This article originally ran in the May 2014 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see the online digital edition.
Incest—it’s one of our culture’s few remaining taboos. But just because something is proscribed doesn’t mean people don’t engage in it … or fantasize about it in various forms. Further, exactly what qualifies as taboo here is widely variable. What’s strictly verboten is blurred across cultures, over time, and within various iterations of familial relationships—e.g., degrees of consanguinity versus adoptive or step.
Are you shivering, or are you shuddering?
Explorations of the incest taboo are not for everyone; however, our interest in this topic has a long history, illustrated in adult for decades via content with titles alluding to Family Fantasies and My Step-Daughter Did Whatever. And today, for those who are into it, there’s no shortage of interesting, boundary-pushing content available.
Consider Digital Sin’s Tabu Tales line—have you seen these?!
Under designations such as Keep It in the Family (2014) and Family Business (2013), Digital Sin is taking the step-taboo to another level. Each scene in their collections of edgy beautiful vignettes build seamlessly and take you right to the point of crossing the line. And each are prefaced with some form of this disclaimer:
“Sexual activity between step-parents and step-children is a crime in some jurisdictions. This film is a fantasy and just like all of our movies—it isn’t reality. It is certainly not advocating that the viewers re-enact anything depicted. The real life performers are not related in any way. They aren’t related as steps or otherwise. The sex they are having is a consensual performance that is being acted out solely as a fantasy for the viewer. All performers (and the characters they portray) are at least 18 years old at the time of the production.”
The repetition of messages here—consent, fantasy/performance, legal age—all point to the intensity associated with these themes, as well as the need to clarify the fantasy-reality engaged therein. Because though this series focuses exclusively on intra- and inter-generation step relationships, director Jacky St. James works to blur the line between family-on-paper and consanguinity via the truly intense character performances she coaxes from the talent. This series is exceptionally noteworthy.
But not everything is new, and explorations of comparable note have been happening for years now. Case in point: Girlfriends Films began engaging familial taboos on an even deeper level back in 2008 with the first installment of their remarkable series, Mother-Daughter Exchange Club.
Different from most other “incest” titles, Mother-Daughter Exchange Club explores familial sex, as well as lesbian sexualities, across generations. The idea of a club wherein mothers and daughters join with the express purpose of “exchanging” information with another unrelated mother and/or daughter might sound a little racy at first. Maybe almost too racy. This may be due to our wider social discomforts with sex and with the notion that young people do in fact possess developing sexualities—how weird would you feel talking sex, much less learning about sexuality, with your kid?! Our inability to discuss this dimension of our selves, both amongst peers and with our offspring, is the root of so many wider social ails.
Mother-Daughter Exchange Club, however, does its subtle part to move toward remedying this. Because participation in the club is both consensual and open, it creates an environment for growth. It may not be conventional sex education, but the scenarios in this series depict positive sexual exploration informed by mutual respect and lived experience, all while removing the taboo from curiosity. Though this series (obviously) focuses on lesbian desire, the notion of being free to explore one’s developing sexuality at various ages and in all iterations is hugely significant.
And there’s so much more! Titles from Forbidden Fruits Films explore mothers’ “indiscretions” via various tensions associated with women’s sexualities … because we all know that women lose their sexualities when they become mothers (not really—that’s just what we’re told over and over again). And then there’s always the tried and true tone: It’s OK! She’s My Step Mother 4 (Devil’s Film, 2014) and My Step Sister Squirts (Lethal Hardcore, 2013)—titles that aren’t too heady, giving us what we need with just a hint of incestuous love.
Because sometimes that little tickle is all it takes.
Pictured above: left, Jessa Rhodes and Tyler Nixon in Family Business (Tabu Tales/Digital Sin); right, Forbidden Fruits Films regulars Levi Cash and Jodi West
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