Lions and Wolves and Bears: Sex on the Furry Side

Dragon ShifterA lot of people have questions about shifter fiction. What is it? How is it different? Is it any good?

Well, the last question, you’ll have to answer for yourself. All I can tell you is that it’s one of my favorite kind of story!

In this post, I’ll take some of the questions I hear a lot and try to answer them. As always, if you have a question I don’t answer, or want to agree or disagree with my answers, go ahead and comment. The more people chiming in on the topic, the clearer it becomes!

What are shifters?

Shifters are almost always creatures that can change between human and animal form. Think of your classic werewolf and you’ll get the idea. There are some cases where they shift between animal and something not fully human (for example, fae), but human/animal combinations are the norm.

What kinds of shifters are there?

Wolves and other canines are the most popular right now, and have been for some time. I think it has to do with our special connection to dogs. Beyond that, you’ll find just about any animal is used as a shifter. Cats, particularly the big cats, are also very popular. Bears and horses have their fans, too. Some of the less common shifters include rodents (rats and possums), reptiles (snakes, lizards and more), and even sea creatures such as porpoises. Less common, but just as interesting, are mythical creatures. I’ve read (and enjoyed) stories about satyrs, centaurs, dragons, gargoyles and more.

What about sex. Isn’t this just an excuse to write about sex with animals?

The bestiality question. It always seems to come up when talking about shifter fiction, but it’s a legitimate question. Shifter stories are generally written toward the more sexually explicit end of the erotic spectrum. Most can easily be seen as erotica. However, my experience is that sex generally only happens between men in the same form: human-human or more rarely animal-animal. Most writers are aware that a lot of their readers are uncomfortable with interspecies sex. So they don’t write about it. After all, they want to sell books. Most readers don’t have problems with interspecies cuddling (fore- and postplay), so you’ll see that sometimes.

What do you mean by erotic spectrum?

M/M fiction, like other fiction coming out of romance, has a wide range of how sexually explicit they are. It can range from very little sex to almost nothing but sex. Very rarely does M/M fiction have no sex, although I have read some. Shifter stories generally (but not always) lean toward the end of lots of sex. If that’s a concern for you, it may not be the best type of books to read.

I hope that answers some of the more common question I’ve had about shifter fiction. As I said earlier, if you have more questions that I didn’t answer, need more information, or disagree with something I’ve said, please feel free to leave a comment. Comments are moderated, but only for spam, not for content. If you’d like to see more posts like this on other kinds of fiction, let me know that too.

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