wwoctopus2.jpgOur friend Brookelynn, who btw is a terrific crafter and all-around amazing human being, says she's made up a new word, cephalerotica. She writes:
"It describes the amazing art that combines the erotic with the octopus. I have been collecting images for a few years now, and have a Flickr set of them."

Most of the images in the set are NSFW, and a couple of them actually make me feel downright Victorian in my sensibilities. At the same time, it's a fascinating collection of old and new representations of an obscure variant in human sexuality, which seems to be popular here on Boing Boing.


Cephalerotica Flickr Set

(Shawn Connally and Bruce Stewart are guest bloggers)



  1. The question – “You want to put the big end of this tentacle where?” must have been asked a few times.

  2. Q. What has eight legs and attracts more women than a going out of business sale at Bloomingdales?

    A. Led Zeppelin.

    Oh, how some people cry and some people die by the wicked ways of love.

  3. Cephalerotica? Doesn’t work. Cephal- means ‘head’. I know she’s talking about cephalopods (‘head-feet’) but you can’t tell that from ‘cephalerotica’. I’d have assumed it was some sort of head fetish.

  4. Yeah, figured I’d mention the Japanese kink but I see I’m a bit late.

    @OM: that is the greatest link in the history of mankind, and I salute you.

  5. I’m guessing someone asked their partner for head, and it got bollixed up in translation. Hey, some salt, some lemon, it’s not a total loss.

  6. Some of us readers aren’t into Hentai / tentacle porn. To the point where I turn off any Anime series I start watching as soon as the overly-buxom teen-age girl shows up in her short skirt schoolgirl outfit. Ech.

    Not to say that I don’t like porn, I loves me some good porn with real people enjoying each other. never understood the Hentai or 3-d pr0n culture and am not fond of the “little girl” aspect of lowbrow either. Porn should be porn and entertainment should be entertainment.

  7. claud9999, that is a very narrow view of Hentai.

    Just like all pornography, there is a broad spectrum of types within the world of hentai. It is not all tentacles and young buxom school girls.

  8. I have to add Jen Wang’s Octoladysm from her Monster Sex collection:


    (The Monster Sex collection can be found here: http://www.jenwang.net/monstersex.html )

    I wish I could find a picture of this stunning Victorian/Art Nouveau statue that was a woman carved in alabaster….with an octopus in another material curling round her. I found it in a book on art nouveau (library book or I’d name it here), but can’t find any quick examples on line.

  9. Since seeing recent research on how clever, inquisitive, & high spirited cephalopodia can be, i feel barbaric looking at naked damsels posing with their corpses.

    I mean it is still hot, and some of the images are very beautiful, So maybe i should file it in the same ethics VS hedonism quandary-bin as bacon.

    Oddly i feel less guilty looking pics of hot girls biting the heads off live bunnies.
    I might be more genetically closer to bunnies, but i feel more spiritual kinship with the octopi.

    Bunnies are dumb.

  10. When I think of tentacle hentai (and don’t we all?), I think of the original stuff, those wonderful antique prints of geisha girls curling up with frisky octopi; tentacle porn that is every bit as graphically gorgeous as any wave Hokusai ever captured. And in those prints, the molluscan molesters are pictured VERY much alive.

  11. OM’s link can lead one here. There are a lot of odd things in this world, but I can’t understand this as hot stuff.

    Check out the comments.

    Breynih (2 days ago) +2
    Mmmmmh … nice and juicy as usual SoldierLeopard =)

    Hot DAMN !

    SoldierLeopard (1 day ago)

  12. @MINTPRESH: I’ve never heard of Takuan, and didn’t find much with google. Links? This is all a collaboration of images, and I would love to see some new shit! Thanks Boing Boing for sharing the tentacle love. PS. I would add the second Futurama movie as major cephalerotica!

