Chester 5000 XYV… just your everyday erotic, robotic, Victorian romance…
By Jess Fink
“1885: an age of industrial revolution and sexual frustration. Pricilla is a woman with needs, and her inventor husband Robert is a little too busy with his experiments to keep her fully satisfied. Science to the rescue! With a few gears and springs, the proper appendages, a little lubrication, and a lot of love, Chester 5000 is born! He’s the perfect tool for the job… but what if Chester is more than just a machine? What are the consequences of trying to engineer love?”
“Chester 5000: Because sometimes love comes with detachable body parts.”
That was Top Shelf’s tag line for this little piece of robo-erotica, and although it delivers both the plot and the bawdyness of Chester 5000 XYV well enough, it doesn’t deliver the sweetness, the joyous whimsy, the romance, the empowering sexuality of Chester 5000. This isn’t porn, even though the sex scenes are hardcore stuff, this is erotica…. after all, erotica is simply better done pornography, with a story that actually matters.
So Jess Fink’s Chester 5000 XYZ; a lush, intricate, cyberpunk-y love story, definitely falls under the heading of erotica. With no speech, only a few sound effects, and the black and white artwork – it also evokes an erotic world of the silent movies, lush, luxurious stuff, where the sex is never leery, never lascivious but is very real, very believable – yes, even with a robot. Trust me.
And it’s very female friendly erotica at that – gorgeously drawn, a love story, a relationship story, a story of female sexuality, of a woman making her own choices, doing without the bad relationship she no longer wants and heading out on her own with nothing but a giant, asexual vibrator.
Chester 5000 XYV is the name of the robot given to Priscilla by her ohh too busy, ohh too easily sated husband Robert. Initially repulsed, her physical needs are simply too strong, and Chester is very much the gentle-robot, suave, well-dressed, attentive, but even when she does falls into the robot’s expert caresses, it takes more rejection to convince Pricilla to consumate the new relationship – and that needs a new attachment for her metal plaything.
Off on the strangest of affairs, Chester and Pricilla fall in love, with the robot the most attentive of suitors. Too attentive for Robert, who packs Chester off elsewhere. The course of true love, even in a steamy robo-love-story, rarely runs smooth.
As the sweat pours, as the action happens, it’s the moments between that make this worth reading (yes, reading). There’s a lovely little story here that delights amongst the hardcore stuff. As we see robot and woman fall in love, as we see husband realise his terrible mistake…. and we get to see some of what makes Chester so much fun – the lightness, the frivolity beyond the hard sex, the subtlety of facial expression, the delicate body language that does so much…
And Fink carries all this subtlety through into the sex scenes as well, with her art shifting, as you get the briefest of glimpses above – the sex scenes become almost organic, her panels and artwork so full of sensual curves, edges blur, overlap, twist deliciously round, mimicing the lusty abandon all throughout. It’s a curvaceous work of art, something rarely seen. These sweaty, orgasmic moments are realistic, joyous and satisfyingly fun for all involved, participant and reader alike.
Fink serialised the Chester 5000 XYV story online as a webcomic, but this Top Shelf edition, a lush black and white mini hardcover, is an object of beauty in itself. Not for everyone, and certainly, absolutely adults only, but it’s mix of beautifully drawn whimsy, a genuinely interesting romantic storyline balancing out the realistic sex is very well done.