Tentacle Fetish

Updated: DECEMBER 12, 2023
Reviewed by Dr. Sunny Rodgers
on December 11, 2023

A tentacle fetish is a sexual interest in tentacles and real or fantasy creatures with them. Some call it a tentacles fetish or a Japanese tentacle fetish, as this sexual interest likely started in Japan. People with a tentacle fetish typically fantasize about tentacles and consume erotic literature, images, or videos depicting tentacle sex known as tentacle porn.

The History of Tentacle Fetishes

It’s difficult to say when tentacle fetishes originated, but they’ve been represented in Japanese art and literature since the early 19th century. In his 1814 novel "Tako to Ama", Katsushika Hokusai featured an abalone diver kissing and receiving cunnilingus from multiple octopi. The novel’s title directly translates to “Octopus and the Shelldiver,” but some call it “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife” or “The Rape of the Fisherman’s Wife.” Tiny, carved Japanese figurines called netsuke also featured women wrapped up in the embrace of octopi during the 19th century.

When Emperor Meiji took power in 1868, Japan’s artists faced strict censorship, and works depicting tentacle fetishes became less common. The fetish became underground until 1970, when an American film called "The Dunwich Horror" featured a monster with tentacles extending from its face raping a character. In 1981, "The Evil Dead" film included a scene with a tentacled tree raping a character.

In the 1980s, Japan’s interest in works featuring tentacle fetishes was reignited. However, while the tentacle sex in Hokusai’s work seemed consensual, the new works tended to feature tentacle rape. "Guyver: Out of Control", released in 1986, may be the first anime featuring tentacle penetration. In it, the titular bionic weapon uses their tentacles to rape the scientist that developed them. Also in 1986, Toshio Maeda released "Urotsukodoji". While that work was fairly tame, Maeda became known as the “tentacle master” after Hideki Takayama turned "Urotsukodoji" into a sexually explicit cartoon series in 1987. He went on to release several series' focused on tentacle sex during the 1990s, which some call the peak of tentacle porn. In 2001, he won a lifetime achievement award and was named “the most influential erotic manga artist in Japan”. In a 2012 interview, he explained that he used tentacles to get around his country’s strict censorship laws, which prohibited depictions of genitalia.

Works featuring tentacle sex have also entered mainstream spaces over the past several years. In 2005, artist Zak Smith released the "100 Girls and 100 Octopuses" project. It features several explicit scenes featuring octopi performing cunnilingus, caressing half-naked bodies, and voyeuristically observing humans. Parts of this work now hang in the prestigious Saatchi Gallery. Tanuki, an izakaya bar in Portland, played tentacle porn while diners ate and drank until it shut down in 2019.

Who’s into tentacles and why?

People with tentacle fetishes come from all walks of life, with a range of sexual preferences and interests. The fetish seems unusual but not too uncommon, with six of the more than 4,000 people that sex researcher Justin Lehmiller interviewed for his 2018 book "Tell Me What You Want" sharing that having sex with a tentacled creature is their greatest fantasy. He says people with unusual fetishes like this are usually more imaginative and interested in seeking different experiences.

The idea of consensual sexual encounters with tentacled beings, such as octopi, can also turn on some tentacle fetishists. They may also get aroused by the thought of non-consensual encounters, otherwise known as tentacle rape.

Some people with a tentacle fetish love the thought of getting penetrated by something that is more animal than human. Beings that might lack language and social skills may offer simplistic sexual encounters that appeal to some people. The prospect of becoming pregnant by something that isn’t human is also taboo, so that can excite some people.

Jaime R, the marketing manager of Top Drawer Toys and a tentacle fetishist explained that for him, "The phallic allusion is clear, but the nature of octopus tentacles and their specific physical characteristics are at the core of their appeal. The suction cups on tentacles promise foreign sensations from this surrogate phallus, while the viscosity of the appendages is a type of alien lube. It’s the unknown, inhuman nature of the 'member' that most appeals, coupled with its insensate probing, unconcerned with consent."

"It’s not just the tentacles and their ability to penetrate that appeal, but the texture of the tentacle," he added. "'Goo' or 'slime' fetishists are aroused by this. Being covered in sticky goo is a unique sensation and when hitched to tentacle penetration, a powerful one. Tentacle dildos, used with a lube that mimics the tentacles “sliminess” takes me to another world of transgressive, alien sexuality," he said.

Many people with a tentacle fetish also find the idea of having sex with creatures with multiple tentacles appealing. Being pleasured by multiple tentacles at once has a similar appeal to having group sex or an orgy. Some people may want to be double- or triple-penetrated, perhaps while the creature uses its tentacles to hold them down or restrain them. Their tentacle fetish may be a manifestation of their naturally submissive side.

More About Tentacle Fetish

While having sex with a tentacled creature isn’t realistic, there are plenty of ways people with a tentacle fetish can satisfy their urges. Here are a few.

Ways to Enjoy a Tentacle Fetish

Consuming tentacle porn is one of the most common ways people satisfy their tentacle fetish. Most tentacle porn is Japanese hentai, which are sexually explicit anime and manga. These cartoons are the modern versions of traditional Japanese stories and art focused on tentacle sex or tentacle rape. They may feature tentacle rape acts committed by a tentacled monster, animal, or plant, but may also depict consensual tentacle encounters.

Some sex toys may also help tentacle fetishists satisfy their desires. There are dildos made to resemble the tentacles of octopi and fantasy creatures. Their shafts feature suckers, scales and other adornments that stimulate the user during penetration. When paired with plenty of lubricant, these toys can help people recreate the sensations of being penetrated by a tentacle.

Role-playing can also be a fun way to bring a tentacle fetish to life. Someone may pretend they’re an octopus, squid, or tentacled fantasy beast, depending on what their partner likes. They may refer to their tentacles as they’re intimately touching their partner or use a tentacle sex toy on them to enhance the illusion.

Criticisms of Tentacle Porn

While tentacle porn can be a good outlet for some people with a tentacle fetish, this type of pornography has also faced criticism. Most tentacle porn artists are men, who typically depict tentacle rape scenes where women are the victims of creatures whose tentacles function like male genitalia. Some say this type of porn is sexist, as it stereotypes feminine characters as weak and the masculine characters as aggressors.

Tentacle porn also tends to be rape-centric. Instead of featuring consensual, mutually pleasurable sexual encounters, it often shows violent, forced tentacle penetration. This kind of pornography can normalize sexual violence and make sexual inequality seem sexy. Users may become desensitized to the sexual violence they see and only feel aroused when exposed to aggressive sexual acts.

In response to the criticism, there is a rise in feminist tentacle porn. Mostly created by women, this type of tentacle porn typically focuses on sensual and consensual sex with tentacled creatures. It may feature creatures with tentacles that function like vaginas. It can also feature creatures that use their tentacles to gently caress and pleasure their partners. Some people creating feminist tentacle porn prefer using male human characters, as most traditional tentacle porn stars female humans.


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