Posts Tagged 'Daniel W. Kelly'

Two great tastes…but do they go great together?

BY DANIEL W. KELLY

Hey! You got sex in my horror! No! You got horror in my sex!

What’s all the bickering about? Isn’t that a delicious combo? Does the inclusion of sex in horror fiction automatically make it “erotic” horror? It seems in the world of publishing, heavy sexual content scores you an “erotica” label, just like we expect a penis in a movie to get slapped…with an NC-17 rating. But isn’t there a distinct difference between sex and erotica depending on its purpose within the context of a story and its effect on the reader?

Either way, you would think that in the world of LGBTQ fiction, expressing our sexuality openly in our stories would be embraced. Hell. It should be encouraged! Instead, we need the prudish “erotic” warning label to protect our virgin minds from unsavory adult content!

It often seems that the inclusion of sex in a book has readers holding crossed fingers up to it as if they’re warding off a vampire with a crucifix or stamping an X rating on the book. And so, any books that feature sexual situations get the old “erotic” subgenre attached to the true genre: erotic horror; erotic romance; erotic mystery; erotic fantasy (that last one sounds the dirtiest of all!).

I don’t know how it works with the other genres, but I personally cringe every time I see the word “erotic” attached to the “horror” classification on my books—which is basically all the time. Just the fact that “erotic” leads the classification creates an assumption about a book; before even getting to the “horror” part, the mind has already sent the wrong signal of terror loud and clear. “EEK! This is a sex book!”

I would prefer to call my fiction grindhouse horror or exploitation horror. As in those types of movies, the sex in my books is most often presented as over-the-top, absurd, and funny. Come on. A guy pleasures a big red bear with a dildo using only his mind in my new book No Place for Little Ones,No Place for Little Ones 300 DPI and a man’s expulsions taste just like dairy when he’s “milked” in my novel Combustion.Combustion 300 DPI

Occasionally, there’s a “romantic” sex scene (because my characters do have hearts!), but generally, the sex is there as a prelude to the horror, to place characters at their most vulnerable when the horror shows itself, or even to just go for the good old gross out.

These are all purposes that go hand-in-hand with horror. Sex isn’t meant to arouse; it is intended as foreplay to awaken the senses and emotions and to enhance the intensity of the climactic moment of fear.

And hey. If sex in horror does turn some readers on, that’s a result of their warped ids. Some people are that sick and twisted. I’m fine with them calling my stuff erotic horror. For the rest of you, it’s simply horror. Just have an adult cover your eyes during the dirty parts.

Calling all gay horror whores!

BY DANIEL W. KELLY

As a gay guy who has been obsessed with horror since I was a little kid, I never searched for any correlation between the genre and the orientation. I just thought horror fans were horror fans. But because horror over the decades has been so heterosexual male-oriented, when I began writing my own horror fiction, I decided it made sense to do it from the all-male perspective while modeling it after the tried and true traits of the genre: scares and sex.

My first erotic horror collection Closet Monsters included five erotic horror stories and the novella Zombied Out, which had some sexual situations but was not erotica. I used the same formula with my second book, Horny Devils. This time, the novella, entitled Scream, Queen, was a gay slasher. It was easy to sex it up because the slasher genre lends itself to “gratuitous” sex. That was when I realized I would never write a sex-less horror novel. For me, just like humor, injections of sex into horror help to awaken the senses and totally screw with your mental state. It’s part of the ride: I’m scared. Now I’m horny. I just peed a little from laughing. I almost shit my pants from fear.

Sex in my writing is not necessarily always an “integral part of the plot.” Just like in real life (and straight horror), when the opportunity seems right, in it goes. If a given moment guarantees the characters would be having sex, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to show it. But I don’t consider my writing erotica. It’s not written solely to get readers off, so it’s not like you’re reading a sex story labeled “erotic horror” simply because the guys are having sex on Halloween night. These are actual horror stories, albeit loaded with explicit sex.

I just assumed that it was a logical fusion for gay horror fans. Imagine my surprise when some reviews expressed appreciation for the…um…meat of my stories but then made comments about the sex being a distraction. As someone who grew up at a time when sex was mandatory in horror, I’m going to guess these readers weren’t properly raised on sex and violence.

