By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Today’s bizarre Mythoesque illustration caused consternation when I showed it to our editor, who very promptly said: Holy Victorian Cthulhu Porn!
Although we have a mental image of Victorian culture as being asexual and repressed, it was actually rife with pornography and eroticism, from bawdy photographs to illustrations that were just a tad short of appearing on Playboy.
Witness this illustration by Belgian painter Fernand Khnopff, titled “Istar” (1888), with the tentacles/roots wrapped lovingly around the nude woman’s body. If that isn’t Victorian tentacle porn, I don’t know what is.
On the subject of tentacle porn, no matter how pervasive it is in anime or how happy that lady in “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife” looks, I shall never understand the appeal of octopus-like creatures. I, for one, am terrified of encountering Cthulhu erotica (please do not send us any; my brain cannot handle the imagery).
But one woman’s insanity-inducing imagery can be another one’s erotic dream, as proven by the magazine Cthulhu Sex, which ran happily for many issues before closing down shop in 2007.
Conclusion: “Istar” and other works by Fernand Khnopff can be viewed at ArtMagick. And keep your tentacles off me.