The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Galerie Dennis Cooper presents … Warning: The Guro Artists #3

 

‘Guro, also sometimes called Ero guro (エログロ), is an artistic genre that puts its focus on eroticism, sexual corruption, and decadence. As a term, it is used to denote something that is both erotic and grotesque. The term itself is an example of wasei-eigo, a Japanese combination of English words or abbreviated words: ero from “ero(tic)”, guro from “gro(tesque)”, and nansensu from “nonsense”. In actuality the “grotesqueness” implied in the term refers to things that are malformed, unnatural, or horrific. While items that are pornographic and bloody are not necessarily ero guro, and vice versa, the term is often used to mean “gore”—depictions of horror, blood, and guts.

‘Ero guro nansensu, characterized as a “prewar, bourgeois cultural phenomenon that devoted itself to explorations of the deviant, the bizarre, and the ridiculous,” manifested in the popular culture of Taishō Tokyo during the 1920s. Writer Ian Buruma describes the social atmosphere of the time as “a skittish, sometimes nihilistic hedonism that brings Weimar Berlin to mind.” Its roots go back to artists such as Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, who, besides erotic shunga, also produced woodblock prints showing decapitations and acts of violence from Japanese history. Ukiyo-e artists such as Utagawa Kuniyoshi presented similar themes with bondage, rape and erotic crucifixion.

‘Ero guro nansensu’s first distinct appearance began in 1920s and 1930s Japanese literature. The Sada Abe Incident of 1936, where a woman strangled her lover to death and castrated his corpse, struck a chord with the ero guro movement and came to represent that genre for years to come. Other like activities and movements were generally suppressed in Japan during World War II, but re-emerged in the postwar period, especially in manga and music.

‘There are modern guro artists, some of whom cite Erotic Grotesque Nonsense as an influence on their work. These artists explore the macabre intermingled with sexual overtones. Often the erotic element, even when not explicit, is merged with grotesque themes and features similar to the works of H. R. Giger. Others produce ero guro as a genre of Japanese pornography and hentai involving blood, gore, disfiguration, violence, mutilation, urine, enemas, or feces.’ — collaged

 

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Q & A

Posted byu/albert_ara
I do not understand how people can be into gore/guro Pornography.

If you do not know what that is, please don’t google it.

Guro is a category of porn (I hope always drawn, usually in an anime style) where for example someone is having sex with another person they just cut open their stomach and their intestines are gushing out while that person is in agonising pain. Just explaining this makes my stomach turn.

I just want to understand why someone would like that without being completely crazy (I knew a girl that was alright but liked guro, she wasn’t willing to explain why). I just want to understand why.

Posted by Crayshack
Most porn contains an idealized exaggeration of something that the consumer is attracted to in real life. For most people, this is only slightly exaggerated, but for others it is exaggerated past the point of the fantasy being something that is realistically attainable. For example, someone who is attracted to fit women might look at porn like this. At the same time, some people might look at a version exaggerated past the point they are likely to ever encounter such as this. It is the same concept, but taken to the extreme. When you enter the realm of drawn images rather than simple porn photos, you can take the extreme even further past the point of what is even physically possible such as this.

Unrelated to that, sadomasochism exists. It is completely understandable why some people might have difficulty grasping why someone might be a sadist or a masochist, but for me the reason is quite simple. When you experience pain, your body releases adrenaline. The purpose of this is so that you can feel the pain and know something might be damaged, but then have the pain dulled enough to continue whatever task you are doing. However, under the right conditions for some people they can trigger an adrenal release that is more powerful than the pain they experience. For these situations, it turns experiencing pain into a literal high. Once you have enough experiencing pain as way of accessing an adrenaline high, you build a Pavlovian relationship in your mind and start to enjoy the pain itself. Sadism is simply being the one on the outside.

When you combine the concepts, there is a very clear pattern. There is porn of realistic depictions of pain play that do closely resemble how most people do it in real life. Then there are depictions that go beyond what most might try in real life but are still physically doable such as this. Then you have the ones that are physically impossible (at least without killing your partner) such as this.

For both examples of the gradient, some people will realize that they are getting into weirder and weirder shit as they make their way down it. However, sometimes they won’t notice until they are pretty far along because there will not be many sudden jumps. Instead, they are one day asking themselves “What the fuck did I just fap to?” and find that even once they acknowledge it is fucked up it still turns them on because sexual attraction is not something decided by the conscious part of the brain.

