When I was a child, I used to have a recurring nightmare about my family house being burgled while I was at home. If the burglars found me—bizarrely and nonsensically enough—I would be swallowed whole by a stegosaurus-style dinosaur and watch myself pass through its wet, fleshy belly, before waking up in tears. When I saw the trailer for Venom a few weeks ago, I was reminded of the prospect of being eaten by a creature. Clearly, this prospect invokes memories of vague childhood trauma for me. However, for those with a vore fetish, consuming and/or being consumed is incredibly sexually arousing.
Vore is as multidimensional as any other fetish. There’s a distinction between those who like to consume (predators) and those who like to be consumed (prey). There’s also a distinction between fantasies involving prey being swallowed whole (soft vore) and prey being chewed up first (hard vore). Vore can involve all sorts of real and imagined species—such as humans, mythical creatures and Pokemon. There’s considerable crossover between the furry and vore communities, with individuals fantasizing about being a furry predator or its prey. And the method of consumption can differ from oral to anal to vaginal (aka unbirth) and beyond.
We caught up with some vorers—Lee (a 23-year-old engineering grad student in the US), Kyle (a 32-year-old civil engineer in the US), Greg (an 18-year-old student in the US), Ethan (a 27-year-old graphic designer in Australia), Amelia (a 19-year-old student in the US) and Natalie (a 26-year-old restaurant worker in the US)—to find out how they first got into vore, what they enjoy about it, how they integrate it into their erotic lives, and what they think about Venom.
VICE: How did you first get into vore?
Lee: I've been into vore for as long as I can remember having sexual feelings, and I’ve had a morbid fascination with the idea for even longer. My earliest memory of a ‘vore’ scene was reading Little Red Riding Hood in grade school and being so terrified I had to put the book down. Sometime around early puberty, that terror began to take on sexual undertones. The most obvious transition point I can remember was when I became obsessed with the story of James Bartley, a sailor who claimed to have been swallowed by a sperm whale. The passage I read included a description of him being “hemmed in by velvet walls” inside of the whale’s belly, which in my 10-year-old brain sounded almost peaceful, like being wrapped up in a warm, fleshy hammock. I’d daydream about giant marine animals that saved people lost at sea by swallowing them whole, like a friendlier version of the Jonah story. Eventually, fantasy alone wasn't enough. My first ‘porn’ search was looking at images of whales with their mouths open on Google images. This eventually led me to a forum dedicated to whale ‘mawshots’ [wide-open mouths] on Eka’s Portal, a vore-centric website. From there I quickly discovered the furry vore scene, and kinkier methods of ingestion like anal vore and unbirth.
Kyle: As a teenager, around Halloween. I was watching this bizarre 80s horror flick called Videodrome. There's this one specific scene in the movie when James Woods’ character is hallucinating that this woman is materializing into his television set. The TV starts pulsating and breathing and the woman's lips begin to protrude out of the screen. James Woods’ character kneels down and caresses the lips before before sticking his entire head into the woman's mouth, which proceeds to gently lick and moan with his head inside. It was the most baffling and eerily seducing thing I have ever seen. That image just stuck with me.
Greg: I always had interest in the macabre, but I think I first realized I had a bizarre fetish when I played the 2010 Aliens Vs. Predator game, and realized I was turned on by the finishing moves the aliens and predators could make. At first I wasn't really sure what my fetish was, especially since that game didn't really contain vore, but after looking more into it (using monster movies that do contain monsters eating people), I realized what I was into. Thinking back, a lot of children’s media contain situations that relate to vore, so while I was shocked to discover my fetish at first, I guess over time I started to think of it as not-so-weird.
VICE: What do you specifically enjoy about vore?
Kyle: The fairytales we learn when we are young describe a central villain—an evil witch, a hungry wolf, a giant whale—whose main drive is to eat the protagonist. The mouth becomes synonymous with fear in these types of stories. At the same time, our hero’s main drive can be to deliver a kiss to a sleeping princess, a cursed frog, or a beast. In these types of stories the mouth becomes synonymous with love, healing, and comfort. The mouth is a symbolic organ that comes in all shapes and sizes. I’m in love with the idea of a secret stalker, or predator, wanting or needing my body so badly that she will present me with a spectacular entrance: her mouth—and take me inside of her body to fulfill her desires.
Ethan: For me, vore is about satisfying a deep biological desire. A lot of people find raw, primal sex exciting, I guess my brain just expresses that in a slightly different way. There are a lot of parallels between hunger and horniness. I'm not into ‘mawshots’, or digestion, and I hate violence. In my fantasies, the character being swallowed is usually eaten quickly, and I focus on the predator feeling full and satisfied. Often they’ll play with or tease the character inside them. The prey might be unwilling, but ultimately nobody is really hurt or digested. There are definitely elements of BDSM in this relationship, and I’m almost exclusively interested in the predator’s perspective. I'm also a fan of round bellies (round, but not necessarily fat). Most of the time, the characters I imagine are a similar size, and the predator is left almost immobilised by the size of their gut.
