One of the reasons I write… and write about taboo topics in particular… is I have a fascination with why people do some of the things they do. (Sometimes the “why” doesn’t even matter.. The fact that they just do them is often reason enough.) In particular, what compels someone to do something.. or at least want to do something.. so bad that they are willing to break down or totally ignore every social barrier in place to prevent it?
In exploring these concepts, I feel the need to do so unfettered. Uncensored. People come up with so many reasons why I shouldn’t write what I write. How refreshing to come across an article which blows the shit out of some of those compelling (and oftentimes not so compelling) arguments.
I submit today a blog entry I found on the site of Go Deeper Press. I haven’t dug very deep into their website yet, but I fully intend to. In the meantime, here are some excellent words on why writers should be free to express themselves as fully as they wish to, and how censorship can be far more dangerous than it is “protective”, and how NO topic or concept should be “off limits” as far as a writer (or anyone else) expressing themselves:
So here’s a thing. We don’t censor our writers. We never have and we never will, and we feel passionately about this.
When we posted our recent submissions guidelines, we received a rush of messages from erotica authors effectively saying, “We’re so glad you guys are open to submissions again! We so appreciate the way you don’t censor us or tell us what we can or can’t write about.”
You can see from our list, and also from our daily erotica at the Deeper Daily, that we do not censor. In fact, we believe that topics that other publishers consider “taboo” can be the very heart and soul of a work. Some of the erotica/literary porn we’ve published that contains non-consensual or “taboo” sex includes Con, Book 1: You Can Play It Safe When You’re Dead(twincest by yours truly), First by Jacob Louder (sex among young people who are “underage”),Femme Fatale (erotica about dangerous women, some of who commit murder), Squeeze Pantsby Dario Dalla Lasta (one story includes sexual force that is as hot as it is terrifying), and Shameless Behavior (erotic stories of overcoming shame, including, for example, piss play), to name but a few. There are plenty of others to come. What’s more, elements of post-sexual non-consent also exist in my novel Cream: An Erotic Romance, in which consent is explored both for the sake of passion and for the sake of safety and healing. To read an amazing post on Cream and its treatment of consent, check out the wonderful Annabeth Leong, author of the powerful Untouched, who, for us, is an ardent partner in the fight against shame.
[bctt tweet=”I was cured by a taboo fantasy during sex, one that Angela and I shared when we were first lovers.”]
As a woman who suffered sexual abuse in my childhood (this, I don’t remember very well) and sexual shaming in a religious cult (which I do remember, vividly), I was cured by a “taboo” fantasy during sex, one that Angela and I shared when we were first lovers. Playing out the fantasy of teacher and child with a lover I deeply trusted cured me in the bedroom. In real life, it would have been an insufferable act, but in fantasy, it was profoundly compassionate, so much so that it healed me and brought me into the light. I was able to heal by transforming trauma into trust and play. Finally, I could stay in my self during sex, without feeling like my body had been chopped from my soul.
That night, I was free as a kite, a moon, a sun. I was liberated and loved. I wept because I feltreal.
I tell you this today to show you why we fight on a daily basis to bring fantasy out of the shadows.
Books like Anais Nin’s Incest (containing details of the erotic affair she had with her father) were also an invaluable part of my healing during the time I suffered from PTSD. Without that book, I might not have had the courage to start leaving my shame behind.
Many other sexual trauma survivors will tell you similar stories. And many will tell you the exact opposite—that they cannot read non-consensual sex, that it is triggering for them. We are alldifferent, all worthy of respect, and this must be acknowledged. (A book I will always be grateful for is The Survivor’s Guide to Sex by Traci Haines. If you are a sexual trauma survivor, I deeply recommend it.) It should also be recognized that many readers who haven’t suffered trauma can find darker fantasies liberating and transformative. So we will never say to you, “This must not be imagined.” We will never say to you, “This must not be art.” And we will always warn you when our erotica becomes “taboo,” so that you can freely decide whether you want to read it, just in case it is triggering for you.
That said, check out this awesome discussion by our friends the Pillow Talk writers on “taboo” topics in erotica.
We’re proud to say that we don’t censor.
And we never will.