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Just in case I haven’t been clear enough on my stance on incestuous relationships within romance books…

Brothers fucking brothers/fathers shagging sons/daughters shagging brothers/ fathers shagging daughters/mothers fucking their sons, and other familial combinations is just plain wrong in my opinion. These storylines may be popular, but they aren’t romance. They are fetish. Of the worst kind at that, as far as I’m concerned.

And another thing; a guy who has little girl fantasies doesn’t belong on the pages of a romance book. He belongs in jail. Pure and simple. In real life, a guy who has such fantasies will inevitably find a child (or many children) to sexually abuse. I can’t ever see beyond that fact, let alone view it as romantic.

The day that these kind of storylines go mainstream under the banner of romance, will be the day that I start reading inspirationals.

29 Comments »


  • Emily Veinglory
    November 27
    6:59 pm

    I don’t think anyone was suggesting they go under mainstream. But romance these days has a lot of tributaries.

    I don’t think pushy controlling men (e.g. men abducting a woman at gun point, occassional rape) are sexy, in fact I think most mainstream alphas are disgusting. But that kink is mainstream–so unlike other kinks there isn’t even a warning on the box like “warning this book portrayed rape in a positive light so long as the hero is ‘redeemed'”. A little light spanking is positively benign next to that.

    Other kinks happen to be minority pleasures. But it is still romance, legal, fictional and in the marketplace. As it should be.

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  • kirsten saell
    November 27
    8:03 pm

    I’m not sure I buy the argument that men who fantasize about certain things will eventually act on those fantasies. That’s like saying women who fantasize about being raped actually do want it, and all those women from the Leave it to Beaver era actually did want to have sex with the family dog. These fantasies are not necessarily even about what they are. They were so prevalent before the sexual revolution because they gave women a way to feel sexual without blame. In the case of rape, they didn’t consent and are therefore still virtuous; and in the case of Fido (oh, ick, I know!) they remain safe from censure because the dog can never tell on them.

    People’s fantasies are complex. I sometimes fantasize about things like nipple clamps, but woe betide the man who ever tries to get those things on me. I might get turned on at the thought of having sex in front of an audience, but cellulite and stretch marks aside, even if I had the body of a porn star, it’s not something I would ever actually do.

    If the thought of incest role-playing, or other such kinks offends you, don’t read it. If you don’t consider it to be romance, you’re free to say so. I have a hard time considering twincest to be romantic, too. But the comments amounting to “That’s not erotic romance–it’s erotica!” as if the one is fine and the other is the vilest, most morally bankrupt thing in the universe, kind of irk me. We’re women. We’re supposed to own our sexuality. Nobody’s going to tell me that I’m dirty or sick because I get turned on by READING A FICTIONAL ACCOUT OF CONSENTING ADULTS ROLE-PLAYING ABOUT SOMETHING NASTY.

    Even if the twincest thing makes me want to yak my cookies all over my keyboard. blech

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  • Dee Tenorio
    November 27
    8:05 pm

    While I have a certaon fear that it’s my book, that last post leads me to one question…

    Girl, what the hell are you reading?

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  • Karen Scott
    November 27
    8:24 pm

    I’m not sure I buy the argument that men who fantasize about certain things will eventually act on those fantasies. That’s like saying women who fantasize about being raped actually do want it

    I think adult woman who have rape fantasies are totally different to men who fantasize about having sex with children.

    I believe that the latter is more of a compulsion than the former, therefore rendering it far more dangerous.

    There are far too many pedophiles out there who started out by fantasizing about having sex with children, before going on to fulfill their fantasies, for me to believe that it’s not likely to happen.

    Plus as somebody pointed out earlier, men’s sexual fantasies and women’s sexual fantasies tend to differ, in terms of the probability of execution.

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  • Karen Scott
    November 27
    8:25 pm

    Girl, what the hell are you reading?

    Test Me. *g*

    ReplyReply


  • Dee Tenorio
    November 27
    8:47 pm

    MWAHAHHAHAHAAAAHAHHA!

    Ahhhh, must go grab my bucket…

    ReplyReply


  • chandy
    November 27
    9:02 pm

    Karen, ladies (loosely written)
    At the moment I’m highly disturbed by what I’m reading and think most of you (especially the enablers of this schmutz) should be committed. Period!

    ReplyReply


  • kirsten saell
    November 27
    9:47 pm

    I believe that the latter is more of a compulsion than the former, therefore rendering it far more dangerous.

