What is a "Vorarephile" ?
A vorarephile is someone who has intense interest in or is sexually aroused by one creature eating another. The eating involved can be something as "soft" as a frog swallowing a fly, or as "hard" as a lion tearing its prey apart with claws and teeth. Cannibalism, animals eating each other, amoebas engulfing other microscopic creatures... it's all there, depending on the individual's interest. A vorarephile's emotional reaction to their fantasies is almost always erotic, but can vary from gentle, joyful surrender, to the adrenaline rush of panic and pain. Vorarephiles may enjoy the thrill of the hunt as either predator or prey.
The word "vorarephile" was coined as a broad term for this fetish, and can take on many meanings depending on one's personal definition. There are a number of spelling variations for the word vorarephile. Since this is a new coinage, created by people who share this fetish, there's no official dictionary entry to go by. Voreaphile, voraphile, vorarephile, etc. are all used as spellings, but the term is unique enough that the spelling differences don't confuse anyone. The word was derived from the Latin root "vorare," which means to swallow or devour, and "-phile," the Greek suffix meaning "lover of." "Vore" is the commonly used abbreviation by vorarephiles (though occasionally lazy typists will use "vor" to avoid typing that final "e" :) ) Another term that is often used for vorarephile stuff on the net, but really only describes monsters eating women, is "gynephagia."
Because vorarephile is the most common spelling, I've used it throughout this site. The most correct term for this fetish is actually phagophilia (from the Greek "phagos", meaning eat), but the term "vore" has been used for some time now, and people are familiar with it. Phagophobia is a documented fear of being eaten or swallowed, and one would imagine that it is related in a way to the mechanics of the vore fetish.
Why do some people find this stuff sexually arousing? Good question, and one that can likely only be answered with years of therapy ;) Vorarephilia is a very strange fetish, but when one thinks about it, the triggers for this kind of fetish in one's life are fairly abundant. Some vorarephiles want to go back to the womb, quite literally - taking regular intercourse, and extrapolating it to involve going inside your partner completely. (This is usually called "genital vore," and can involve male or female genitals.) Many mothers play with their children when they are very young, teasing that they are so cute that they could just "eat them up," sometimes actually putting the baby's feet or hands in the mother's mouth. Many mammal species bite or suck during mating or the early stages of mothering, and we are mammals after all. Most likely, vorarephilia is just a very intense oral fixation (a la Freud), acted out in an elaborate fantasy life.
Vorarephiles, for the most part, have just that - an elaborate fantasy life, involving eating or being eaten by someone or something. Very few vorarephiles actually practice "Real Life" vore, where one consumes (presumably live) prey, such as goldfish, birds, etc. And it's not practical to be eaten alive by an animal or another person, so many vorarephiles will never actually live out their personal fantasies for "real." Because this is almost all fantasy, vorarephilia tends to be a very harmless fetish. With the availability of the internet, fantasy life has gotten much richer - virtual reality role-playing abounds in chat rooms, images and stories can be shared, and people from around the world can find each other to discuss their fantasies.
If you are interested, dear reader, please browse this site and follow the links provided to some of the other vorarephile sites on the 'net. Have an open mind, but vorarephilia isn't for everyone. Most people who stumble across vorarephile sites for the first time either pass it off as weird and move on, or are immediately engrossed with the idea that they're not the only person in the world with this bizarre fetish. :)