Sexuality is a particularly interesting topic within Steampunk when you consider the particular period that inspires the subculture. The Victorians made a good show of being completely repulsed at the notion of sex and sexuality, but were truly obsessed with the notion. While on the one hand, tables would be covered lest they show their ‘legs’, pornography was on the rise and was deemed so much of a threat to society that the world’s first law criminalizing pornography was the United Kingdom Obscene Publications Act 1857 enacted at the urging of the Society for Suppression of Vice. For more on the history of pornography, click here to view the Wikipedia article (possibly NSFW).
Steampunk today does not have such terrible restrictions on human sexuality as did the Victorians. People of all gender identities are welcome within Steampunk, and as such, we as a subculture have a rather accepting notion of what is acceptable in the bedroom.
In the not too distant past, I blogged about a Steampunk erotica webcomic and graphic novel entitled Chester 5,000 XYV, which involves the physical relationship between a woman and the robot her husband built for her. In a similar vein, Carnal Machines, edited by D. L. King, is a collection of erotic Steampunk short stories.
And while I haven’t read this collection, reviews for the work seem largely positive. So if you’re looking for something to help turn up the heat, Carnal Machines might just be the perfect book for you to pick up and peruse.