I was going about my morning routine, just another normal day, when lo, the world’s most cursed tweet blessed my timeline from the @NetflixUK account. Behold.
No, you're not hallucinating. SEXY BEASTS is a new dating show that uses cutting edge prosthetics to put true blind-date chemistry to the test. On Netflix, 21 July. pic.twitter.com/Puvz3wcD7p
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) June 23, 2021
Apparently, this is sort of like The Masked Singer meets Love Is Blind (another Netflix reality dating show). Singles will go on three dates with potential love interests, all of whom are in extensive prosthetic makeup to look like an assortment of animals, including pandas, what looks to be an armadillo, rhinos, birds, and dolphins. After all three dates, the single in question will have to choose one of the three to continue seeing. Only then will that person’s human form be revealed. It’ll be hosted by Catastrophe star Rob Delaney and is based on a British series originally produced by Lion TV.
Netflix has been going all-in on reality dating shows. Not only is a second season of Too Hot to Handle dropping today, but according to Variety, beginning July 21, the first six episodes of whatever this is will also be released globally. Also, it’s already got an order for a second season.
After watching the trailer a few times, there was only one conclusion: Netflix ran an SEO search and decided to monetise furry culture.
Out of curiosity, I asked my SEO whiz husband to verify my hypothesis and run a query using Semrush, a professional SEO analytics tool. Lo, here are the results.
The search term “furry” gets 450,000 searches per month — just in the U.S. alone. Globally, my husband tells me, it’s 1.2 million. This is, as Semrush says, a very hard keyword to rank for due to its “high competitive volume.” Also extremely popular are the terms “furry porn,” “furry hentai,” “furry porn comics”, “gay furry porn” and “furry sex.” Altogether, that generates 1,258,500 monthly searches in the U.S. If you add the term “furry suit”, that brings it up to an additional 90,500 to 1,349,000 searches.
America is horny for furry content. However, it wouldn’t be accurate to say this is furry culture. At best, it is furry adjacent. No, in further researching this topic, I’ve been informed that this show is closer to some PG-rated monster kink as the people are more Ron Pearlman as Beast in the ‘80s TV show Beauty and the Beast than Disney’s Robin Hood.
What is monster kink? In a nutshell, it’s being turned on by mythical creatures and many with monster kinks enjoy monster porn, and monster porn is exactly what you think it is. According to Scientific American, the category has flourished in the internet era. It includes creatures ranging from werewolves to mermen and everything in between. In 2014, it was popular and lucrative enough that Amazon cracked down on self-published cryptozoological smut. As it turns out, monster kink is also an easier keyword to own. It only has a volume of 720 searches in the U.S., and 810 worldwide — but crucially only has a keyword difficulty of 19%. Netflix is primed and ready to dominate.
There is a psychological basis for it, with Psychology Today positing it involves “elements of a fantasy of female submission to a hyper-masculine creature along with a willingness to explore varied and unusual erotic experiences, including ones that could not be enacted in real life.” The category is Oscar-winning, as proven by Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Someone even made a dildo of the fish man’s dick from the del Toro film.)
Look, we don’t kink shame. Although this is definitely not Netflix’s primary intent, good on them for bringing monster kink into the mainstream.