I’ve even seen the equating of the sex in my horror stories to “sexual assault.” That’s far from the same thing as doing something sexual with a man because you want to be forced into doing it with him, as is usually the case in my stories. Sexual situations involving an unwilling participant are a complete turn off for me—I’ve read that kind of erotic fiction with no enjoyment and watched it go on to win literary awards. Which means I won’t be winning any awards any time soon, because you won’t often find a Deliverance moment in my writing. And when you do, the point is absolutely not to arouse; it is to horrify. I can’t be responsible for where the mind wants to go. But isn’t it possible that what might be making readers uncomfortable is that they are left questioning whether or not a scene is supposed to be turning them on?

Perhaps it’s easier for a gay reader to assume such scenes in my books are intended to be sexual because, unlike a heterosexual male, who is most likely repulsed by the idea of butt fucking (as depicted in Deliverance), gay men generally expect it to be a positive experience. Look at it from the reverse perspective. A gay man watching I Spit on Your Grave is not likely to see the rape scene as sexual at all, but the protective anonymity of internet message boards shows time and again that there are heterosexual men who do find it stimulating. Does that mean they are sick individuals, or does it mean that horror is succeeding in making them uncomfortable about the darkness within themselves? Maybe that’s why the sex in my books unnerves gay readers; it makes them contemplate what they never had to when female T&A was being splashed needlessly across the screen through twelve Jason movies.

Either way, whether sex is in place to arouse or to disturb, of all people to express distaste in its presence, I never imagined it would be gay men. Could it be true? Straight male horror fans are more in touch with their sexual selves than gay horror fans? Was I going about writing gay horror all wrong?

Thankfully, for every comment about the supposed unnecessary sex, there is appreciation of it. It was nice to have someone tell me that my story “Woof!” proved to be the first time werewolves made him hot. I often get nods for writing horror stories that feature piggish, hairy, burly bears instead of vanilla, smooth, pretty boys. Not all gay men want sex in their horror, but there are definitely those who aren’t complaining. Still, it’s hard to find the community of gay sex and horror lovers. General horror message boards aren’t bringing them out of the closet. I began to wonder just how niche the market was.

Then a friend turned me on to a Greenwich Village bear bar called Rockbar NYC, where a couple of horror-loving gay guys hold a horror trivia night every month. Before I know it, I’m co-hosting the trivia night and doing a reading/signing of my books. I had a blast. Here was a bar full of gay men who could answer the question: How many people did Cujo kill? That night, my books were bought and given away as prizes. But did that mean gay horror lovers would actually like them? I didn’t know.

With the release of CombustionCombustion 300 DPI, I returned to Rockbar NYC and something wonderful happened. What was clearly a regular crowd at horror trivia night remembered me as much as I remembered them. And they had actually delved into my books. I witnessed one friend tell a couple that when he read my novella Zombied Out, he pictured them as the bear couple in the book. Another reader told me that whenever anyone peruses his bookshelves, their eyes are drawn immediately to my books.

Yet another horror fan told me that he won my book in the trivia contest the first time I was there, loved it, and read it out loud to his adora-bear hubby. He specifically referenced my story “Monstrosity” about a man suffering from a case of “gargantuanism.” He said the ending was horrific—but readily admitted that he also thought it was so hot he took care of business to it more than once. Good news for him. That huge man will be making a comeback in the novels yet to come in the series that begins with Combustion and now continues with my new book, No Place for Little OnesNo Place for Little Ones 300 DPI.

And there it was. Evidence that my kind of gay erotic horror fan is out there. I’d been in contact with one occasionally over the Internet. But to be in a bar full of them was not only an honor…it was hot as hell.

And things have just gotten better since then. I was inspired to create the Facebook page Boys, Bears & Scares, dedicated to horror from a gay male POV: movies, books, art, graphic novels, gay ghouls, horror hunks, and more. Doing so has connected me to gay horror lovers, from men who create it to fans who devour it. It’s an exhaustive and ever-growing list of what’s out there in both gay and mainstream horror.

Gay horror is hard to find. It is often targeted at the “erotica” market rather than the horror market, which does it a great disservice. There’s a good chance when an erotica reader sees a hot guy on the cover of a gay horror book, he’s in for something he didn’t bargain for: gratuitous horror along with the sex. When the cover also successfully captures the horror elements, the erotica reader may be repelled by the horror, but the horror fan—the true market for the genre—will be intrigued. And unless he’s one of those horror readers who find that sex gets in the way of the story and wasn’t tipped off about its inclusion in the book by the half-naked guy on the cover, he’ll be right at home with every gory gay, horny homo detail.

