If you struggle to associate sex with fear you have probably forgotten what it was like to be a teenager. Horror, throughout history, has been strongly influenced by sex and sexuality. H.P. Lovecraft was a self-proclaimed asexual 1, and yet many of the images throughout the Cthulhu Mythos, tentacles, and monstrous genitalia can be interpreted as a fear of losing one’s self and one’s sanity to the sexual urge. The mouths of Bram Stoker’s vampires, full of fangs that penetrate within sensually fleshy holes, can be seen as pretty obvious metaphors for the vagina dentata. Clive Barker’s highly fetishized Cenobites offer pleasure through pain, and best-selling horror authors like Anne Rice and Graham Masterton have penned books in both horror and erotica genres.
Here are some of my favourite reads from this bold new genre.
The Venus Complex, Barbie Wilde
A prominent name in the world of erotic horror with short stories, such as Sister Celice, The Venus Complex, is Barbie Wilde’s first novel. It deals with a serial killer who obsesses about transforming women into goddesses through sex, death, and art. It’s written as if by the main character, Michael, using journal entries, through which we are shown the development of Michael’s obsession in his dreams and detailed descriptions of the murders he commits. The story explores modern culture, art, alchemy and psychology from a Libertarian perspective. If you enjoy films like Maniac or characters like Hannibal Lector, this book is as fulfilling as non-consensual sex gets.
The Sadist's Bible, Nicola Cushing
Two women, wishing to escape their lives, agree on social media to meet, fuck and commit suicide in a distant hotel in the mountains. Neither reach the agreed location. One is running from a marriage that stifles her sexuality and the other from a demonic lover who calls himself God, tortures her each weekend, and has fathered her deformed baby. One wants to escape their guilt and the other their torturer. As they journey towards each other they lose almost everything which defines them as human. In a quote lifted from the book, “The arc of the universe is long, but bends towards degeneracy.”
The Sadist's Bible rewrites Scripture in the voice of a perverse God who adores his most broken and degraded creations and wishes only to watch them degenerate further through evolution and torture. De Sade is God and we his victims.
Turned into a Succubus, Lily Fey
This amazing tale is very short, but don’t let that put you off. It will last longer than an artisan coffee of the same price tag. It’s about a sorcerer who wishes to serve Satan and agrees to do whatever is demanded of him. It explores sexual stereotypes, where male equals dominant and female equals submissive and does so with glorious humour and a generous dose of schadenfreude within a mystical horror narrative of demons and heavy metal rock stars. The sex is sexy and the sorcerer’s reaction to his/her new form and role is very believable.
Lamia, Destiny West
A tale of a female vampire from the abusive moment of her becoming, through a life dominated by lust for sex and blood, to her tragic demise. There is a strong rhythm throughout the narrative which mirrors the ups and downs, ins and outs of fucking. It looks at the porn industry, snuff films and how being a part of that world might suit certain personality types. It touches on psychological triggers that send Lamia spiralling back to moments of helplessness and despair while, at the same time, handling the sex scenes in a very human and erotic way.
Erotic Horror is a blossoming genre crossover that includes scenes to titillate together with scenes to disgust. Of course, these books need trigger warnings galore, but that’s sort of the point.