    I think we’re largely talking about two different things here. One is fantasy–being turned on by the thought of something. The other is compulsion–feeling the need to perform a certain act. Those who suffer from a compulsion will always fantasize about it, either before or after actually committing the act. But saying that fantasy leads to compulsion is like blaming aspirin for prescription pain-killer abuse. People who pop vicodin probably took a few aspirin in their lives, too, but it would be a fallacy to claim that aspirin was the cause of their addiction, or that anyone who takes aspirin will inevitably become a drug addict.

    I think adult woman who have rape fantasies are totally different to men who fantasize about having sex with children.

    You’re making a huge assumption here that all men who fantasize about something actually want to do it, and that’s just not true. And you’re approaching the issue itself from only one side. What about the woman who wants to roleplay Daddy/daughter and talks her reluctant husband into it because it turns her on? What about that whole Oedipal thing with mothers and sons? If a man wants to have sex with his wife and call her “mommy” and she agrees, does that make her some kind of closet pedophile, too?

    You don’t like it. That’s fine. It doesn’t really float my boat much, either. In my mind, roleplaying (and BDSM, too, BTW) with all its accoutrements and costumes and froofroos, all seems a little silly. But it’s still just roleplaying, and as long as it’s between consenting adults, I’m okay with it.

    And Chandy, you’re entitled to your opinion, too. But I think if your opinion comprised the criteria for severe mental illness, the psychiatric hospitals in North America would be bursting at the seams.

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  • azteclady
    November 27
    10:12 pm

    I still don’t understand why something involving consenting adults has to be demonized.

    Or, in the context of this discussion, automatically excluded from being romance/romantic.

    Golden showers, incest, etc. don’t do it for me–either in fantasy or reality–but I don’t see how that translates in their being wrong. At least, not as long as consenting adults are involved.

    And if being willing to let other adults fantasize and/or do whatever they want between themselves means that I’m crazy… *shrug* so be it.

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  • Karen Scott
    November 27
    10:19 pm

    AztecLady , and Kirsten, I think we’re gonna have to agree to disagree. My stance on this wont change, and neither will yours I suspect.

    ReplyReply


  • azteclady
    November 27
    10:33 pm

    I’m happy agreeing to disagree, Karen. At least we could hear what each other had to say, yes?

    ReplyReply


  • Karen Scott
    November 27
    10:35 pm

    I’m happy agreeing to disagree, Karen. At least we could hear what each other had to say, yes?

    Totally.

    ReplyReply


  • former bdsm dabbler who shall remain nameless
    November 28
    12:58 am

    I’m with you, Karen. Incest just isn’t romantic in any way, shape, or form.

    On the other hand, role-playing daddy/little girl, for example, between consenting adults, I have no problem with. I know some subs see their dom as a daddy figure. I doubt they are acting out fantasies of doing their own flesh-and-blood father.

    Same thing with Catholic school girl/teacher fantasies.

    As for golden showers, I once read where some doms use it as a form of marking a possession/territory, like dogs do. While I don’t want anyone peeing on me- major yuck!- if I read something like that in a romance, it wouldn’t bother me much.

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  • Michelle
    November 28
    2:25 am

    As for seeing children as sexual objects-anyone else grossed out by those child beauty pagents where they dress the little girls up like call girls? Some of the pagent video from the Jon Benet case was very disturbing to me. I just don’t understand how people could do that to their own children.

    ReplyReply


  • Anonymous
    November 28
    3:14 am

    Antz Said:

    Let me I have to agree with Chandy here some of the post from below gives me the willies!!!!

    If incest is ok to some because who are they to judge then that 35 yr old man/perv wanting to get it on with his 12 yr neighbor surly should not be judge too, beacause according to some it does not affect them.

    And your son and daughter giving each other the eye over dinner wouldn’t matter either since their over 18…….. if any of of this offends y’all ……..don’t judge me all I can say is that I know what books and authors to stay away from, no incest for me thank you though

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  • Anonymous for a reason
    November 28
    3:49 am

    Girl, what the hell are you reading? I totally second that Dee.

    BDSM Dabbler, I personally don’t see my Dom as a daddy figure. Matter of fact, seeing any man as a daddy figure squicks me. I can’t do the whole “who is your daddy?” thing either, because I automatically think of my real father and yeah that’s just not sexy to me.

    Maybe I’m the abnormal one but family is family and there’s not one thing sexy about any of them. *shrugs*

    I’ve must have found the most normal Dom around. He’s a sadist, I’m a masochist and it works for us. There’s no feces, urine, incest or anything else involved.

    As long as everyone is willing it’s really none of my business, it just doesn’t happen to do it for me.

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  • kirsten saell
    November 28
    6:17 am

    Sigh.