 

Are books of sex and horror (like mine) at the root of society’s ills?

BY DANIEL W. KELLY

In the 1940s and 1950s, two of my favorite subjects came under attack when comics like Tales from the Crypt were accused of creating evil children (the only kind I like), promoting lustful thoughts (a most welcome headache), and even leading to illiteracy (damn reading material!). In the decades that followed, violence and sex only escalated in popular entertainment. So today, with the death toll rising, finger pointing continues. Too many guns. Violent video games are to blame. The responsibility lies solely on the shoulders of Quentin Tarantino. What shocks me most about all this is that many people hoping to shift the focus off their guns are throwing their favorite video games like Grand Theft Auto and television shows like The Sopranos under the bus!

Then we have panic about the sexual threats of Jersey Shore, Glee, and Lady Gaga turning our youth into horny monsters, causing those who are perfectly straight to bend and go gay. So how do soccer moms explain the copy of 50 Shades of Grey on the nightstand to their children? Justify it as positive reinforcement to ensure the raising of horny heterosexual monsters, perhaps? Hey concerned moms. If you want to get off on the fear of actual horny homo monsters, check out my books. Very satisfying.

The bastardizing of media makes me wonder what effect erotic horror novels such as my book Combustion could have on society. Of course, CombustionCombustion 300 DPI is not being marketed to teenagers. If it were, it would probably sell a lot more copies. Let’s face it. Kids are into that stuff. I was. And look at the horrible effect it had on my young, impressionable mind; it made me…a writer.

What went wrong with me? Why aren’t I a menace to society? I spent my youth reading Stephen King and watching pretty young things get hacked, slashed, and disemboweled. All it managed to do was make me very careful to avoid masked men with machetes (masked men with paddles are a different story). Despite watching Steve Austin get shot in his bionic arm and merely blow a fuse and witnessing Michael Myers take six bullets at close range and walk away unscathed, I feared guns could kill. That worry was cemented in 1984 when my young gay crush, model/actor Jon-Erik Hexum, accidentally killed himself with a gun loaded with blanks.

I didn’t even comprehend the depths of my aversion to guns until a friend brought his BB gun to my house for a Halloween horror movie marathon—because, you know, it was a crucial part of his costume. I was assured that it wasn’t loaded. But during one of my obsessive rounds of cleaning up after everyone, I saw the gun sitting unattended on the armrest of my easy chair, pointing directly at one of my oblivious dogs, who believed he was curled up on his safe spot. I nearly pissed myself. Mom always said, don’t point guns in the house. I demanded the BB gun be removed from the vicinity. I don’t care if people own them, I just don’t want them near my beloved babies Sheffield and Miss Fine!

As for the sexual influences that messed up my young life, truth is, I had cable TV in my bedroom! The sex and nudity in teen comedies and slashers focused on women. Wasn’t feeling it. But I did figure out the exact amount of minutes into The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas when the hunky guys sing naked in the shower. So I would set my clock for that scene every time it played on HBO. And boy, was I feeling it. By the time I was 18, I was working at a video store and had free porn at my disposal, much like lucky little bastards do on the internet today. You don’t know what that filth did to my sexual development. I lost my virginity six yeas later and have been with the same dick ever since.

And of course, I now write books about vicious monsters and sex-hungry men. As I continue developing the stories following Combustion, I’ve noticed that guns are rarely if ever used by the characters. Even main man Deck Waxer, detective turned paranormal investigator, wishes he still had his gun when in danger, but knows it wouldn’t be of much use. If I learned one good lesson from all that horror at a young age, it’s that guns only kill people, not monsters. So some of my men are equipped with psychic powers to take on the evil. Others have dicks so big they don’t need guns to prove prowess. And the men with small dicks and no psychic powers? They just go play with the guys with the big dicks and hide behind the guys with psychic powers. Yeah, that’s what they’re doing back there.

