Taboos and the good ol’squick meter

17 Jun

Alright so I was struggling to come up with a blog post for today. I’m still hanging my head about the Canucks losing the Stanley Cup, so my original celebration eye-candy post just wasn’t going to work. LOL.  So what did I come up with? Taboo’s and my good ol’ squick meter.

Now I know I’ve blogged about this elsewhere in the past, but I think the topic still has loads of discussion potential left and like I said I’m pouting so there you go, Taboos it is. LOL

The whole Taboo discussion is really broad and open. One person’s holy sweet mother of god no is another person’s hell yeah.  Like I said the taboo range is big,  so forced seduction books would  fit into this category and for some people so does BDSM, but it also has things like golden showers, incest, beastiality, pedophilia etc, so  the range can be really broad depending on the person. Heck for some people menages would fit in there and we all know how much I love those. *grin* We all have our own little squick meter.

So since we all read erotic romance, for the sake of argument let’s assume this is a book meant to arouse or titillate. What subjects are off limits for you?

I know my line in the sand is not quite as firm as it used to be and my squick meter has adjusted over time. As a reader a good chunk of what is considered taboo I’m fine with reading, but and it’s a big but, there’s a HUGE  amount of it that would make me put a book down because it’s just soooo not my thing in my erotic reading. A non-romance type book, sure, I can plow through but erotic romance? Nope, not gonna happen. When I’m reading erotica, I have to admit I don’t really want to be cringing and squirming in a disgusted gross kind of way. If I’m squirming in my seat I want it to be for the right reason. *grin*

Anything child related is an instant chuck the book for me. No, ifs ands, or buts about it. That one is COMPLETELY off limits with no gray area in erotic romance.

But alot of the other stuff has a little bit of gray for me. Now personally, incest in a book just doesn’t work, but I do know lots of people who have the whole twin fantasy. Hell, look at some of the shows at the strip club, or browse through the adult section at the video store; twin girl-on-girl is HUGE. For me it’s a big EWWW. But judging by the porn industry, I would be in the minority. LOL  But those same people who like twins think brother-sister would be gross. What’s the difference? Either way it’s siblings touching each other sexually so for me the squick meter is out in full force.  But I’m fine reading ménages where two brothers share a woman but don’t touch each other at all, go figure, so that’s where that gray area comes in for me.

Same goes with animals, reading about sexual acts with animals is enough to make me put the book down, but I know lots of people who are cool with it if it’s in a paranormal book and the person is a shifter in animal form. So it seems for some readers that line blurs a bit too.

And I’m not even going to get started talking about the wide range in fetish and BDSM stuff because some of that is singe your panties hot and others… yeah, really not my thing. But you all can feel free to dive in and discuss this aspect.  After all I do want some discussion on the subject. *grin*

So what I’m talking about is that gray area between heck yeah, bring it on and oh good lord, there’s no way. Now I know where my line in the sand is and there are definitely topics that really don’t work for me, but I do realize that we are all different and there’s a huge range in where that line is for readers.  So I guess I’m wondering where is the line between acceptable and unacceptable for you as a reader. What topics really hit your squick meter and there’s just no way you are going to continue reading a book? Rape scenes, humiliation, pain sluts, incest etc?

Now that being said, are there certain things that you formerly thought we no-no subjects for you to read and now you find yourself drawn to?

Lauren

http://www.laurenfraser.com

15 Responses to “Taboos and the good ol’squick meter”

  1. shannonemmel June 17, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Hi Lauren–

    For me…
    NO kids (ever….in any way, shape or form)
    NO animals ( not counting shape shifters or aliens with animal attributes)
    NO parent/child incest (That’s the same as “No Kids” for me)
    Oh– and no “golden showers” ( that’s just plain ewwwww!)

    Those are the only things that come to mind as “off the table”.

    I’m game for pretty much anything else ( as far as reading 😉 )….Including having sex on the table, but prefereably not in the middle of a BIG family dinner, ( hmmm…I guess I already covered that in the NO Kids section, huh? 🙂 )

  2. Angela S. Stone June 17, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Hmm interesting article. I’ve written an Extreme BDSM novel featuring Fisting. Uh-huh head major yummy for me 95% of the population runs away screaming… go figure!
    my big no-no’s
    1-kids in any form. (Almost legal same age consenting teenagers doesn’t count here)
    2-Incest in any form
    3-blood play (It’s the nurse in me, just-NO)
    4-Animals (the non-shape-shifter earth kind anyway)
    5- Dead people, (and yes even “Undead” zombie types freak me out, vampire/ghost undead types I can handle)
    6-humiliation of female sub. I have no idea why but I read that and instant no-go.