    Yanno, I’ve tried to make it clear that incest ROLEPLAYING doesn’t really do it for me, either, but I’m not going to sit in judgment of a woman who likes to scream “Daddy!” when she’s shagging her boyfriend/husband, either, not to mention the woman who gets her fuse lit by reading about it.

    There are some really wacky kinks and behaviors out there that seem to turn some people on. Personally, any man who would suck a woman’s toes, no matter how clean and well groomed, is just gross IMO. But just because I think it’s weird or gross doesn’t mean it’s a dangerous pathology.

    Real incest doesn’t squick me out so much as piss me off, but Ms. Noble never actually mentioned publishing anything with actual D/d incest, now, did she?

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  • Karen Scott
    November 28
    7:29 am

    “Daddy!” when she’s shagging her boyfriend/husband, either, not to mention the woman who gets her fuse lit by reading about it.

    Kirsten, I already agreed to disagree. I’ll happily sit in judgment over a man who likes to roleplay that his wife/girlfriend/boyfriend is a 12 year old who he likes having sex with. No apologies for that whatsoever. Not a one.

    As for the woman shouting screaming daddy, well if she has to pretend to be a twelve year old year old girl, to get her juices flowing, then that bears closer examination/evaluation.

    Judgmental much? Of course. I’m not liberal enough to sit on the fence about any of the above scenarios, nor would I ever want to be.

    Child molestation hasn’t ever affected me personally, but I would certainly sit in judgment of my neighbours if they decided to go out and sexually abuse a child.

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  • Laura
    November 28
    7:34 am

    chandy, if you’re so disturbed by what you’re reading, why are you still reading it? not nice, to insult women engaged in a very intelligent and interesting discussion.

    participate, don’t just imply looseness of morals. tell me WHY this/that/the other doesn’t work for you, instead of telling me i’m mentally unfit.

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  • kirsten saell
    November 28
    8:29 am

    Karen,

    I’m okay with the fact that it disturbs you–there are certainly things others find acceptable that disturb me. I’m okay that you’re very vocal about it, too. I just feel a bit put upon by some commentors who seem to think my reluctance to police other people’s thoughts is tantamount to condoning/abetting child molestation.

    I’m happy to agree to disagree with you. I mean, it is your blog, and you can, well, you know…

    ReplyReply


  • Annette
    November 28
    1:15 pm

    Annette said…
    I left this comment for the earlier post re the opening of a new publishing house and am repeating it here since the subject matter is very closely related. (And how it wound up being repeated in the earlier post, I have no idea – my apologies.) I hope I’m not breaking any rules by doing so.

    I’m just curious. What about incest that was historically legal/acceptable (e.g. ancient Egypt and Persia and the Old Testament races including the Israelites) or takes place in a science fiction/fantasy universe where it is part of the culture and physiologically viable? Or actual marriages in our own past between underage girls and mature men. Margaret Beaufort was married to Edmund Tudor and, at 13, bore him a son, the future Henry VII. And Isabella of France was 8 when she married twenty-something Richard II of England. Do these cross the line with regards to what you deem permissible in a romance? Does context not count as well?

    I agree with Ms. Veinglory (in the post previous to this) that there is a *big* difference between ‘not for me’ and ‘not romance’. As they say, one person’s meat is another’s poison. I was more troubled by what seems to be the highly judgmental tenor of some of the comments, verging as it were on disdain and disapproval of those whose personal boundaries are a little more flexible.

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  • Anne
    November 28
    2:36 pm

    Amen to that, Karen.

    ReplyReply


  • Sarah McCarty
    November 28
    3:36 pm

    “Real incest doesn’t squick me out so much as piss me off, but Ms. Noble never actually mentioned publishing anything with actual D/d incest, now, did she?”

    Ah, but here’s the catch for many writers because we deal in the mechanics. When this pseudo love scene is written, it will be the author’s job to make it seem real to the person reading it. So no, the set up for the scene the author is writing will not be a “real” scene, but s/he will be writing a scene that when it hits that reader’s imagination will be as vivid and real as possible because that’s it’s job. To give the reader a vehicle through which to to live out a fantasy. How a reader responds to that scene will vary from reader to reader, and as much as one wants to say “I’m publishing this for this sector of the market”, there are some fetishes which are going to appeal to a disturbed mind more than the healthy “its my fantasy* mind it’s intended for.

    Veiling the purpose of the scene in a dream sequence or in “role playing” may give the publisher the sense of distance they require to feel comfortable publishing it, but it doesn’t put any distance between the reader and the fetish.

