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What is dinosaur erotica and why are some people into it? An erotic fantasy author explains

Erotic fiction is a fascinating genre of literature. On the one hand authors literally ‘ship’ Ever Given with the Suez Canal. On the other hand, they sketch out non-vanilla blueprints for how male pregnancies would work in the future. Somewhere in the mix are beastly creatures—with an insatiable hunger for eating someone out rather than merely eating them. Introducing dinosaur erotica, a cautionary genre featuring tales written to unlock your darkest fantasies and desires for the ‘XXX-tinct’ creatures.

On a quest to break down its appeal, we knocked on the mystical door of Eden Redd—an erotic fantasy author conjuring up some of the best reads in the genre. From limitless fantasies to anonymous trolling, here are all of the mojos the author had to share.

What is dinosaur erotica?

Dinosaur erotica is a genre of erotic literature that involves sexual encounters between humans and non-avian dinosaurs. “In other words, people and dinosaurs getting it on,” Redd explained, adding how readers can often expect “interesting, hilarious, and titillating stories.”

Pioneered by co-authors Christie Sims and Alara Branwen, dinosaur erotica was quick to generate sales and media interest. “I read an article about the emergence of dino erotica in 2017,” started Redd when asked about her initiation into the genre. “I then did a quick search and found Taken by a T-Rex by Alara Branwen. After reading it I thought it was a fun and interesting story.”

Harbouring a life-long love for writing, the author was initially dubious about venturing into the field and kept many of her ideas and stories to herself. “Alara’s book inspired me to research and try my hand at it,” Redd admitted, later finding joy in writing books without any rules. “I grew up around old-fashioned ideas when it came to writing, but these kinds of books were so outlandish that I couldn’t stop myself from writing my own.”

What is dinosaur erotica and why are some people into it? An erotic fantasy author explains

Tales of limitless fantasies

Dinosaur erotica features self-published short stories with themes typically revolving around scientists and prehistoric female hunters. In Ghost Raptor Seduction, Redd writes about a palaeontologist who is shipped out to a remote site to investigate unusual raptor fossils. In Psychic Raptor vs. Monster Sitter, the author pens a tale of an experienced “monster sitter” who watches over her test subjects including monsters, zombies and occasional killer robots. Redd’s novels sometimes even feature the same dinosaur—thereby triggering one of the most common tropes found in romance novels: jealousy.

When asked about the research and thought process that goes behind her novels, Redd mentioned how she relies on Google searches to find all of the material she needs for the story she is working on. The author also has a small library of dinosaur books for physical reference. “Once I have the characters and situations planned out, I start writing,” Redd added.

Now, sex and dinosaurs have been an age-old dubious topicand I’m not talking about inter-species mating. Back in January, a group of scientists reconstructed the Psittacosaurus fossil unearthed at a site in northwestern China. With its surprisingly intact orifice, skin and pigmentation, the fossil helped scientists declare the presence of a ‘cloaca’ in dinosaurs. The orifice essentially helped male dinosaurs transfer semen by rubbing their cloacas together with the female. In short, if you were to travel back in time to catch two dinosaurs in the act, you wouldn’t be able to see anything hanging low or wobbling to and fro.

So naturally, I had to ask if these sorts of discoveries hindered the research and imagination which goes behind the steamy scenes. “It has little to no effect on the story for me,” said Redd. “It’s a fantasy story with fantastical situations. Although I can’t speak for other authors, for me, the sky’s the limit.”

With that been said, Redd has dabbled in every single fantastical erotic genre you could possibly think of—be it sci-fi, cyberpunk, gameLit, horror or paranormal romances. With a “supernatural lust for anything involving monsters and strange seductions,” the author has even written up to 1,000 pages of LitRPG fantasy adventures.

