Women And Snakes

snake in the woods

In my post about sexy snakes in pulp art and the way that erotic snake motifs prefigure Japanese hentai tentacle porn, I half-promised to do an entire post on sexy snakes in fine art. The museums are chock full of ancient oil paintings of nudes with snakes, and one doesn’t have to look far to find bronze and marble statuary, either. Porn made — as all such art was — for the titillation of rich elite art patrons. But this is not that promised post.

lost in snake sensation

No, this post is about the recurrent appearance of snakes writhing all over the naked bodies of lascivious women (and vice versa) in plain old regular porn-magazine porn photos. Everything I said about the psycho-sexual significance of snakes in pulp art is just as true about these relatively modern porn-snakes. Porn snakes stand in for dick, for danger, and thus for dangerous dick, with rapey overtones of invasion, penetration, and hypnotic dominance.

snake head next to puffy labia

That’s all true. But it omits some interesting history. Real snakes on real flesh invoke a huge chunk of cultural history that pulp peril-snakes don’t, so much. I’m talking about the long history of snakes as part of flesh-trade performances by strippers, cabaret dancers, burlesque performers, circus freaks, sideshow talents, and tattooed professional naked ladies in peep shows. (Fodder for yet another post? Sure!) Skin-show performers usually “enjoyed” the same low status as sex workers. Sometimes they actually were sex workers, even.

That brings us to an unexpected result: when we see a real snake on real skin, it’s inescapably déclassé. It makes the porn more tawdry, which is no bad thing. Tawdry porn is more taboo and transgressive, and thus more fun for some. That’s how a snake staring at you from next to a woman’s pussy can be dirtier (in a good way) than a photo of a dick poking into that very same pussy.

pussy snake

Of course, the implied bestiality cuts in the same direction. At least some of the cultural revulsion for snakes stems from worry about them poking their heads into private places. Seeing a snake in proximity to genitals invokes that taboo headfuck. Another layer of tawdry connotations!

snakes crawling on woman and her cunt

The intersection of publishing and censorship matters here, too. For a long time, porn with dicks in it was presumed by pretty much everybody to be obscene. Depending on when exactly we’re talking about, publishing “hard XXX” porn might be utterly impossible or illegal. Or, maybe that kind of porn was harder to distribute. Sometimes you had to stick to the big cities, losing access to the mass market of porn consumers in thousands of smaller cities and towns. That’s where the old dick-symbolism came in handy again. A woman with a snake (especially if you only showed her titties) wasn’t porn, gosh no! That’s just good clean carnival sideshow fun, like your grandpa could see when the circus came to town. Thus a good creepy-crawly snake became a safe-ish way to dirty up a publisher’s medium-softcore porn.

lesbians share a huge snake

I hope you’ve enjoyed this second slither with me through the world of sexy snakes!

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