Most people if you ask them, would not be able to articulate this process of how they got into what they are into. At best, they can give you some of the details they fixate on and what little things turn a gore pic from general gore to porn for them. However, that does not mean that they have not gone through this sort of development. Everyone goes through a similar kind of association when it comes to sexual attraction. They start by being attracted to something simple and common, but then they start seeking something similar to that initial influence and start building associative relationships. However, most people simply find themselves spinning back around to something else that is common (for example, someone instinctively attracted to breasts might have known a large breasted redhead when they were younger and they are now also attracted to redheads). There are just a few fringe groups that have managed to developed a sexual association with something more bizarre. Guro is not the only strange fetish you can find on the internet, it just might be the one that is the most disturbing to anyone who has not found there way to it naturally.

 

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McW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KC

 

 

 

 

Pontax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

まだ生きている

 

 

 

 

 

 

OnLMY

 

 

Cruoreye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vincent 3D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ねこねこさん

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*

p.s. RIP Jean-Marie Straub. ** Dominik, Hi!!! Not a one? Oh, gotcha, insect fear. I guess I don’t have that. Even with mosquitos, it’s hatred not fear, I think. Well, it’s always wise to assume that a lot of the escort and slave photos are repurposed from someone and somewhere else, I think. So, yeah, WokeBlond is probably just some nice, normal dude somewhere oblivious to his perving fanbase. Sadly? Love weaning the world’s musical tastes off Taylor Swift, like, today, G. ** malcolm, Hi, Malcom. Ah, so you need an actor who plays deep. Same with Zac’s and my ‘Dad’. Actually, everyone in our films needs to be able to play deep. But most or maybe even all the time they just have to have a soulful looking face, and we’ll take care of the rest. Wow, Ethan Hawke might theoretically be in your film? That would be kind of huge. Fingers strugglingly crossed. 2 or 3 day shoot? So quick. You guys are concentrated. I envy you. Trying to shoot for 25 days like we are is unpleasantly expensive. I hope your day off was very fake bloody. xo. ** David Ehrenstein, David Hedison! ‘Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’ was a childhood fave. ** Ian, Hi, Ian! How’s it? Oh, huh, I think ‘Starship Troopers’ would qualify? I don’t know why it didn’t come to mind whenever I made that post. I have not checked out ‘Cialis, Verdi, Gin, Jag’ yet, but thank you for reminding me. I’m going to score it today before I space out again. That does sound pretty. No snow here yet, but winter light is arriving, and Paris in winter light is kind of an unbeatable visual. Great to see you! What’s new? News on your book? ** Sypha, ‘Them!’, of course, provided the title for Ishmael’s and my ‘legendary’ performance work. Ishmael chose it, so I’m not sure why other than the obvious. Your dad was so postmodern! ** Misanthrope, Hi. Oh, well, I don’t hate you, obviously, but I do think you cut off your nose to spite your face, as my mom used to say. And don’t ask me what the means because I have no idea. I saw a vid from that tour, and Brett does seem to still be pretty lively/faux-faggy for an old guy. ** Bill, Hi, Bill. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for a Paris appearance by Jess Curtis’ group Gravity. I don’t know that work at all. Paris loves dance, so maybe we’ll get lucky. ** Steve Erickson, Thanks for the Clementi reboot. Everyone, If you want to see Pierre Clementi rocking out as ‘Charly the Knife’ in the 1968 film ‘Les Idoles’, and I think you do (?), Steve has hooked you up thusly. Yeah, if a Broadway musical was actually K-Pop and not some Broadway-style watered down thing, that does sound like a glove-like fit. ** Bob, Hi, Bob. Welcome, nice to meet you. You know, I’ve barely read Thomas Disch. I think I’ve only read ‘Camp Concentration’ a long time ago. ‘Sci-fi’ fiction is my weakest area as a reader. I know very little other than the most obvious guys like Dick and Gibson and so forth. I should read more of him. What do you recommend? ‘The Roaches’? I do know Rorem’s ‘Paris Diary’, yes. It was great. I met him a few times in the 80s because he was friends with some of my older writer friends in NYC. I remember him being pretty fascinating. How are you? How are things in your world? ** Gick, Hi. Oh, I’m really happy my words helped. And I’m glad you’re going to get it out. That’s relieving. Excited for the package! Thank you, thank you! Have the ultra-best day! ** Paul Curran, Cool. It’s true, right? About the bug names. It was kind of a thing in the late punk days. The Wasps, The Flys, … Great to hear that about the J-Pop novel! I feel like I know that scraping thing. I’ve been scraping at this one short fiction thing for months, and the turf is still not settling right. Grr. Yes, the package with ‘Bloodbath’ and the ‘Left Hand’ reprint got here safely, and I’m currently destroying my mind with the former. So, so brilliant, man! And I think it’s helping with my gravel. Love, me. ** Jamie, Hi! My weekend did not unfurl as I had planned, but that’s fine. It was as quiet as yours was, but with less success on the writing front. I think I have watched the majority of the films in the post, come to think of it. Weird. They were always on late night TV back when late night TV horror movie marathons were a thing. Paris is a friend. Brussels is your pal? Wide open mouth with lots of visible cavities love, me. ** _Black_Acrylic, Thanks, bud. Congrats on the bookshelf. Books organised by size and color make me feel very confused about them, I don’t know why. ** Brian, Hi there, Brian! Very good to see you! Giant insect movies and click bait titles go together like soup and sandwich. Things are good generally. There’s not a huge amount of things that aren’t attached to the film project though. They did just announce the Buches de Noel for this year, so that was exciting (see: future post). Yes, Lucia Berlin, wonderful, right? I will say I’m very suspicious that the upcoming film adaption of her stories is being directed by Almodovar, which does not seem like a good fit. I’m imagining Ozu bouncing off Evangelion and my imagination is rupturing. Enjoy the good parts of what’s worldly and on offer to you this week. I hope your week doesn’t wake up from its dream. ** Okay. It’s been a while since I foisted Guro on y’all, and I guess I thought it was time. In the post’s defence, I’m eternally fascinated by art that attempts to represent extreme and shocking things in a palatable way — an especially difficult task when the art is visually inclined — and Guro is a research area for me for that reason, and, on the off chance that others are interested too, I hereby give you this. See you tomorrow.

