Thursday, March 3, 2016

Over the Taboo Rainbow

by Giselle Renarde

When daddy smut started taking over the erotica bestsellers lists, it literally turned my stomach. Every time I saw a book cover that said FUCK ME, DADDY! I felt physically ill.

When was that?  Maybe 2013? Or was 2013 the year Amazon et al started banning it because of its sudden hyper-visibility?

I don't know. But I think 2013 was the year I wrote my Adam and Sheree trilogy: 100,000 words about a brother and sister fucking each other and a bunch of other people. Sheree really gets around. In the the third book she sleeps with her aunt, her uncle and her cousin. There's a whole lot of family sex going on.

Why was I grossed out by the daddy/daughter thing but not by the brother/sister (uncle/aunt/cousin) thing?

That's a question I can't answer. Sorry.  I just don't know.
I remember the day Adam and Sheree came to me.  I'd just taken a shower and I recall being very hot... too hot. My body just started shutting down.  I'm not a "nap" person, but it was daytime and I felt oddly exhausted. I folded myself into a ball on my bed and Adam and Sheree's Family Vacation (now also available from Amazon as Stepbrother Summer) played out for me like a movie.

It was the strangest thing. It's never happened to me before or since.  I don't think I was asleep and I didn't feel like I was dreaming. It was a movie in my mind.

As soon as it was over, I went to my computer and started typing. The words poured out of me. My fingers did all the work. My brain didn't play a part in writing any of these books.

I don't know where Adam and Sheree came from.

But it took a while before I could cross from their taboo into Lexi Wood's brand of stepdaddy/stepdaughter smut.

Is that as "bad" as brother/sister sex? Or is it worse because there's a power imbalance between a father and daughter (whether biological or not) that doesn't exist between siblings? 

Or is it HOTTER because of that power imbalance?

These are major taboos. These are ideas that turned my stomach a few years ago.

How does a writer go from turned stomach to turned on?

Is it all about the cash?

Taboo smut is harder to publish these days than it was a few years ago.  Apple won't touch it. All Romance won't. Google Play won't.  Forget Kobo, too.  Amazon will allow you to publish stepdaddy smut as long as you don't include the word "stepdaddy" in the title or the blurb or on the cover or... anywhere, really.

Straight-up incest erotica can only be published at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Excitica. How can it possibly be that lucrative if you can barely get it to market?

Well, I guess it's not.

So, when my sock puppet nemesis Lexi Wood challenged me to an incest erotica duel a few weeks ago, why did I accept?  I'm the least competitive person in the world, so it's not like I cared about defending a title or anything.

I accepted because I wanted to do it.

Last year someone staged an opera about Anais Nin's affair with her father. It sounded titillating, but I didn't see it. Wish I had. Still, it planted ideas in my head. It planted the idea of a father and daughter meeting as adults and falling hard for each other.  I felt I could do something with that.

Round One of the Lexi vs. Giselle Smut Smackdown has begun. My very refined (HA!) meeting-as-adult story against Lexi's dirty-talking phone sex smut. We're encouraging readers to vote for their favourite.

Here's the warning I'll issue about writing dirty daddy sex: once you've crossed that line it's damn hard to cross back. You start seeing the world in this new taboo rainbow, and the things you used to write seem so grey and dull.

I heard John Waters talking about The Wizard of Oz one time. He said he always wondered why Dorothy wanted to go back to the black-and-white world after experiencing life over the rainbow.

Why would anyone go back?

Writing taboo erotica is a lot like that.

You can find out more about the Smut Smackdown at my blog:

And if you haven't read Adam and Sheree, the entire Stepbrother version is available for preorder at for only $2.99 USD. That's incredible value for all three books, and trust me--that price won't last. Comes out March 11th!


  1. Do you suppose we could run out of sexual taboos one of these days? My friend D.L. King has a new CFS out for an anthology titled, "Unspeakably Erotic," and I'm having trouble thinking of anything interesting that hasn't been done (or overdone) already in fiction, if not in fact. My own imagination is clearly waning. Or maybe the few couplings that might seem taboo to me are, in fact, too taboo for me to handle.