Maybe there’s a fine line between being exposed and being predisposed that determines if we turn out human or inhumane. I’m naturally attracted to men and dislike acts of violence, and learned to get an adrenaline rush from both through fantasy and imagination. I’ve always read horror. I watch hardcore porn. I play violent video games, as long as the only things I’m shooting are zombies and demons that ooze green blood. And I write sex and horror. However, like most people who enjoy the same crazy books, movies, and video games I do, I fear the consequences of extreme fictional situations in reality. Do we as a society really believe that those responsible for the too-frequent tragedies we’re facing didn’t have it in them before playing, say, a game of Silent Hill? If media influence is at fault, why do we read Catcher in the Rye in high school? The guy who shot John Lennon was obsessed with it!

Whatever the solution for minimizing life-stealing violence and risky sexual behavior, I hope we begin to realize that each of us just wants the same protections as everyone else, both physical and emotional. We shouldn’t waste so much energy on attacking civil liberties, emphasis on the civil. A few months ago, many of the very people who are now outraged and ready to revolt because they feel their 2nd Amendment right is being threatened were fighting to rewrite constitutions to define marriage and defending initiatives to block the ability for lifelong American citizens to vote. Call them on it, and they will give you a list of justifications for their beliefs and argue that the issues are not the same. And they’re actually correct. Marriage and voting never killed anyone. But what is the same is that no matter who you are, it’s a terrifying feeling to think that your freedom is going to be taken away from you. I get it. Believe me, I get it. And I can top it. I’ve known what it feels like to not even have the same rights and protections as most. So if you ever try to confiscate my horror novels and porn DVDs, I’ll whip out my semi-automatic neighbor with a registered gun and he’ll shoot your ass.

Please don’t take my filthy erotic horror personally

BY DANIEL W. KELLY

In a recent interviewwith Bold Strokes Books, I was asked how much of myself can be found in my characters. I admitted that I might infuse a character with a specific asset or flaw of mine, but no character is a facsimile of me. For instance, my leading man Deck Waxer has some of the same 40-something complaints as me (knees pop when he stands up, back aches when he gets out of bed), but he’s not me. If we met, we’d get along really well because we have some things in common. But not everything.

So it was very disconcerting to me when a friend of mine (straight, but not narrow) began reading my new novel CombustionCombustion 300 DPI and before even getting past the prologue, posed this question to me in an IM: You think cum rags are hot?

I actually had no idea why I was being accused of such a thing. I didn’t even remember talking about cum rags and had to go refresh my memory. Indeed, there is an instant when a servant picks up cum rags while collecting the laundry in his masters’ bedroom where they worked him over the night before. My friend was completely fixated on the fact that I referenced them and concluded I had done so for erotic purposes.

In hopes of ending this five-minute conversation about me mentioning cum rags in my book for one second, I began making up reasons why I did so, and they’re not half bad. I proposed that while I don’t particularly think cum rags are hot, they stimulate the libidos of other gay men. I explained that cum rags drive home the intensity of the sex through the reality of the nasty aftermath. I pointed out that the cum rags further define the master/servant roles in and out of the sexual arena; the servant already satisfied the lustful needs of his masters, and now he has to suffer (aka: relish) the humiliation of cleaning up after them. I was sure I’d gotten through to my friend.

A little while later I get this IM: Are colonics supposed to be erotic? Here we go again. Rather than defend the sexual significance within my story, I simply replied that it’s a fetish for some, which actually is the point of its presence in Combustion; Deck Waxer meets a bevy of unique characters who eroticize various acts. I’ve never done most of the things described in the book. I swear it! It’s fiction. It’s fantasy. I wondered how my friend was going to get past the foot fucking or the dairy session with Milkman Stan. I even thought of prescribing The Pervert-Impaired Guide to Reading Combustion, a manual I’ve written for those who just want to experience the horror and not the sex.

It seems that my friend was transferring every thought and action in the book on to me, assuming that because I wrote it, it’s what I do, feel, and think. This is the very reason I tell my family to avoid reading my books at all costs. I might have to give my friends the same advice if this becomes an issue. I don’t write fiction to invite readers into my head—I write it to invite them into my imagination.

Should we equate the art with the artist, thereby hampering our appreciation of the art or our opinion of the artist? I don’t assume Stephen King enjoys pouring pigs’ blood over the heads of awkward schoolgirls. If I like an Eminem song that doesn’t have any gay slurs in it, I buy a used copy of his CD so that he doesn’t get a penny from me! Just because Mapplethorpe shoved a bullwhip up his ass for a photo…. Okay, bad example. But you get the point.

