“Why deprive the imagination of a great romance just because the protagonist happens to live for 600 years or has the occasional bout with fleas?”
Leda and the Swan by Peter Paul Rubens
Excellent article in CNET regarding the epublishing industry’s controversial handling of beastiality and erotica.
“Do romance books with sexy dinosaurs, centaurs, Cthulhu, and aliens send your heart racing? After some such e-books get yanked by online booksellers, Crave’s Bonnie Burton explains their appeal.
“It’s easy to mock book titles like “Boffing Bigfoot,” “Taken by the Tentacle Monsters,” and “Sex With My Husband’s Anatomically Correct Robot,” but there’s a growing market for erotic fiction by amateur writers that involves something a bit more unusual than an oversexed pirate or kilted warrior.
If romance e-books with sexy Yeti, mermen, Cthulhu, and aliens fill your tablet or e-reader and send your heart racing, the increasingly popularity of books featuring non-human love interests will come as no surprise. However, many may have been introduced to so-called monster porn for the first time thanks to a recent Business Insider piece on e-book retailers cracking down on this literary genre that’s gaining a wide following online. One of the titles in question, “Moan For Bigfoot” by Virginia Wade, has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.
As a lifelong geek and hard-core fan of horror and fantasy books, I totally get the appeal. Let’s face it — an affair with a rich sultan or a fascinating count probably isn’t going to happen in real life, so why not read about a flirty fling with a centaur instead?
The Business Insider story by Eric Spitznagel points out that amateur self-published authors suddenly found their erotica e-books featuring Bigfoot, dinosaurs, and minotaurs no longer offered by sellers like Amazon because of their explicit sexual content. At the same time, erotica books by more established authors that featured vampires, werewolves, aliens, and other similar creatures remained untouched.
Many of the removed erotica e-books were published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing self-publishing system, which clearly states in its content guidelines that “we don’t accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts.” A representative of KindleDirect Publishing told CNET that the KDP’s quality department “reserves the right to make judgements about whether or not content is appropriate; this can include the cover image or the content within the book. If the book contains mature content, it will not be surfaced in our general product search results.”
Some authors of recently rejected e-books realized that the quick solution to getting their titles back up on Amazon was not to alter their racy content but simply to change their e-books’ titles and cover art. That’s exactly what monster erotica author Alice Xavier did with her “Serpent God’s Virgin” e-book when it was pulled from Amazon. “They flagged it because it had virgin in the title,” Xavier told Business Insider. After she renamed the same exact book “Serpent God’s Maiden,” it appeared back on Amazon’s virtual bookshelves.
The disappearance and reemergence of some of these books points to online booksellers’ evolving standards when it comes to monster erotica. That is a story unto itself, but for some readers, the Business Insider piece probably also raised the question: what makes monster porn — also known as “cryptozoological erotica” or “erotic horror” — so intoxicating?”