  13. thanx arkie. i was trying to find a way of ‘splainin’, how about; mysterious psuedopeodic nipponophile, or; cthulu-esque marine prankster? i’m at a loss. so, yes brooklynne, study well. there will be a quiz later.

  14. Watch out, brooklynne, that page will eat up all your spare memory. Besides, Takuan is dangerous in large quantities.

  15. Can’t wait till I have enough money for a new tattoo, that set has given me some frighteningly good ideas…

  16. On an artistic level Japanese wood cuts and Marvel entries aside, which actually have some content that could stimulate a discussion, the photos are remarkably underwhelming. The purple octopii are actually cooked thus dead, the only uncooked one is also rather lacking in spirit. Apparently my shock threshold is higher than I thought. I’m prompted to guess the material was intended for a coffee table book for the kind of people who used to buy Helmut Newtons and think the Rocky Horror picture show is delightfully scandalous.

  17. @Wurzletod

    Did you collect the photos or take them? If you took them what was your motivation? Don’t get me wrong from the technical side they are very good, it’s the content I’m wondering about.

    A lot of Japanese wood cuts were created as either as an instruction manual for newly weds or quite simply pornography, hence are as explicit as they can be. Yet the pictures in the set convey none of the rawness, and don’t challenge or engage the viewer or their perceptions in anyway, and given the nature of the genre, that is what they are supposed to do, hence seem somehow to be pulling their punches as it were.

  18. @madsci – You’re absolutely right, ‘Cephalerotica’ doesn’t work at all. That was my immediate reaction. Unfortunately, I’m at a loss for an acceptable alternative that isn’t so polysyllabic as to be unwieldy in the extreme.

    ‘Cephalerotica’ is akin to calling it ‘Octorotica’ wherein the reader will assume some type of orgy fetish.

  19. @Wurzletod: Your site is awesome, but today is the first time I saw it. While a lot of those images were emailed to me from various friends and contacts, many of the images in my flickr set are scans from my own books and magazines. Like you, I started collecting a long time ago, and the first image I called Cephalerotica went up in Jan 2004. Your thread started in June ’04. I hope you will chalk it up to the collective unconscious. There’s tons of great things on your fourm, but I swear, nothing was lifted by me.

  20. PS. I just spent some time clicking thru that extensive thread. It’s really really cool! There’s WAY more stuff on there than I have ever found, and some fresh artists that are very cool.

  21. another vote for zak smith’s project ‘100 Girls and 100 Octopuses’

  22. @Claud9999
    “Porn should be porn and entertainment should be entertainment.”

    Please don’t tell me what I want from porn. Thank you.

  23. Tikihead – Eros was in fact male, though Venus who lives on in the adjective venereal and the action venerate was a woman.

  24. Ahem… Takuan is evidently too busy to participate in the thread?

    Also, some images of cephalopods will have a ninth tentacle. You get three guesses on what -that- represents, and the first two don’t count.

  25. Google’s cache still has the set!

    Not by the time your comment was approved, they didn’t.

    Pointless Censorship – 1
    Comment Moderation – 0

  26. Oops. Sorry, I guess comment moderation is not enabled on this page? Anyway, Levitt your tip-off came alas too late.

  27. A Tentacled Romance:

    I’m happy to be in my baby’s arms and arms and arms again
    My baby hasn’t held me since that night out on the ocean when
    He said “I must be leaving, for I got the call today
    To fight for King and Country in a reef so far away.

    But while I’m parted from you in those distant, foreign lands,
    I’m count each passing minute on my hands and hands and hands.”
    Though tears were forming in his eyes, he bravely gave a wink.
    “I’ll write you lots of letters, in my finest, darkest ink.

    So wait for me, my darling, here beside the sea so blue
    By all my little suckers, lovely sucker, I’m in love with you!”

  28. @ everyone
    Most the images in my collection of cephalerotica were violating the TOS on flickr. I have been made aware, and deleted everything that was out of line. So, to see the good s*** check out Wurzeltod’s link in comment #35. Word.

