Fairy Tales

Fairy tales, often dealing themes of love and being in the public domain, are great pickings for revisions and re-imaginings. This is fun, both to read and to write. Alan Moore, for example, made his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with the famous characters Captain Nemo (from 20000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne); Dorian Gray (from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde); Mina Harker (from Dracula by Bram Stoker) and others. There’s a lot of stuff out there if you can find it.

Many fairy tales, with their princesses and milkmaids, princes and paupers, are also full of possibilities for romantic and erotic stories. Men and women, I’m sure, both dream of being picked by the pretty one from obscurity, or of finding a diamond in the rough, a love where they least expected it. And then we all like to read about it when they hop into bed. Although many fairy tales offer these elements, the one on my mind lately is Beauty and the Beast.

This has great elements for love, romance and sex: the reclusive and somewhat misanthropic, often scarred or deformed man; rhe young, usually innocent girl who becomes indentured to him; the isolation of two people with no one else for company. What else can they do but discover the love in their own hearts, or at least the lust, and then… well, and then.

Currently on Literotica, there are two modern takes on B&TB being posted. The first is by a user named AccentsNTattoos, the other by PepperPace. Both, interestingly, are interracial romances — black woman, white man. Also in each story, the man is facially scarred, one from a burn accident, the other as a result of surgeries done to correct a severe cleft palate. So in each one we have a somewhat literal “beast.”

This is probably the easiest element of the story to replicate. Despite our medical advances, people still do suffer from deformities, from various causes. And it is almost always a heart-warming story to have one character see past the physical imperfections and into the heart of another. We all want to be loved despite our flaws.

What’s missing in both stories is the element of isolation. I can’t blame either author for that. It’s hard to get and be alone today. We’re all connected. A third story with the B&TB motif that I saw recently involves an 18-year-old heroine (another pet peeve of mine, btw) who will have to marry in order to save her family, and the “beast” in that story is a blind man who imposes conditions such as no computer and no cell phones on his unwilling bride-to-be. (I have various issues with this story and won’t be finishing, but we know where it’ll end up.)

I myself got around this, slightly, in a story called Light and the Darkness. My beast was a vampire named Jordan Castle, and my beauty was an artist named Erica Wellstone, who was a witch, and not a powerful one. The trick to the isolation was that Erica’s brother had made a bet with the vampire and failed to fulfill it. Jordan threatens to kill the brother unless Erica fulfills the debt, which is to paint a certain picture. She goes to his home to do so, and he keeps her there by a) not telling her exactly what the picture should be, and b) the threat of ending her brother’s life.

Not auspicious beginnings for love, but then it wasn’t in the original, either. And without some conflict and struggle, where’s the fun in getting to the happy ending? Or the sex? So there’s give on both sides, a little at a time.

Especially, perhaps, with stories using fairy tale motifs, the “how” in getting to the end is more important than the end, since the reader is assured (most times) of what the end will be. I’ve also seen a version of B&TB — and I’m sure there are many more — where the Beauty is a willful, spoiled brat, and then elements of D/s come into play, which at least is an interesting change.

Perhaps what makes this and other fairy tales like Cinderella ripe and useful for love/erotic stories is the heroine. Beauty, whatever her name might be, goes into the situation to save her father (or someone else) and although perhaps intimidated, refuses to cow before the Beast. It is her strength that she gets from caring for others that ultimately appeals to him. Cinderella bears bad to abusive treatment from her step-mother and -sisters, yet does not break, and her strength is rewarded. Snow White has to run for her life, but she handles herself pretty well until she’s tricked by her step-mother (pity the poor step-mother with these stereotypes; they’re as bad as mothers-in-law). Snow White also, obviously, provides fodder for group sex, a take I’d bet the original author never thought of.

Really, who doesn’t want to see these women get the guy and get some great sex out of it? And for the writer, how can you not want to help them get there?

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