It started long before the twentieth century when Anaïs Nin wrote her famous Delta of Venus. Perhaps it started in ancient Greece, where clay tablets sometimes held decidedly naughty verse. No matter where it began, however, erotica is part of human existence and has been for at least two millennia.
The combination of erotica and science fiction necessitated that science fiction—both speculative and fantastical—become a meme with all its attendant facets. It needed more than technology, more than fantasy Gods and Goddesses and anthropomorphic animals; it needed a dose of visceral reality. This reality had to be the kind that included eating, sleeping, and, of course, sexuality.
We might never know when science fiction erotica was first produced, but it is easy to see its prevalence increasing as the centuries pass. Today, science fiction erotica is gaining popularity as authors such as Laurell K. Hamilton, John Norman, and the venerable Johanna Lindsey get into the act. Even Piers Anthony, that famous writer of fantasy that so many of cut our eye teeth on, wrote Pornucopia, his version of a paranormal romp in the hay. And while “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex” by Larry Niven isn’t exactly erotic, he deals in suggestive sexual themes exclusively in that funny essay.
But what are the romantic elements of sci-fi erotica, and how do they further the tech or fantasy? Try this on for size: boy meets girl; boy gets girl; boy loses girl; boy sings a song and gets girl back; they live happily ever after. That’s the basic refrain of romance novels, but in the case of sci-fi romance, it could be: alien meets girl; or, boy meets android; or, shapeshifter meets demon. The combinations are endless, but the point is that someone meets someone else who rocks their world, then find that they can’t do without that someone, and through some wonder of science or fantasia, they make it through trials and tribulations and find permanent togetherness. That’s the scope I tried to present in my two-book series, Daughter of the Moon.
The erotic elements are, I hope, self explanatory. There’s sex that’s sexy, not perfunctory or medically technical, but sensual, often impulsive, and always passionate. It’s intended to emotionally charge the reader right along with the characters.
Can the characters have more than one partner and still retain the romance elements? I think so. There is illustrative value in comparisons, as well as a dose of reality when bad red relationships and uncomfortable sexual situations occur. Furthermore, there is a burgeoning market for homosexual romance literature happening today that shouldn’t be ignored. And if homosexuality is allowed, perhaps polyamory ought to be, too. The world is a wide open place for erotica these days, and sci-fi erotica perhaps most open of all because the human(oid)s and supernatural beings that inhabit those realms don’t necessarily fit together the way we’re used to. But there’s lots of love to be had and that’s really the point.
I’ve written 3 sci-fi books, Laricon’s Ways, Daughter of the Moon, Book 1: Surface, and Daughter of the Moon, Book 2: Depths. These are sci-fi erotica, and deal with some interesting concepts, sometimes breaking the rules. All are romances, so you’ll get that lovin’ feelin’ with every chapter.