I'm putting together a book of erotic fairy tales. I've already written several, including erotic retellings of the usual suspects like Red Riding Hood, The Pied Piper, and Cinderella. I'm often asked to tackle specific ones, and popular suggestions are The Three Pigs and Beauty and the Beast.
I grew up with Disney's versions of classic fairy tales, but I have also read many of them, and I'm very much aware of how dark and sinister most fairy tales are. I prefer the stories in their original forms. Snow White was not only felled by a poisoned apple. The wicked queen began her assault with a poisoned comb and then a too-tight corset. The wicked queen also did not die in a fall off a cliff per the Disney version. Granted, Disney's version was pretty grim (pardon the pun), but in the original tale she was tortured by being forced to dance in red-hot iron shoes until she keeled over dead.
A friend of mine had taken her daughter to see "The Little Mermaid" and she wanted to buy the book of fairy tales so her daughter could read her favorite one. I warned her The Little Mermaid does not get the prince in the end. I also told her about how when The Little Mermaid walked she felt as if her feet were being cut by sharp knives. Each step was excruciatingly painful. Neither fact was in the Disney version.
Fairy tales are chock full of symbolism that lends itself easily to an erotic retelling. Many of these tales are about protecting the innocence of girlhood. Others were about sexual awakening. Cinderella is one of the latter. Cinderella's glass slippers and feet were small, hinting at her virginity and her intact hymen. Rapunzel is clearly about a girl reaching womanhood, especially since she becomes pregnant in the original tale. The tale dances around her pregnancy, though. The witch, unaware of the prince's visits, asks why her dress has become so tight. Then later, Rapunzel is shown with two children. She had sex with the prince! Oh, horrors! LOL Red Rdiing Hood was originally ravished by the wolf. In French slang, a girl who loses her virginity is referred to as "elle avoit vû le loup" – she had seen the wolf. The connotation is clear.
While it's easy to eroticize fairy tales, it's also easy to fall into stereotypical traps. Cinderella's prince has a foot fetish. Snow White has a ménage with seven men. Red Riding Hood is accosted by a rake. Rapunzel's pubic hair grows out. It can be a bit tough to take these tales in a non-stereotypical direction.
In addition to the more common fairy tales, one friend suggested I eroticize The Dancing Princesses, which is one I don't hear very much about. That got me to thinking about obscure fairy tales. Why not tackle one or two of those?
My favorite fairy tale is very obscure. It's Scandinavian, and it's entitled "The Enchanted Wreath". This one is about preserving girlish purity in my opinion. Have you ever noticed it's always the youngest and most innocent of the daughters who attracts the magic? Here's the synopsis: (from Wikipedia)
A man had a wife, and both of them had a daughter from an earlier marriage. One day, the man took his daughter to cut wood and found when he returned that he had left his ax. He told his wife to send her daughter for it, so it would not grow rusty. The stepmother said that his daughter was already wet and, besides, was a strong girl who could take a little wet and cold.
The girl found three doves perched on the axe, looking miserable. She told them to fly back home, where it would be warmer, but first gave them crumbs from her bread. She took the axe and left. Eating the crumbs made the birds feel much better, and they gave her an unfading wreath of roses, with tiny birds singing in it. The stepmother pulled it off, and the birds flew off and the roses withered.
The next day, the father went alone and left his axe again. The stepmother was delighted and sent her own daughter. She found the doves and ordered them off as "dirty creatures." They cursed her to never be able to say anything except "dirty creatures."
The stepmother beat her stepdaughter, and was all the angrier when the doves restored the wreath to its condition and the girl's head. One day, a king's son saw her and took her off to marry her. The news of them made the stepmother and her daughter quite ill, but they recovered when the stepmother made a plan. She had a witch make a mask of her stepdaughter's face. Then she visited her, threw her into the water, and put her daughter in her place, before setting out to see if the same witch could give her something to cure the doves' curse on her daughter.
Her husband was distraught by the change in her, but thought it stemmed an illness. He thought he saw his bride in the water, but she vanished. After twice more seeing her, he was able to catch her. She turned into various animals, a hare, a fish, a bird, and a snake, but he cut off the snake's head, and the bride became a human again.
The stepmother returned with an ointment that would work only if the true bride had really been drowned; she put it on her daughter's tongue and found it did not work. The prince found them and said they deserved to die, but the stepdaughter had persuaded him to merely abandon them on a desert island.
