, half laughing and half sobbing, and pure shock wrenched another orgasm from her.”

Shocking, wasn’t it? You may never recover – though somehow I doubt it.

Janine Ashbless

* Or unicorns. See “The Unicorn and the Strumpet” by our own Teresa Noelle Roberts, which you can find in the anthology ‘Garden of the Perverse’: fairy tales for twisted adults. Oh, and wait till you see what’s coming up in Love on the Dark Side, the next Black Lace anthology!

1) What were you expecting - Dragon cock?
2) Mr Tumnus. Fauns are acceptable -
3) And werewolves, some of the time -
4) But this is just way too pervy, apparently.


Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Janine!

Thanks for making me think about this issue... I'd never really considered it before, as I'm not a fantasy writer really. But I do like the concept of Consenting Autonomous People. I doubt if I'll ever have to argue the points you raise with an editor, as it's not my writing area... but it would please me to know that I could go there if I wanted to, and that other writers are able to in their books and stories.

Very cool stuff, mate!

Anonymous said...

When I read your point about the animal needing to be consenting, I thought, hmm, what if the animal clearly was consenting? And then I thought about that classic sitcom image of a dog shagging the vicar's leg.

Then I laughed - stupidly.

Brilliant post. I'll have to come back with something smarter later.

Deanna Ashford said...

A really thought provoking post Janine.

Erotic writing has broken boundaries before so surely eventually it can do so again. I just read a story by Mandy Wroth where she had her heroine falling for a shapshifting immortal that could be both dragon or man and I found that fascinating.Who says that we wouldn't find these guys sexy if they really did exist?

Fantasy or paranormal writing comes from the author's imagination. And if these fantasies extend the boundaries of what is acceptable in real life then why not.

Janine Ashbless said...

Thanks guys!

Wow - 3 hours up and no one has called me a foul pervert who will burn in hell yet.

Quiet day then.

Olivia Knight said...

I also (unaware of Janine's fabulous foray into that territory) tried to propose sex with a dragon - well. It whirled around, roared at me, jetted flame, and I was lucky to get away with my life.
Erhemm. Back in this world (as she gulped a handful of her pills), I was told that was bestiality.
"Well, maybe for the fucking dragon it would be!" I yelled back - after I'd hung up the phone. Everyone knows dragons are intellectually superior, don't they?
As soon as one gets into fantasy worlds, it all becomes a bit Narnia and the boundaries between human and non-human become increasingly inconsequential and hard-to-define. The editor's "human head" definition is probably fair enough, although I wonder if orcs count...? And of course, we're all asking that - well, maybe not about orcs, but trying to stretch the definition just that much further. Show us an envelope and we'll try push it (having checked it for royalty cheques and naked men first).

Scene from the Black Lace offices:
The editor slams down his phone and tries to clutch at his hair but his hands slip off. He gazes up at the ceiling in despair and yells to everyone and no-one,
"People! People, dammit! All I want is sex with people! How hard can that be?"
The colleagues in the desks closest to him begin to edge nervously away, glancing between themselves. A young work-experience girl clears her throat nervously.
"Well, I'm a person..." she says tentatively.
"AND they have to be over sixteen!" he snaps. "In HUMAN years!"

Well - enough about that - my fantasies all lean towards mythical beasties (centaurs - hmm, now they DO have human heads - half-man, half-horse, what more could you ask?). All of whom fulfill Janine's criteria of self-awareness and some of whom even human heads - at least some of the time... or basically bipedal outlines... or...

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

I think there's a tremendous appeal to fantasies on the edge--and bestiality isn't just on the edge, but over it. Most of us would never admit that we've even wondered what it would be like to make the beast with two backs with an actual beast. Putting that fantasy in the context of something that has an animal nature and a humanlike consciousness makes it safe enough that we can look it in the face and say, "hmm, if you put it that way...maybe."

