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Taboos: Why Do We Love to Challenge Them? Looking at Incest

by Beth Divine 28 Aug 2018

One of the more common categories in porn would be, if we were brutally honest, ‘incest’. When porn users were polled as to their favourite categories, one search term that appeared on both male and female users’ lists was akin to ‘family’ – it might be ‘stepfather/ stepdaughter’ or ‘stepmother/ stepson’ or any other male-female familial connection. Why are these categories so popular?

One thing to note is that the prefix ‘step’ is very important. It moves the liaison from the downright disgusting and immoral as well as illegal to the merely illegal – a statutory crime rather than an abomination against nature as actual biological incest would be.

[Side note: sexual relationships with legal family members that one is not biologically related to is illegal because the law, in general, does not distinguish between biological relatives and those ‘in-law’, by marriage and so on. Therefore, while a frisky romp with a new wife’s daughter or son may not be morally or physically wrong (children born to incestuous relationships can have health problems and exacerbated genetic mutations) it is treated, in the eyes of the law, in exactly the same way as a case of biological incest would be.]

So, we have porn portraying relationships between non-biological family members to take away the actual disgust we’d feel at biological incest, because merely legal or statutory incest is titillating to viewers. Much of porn is rooted in fantasy – the drop-dead gorgeous girl with the massive tits dropping to her knees and giving the nerdy boy next door the blow job of his dreams, and incest porn is no different. Much of the thrill comes from knowing simultaneously that it is a) wrong and b) not terribly, terribly wrong! Teen porn – featuring legal but barely porn stars – can be compared to this: almost illegal, but actually okay really. Finding the thrill in these categories relies on the producer and director finding the balance between the naughtiness and the acceptability. And the prefix ‘step’ finds that balance nicely.

The main attraction of this type of porn is that it invariably involves a young ingenue – male or female – being ‘shown the ropes’ sexually by an older, much more experienced person, who has a maternal or paternal tenderness for them. This roots the encounter in more intimacy than is usually seen in the quite flimsy plotlines of most porn, and can give greater intensity to the feigned relationship as the couple (or more) get their groove on and their rocks off…