You might remember that a few months ago the entire Internet -- me included -- simultaneously stumbled on the thrilling and mystifying world of monsterotica e-books. It turns out that cheap, short porn stories for people who really, really want to have sex with dinosaurs and D&D monsters is a thriving business, so it probably shouldn't have come as a surprise that, like every other form of media, there's a subgenre of a subgenre devoted entirely to Christmas. And it's mostly about ladies who want rough sex from the Krampus.
Really, it's on me for not expecting that. I've been on the Internet long enough that I should know better.
(Most every variety of Christmas tradition ignores the Bible's copious amounts of sex stuff. Good news: The De-Textbook doesn't.)
For those of you who aren't familiar with the Krampus, here's the short version: While our modern American Santa Claus is pretty much a solo act with a supporting cast of elves and reindeer, the European version of St. Nicholas is far more prone to having team-ups with the various demons that he dethroned and chained into his service. The most famous of these is the Krampus, a horned monster with one foot and one hoof who acts as the bad cop of Santa's operation, scaring children into being on their best behavior with the threats of being whipped with birch rods or, in extreme cases, being stuffed in a wicker basket and dragged off to hell. Though largely ignored on this side of the Atlantic over the past hundred years or so, he's been enjoying a resurgence of popularity lately -- probably because, as Santa scholar Benito Cereno put it, he's the Batman of Christmas.
And with this being the Internet, there are naturally a bunch of people who want to fuck him.
OK, that's a little unfair. What with tradition of dudes dressing up and running through the streets on the eve of St. Nicholas Day -- Krampusnacht -- getting drunk and handing out spankings to young ladies, there's a pretty solid pattern of getting mad rutty that goes along with rattling chains and swinging birch rods. This whole thing where you can spend three bucks on an e-book with a description promising "light bondage, spanking, and possible supernatural impregnation," however ... I'm pretty sure that's a new development.
You better believe that tongue is coming into play.
That brings us to today's literary selection, A Kiss from Krampus by Red Hanner, available for three bucks on your Kindle -- or, if you forget to check the right box at checkout like I did, the Kindle you got your mom for Christmas last year. There were a few others, including one about a young lady whose boyfriend was unironically named Thorne, but this is the one that I first saw on Santa, No! that alerted me to the trend, and folks, it is a doozy. Like, whatever you were expecting out of Krampusrotica, this is actually weirder than that.
For starters, it is long. My previous experience with the world of monsterotica has been that they tend to clock in at around six pages, just long enough for you to satisfy whatever need you may have that requires a book about a cavewoman getting it triceratops style. This one, however, is an actual novella at 92 pages. So if you've ever wondered what the glamorous life of an Internet comedy writer is like, imagine spending the better part of a Saturday reading a book about a woman blowing a Christmas goat monster while taking notes. Truly, I am living the dream. A very, very specific dream.
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The corollary to that is that despite what I assumed going in, it's not 92 pages of straight up Krampusbang. There's actually a lot of plot in here, something that attempts to be a sort of romance/crime story going on in between the surprisingly brief sex scenes. On one level, I suppose that's to be commended, but when you get right down to it, it's also burying the lede to a pretty alarming degree. Krampus doesn't even show up to E some P until Chapter 2! If I'm buying a book that promises it -- and because my life did not turn out the way I'd planned, I am -- I need that to be front and center.
Instead, Hanner devoted a pretty solid chunk of my evening to the story of Moritza, a young woman whose horrible grandmother dies and leaves everything to her on Christmas Eve. Among her possessions: a vial in which she sealed the spirit of the Krampus after fucking Santa Claus sometime before World War II. Moritza pops the vial open, and before long, a birch-wielding goat-man is wooing her with the help of a prehensile tongue and a few lessons about hospitality:
Gasping, I lay still for a moment thinking, What have I done? Let some strange goat-man eat my pussy. Was I supposed to return the favor? Shouldn't I? Wasn't that the polite thing to do?
And thus began the concept of regifting.
In the meantime, there's a bizarre rom-com story going on that involves surreptitious blow jobs at a family Christmas costume party, but that pales in comparison to what we get in Chapter 6. See, like many authors who have set out to make wolfmans and draculas objects of desire, Hanner tries to give the Krampus an alluring tragedy behind his grumpy demeanor, a wounded soul that can only be healed by the tender love of a lady. The obvious problem with that is that the Krampus, as a character, is built pretty much entirely around beating children with sticks and then dragging them off to hell, which is pretty unsympathetic even if you're not that fond of youngsters. The solution, then, is to figure out how to make it a positive thing, and the solution is completely batshit insane.
Remember how I said that Moritza's grandmother was able to bottle up the Krampus sometime before World War II? Well, the reason I have it pinned down to that date is because, as the prelude to a sex scene, it is revealed that the Krampus is tortured and morose because HE WASN'T AROUND TO PUNISH HITLER.
"Mein goat! Nein!"
I was about to get up and go to him when he said, "It is only that I have lost so much ... and I do not know how to gain it back."
"We'll find your trinket. I promise."
"But not only that. So many children who should have been punished and were not and grew to be very bad men. I have been reading all these things that happened while I was charmed. Terrible wars. This Hitler. Who ought to have been a good Bavarian boy, but then did such terrible things."
Now, I am not a professional writer of erotic fiction -- unless, of course, you're aroused by jokes about Batman, in which case you should know that I'm single -- but I would have to assume that rule #1 of porn stories is don't talk about Hitler. I'd also guess that you may want to steer clear of having one of your characters talk about how he is indirectly responsible for the Holocaust about three paragraphs before he starts hittin' it from behind. I realize that we're all turned on by different things, but when you're already dealing with the relatively small number of readers who want to read about Krampus sex, the number of readers who won't be at least slightly put off by a digression into whether the Nazis would've been so bad if an imaginary Christmas monster had been around to whack 'em with a stick a couple of times has to be infinitely smaller.
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So yeah, at the end of the day, this one is pretty disappointing, and the worst thing is that now that I've bought it, my Amazon recommendations are never going to let me forget it. I just hope that my new top rec, Sapphire Del Rey's Santa's Sorority House Gangbang 2: Pledge Week, works out a little better. Otherwise, Christmas is ruined.