At least for me. The first time I stumbled into a scene where a woman had sex with her werewolf lover when he was in wolf form, I turned beet red, sputtered--and then had to run for the vibrator because it was so naughty and out there that it got me really hot! I don't have many sexual taboos--things I'm not into, sure, but not many actual taboos--and seeing something that is a taboo turned around so it's still outrageous, but also outrageously sexy because it's her boyfriend shagging her and he just happens to look canine...yum. It's not that I'd want it to happen to me--for one, I'm hideously allergic to dogs and probably would be to werewolves--it's that it's shattering boundaries and, at least in fiction, that's fun.

Thanks so much for the plug on my unicorn story. I had some qualms writing that one, afraid I'd suddenly find my mailbox flooded with anonymous letters lambasting me as a sick, perverse girl who wants to do naughty things with horses. Of course, because I am a sick, perverse girl (just in a different way), I was also hoping for that response so I could point out that the unicorn was smarter, kinder, and more morally balanced than the humans in the story. He just happened to be the proud possessor of a Ginormous Horse-Sized Cock, and wouldn't we'd all like to meet someone smart, compassionate, magical, and exceedingly well-hung? To my relief and my disappointment, no censorious letters appeared.

Mat, the notion of consent and animals has a blurry line in my head. For one, I've met enough leg-humping dogs to think that to the simple doggy mind, it might just be one more pleasant form of Attention from Humans. More importantly, we do a lot of things to animals without their consent--some beneficial but probably not what the animal would choose (I'm sure if you asked my cat, he'd rather have his balls and be roaming the neighborhood than be neutered and safe indoors!), some definitely not. (I like my lamb chops and my leather coat, but I can't pretend animals weren't killed to get them for me.) If an animal isn't being harmed or injured, is sex with an animal necessarily any more (or less) wrong than dressing your cat in a silly outfit or training your dog to run obstacle courses or any of the other stupid but essentially harmless human tricks we pull on our animal companions?

Wow, I sound like I'm advocating buggering the puppy here, and I'm really not. It's just the sort of weird moral quandary I like to sort through sometimes.

Shutting up now, having just revealed a lot more about myself than I should have.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say - still set some what at random here - Greebo in Discworld. When they turn that cat into a man: whatta man!

Deanna Ashford said...

So if it has a human head it is okay regardless of the rest of its body? I find that a little odd.

Are Orcs human Olivia, I'm not sure. However, I think I'd prefer a magical dragon as a partner opposed to them. With those teeth I cannot imagine how bad their breath might be!

A thought just struck me in the TV show Hercules the Legendary Journeys they had human women married to centaurs. That was a kids show and no one complained.

Also Hercules's second wife in the series was the legendary Golden Hind.

There are stories of gods turning into animals in lots of cultures so the idea of having sex with non humans of whatever ilk aren't that strange really.

Gwen Masters said...

What a well-written and well-researched post! Delightful read. And thought-provoking.

When I was way back in high school and just dipping my toes into the writing world, I came across a story about a woman who falls in love with a man she thinks is normal -- but during full moons, he turns into a werewolf. He made a point of staying away from her during those times, for fear of hurting her, but one night she followed him...and the sex that followed was hotter than hot. It is the kind of thing I remember almost word-for-word over a decade later, and something that lingers that long HAS to be hot as hell.

But it also made me uncomfortable. It turned me on, made me squirm, and made me think, "What the hell is wrong with me?"

That was then and this is now, and now I know that the venture into the unknown -- that heart-pounding, gut-wrenching, scared as hell but going to do it anyway kind of feeling -- is a sexual thrill like no other.

It's the adult version of "What If." The same game little kids play, only now it's with grown-up toys.

Speaking of adult versions and grown-up toys, we went to see Cats at the theater the other night. If there was ever a very good reason to shag an animal, Rum Tum Tugger is it. I could hardly concentrate on the show. I was too busy thinking about a dozen different ways to fuck him silly. Sexy kitty, that.

Ally said...

I recently finished reading a book published by Black Lace and written by Kit Mason in which there was a short story called "The Pearl Seeker."

At the end of the story there is a scene where these asian pearl divers divulge a secret lover to an unsuspecting woman. They called it the big man of the sea.

