Viewport width =
Website-Cover-Photo2 (1)
April 16, 2018 | by  | in Features |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Tentacle Porn

Tentacle Porn: Is it good shit?  

CW: Tentacle porn, rape.

There comes a time in every hapless student’s life when you chance upon the spectacle of one bodily orifice or another being filled by a slimy, big ass, monster tentacle. They say this event shapes an individual, that the image burns into their subconscious. They say that the mind, conservative and fearful of the floodgates that may rapture, suppresses all thought and memory of the event. I speak of course of Tentacle Erotica.

“Tentacle Porn, what’s that about?” I blurted the question out over dinner with my flatmate (who refuses to be named). It had been gestating in my mind for a solid fistful of minutes. “That’s good shit” he replied. I couldn’t tell if he was joking (he insists he was) or whether I was just being dismissive of a perfectly valid fetish.

I traced tentacle erotica back to Japan in the Edo period, a simpler time and place, where erotica could be printed on wooden blocks and still be called a literary masterpiece. These “shunga” novels were enjoyed by everybody and their mothers.The first human-octopus intercourse (which I hereby dub tenta-course) can be seen in the 1814 novel, Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife. The artist, Katsushika Hokusai, is the same dude who would go on to paint the renowned Great wave off Kanagawa, so I guess you could say he had an affinity for the sea. The prints of Fisherman’s Wife depict a woman getting jiggy with two octopuses. I went deeper, seeking analysis of this legendary work.

Scholarly papers indicate that Westerners interpret the intercourse as rape, whereas Japanese at the time deemed it consensual. The novel follows the legend of the female abalone diver, Tamatori. The story is as follows: Tamatori steals a jewel from the dragon king; she tries to get away, but the dragon king and his sea-homies pursue her; this pursuit leads to consensual sex between Tamatori and the octopuses. This seemed unconvincing to me. I would never stop in the middle of a heist to allow two octopuses to fuck me. However, the dialogue shows mutual enjoyment, so apparently octopuses are irresistible. What do I know?

But this was like 100 years ago. Why is tentacle porn still going so hard? The answer, apparently, is censorship. Article 175 of Japan’s criminal code forbids “indecent material” from being distributed, with the proviso that most porn must be at least a little censored. This usually means chucking a digital mosaic over a penis. The father of contemporary tentacle porn, Toshio Maeda, cites censorship as the reason animators started focussing on tentacle penetration. They couldn’t draw penises, so they decided to draw tentacles instead, all to get around that pesky article 175.

Maeda notes that it was illegal to show humans getting down in bed. Thus, he created a creature with tentacles, not penises, just tentacles. The justification being that the tentacles were not phallic, but rather a part of the creature. As another slap in the face of censorship, he claimed that the creatures don’t have genders, and as such the work is neither obscene or illegal. It also showed that Toshio Maeda put a lot of thought into the subject.

Japanese people get a shit rap for being the inventors of tentacle porn. That dubious honour is actually somewhat attributable to America. Before the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Japanese were a lot looser when it came to nudity and sexuality. Expressions of sexuality were not considered taboo. However, after the Meiji Restoration, Japan began to censor erotica, due to concerns that America and the rest of the Western world would think of Japan as a nation of sick fucks. This was only reinforced after the Second World War, when the Allied forces occupied Japan. The US lifted censorship laws and controls on freedom of speech, but only where it benefited them. The US had only acted to suppress any anti-American sentiment and free up access to American media in Japan. In reality, while most censorship laws were abolished, both press censorship and article 175 of the penal code survived. “Indecent material” was prohibited, be it pornography or anti-American propaganda.

Like that tough kid who always gives you swirlies, America made sure that the Japanese would only have their eyes and ears filled with good ol’ American media. This meant that the Japanese were exposed to all the depravity and monster sex of American B-movies. Specifically in 1970, Roger Corman’s The Dunwich Horror was the first film to feature aggressive sexual assault by a tentacled monster. Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead followed in 1981, featuring an extremely non-consensual “moment” between a helpless university student and a group of “demonically possessed trees”.

In contemporary tentacle porn, the Japanese seem to have opted for the approach of these American B-movies and their inclination towards sexual assault. In 1986 Mecha Horror Guyver Out of Control, tentacle porn took on its recognisable form — Japanese anime. The genre appears to stick to animated features; few live action films have been made since the 1990s. Probably due to complex ethical issues involving octopus rights.

The next couple of decades saw a proliferation of animated features, from Urotsukidoji in 1986, to Demon Beast Resurrection in 1995. Japanese weren’t the only fans of this material. The tenta-course filled films flew off video store shelves in the United States and the rest of the Western world.

Tentacle porn remains popular today, with animators continuing to animate and viewers continuing to, uh, do the things that viewers do. Indeed, the internet has only helped the videos reach a global audience. If I were to say the number of people that actually enjoy watching the stuff has dwindled over the years, I would be hella ignorant. One search for tentacle porn pulled up a top 20 list (number one being Tentacle and Witches) and several porn streaming sites with free movies at the click of a button, including my personal nightmare, Anime Tentacle Porn with 6 Dicks.  

It could be said that some fans of tentacle porn watch because they find the idea ridiculous in the vein of a black comedy. It could also be said that some watch for the entertainment of being horrified. My visit to the subreddit r/tentai informs me otherwise. There is an enthusiastic community that derives sexual pleasure from seeing tentacle penetration, and 135 of them were online at the same time as me.

While the origin of tentacle porn was a showcase of consensual sex between Tamatori and her eight-legged lovers, the principle has since faded. Contemporary tentacle erotica mostly sees its female characters trapped in different environments as a set-up for graphic scenes of rape by tentacle monsters. Storylines generally range from invasion by tentacle monsters, to enslavement of women, or a male character turning into a tentacled monster of insatiable lust. While there is contemporary work featuring consensual tenta-course, finding it is a near impossible.

I had hoped that by the end of this research, I would be able to ascertain whether tentacle porn really is “good shit”. The truth is, I hadn’t seen tentacle porn since glimpsing it on the internet when I was 13. I felt an inquiry of this nature demanded that I watch at least a short clip. I grew up watching anime, and even today I can enjoy the stuff (I keep my head down about it, lest I have a massive WEEB target painted on my back). Having said that, tentacle porn is a fucking hard watch. Obviously it’s not my cup of tea. I see the claims of consensual sex, but the clips I skipped through clearly weren’t consensual. I understand, there are people who enjoy the stuff. But is it “good shit”? That’s a no from me dawg.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent posts

  1. Access Denied – Invisible City
  2. Tapu and Noa
  3. It’s not you, it’s Hookup Culture
  4. VUWSA
  5. Touching on Taboo
  6. WOMAD
  7. National Urges Govt to be More Ambitious with Child Poverty Legislation
  8. Doin’ it for the Retweets: NZ Police’s Rainbow Car
  9. Postgrad Informer
  10. Sexual Violence Court Pilot
Website-Cover-Photo7

Editor's Pick

This Ain’t a Scene it’s a Goddamned Arm Wrestle

: - SPONSORED - Interior – Industrial Soviet Beerhall – Night It was late November and cold as hell when I stumbled into the Zhiguli Beer Hall. I was in Moscow, about to take the trans-Mongolian rail line to Beijing, and after finding someone in my hostel who could speak Englis