In tracing the ways that eroticism and violence are mapped onto bodies of and relationships with water, this essay offers “hydro-eroticism” to consider an ecofeminist and queer ecological reading of water. Hydro-eroticism signifies two interventions: first, how aqueous locations become sites of queer community and punishment while registering associations with the fluid female body, and second, how human and nonhuman intimacy is enabled by aqueous proximity. The essay focuses on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, based loosely on Margaret Atwood’s novel, and The Shape of Water. Whereas in The Handmaid’s Tale the river is configured doubly as a site of bodily violation wherein violence against queer characters is palpable but also as a space that informs nostalgic reunion for queer female community, in The Shape of Water hydro-eroticism speaks to the fraught and layered entanglements of human female and nonhuman male creature in concert with queer kinship.

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