Thursday, July 1, 2010
Fairy Tale Lust: Introduction
Introduction: Once Upon a Time…
When I first put out a submissions call for erotic fairy tales, I did so with some apprehension. Ask anyone to name his or her favorite fairy tale and the answer is swift and decisive—these are the stories that stay with us our entire lives. So, I was nervous about what the response would be when I asked authors to take those beloved stories and spin them into erotic tales. I had fears that I would be answered only by the endless echo of my own voice in an abyss.
I needn’t have worried.
The response to Fairy Tale Lust was overwhelming. Submissions started pouring in almost immediately, often accompanied by notes from the authors giving me background on their stories and reminiscing about their favorite traditional fairy tales. The submissions themselves were impressive in their variety. The reinterpreted versions of the classic fables had been lovingly crafted to remain true to the originals while giving them a new (and often kinky) twist. The tales that were new creations were written in voices that rang with an authenticity in the spirit of the classics. I was delighted with the stories that floated into my mailbox each week! And yet…a new apprehension grew in me. I felt like the princess presented with too many handsome beaus: how would I ever choose which ones to take? Would that every princess might suffer as I did!
The appeal of fairy tales is much like the appeal of erotica: both tap into our own deep desires and allow us to explore the boundaries of the taboo. When we are children, the whole world is foreign and new and fairy tales give us a way to safely explore that world through imagination. As adults, often more jaded and cynical than we’d like to be, erotica lets us explore and redefine our ideas about sex and sexuality. We are given permission to want, to need and to try new things through the stories we read. Our imaginations are sparked by stories that surprise us with their ability to arouse. So many of those classic fairy tales are already layered with a subtext of sensuality. Beautiful women imprisoned; handsome men tortured; heroes and heroines undergoing tests of strength and will, seeking out the forbidden and exotic. It seems a marriage of lusty convenience to pair fairy tales and erotica. At last, those dusty old tales can come out of the closet and share their secrets!
The end result of my quest for erotic fairy tales is the book you hold in your hands. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the wonderful Brenda Knight at Cleis Press for the many brainstorming phone calls and emails that led to the creation of this collection. Likewise, I cannot gush enough over the fabulous authors who took chances and pushed boundaries to write these one-of-a-kind stories. My only regret is that I couldn’t have included more of the uniquely erotic tales I received.
From Andrea Dale’s playfully naughty “How the Little Mermaid Got Her Tail Back” to A. D. R. Forte’s tale of a man discovering the depth of his submissive nature in “The Stone Room,” and every story in between, Fairy Tale Lust has been compiled with the utmost love for the two genres it combines. The eroticism that was only hinted at in the original fairy tales is now laid out in naked splendor for your perverse pleasure. Take a walk in these dark woods and you’re likely to come across all sorts of naughty mischief lurking in the gray shadows. Don’t be afraid; the only pursuit here is one for your pleasure. Which story will be your favorite? Which one will speak to your darkest desire?
I invite you to turn the page and find out…
The dark woods of Virginia