Jan 12 2012 10:30am

Fairy Tales in Erotic Romance

ABC’s Once Upon a Time’s Red Riding Hood in a fieldI grew up on fairy tales: Cinderella finding her Prince Charming; Sleeping Beauty being awakened with a kiss; Little Red Riding Hood learning the real reason you should never talk to strangers.

With the recent popularity of of television shows such as Grimm and Once Upon a Time bringing our favorite stories to life in modern settings, fairy tales have become a hot commodity. In these shows, sex and violence are layered over the original story to attract adult watchers—which is, in fact, how fairy tales were originally intended to be written and received.

Historically, fairy tales were extremely dark and quite scandalous. What your parents read to you as a child were clean, violently sanitized versions of what was originally written. Don’t believe me? Find a copy of an original Brothers Grimm fairy tale book published before 1912 or an original copy of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid.” Trust me, the Little Mermaid did NOT get her HEA in that one. Most of the stories were quite macabre and gruesome. Rape, sadomasochism, and torture ran amok in the earlier versions. It was only after negative reviews (and Disney’s sanitation department got involved) that the stories began to soften, becoming sweeter and moralistic, with sigh-worthy happily ever afters.

As an erotic reader, I find myself fascinated by the interpretations the following authors have incorporated into their offerings. Some use an interesting mix of both the original and the Disney versions to give us stories that are not only interesting but enchantingly erotic in nature.

The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by Anne RiceAnne Rice’s Beauty trilogy series is one of the most infamous erotic fairy tales to date. Not for the occasional erotic reader, this series pushes every boundary and will slam you out of your comfort zone. Based on the tale of “Sleeping Beauty,” our Beauty is “awakened” by being deflowered, and her Prince Charming takes her to his kingdom where hundreds of princes and princesses are sent to learn the art of submission and sexual obedience through the most degrading and humiliation of experiences. No subject or act is considered taboo in here. Each book follows Beauty’s training experiences. It is said that Anne Rice stopped the series when she was shown true BDSM situations based on her books.

Selena Kitt writes a series of erotic stories, each based on a fairy tale. From Alice in Wonderland’s surrender to complete submission to Cinderella, safe-cracker extraordinaire, Ms. Kitt creates wonderfully modern, funny, sexy, and well-written tales with hints of mystery and drama.

Erotic Fairy Tales: A Romp Through the Classics by Mitzi SzeretoWant an anthology mix to wet your whistle? Mitzi Szereto’s Erotic Fairy Tales: A Romp Through the Classics include 15 tales of sexual titillation based on historical fairy tales. Here the bawdy humor of French fable meets the sublime eroticism of ancient Chinese myth; a not-so-virgin damsel weds a Prince Charming with a shoe fetish; Little Red Riding Hood discovers Grandma’s bed is open to any stray wolf; and a Japanese monk stumbles onto an S/M scene behind a forbidden door. Each tale is prefaced by a brief introduction telling its history and the sexual culture in which the work was originally composed

In Deanna Wadsworth’s hilarious erotic story “Red Riding Hood,” you never know what might happen on the way to Grandmother’s house! Red’s grandmother gives her a red riding cloak that evokes all sorts of delicious desires. Red decides to use her Tuesday walks to dear old Grandmother’s as an opportunity to sample all of the delights the local men have to offer, but Red is not aware that two magical creatures have taken a special interest in her naughty escapades or that true pleasure just might be found at the hand of a master in wolf’s clothing!

Candy Houses by Shiloh WalkerShiloh Walker takes a walk on the dark wild side with her Grimm Circle series. The Grimm are a group of immortals, each sacrificing their own lives to protect the world from evil. To explain their presence to the mortal world, their lives are interwoven with fact and fiction to eventually become the fairy tales we have come to love. In each story, our dark Grimms work hard to forget the past and learn to love again.

In the erotic Cinderella Unmasked by Bonnie Dee and Marie Treanor, we learn what happened after Cinderella got her man—turns out, he decided to come out of the closet and went on a 15-year “self-discovery voyage” on the pirate ship. Cinderella is heartbroken, overworked, and frustrated. Her fairy godmother, with help from a few friends, shows Cinderella that passion and forgiveness are but a dance away.

Bet you never thought “Rumpelstiltskin” could be sexy! Leila Bryce Sin takes the spinning-gold-into-straw story one step further in her erotic fairy tale novella Rumpelstilskin, when Rumpelstiltskin asks more a little more then our heroine’s first born child. Oh, no. Our hero wants some instant gratification for his services. Ms. Sin has several novellas, each one offering a decidedly erotic twist to a fairy tale of days past.

Interested in some gay m/m erotic fairy tales? Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a nine-story anthology that offers both seduction and laghter. There’s a magic cock ring that grows into a mighty peenstalk, an unhappy shepherd meest the sexiest wolf imaginable, a Japanese youth with the strength of a bear finds himself weak in the face of a beautiful samurai, and a young man in a ball gown can charm a prince to distraction. These are but a few of the adventures that await you, once upon a time!

