Sunday, May 4, 2014

Guest Post: Sai Marie Johnson, "The Merging of Gothic and Erotica in Modern Fiction"

 The terms gothic and erotica make for an interesting topic piece especially amongst fans of paranormal romances. Alot of people wonder where the two genres meet, or if they aren't just an extension of paranormal romance. I think that in some ways they are extensions, but when I approach the word gothic and choosing it for a story's genre type there are a few things that I like to consider. First and foremost to me gothic explains not just a lifestyle type, but an architecture and tribal type. Originally the Visigoths were the ancestors of early Germanic tribes. These barbarians were considered ruthless, brutal, and carnal which made it easy for people who related to darker subjects to start affiliating themselves with the term gothic. In literature Gothicism applies to stories like The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I use these as examples because they are well known classics, and most fans of gothic art or literature have come in contact with those two staple pieces.

Erotica, on the other hand, is a newer genre type and I personally think that its one of the widest ranges of genres because what is considered erotic can be so broad-based. Since the arrival of Fifty Shades of Grey the influx of BDSM eroticas has been an avalanche on the market, and they are one of the hottest selling books around as a result. What Fifty Shades did for Erotica is what I consider equaled to what rock n' roll did for music. It opened the doors of acceptance, and now that it has been made into a movie franchise I can see the potential for many more erotica authors to start emerging from the recesses of the erotica underworld.

Now we have to discuss where the merger between gothic and erotica come together. In my opinion most gothic erotica stemmed from Lovecraftian tales about Cthulu and tentacled beings raping human women so they could produce odd offspring such as Wilbur Whateley from The Dunwich Horror. Vampiric movies, and the desire for people to sate their lusts with creatures of the night seems to be the bottom line appeal for most lovers of gothic erotica. I also think that most gothic erotica is somewhat darker, but still has a romantic tinge. Oftentimes there are dark tales of betrayal, and love triangles set against a gothic landscape, or with preternatural creatures. 

 Excerpt from Sai Marie Johnson's Simply Crimson

The state of modern gothic erotica is actually quite extensive. In the past few years I've noticed a lot more authors coming out with questionable, and controversial subject matter including shape shifters and very descriptive sex scenes between humans and supernatural creatures. The scene from Dracula with Lucy in the garden comes to mind in particular when discussing this. True Blood also showed a good deal of inter-species sexual activities as well, and ultimately what brought out more erotic gothic stories was people's desire to see this genre more often.

Everyone knows that there are two main ingredients needed to sell a good story: sex and violence. If we combine those two things into one provocative, and darkly illustrious story we're left with something that either shocks us, engulfs us, or makes I question everything we thought we knew about art. Because there is art in the gory aspects of horror, but when combining the romantic ideologies that people have in their darkest fantasies we end up with something typically very exotic.

Even though Gothic erotica may never become as mainstream as Fifty Shades made BDSM erotica I feel that it has definitely made strides in and from the open-minded state of the literary world. With paranormal romance being one of the most popular genres as ever I'm certain a niche for darker writers will always exist, and those who are drawn in like moths to the proverbial flame, will find their way to those books. Will gothic erotica ever be something we see brought into the public eye like Nymphomaniac Vol 1 and 2, or Fifty Shades of Grey? I cannot tell you for sure, but I think if ever there were a chance for it to make its debut front stage the time would be now.

Afterall there are not many authors who are willing to put their reputations on the line by writing material that would disgust some people, and that is why we have very few Clive Barkers, Wes Cravens, Anne Rices, or Laurell K. Hamiltons. In fact I think the fact that so many people have overlooked this genre up to this point may be very beneficial to those of us who specialize in it. There are chances to debut it to the world on the heels of the acceptance of BDSM erotica, and I really feel that if ever the neon lit sign needed to be noticed it is right now. The gothic erotica market is really starting to grow its own little nice, and good quality horror stories with a sizzling touch is just what contemporary readers need.

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