Posts tagged transhumanism
So, I trust we’ve all gotten over our sticky prudishness re: the intersection of Lovecraft’s Mythos/general philosophy and the vast and pulsing arena of human (and non-human) sexuality? Yes? Good. Moving on! Here are my Top 5 picks (and one Honourable Mention) for the Sexiest Lovecraftian Stories…
Le Ciél Overt by Kirsten Brown
For me, Lovecraftian sexuality is all about going that extra mile, y’know? What swims in those black seas of infinity, and more importantly, what are it’s turn-ons and turn-offs? I’m not a post-coital cuddler by any stretch, but will it call me in the morning? I’m omni-sexual in my literary tastes, and trans-humanist everywhere else, so I like any erotica that takes me Beyond the usual limitations of form and function. In Brown’s story here, the narrator explores a dead zone in Lovecraft’s Arkham where an extra-dimensional incursion took place years before. There are hints and signs, teasing evidence of a Presence, and the Big Reveal triggers a reaction in the narrator that made me clap my hands with joy. I may have even said you go, girl! which is a completely atypical thing for me to do. Great story. You can check it out in the amazing anthology from Dagan Books, Cthulhurotica.
5. The Black Stone by Robert E Howard
For me, this is the story that started it all. My whole weird-erotica experience has its germination right here, in the wild hills above Stregoicavar. Witch-cult orgies beneath cyclopean stone pillars? Blood and sacrifice? Hellish visions visited upon wandering poets? Hideous toad-deities getting off to the whole sordid display? Hells yes. Howard’s story has it all.
I was so taken with The Black Stone that when a girlfriend asked me to write her “something hot and weird” I couldn’t help but head up into those hills. That was six years ago, Tracey is long gone (miss you, hun!), and the short piece I wrote then has been expanded into the Blackstone Erotica series. Now, as a story, The Black Stone is not all that erotic (though Howard’s muscular action style does help it along) but it’s hints and florid description of awful things done in service to even more awful things from Beyond make it a classic. You can find this one in a bunch of decent anthologies.
4. Infernal Attractors by Cody Goodfellow
Two words: Tillinghast Resonator. You’d have to be some kind of dyed-in-the-wool uber-prude to miss the sexy-fun-times implications of the dimensional barrier-bustin’ device that features in Lovecraft’s story From Beyond. A harmonic machine that allows the user to see the alien beings that “float and flop loathsomely” through the very air and matter of their mundane reality? Come on. It’s the through part that filmmakers like Stuart Gordon and authors like Cody Goodfellow have rightly fixated on: the Tillinghast Resonator is the ultimate sex toy.
In Infernal Attractors, a femme fatale enlists the aid (well, it’s more of an enslavement) of a nebbish-y engineer to help her construct a Resonator, with a singular goal: to finally locate, lay, and in the end, destroy, the ultra-telluric fuck-beast that’s been feeding off her sexual energy since puberty. Some of the language in this story is completely psychedelic and transcendent, the descriptions of transhumanist congress with demonic phantom-crustaceans is totally transporting. It is a sexual chakrapocalypse painted in neon colours and glowing at full strength, with a great Lovecraftian ending, too. Beautiful. This one shows up in Cthulhurotica as well, and it’s easily one of the strongest tales in there.
3. Babymama by Kenton Hall
Full disclosure: this tale is brand-spanking new, from a brand-spanking new writer, and I chose to include it in the weird-erotic anthology I edited earlier this year, Conqueror Womb: Lusty Tales of Shub-Niggurath. Hall grabs the reader by the delicates in the very first line and doesn’t let go through a torturous narrative of raw sex and stripped-to-the-bone emotions. It’s all very real, very literate, very immediate and visceral. Also, hot. The narrator, and the personification of his libido (which he names Steve) meet the girl of their dreams, and one thing leads to another, and then another, and another. The question posed by Brown in Le Ciél Overt is answered here: what happens when you fuck a god? What happens to you? Nothing good, but possibly something better than good. I loved this one immediately, with it’s deft examination of the plurality in us all, and I hope to read more from Hall in future.
2. The River of Night’s Dreaming by Karl Edward Wagner
This is technically a King In Yellow/Carcosa tale by Wagner, and not specifically Lovecraftian, but the sense of dread, cosmic ennui, creeping madness, and forbidden lusts satisfied in dark rooms really does it for me. It has a wonderfully Victorian-era repressive feel to it: corsets and straightjackets, outer social niceties binding an inner world of insanity and incest. Think The Pearl, but written in the world of Chamber’s The Repairer of Reputations. Something, too, about all the evocative King In Yellow name-checking… Cassilda, Constance, Castaigne, the C’s and S’s just drip off the tongue, sliding through a slick narrative with ophidian ease. Dig it. This story shows up in The Hastur Cycle from Chaosium and I’ve just learned it was also made into an episode of the cheesy Canadian/British softcore/horror TV series, The Hunger. I… I probably won’t watch that. You go ahead, if you want.
1. Ink by Bernie Mojzes
Mojzes’ story takes a while to get into, but it’s worth the somewhat tough initial slog through what feels like a derivative noir potboiler. A girl goes missing, the mother hires a detective to track her down, and what he finds is an Eldritch Abomination that holds a kind of transhumanist sexual court in a seedy bar near the river. Again, getting it on with a Great Old One: what is that even like?
In answering that question, it’s important to me that the story not simply devolve into standard hentai. Much as the inclusion of tentacles does not make a horror story Lovecraftian, neither does the intrusion of those tentacles into the usual places make a weird-erotica story Lovecraftian. And Ink does not go to the usual places, expanding the very idea and practice of sex into a kind of super-space of complete sexual and genetic expression. There is horror here, but also ecstasy: the body is used as a vehicle to transcend itself, and we come out the other side of the experience (and the story) changed. More. Different. Better. And isn’t that why we fuck in the first place? You can find Ink (and quite a few other very excellent pieces) in the anthology Whispers In Darkness from Circlet Press.