After smearing her with crab meat she is coaxed into a large tide pool to find not a man, but an alien lover from the salty depths with eight tentacles. The erotic way Kit Mason discribed the encounter was amazingly sexy and oh so taboo.

And like Teresa
I turned beet red, sputtered--and then had to run for the vibrator because it was so naughty and out there that it got me really hot!

I found it strange that something so beyond kinky would have that effect on me. But I guess all things so naughty are arousing.

When I first read what todays topic would be several days ago, I actually had an erotic dream that night, where I was a whale and had copulated with another whale. (No not a sperm whale) but we were two beasts with humbacks...LMAO
How odd!

Ally said...

That was a great article. Thankyou for my first smile of the day. After a long night of insomnia I finally dragged my ass out of bed and tuned on Lust Bites, or Lust Bites turned me on...Oh hell, you know what I mean!

Madeline Moore said...

Janine addresses the BIG TABOO. GOod for you. It does seem odd that erotica, which exists to take readers into sexual scenarios they dare not enter into in real life,has such a strict rule against bestiality. Of course, the rule is not just established by editors, it's in accordance with censorship laws. We can't sell our stuff if it can't be distributed. I think it IS the 'consenting adult' caveat that makes bestiality taboo, so giving it a human head that can say, 'Yeah let's do it!' or 'No thanks' makes some sort of sense.
But if it's a shapeshifter, it should be okay, unless of course the person, when s/he has become the dragon/wolf/etc. does stuff s/he wouldn't do in human form, it gets muddy again. I can't honestly say I'm against the taboo in erotica against bestiality. I'm sure there would be some fabulous, hot stories if the taboo were lifted, but there'd be some very ugly stuff, too. And when the taboos start to fall away, what's next? Sex with children?
I don't think any sane adult wants that, but...what if the child were a two hundred year old witch? Or a dragon in human form? And so, on it goes...

A very thought provoking post, and very brave, and very well done. Thanks!

Sacchi Green said...

The only part that squicks me out is the notion of a dragon with a human head. Maybe it's just a matter of, well, scale. Ahem.

I do see many calls for submission these days that say "no bestiality" but go on to allow that sex with shapeshifters or aliens is okay.

It seems to me that if you can have hot lizard sex with some dude from another planet, but not with a good old terrestrially-mythological dragon, what we have here is a clear case of racism. We should all launch a protest by writing such stories and filling an anthology.

Just gotta find a publisher. Hmm.

Alison Tyler said...

Hi Janine,

I think we're going to see "CAP" on guidelines from now on. Awesome post on a touchy topic. And I'm a bit put out that you weren't offensive at all and gave me no reason whatsoever to link to this.



P.S. Has anyone mentioned the cat scene in the Beauty Book? Did I miss it? Somehow Ms. Rice manages to get away with underage characters and animal sex.

Ally said...


Are you talking about
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty?

I've had it on my shelf for sometime and have yet to dive under the cover.

I'm too tied up in Gothic Blue. Such lovely seduction Portia.

Alison Tyler said...

Actually, it's Beauty's Punishment. I tried to find the excerpt online. Amazon lets you search inside the book to the point that I know the page number, but can't snag the exact paragraph. And here I am, with company in the house, and I wonder how it would look if I were to go break out the porn and start typing...

But here, directly from Amazon, page 138:

...that it dripped and slid in dollops into her vagina. "Just butter, my sweet, fresh butter," said the Mistress. "No perfumed ointments here." And suddenly she dropped the cat on all fours on Beauty's tender belly and chest...


Janine Ashbless said...

Alison - those T-shirts!!

Bwa ha ha ha ha!

Janine Ashbless said...

Teresa, I was delighted to find your unicorn story - and a very wise and humane unicorn (and story)it was too.

Consenting animals: I think anyone who's worked with animals knows that they don't give a stuff about the species boundary in many cases. Not that that is an argument for us to shag animals - plenty of things happen in nature that would be immoral in a human context. We're moral agents: animals aren't, so far as we know.

