Trigger warning – sexualized violence (consensual and non)
I’ve been exploring my sexuality since I was a six year old girl, when I first stumbled upon my father’s Playboys. The first thing I did when I got the Internet was start looking up pornography – specifically hentai, since I loved Sailor Moon at the time. I also read a lot – fiction and non-fiction – that focused frequently on taboo topics – V.C. Andrews is filed under 12+ in my local book stores. I was fascinated by the sex trade, sexual slavery, rape, incest, and sexual deviance as a whole.
I’m a woman, I have a successful career. I’m an empathetic person, and a dedicated friend. I blog about humanist issues such as sexism and racism in the media and I am absolutely passionate about these issues. I’m a pacifist, I’ve never been in a physical altercation, I’ve never been physically abused in a relationship, and I’m well adjusted. I want for the world to be a better, more peaceful, more compassionate place. I’ve been in a monogamous relationship for over eleven years.
I also want the freedom to read erotica that pushes the boundaries of multiple taboos. I want the freedom to be aroused by things that are illegal outside of fiction.
Not only do I believe that all literature and art should go ungoverned in any way, but I want it available for more selfish reasons as well. I enjoy reading the darkest of taboos. Taboos that are nearly impossible to find available for purchase, even before Paypal’s crackdown earlier this year.
Some people have said that the reason for the ban on rape and incest and extreme bondage is that readers might get the ‘wrong idea’. The implication being that people who read about rape will be more likely to rape; people who read about incest will be more likely to commit incest; people who read barely legal stories will be more likely to have sex with barely legal women.
Women are, by and large, the readers and writers of erotica, however. Women are, by and large, the ones demanding these rape stories, these incest stories, these barely legal stories. Women are able to place themselves in the situation of the victim, of the young woman, of the seduced sister, or the seducing daughter. This seems to fly in the face of the reasoning of it being disallowed – the idea that we’re promoting crimes by writing and reading about it – since it’s women desiring these taboos.
So should that change anything? I don’t believe so, but I do believe it adds context to people’s desires and fantasies, and how they aren’t all wanting these things to be happening in real life. I believe that the vast majority of humans, male and female, have a firm separation of fantasy and reality, and that just because someone is turned on by a rape fiction doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be appalled by real life rape.
As a society we seem to believe that people are more defined and influenced by their sexual desires, that people are more willing to commit a crime if it sexually stimulates them. Books rarely get called out for violence and torture and murder, but erotica is being called out for consensual sex acts between two adults. Is this the message that we want to send? That it’s worse for an older man to have sex with a younger woman than for an older man to kidnap, torture, and eventually murder her? It’s assumed that we’re not getting stimulated in the same way, and that when sexually stimulated we’re more likely to want to try something in real life.
Still, that doesn’t explain why ‘torture porn’, as it’s dubbed, is more acceptable than taboo erotica. I have read some things in books masquerading as horror that was meant to disgust and titillate all at once, and to have those be acceptable and available while people who properly tag their work as erotica are punished is appalling.
I have a strong separation of fantasy and reality. I’d never want to be gang raped by a band of marauding bandits, for instance. But I want the freedom to read about it, if I so desire.
The only people possibly moved to commit violent crimes based on a book they read are mentally unstable in the first place – a book isn’t going to convince a well-adjusted individual to rape or be raped any more than it’s going to convince a well-adjusted individual to kill someone.
Other posts elaborate on similar topics:
Taboos in Erotica - When even vanilla sex is called taboo, it becomes harder to separate the things that are truly taboo and those that are just sexy.
Women, Erotica and Rape Fantasies - I’m one of the majority of women who get off on the fantasy of rape, even though erotica vendors won’t sell it.
Rape and Bodice Rippers - Rape is a popular theme in romance novels, as long as you don’t call it rape and in the end she likes it.