A Taboo: Cannabalism

WARNING: Welcome to this month’s Murderer’s Market column.This post deals with the topic of cannibalism. If you are squeamish, don’t read any further.taste like chicken

This is not my usual in-depth post, in that I was very much grossed out by the topic. If anything, it is a cursory introduction to the topic. Recently, I was asked to dive into the topic of cannibalism. We’ve all heard tales from New Guinea, of tribal wars and losing tribe members being cannibalized, and even about those who’ve thought to immortalize their victims through the eating of their opponent’s flesh. There are several different forms of cannibalism, as to the reasoning behind the practice. Today, I’m diving into the topic of the sexual paraphilia of cannibalism, called Erotophonophilia.

Erophonophilia is defined as “a is a sexual paraphilia in which individuals derive sexual pleasure and arousal from murdering (or imagining they are murdering) someone.” What is different about this, for the cannibal, is that the ”killer typically kills their victims during sex and/or mutilates their victims’ sexual organs (the latter of which is usually post-mortem). In some cases, the erotophonophiles will eat some of their victim’s body parts (usually post-mortem).”  The famous Jack the Ripper is believed to have been grouped in this category.  See Turn the Eating 

The rise of cannibalism isn’t anything new, but understanding it as a psychological disorder helps to shed light on why some people crave the taste of human flesh.

The taste is supposed to resemble that of either succulent veal or a sweet pig. No, I’m not talking about the latest piece of meat picked up at the grocery story, but instead the taste of human flesh. During my internet search, I even found comments of how sizzling bacon reminds firefighters of cooking human flesh.

Trust me, this topic is not one for the weak of stomach. Googling it alone made me gulp, as  I dived into forums to uncover answers to my questions (if you google anything enough, you’re sure to come up with answers). I recovered information that described humans flesh as close to prosciutto in taste, while others discussed taking “samples” from the deceased to test out their theories (others posted recipes, equating placentaophagia to cannibalism).

Cannibalism, brought truly into modern culture by 1972 Andes disaster,   broached the subject for many. And when a movie came out with a serial killer, who did the same, the topic is not as much on the fringe as many would wish.  Even recently on an episode of Hot in Cleveland, part of the story-line was about cannibalism.

This taboo topic gives me chills, and the images of people roasting over hot coal or being devoured raw makes me want to gag. Maybe it is a psychological disorder, but it is surely something I never wish to become a part of my reality.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll leave the pork alone for a while…it’s just too much knowledge to swallow.

What’s your take on the whole cannibalism thing?


headshot - Tina with backgroundTINA GLASNECK enjoys digging into her research and sharing tidbits of it with her readership. Currently working on the third tale in her Spark Before Dying Series, she’s enjoying the adventure of being an author and what it means to find interesting spins on everyday stories. Her latest release, Angels Cry, which is a modern noir tale that deals with body brokering is available on Amazon.  To learn more about Tina, visit her at www.TinaGlasneck.com  or join the conversation on Facebook.

Do you have a research topic that would be great for murderer’s market? Please leave a comment below or contact Tina through her website !



5 thoughts on “A Taboo: Cannabalism

  1. You weren’t kidding with that warning, Tina. UGH! Did you know some of the early settlers in Jamestown (Va.) had to resort to cannibalism? Archaeologists discovered that in the past year or so. That was for survival, which is gruesome enough, but for perversion??? Just the thought makes me squirm.

  2. Hi, Tina! You always challenge us and this topic is no exception. I guess that in the survival situation, you can’t know what you’re truly capable of until YOUR existence is on the line. However, as Leah said, I really have to question the behavior when it’s for “pleasure”? On a lighter note, I loved your word-play throughout.

    • Thanks, Denise. I can understand the survival cannibalism on all fronts, but the other categories are a part of the psychological drive of less than 1% of the population that I just can’t understand. I’m guessing it could be on the same line as the one that commits bestiality with a goat. On one note, the goat is his (?) device for eroticism, but on the other hand, he will slaughter it to make BBQ. I know this is a crude comparison, but I am still trying to wrap my head about it all, and maybe it is better if I truly don’t understand it.

  3. It’s weird (or maybe its just me) but I don’t find this topic as disturbing as some of the ones you’ve written about in the past. LOL Not saying that cannibalism appeals to me, but I didn’t find myself as grossed out. I think you’re right about how the topic isn’t as fringe as it used to be. Case in point: Hannibal, the show on NBC. It’s dark, twisted, intelligent and I love the show. Each week, Hannibal is cooking and it’s clear that he uses human meat for some of his dishes. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m a foodie… 😉

    • Can all cannibals be grouped together? I don’t think so. The thing that freaked me out the most about this research wasn’t so much the cannibalism, but the erotic aspect that people can have with it. There is a difference between surviving, versus getting off on playing with your dead food (excuse my bluntness). What must not be forgotten is that there are those who eat their victims while they are still alive (I assume that their experiencing the pain of their victim allows them to enjoy their kill even more). That being said, Hannibal on NBC (and I am a huge fan) takes parts of his victims as trophies and consumes them, as part of his plan and design. Of course, in Hannibal Rising, you have the whole eating of the brain thing, while the man is alive, but I think that was more of a power play than any type of eroticism. What I’m getting at is that all cannibals are not created equal. For some, when they talk about eating out, they really mean it.

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