Anyway, those of you who eat meat (I don't) may not realise how much you depend on inter-species diddling. Modern turkeys are bred so overweight they can't breed naturally. People on minimum wage have the job of jerking turkeys off for the sperm, and tickling the female birds to make them receptive for insemination by eye-dropper. I used to work with an ex turkey-wanker: nowadays she's a cook. :-)

As for the beef AI industry...

"Brahman bulls are so affectionate that when you collect semen from a Brahman bull you have to pet them a long time first... They want twenty minutes of throat and butt scratching: that's the stuff they really care about. The'll delay the sex in order to get some good serious stroking. Then they'll give it to you. With some of them you have to walk away and leave or they won't give you the semen at all. You have to let them know that if they don't give the semen they're not going to get stroked."
("Animals in Translation" by Temple Grandin, an incredible woman who works in the meat industry and has done more for animal welfare than any number of veggies like me. She's autistic and an animal behaviour expert. I totally recommend the book, which is mostly not about sex.)

Bottom line, as far as I'm concerned, about our interaction with animals is NO CRUELTY To ANIMALS. It's a subject that I am passionate on. And yes Teresa, we do much much worse things to animals than have sex with them.

jothemama said...

Great post, great excerpt!

I dunno - I once couldn't stop myself watching hte begining of a channel 4 'documentary' about bestiality - some freaky little man, living in hte woods in Apalachia, or soemwhere like that, with his pony 'brides', whihe he had actually married, saying to the camera 'Isn't she just beautiful? Just look at her beautiful face...'

Does anyone remember the scientist/gorilla-semen collecting story from Nancy Friday?

Hmm. Still not convinced of the romance or eroticism of wither of the above, tbh.

Stragons, werewolves, beasts, though, htat's all a differnet issue. Surely that's al labout syumbolism, our own animal natures, what we supress or celebrate, a way to explore ourselves through personificatin or find ourselves in the wolf, or whatever. That's very necessary.

Alison Tyler said...

Um, I should be entertaining. I'm pretending to be downloading Map Quest directions for a day of sightseeing. But really, I'm looking for shirts like this...

Madelynne Ellis said...

Interesting topic, Janine.

Olivia, have you seen the bit on Violet Blue's blog
about centaur sex dolls? Or here for more pictures. Warning, seriously not work safe.

Janine Ashbless said...

Wow - that's unbelievable!-
A sex doll with a realistic face

Kate Pearce said...

The paranormal romance market in the U.S. market is dominated with books about the undead, werewolves and shapeshifters of all kinds. I also hear rumblings that dragons are the next big thing, not sure whether they'll be allowed to shag in their scales or not.

Great thought provoking post!

ps-I too read a certain book in which a male shapeshifter shagged another man while in his animal form (it was a romance) and I nearly bit my tongue off it was so sexy.

Angell said...

Great stuff Janine.

Like Portia, this is an area I haven't explored in my writing as of yet - and had never thought of - but actually MIGHT toy with the idea for awhile.

Thanks for inspiring us to always think outside the box - so to speak.

Peter said...

Phil Foglio's XXXenophile comics danced on the edge of this issue, with stories involving sex between humans and lycanthropes, centaurs and a dog with a transplanted human brain. There was always the escape clause that it was really a human being. OTOH, if the lycanthrope is in full animal form, does it have the ability to consent?

IIRC, somebody wrote in a letter asking if Foglio considered it okay to depict, for example, a sex scene between an adult and an adult mind in a child's body (through fantastic means). I believe Foglio didn't answer the question at all. I have to say that squicks me a bit too.

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

Has anyone mentioned the cat scene in the Beauty Book? Did I miss it? Somehow Ms. Rice manages to get away with underage characters and animal sex.

That scene is kind of a weird one. Okay, it's very weird, but I mean weird in a "what is sex" way, because the humans involved are thinking "Forbidden erotic pleasures" and the cat is just thinking "Yum, butter!"

Alison Tyler said...

Oh, god, oh, god, oh god!
A t-shirt I swear I need for myself!