What is dinosaur erotica and why are some people into it? An erotic fantasy author explains

The Kardashian of crappy erotica

Almost every erotic genre out there has amassed great deals of criticisms and kink-shaming. Dinosaur porn—a genre with dedicated tags on PornHub—is often frowned upon along with the entire concept of xenophilia. In terms of dinosaur erotica, the genre has been labelled “The Kardashian of crappy erotica.” When asked about Redd’s views on the label, the author outlined how the genre is picked on by people with no imagination.

If everything doesn’t fit in a neat, little box for them, it’s trash,” Redd said. “Some readers like to try something different and exotic. Some want to laugh at an absurd situation. Some want a break from reality to explore something strange and sensual. It’s perfectly okay to try something and see if you like it.” According to Redd, it’s okay even if the readers don’t find an inclination towards the genre. “I hope they find and read books that speak to them and they enjoy them.”

Now that we’ve nailed down the stigmas surrounding dinosaur erotica, what about the authors? Are they subjected to keeping their identities anonymous in the genre? “Eden Redd is my pen name,” Redd admitted, adding how every author has a reason of their own to use pen names. For Anne Rice and Stephen King, it was to publish works that didn’t fit their brand. But for Redd, it was a move against the expected trolling.

“Before I started publishing my stories, I knew there would be many people who would judge and make my life miserable for no other reason than my odd writings. I hence decided on a pen name for peace of mind. When trolls come to knock anything I’ve written, I can disconnect and have some peace.” Redd also mentioned how it’s not worth fighting these anonymous trolls. “I have stories to write,” she added.

What is dinosaur erotica and why are some people into it? An erotic fantasy author explains

The ‘Rex’ appeal

Now, onto the much-awaited question. Why dinosaurs? What is it about the genre that lures audiences in? Although it may be impossible to break down their appeal altogether, here’s all of the knowledge we’ve gathered so far, coupled with insights from Redd.

“The idea of having sex with a dinosaur is outside the realms of possibility,” said Professor Clarissa Smith, co-editor of the academic journal Porn Studies. In an interview with The Guardian, Smith suggested that the element of fear and permission to think about non-human sexual pleasures may help explain interest in the genre. “It’s a bit like ‘magic’, where all rules become suspended. And for that reason, it allows imaginative risk-taking—which is impossible in more standard couplings.”

Over at Redd’s, the author believes that the demography of her fanbase is mostly male. If you were to scroll down to the ‘customer review’ section under Redd’s books on Amazon, you would also get to witness copious amounts of positive responses from customers who had a “fun, sensual and interesting reading experience.” Although the section also features a couple of 1-star reviews, close inspection of these comments reveals how readers believe that the genre might just not be ‘the one’ for their tastes.

With that out of the way, if you ever feel like exploring the genre yourself, here’s what Redd recommends. “Go in with an open mind and have fun with the stories. It’s not Shakespeare or Hemingway but they are stories written in a different light.” For starters, the author also recommends entrusting an Amazon or Google search to land you at the footstep of the right titles.

As for all of the authors out there itching to try their own hands at the genre, Redd lists out a mental list of dos and don’ts from her own experience: “Read a few books in the genre you want to write in and join Facebook groups or subreddits to see what other authors are doing or saying. It’s okay to ask questions, take whatever advice is given and pick what’s best for you.” Redd also mentioned how authors in the genre have to give themselves the autonomy of deciding what works and what doesn’t.

“If it’s your passion, simply write your story and then write the next one. It takes time and each story will help you practice and get better at it,” Redd said. And as for all of the trolls out there, “Don’t take it personally if no one is interested in your stories at first. The world is constantly moving and people have busy lives.” The author thereby recommends having fun with your writing. “If you’re having fun or showing your passion, readers will see it on the page and follow you. You’ll get better with time and practice and you’ll eventually find your tribe!”

What is mpreg? Two male pregnancy authors explain the internet’s obsession with the erotic genre

In 1994, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s blockbuster hit Junior explored the possibilities of male pregnancy. As part of a fertility research project, Schwarzenegger’s character implanted an embryo onto the wall of his peritoneal cavity—thereby giving birth to a healthy baby girl. Fast forward 28 years, the concept of male pregnancy now has dedicated forums, Fanlore pages and an entire erotic genre to its credit.

