luis royo The Presentation IV
Lena Snow
5 min

Pain and Satisfaction in Luis Royo’s Prohibited Series

5 min

It is without doubt that Luis Royo is most famous for his sexy female warriors and fantasy femmes he has been presenting to fans and comic lovers all over the world. In several books like Women, Subversive Beauty, the Malefic series and more, we get a diverse insight of his universe. Having discussed his sexual depiction of dripping monster sex in his Prohibited books, we will have a closer look at other themes within this series.

luis royo Dream in year 2000 and 2000 dreams

Fig. 1: Dream in year 2000 and 2000 dreams, 1999

Thematic Differences

The first prohibited book compared to two and three, seems almost harmless. It was intended to introduce the viewer gently into his more erotic world of fantasy. We see his females mostly with a rather soft and tender facial expression which changes later in book two and three when they become lustier. Also, in his fist book, he doesn’t show monster sex yet, but sex with strong, muscular, young men. It also says that the fantasies could be possibly realistic, whereas in volume two and three acts are presented that “can only be found in the mind, and that only with great difficulties can travel beyond the waist.” This implies that they are physically impossible and can not be projected into the real world anymore. In the third book Royo writes that he focuses more on the setting and small details rather than the main action.

The Burial luis royo

Fig. 2: The Burial, 2002

luis royo The House of the Snake

Fig. 3: The House of the Snake, 2002

luis royo The Presentation I

Fig. 4: The Presentation I, 2003

 luis royo  The Presentation II

Fig. 5: The Presentation II, 2003

luis royo The Presentation III

Fig. 6: The Presentation III, 2003

 luis royo The Presentation IV

Fig. 7: The Presentation IV, 2003

luis royo  From the Prohibited Book 1

Fig.8:  From the Prohibited Book 1

luis royo  From the Prohibited Book 1 luis royo

Fig. 9: From the Prohibited Book 1

Female Sensitivity

Female lust is in the center of his work, sometimes in a sensual, sensitively composed manner, sometimes more direct and raw. In some scenes we even find some loneliness and melancholy and a strong facial expression of longing and even the need for soft touch and not rough sex. When Royo’s woman clings to a black gown, or when she seems to be waiting for someone with a sad expression in her eyes in a dystopian, barren world, the artist leads the viewer deeper into the emotional world of his females. The spectator might even wonder who the gown belonged to and if it might be a person she lost in this horrible world. We also ask ourselves if these chained, trapped, and imprisoned beauties will ever be free, which evokes compassion for the characters.

 luis royo erotic art

Fig. 10: From the Prohibited 1 book

 luis royo pin up

Fig. 11: Form the prohibited 1 book

luis royo The Wait IV

Fig. 12: The Wait IV, 2000

luis royo Conscience’s Basement

Fig. 13: Conscience’s Basement, 2000

luis royo Surprise

Fig. 14: Surprise, 2000

luis royo Fallen Angel, Avalanche

Fig. 15: Fallen Angel, Avalanche, 2000

Fallen Angel, Avalanche by Luis Royo

Fig. 16: Fallen Angel, Avalanche, 2000

Lust As Pain

Lust is also pain and the author emphasizes that not only by the way he presents his females, but also explains to the reader: “We wait, wishing for the instant to come that never will. It is a state of self-torture even though there are visual scenes and promising situations. … Our feelings, our longings, become heavy, rusted pieces of iron.” Therefore, his females in dark places, like abandoned-looking jails from another world or carrying heavy metal spikes on their bodies are also a metaphor for the torture of unfulfilled sexual desires. Absence becomes a central element and emphasizes deprivation and mental pain that becomes physical one. “Sex is the torture of nothingness”, as Royo comments.

In Premium more on Royo's exploration of pain and satisfaction including enticing examples, the "disguise" metaphor in Prohibited Book 3, and 51 mesmerizing scenes.

Click HERE for 27 erotic drawings, sketches and watercolors by Frank Frazetta

Sources: Prohibited 2, Prohibited 3 & Prohibited Sketchbook, Luis Royo, published by Heavy Metal, NY;