    But, yes, if you publish it, they will come. And while one can paint a very broad happy positive assumption about the targeted audience of this sort of fetish fiction, a simple check of the search terms for the threads on this subject will likely reveal where the majority of readership will actually come from.

    How one feels about that is personal. IMO, pedophiles, abusers and rapists have enough victims. Violence against women and children has enough inadvertent support in our society. I cannot be comfortable romanticizing and normalizing incest, abuse and molestation (even through the barely-there guise of role playing or dreams) by calling it romance and saying it’s targeted at the healthy minded side of the population. Not when there’s no way to control who’s buying the books.

    Free expression has it’s place but it’s not always the highest concept that needs to be protected. As Shiloh said, Somethings should be wrong. Some just are. I would add some things have a greater influence than their intent and that should be taken into consideration before moving forward.

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  • kirsten saell
    November 28
    5:34 pm

    Who are we all kidding, here?

    Pedophiles aren’t going to be reading this stuff. Like many here have pointed out, all they have to do is google a few keywords and they have plenty of material (written and visual) with actual child abuse, written specifically with them in mind. Why would they settle for roleplaying when the real thing is all too available out there? You think men with a compulsion to rape are reading forced seduction stuff from Ellora’s Cave? Why would they bother when there’s thousands of free, hard core rape stories floating around on the internet? Men who are jonesing to try the real thing have lots of reading material available to them that doesn’t include pointless and distracting things like plot, character development, emotional consequences and relationship issues.

    I can understand people’s concern over normalizing certain behaviors, and I do have similar concerns. But then I remember how many baby boomers say exactly the same thing when they object to gay marriage, and that makes me hesitant to judge what any two (or more) adults choose to do together.

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  • Barbara B.
    November 28
    7:19 pm

    Very well put, Kirsten Saell. It’s
    ludicrous to think that publishing a D/d role-play story impacts pedophilia in any way. I just don’t see the logic. The fact that Noble Publishing might someday publish such a story and call it a romance moves me in no way. Just as I don’t care that some traditional romance readers and writers don’t think that erotic romance is part of the romance genre.

    This discussion has been fascinating. It’s apparent that everyone has their boundaries. What’s apparent too, is that many people think that where THEIR boundaries end is where the other person’s depravity begins.

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  • Teddy Pig
    November 29
    6:03 pm

    Wow, Um, well then I guess you can just judge me a sicko pervert for actually confessing that “yes” I have called some older guy daddy while doing nasty things in bed.

    Does that mean I actually fantasize about doing it with my own father? No! Hell NO!

    But I’m not the one jumping to conclusions about sexual role playing. Sounding a lot like those people constantly blaming Marlyn Manson for teen suicide or Rap Artists for gang violence.

    Would I immediately write off an erotic romance that showed two people in bed sexually role playing a sex scene NOT a romance? NO!

    You probably should stop promoting V.C. Andrews there since she uses incest to titillate her readers even if she is writing horror. I mean titillating your readers with something horrible like that is just exploitation of sexually deviant behavior.

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  • Karen Scott
    November 29
    8:18 pm

    Wow, Um, well then I guess you can just judge me a sicko pervert for actually confessing that “yes” I have called some older guy daddy while doing nasty things in bed.

    OK, before I call you sicko pervert, A, how old was he, B, how old were you pretending to be? and C, how old was he pretending you were?

    I have to say, if he was pretending you were a ten year old boy, then the label fits for him.

    If you were just calling him Daddy, without role playing, (in the same way that a woman might scream “Fuck me you big-dicked bastard” then I’m not sure that that qualifies, so try to refrain from getting all huffy.

    Oh and just in case you’re wondering, if you told me that you get off on pretending that your partner is a ten year old boy, then yes Teddy, I would think you were a sicko, and make absolutely no apology for it. Ok?

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  • Teddy Pig
    November 29
    9:01 pm

    Karen,

    There is a difference between fantasy and reality. There really is.

    He was I believe 48 and I was 23. I have always liked older and more rugged men. I do not know exactly what age he was seeing me as at the time. I did not ask. Nor did I really give a rats ass.

    We had a good time and no one did anything we did not want to do and we were both of age.

    I have read tons of straight romance and that does not make me anymore straighter than when I started reading it. Nabokov’s Lolita that does not make men with stale literary taste want to diddle little girls or make that book any less critically important. Playing Black Sabbath records backwards will not call forth Satan.

    By your reasoning you will probably confuse drag queens with transsexuals too. I do not recommend doing that someone will get insulted.

    Role Playing something does not make you one. As a Gay Man who has met many many other Gay Men who played Straight long enough to get married and have kids can attest to.

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