Graphic designer Kelsey Todd has been known to write some strange emails. Here’s one: “What I’m thinking is a winter wonderland forest — think Narnia — and the two dragons are having sex next to a snowman. Maybe there are remnants of humans scattered around, like hats and gloves and mittens. The dragons are doing it doggy-style.” It also became a topic, in another email of his, who invented human sex? And is homosexuality a disability?
All in a day’s work for Todd as he corresponds with the artists illustrating his Dragon Sex Calendar. The concept sounds ridiculous — 12 glossy months of sticky, reptilian lovemaking — but it’s viral gold, with Todd upping production from 500 copies for 2015 to 5,000 for the 2017 edition (no 2016 calendar was produced because Todd took a year off). “It’s not meant to fulfill someone’s secret fantasy or their kink,” says the 37-year-old Chicago illustrator, who created the calendar to pay off student loans. “It’s a silly novelty gift that someone would buy for their fantasy-loving friend.”
Todd’s celebration of the year in dragon sex is more than that, though. Its popularity is indicative of the growing global market for dragon erotica and sex aids. Amazon’s Kindle store features 1,500-plus steamy dragon e-books with titles like Taming the Dragon, Dragon Breeding and Dragons and Virgins. Google Trends shows that searches for dragon erotica and dragon dildos are rising. On Etsy, a number of lizard-like dongs are for sale, while folks with more X-rated aspirations browse Bad Dragon, an online retailer that provides backstories for each of its 70-plus dildos. Clayton the Earth Dragon, for example, is more than a slick, 7-inch silicone consolateur. He’s also guardian of the North Cliffs who approaches wayward hikers to discover sensual treasures together. Bom chicka wah wah.
Daenerys Targaryen and her scaly, scary flying children may have infected millions with the latest round of dragon fever, but monster porn in various forms has been around since the 1800s — take, for example, the Japanese tentacle-porn woodblock from 1814. For some, the enduring bestial fixation represents a powerful yearning for alternative forms of sexuality. Although furries still account for a large chunk of fantasy sex-toy sales, “the desire for something more uniquely shaped has been around for as long as dildos have been a thing,” says Daniel Lebon, an Etsy sex-toy seller. “Specifically, dragons have taken off in a way that surpasses every other theme.”
For London-based Qi Wickenhofer, who has so many orders for his handcrafted dragon dildos that he’s taking a seasonal break, the mythical beasts represent both desire and beauty. His online description of the Eastern Dragon Dildo pants reads, “The look of the split tips, three rows of soft barbs on the underside and the swell of a knot at the base make you lick your lips before you even quite realize it.” In an email to OZY, Wickenhofer expresses his appreciation of the creatures more conventionally: “I personally just very much like the aesthetic of dragons.”
The overarching themes of dragon fantasists are similar to those of regular erotica, explain Joshua and Michelle Keep, a Newfoundland-based married couple who run Pathforgers Publishing and write lizard-themed erotica. “A character (usually a woman) [is] swept up into the world of creatures beyond her understanding, where a powerful and virile male of draconic origin is her guide or savior,” the Keeps tell OZY via email. “The appeal for such fantastical tales is usually the allure of finding oneself out of your element, having to turn to an exotic, alluring prospective mate for assistance. And, of course, love.”
“Monster porn may represent a fantasy, play-like alternative to traditional porn that is appealing to youth,” says Bay Area sex therapist and psychologist Sandra Lindholm. But she advises that it’s important for consumers to separate reality from fantasy — remember, those dragon dicks aren’t real, so don’t saddle mortal men with unrealistic expectations. OZY’s male readers rise as one to thank you, Dr. Lindholm.
Meantime, no corner of the market is too obscure for purveyors. Australian-based Geeky Sex Toys sells saucy products to naughty nerdlings, from Pikachu butt plugs that are part of a Pokémon-themed line to an Iron Man–style dildo in Stark Red. Gold, green and red dragon-egg containers for bullet vibrators are so popular that the online store can’t keep them in stock. (For your GoT fix, you can always take the plunge with the company’s Jon Snow shaft.) “People have very large and vivid imaginations,” says Geeky Sex Toys co-CEO Emma, who operates professionally on a first-name-only basis and runs the business with her partner. “When you combine that with a healthy sex drive, you [get] wonderful fantasies that involve all kinds of interesting creatures.”
For now, whoever needs some dragon loving has multiple options. And with J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them raking in $200 million and counting at the box office (and a porn parody in the works, tentatively, predictably titled Fantastic Breasts and Where to Find Them), it’s clear that dragons continue to swoop through the dark recesses of our collective psyche as potent symbols of dangerous, transgressive and exciting sex. Dumbledore sums it up best in the novel’s foreword: “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.” Unless, of course, you’re in the mood.