Yum, butter!

Laughing so hard I may pee...

Anonymous said...

Yeah. I think the animal has to be sexually engaged too or you might as well count men who put fire ants on their penises, or guys wanking off with raw steak, or someone wearing a pair of leather pants to look hawt.

Olivia Knight said...

Thanks for the link, Madeline... I think. Somehow I never imagined my centaur as a latex she-male. And I'm not sure if a blow-up centaur counts as a consenting adult... but, er, yes. (Actually, on second thoughts, no.)
For me, real animals and questions of zoophilia never remotely enter the equation of the mythological beasties. The otherness has no appeal for me without the magical powers. I'd fancy a merman, but not a fish; my principal attraction to centaurs is their supposed wisdom, arcane and mysterious (I swear this on my life, it's not the idea of a horse's dick); likewise, dragons, with the undercurrent of danger and conniving amorality. If a swan is putting the moves on me, I want to be damn sure it's the leader of the Pantheon Pack before I let it have its wicked way...

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

Olivia Knight said...

P.S. In case anyone's unsure, that was of course my own original poem. That bloody William was always nicking my stuff and trying to pass it off as his. And yes, that does make me extraordinarily long-lived, and YES, I am immortal. Now quit asking awkward questions and look at this.

Smut Girl said...

Hung like a hamster...*snort*...oh, sorry. Am I on?

Now this was a v. interesting post! And I can't remember who said, but what would disturb me most would be the human head/face deal. I mean really. That is just creepy.

As far as pushing the line, I suggest Kate Douglas's Wolf Tales (Brava). She pushes it. Hard. The first time I read about his *knot*, I thought, 'knot, what the it'.

I was both amazingly turned on by this book (am a bit of a werewolf junkie) and sort I truly this perverted? It was fun to say the least :)

So, yeah, he's sort of stuck in his fur and she sorta doesn't care. Anyway, back to hamster tees. And I don't think they meant that kinda lovin' when they made the I love Hamsters tees. Then again, one never knows.


kristina lloyd said...

Wow, what a brilliant article. And some fascinating comments and hamster tees.

Janine, I really like the point you make about taboo often arising where boundaries threaten to blur. It's so true.

I'm not big on fantasy fiction but I am really interested in margins, boundaries, places which are neither one thing nor the other. I thought about this quite a lot when I was writing Split (set in a puppet museum) and whether I wanted to do (and would be allowed to do) puppet sex. I know it's not *quite* the same (ahem) because we don't have to worry about a marionette's welfare etc. But they belong to that unsettling category of being neither one thing or the other.

Freud's essay on The Uncanny (or the 'un-homely') is great on the creepiness of things seeming familiar/human when they're not - eg. dolls, puppets, clowns, zombies, taxidermy (OK, stuffed animals: not human but part of the same unheimlich vibe - those dead glass eyes, 'realistic' poses, the dull fur - ugh!)

I'm veering off topic here. Sorry. I think I'm trying to say, those blurred, unsettling zones can be really hot. Maybe I'll write a post about creepy, freaky sex one day.

I loved The Dragon's Bride. I was amazed I found it horny. I love it when a writer can seduce a reader into getting off on something completely unexpected. It's a deliciously evil skill to have. Good work, Ms Ashbless!

Oh, and look. Olivia's quoting WB Yeats again. No, she *is* him. Which links so nicely to Angela Carter's The Magic Toyshop and the Leda and the Swan puppet scene! So I wasn't off-message after all! Phew.

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Fascinating topic, and brilliantly discussed! Well done, all!

I was going to go on about how shapeshifting animal-people have never really appealed to me (wouldn't werewolves be smelly like dogs? and don't get me started about how much ammonia-laced pee a large cat produces, and then there's the fur in my mouth, and...) and then someone had to mention the cat scene in Beauty's Punishment, and I completely forgot what I was going to say... [whistles innocently]

So, who wants to talk tentacle sex?

Madelynne Ellis said...

"So who wants to talk tentacle sex?"

