Listless: Terrifying things about sex


Remember those sex-ed videos we all watched in high school? The ones where they showed festering STDs and women going into labor and other terrifying consequences of unprotected  sex? Those scared the shit out of me, and I’m thinking many other teenagers. Luckily I had a really cool mom that told be that all of that, while it still existed, could be easily avoiding through protection and not being a complete idiot. But there are still things out there that make the awesome sensation that is sex scary, whether those things are fiction or non-fiction. And since I don’t like to be scared alone, I give you…

Stuff that make the act of sex into a terrifying escapade

— Night of the Demons

It’s a common theme in horror films for the sexual activity to be targeted first. Virgins always live, and the hot cheerleader who sleeps with the football captain always dies first (usually topless). In 1988’s Night of the Demons, the monsters turns you into the promiscuous teen by commanding your body to give in to it’s basest needs. Sex demons are always messing up high school.

Black Hole

I haven’t finished Black Hole yet, and not because I’m not interested in it. It’s because I keep having nightmares of STD-infested Seattle citizens attacking me in the woods. Can you imagine a STD that makes you into a social outcast? Having  your secret shame thrust into the public eye, living with it forever? Charles Burns creates an alternate reality, set in the 70s, where a new STD has entered the Seattle scene. This one, instead of creating gross sores or anything of the like, gives you a physical mutation. Sometimes it can be something you can easily hide, making you look normal on the surface. Other times it’s obvious, like Rob’s second mouth that grows from his chest. The dreams I’ve had about that second mouth are the worst.


Monsters, written and illustrated by Ken Dahl, almost reads like a 70s sex-ed video. Partially autobiographical, Dahl writes about his time living with, and learning about herpes. I honestly learned a lot about herpes in this graphic novels, and it’s pretty crazy how little I did know about it before reading it. You feel his paranoia about having herpes and passing it on to others, feel his loneliness and self-ostracization because of it. And honestly it makes you paranoid about your own sexual health, making you never want to touch another person’s junk ever again. At least until the end.

The World According to Garp

Michael Milton isn’t the focus of The World According to Garp, but his story is the one that has remained in my brain all these years. Mainly because he gets 2/3rds of his penis bitten off while getting a blow job. Car crashes and oral sex don’t mix, people.

Videodrome, Shivers, really any David Cronenberg film

I just want to crawl into Cronenberg’s head and see what the hell is going on there. His movies are so messed up, and the sexual imagery in them is palpable. I remember I watched Videodrome in college and I fell asleep during it, only to wake up to James Woods being eaten by Debbie Harry’s giant TV lips. It was disorienting and terrifying, and I don’t think I’ll ever view James Woods the same way again. Then there’s Shivers, which has phallic-shaped entities invading people’s bodies and making them into sex-crazed maniacs.

Thanks to Alex I. for introducing me to Monsters and Black Hole!