I often cruise around the erotica section of Smashwords and Amazon looking at what high strangeness can be found for one’s reading pleasure. What toDo When You Accidentally Titty Fuck the President’s Daughter Twice?; Drag QueenAstronaut and Other Stories; The Alien’s Dairy Queen: Pumping Paula; Whatto Do When a Girl Seems to Only WakeUp If She Can Taste Cum in Her Mouth?; Man& Woman Can Equal Sex, and a BabyToo; and Bigfoot and the Kinky Couple are just a few of the random offerings available for discriminating tastes that I found with just two very basic searches. This erotica is like the Sigue Sigue Sputnik of the publishing world. Amazing. Garish. Description defying. Sublime. Ever since authors have discovered the world of electronic self-publishing, erotica (and romance) has exploded with some of the oddest subgenres imaginable. This is a good thing for fans of Bigfoot sex books.
That’s not to say these bold subgenres and other weird erotica didn’t exist before epublishing. Collectors and historians need only point to the output of Sally Miller (Jersey Girl Fantasies) to prove that high strangeness existed before the world of digital. Digital, however, has blown the doors wide open, and there is no turning back.
Major publishers, and even most of the fringe ones, won’t even consider printing some of the books currently being offered in the world of the self-published erotica genre, and it has nothing to do with the quality of writing. It has everything, though, to do with content. Everything from cryptid sex to incest to bestiality to forced lactation can be found, and those are the things that scare traditional publishers. 50 Shades of Boredom this ain’t. Those terrified publishers may say it isn’t hurting their profit margins, but online retailers would say otherwise.
Amazon and Smashwords, the two biggest online retailers, both have content guidelines, and a lot of these books they offer fall outside those guidelines or are very close to going over the line. Nothing usually happens to the authors unless someone complains (I’d love to hear some of the complaints), though Amazon does do regular purges of “questionable” material. The bottom line, however, is that these ebooks contribute to the bottom line of both companies. The money is nowhere near the level of the Young Adult vampire, zombie, or dystopian fiction that multiplies like herpes, but it is sizable enough to matter, and it draws people to the web pages. Sex sells, and everybody is buying.
Perhaps in the future traditional publishers will be unafraid of pushing the boundaries of erotica, but it seems highly unlikely. The industry has been slow to respond to every single advancement in publishing for as long as I can remember. It is ridiculous to think this will be any different. Some would even argue it shouldn’t be, as a novel about dinosaur pimps just sullies the entire erotica pool.
They would be wrong.
We progress when we push boundaries. If boundaries weren’t pushed, we wouldn’t have things like interracial marriage or women voting. One can say bestiality erotica is a bit different, but is it? People want to write about it. People want to read about it. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it doesn’t have to be. For now, however, if you want to read a new bestiality story, chances are you’ll only find it as a digital copy or self-published paperback. The traditional publishers, the ones who want you to think they are at the forefront of carrying the First Amendment torch, won’t touch things like that. They live in fear, and that fear drives content.
Maybe someday that will change … but don’t hold your breath. In the meantime, enjoy Step Lust and the Dog.