11 Comments

  1. Tea

    I remember paper-doll style guro like OnLMY being way popular back in the day (as in, like, when I was 12 and should not have been looking, ha ha). I don’t remember if I brought it up before but have you read Mai-chan’s Daily Life? That left a mark on me. I don’t know if it gets more extreme than that.

    I’ve been reading but not commenting because I’ve been pretty down. Now I have food poisoning, but I’m pushing thru. Barely. Once that’s over, I should really get to work on my next writing project. I’m procrastinating for sort of a silly reason.

    I’ve decided the story needs an unhappy ending to get its point across. I’ve never done that before. There’s always been a tacit understanding between myself and the characters that I may put them through hell, but I won’t leave them there. To me, they’re very real people. Maybe I’ll just procrastinate further by getting to that porn I wanted to write. It’s productive procrastination, at least.

  2. malcolm

    hi dennis!

    2 or 3 days shoot is mostly out of necessity as young people with no budget who can’t really afford to take much time off of work. but honestly even if we had a budget, i doubt the shoot would be much longer, since it is so short. knife play was 12 minutes and only 3 days of shooting, 2 days being 4pm – midnight if i remember correctly, and the other day being in the afternoon (the swimming scene, i wasn’t on set for that one so i don’t know for certain). i feel like it’s doable.

    i have weirdly good luck with connecting with people i admire. i think it’s a mixture of self confidence and knowing who to go for and when to go for it. i mean, i’m talking to you right now, which is wild. but i’ve also formed really really close friendships with 3 musical artists i love – like, facetime and talk to each other about our problems level close. i hope i’ll have the same luck with ethan hawke someday. we know the same people so it feels within reach. but maybe that’s my way too high self confidence talking.

    25 day shoot sounds fun! i’m so excited to be on set of alexander’s film next week. it’s really the best feeling in the world getting to live that experience, isn’t it? watching your vision come to life in front of you… i just love it. and, related to that – sunday was very fake bloody. also very liquid latexy, *too* liquid latexy, as at one point i accidentally spilled half the bottle onto my bathroom floor and ruined a towel and my bathmat in the process. but my fake wounds are looking good so far! def need more practice but i like where it’s heading.

    love this post btw. especially the one by OnLMY, that one’s so funny to me. you said this is research for you – will we be seeing things like this in your upcoming film?

    see you tomorrow!