What are your favourite Sexy Lovecraftian tales? Get at me on the twitter @BLACKSTONErotic with your top picks!
Justine Geoffrey is the author of the BLACKSTONE Erotica series, Orgy in the Valley of the Lust Larvae, and Seawater & Stars: the Last Novel of Gideon Stargrave. She’s also the editrix (with Scott R Jones) of the weird-erotica anthology Conqueror Womb: Lusty Tales of Shub-Niggurath, all from Martian Migraine Press.
I write weird erotica because sex? Sex is weird. Let’s be honest here: when you get right down into the squelchy, heaving, multi-limbed mass of the thing, sex is weird. Hell, just being is weird. The fact that we are conscious entities parading around in flesh, and that flesh occasionally comes together to please itself and, when conditions are right, produce more flesh for other conscious entities to parade around in? Completely weird.
Most of the time, we simply don’t notice how odd this is, how utterly strange our existence has become. It’s my belief that our society and its obsession with normative behaviour is a symptom of that not-noticing, that willful ignorance of the outré nature of the human experiment. Of the life experiment.
So why does so much of what passes as erotica celebrate the normal? That’s the question I’m constantly asking with my stuff, ladies and gentlemen and assorted entities. Even the current crop of billionaire/fetish/BDSM/paranormal material does nothing but reinforce bland retreads of standard behaviours. I don’t get it.
You can’t spell paranormal without normal. And that’s the freaking truth.
It’s why I prefer the term weird erotica.
Weird erotica speaks to the inherent strangeness of the sexual act. It speaks to the attendant being-strangeness of that act in all it’s varied and multiple forms. Weird erotica points the way to something beyond standard sexualities and gender norms, and by norms I am including the queer norms that by their very existence shore up and validate the very sexualities they set themselves against.
Weird erotica points the way to the sex-practices of the future: an omni-sexual practice that recalls the Sufi’s ecstatic connection to something as basic and simple as, say, a glass of water. The omni-sexual being is drunk on significance. Beyond mere fetish attachment, the omni-sexual is turned on by conceptual items, ideas of transcendence, mutation, severe body modifications, soul-tweaking tantra. Omni-sexuality is transhumanist and transformative. Transformation through sex, and sex with whoever and whatever will trigger such transformation.
Dagon’s Teeth! Why else does anyone fuck? Sure, pleasure, I guess. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m weird.
Well, if you’ve read any of my Blackstone series, you know I’m weird. And getting weirder. Hell, if I could somehow fuck the Amazon algorithm, literally, then you know I would. Mathematical-styles.
But for those who haven’t, here are some of my tropes and themes. This stuff just keeps coming up, and again, it all comes down to transformation…
Dominance, often cruel, of that which should be dominated. I get the back-and-forth interplay of a good, respectful sub/Dom arrangement, sure, but strength is strength, and weakness, weakness, and I’m not sure we’re doing each other any favours by playing at something when it’s clearly not.
Consciousness alteration, through magic or sex or drugs, often at the same time.
The pure “this is it, you’ll never be the same again” ecstasy of body-horror, especially as it can occur during the sexual act. This can make for some icky stuff, but it’s down there in the muck that humans change the most, so I like to go there, see how far I can take it.
Synesthesia! This is the mapping of one or more sets of senses onto the others: hearing colors, tasting music, all that classic trippy stuff. Seeing frequencies of light outside the normal range, auditory extensions into the subsonic (where the real growling happens!) and levels of mental cognition that we just don’t hit during normal vanilla couplin’! My thematic code for this is the term “seawater and stars”: brine and burning hydrogen, black waters and solar winds, hot and cold… basically? Fire. Water. All that good elemental shit. Seawater and stars shows up in everything I write. You can hunt for it, if you like.
Monsters. Oh yeah. Leave your lycans and vamps and sad succubi at home, ladies. I’ve got no interest in that only-just-inhuman sphere of influence. I mean, c’mon! We are living nearly a century after Lovecraft (the Copernicus of modern horror) blew that paranormal junk out of the sky! How is it that we are still deigning to get off on these weak metaphors on two legs? Ha! Two legs. Please. I could go on and on and on, but that’s less interesting than this awesome panel from Brandon Graham’s (Prophet, Multiple Warheads) Perverts of the Unknown which sums up what I like about monsters way better…
Who doesn’t want to see the levels in their bedroom/orgy cavern/ritual altar atop a mountain jump by 300 points?! Transcend! Transform! If you’re going to do it, get it DONE. If you’re only worrying about how to get him/her out of your bed so you can sleep because you’ve got work in the morning, then you’re doing it wrong! You should be worrying about how much cosmic energy you’re going to have to channel through your ajna chakra as you come, because nothing less than ALL OF IT is going to keep the portal open long enough to get that extra-dimensional beastie you just fucked back through it!
ANGRY SEX MONSTERS! Bam.
And goodnight! Justine out! xoxoxo my lovely weirdos!
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Editor’s Note: Justine G is the author of the BLACKSTONE Erotica series from Martian Migraine Press, as well as the gonzo sci-fi erotica novella ORGY IN THE VALLEY OF THE LUST LARVAE and (with fellow MMP author S R Jones) the experimental steampunk Victorian erotica and marine-engineering mash-up novella/manual Seawater & Stars: The Last Novel of Gideon Stargrave. She’s exactly what she seems: fucking terrifying. We love her. Buy her stuff.