    That poem is just lovely.

  29. Yes yes fair use, commentary, and review, be damned. Let’s all behave as if it’s perfectly normal not to be able to visually quote other artists in any way.

  30. Laroquod, when signing up for a flickr account, you agree to the terms of service, which is what was violated. If someone wanted, they could host/create their own site, where they could do what they darn pleased, including uploading images for fair use. If someone then hassles them, and we act blase, you have a case… until then, I appreciate the zeal.

  31. don’t octopi have sharp beaks? makes, uh, any oral intimacy quite harrowing. or maybe that’s part of the appeal?

    i like my cephalopods stewed with coconut milk and long, slender, green chilies.

    no offense to takuan. i’m sure he likes his with some form of seasoning too.

  32. Flickr: Private page? What is the point in linking to it?

    Is it private as in “only me and my friends can see it”? Or as in “everyone can see it, but those who are geographically challenged cant” like Hulu?

  33. hi brooklynn23!

    my friend did a revisit of the fishermans wife that he would love to contribute to your collection. we also have and art blog and would love to link to you once you get the hosting sorted out.

  34. From the page linked here:

    “I was a bad flickr citizen, and I broke the rules. I’m a very lucky girl that my account was restored. I immediately deleted any photos that were not taken by me with my camera. I am sorry to any artists that I might have put off.”

  35. @ adunaphel13 — Although my brain thinks it was Heinlein that taught me, I’m not so sure anymore. IIRC, ‘Octopi’, although now accepted, is wrong. It should be Octopuses as the root is Greek, not Latin. The pedant in me is showing way too much of late so feel free to tell me to “get bent!”

  36. @Agent 86: so I guess fair use is only for the technically inclined? Sorry, thanks for the perspective, and I appreciate the response, but I do not forgive services like flickr for setting more-restrictive-than-necessary terms of use for the general public, nor do I give any credit to legalistic arguments for why we can’t have a useful conversation, with examples, about visual art, via one of the most popular image hosting service in the world. The very idea is I believe ridiculous to anyone who has not overly tangled their brain up with the law.

  37. ReidFleming,
    I haven’t read all of Heinlein, but Orson Scott Card had a bit about the correct version in his story/novel Lost Boys.

  38. @Laroquod: Those terms of service protect flickr from the content creators/owners and you should have your dicussion with them. It is unfortunate you dismiss any legal argument from this discussion because it *is* a matter of law. Until you realize that you will continue to wonder “why we can’t…”.

    Agent 86 is correct in that there are many other sites not concerned with ownership. Popularity of any given site is not relevant as it is accessed by a click on a link.

  39. Laroquod,

    Even putting aside the legal reasons to not post other people’s work, I go to Flickr to see original works and to communicate with the artists involved. I regularly praise Flickr, in my head, that it isn’t just another image host; that the hosted photos, images and videos belong to the poster, and that I can discuss with the creators their choices and motivations.. try that on 4chan.

    I think the general Flickr community’s strength (what makes it worth so much) is the fact that the site is about presenting and discussing original work, and not about collecting other’s work.

    If Brookelynn wanted to set up her collection on a different server, we could do all the fair-use discussion you want. But there is no need, as they are all already posted here, as noted above (#52).

    “Visually quote” to your heart’s content.

  40. @37 Reidfleming:

    ‘Cephalerotica’ is akin to calling it ‘Octorotica’ wherein the reader will assume some type of orgy fetish.

    No no no, Octorotica is some sort of Octavia fetish.

    Nuthin’ wrong with that.

    *bat bat*

  41. I just forwarded this link to a friend. My .sig randomizer helpfully appended:

    The unnatural–that too is natural.
            –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  42. I’m afraid I have nothing much to offer to this conversation (except maybe erm if you like this sort-of stuff I often see similar things posted at jwz.livejournal.com) but I couldn’t sit here and not post with the current post count being at 69.

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