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Cannibalism is a strange beast. In most cultures eating another person is generally frowned upon. Most media tends to handle the subject one of two ways: either with horror or with dark humor. However there is a third way to use it: as a metaphor for sex.

At first such an idea might seem strange. After all, what do the two concepts have to do with each other? But upon further inspection they do have more in common than one might think. Both hunger and sexual desire are classified as "needs" and going without either for a long period of time can make the need for them feel all the more stronger. On top of that we have phrases like "sexual appetite" that combine hunger and lust into a single concept. People who lust after somebody are said to "hunger" for them. And in the actual act of lovemaking the man typically ends up "inside" the woman, just like he would if she ate him. Indeed, when a woman has a lot of sexual partners she is called a "maneater," implying that she not only sleeps with these men then ditches them, but devours them like hors d'oeuvres.


As a result media sometimes adds sexual undertones/overtones to the concept of eating another person. Often times this manifests as innuendo eating is pretty much a euphemism for sex. It also shows up as a metaphor for sexual power and dominance in characters like the Literal Maneater, who both titillates and devours her victims. A third way this trope can be used is the predator catching her (as it's often a her) prey in a manner that is reminiscent of a seduction.

Sub-Trope of Interplay of Sex and Violence. Hemo Erotic is the Sister Trope for when drinking blood is sexual. Literal Man Eater, where a Ms. Fanservice devours men, is a subtrope.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Played disturbingly literally in Mnemosyne. Angels (i.e. human men infected with time spores) are natural enemies of the immortals (infected women), because in their presence, the latter are so overcome with sexual desire that they willingly give themselves to the angels to devour (which seems to be the angels' sole motivation). There are even hints that the immortals perceive being eaten alive by an angel as intense sexual pleasure.
  • Invoked in Claymore near the end, when Man Behind the Man Dae is gutted by Big Bad Priscilla, who then proceeds to eat his intestines. Dae claims that such an act is almost like a sexual intercourse, which causes Priscilla to pause and call him "creepy".

    Films — Animation 
  • In Fern Gully The Last Rain Forest, there is an extremely sexual song about how a Goanna wants to eat Zack. Making this even more uncomfortable is the fact that the Goanna is male.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Jennifer's Body takes this concept and runs with it. Boys who are attracted to Jennifer get eaten by her, and she, a cheerleader is exclusively eating male victims. However her response to the concept of eating girls is "I go both ways."
  • Raw, a French-Belgian horror film, features a young vegetarian who also has never had sex. The uncontrollable cannibalistic urges that arise after she is forced to eat meat are portrayed as sexual awakening.
  • Trick 'r Treat: Laurie's friends reminisce about what sound like past sexual escapades, while teasing Laurie for being a "virgin'' and wanting her first time to be "special". Turns out they're all werewolves, and this is how they talk about killing and eating men, which Laurie hadn't done yet.
    Laurie: I don't know why we drove out here when there are perfectly good guys in the city.
    Janet: Fresh meat. [...] Last year we were in Tampa.
    Maria: And we went as sexy nurses.
    Danielle: No Janet, Tampa was two years ago, I remember because you puked doing a guy in his pickup truck.
    Janet: I ate some bad Mexican, and it was a Jeep.
    Danielle: Last year was San Diego. We dressed as sailors and ended up with sailors.
    Janet: Yeah, and Maria's sailor was a girl.
    Maria: So what, she had a nice ass! It all tastes the same to me anyway...

  • In American Gods, Bilquis, the Biblical Queen of Sheba, now poses as a prostitute, where she draws power by consuming her customers through her vagina.
  • In the Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina story "Lightlily: The Lovers' Tale" the Gotal Feltipern Trevagg keeps trying to woo the female H'nemthe M'iiyoom Onith, blissfully unaware that women in her culture gut their sexual partners with their tongues, which are extremely sharp. In the heat of the moment, Trevagg met a grisly fate. H'nemthe virgins kept on a strict vegetarian diet, presumably so that the first flesh they taste is that of their lovers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An episode of Supernatural had two people making out start eating each other because their "hunger" for each other activates the gluttony spell over the neighborhood.

  • Motorhead's "In The Year Of The Wolf" connects this trope to reincarnation. Maybe.
    It was the wolf in me,
    I howled the cold night through,
    The year I ran as a wolf,
    Tonight the food is you.
  • The nightmarish Vocaloid song "Full Course for Candy Addicts" (sung by Miku Hatsune, made by Machigerita-P) has lyrics that are clearly meant to be seen as being about cannibalism, but at the same time have a distinctly sexual undertone to them.
    "I completely devour
    The sweet chunk in my mouth

    Visual Novels 
  • Happens in Nurse Love Addiction if you get Itsuki's bad end, due to the character doing this being broken by her lover's death and misinterpreting her last wish.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • There is a longstanding sexual fetish commonly known as vore, where sexual arousal is derived from depictions of being Swallowed Whole.

Alternative Title(s): Erotic Cannibalism, Cannibalism Is Erotic


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