Erotica, in general is the genre to write in right now. With the success of E.L. James’ best seller, Fifty Shades of Grey, it’s safe to assume the interest isn’t going to wane anytime soon. Regardless of what you think of the book, itself, its success opened vast possibilities in how we expand cultural ideas on what is kinky and that which pushes accepted boundaries.
In my earlier post, The Evolution of Kink, I talked about how our cultural perception of “kinky” has changed over the years. That’s one avenue of commentary, but I’d like to explore another, possibly more radical one: paranormal kink. Are we ready for the mind bending, and possibly morality shattering freedom of shifter kink? I wonder, because even when I attempt to search on the string “paranormal kink author,” Google serves me results based on “paranormal king arthur.” The string “shifter kink” goes nowhere. Dirty-minded paranormal prosaics–we’ve got work to do!
Paranormal kink isn’t a new genre. Gothic horror author Poppy Z. Brite began dabbling in it decades ago, and even Anne Rice danced near it. Most recently you’ll find Celia Kyle and Jay Lygon venturing there. Some of these focus on spectral sex, while others press further into shifter relationships. Still, even with these successes, there isn’t a lot of shapeshifter kink out there. Why?
It strikes me that most paranormal erotica still depicts unearthly or unnatural creatures through the filter of human characteristics. As an animist I understand that, because we can only perceive the world through our viewpoint. We’re human. We project our limited range of perception onto everything. However, as an animist writer, I challenge myself to go beyond the limitations of my own viewpoint. I want to read paranormal fiction that steps out of the human filter. I want to write–regardless of how challenging to my personal sensibilities it may be–the most vivid altered reality and form experiences that I can.
Am I the only one tired of Twilight-esque shapeshifters being overall well-mannered, pretty, and neatly groomed even in their animalistic altered forms? Am I the only one who thinks that despite that it may be sexy, human/shifter sex may not be all that tidy or perfectly ahem accommodating?
Do we stray from shifter kink because somehow inviting the elements of beast and human into the same arena–let alone body–crosses too many boundaries, even if only in fantasy? Perhaps it’s due to a drive to preserve human space and psychology as separate and better than other species. Maybe it’s because wanting to read about primal animal urges pitted against lesser cunning human characters makes us bad people? Moreover, maybe it’s just too close to bestiality, and we’re afraid that through fantasy we are somehow condoning socially unspeakable acts.
You tell me. What’s taboo, and what’s kink? How do you distinguish the two? What possibilities does the paranormal genre leave shifter kink open to, that general kink erotica can’t offer?
Don’t forget–The Candy Cane Kink Giveaway Blog Hop goes through 21 December. You could win an ebook of Journal of a Lycanthrophile, Book One of The Scattered Dark Series.
On Journal of a Lycanthrophile…
Jesse Holloman has a fetish for justice and a kink for werewolves. Together, his passions spiral to a world of pain, shadow desires, and an even more sinister, secretive sort of shapeshifter—the kind that changes without shifting.
Remember, it’s only kinky the first time.
6 thoughts on “The Threshold of Shifter Kink”
Yeah, but the difference in some of the wonderful kink being written and E.L. James? I am finding that some of these writers ( you especially) can actually WRITE. E.L. James is one of the worst writers I have ever read.
I confess: I couldn’t past the first page of 50 Shades. It was terribly written. I was affirmed that to find literature sexy, it not only has to have appealing subject matter, it has to be well written.
Such a great post!
As an erotica author, I came across the same inner struggle of having shapeshifter kink in my erotic version of Red Riding Hood. I incorporated snout sex and those readers who were offended by it gave it bad reviews while others admitted to being turned on by it and gave it great reviews.
I believe it’s because society has a thing against bestiality that people stay away from reading or writing shapeshifter kink. But as long as the sex is between two consenting adults, as is often the case with shapeshifter kink, I don’t see what the big deal is.
Again, great post!
Author of an Erotic Version of Alice in Wonderland
(Which also has a lot of shapeshifter kink)
Thanks, Liz. You rock =)
I agree with Liz about the bestiality factor. I think people shy away from that idea because it scares them and is taboo. However, if I remember correctly, many women have those kinds of fantasies and shared the info with Nancy Friday in her ground-breaking book My Secret Garden.
Thanks for stopping by, Francesca. I think you’re right. It baffles me, though, that a large readership wants to brush up against shifter sex, but they don’t want to cross very specific lines with it. I understand that, yet I sort of don’t. LOL Thanks for the reminder of Nancy’s work. She’s written quite a lot since I last visited her site.
Cheers to you!