Well, I think that deserves a post all to its self.

Alison Tyler said...

You give me tentacles, and I give you this.

Eloise said...

Janine, you're a pervert and you'll burn in hell. Feel better now?

Do writers of porn go to circle 2 (with the lustful) or circle 8 (with the fraudulent) I wonder?

Anyway, that aside: if I suddenly develop a penchant for dumb blondes (of my own species) is that morally reprehensible because they're not as capable of making moral, reasoned decisions as I am? If, being in my 40's I suddenly start a relationship with a really cute, and smart, 16 year old (that's legal in the UK for our US readers), but who I might be able to justify as naive enough not to be able to make sound moral judgments, same question?

Assuming none of us here are believers in the catholic doctrine that sex is simply about procreation "Go forth and multiply" but is about pleasure, fun, pain if that's your kink and so on, and for soppy romantics like me, it's about expressing love as well - are there really any rational tabus left?

Janine's phobia about saliva is very strong and personal, but not hugely rational. My personal big two - faeces and urine have a rationalisable base, but aren't really rational (especially the urine one, which is normally pretty sterile).

Sometimes you have to wonder whether editors are really in tune with the zeitgeist or if they just respond with their own tabus and assume everyone else shares them. It's a very human thing to do "It disgusts me so everyone must find it revolting" and thus we have our "moral compass."

If this is how it works, you have to wonder who the first person to do werewolf sex was, and what a huge flood of modern dark-fantasy-romance/erotica they've unleashed, and how those that said "Oh no" for so long feel now!

Janine Ashbless said...

Ah, Lust Bites ... the blog that quotes Yeats and shows you pictures of centaur sex-dolls!

Greek myth is of course the motherlode of paranormal animal/human porn. I have serious problems with Greek mythology, which has to be some of the most misogynistic in human culture... That's probably why I keep going back to steal bits and remake it to my own preference.

But I do wonder with Leda ... as far as I know swans don't have penises. I think birds of both sexes just have cloaca. Am I right?

Olivia - I'm with you: I don't find the idea of sex with actual 'realist' animals interesting: there has to be more to the beasty than an animal mind. I suppose it's because I think that real desire in all its complexity and darkness and riskiness is a human trait. An ordinary animal having sex is just enjoying itself and will go back to scratching itself and eating grass in two minutes. But the combination of animal traits (with all they symbolise to humans) with human intent and depth is dynamite.

Anonymous said...

There was a rather weirdly sexual Leda painting on Eros blog a while back


Janine Ashbless said...

Thank-you Eloise! I knew someone had to eventually speak up for decency. And you are the obvious spokeperson for the Moral Majority!


Sorry folks.

Eloise and I had a conversation the other day about big age differences in relationships - starting in the context of historical/pre-feminist societies in which teenage girls routinely marry men in their thirties or older. I didn't use to think age differences were that important ... until I got older and realised what an immense mental gulf there is between me at 40 and me at 17.

Which got me thinking about the whole "sex is a relationship of consenting equals" thing. I guess you could as a 40-yr-old have a respectful, non-exploitative, non-damaging sexual relationship with a 16 year old. Maybe ... If you were really really careful and it was an exceptional 16-yr-old. But I have my doubts.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Wow. Once again, LB makes me think harder and laugh harder than any other brand--often at the same moment.

But here's what I'm dying to know: What's BL's stance on sex between a human and a composite blogging "monster woman"?

Jeremy Edwards said...

Testing. Vqgygxg vqgygxg vqgygxg (the magic spam word).

Hmm . . . my prior comment shows up in the comment interface but not on the blog per se. Maybe it's a rare, "bonus" comment for collectors only.

Alison Tyler said...

A mint comment, Jeremy? I've heard those are worth so much these days. I will definitely have to tune into Cash in the Attic to see the value. I've got quite a few "bonus" comments taking up space around here... See? Like this one!

Anne Tourney said...

Taboos (and violent, visceral revulsion) often manifest in situations where boundaries between categories are in danger of being shattered.

