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Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos

By Bobby Derie

Back Cover Text

H.P. Lovecraft was one of the most asexual beings in history—at least by his own admission. Whether we accept this view of his own sexual instincts or not, there is no denying that sexuality—normal and aberrant—underlies a number of significant tales in the Lovecraft oeuvre. The impregnation of a human woman by Yog-Sothoth in “The Dunwich Horror” and the mating of humans with strange creatures from the sea in “The Shadow over Innsmouth” are only two such examples.

In this pioneering study, Bobby Derie has presented an objective and scholarly analysis of the significant uses of love, sex, and gender in the work of H.P. Lovecraft and some of his leading disciples. Along the way, Derie treats such matters as Lovecraft’s relations with his wife, portrayals of women in his work, and the question of homosexuality in his life and work. Many Lovecraft stories are subject to detailed examination for their sexual implications.

Derie then examines the work of such significant writers of the Lovecraft tradition as Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Ramsey Campbell, W.H. Pugmire, and Caitlín R. Kiernan, whose work features far more explicit sexuality than anything Lovecraft could have imagined. Derie goes on to study sexual themes in other venues, such as Lovecraftian occultism, Japanese manga and anime, and even Lovecraftian fan fiction. The result is a comprehensive and incisive examination of a delicate subject—but one whose significance in Lovecraftian writing can hardly be denied.


  1. Sex and Lovecraft
    • Lovecraft and Love
    • Views on Sex
    • Views on Love and Relationships
    • Views on Eroticism and Pornography
    • The Shadow of Syphilis
    • Views on Gender and Homosexuality
    • Views on Miscegenation
    • Mrs. H.P. Lovecraft
  2. Sex and the Lovecraft Mythos
    • Precursors and Influences
    • Analyses
    • Themes and Parallels
    • The Role of Women
    • Asexual Aliens
    • Homosexual Interpretation
  3. Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos
    • New Developments
    • Lovecraft as a Sexual Character
    • Gender, Sexuality, and Mythos Writers
    • Key Works and Authors
  4. Beyond Cthulhurotica
    • Sex and the Lovecraftian Occult
    • Sex and the Mythos in Art
    • Sex and the Mythos in Comics
    • Sex and the Mythos in Japanese Manga and Anime
    • Sex and the Mythos in Cinema
    • The Mythos and Rule 34
    Works Cited
    Suggested for Further Reading

Bibliographic Information

Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos. By Bobby Derie. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2014; ISBN 978-1-61498-088-9; softcover; 314 pages.

Purchasing This Book

This book may be purchased in softcover from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or directly from the publisher, Hippocampus Press.

  Return to Literary Criticism This page last revised 7 October 2014.
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