In an attempt to decode the purpose and appeal for the latter, SCREENSHOT spoke to two authors spearheading the ‘mpreg’ genre on Amazon. From biological explorations to the theoretical nitty-gritty, here are all of the conceivable insights they had to share about the fantastical world that is slowly evolving into a full-blown online subculture as we speak.

What is mpreg?

Mpreg, short for male pregnancy, is an erotic genre and plot device in which—you guessed it—men become pregnant. Classified as a subgenre of gay romance, mpreg broadly features ‘carriers’ (men who want to become pregnant) and ‘seeders’ (men who want to impregnate other men). The genre is also synonymous with ‘Omegaverse’, a fictional universe that divides people into biological roles of ‘Alpha’, ‘Beta’ and ‘Omega’ based on a hierarchical system.

Mpreg books can fall on varied points along the romance spectrum but the one constant is that, at some point, a man is going to get pregnant,” said Kiki Burrelli, a ‘paranormal gay romance’ author specialising in the genre. “In my books, the mpreg plot takes a back seat to the characters who are often lonely and in need of not just a romantic companion, but a family.”

When publishing her first novel back in 2016, the author credited Ann-Katrin Byrde, a famous writing duo, for introducing her to the world of mpreg. “In the beginning, I had a lot of questions most people have like ‘Where does the baby come out of?’,” said Burrelli. Guided by her two mentors along the way, however, it wasn’t long before the author was hooked on the idea. “It wasn’t the unusual, slightly-taboo aspect of a man becoming pregnant that intrigued me, but the idea that these characters could find their soul mates and start families of their own.”

As for Aria Grace, her initiation into the fantastical genre was triggered by a friend who asked her to co-author an mpreg novel. “I’ve always gravitated towards gay romance novels because it makes me so happy when a couple chooses to be happy and accept lovedespite what their society might think about them,” Grace admitted. However, the author found a vital piece to the ‘happily ever after’ puzzle missing in traditional gay romance novels.

“Men couldn’t have a biological family at the end of each story even if they wanted to,” Grace explained. “So, when I discovered mpreg and realised the happy couple could complete their family with biological children in the same way that a male-female couple could, I felt like I’d finally found the perfect stories for me.

The earliest fanworks listed on Fanlore with the mpreg tag are from 1983. Although Junior aided the popularity of the plot device in the late 90s, it wasn’t until fanfiction platforms like Wattpad gripped mainstream culture that the genre really took off.

“I think the popularity of fanfiction over the past ten years really gave birth to the mpreg fiction we’re seeing now,” Grace echoed. “I’ve been told that an episode of Supernatural in which one of the brothers becomes pregnantor at least he thinks he iscould have also spurred some mpreg fanfiction.” For most of its part, however, mpreg seems questionably synonymous with Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson on Wattpad—with all seven members of the South Korean boy band BTS trailing close behind. Although Grace is dubious about its exact origins, the author is grateful that the genre exists.

Authoring books available in English, French and German, Grace dabbles in various genres including contemporary M/M (Male/Male) and mpreg Omegaverse. Burrelli, on the other hand, “writes about things that go bump in the night and make them fall in love.”

“The creatures I spend the most time with are shifters—men and women who can turn into animals. I’ve also written about mermen, aliens, and dragon shifters,” she said. Harbouring a love for paranormal romance, the author has finished penning the final spin-off series, Wolves of World, “where Nephilim, archangels, wolf packs, soul warriors, demon kings, cherubs and cambion go head-to-head in a war for all humanity.”

The technical and theoretical nitty-gritty

Now that we know the ‘whats’ and ‘whens’ of mpreg, let’s get into the much-awaited ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of the genre. How is mpreg written? What does the research and thought process that goes behind the literary subculture look like?