To me, that statement hits the nail on the head. I wonder why we're so fiercely protective of those boundaries? Is it because merging with the "other" -- emotionally, physically, or sexually -- puts our own identity at risk? I've been guilty, myself, of defining myself so rigidly by preordained categories that I miss out on the beauty and inner growth that come from having a more fluid sense of self.

I'd also add that these socially accepted categories often maintain a border between entities that would ordinarily be too close. Is that what the true fear is, that imagining erotic engagement with other species shatters boundaries that we fear may be too thin?

Funny that you mention Furries; I've always been enthralled with them, but I had a boyfriend who was absolutely disgusted by them, though he was very liberal in every other respect.

A beautifully thoughtful, powerful article, Janine. It gave me lots to consider.

Janine Ashbless said...

I think it's time for Mathilde to tell us whether her werewolves Do It in animal form or not. Come on Tilly - fess up!

Anonymous said...

Um, it's kind of tricky. Broadly no, 'cause my wolves aren't cuddly. They are nasty and brutal and not under conscious control of the human-side.

However, Alfie, my werewolf male protag has a strange instability which means he turns into a wolf when he comes. So he can't really have totally human sex. Ever.

I haven't got any exact human/wolf sex, though. Except also, most people in my books think that werewolves are not humans, even in human-form, so humans having sex with werewolves at all is taboo.

Humans who have sex with werewolves are called sniffers.

Um, sorry, you were expecting a clearer cut answer, I guess.

First book is out in October. Might be best to read that rather than ask me to explain it.

Alfie kept on biting Iris's finger, hard enough to hurt. Iris wanted him to break the skin. Wanted him to taste her blood, but he didn't. Maybe he couldn't. Fingers weren't fleshy enough, probably. Iris opened her eyes and pulled her finger out of his mouth, letting his sharp teeth scrape her flesh.

She dipped her head and kissed him again, licking his teeth. His fangs.

But Alfie pulled his mouth free and said, 'Baby, you really need to put the muzzle on me right now.'

Shanna Germain said...

Oh my, my...

Chiming in late here (It's Alana's fault--she dragged me kicking and screaming on an eight mile walk yesterday. Ok, so it was only four, but I also mis-remembered that I'd actually run the marathon once only to find out that it was a half-marathon. Damn.)

Anyway, loved this post. Not something I'd thought much about either, but I think that now I'll have to run off and try this new genre. Maybe a threesome: werewolf, dragon, human? Reminds me of those mix and match flip-books I had as a kid, where you could give the dragon a human head, or make a creature that had bird feet, a human body and a cat head.

Oh, oh, I know! Let's make some naughty versions of those! Wouldn't that be fun! You could mix and match boob size, gender, heads (there's your dumb, underage blonde), etc. We'll make a mint!

:0 s.

Janine Ashbless said...

I'm off out now to my Yorkshire in-laws, to listen to another marathon menu-description.

Thanks, everyone who commented! You were so gentle with me... No, seriously: people were really courteous and thoughtful. I really enjoyed this one. See you tomorrow for Anonymous Sexual Fantasies... You get no prizes at all for spotting mine!


polly said...

Wow! What a great discussion! So it's okay to talk about this stuff now? Am I a pervert? Probably! Does it matter? Nah! Loved Terese's story, the unicorn and the strumpet. Going on to Amazon right now to order Cruel Enchantment.

Dolly said...

Hi Janine,

Bought a copy of the old edition. This was before all the hot out of print titles were being re-issued. Can't say much about the new covers.
Prices were insane on both sides of the pond for many BL books. That is if you could find a copy.

Amazon US and UK were like lending libraries. When people were willing to post their copy for resale.

Also found you had a short story Midsummer Madness in More Wicked Words so I got that too.

Are you off to other projects or will you ever put together another mind boggling collection?

PS thanks for tip re. Gardens. It is available at regular price + regular discount on Amazon, whew, sigh of relief. Our local bookstores do not stock a complete range of erotica. When they do, books like BL are filed in the "Romance" section by author. Coy.