My Thoughts on the Topic of Taboos

[4 minute read]

 

My thoughts on the topic of Taboos in terms of erotic themed fiction were stirred up by a talk at a conference I attended in 2018 and later by the F4TF prompt #110. I have a few thoughts on what is a wide and complicated topic. But I must star by warning that tough topics get mentioned #non-consent #rape #depression #suicide – please only read on if you feel comfortable with this.

Some taboos have changed over the centuries while others remain as taboo/ shocking / shunned by society as they ever were.

 

Constant Taboos:

 

Murder (Patricide/Matricide)

Incest (can vary within cultures)

Bestiality

Rape

Cannibalism

 

Those which have changed (I’d suggest):

 

Same sex relationships / marriage

Sex with underage people (perception of what consititues underage has adjusted over centuries)

Adultery (acceptance of polyamory)

Transgenderism

Rape within a marriage

Using surgery to change gender

 

Taboos recently arriving on our radar:

Sharing another’s intimate pictures on social media without consent (revenge porn)

Taking intimate pictures without permission (up-skirting)

Refusing to accept the gender which a person chooses to present

Sexual congress where there is an imbalance of power (e.g. Clinton & Monica Lewinsky)

 

What is taboo for one person may not be taboo for another. This is true if cultures do not align. Another take on the use of the term is if we take it to mean a person’s hard limit. What some people term taboo, others may term a kink or fetish.

 

Examples of taboos now considered kink:


Blood play (including knife play and needles)

Sexual humiliation

Exhibitionism / voyeurism

Sadism / masochism (including medical play and corporal punishment)


Some people enjoy reading fiction involving a taboo, yet they would be horrified to witness or be involved in the act in real life. For instance incest and rape scenarios are common examples of erotic fiction topics which are popular.


One taboo which has recently come into mainstream consciousness is:

Males being sexually abused/ raped by females 

It became more widely reported during the #metoo exposes, and I think it’s a topic which needs airing.  May wrote a fictionalised piece on the subject, and melody has written about male rape from her PoV.

 

I heard shocking accounts of gay men who were traumatised from being groped by predatory women who refused to believe their advances were unwanted. Instances where the women believed themselves so irresistible they tried to take what the men were unwilling to give.

 

If a person is touched inappropriately, if they haven’t encouraged or given consent to the approaches, this is molestation. What gets less air time are conversations about males (or penis bearing bodies) enduring unwanted advances.

Primitive sexual responses may be triggered (the penis may get ‘hard’) but this does not equate to that person’s consent or enthusiasm. It does, however, increase that person’s feelings of guilt about the incident. Male shame and depression or suicide over such events is high, most likely commingled with the likelihood that they will not talk about it or confide in anyone.

 

The same rules of consent regarding inappropriate touching and sexual advances apply to all genders, but still society is less used to a woman being or acting in a predatory manner.

I’m (unhappily) reminded of a crude and ill-informed remark a male colleague made within my hearing.

“A guy being raped by a woman?  There’s no such thing!”


Can happen * Does happen * Is traumatic* (perhaps all the more distressing because it is considered taboo)*

This post is also submitted for #WickedWednesday meme. Click the link to see who else is participating.

 

24 thoughts on “My Thoughts on the Topic of Taboos”

  1. Probably because I wrote about it in the post you kindly linked to, it didn’t occur to me to write about it under the Taboo prompt. I’m very glad that you have written about this here.

    “There’s no such thing” is a very common response when first hearing about this topic, from both males and females, usually accompanied by a laugh. The reality of experience is so very different, so thank you for keeping it in the consciousness.

    melody xx

  2. I too did not think to include it in my Taboo post. I am so glad you have written this – I love the way you have set this out as well – discussing changing taboos etc. Thank you for linking my post – I think it is an important topic and I do know a guy it happened to, indeed my fictionalized account is about his experience xx

  3. Wow that’s very thought provoking indeed. It makes you wonder how many other things are biased according to gender, as to how they are seen when they are already taboo. You actually pose the question as to what is seen as acceptable for one gender but taboo for the other.

    1. Thank you – I am glad my post has struck a chord and got people thinking. This taboo can’t be brushed under the carpet and needs to be treated with the same gravity regardless of gender. This is also true regarding the understanding and support which the victims require/ deserve.

  4. Curiously, you didn’t mention masturbation as a taboo and there is a wealth of religious and pseudo-medical denunciations of “self abuse” , many of which sound funny now but which have stunted the psychosexual development of so many pole up to the present day. We need to fight taboos, to educate, to help people experience the joy and beauty that can be found in ALL nonsensical sex.

    I agree that taboos are fluid but we should never forget the high price paid by many people in overcoming them. x

    1. Thanks for reminding me of that Eve – a big omission for sure. I can only say (in my defence) I have so little shame about masturbating that it didn’t even occur to me – but yep a big old taboo for so many years, and still treated as a bit shady by some. I am very grateful you added this comment. x

    1. Ha – that was a funny typo! I think you also meant ‘people’ (not pole). You were obviously ranty-typing! [blows kiss]

  5. “Some people enjoy reading fiction involving a taboo, yet they would be horrified to witness or be involved in the act in real life” — I fall into this camp for sure. Some of my favorite things to read about are things I’d NEVER want to experience in real life.

    1. Absolutely true Kayla, I am the same. I like to read some dark things, they fuel my fantasies but in no way would I act on them.

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