Another obscure fairy tale that made my radar is Hans Christian Anderson's "The Shadow". This one could be turned into a tale of dark and light mistaken identity. Here's the synopsis (from Wikipedia):
Once a learned man from the northern regions of Europe went on a voyage south. One night, he sat on his terrace, while the fire behind him cast his shadow on the opposite balcony. As he was sitting there, resting, the man was amused to observe how the shadow followed his every movement, as if he really did sit upon the opposing balcony. When he finally grew tired and went to sleep, he imagined the shadow would likewise retire in the house across the street. The next morning however, the man found to his surprise that he in fact had lost his shadow overnight. As a new shadow slowly grew back from the tip of his toes, the man did not give the incident another thought, returned to northern Europe, and took up writing again. Several years passed by until one night there was a knock at his door. To his surprise, it was his shadow, the one he lost years before in Africa, and now stood upon his doorstep, almost completely human in appearance. Astonished by his sudden reappearance, the learned man invited him into his house, and soon the two sat by the fireplace, as the shadow related how he had come to be man.
The learned man was calm and gentle by nature. His main object of interest lay with the good, the beautiful and the true, a subject of which he wrote often but was of no interest to anyone else. The shadow said his master did not understand the world, that he had seen it as truly was, and how evil some men really were.
The shadow then grew richer and fatter over the years, while the writer grew poorer and paler. Finally he had become so ill that his former shadow proposed a trip to a health resort offering to foot the bill as well, but on condition that he could act as the master now, and the writer would pretend to be his shadow. As absurd as this suggestion sounded, the learned man eventually agreed and together they took the trip, the shadow now as his master. At the resort, the shadow met with a beautiful princess, and as they danced and talked with each other each night, the princess fell in love with him.
When they were about to be married, the shadow offered his former master a luxurious position at the palace, on condition that he now became his own shadow permanently. The writer immediately refused and threatened to tell the princess everything, but the shadow had him arrested. Feigning his distraught, the shadow met with the princess and told her:
"I have gone through the most terrible affair that could possibly happen; only imagine, my shadow has gone mad; I suppose such a poor, shallow brain, could not bear much; he fancies that he has become a real man, and that I am his shadow."
"How very terrible,” cried the princess; "is he locked up?"
"Oh yes, certainly; for I fear he will never recover."
"Poor shadow!" said the princess; "it is very unfortunate for him; it would really be a good deed to free him from his frail existence; and, indeed, when I think how often people take the part of the lower class against the higher, in these days, it would be policy to put him out of the way quietly."
When the shadow wed the princess later that night, the learned man was already executed.
Here's another unusual one I'd heard of from years ago. It borders on bestiality. It's called "The She-Bear", and here's the synopsis:
After his wife dies, a King decides that the only woman in the world who matches his dead wife’s beauty is his own daughter Preziosa – therefore, Preziosa must now marry her deranged father. He tells her that if she will not marry him that very evening then ‘’when I am finished with you there will be nothing left but your ears’’.
An old woman then gives the terrified girl an enchanted bit of wood that will turn her into a bear when she puts it in her mouth. Preziosa – now a bear—flees into the forest and resolves never again to reveal her true form lest her father learns of her whereabouts. A prince discovers the wonderfully friendly she-bear in the woods and takes her home to be his pet.
One day when she believes she is alone, Preziosa takes the bit of wood out of her mouth to brush her hair. The prince looks out his window, spies a gorgeous maiden in his garden and rushes out to find her, but she hears him coming and quickly puts the wood back into her mouth. The prince searches throughout the garden but he cannot find the maiden anywhere—in her place is only his pet she-bear.
The prince becomes sick with lust for the bear-girl and begins to waste away. On request from her son, the prince’s mother sends for the she-bear who is now to reside in the princes bedroom, cook his meals and make his bed for him. The prince becomes overcome with lust for the bear, and begs his mother to let him kiss the animal.
While the mother watches and encourages them enthusiastically, man and bear lock lips. They are kissing so passionately that the bit of wood slips from Preziosa’s mouth and the prince finds that he now holds a stunningly beautiful maiden in his arms. Rejoicing, they get married, and presumably everybody lives happily ever after.
I may tackle these for my upcoming new fairy tale anthology. There are others, too, many of them Asian, that interest me. Look for my new book "Wicked Fairy Tales" coming out in the fall.
You may find information about my two current fairy tales at the top of this page. They are "Trouble In Thigh High Boots" (erotic Puss In Boots) and "Climbing Her Tower" (erotic Rapunzel). You may find information about my short story "Purr" (shorter erotic Puss In Boots) under the "Short Stories" tab.