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Taboo... by Lily Harlem

As an author I’m familiar with the taboo list publishers flash up on their websites. There's just some things that don’t yank their chains and they don’t and won’t go there. Of course it's not just the publishers who don’t want this content, their distributors don’t either! It all makes for pretty good reasons not to write the stuff.

Haven't seen a taboo list? Here is an example taken from the Total-E-Bound submission page.

NO paedophilia - Don't even dare go there!
NO rape as titillation - We accept that it may sometimes be used as part of a plotline, especially supporting character development, but definitely not for the use of getting your rocks off!
NO bodily functions - i.e. watersports, toilet play - eeeew!
NO necrophilia - The dead definitely don't do it for us - of course, we don't count the bloodsucking undead variety!
NO bestiality - This does not apply to shape-shifters and might not apply to certain breeds from a sci-fi perspective.

I should point out that I'm happy to avoid the subjects on this list and although That Filthy Book pushes the boundaries of the second taboo subject (It does come with a reader warning) I steer clear. 

However today I’m going to pick on one of these subjects to chat about - watersports. 

I’m not into it, never tried it, can’t imagine I ever will but, recently I was playing around with a manuscript and it came very near to being part of a scene. It was a dirty degrading scene about a girl living out a slut fantasy. She was having a great time being used and abused and having orgasm after orgasm, but when she was about to be pee’d on it was just a step too far. She called a halt to the whole thing with her safeword – which is of course what they are for.

It left me thinking though, what if instead of it being a dirty scene, the watersport was part of the fun. Clearly some people enjoy it otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about it. I’m an author, I make stuff up all the time, fiction is my world as is empathizing and figuring out the emotions of my characters. So what is it that gets people off about peeing on each other?

There is clearly much more involved than the physical act of urinating. There must be so much tension and anticipation in the build up. Perhaps it could be a treat or reward for a Dom or sub. The span of plot lines are wide. The pee-scene could be humiliating and degrading or a gratefully received anniversary surprise. Depending on the context and the characters the watery moment could be great fun or dark and edgy. It gets right to the very core of a relationship, playing with psychological, emotional and of course physical aspects.

I’m not saying I’m about to add a golden shower scene into every book I write, and it's true you have to delve deep to find watersport fiction out there. But as a writer I can’t help the way my mind wanders into these complex corners of human behavior and ponders the 'what-if's' for a little while.

Do share your thoughts on any of the taboo subjects, I’d love to hear them.

Lily x


Barbara Elsborg said...

I'll read almost anything but doesn't mean to say I'd pick up a book knowing it went into territory that made me feel uncomfortable. I don't get watersports,fisting etc though each to his own, and I don't want to read about it but if it occurred in a book I wouldn't scream in horror and throw the book aside. I read a book with fisting in it and actually the story was well written. I think those taboo areas are chosen with some thought by publishers. To straying too far into those areas goes too far into very kinky fetish for me.

Lily Harlem said...

Thanks for commenting Barbara. I agree I wouldn't pick up a book that would make me uncomfortable - and there are whole genres I steer clear of because of this - but if I came across an edgy scene in an erotic romance or erotica novel, as long as it's well written and not gratuitous then I can cope.