In honor of Halloween and all things spooky and sexy, I've invited a guest writer to my blog today. I write on several different forums and story sites, and there has been discussion of late as to what erotic horror actually is. Are the two compatible? Is it possible to be terrfied and aroused at the same time? My friend and author Rozalin has put much thought into this topic and she herself is a master of erotic horror. Here is her take. Enjoy.
(If you'd like to read one of Rozalin's excellent erotic horror stories, start here: https://www.literotica.com/s/purely-sinful)
Erotic Horror: A battle between fear and pleasures of the flesh.
What is Erotic Horror? This is a question I've seen come up numerous times when speaking with other authors of erotic works. The name "Erotic Horror" sounds like a contradiction to most. "How can something horrific also be erotic?" Many would say, "It's simply traditional horror with strong sexual content." Or vice versa. While this may be the case for some literary works, true Erotic Horror, to me, is when erotic elements are woven together with an element of fear so seamlessly that it keeps your mind and body pulling at both parallels at the same time.
If your mind isn't able to associate sex with fear, perhaps you've forgotten what it is like to be a teenager. Remember your first kiss? Do you remember the flood of emotions pouring out of your mind, a flood caused by the person across from you? You think, "This is awesome!" but also, "Did he/she like it?" What about the first time having sex? You're excited, they're excited. But there's also that reluctance there. "Do they think my body is sexy?" "Will it hurt?" "What if he/she doesn't like it?" "What if I get pregnant?" "What if my parents hear us?" "What if someone walks in?" "What if someone's watching?" All of these questions are born of fear.
Erotic horror takes this feeling we've all felt and runs with it. Often times, these stories give that teenage fear a face or identity, usually in the form of some supernatural entity like a ghost, vampire, or my personal favorite; the succubus or incubus. Just reading those names come with certain connotations, and these connotations can be useful for baiting a reader into thinking the plot will go a certain way, only to ultimately jerk the reader somewhere unexpected. The unknown is one of humanity's oldest fears, and it, along with moments of eroticism, make for a wild ride into your own imagination as a writer, but also a thrilling roller coaster as a reader.
The fear element, lets call it peanut butter, can be anything. Fear of ghosts, fear of strangers, spiders, even fear of one's self. Add in an erotic element, lets call this one chocolate, and what do you get? Something not quite peanut butter, but not quite chocolate either. It is something new, something greater than the sum of its parts. Some like Erotic Horror, but aren't fans of traditional horror, much like someone who doesn't like peanut butter will still eat a Reese's cup.
But, Erotic Horror isn't limited to the supernatural. I like both the realistic and the supernatural forms of traditional horror, and both work great for Erotic Horror. Deranged serial killers provide immediate fear because of the dangerous situations and chaos they create. You know what a person is capable of because we hear it on the news all the time, and sometimes those capabilities are rather messed up. We all have that fear of going out on a first date and that someone not being as they appear to be, even when they have the voice of an angel and a kiss that melts your sensibilities.
Supernatural elements on the other hand are unpredictable. Well, they SHOULD be unpredictable. While stories of serial killers thrive on the fear of their raw capabilities, stories of the other type thrive on mankind's oldest fear; the unknown. What was that noise? Did something just run past the hall? Are those eyes peering through my bedroom window?! Nope, just two fireflies. Whew! "Rozalin..." Who said that?!
Even though some things in this world aren't "real", doesn't mean that our minds aren't conditioned to perceive those things as real as long as it has some sort of identity. When you dream of werewolves, vampires, vengeful spirits, Chthulu, Freddy Kruger, or Santa Claus , are they not, in that moment, "real" as far as your brain is concerned? The same applies when you're so entranced in a good story. Your brain follows the breadcrumbs the author put in front of you, and you're along for the ride.
But the best part of erotic horror is that good erotic horror not only makes you face your fears, but also face your sexuality. A certain sex scene that may be too much for a romance, like say, a female demon who has creative uses for her tail, has a home with Erotic Horror. With the right words, you can make someone say, "That was freaky, depraved, and hot!" all in one sentence. This is what makes Erotic Horror a battle between fear and pleasures of the flesh.