Amelia: I specifically enjoy the womb-like nature of the stomach depicted in vore, on both the inner, prey perspective and the outer, predatory perspective. The thought of being surrounded in a warm, soft, wet pouch and hearing the gurgles of a happy belly has always seemed very intimate, and of course to me, very sexually pleasing. Or I can easily imagine myself with someone inside there, having an engorged stomach and feeling the movements of the person inside and the growls emitting from my gut. I personally find it the best when both parties are willing, as I can see intimacy unfolding.
VICE: How do you integrate vore into your erotic life?
Kyle: It takes a bit of imagination. I can easily get turned on by watching my wife yawn. I love watching her slowly stretch her mouth open, exposing her tongue. If we’re at just the right position, I can sometimes catch a glimpse of her uvula. That’s the full mawshot, and it’s gold. For foreplay, I might feed my wife some snacks. Grapes, berries, and gummies are perfect for this. She’ll lay her head in my lap while I slowly lower snacks one by one into her wide open mouth. Every so often, I might reach a bit too far and she’ll close her mouth around my fingers and suck the food out from between them. It’s an amazing sensation. During sex, when I am on top, she will start to breathe and moan. When this happens, her lips may part just enough for me to see down into her mouth. This is the greatest motivation to keep things going. If she is riding on top, she may lean forward and lower her body against mine and lick on my face. This is like a full body experience for me, and it drives me wild.
Ethan: I’m lucky enough to create images for a living, so I have done a number of drawings, but I haven’t shown many publicly. I’ve also dabbled in creating my own vore video game (an open world text-based RPG), which unfortunately I’ve had to put on hiatus. I’ve tried roleplaying online, and it really wasn’t for me. Power to everyone who enjoys it, but I couldn’t take it seriously. My current partner is extremely open-minded, and we’ve had long discussions about vore. We’ve talked about integrating it into sex, but there really isn’t a way I can think of doing it without it feeling cheesy for me and awkward for them. That hasn’t stopped us from having an adventurous sex life though. If I had the opportunity to explore vore in the way that I fantasize about it, I would take it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately that’s not really practical for a lot of obvious reasons. The best hope I guess would be some far-distant VR technology, but I’m not holding my breath.
Lee: I mostly look at vore-themed furry art and read erotic stories. I’m subscribed to vore artists I like on FurAffinity, and I also browse vore-related tags on booru sites like e621. Sometimes I’ll also look at ‘vore’ scenes in popular media or read fan-fiction, but I prefer the original content made by other vorarephiles. For such a niche community, there’s an astounding amount of creativity and talent among vore furs. The closest I’ve come to sharing it with a partner has been online role-play. Interestingly, I prefer to role-play as the predator, even though I usually like to imagine myself as the prey. I won’t directly insert myself into the predator’s shoes the way I do with prey, but I love exploring their perspective and motivations. The predator characters I’ve come up with are all far more fleshed out than any of my prey.
VICE: Do you think that the movie Venom will have an effect on the broader public perception of vore?
Natalie: Absolutely not, and I think you’ll agree with me that the idea of it is silly. Unless Venom eating people is portrayed in a sexual or erotic light, I doubt the average movie-goer will make the mental connection. Of course, it’s always true that no matter what weird thing happens, someone will get off to it, but in fiction, people getting eaten is just … a thing that happens. If no attention is called to it, then nobody will even think of adding sexuality to the act.
Amelia: I’m pretty sure the mainstream audience won’t see the connection between those actions in the film and the fetish, considering that the theme of beasts eating people has been around for centuries. However, one could say that a person who has those fantasies hidden within themselves could have them awakened during the movie. But what do I know? I guess one has to watch the film to find out.
Greg: This is an interesting question! I don’t think it will, really, as the public perception of vore is already kind of negative. Most associate it with horror, whether it be monster movies (which I kind of classify Venom as) or cannibalism, the second of which is completely untrue and the first of which only scratches the surface. As I frequently browse the vore subreddit, I’ve seen many posts where people discover the community and just post something like “You guys are all sick and fucked up in the head and need therapy”, which shows that not a lot of people have patience for vore, or odd fetishes in general. People are quick to judge, and to be honest, it is easy to judge a very bizarre fetish like this, as in a sense it goes against all instincts to be interested in being eaten. People don’t realize that, for most of the community, vore is just a fantasy, and many wouldn’t actually participate in it IRL as we don't have a sick deathwish or anything. But no, I don’t think the public perception of vore will ever change, as one can never really understand a fetish unless they have it. I just hope people learn to accept it.
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This article originally appeared on VICE CA.