  3. _Black_Acrylic

    Another hard rocking Guro cavalcade today. I have a feeling those crazy Neo-Decadence guys will be all over this stuff.

    Last night I finally finished George Eliot – the Mill on the Floss which flew by in a mere 4 months. Oh, poor Maggie! It really is very great and just goes to show that no one could do tragedy quite like those 19th century English writers used to.

    Today I returned to the doctor to be assessed for a power wheelchair, and it’s fair to say she was dazzled by my skills in driving this thing. I’ll be in receipt of a brand new one in just a couple of weeks so watch this space.

  4. Jamie

    Hey Dandy Den,
    How are you?
    I loved this post and oddly don’t remember seeing any similar ones here before. Maybe I was afraid and blocked them out!? But yes, I seem to like Guro and want to see some more. Of the stuff in today’s post, McW and KC were my big favourites and I really appreciated the contextualising text too. In your blurb at the bottom of the ps, you say you’re “eternally fascinated by art that attempts to represent extreme and shocking things in a palatable way” and I found that interesting. Can you explain how Guro makes such things palatable to you? I’m wondering if it’s by use of comic book style art, which is generally more of a carrier for lighter fodder, or am I way off the mark? I’m genuinely interested in your words there, so I hope this doesn’t come across as me being snippy or pedantic or whatever.
    As for my relationship with Brussels, we’ve been having our ups and downs of late, but I went for a bike ride today and it was cold and bright and the low-angle sun was hitting just so, and all was very well. If the experimental film club starts back up, it would be perfect.
    Hope you have a good day.
    Negative Conservative love,
    Jamie

  5. Dominik

    Hi!!

    I had such an exhausting workday, and really, there must be something wrong with me, but this post revived my brain cells. Or at least half of them. I absolutely adore Cruoreye’s pieces, wow. Thank you for sharing! I must’ve asked this before, but have you read “Killing Stalking”? It’s a manhwa by an author calling themselves Koogi.

    That’s pretty sad to imagine about WokeBlond, but that’s my suspicion as well.

    Love would do the world a great service, honestly. Love getting Cruoreye’s character in the gas mask tattooed on his heart, Od.

  6. Minet

    Damn had to chime in ’cause I’m obsessed with this post!! >____<
    Guro is my life, it's kind of hard to find explicitly gay-themed ones too (though a lot the classic "auteurs" sure loved their homoeroticism, say Suehiro Maruo in his masterpiece Paranoia Star) so this is much much appreciated <3
    Have you been into it for a long time, Dennis? 'Cause I remember getting some slight eroguro vibes from Like Cattle Towards Glow, especially that bloody snowy final segment with the boy in the suit, but I don't know…
    You ever seen Kimera? It's this kinda guro-adjacent anime film from 1996 basically about this scientist that gets obsessed with an androgynous male alien, with very gorey body horror-esque results. I think it's on Youtube? One of my favorite films of all time tbh, anime or not, feel like you might enjoy it (of course, being anime and therefore a teeny bit more "commercial", it's definitely not as hellish & visceral as the kind of art in this post lol but still pretty bonkers and incredible in my humble opinion)
    Hope everything's going well, Dennis, have a wonderful day :)))))

  7. Dom Lyne

    Hey Dennis,

    Interesting post, I feel like I’ve seen a few of these on my own investigations. They seem familiar in ways that I’m sure I’ve saved them in the past into research archives long forgotten.

    It’s quite a fitting post for the update of Dom Saga 2022… *sighs* Yeah, this year, dude, it is seriously taking ALL the twists and turns. So, light stuff first. Apparently my schizotypal’s “limited emotional range” means that with regards to the processing of the trauma regarding my best friend’s death, instead of getting from a 10 to 0, it’s realistically going to be a 10 to 5… which I’m not going to complain about, any decrease in intensity is good for me. My therapist says it’s extremely rare to see a schizotypal in treatment, in his whole career he’s only seen two, with me being the second. The hardcore stuff is that apparently my shadowman is a manifestation of abuse my brother did to me as a kid since I was 4 (he would have been 10) – abuse in pretty much all kinda senses – which we kinda knew he did in my later youth, but not right back at 4… so cue loads of flashbacks to that. Good thing is we CAN get rid of shadowman in therapy after 35 years. Also, my mum let my bro move back in with her, telling people not to tell me, of course I found out, told her what I thought, blah blah blah. Now she’s not talking to me, I’m at fault and the one who she don’t care about. FUCKING FAMILY! So yeah. I’m kinda like, can I just please sort out one trauma before you start dumping more shit on top of me please!! I swear they should just cast me as myself in Eastenders or something.

