UFO sightings and alien abductions are generally described as eerie, often terrifying encounters. There are countless reports about people being taken aboard alien spaceships and subjected to strange exams and experiments. In many of the scenarios, the aliens have complete control and seemingly god-like powers. It's the ultimate fear of the unknown at work.
Yet some UFO accounts are much milder in nature, and even seem to have erotic undertones. For example, in 1897, a St. Louis-Post Dispatch newspaper article relayed the report of one W.H. Hopkins, a man who claimed to have seen not only an unusual airship in Springfield, Missouri, but also its crew. Intriguingly, the woman and bearded man were nude. Both were gorgeous, according to Mr. Hopkins, and also possibly from Mars. During this alleged encounter, he reportedly kissed both of their hands in greeting.
Given such sensual details, was Mr. Hopkins’ account a thinly veiled erotic fantasy? If so, how wild that the newspaper printed it!
Most accounts describe UFO encounters that aren't so benign in nature. Yet through the power of erotic romance this abduction narrative has been transformed into steamy sexy times for modern readers. Science fiction has the “Mars Needs Women” trope, which is targeted at a heterosexual male audience. In erotic romance, it has taken on a new life to become “Women Need Hot Alien Lovin'.”
Take, for example, Lucy in the Sky by Barbara Elsborg and Collision by Berinn Rae. Both begin with the premise of a handsome alien hunk landing in the heroine's backyard. A UFO event that should be random (i.e., the heterosexual alien male could have landed in the back yard of, say, an old married couple) is completely not random. It's a scarily contrived situation except when one considers the fantasy being delivered.
The point of these UFO erotic romances is not scientific plausibility. That's not a criticism, either, because regardless of story quality, this trope is a metaphor about how women deserve an out-of-this-world, sexually charged romance.
The heroines in the aforementioned stories become special when the crash landing occurs in their particular home. It's like winning the extraterrestrial romance lottery ticket. They beat out billions of other women for the prize.
Eve Langlais's Alien Mate takes it a step further—the blue-skinned alien hero appears right inside the heroine's house. In reality, a woman in Diana's position would, at the very least internally, have a strong reaction against such an invasion. If there's one thing UFology has taught us, it's that Aliens Are Up To No Good. But in this case, the reverse is true. Alien heroes want to please their soul mate and become one with them through love.
Unlike a woman in a traditional alien abduction account, the UFO erotic romance heroine (and by extension, the reader) has nothing to fear. The differences between these captivity narratives are like two sides of a coin. One side represents our cynicism and fear about the sinister nature of aliens while the other represents positivity, progressive acceptance of the “Other,” and erotic wish fulfillment.
The alien's presence represents a chance for uninhibited sex and sexual exploration. Tina Christopher's Tangled Shadows features a heroine who's abducted by two aliens who need information she has, but they also have the hots for her. She figures, what the hey, these humanoids are too sexy for words and obviously want to make her happy, so why not go with the flow? (And there are plenty of juices flowing in this story, heh heh).
UFO erotic romances also give a whole new meaning to the phrase “close encounters.” Some books, like Karen Kelley's Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind, do this while also inverting the expected formula. In this story, the heroine is the hot blooded alien who crash lands—right on the hero's Texas ranch. Gone are the fears of anal probes and bizarre medical examinations. Erotic romances like this one insist there are pleasurable alternatives to invasive alien procedures.
What do you think about these types of stories? Do you have a favorite UFO-style erotic romance?
Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express. She’s also an author in the subgenre. To learn more about her published work, visit heathermassey.com.