This blog post started out as an exploration of why it would be sexy for a monster to devour me, and turned into something approaching an actual scary story. Please don’t read if you’re easily freaked out by things like death, blood and devourment. On the other hand, if you love creepy Halloween sex stuff, this might be your cup of tea.
Sex and fear aren’t just linked in films, where the main characters get horny and naked so their vulnerable bodies can be better ripped apart by monsters. In real life, extreme love could bubble up in any of us, at any time, turning blissful happiness into a special kind of horror movie.
As a teenager, I adored Porphyria’s Lover – Robert Browning’s poem that describes an obsessive, destructive love. The lover’s desperate need for Porphyria is spelt out in singsong verse, inviting you to fall for her as he does.
Then the love – and awful though it is there is so much love – eventually blossoms into a need to own.
The yearning in the poem is so strong that you almost miss the moment when, with a neat and practical couplet, he explains how he strangled her dead.
Possession is a vein that throbs powerfully through both horror and romance.
“She’s mine,” said either the hero or the vampire. “She belongs to me.”
No matter how good we are, deep down we all have selfish thoughts. We all want to possess our lovers. Don’t we?
I will hold you so close that you will never ever leave me.
I will consume you. Like a werewolf. Like a succubus. Like hellfire.
It doesn’t have to be literal to be scary. Little by little, we take from those we love: their time, their compassion, their friendship. That’s how we feed. We survive by draining them, then moving on to consume the next scrap of emotion. For dessert we’ll feast on their bodies – the warmth of their skin or the taste of their sweat.
Woe betide those we love too much – these ones we sink claws into and pull closer, so we can nourish ourselves better with the sound of their beating hearts. Our beating hearts, now. The ones we own for no better reason than we want to, so badly.
We are in love.
We have decided.
You are ours.
We are the monsters that will kill you for love.
We will own you like Porphyria’s lover owned her. Like a child will own a wildflower – not content to watch it grow and bloom we pluck it, snapping the stem and crushing it against our hearts. Refusing others a glimpse of its beauty, in favour of a powerful but short-lived blast of pleasure that’s ours. All ours.
A guy I knew once told me:
“I want to unzip your skin and climb inside it.”
I wanted to dig my nails into his skin in return. Drawing blood from his nipples and licking it off: consuming. Possessing. Eventually tearing open his chest and pushing my face inside against his heart so I could feel the sticky, slippery rhythm of his love for me.
Destroying him to make sure he would always be mine. Grabbing his flesh with my hands and squeezing it until he cried out with pain. Leaving bruises unique to the size and shape of my hands: a signature. I wanted to suck him right to the back of my throat and then keep going – opening my jaw wide enough that eventually I’d swallow him whole.
It is not enough to enjoy from a distance, or to share a good thing with the world. That thing needs to be mine.
In my heart and in my mind and in my mouth.
Although I know I will hurt later, like Porphyria’s lover waking up to a corpse, the selfish monster in me cannot bear to let him go.
If he leaves it is not enough to know that we had fun. I will fear that each moment he looked at me with gentle grey eyes, he didn’t mean to do so with such intensity. I’ll vomit up the remnants of our conversations, in which I told him all my secrets and trusted that they’d work like millstones – hanging round his neck to keep him still.
He used to put warm hands on the back of my neck to help me choke on his dick, crooning that I was a good girl and that he would always be mine. So, you see, if he goes that means it was never true. He didn’t want to consume me: just penetrate.
A weaker kind of love.
Not pure, like my love for him. My love that wants each moment we’re pressed against each other to continue beyond reason: to tear and rip at him, devouring him piece by piece until he’s locked away inside me.
I could retract my claws and hide my fangs and gesture towards the door. If he doesn’t return then he was never mine to begin with.
Fuck that – what matters is that I can make him mine right now.
I can take you, my love, and zip you inside my skin. I can crush you up against my heart and kill you with a soft, fanged kindness. In your dying moments you may burn with hate, and scream and swear that it’s worthless – that I cannot scare you into loving me back.
And you’re right, but that’s not the point.
Just because you hate me doesn’t mean that you aren’t mine.
This Halloween, please remember: the most terrifying monsters are always the ones inside us.