Monday, February 9, 2015
Male Pregnancy Erotica and Why I Read It
“Mpreg” is a shortened term for “Male Pregnancy,” an internet subculture and genre of erotic fiction.
As far as my interests, I have never been involved extensively with other Mpreg enthusiasts, but throughout the years I have enjoyed reading the genre in erotica.
I have a few theories as to why I (or anyone) would fantasize about, or write erotic stories regarding male pregnancy. This list is not all inclusive, but I relate to the following on one level or another.
Last time I knew, one of the driving forces of human nature is the desire to procreate. Though I don’t want to have children of my own, I can’t say there isn’t some biology ticking around inside of me that draws me, on some level, to the idea. I’ve had dreams about being pregnant and awoken with a fantastically lucid and peaceful feeling, even though I regard getting pregnant in real life a metaphorical nightmare. Both men and women play a role in making babies, and both men and women have been interested in aspects of male pregnancy. It’s an oddity, sure, but a play on something biologically fundamental to being human. Fertility is sexual, damnit.
Socially, I was nurtured to have this structure as my life goal: 1. Meet man 2. Marry man 3. Have babies with man. And while this is probably more defined because I grew up in the heartland, the theme isn’t terribly new. Most movies and books cover #1 and #2 (unless everyone dies before #2, like in Titanic or Romeo & Juliet) and hint heavily at #3 by the end of the story. My own erotica interests followed the same structure. I was first interested in “first time” encounter stories where characters meet each other. Then I read a lot of “established relationship” stories, where the characters had been in relationships and had more complex storylines. And then, the mpreg. Art reflects life, after all.
I never want children. Ever. I am a huge (HUGE) advocate of birth control. For myself, I've chosen not to have children and had a permanent procedure for birth control. So what’s the safest way to explore that little part of my psyche that wants babies? By impregnating men, of course. Because at this juncture in history, it’s physically impossible. Mpreg offers the most fantastic way of vicariously experiencing pregnancy. Perhaps this is a rather Freudian view of coping or some weird unconscious defense mechanism. But I’m willing to entertain the idea, for whatever it’s worth. Take it or leave it.
4. Science fiction!
Male pregnancy is not just a fetish. While some people may have a fetish for pregnancy, and that’s perfectly peachy, a lot of readers of Mpreg don't consider the interest a fetish. Ultimately it’s just a genre of erotica some tend to enjoy. And as a genre, I don’t believe Mpreg is a horrible, gross theme. A lot of sci-fi/speculative fiction has a fascination with sexual fluidity, androgyny, gender, and sex. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin is one of my favorite reads and does just this. The book isn’t overtly erotic. But it explores an idea of people who change genders and anyone on the planet can be pregnant. This is just one example. I think it’s perfectly normal to be interested in sexual fluidity/fertility and explore it in fiction. Or fan fiction. Or erotica!
Let’s face it, male pregnancy is usually taken as a joke or something to be grossed out by. I think Mpreg makes people uncomfortable for two reasons: first, motherhood isn’t supposed to be sexy (that’s my mom, daughter, sister, etc). Second, men shouldn’t be nurturers or showcase any vulnerability and there is still a level of shame around that. Mpreg squishes both of these things together in a gooey mess of ultimate awkward! And sometimes I feel like my whole life is a gooey mess of ultimate awkward. The draw of taboo is worth considering in any genre of erotica, so may also be a contributing factor in Mpreg.
In conclusion, I’m not ashamed that I enjoy reading Mpreg fiction. The truth is it can be difficult to find quality stories and I haven’t read many since I haven’t been reading much fan fiction. Some erotica presses do publish Mpreg stories under a panoply of premises. Regardless, it is still a quirky but important part of my sexual identity.
A fairly involved Jezebel article on Mpreg can be found here. Any other thoughts? Comments?Resources? Post in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!