[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.
Incest (can vary within cultures)
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)
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)
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.