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Jane: It is as if I have draped myself in a penis!

Despite the title, this is not referring to the tastes of certain members of the Furry Fandom (though they might enjoy it too). Simply put, there is something about snakes that inspires our worst fears and greatest dreams. Maybe it's their graceful way of moving, their cool, dispassionate gaze, the smoothness of their scales. Maybe it's the fangs, the way they flick their tongues, or the way they wrap tightly around you in a kind of slinky hug. Maybe it's the fact that they're inherently dangerous, even if they can't actually hurt you.

Or maybe it's the fact that they're shaped like Naughty Tentacles.

Whatever the reason, in any situation not emphasizing Reptiles Are Abhorrent, snakes are used as a symbol of Evil Is Sexy.

Depending on the Mythology you reference, the Lamia or Naga are pretty much the epitome of this. The Lamia is often described as a creature with the body of a snake, and the head, arms, and torso of a human, and are rarely depicted as anything other than incredibly attractive, if not naturally malevolent. The Naga also fits the former's description, but is otherwise depicted as having the entire body of a snake, with the head taking on a human-like face.[1] Often they are shape-shifters, capable of taking a human or serpentine form. The Western interpretation of Naga is where you get the sexy snakes.

See also Feather Boa Constrictor, for snakes worn draped over the shoulders, which often overlaps with this trope.

Examples of Snakes Are Sexy include:


Anime and Manga

  • In Naruto, Orochimaru has ridiculous amounts of symbolism with snakes, summons snakes, and turns into a giant snake made of smaller snakes. He's a Complete Monster who slithered off the Slippery Slope long before the story began, and yet he has a huge fan-following.
    • Also his students Kabuto and Anko.
  • Adiane in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is a scorpion-woman, but she also has some elements of this, mostly flicking her tongue out like a snake.
  • Not a real snake, but Naga the White Serpent from Slayers has a name that invokes this.
  • Boa Hancock from One Piece is drop-dead gorgeous. No man (except Luffy) can resist her beauty. She has the power to turn them to stone as a result of this and has a giant snake as her 24/7 personal attendant.
    • Her sisters, on the other hand, subvert this trope... hard.
  • Medusa Gorgon, one of the primary antagonists of Soul Eater, definitely plays this up when she's not actively distorting her features for the hell of it or riding around in a 5 year old girl's body as a method of cheating death.
  • In Wolfs Rain, Hub talks to a woman wearing revealing lingerie and a snake around her neck while investigating. He seemed less distracted by her sexiness and more distracted by his allergies to snakes.
  • In Felarya, Nagas are one of the main races. Disturbingly, they are very humanlike, tend to have a carefree disposition, and eat humans.
  • In Rosario Plus Vampire, Hitomi Ishigami and Kagome Ririko are both snake monsters.
  • Cobra and his snake Cuberious/Kinana from Fairy Tail.
  • Bleach has Sun-Sung.
  • Mizuki from Kamisama Kiss is a White-Haired Pretty Boy who can turn into a snake.
  • Benisato from Ninja Scroll is a seductress who uses snakes to kill her victims. She also has snake tattoos all over her body, which we know because she spends most of her scenes totally nude. And then there's her last ditch snake...
    • "That one is particularly deadly."
  • Echidna from Queen's Blade has a snake motif and her pet snake, Keltan is her underwear.


Comic Books


Fan Fiction


Film

  • Lair of the White Worm. The sexy Big Bad Lady Marsh (Amanda Donohoe) acts in a snakelike manner (including dancing and swaying to music), can change into a partially snake-like form and has a giant snake as her deity.
  • Thulsa Doom, the Big Bad from the Conan the Barbarian movie. He turns into a snake during the orgy, (one assumes for some fun).
  • In the film of Cole Porter's Musical Can-Can, in the "Adam and Eve" ballet, the Snake in the Garden of Eden is played as a very sexy woman.
  • Salma Hayek's snake dance in From Dusk Til Dawn.
  • Zhora in Blade Runner is working as an exotic dancer using a robot snake as a prop.
  • Medusa from Clash of the Titans remake is half-woman, half-snake, all sexy.
  • Who can forget Viper from Kung Fu Panda? And voiced by Lucy Liu no less!
  • Green Snake is about two shapeshifting snakes who, in human form, look like beautiful maidens. One of them is played by Maggie Cheung.


Literature

  • In the Chronicles of Narnia novel The Silver Chair, the Emerald Witch transforms into a poisonous serpent.
  • In Making Money Moist thinks that his girlfriend can sashay in a way that could put snakes to shame.
  • Salmissra, Queen of the Snake People in the Belgariad.
  • Crowley. Oh my God, Crowley.
  • A variation in the Xanth novels is the Python of Mount Parnassus, an immense snake capable of swallowing live humans whole (with ease), who also has the ability to control any woman through the power of sexiness... which makes no sense, but hey, it's Xanth.
  • Also from Piers Anthony, one minor character in the Incarnations of Immortality series is a dancer named Pythia, whose act involves dancing suggestively with a snake before letting it swallow her whole (she makes sure to use an ointment that'll keep her from being digested or suffocated). Yes, it's most certainly played for Fetish Fuel.
  • A Merritt's novel The Face in the Abyss has Ananda the Snake Mother, a beautiful silver-haired naga with pearly, heart-shaped scales.


Live Action TV


Music

  • Most obviously, explicitly Freudian example ever: Here Comes The Snake by Cherry Poppin' Daddies.

 "Here comes the snake and he circles your leg."

"He's come to play and make your body parts shake."

  • The music video Engel by Rammstein has a dancer who uses a snake as a prop.
  • Monster Magnet has a song called Snake Dance on one of their earlier albums, Spine of God.


Mythology

  • The Snake in the Chinese zodiac is associated with sexuality, to the point where calling a woman 'a snake' in Japan is a compliment.
  • Medusa, aside from the snake hair, is usually depicted rather sexually.


Tabletop Games

  • In Dungeons and Dragons has both Nagas (snake with a human head), Mariliths[2] (human head and torso, snake tail, and six arms), and Yuan-ti.


Video Games


Web Comics

  • Kwaii from Drowtales.
  • Jane Doe from Nobody Scores understands this trope.
  • Kin from Goblins falls into this. She's a yuan-ti, so she looks human from the waist up, but has a snake tail. In her early appearances, she's essentially wearing a bikini top, which is revealed to be a case of Go-Go Enslavement, and she quickly changes into something more modest when the opportunity arises.


Other


Real Life

  • Some Belly Dancers use snakes as props during their shows. There's one pictured above for example.
    • Though they should be careful at that, or else the trope would be quite squickilly subverted. What do you think happens to somebody who gets swinged around too much? Exactly, they get sick.
  • The undulating motion of a snake itself can be rather sexy--think of all those dances where women basically do the same thing (but standing).

Notes

  1. Modern culture tends to generalize both creatures as being the same thing. The Lamia originated from Greek mythology, and the Naga mainly from Hindu. Depending on which mythology you follow specifically, the naga can be depicted as either type... It's complicated.
  2. one of which is the page image for Snake People
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