The coronavirus may be forcing people to keep their distance from each other, but for writers of erotica, lockdowns cannot keep lustful lovers apart.
The outbreak has given rise to a new genre of fiction — quarantine erotica — with a series of raunchy stories rushed out and published electronically, often under a pseudonym, exploring lust in the age of Covid-19.
Books released in recent weeks include Sex During the Coronavirus Pandemic, by WH Fielding, in which protagonist Lucy tries to satisfy her sexual desires while performing social distancing. It has the strapline, “They could lock down her country, but not her heart” and features a protective mask on the cover.
Another is Love in the Lockdown, by “Jordana Pietersen”, which tells the story of bored wife June, who begins an affair during the pandemic. June muses: “Sex and death have always been engaged in a dance. Death has his tongue in your mouth, his long fingers around your breasts.”
Other erotic works inspired by the outbreak include Quaranteen: Step-Sibling Love in the Time of the Coronavirus: a Story of Taboo Romance, by Vickie Holmes, and His Rules: Spanked, by Carmen Cuft. The latter tells the story of Ashley, who goes out for a run every day despite her landlord Matthew warning her to stay at home.
After Ashley and Matthew become intimate, she eventually concedes that: “If I get my exercise indoors, I won’t have to go jogging any more.”
Other erotic works inspired by the outbreak include Quaranteen: Step-Sibling Love in the Time of the Coronavirus: a Story of Taboo Romance.
There is also Quarantined with the 10-Inch Soldier, an interracial romance by Jamila Jasper, and Covid-69: An Erotic Coronavirus Quarantine Story, by J Andrews, which tells the tale of Rosa, whose spring break plans are ruined by the crisis, until the lockdown is livened up by her neighbour, Riley, who purrs “like a panther with catnip”.
Alex Preston, a literary critic and the author of In Love and War, believes the coronavirus will inspire more high-brow literature in the future.
“There are huge narrative possibilities here,” he said. “Immediately one thinks about those situations that would be suddenly upended — people having affairs, for instance, forced to return to the homestead.
“This time is full of stories, yet it is also a time empty of stories, and of boredom.”
Covid-19 stories are not the most outlandish form of erotica: there is also dinosaur erotica, which involves sexual encounters between humans and the extinct beasts, with titles such as Taken by the T-Rex and Ravished by the Triceratops.