Steampunk romance ventures into the steamy side of relationships as a way to subvert Victorian-era attitudes toward sex, but sometimes the stories play with erotica just for fun! As long as there’s been steampunk, there’s been erotic steampunk. Erotic steampunk romance places more focus on the emotional connection between the main characters.
In general, steampunk romance tends to include spicy love scenes. Teasing out the exact heat level can be a challenge. Some books are steampunk romance with an erotic heat level. Others fall squarely into the erotic romance category, wherein the characters’ sexual journeys are more front and center.
Erotic steampunk romance takes the traditional steampunk romance characters and eroticizes them in a way that’s only hinted at in non-erotic offerings. For example, Nathalie Gray’s Mechanical Rose features an inventor hero—talk about traditional!—and pairs him with a heroine spy. The love scenes in that story are positively scorching. We’ve always known inventors have passion that runs hot, but Mechanical Rose spells that out in the clearest way possible!
Erotic steampunk romance makes creative use of gadgets. Steam and clockwork powered sex toys are a popular way for characters to titillate themselves as well as each other. KT Grant’s Brass Balls and Hysteria, for example, includes a steam-powered vibrator that pays homage to the “Manipulator,” a real nineteenth century invention. Nancy Clacht’s A Certain Pressure in the Pipes features a mechanical sex aid that runs on clockwork power and is designed to, you know, unblock those pipes!
Sometimes stories include multi-purpose gadgets. They’re used for functional purposes but also as a sex toy/object of sexual gratification. Two examples of this approach can be found in Skies of Fire by Zoe Archer and Nights of Steel by Nico Rosso. On one level the love scenes in these two books are pure kink, but they can also be interpreted as validating a character who is different in some way. The heroes in both stories are steampunk cyborgs, and so the heroines are taking the “Other” into themselves in the most intimate way possible.
As glorious as steampunk gadgets are, there’s a danger of reducing them to the sex toy of the week. Gadgets can be more than simply toys—they can also be tools of social commentary. When erotic steampunk romances stimulate our hearts and minds as well as our bodies, everybody wins!
For your reading pleasure, here’s a short list of erotic steampunk romance titles:
Infernal Devices – Abigail Barnette
The Iron Heart – Leslie Dicken
Geared For Pleasure – Rachel Grace
Brass Balls and Hysteria (Dreamspell Erotica, Vol. 1) – K.T. Grant
Mechanical Rose – Nathalie Gray
The Watchmaker’s Lady – Heather Massey (in the interest of full disclosure, that’s me!)
Far Too Human (m/m) – Anitra Lynn McLeod
A Certain Pressure in the Pipes (m/m) – Clancy Nacht
Clockworks and Corsets – Regina Riley
Sky Rat (m/m) – Angelia Sparrow
Steamlust – erotic steampunk romance anthology from Cleis Press; Kristina Wright, Editor
If you’d like to give a shout out to others you’ve enjoyed, hit me up in the comment section!
Leave a comment for this post and you’ll be entered for a chance to win one of the following ebooks:
Steamlust – Kristina Wright, Editor (ePUb or .mobi)
The Blacksmith’s Lover – Heather Massey (ePub, PDF, or .mobi)
And there’s more! Everyone who leaves a comment at any of the stops on The Great Steampunk Romance Airship Tour will be entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize:
$100 e-gift card (winner’s choice Amazon or B&N)
75$ e-gift certificate to Clockwork Couture
Please include your email address. The deadline to enter all of the giveaways will be midnight PST on February 14. On Friday, February 15, check back here to see if you’ve won an ebook prize.
The grand prize winner will be announced on February 15 at The Galaxy Express.
About the author
Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express. She’s also an author in the subgenre. To learn more about her published work, visit heathermassey.com.
The West just got a whole lot wilder.
A woman on a mission… Scientific achievement isn’t enough for Violet Whitcomb. Life working alongside her renowned scientist father is filled with intellectual challenges, but what she truly craves is love and adventure. She’s resigned to a fate of academic pursuits–until a fateful trip across the American frontier changes everything. A rogue inventor known as the Iron Scorpion kidnaps Violet’s father and she alone is left to plan his rescue.
A man with a secret… Logan McCoy knows firsthand going up against the Iron Scorpion is suicide, but he can’t let Violet waltz into the villain’s lair alone. She may be a stranger, but she’s also the most compelling woman he’s ever known.
A perilous quest… Their attraction is undeniable, but their alliance turns contentious when Violet insists on including a third partner on their mission: her father’s latest invention and the world’s most advanced automaton, Arthur. The reason for Logan’s resistance isn’t clear until Violet comes face-to-face with the Iron Scorpion’s diabolical devices, and by then, it’s far too late.
P.S. Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts has a “sweet” heat level.