    Hmm those are the big ones I’m, sure there is more :)!

    • shannonemmel June 17, 2011 at 8:15 am #

      Ewwww… I totally forgot about dead bodies.

      That’s also a definite “No frickin’ way” to add to my list!
      (Thanks for reminding me…I think 😦 )

    • Lauren Fraser June 17, 2011 at 10:51 am #

      Yeah necrophelia would be out for me, but zombies is fine. Go figure. There’s that gray area again. LOL

  3. dcmcmillen June 17, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    Anything involving children, siblings (even twins), animals or skat is way off limits for me. Ick ick ick!

    I’m pretty much cool with anything else, even if the scene is not really my thing. With the exception of the above, if the writing is good and I can at least understand the emotions that the characters are feeling then I will continue reading.

    • shannonemmel June 17, 2011 at 8:25 am #

      Double EwwwSCAT?

      My “NO” list is growing with things I didn’t think of… but then again, the two additions are sooooo far off limits that I might have just blocked them from my mind…completely!

    • Lauren Fraser June 17, 2011 at 10:34 am #

      Oh yuck, yep scat is definitely off my list too. Nothing sexy about that one for me.

  4. KJ Reed June 17, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    I’ve got the same ones as you it seems. Though I might take the whole “twin” thing a step further. I know a lot of people have books where a woman is in a menage with two brothers, and the brothers never touch each other. Only her. (So, M/F/M) To some people, the fact that they never touch each other is enough. For me, couldn’t do it. Well, DEFINITELY couldn’t DO it. lol I mean couldn’t really read it. Or write it. It’s not so squicky to me as it is just not my thing. I’m not horrified, but I’m not intrigued either.

  5. naramalone June 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    I agree with the ones called out above and to add a couple. I read a book where a girl the hero raised–not his child–became his love interest. I think that is a total violation of the parent child realtionship forged. Even if you are only a guardian and there is no blood relation.

    I hate reading about cutters.

    Vampires I just get this queesy sick feelingnin my stomach and that really kills the mood.

  6. Ranae Rose June 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    I’m with you on the shifter thing. I don’t want to read about any sort of sexual act involving an animal or a shifter person in animal form.

    Other than that, my limits are probably pretty normal – don’t want to read anything involving children in a sexual context (who the hell would?), or anything including ‘golden showers’ or stuff along those lines. Totally gross, in my opinion. No incest. Also, nothing totally weird and puke-inducing like necrophilia. And nothing where an older adult in the book knew their younger love interest as a child and was some sort of authority or family-like figure to them. That creeps me the hell out.

    Other than that I think I’m pretty open. I probably missed something totally gross and will remember it later. LOL

  7. KevaDdakentner June 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Hi Lauren,
    I have a trunk load of things I find repulsive.

    Yet, I’ve incorporated a few into a story or two. Not for titilation, but to make the antagonist that much more repulsive and, hopefully, have the reader rooting that much more for the bad guy’s demise.
    In other words, it can depend on the context – there’s my gray area. If something I find “just wrong” is used to sexually excite the reader, I am not a happy camper. Twist that same act to make me loathe a character and cheer the good guys on in their pursuit of him or her, and I’m good with it.

    I do however believe a new category is needed – “BD” That’s BDSM minus the SM. Many stories are classisfied BDSM, but the authors would never go anywhere near the SM. I suspect there are many readers who might appreciate that seperation.

    What do you think?

    • Erica Anderson June 17, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

      I totally agree! I like the BD but not most SM. As a result, I tend to steer clear of that category since so many authors mix the two. But a bondage-only line at EC? Sign me up!

  8. evannelorraine June 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Fun post Lauren! I’m a prudish reader, frequently going ick! While continuing to click the next page button. Seriously, a lot depends on context, if the hero is torturing the heroine for a worth cause, I can endure more pain than if he’s doing it for fun. And KevaD makes a good point about backstory and villainous actions–lots more leeway there for me.

    In a romance, even a romantic suspense if there’s too much graphic violence, especially involving women or children I have a hard time reading.

  9. JulieD June 19, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    interesting post!

    here’s my list:

    – forced seduction is good, rape is NOT
    – no kids
    – no bodily secretions aside from the normal down below and saliva (tho, spitting isn’t really sexy to me either)
    – no dead things
    – no animals, even shifters unless they’re BOTH in human form. (seriously, i half-read one book where there was a woman and TIGERS… yes. plural. ICK!)
    – baby bumps are a squick for me
    – twincest
    – fisting is a no for me
    – not into reading about humiliation; however, bondage is great fun!
    – and no insertion (stuff like penile sounds and fruits/veggies, etc.)

    funny, i have no real problems with tentacles or extra body parts… lol

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