Granted, there are extreme cases in which it’s hard to separate the two. Seeing Joan Crawford being tortured by Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, I fleetingly think “Now you know how your daughter feels when she sees a wire hanger in the closet!” Watching the Jeepers Creepers ghoul hungering for the flesh of pretty young boys, my mind strays to the fact that director Victor Salva was found guilty of molesting the young actor from his horror film Clownhouse. Great flick, but try compartmentalizing art and the artist watching that film with this piece of knowledge….

I’ve also been just as guilty of reading an author friend’s book and assuming he was into the extreme sex acts that he was describing. In my defense, he wrote in first person, and I often find it hard not to read a first person novel like it’s a diary. This is the reason I usually stick to writing third person. I prefer to observe my characters, not become them, which is what it feels like I’m doing when I say “I” and “me” over and over and over again, as in this blog post, which is all me. My characters are not.

I think I’ve been possessed by my own inner demons…

BY DANIEL W. KELLY

I’ve created a monster, and it might be in me. And I’m scared. It feels like the right time to exorcise my Dan demons, for several reasons: I’m already counting the days until the fear-stivities at my house on Halloween; my new erotic horror novel Combustion is coming out this November (missing the ideal October 31st due date by just a few weeks. Dammit it to hell!); and the way my fingers have been dancing across the keyboard to spell out stories is like the involuntary movement of a planchette across a Ouija board.

I don’t think of myself as an author. I don’t even think what I’m doing is writing. I consider it relating a story; I’m a storyteller. I’m not saying I’m a liar, but I do make shit up. I’m cursed with an overactive imagination. Like, in second grade, I drew a detailed picture of a ghost in chains rising from a grave then told my classmates this was a nightly occurrence in the cemetery next to my house. Granted, my house wasn’t next to a cemetery, but it was haunted. It’s just that, back then, Mom told us not to talk about it to anyone. So I fudged the truth. But now Mom’s gone, so I’ve recounted the happenings in detail on my website. It’s not like Mom can reprimand me from the beyond. Or can she…?

Since I was a kid, I’ve had stories scratching and clawing at the inside of my skull to get out. Yet, when someone says to me, “Oh, you’re an author,” I can’t bring myself to respond in the affirmative. I always reply with, “I have a couple of books published.” I just can’t see myself teaching workshops on the creative process, giving lectures on being an author, penning essays on the art of writing, running in literary circles, or winning any prestigious award. I think I’m too beneath it all.

My intention is not to trash myself. I’m just saying, I have simple tastes. I like what I like—correction. I love what I like—regardless of its worldwide recognition or disdain. I appreciate that erotic photography celebrates the beauty of sexuality, but I’d rather see perverted porn loaded with funky fluids and sloppy sounds. I get the brilliance of Edgar Allen Poe, but I’m more freaked out by a fatalistic urban legend whispered around a campfire. I think The Exorcist is a timeless masterpiece of tension, terror, directing, special effects, and thespianism, but I’d rather watch Night of the Demons over and over again for its 80s cheese, excessive cheap jump scares, low-budget demon gore, awful acting, and the unforgettable moment when b-queen Linnea Quigley sticks a tube of lipstick into her luscious silicone…I mean…prosthetic breast.

My tastes are reflected in the types of stories I get off on telling. Friends advise me to stop with the gay horror porn and write a mainstream novel. I don’t even read that stuff. Why would I want to write it? “But, you have such a limited audience,” they argue. An audience that likes the same kind of whacked, raunchy, gruesome, campy crap I do! What more could I ask for? I’m thrilled when I hear from a reader who appreciates one of my stories, particularly because I didn’t write it to win his acceptance. I wrote it because it was the story I wanted to tell and the story I would want to read. I’m not aiming to be brilliant, poetic, or a master of prose. If, occasionally, I am, it’s totally accidental and I apologize (to myself).

I have no fear of aiming low. Poking around the internet, one thing becomes apparent quickly; no matter what the general public thinks, there is an audience for EVERYTHING. Those who contact me aren’t just readers of my books…they’re me. We live in the same twilight zone. We are obsessed with the same schlock. First thing I learned in Creative Writing 101 was “write what you know.” I write what I know (sex and horror), and certain readers know what I write.

But do I really write it?