“Every book I release goes through months of plotting and researching before the first word is ever penned,” Burrelli explained. “My stories tend to have numerous subplots that delve into the lives of the supporting characters, in addition to the main romance and story. So, the biggest challenge is keeping every character’s storyline clear.”

Reading and watching copious amounts of religion, mythology and folklore, Burrelli perceives her works as the rendezvous for her fascination with romance and all things supernatural. Ridding herself of the ‘traditionalist’ label when it comes to her monsters and heroes, the author usually picks the lore that works for her story and creates the rest. “And like every author I know, I also have a close and personal relationship with Google, as well as a search history that would likely land me behind bars—should anyone ever notice.”

Over to Grace, the author outlined the absence of a rigorous and detailed process before creating her bestsellers. “As a woman writing from a predominantly-male perspective, I’ve always had to use a bit of my imagination,” she said. “Since I’ve personally been pregnant and delivered a few babies of my own, the pregnancy part is one of the areas that doesn’t require much research.”

Now that we’re on the page about pregnancies—not that I’ve been totally waiting to write about this or anything—let’s get into the supposed “delivery methods” these authors typically feature in their novels.

When I was cooped up in the dim-lit corner of my room to give mpreg a chance and unleash my inner fujoshi, I spotted authors detailing the birthing process with maniacal precision. While the ones I read incorporated C-section and anal birthing, I was curious to know if authors are restricted to biological methods in the genre which is essentially hinged on fantasies.

This is one of the most amazing things about the type of mpreg I write,” Burrelli said, slowly confirming my suspicions. “I have the freedom of writing fantasy, and that doesn’t end when it comes to the method of labour.” Birthing scenes in Burrelli’s literary works have previously featured loads of C-sections and dedicated ‘birthing canals’. “I’ve also written about fathers who lay eggs and babies who are born magically as puppies—appearing next to their parents during their first shift. And there was that one time I had an emergency physician perform a C-section on himself in the back of a truck that was racing down the highway!” The genre transcends imagination, to say the least.

As for Grace, the author has written some books featuring C-sections while others mention the baby simply being “pushed out”usually without delving into a lot of detail. Grace also outlined how some creators have talked about a “new hole” that opens up at the time of delivery. Here’s a cue to nudge your mental image of the term in the right direction:

“I’ve even put breastfeeding in several of my books since my readers confirmed that it felt very natural for a mammal who delivers a live baby to also produce milk for that baby,” Grace continued. “So, I often include nursing scenes. But that isn’t as common as just leaving those details to the imagination of the reader. Really, if the author can imagine it and the readers are open to itanything is possible.”

Grace, however, likes to mix up the delivery methods and situations to keep things dynamic and interesting. “But since my books are written primarily for escape and entertainment, I don’t go too deep into complex topics. Mine are usually on the ‘fluffier’ side of angsty romance with a happy ending,” she added.

Now that we know the sky’s the limit for the genre in terms of its labour scenes, let’s analyse the journey leading up to it. Yes, I’m talking about all of the physical and emotional tolls that come along with pregnancies. In a realm where male gestations are a possibility, would morning sickness, mood swings and sweet-and-sour chicken binges be labelled as ‘female-oriented’ challenges? If so, what would ‘male-oriented’ experiences look like?

The challenges the pregnant character faces depend on the themes being explored in the story,” Burrelli mentioned, just when I was noting stoicism and stubbornness as possible male-oriented challenges. In her Welcome to Morningwood series, the characters deal with uncomfortable experiences that come along with pregnancies, but also touch upon the way the person is tended and cared for by their mate. “My Omega Assassins Club series focuses more on social issues that sometimes go hand-in-hand with societal pressures men and women face today in regards to gender roles and identity,” Burrelli added.

Back to Grace, the author outlined how current research and human evolution only provide female-oriented experiences for carrying and delivering babies in the first place. “There isn’t a lot of actual medical history to reference anything else,” she said. “So, yes, my characters usually experience morning sicknesses, cravings, hormonal imbalances, nesting tendencies and more.” However, the intensity of these challenges is subjected to a character’s personality trait. But Grace once again admitted to not spending much time detailing the actual pregnancy itself.

