Humans have not-so-secretly wanted to bone monsters for a long time. It's arguably the reason why The Shape of Water won four Oscars last year, why the Twilight saga earned more than $3 billion USD in the box office, or why Beauty and the Beast continues to be one of the most-popular fictional couples in the world close to 300 years after Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve first wrote the story of the beautiful belle who fell for the giant lion creature.
In Indonesia, nothing epitomizes our bestial sex fantasies better than the mythical creature called Genderuwo. The story goes that Genderuwo possesses the kind of sex drive no human can match, and he seduces women, giving them mind-blowing sexual pleasure, typically while they're unconscious. He usually takes-on the appearance of the women's husband—but he does the things the husband could never do— and the women don't (or more accurately, are unable to) resist his advances.
Among Genderuwo’s favorite moves are slapping a woman's butt and or stroking them while they sleep. His favorite targets are grieving widows and bored housewives whose husbands neglect them. But sometimes he lives inside a woman's uterus, turning her into a nymphomaniac who constantly cheats on her husband to find sexual satisfaction that the Genderuwo craves.
The Genderuwo is feared, but he's also seen as irresistible. And judging from how popular strong, sexual beasts still are, it doesn't seem like the story of Genderuwo is going to die out anytime soon. We're currently living in the era of monster erotica, or "Big Foot Porn," if you're nasty, where short erotic novels about snake creatures having crazy, scaly sex with women are bring in as much as $30,000 USD a month in sales. University students are making more money than their friends penning sex fantasies about dinosaurs and a super-popular Instagram is of Russian women posing next to a real-life, and real deadly, bear.
But before there were hits like Cum for Bigfoot, there were stories about Genderuwo. In fact, some historians believe that the roots of the Genderuwo legend go all the way back to the Persian Empire—making him the great granddaddy of monster erotica. And unlike his more modern iterations, the Genderuwo doesn't need hundreds of meandering pages to get to the, ahem, climax. He seduces women, sleeps with them, and brings them to orgasm. Full stop. End of the story.
Sure, there's A LOT of problematic shit in here. While most of the monster erotica genre is written by women, it also relies heavily on rape and sexual domination. It's no different with the Genderuwo. He seduces women with monster hypnosis, even sleeping with some of them while they're asleep. And how does a woman have mind-blowing sex when she doesn't even know shes having sex at all?
The entire monster porn genre perpetuates this enduring belief that that women are essentially at the mercy of a man's sexual prowess—that they enjoy being taken and ravaged by a man, human or otherwise, in the bedroom. In this narrative, the more bestial a man is, the more pleasure a woman receives. Isn't that sort of a reflection of the rape culture that plagues society today?
But the erotica is also sorta empowering. Women are in control of the situation, as the genre's most-visible authors, and these stories are a definite expression of a woman's wants and fantasies, even when those fantasies are having Sex With My Husband’s Anatomically Correct Robot or being Punished by the Centaur. And who am I to judge if daydreams about fucking the Genderuwo make some bored housewife happy?
Now who is going to help me write my erotica series about a female Genderuwo savaging unwitting men in their homes?