Death + the Law Death Ethics

Day 3: Necrophilia is a Guaranteed Attention Getter

Why we are so fascinated by people who want to have sex with dead bodies
John Troyer, The Conversation (July 03, 2014)

Three days into the 31 Days of Death and I’m already writing about necrophilia. It was going to happen, this much I knew, but I didn’t think so soon. So it goes.

Necrophilia is one of those topics that always grabs a person’s attention. Most recently, allegations of necrophilia appeared in the UK news and involved the deceased and publicly disgraced Jimmy Savile. An editor at The Conversation, a news and information platform that features articles by academics, asked if I could address why it is people find necrophilia simultaneously fascinating and disgusting.

That article is at the top of the page.

This request wasn’t entirely random. Indeed, I’m asked to discuss necrophilia at least 2-3 times a year and there’s a good reason for the requests. In 2008, I published one of the few peer reviewed academic journal articles on necrophilia and necrophilia laws. That article, Abuse of a Corpse: A Brief History and Re-theorization of Necrophilia Laws in the USA is available on the website.

If Meg, Kim and I have learned anything these past five years it’s that stories about dead bodies and sex, especially dead bodies being used for sex, will always attract attention on the interwebs. And then, if you’re lucky, people will start e-mailing you their tasteful nude photography taken in cemeteries. This really happened. I’m not making it up.

I have a hunch that before these 31 Days of Death are over I will end up discussing necrophilia at least once more. Maybe twice.

You should also check out Carla Valentine’s blog posts on necro topics.

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