Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

Sep 2012: Cthulhurotica > Preconceptions and Epiphanies on Cuthulurotica

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message 1: by Vicky (last edited Aug 29, 2012 11:23AM) (new)

Vicky (vnorthw) | 493 comments Mod
I just read the introduction for Cthulurotica which says:

Readers expecting a collection of monster sex stories might, after all, be disappointed. The characters within these pages are all quite human, though they sometimes dally with creatures who are not.

It made me think that since this is a genre that is probably new to most of us it might be interesting to get an idea of what peoples preconceptions are and how they change (or don't change) after reading the book.

Since Bonnie first brought it up months ago, the only thing I could think of was cliche Japanese Tentacle-Rape Porn and I wasn't so much looking forward to it. But it looks like it might prove to be more than that.

Anyone else have any preconceptions/reservations about reading the book? Or has anyone who has already read it found it wasn't what you expected? I'll come back after I read some more to comment again.

message 2: by Jute (last edited Aug 29, 2012 05:18PM) (new)

Jute | 238 comments I was very hesitant because I really, really don't like horror. I've read a few of the stories and although perhaps it's not as graphic as I'd been afraid, it's graphic enough in a couple of them to set off my squick factor.

So I'm pretty sure that my impressions aren't going to change all that much, but to be fair, I am only a quarter through it.

message 3: by Kat (new)

Kat I think my preconception of this book is that I won't enjoy the short stories as much as I enjoy one longer, continuous story. But with that being said, I am very open-minded! I've also never read anything Cthulhu related and I am a little wary of that as well. I will let you know once I have read a bit!

message 4: by Matt (new)

Matt | 2 comments I felt the same as Vicky, as far as expecting it to be more like Hentai tentacle sex. But as of where I am in the book (about 22%) it isn't at all like I thought it would be.

I used to read a lot of horror, and it doesn't seem to be that far outside of the genre. I've never read erotica before, unless you count friends making me read their slash fiction. So it's a new but semi-familiar because the stories are similar to what I would read generally, except the focus differs slightly.

message 5: by Nicole (last edited Sep 06, 2012 08:12PM) (new)

Nicole (LunaKaos) | 165 comments I must say I am finding the stories a bit "meh" I thought I would find it gross, horrifying or enticing and so far (3 stories in) I feel absolutely nothing.

I was expecting a lot more sex.

message 6: by Madison E. (new)

Madison E. (MadiEMartin) | 231 comments I'm going to copy a part of my book review here because it states how I felt before/after reading. I do think this book will surprise a lot of it's readers, especially if this is outside their comfort zone.

This book is not exactly what I was expecting, although I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I guess I was predicting to be disturbed by this collection to the point where I wouldn't enjoy it. Mainly I think that is because I knew this book was outside my standard genre comfort zone (with the exceptions of it being short stories). While I would say that some of the short stories are disturbing, I found that most of the them are more intriguing. That is why I really enjoyed this book. I felt this collection was a great exploration of pairing creepy, terrifying, and even horrific themes with other themes such a love, marriage, romance, friendship and sexuality.

message 7: by Seawood (new)

Seawood | 176 comments You know what, I think it's almost exactly what I hoped for and I'm really pleased. I love Lovecraft, have played the RPGs and been thoroughly creeped out by it, so the mythos has a real place in my heart. Some of the stories are absolutely perfect. I love the artwork which makes me think of linocuts (something I happen to be very fond of and I think it suits the Lovecraftian world well). Even the stories which made me laugh did so because they were sympathetic to the universe and were knowing, a hat-tip to the reader, not laugh-out-loud terrible. Most of the authors have really caught the atmosphere very well.

The introductory essay had me facepalming...I'd never really thought about Lovecraft's world being so scanty on women's viewpoints. Perhaps that's because my own RPG groups have always been so mixed so we've had lots of female investigators treated as equals in that setting, or perhaps because I've just assumed that literature from that era has always had far less female involvement. I think it's a great complementary piece.

message 8: by Madison E. (new)

Madison E. (MadiEMartin) | 231 comments Caroline wrote: " I love the artwork which makes me think of linocuts (something I happen to be very fond of and I think it suits the Lovecraftian world well). "

I also really liked the artwork.

message 9: by Tegan (new)

Tegan (joggiwagga) | 276 comments I have to second that artwork comment!

message 10: by Elsie (new)

Elsie (elsiee) | 17 comments I agree about the artwork too :) I didn't really enjoy didn't seem like as much horror as I was expecting. I guess I just didn't find it erotic at all. Different tastes for different people!

message 11: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) | 5 comments My expectation was definitely in the Hentai realm, I was actually very embarrassed to even purchase this book.

About half way in and I have been very pleased with Cuthulurotica. I find the shorter format a refreshing change. Chris Heard recommended the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast [] a while back & I like the constant HP Lovecraft references to names, places, & people found in this book. I also like the Fan Fic looseness to the work--it seems very playful at some level which is one of the reasons why I read Fantasy Literature--it is not Literary Fiction.

In any event, while reading last night Bowie's "Oh! You Pretty Things" came up on Pandora and this has become the soundtrack for this book for me--has anyone else found music to listen to while reading?

And I am not interested in any Schoenberg recommendations...

message 12: by Heather (new)

Heather | 12 comments So apparently, reading a collection of short stories based on Cthulhu while wedding planning is NOT a good idea.

I had a nightmare last night that tentacles burst out of the ground and destroyed my centerpieces and eggplant colored table linens. :( It was so terrifying - I woke my fiance up in the middle of the night sobbing.

This is the second time I've had a cthulhu + wedding related nightmare!

message 13: by Goddessfreya (new)

Goddessfreya | 9 comments Before I started this book, I expected to find myself aroused by things I wouldn't want to admit to anyone but after finishing I can safely say that my turn-ons are the same as always. I really didn't get an erotica vibe from this. Now I've never read "erotica" but I feel like some of our previous plain old "romance" books have been far more erotic. A few of the stories were kind of hot, but overall I felt like they were just stories about weird stuff. I did enjoy the book and appreciate the genre switch. Can't wait to read about dinosaur sex next!

message 14: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) | 5 comments A Cthulhu Themed Wedding is now a MUST...

message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 38 comments I'm about half way through now. I love horror as a genre and the whole Cthulu mythos. I still wasn't sure what to expect here, and honestly I have been pleasantly surprised in some of the stories. I think there is something in there for everyone. There are some that are loving and sensuous in some kinda messed up way, but there is still a romance to it. Some of them are down right disturbing, but I got into this expecting that. Sometimes being disturbed is a place we should visit occasionally.

I definitely have favorites, and others that I just really didn't enjoy. And I get a little disappointed when the ones I am liking end....but then there is another thread for that.

Moving through it is definitely an adventure. You really never know what to expect each time you turn a page. Preconceptions should be left at the door with this one. Tons of variety if you are able to keep going through it.

message 16: by Dajinxed1 (new)

Dajinxed1 | 95 comments I read a few of the old comics based on Lovecrafts stories and I guess I'm going in thinking of them. Not a big fan of Lovecraft actually.

While I don't mind monster stories, I kinda freak when something plays to my imagination. Cerebral scares are way worse than gore IMHO.

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