    Other than this, I’ve been busy working away at my projects. As well as writing the new book, I’ve been typing up the last one that I was working on intermittently over the past few years, and thankfully I am actually really happy with how it turned out. So that has been a nice confidence boost, that that time wasn’t wasted.

    How are you? How is work on the new film with Zac progressing? I can’t believe another year is almost over!

    Lots of love and hugs,
    Dom

  8. Brian

    Hey there, Dennis,

    Add me to the chorus of those fascinated by OnLMY. I remember your post on them a while back, which really intrigued me at the time. Something about that blend of extremely gross and vaguely depressing cruelty with this cartoonish humor and honestly impressive and charming creativity. Also interesting to see the prevalence of those digital model CGI-type things here. I guess those tools are just changing porn in general. Film stuff all the way for you, understood. Hope it’s running smoothly. I’m anticipating that Buche de Noel post as eagerly as you are probably anticipating a Buche de Noel itself. Lucia Berlin’s writing is sublime. I could read her write a phone book, to use the cliche. Just last month it was announced that that Almodóvar adaptation has fallen apart, thank god. Not that I hold any particular animosity toward him overall (although I have never liked any of his films as much as I theoretically should), but it’s hard to imagine a filmmaker less suited to that tight, pellucid prose–nor an actress less suited to incarnate Berlin than CATE BLANCHETT, lol. And the whole notion of making a movie out of that collection seems bizarre to me in the first place. But it looks like the wheels have stopped turning, so we’re safe for now. My week is spent at home for Thanksgiving. And then next week is my last week living at this building in the city. Lots of mingled emotions about everything at the moment (that sounds too dramatic–I’m just finding this period of my life difficult and awkward). But a good week I certainly hope it to be. Your own as well, of course.

  9. Steve Erickson

    My kitchen floor has been repaired and the sink installed, although there are two steps remaining before it can be used and this work will be entirely done. Right now, the sink is an empty box with no faucet or connection to the plumbing.

    The next album I’m reviewing for Slant Magazine, Raw Poetic’s SPACE BEYOND THE SOLAR SYSTEM, seems exciting on a first listen. It’s Afrofuturist hip-hop influenced by jazz (Raw Poetic’s uncle Archie Shepp plays on three songs), psychedelia and prog, with lengthy songs. (The whole album runs more than 2 hours, and the final song would take up an entire side of vinyl.)

    Whenever I’ve gotten into arguments over movies like AUDITION or REVENGE, I’m reminded that using explicit violence metaphorically in visual media is very difficult. No matter how much I think the sheer amount of blood spilled in the final 10 minutes of REVENGE means that it’s not meant to be taken literally, many find it impossible not to do so. (And some films in which takes place offscreen, like FUNNY GAMES, are still perceived as much more graphic than they actually are.) Have you learned anything from guro about this conundrum?

  10. Ian

    quite the post today. I my fav is McW (kinda Tom of Finland-y) and i also like OnLMY (very playful and silly)
    yes, i can imagine that paris with fresh snow is one of the most beautiful snow covered cities. not much new with me. My son is growing bigger every day. Four months now. The book is ready to go, just some minor formatting changes to make for the back and then it will be out there. I still have my tragickal guest post ready to go. Just waiting for the book to be available to order before sending it to you.
    Other than that I have been making and eating a lot of curry. Probably gonna be the dish of the winter in our household.

  11. Paul Curran

    The Gorgeous Guro day, Dennis! Certainly interest from over there… the Taishō period is itself endlessly fascinating too.

    Excellent, the package got through! Yes, thought I’d throw in the ‘Left Hand’ reprint too, seeing as you’re on the cover this time. And more than thrilled if in anyway ‘Bloodbath’ helped inch your own ideas forward. Thanks, man. Means the world.! Love, P

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