Hump Day Reviews: Pet to the Tentacle Monsters! by Lilia Ford

I’ve heard that tentacle porn is huge in Japan, where erotic manga circumvent live-action porn censorship by doing everything that real men and women can’t. Personally, I’ve never investigated this particular fetish, as I must admit that I’m not the target audience for groping tentacles in my fiction. Even the Futurama movie The Beast with a Billion Backs (featuring a tentacled cartoon alien) grosses me out. So the thought of something extraterrestrial with slimy, grabbing arms – possibly dozens of them – grabbing and probing me is just not an idea I’m comfortable with. It’s kind of my worst-case rape scenario, actually, and that’s just not something that will ever be sexy.

Therefore I must admit that when I downloaded a review copy of Pet to the Tentacle Monsters! from NetGalley, it was more for the sheer spectacle than out of a true desire to see anyone getting jiggy with an octopoid space creature.

I was curious to see what tentacle porn was really all about. And boy, did Pet to the Tentacle Monsters! show me a thing or twelve!

Though I’m still not sure to whom this particular story appeals, I will admit that some of the sex scenes were curiously arousing. Not arousing enough for me to want to act them out, but Lilia Ford’s kinky descriptions had me wondering what human beings in such situations might be able to do to one another.

So what’s the dealio?

Benji, a newly-minted 18-year-old human living on an alien-invaded Earth, is bored with his life in captivity. He’s sick of food rationing and doing chores around the refugee camp (where the aliens have apparently forced humans into servitude) and trying to be good, so he takes a friend’s motorbike for a daredevil jump across the nearest irrigation canal. Big mistake! The levee breaks, flooding his community’s crops, and the Enforcers – helmeted police who take their names super seriously – decide Benji must be punished.

Thus begins his life as a sex slave to the tentacle monsters.

In addition to man-on-alien (or, more correctly, alien-on-man) sex, there’s plenty of BDSM with tentacles in place of ropes, whips and chains, as well as blindfolds and ball gags. Benji’s initiation follows a pretty typical path, if you simply replace the multi-tentacled alien he dubs “Black” with any D/s Master. But when “Silver” enters the scene, the domination levels are kicked up a notch.

Though the aliens aren’t technically of any specific gender, Ford describes Kitty – a pink alien that sparkles when happy – as female, while Silver and Black are both male. Since Benji only has sex with Silver and Black, this story is definitely a M/M tale of domination, submission and the beginnings of a truce between humans and tentacle monsters.

So what of tentacle porn? I’m pretty sure I won’t be searching out more of it anytime soon, but that’s not to say that this story isn’t well written. Ford is obviously a very skilled writer, to ultimately cast tentacle monsters in a sympathetic light – despite their thirst for human sexual humiliation and subservience. The ending in particular demonstrates that the scenario is not what it first appears, and offers some plausibly sci-fi explanations, with Benji cast in a more heroic role than first we feared.

All in all, I found the story to be an interesting take on the world of BDSM, particularly the suggestion that sexual play can bring about world peace, as well as a fun throwback to the sci-fi pulp stories of yesteryear. If you’ve been looking for something wildly different in the realm of erotica, this story should definitely be on your list.