I truly can’t explain where the stories come from. The ideas take on a life of their own as soon as they are conceived. For instance, Combustion has turned into something I never expected when I began typing it. Take the city of Kremfort Cove. I made it up for one of my previous stories, yet before I could start location hunting, there was no question in my mind that it needed to be the setting for Combustion. It also became so obvious that for many of the characters from my other stories, their final destination would be Kremfort Cove. As Combustion began to unfold, I realized that Kremfort Cove is where most of the stories still clogging my brain are meant to take place. Now, the bookhas become merely the beginning of a longer series. In the year that it has been moving toward its release date, the next four novels are already finished in their first drafts.

And this is where the possession rears its ugly head…in my head. Like George Lutz in The Amityville Horror, I wake up with a start every fricking night at around 3:15 AM and just lay there for about an hour, my mind filling with specific plot points, scenes, and word for word dialogue for “upcoming” novels. I learn how each novel will begin, how each is going to end. I am informed of what happens in the middle; I might not know the exact path, but I don’t worry. I sit at the keyboard every day, my fingers begin tapping away, and the stories unfold as if I’m watching a movie. I don’t have to stop and think about what’s supposed to happen next. It’s almost like it is being told to me and I’m just repeating it on paper. It’s supernatural, I tell you! I’m nothing more than a portal (which my partner has been saying for years).

This method (of my madness) is haunting me. During the waking hours, thoughts pop into my brain out of nowhere, distracting me from what I’m doing (such as listening to my partner tell me about his day). These probing thoughts explain how certain scenarios are going to play out, why point A is going to lead to point C, and the reason I introduced a seemingly irrelevant character in a book. I’ll find myself in need of a particular type of character for the novel I’m currently transcribing and immediately realize something along the lines of, “Oh, he already exists. A main character two books back had a minor exchange with him!”

This is why I’m convinced I couldn’t possibly be an author. When I talk to writer friends, they tell me they have this idea for a book but can’t find the motivation to sit down and start it, don’t know how it begins, and aren’t sure how it ends. Huh? I would think that if you’re compelled to write something, starting would not be a stumbling block! Inevitably, these friends enthusiastically say, “We should write it together!” Yeah. Tried that once, ended up writing the whole thing myself then got “this is cool but it’s not what I imagined.” So, friend, what exactly did you imagine, and why didn’t you write it? Needless to say, my standard answer to such suggestions ever since is that, unfortunately, I’m not a writer, merely a guy who tells naughty, gnarly stories.

And I will continue channeling these sexy spooky stories until the overarching plot connecting them all is ready to be laid to rest. I’ve already been clued in to how the series is going to end. Right now, I don’t know how many tales need to be and are going to be told before that end comes. I don’t actually have the time to stop and think about it because the Dan demons are running the show (they’re kind of pissed I stopped as long as I did to write this). I don’t question them. I don’t doubt them. They’ll tell me what’s ahead when the time is right. I just continue to follow my spirit guides on this journey toward the unknown.

Scared stiff: give it the old fist pump if horror makes you hot….

by Daniel W. Kelly

If you’re like me, you know there’s nothing like a good bump in the night to get the heart racing and the nerves tingling. The thrill of it causes your pulse to pound, starts the adrenalin flowing, leaves you saturated in sweat, and has you looking over your shoulder to get a good glimpse of the seductive devil who’s back there, about to slip inside your soul….

Isn’t it amazing how one paragraph could be describing either an incredible sexual encounter or a horrifying experience with the supernatural? While the psychological ramifications of exposure to one or the other are totally different, the physical responses are virtually the same. So is it any surprise that the horror genre has always crossed the line between titillating and terrorizing?

For starters, the monster is most likely to desire the innocent and virginal—while preying on the promiscuous and sexually active. Also, horror imagery often takes the sensual and perverts it with disgusting twists: demons with slimy, puss-squirting tongues they insert between supple human lips in order to possess the unwilling; creatures with grotesque, phallic appendages they use to savagely penetrate and poison beautiful human bodies; alien species with gaping, oozing, teeth-lined orifices resembling pulsating vaginas and anuses, which need to fill their void by sucking on flawless human flesh.