    I've been pondering the Daddy thing. In your "Complete Strangers" story, Giselle, the fact that he didn't raise her, bring her up, be her trusted protector and source of innocent love, makes their adult affair arguably all right. There may still be a power differential, but it's not one instilled in her from such an early age that it can never be be seen objectively enough for her reasoned consent or dissent. Okay, I know, "objectively" and "reasoned" have no place in erotica, and I also know that some people have an ingrained longing for a "daddy" figure for sex and emotional fulfillment. I know people who are into age-play, and I know some of the daddies who fulfill those needs. But I guess i do shrink from a pairing with an actual daddy who brought you up, so yeah, there are still taboos in my mind. (However, my perspective is somewhat skewed just now because I'm finding myself more and more in a parental role as my 96-year-old father needs more and more help, but that stage of life is irrelevant to the current discussion.)

    1. Wow, 96!!!

      It's funny, but I do tend to think of Lexi's smut as "fake" fantasy erotica. Even in this pairing, both stories could possibly play out in real life (not mine, but someone's... I guess), but Two Complete Strangers is the one I think of as more "real."

    2. I haven't seen D.L. King's CFS. Has she crossed ERWA off her list?

      With regard to writing something "unspeakably erotic", I think at this point that less is more. I want to write a story where one character experiences unbelievably intense desire based on a simple glimpse of an ankle.

      And speaking of (hah!) unspeakably erotic, I'd say Willsin's Last Three Days qualifies--without any taboos at all. Just pure, irresistible lust.

    3. Lisabet, Diane sent the CFS to ERWA very recently, so it just hasn't shown up yet. If it doesn't soon, I can send it to you.

    4. ERWA seems to have gotten weird about posting submission calls. I sent one there weeks ago, and it never went up. I also notice outdated calls still sitting up.

    5. I discovered that Diane's CFS for Unspeakably Erotic is listed in the main section on the ERWA list, even though it specifically says Lesbian. There's a gay CFS on the main list, too. Maybe nobody now is keeping track of where listings should go. I should get in touch with Diane about that.

  2. The most fascinating aspect of this post, Giselle (aside from the fact that you've initiated a competition between two aspects of your author identity -- but they say we authors are all schizophrenic) is the way your revulsion turned to fascination. I honestly can't believe (knowing you) that the main impetus was financial. Perhaps it's a case of refusing to even think about the question at first, a kind of knee-jerk negative reaction, then actually entertaining the idea and seeing where it took you, emotionally and creatively. It's fascinating that Adam and Sheree first came to you in a hypnogogic state, when your superego was napping.

    Anyway, you've got me really curious. Are these books available anywhere but Amazon? Smashwords? I usually read PDF format (plus I don't like to support Amazon if I can help it).

    1. Never mind, I just saw the Smashwords links on your own blog post!

    2. B&N too. Coming soon to Excitica. Amazon would slap me if I tried to upload this stuff. I started this series partly as a fuck you to Amazon. Not that they'd care. I just love shooting myself in the foot when I'm angry. heh

    3. So I bought and read both, and voted.

      What a fantastic idea!

    4. Thanks for supporting the cause. ;-)

  3. Giselle, you are always willing to go where others fear to tread! I agree with Sacchi on the father-daughter pairing -- best if they meet as adults. Actually, I think incest is an edgy taboo because it is so likely to happen -- if "incest" refers to sex between any 2 or more people who are related by blood, however distantly. My late mother had 2 old & dear friends, Jewish cousins, who scandalized the family by marrying each other, which required finding a state where that was legal. Whether any rabbi would find that acceptable I don't know. They've been together over 60 years, and prob. have great-grandchildren by now.

  4. Giselle, you've gone to a place where I struggle to follow. I am in the physically ill stage myself with respect to daddy-daughter erotica, and I am not sure if I can or want to get over it. I know lots of people enjoy age play and it's empowering for them, and I know that daddy-daughter erotica is a compelling fantasy for people, but there are things where I can't quite see it as a harmless fantasy when I look at it myself.

    It's interesting to me that crossing that line has made other stuff seem boring or dull to you. Maybe that's part of why I feel uneasy about it? I used to worry that kink would do that to me, and then was relieved when I found that it didn't...


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