What Is Vorarephilia?

Vorarephilia is a type of paraphilia or fetish, which typically includes arousal at the idea or role-playing act of eating or being eaten by another person or creature.

Our most pervasive children’s stories included monsters intent on devouring an innocent protagonist or hero. From Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel to Jonah and the Whale, the idea of being eaten by another creature or person is surprisingly common in popular culture. However, for some people, this narrative of consumption is associated with sex or eroticism, at which point it falls into the realm of vorarephilia.

What is Vorarephilia?

As mentioned above, vorarephilia is a paraphilia (an abnormal sexual desire, often linked to dangerous or aberrant behavior) and a fetish in which people are sexually gratified by devouring others, being devoured or observing others perform this act.

To begin with, vorarephilia isn’t a literal form of cannibalism; most of these fantasies are engaged with through media such as art, comic books, videos, stories, images, and video games. Real-life practice of vore often involves role-playing situations of willing partners, in which they are either eaten or devoured by the other.

Dealing with bullies colored

Vorarephilia: fetish of being eaten by someone (Photo Credit : Karbo/Wikimedia Commons)

This sexual preference, commonly referred to as “vore,” has deep roots in history and storytelling, but it has only recently been widely recognized in the kink and fetish community. Although there is limited research on this particular paraphilia, some studies have found that people experiencing such feelings can emanate from our earliest relationship with the mouth and other orifices of the body, driven by our birth and breastfeeding habits. Some people have described the desire to be consumed by another person to satisfy their needs or provide them with pleasure from the inside out.

As already mentioned, vorarephilia isn’t limited solely to interactions between humans. Fantasies often include large creatures, snakes, dragons, and other monsters devouring one’s body or being devoured by the individual. In the verbiage of this fantasy, the person being consumed is referred to as the prey, while the creature or individual doing the devouring is called the predator.

Soft Vore vs. Hard Vore

As opposed to sexual cannibalism, in which erotic feelings are linked to the act of being eaten piece by piece by another human being, vorarephilia commonly includes a person being swallowed whole. This is known as soft vore, in which a person may be released from consumption in a non-fatal way, similar to a person being swallowed by a whale and then later finding a way to get free.

The Whale swallows Jonah(askib)s

(Photo Credit : askib/Shutterstock)

Hard vore, on the other hand, usually involves the idea of a person being chewed and swallowed, and is often a more graphic or visceral fantasy. In some cases, hard vore descriptions or depictions include being digested and enduring a longer or more painful process after they are devoured. In these more graphic fantasies, the flesh is often ripped, torn, bitten, and swallowed, which is why this style of vore is often linked or associated with BDSM and other paraphilias, as explained in more detail below.

Francisco de Goya

Hard vore: a vorephilia with a more visceral fantasy of being chewed and eaten (Photo Credit : public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

In the realm of sexual fantasy and paraphilia, there are many close associations and unexpected overlaps. In terms of vorarephilia, there are obvious links to macrophilia (fantasies about giant people, often women, in which men are the smaller partner being dominated or consumed) and sexual cannibalism (erotic pleasure at the idea of being eaten by a mate, i.e., praying mantises).

But given the power dynamics of the fantasy and other related elements of paraphilia, BDSM, furry fetishism, coprophilia, and unbirthing are also closely linked kink arenas. BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Domination/Submission, and Sadism/Masochism) can often be incorporated in the role-play of predator and prey, for both hard and soft vore. Furry fetishism is clearly connected because the devouring creature can be a different animal, not necessarily another human, and the dynamics of predator/prey are more apparent in animal costumes.

Coprophilia is a sexual link to the consumption, interaction with, or embodiment of faecal matter. Some proponents of vore take pleasure in the act of being digested and eventually excreted, attaching a sexual connection to becoming faecal matter over the course of the erotic process. Finally, unbirthing, which is characterized by the desire to re-enter the vagina and uterus, is another form of being “devoured” and is an associated paraphilia to vore.

A Final Word

The already wide spectrum of sexual fantasies and kinks continues to expand as individuals are given more freedom to express their most subversive or surprising desires. Although these topics may be uncomfortable for some people, it is important to understand where these sorts of proclivities may come from, how they can be managed healthily, and with what other types of sexual play they can be associated with. Some experts, in the past and currently, characterize paraphilias as psychiatric disorders, but that is a very broad brush to paint the intricacies of sexual exploration.

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A crucial part of holding safe spaces and moving around the world without judgment (born out of ignorance) is learning and accepting the many different ways that human beings find pleasure!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois. He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, an arts nonprofit based in Denver. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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