And possibly the most important reason sex is almost obligatory in horror? We are most vulnerable when we’re naked: in the shower as the knife-wielding masked killer stands just on the other side of the curtain; skinny-dipping in the middle of the night, unaware of the man-eater swimming just beneath the dark surface; making love in the backseat of a car at Lover’s Lane as the hook hand latches on to the door handle. Well, all that, and because of, you know, the obvious: sex and the satanic are often linked and are both considered taboo. So how better to draw in an audience than by serving up a whole lot of bare boobs to the beast?

Ironically, when I was an impressionable teen in the 1980s, there was a disconnect as I was bombarded by visions of curvaceous, scantily clad women being sacrificed to vicious specters on the covers of the plethora of horror paperback books and VHS boxes that lined my local bookstore and video store shelves. Upon digesting the media, I was never particularly upset when the lusty busty babe got the axe—I was too busy hoping her boyfriend would be the last man…um…‘standing.’

The horror genre is marketed to the straight man—particularly straight male adolescents. But this isn’t simply sports or cars we’re talking about. There’s something incredibly metaphorical about horror. It’s the big bad monster trying to punish those who partake in the natural acts of lust and love. And who better to relate to a relentless outside force trying to stop their desire for instinctive, impulsive passion than gay men?

In my time as a writer of gay erotic horror fiction, I’ve discovered something the heterosexual male horror community doesn’t fully comprehend: many gay males are voracious devourers of horror books and films. We’re not merely the prissy, disposable first victim or the psychosexual-woman-hating-cross-dressing killer they’ve always presented us as (hint hint: toss in a little hairy man buns now and then!).

Thanks to the niche communities the internet creates, I’ve been contacted by readers who are just like me. They love men, they love sex, and they love horror—but are generally required to subject themselves to woman parts in order to get to the scary parts (I know, there’s a gay joke in there about how the woman parts are the scary parts). As if the feedback to my gay erotic horror stories isn’t sign enough that there is an audience for it, I’ve found another very interesting gauge. On my personal website, I have a page called Stud Stalking. It’s a detailed list of every horror movie I come across that features even the slightest glimpse of scrumptious man epidermis. The response to the section has been overwhelming from gay horror fans like myself, from requests for more recommendations to other titles I need to add to the list.

I love writing erotica. I love writing horror. My first published strictly erotic stories appeared in jerk-off magazines, and I told myself this was just a way to get my foot in the door and that eventually I’d be able to get mainstream horror stories published. Then I began to realize that every time I went to write a horror story, it was with a gay man’s perspective. I didn’t want to write about women in peril (the market is flooded with that approach), and it didn’t make sense to try to put on the straight man beard. Sure, those options would sell more books to more people, but I really wanted to write horror I would like to read myself. I’d simply enjoy writing it more, which would most likely mean better, more genuine storytelling.

So, I began penning horror stories ‘starring’ gay men. I say starring because when I write, I try to make the story feel and flow like a horror movie. I want the read to be fun and fluid, not bogged down by excessive ‘smart’ prose and philosophical thought. That’s just not the kind of horror that grabs me by the throat and squeezes until I can’t breathe.

And because horror has always gone hand-in-hand with sexual content, and because the only thing that truly distinguishes gay characters from straight characters is that they—to put it bluntly—love and lay others of the same gender, it felt so natural for me to go balls-to-the-wall with the sexual situations (often literally). But to be clear, in the world of my characters, I don’t want all my men to be raped and ripped apart by heinous monstrosities (Although, it does happen occasionally. What can I say? It’s a classic horror convention). I want them to be happy, horny men who find love, score some ass, and find themselves in ungodly situations they must survive in one piece so that they can live another day to score some more ass.

My stories and novels are not intended to be what has become known as ‘torture porn,’ where the implication is that the consumer is getting sexually aroused and stimulated by gore and extreme violence. I’ve simply combined two of my favorite things—scares and sex—with each having its own place in my stories. The horror is there to give readers the willies, with the erotica as the tension relief—a chance to get off. Basically, an emission intermission. I guess you could even call it the horror-gasm.

And that’s the way the fun and fear unfold in Combustion, my first full-length ‘gothrotica’ novel. Those who have been reading my stuff for awhile will get satisfaction from my usual playful approach to the erotic horror genre, and are sure to recognize some of the names and faces (and asses, and cocks, and balls, etc.) from my previous stories. And if Combustion is the first book of mine you pick up, you’ll soon be getting very cozy with the boys, beasts, men, and monsters—and hopefully staying up all night to reach the graphic climax….


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