Monday, November 19, 2012

Tentacle Sex Fiends

That thing on Trump's head is a Tentacle Sex Fiend.
Something that one notices when one writes erotica, especially after this spring's Paypal fit over the Forbidden Four, are the weird things that other erotica writers are hacking out.

One of these weird things is Tentacle Sex. Yes, erotica involving tentacles (demonic and/or alien), especially slimy tentacles and dubious consent. Isn't that bordering on two of the Forbidden Four?!

At first, I thought that it was just a Lovecraft fan taking their Lovecraft fetish to a new level. But then I noticed that more than one person was writing about tentacle sex. Ok, maybe there is more than one writer out there with a Lovecraft fetish, I thought. Then I noticed more tentacle sex show up in the Smashwords front page display--enourgh to make me curious.

So last night, I decided to punch in "tentacle sex" into the search form at Smashwords (400 plus in the results), Barnes and Noble (between 400 and 100, depending upon how refined your search is), and Amazon (about 400 results). And there are a couple of dozen writers who seem to specialize in this sub-genre, with a half dozen or more tentacle sex ebooks apiece. More telling is the fact that the prices seem to be solid at $2.99 for three or four thousand words.

Ok, I understand why the writers are writing this stuff. After all, I write one of the Forbidden Four...because, well, people buy the stuff, and I have cats to feed. (In fact, it was the realization that someone was getting paid to write one of the Forbidden Four that got me started as a professional writer.) As a writer, occasionally you write something as a see if there are some sex fiends out there who will like your tasty erotica offering.

And if you make enourgh, you write more of that type. Your focus as a writer tends to go when the money is...especially if you are good at writing a genre or sub-genre (even if it does not personally turn your own crank) and the pay is decent. But in order to sell the stuff, there has to be readers.

So my question, given my search results, is: Who are these tentacle sex fiends?!

I mean, based on my search results, there has to be quite a few of them. You wouldn't get that much of this stuff up in the five years that ereaders have been around if there wasn't a fair number of them. Could my neighbor be an alien tentacle fan?! My doctor?! The bag-boy or bag-girl at the local grocery store?! How about the cop at the local station house?! Is the world filled with these tentacle sex fiends?!

Of course, the bigger question is should I attempt to write a tentacle sex story myself to test the market. What?! I am supposed to be classier than that--who did you think that you have been reading? Miss Manners?

After all, I have cats to feed; and I have already proven that I really have no pride left, thanks to my empty wallet.

(And before you ask, no, I will not advertise any tentacle sex offerings here...I have my silly rules about not advertising most of my more interesting work--call it a small town sense of shame. Only wholesome fiction and esoteric commentary gets advertised here.)


Lianne Marie Mease said...

I'm curious - what are the forbidden four?

Morgan Eckstein said...

The Forbidden Four is my nickname for the four types of erotica that Paypal made a big fuss over earlier this year. They are 1) Underage (something that I would never consider writing), 2) Bestiality, 3) Incest, and 4) Rape for Titillation. Ok, these all sound pretty disgusting, but Paypal went extreme with their rules. For instance, werewolves could only have sex if both of them were in human form (and only human form was allowed--no wolf on wolf sex was allowed to be mentioned); you could not write about Isis and Osiris having sex in an erotica story (because those two Egyptian deitities were brother and sister); and bondage between consenting adults was considered rape for titilation. By the way, Paypal was only going to enforce these rules among erotica writers--romance and other genres were allowed to keep them all, and only among indie writers were Paypal throwing their weight around. So you can end up writing something that you do not think is a problem at all, and still have it be one of the Forbidden Four. And I was writing an Isis/Osiris story at the time that Paypal started foaming at the mouth...a story has not been finished because I lost the muse to finish it while waiting for Paypal to quit complaining (which they eventually did).

Morgan Fyfe-Williams said...

Mmmm, what about necrophilia? Do they approve that?

Tentacle sex has been a thing for a long time. See "The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife"...

I believe the genre's popularity grew when Japan decided that real phalluses were not legal in their porn, so they were inspired to substitute with tentaculous aids.

"bondage between consenting adults was considered rape for titilation"

WTF, Paypal? That makes no sense. None. *sigh*