A Happily Ever After of Her Own by Nadia LeeI leave you with one last one that while isn’t erotic in the true sense of the word, but it is romantic, funny, and  so downright adorable I can’t help but encourage everyone to read it: Nadia Lee’s novella “A Happily Ever After of Her Own.” Melinda Lightfoot, a preschool teacher with an unusual ability to flit in and out of fairy tales, never thought she would get into trouble...until the Fairy Tale Police arrest her while she is in “Beauty and the Beast.” They offer her a deal: Find Beauty, who left the story when Melinda trespassed into it, or be charged with the ultimate crime—Fairy Tale Killer. If that’s not bad enough, the Beast tags along in search of his true love, and Melinda starts falling for the fairy tale prince. She must choose between doing the right thing and having her own happily ever after.

So tell me, what fairy tale has you imagining and wanting a more seductive and sexual ending than what you originally read?


Tori Benson, Smexybooks and at Twitter.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. wsl0612
How about the Little Match Girl or the Prince and the Pauper? I've not seen any new versions of those stories. And I highly recommend Bettie Sharpe for some new twists on fairy tales, really good reads!
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
Tori, I read those Anne Rice books long, long before I returned to reading romance, and I gotta say, they shocked the bejesus outta me. I think I was in too much shock to notice they were based on fairy tales, even (and me a fairy tale freak). I do like a good spin on a classic, though, so I'm gonna find some of those other authors you mention.
Tori Benson
wsl0612-Gwen Davis writes a Prince and Pauper vwersion called The Princess and The Pauper.

MFrampton-The Beauty trilogy scarred me for life I think. lol I like Selena Kitt because she's both funny yet serious in her books. Nadia Lee's A Happily Ever Of Her Own is hilarious. My only complaint? I wanted it to be longer.
Carrie Strickler
4. DyslexicSquirrel
I found an original copy of Hans Christen Anderson's Little Mermaid in the library at my grade school when I was maybe 8. I figured, I liked the movie, I'll love the book, right? WRONG. I think that's one of the reasons why I didn't read for years. I was traumatized lol

I bought the Anne Rice Sleeping Beauty Trilogy before I realized what they actually were. I had just unearthed a copy of Lestat and re-read it and stumbled across the Sleeping Beauty box set at the book store not too long after. I can't say I really enjoyed them, it was more like a train wreck I couldn't look away from. It was my first glimpse at erotica and I didn't go back for a long, long time.
Lady Trudy
5. Lady Trudy
Lila DePasqua is doing a fiery fairy tale series, with sexy french heroes. Hot but not erotica.
Tori Benson
DyslexicSquirrel-Try to read an original Grimm Brothers' Tales. Jeebus. Not alot of happy in that household. lol

Lady Trudy-I'll have to check into those.
Lady Trudy
7. MamaKitty
I read the Anne Rice Sleeping Beauty books when I first joined the Navy. My roommate let me borrow them when she found out that I was obsessed with reading "sex books", as she referred to romance novels. I think she had a warped opinion of the contemporary romance I was reading, because the Sleeping Beauty books are definitely not anything like the Nora Roberts I was reading, but I was still very much intrigued by Rice's interpretation. Even though I'd been reading more adult books (I read IT, and Macbeth when I was in 4th grade), I never ventured into the older fairy tales. I guess I took Disney's word for granted. It wasn't until I started college (the first time, in 2001) that I dove into the origins of fairy tales, because of something a classmate had told me in an English class. Now, thanks to my CP and bestie, Elise Hepner, I've read DOZENS of updated fairy tales. She reads many of them, so she's got a lot of suggestions for me, but more importantly, she also writes them. My favorite one that she's written is her re-telling of Rapunzel, Roped Emotions (I reviewed it on my blog). I hope to see more retold fairy tales. There are so many to choose from and so many different ways to interpret them all. :)
Danielle Monsch
8. DanielleMonsch
I love fairy tales and their updates. I released a story called "Loving a Fairy Godmother" because I wanted to give a HEA to those long underappreciated, second-class-citizens of the fairy tale world, the fairy godmothers (and godfathers).

I just can't imagine the romance genre without the influence of fairy tales.
Lady Trudy
9. Lafka
I really like when contemporary authors revisit fairy tales _ though I remain strongly attached to the original version (and the vanilla one put on screen by Walt Disney).

An erotic romance around the theme of the ugly duck or the tinderbox by Hans Andersen or Bluebeard by Charles Perrault may be intersting to read ^^ Actually, most Perrault's tales could be great if adapted in erotic fiction _ Diamonds and Toads for example definitely leaves room for some BDSM story with all the reward/punishment story ^^
Lady Trudy
10. Mitzi Szereto
Thanks for including my short story collection in your article! Just for your readers info, Erotic Fairy Tales: A Romp Through the Classics is now available in a second edition, newly packaged and renamed as IN SLEEPING BEAUTY'S BED: EROTIC FAIRY TALES. Enjoy!
Lady Trudy
11. cindyg
I've read Anne Rice's Beauty series and let's just say my toes stayed curled.
I enjoyed it very much...
Lady Trudy
12. amandajane17
The Rapunzel story originally had her having a baby after being visited by the prince. So much erotic potential in that tower room.

What about Tom Thumb nd Thumbelina getting together ?
What unusual places could our tiny hero and heroine with large appetites find to indulge their lust in ?

I'd love to see the D/s potential in The Frog Prince.
He turns back into his human form, but the spoiled princess quickly discovers that her soon to be husband won't be wrapped around her little finger.
Carrie Strickler
13. DyslexicSquirrel
@Torifl I've read a few of the Grimm fairytales. Morbid doesn't even begin to cover it. XD
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