Her books instead focus more on the relationship the Alphas and Omegas share. “The pregnancy and baby are generally part of the concluding chapters to wrap up the overall story,” the author admitted, further highlighting her goal “to allow a happy couple in love to complete their family with biological children.”

She further added how the same goes for all of the M/F (Male/Female) novels she’s written and read. “If the woman gets pregnant, there might be a few scenes dedicated to specific details about itbut the overall story doesn’t usually revolve around the pregnancy. And that’s the same strategy I use in my mpreg books too.”

Stigmas, textbook fetishisations and the way forward

The closest we’ve gotten to real-life male pregnancies to date is in the case of trans men. If a female undergoes female-to-male gender reassignment surgery, they can choose to keep their uterus—thereby retaining their abilities for pregnancy by pausing testosterone pills for a sufficient amount of time.

According to the Fanlore page dedicated to the genre, however, “in mpreg, the man who gets pregnant is usually human and cisgender.” This is one of the major reasons why mpreg has been labelled as the ‘textbook fetishisation’ of trans men. In a bid to rid the category of this label, authors often use two different tags—#tmpreg (trans male pregnancy) and #cmpreg (cis male pregnancy)—to distinguish their works.

When asked about their take on the labels, Burrelli acknowledged the presence of “exploitative books” in the genre—but neither writing nor reading them. “Mpreg is an aspect and not the main focus in my books,” the author said. “My books are focused on families—creating families of your own and finding a place in the world where you don’t just fit, but are celebrated.”

As for Grace, her books admittingly feature cis men in an alternate universe who ‘magically’ have the genetic ability to conceive, carry and deliver a baby. “I think any keywords or descriptors that make it easier for readers to find exactly what they’re looking for is a good thing,” she added.

Now that we’re on the topic surrounding mpreg audiences, is it possible to narrow down their demographics along the way? “Most of the readers I’ve met have been women above 20 years of age,” Burrelli said. While this is true for most romance genres, the author admitted to witnessing “a growing number of gay men who are pleased to see books with relationships that more closely resemble their own.”

While Grace does not have insights into 95 per cent of her readers, most of the audiences she chats with on Facebook or at conferences are often “women who love a good love story that ends with a happily ever after and a baby.” As for their ages, Grace outlined how they swing wildly between young twenties to well into retirement years.

Both ‘Kiki Burrelli’ and ‘Aria Grace’ are pen names of the respective authors. When asked if this move was influenced by the stigma surrounding the mpreg genre, Burrelli outlined a realm of possibilities that come along with the usage of pseudonyms. “Using a pen name offers a small layer of protection, but the main reason I use one is for my readers. When a reader picks up a Kiki Burrelli book, I want them to be relatively sure what sort of experience they are about to take part in.” The name also allows the author to remain consistent while having the freedom to explore and write in other styles under other pseudonyms.

As for Grace, the creator adopted her pen name years ago when she dipped her toes into erotic literature. “After a few early novels, I moved away from erotica and into gay romance and then eventually landed in mpreg,” she admitted. The author currently uses different pen names for children’s and young adult (Y/A) books, contemporary romance, how-to guides and more—irrespective of the genre or perceived stigmas that surround them.

So if you ever come across works tagged under #mpreg while exploring the stimulating little world of erotic literature, here’s all of the advice waiting for you at the other end:

According to Burrelli, “Read, read, read. And don’t let one book decide your opinion for the entire genre.” As for Grace, “Open your mind and be prepared for anything. Every author has a different take and a different style so if one book doesn’t work for you, try a few other authors to see if you can find the perfect fit.”

Given the fact that male pregnancies are set to become a reality in less than six years, you have plenty of time to conjure up your own imaginations and speculate how they would happen in the future. Given how mpreg novels are more accessible now than ever before, the fantastical genre will undoubtedly survive yet another decade on the internet.