CONTENT NOTE: This was originally meant as a post for Food For Thought Friday, however I missed the prompt deadline.
One of the definitions of taboo in the dictionary is:
‘a social or religious custom prohibiting or restricting a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing.’
Throughout history taboos have changed and new ones have emerged. In religious scriptures, particularly in Abrahamic faiths, period sex is considered a taboo, along with eating pork and whatever is considered to be ‘sexual immorality’ such as promiscuity and incest.
In modern society some of these have faded and some still stand for obvious reasons (Joffery Baratheon? I know he’s a fictional character but *shudders*) Period sex is down to preference and more couples are cohabiting (known as ‘living in sin’ back in the day when it was just ‘not done’) as opposed to waiting until marriage.
For me, until it was becoming more talked about in the early 2010s, BDSM as a whole was considered by biggest ‘guilty pleasure’ taboo.
Growing up, any mention of BDSM was usually depicted as this dark, demented thing in crime dramas. As referenced in the Netflix series Mindhunter, back in the 70s, being into bondage porn was recorded as a supposed tell-tale sign of a potential serial killer. Nowadays that’s not 100% accurate, that is for certain!
Either that or that weird corner of porn that only ‘freaks’ are into. Even up until recently, being into consensual BDSM was in the DSM as a disorder. As far as I know the DSM-5 has since removed it, leaving behind sexual sadism and masochism in non-consensual contexts, instances that cause harm and distress etc.
So as you can see, society has deemed some of our favourite kinky fuckery as taboo for a LONG time. It was freaky things that only *looks around before whispering* weird people did.
I remember years ago saying that I admired the aesthetic of some fetishwear like the latex & leather corsets and skirts, but didn’t like the idea of what was partook in in BDSM. Verbatim I would say: I like what they wear, it’s just what they do that bothers me.
Suffice to say, that comment aged well! 😂
To be fair, at the time my limited knowledge of BDSM (primarily sadomasochism) did and still does to a certain extent tick my ‘taboo’ box. I couldn’t understand why pain could be pleasurable to some people. It went against everything I was taught about love and relationships.
That being said, once I started learning more about BDSM and sadomasochism, knowing that clear boundaries and informed consent was there, I started to understand it more. While I’m not a pain slut by any means at least I can understand part of the psychology behind it now.
As well, one of my biggest taboos to fantasise about was in fact one of my earliest, if not my earliest, kink. Power exchange.
Perhaps because I am from a fairly egalitarian environment the idea of consensual control is naughtily taboo to me.
Or perhaps seeing the power exchanges in society. And instead of doing a mental battle of the sexes, fetishized them instead, seeing what fun a harmless, consensual power exchange for an allotted amount of time can be?
That probably makes the most sense but I can’t say that’s definitively the reason why, before I go further of a Sigmund Freud deep-dive on myself.
I know this post may be a little tame in comparison to some of the others I have read (which have been very insightful and interesting to read) but it’s definitely fun to look at general taboo of BDSM and how certain levels of taboo are considered ‘acceptable’ or not.
Like the love of spanking can be seen as general run of the mill kink, and a M/s arrangement seen as extreme. The psychology of it all is *in best Spock voice* fascinating!
All my love,
*Picture – Pinterest