Well, this is incredibly embarrassing, but I’m here to talk about a smut game.
It’s entirely bizarre to even watch those words appear on a screen, by my own hands. I never actively seek sex-based literature or fiction out, and while I’m okay with it appearing, so often movie or television sex scenes are tasteless, pointless, or a vaguely gross combination of both, and book ones all too often throw around descriptions like “groin swollen with want” (which is not even a healthy-sounding combination of words, let alone an arousing one).
And this isn’t even to start to speak of sex scenes and sex-based games, which is an awkward and terrible behemoth unto itself, which I (fortunately) haven’t had much to do with, out of both my inability to stay focussed on interactive media and the whole ‘run in the opposite direction (or at least, install every censor patch known to man) when smut is brought into the mix’ thing. Yet, here I am, talking about a smut game, nay, even recommending one. What happened? Sugarscript’s Cute Demon Crashers happened.
An indie visual novel originally produced (and later finished) for the VN equivalent of NaNoWriMo, Cute Demon Crashers is “silly little short game that gives a lazy virgin college student a fun and safe space to explore her first sexual experience with a partner of her choice, if she so desires.” Basically, lonesome Claire (whose name can be changed to suit the player, for that extra level of immersion) is moping at home over Spring Break, left in the lurch by her family and friends, who are sending her constant texts about what great fun they’re having on holiday with their significant others, because they’re so considerate. If only Claire could have a fling of her own, just for the fun, the experience, the intimacy…
Wouldn’t you know it, her loneliness and longing is sensed by a quartet of roaming incubi (and one succubus) who then materialise in Claire’s room. Here your first option appears: you can either let these scantily-clad, horned-and-tailed anime-esque pretty boys (and girl) explain themselves, or call the cops. Calling the police ends the game, and is effectively hilariously pointless, but it sets a standard: if you’re sick of love demon shenanigans, you can opt out at any point. Even in the sexy bits! But we’ll get to that in a minute.
Since their portal won’t close for a few days, and the house is empty anyway, Claire lets the demons lodge in her home, and if she’d like to, she can choose one to do the frick-frack with before they leave. So begins a ridiculously fluffy and cute plotless plot tree where your heroine can interact with the demons as she pleases, and if she’d like to, pick one to sleep with when the option arises. There’s Kael, who dons a Kiss the Cook apron and pedantically does your laundry; Akki, as much of a virgin as the game’s heroine, who moves into the living room to play Mario Kart; Orias, an elegant but slightly awkward intelligent sort who enjoys fine tea and tying people up (if they’re into that); and Mirari, sweet, generous, playful, and the source of many a bisexual crisis (including Claire’s, if she’d like to explore that).
So… four supernatural creatures designed to be ridiculously attractive crash into your home with literally no purpose but to do your chores, be adorable, and offer you sexual pleasure. It sounds like the most contrived, self-indulgent recipe for sexy disaster, but somehow never feels at all skeevy or objectified. Even the hunky love demons aren’t overly sexualised (it doesn’t even invoke the stupidity of the ‘bi-curious hot girl-on-girl experience’ cliché in Mirari’s scene, not to my judgement anyway), in fact the whole business of sex (if you should choose it) is treated with remarkable maturity, tenderness and casualness. It’s special, but it’s not too big a deal: just something two mutually agreed parties partake in for the benefit of each other. No matter who you pick, you end up in a gentle, tasteful erotic scene that has a heavy focus on communication and trust, and ends, without fault, in cuddling.
And you can end it whenever you want! As well as having many, many options throughout the scene, and the demons themselves constantly asking if you’re okay with this or that and making sure you’re comfortable and happy and fully understand what’s going on, there’s a big pink STOP button in the corner the entire time. You can opt out whenever you please, and there’s no guilt or blame or awkwardness should you take that option. You can even censor the “naughty bits” if you want so you can enjoy the prose (which is really rather tasteful and nicely written, and there’s certainly not a “desirous swollen groin” in sight) without having to look at the genitalia involved, if you don’t want to.
The game is expressedly all about consent, which is why I keep highlighting if you should choose it and its variations. Often, media kind of assumes that you do choose it, because like, who wouldn’t want this right?? A face full of smut? Awesome! Not only does this kind of attitude erase asexuality from the face of the planet, it also enforces a certain image of what sex and the desire for sex should be like. It can make fictional media an unsafe place for many people, whether simply because the portrayal is uncomfortable or because it goes full Game of Thrones and reduces something that should be a safe, fun experience to something horrible, shocking and degrading to boost ratings.
Well, Sugarscript isn’t working for HBO, so they serve no master except themselves, and simply want to give the player a positive, enjoyable time. Because you know what, sex—and thus smut, to reflect this—should be fun, or what’s the damned point? Cute Demon Crashers makes sure to be a giggle-inducing, sweet, safe virtual world to explore Claire’s (and the player’s, depending on your level of self-insertion) sexual desires, or lack thereof. Again, you can choose anyone or no one. You can hit ‘stop’ and just get a massage, no problems there. The game never makes you feel bad about wanting more or not wanting more.
It’s a positive, cute (and yes, alright, sexy) little game that I found myself unexpectedly endeared to. So when you’re next sick of cringing your way through uncomfortable fan service and being bombarded with unwanted, awkward sexual detail in TV, books and games… and are instead seeking a funny, self-controlled, nicely written fling with a caring and nurturing incubus/succubus, do give Cute Demon Crashers a try.
P.S. Kael is my favourite.