Being Terrified Turns Me On

It’s Halloween and Smutburger is joining in the festivities with our last online event of the year: Being Terrified Turns Me On

Let’s enter the sphere where people seek catharsis in the realms of fear and sex. From Daddy & domme punishment to waking up in a cold sweat, we want to explore all forms of arousal and increased heart rate. Exorcism as eroticism. Pain as release. How do people turn danger into pleasure? What makes the body clench and freeze? When does the voice go hoarse? What do the screams mean?

As horror films play with increasing frequency this month, we want to explore why sex is ever-present in this genre. What are the through lines between terror and sex? Does the play of torture and control, cinematically, as well as in literature, function as therapeutic release in the lives of the marginalized? Where do kink and play fit into the real fears that people have living in this world?

Don’t run away. Join us for a provocative Smutburger to discuss all the things people simultaneously want and fear.

Panel discussion moderated by Courtney Toderash and Tamara Faith Berger.


Anna Fitzpatrick

Anna Fitzpatrick is the author of the upcoming novel Good Girl (Flying Books, 2022). She has written about sex for The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Rolling Stone, Vice, Harpers Bazaar, and Elle Magazine.

Carolyn Mauricette

Carolyn Mauricette is a film writer and Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic focused on horror, fantasy, and sci-fi genres. She founded, where she deep dives into race and representation of people of color in genre film or lack thereof. She’s also a film programmer for the Blood in the Snow Film Festival, and a contributing author to the first edition of the Women in Horror Annual, The Encyclopedia of Japanese Horror Films (Rowman & Littlefield), and the Encyclopedia of Racism in American Films (Rowman & Littlefield). You can find other pieces she’s written on diversity and women in sci-fi on, film reviews on, the Rue Morgue blog and print magazine, and You can also hear her on Reely Melanated, a podcast she co-hosts with Ashlee Blackwell, discussing films featuring Black creators and cast.