Monday, May 6, 2019

Taboo for Everyone

by Cameron D. James

I sometimes feel a bit strange writing a post on taboo desires and other general kink and fetish topics. It’s certainly a comfortable space — you can’t escape these sorts of things when you’re an erotica writer, so you make yourself comfortable and enjoy the discussion — but it’s not really a space where I fit as an author.

My main purpose, at least under this pen name, is erotic romance, which generally leaves a lot less space for the taboo, the forbidden, and the kinky. I do have a series I co-wrote called “Forbidden Desires”, in which each of the three novellas explores a different taboo relationship. (The first is a huge age gap with a young guy falling in love with a father figure, the second is a Catholic priest giving into his desire for dick, and the third features an eerily-familiar bombastic President who subsequently falls in love with a Mexican rent boy.)

While these might be taboo and kinky to some, they are flat-out vanilla to others. Indeed, this is my most vanilla pen name. I’ve mentioned previously that I have a pen name that explores much more taboo kink, but even that is still mild compared to what some other authors write.

I used to feel bad about it, like I should, as a writer of sexy smut, be exploring much more extreme kinks. Like, it comes with the job, right? But eventually I realized that there’s a place for everyone in this sexy workplace — there’s room for the plain and vanilla and there’s room for fiction about stuff that’s illegal to do in real life. And there’s plenty of room for everything in between.

And just like there’s room for all levels of smut and taboo in this wonderful space of writing, there’s a wealth of perspectives that come from our readers. For some, my priest/parishioner erotic romance would be shockingly taboo and would really get a reader’s gears going, whereas for others they would put it down when the boredom sets in on the second page. And for some readers, the very fact that two men are kissing (never mind what they do after that kiss) is taboo.

To me, it doesn’t really matter where a reader’s taboo level is. If just two men kissing gets a reader going, then I hope they enjoy my books and don’t get too overwhelmed when the pants come off. If a reader has a higher taboo threshold, hopefully one of my slightly-kinkier titles does it for them. And if a reader’s taboo threshold is far beyond anything I write, well, I might not be the right author for them and I’m okay with that. (Or I may serve as a refreshing pit stop between super taboo kink stories. Like a water break or something.)

Taboo should be something that is self-defined. After all, my beliefs of what is taboo will be completely different than someone who is new to reading sexy smut, and also very different from someone who is heavy into BDSM and looking for fiction that explores the most extreme depths of smut. My perception of taboo changes over time, too, as I’m sure it does for readers and other authors.

When I first started writing smut, I was all about vanilla smut because it was so new and hot to me — but I couldn’t do the more extreme stuff because it was beyond my comfort level. Now, though, that definition of taboo has changed and while I still do plain vanilla stuff (because I do enjoy it), I also explore some other areas. And under my kinky name I explore even more taboo areas. As time goes on, I’ll probably explore a little further, a little deeper. Maybe then I’ll have more experience in taboo desires for a more titillating post. :)

Cameron D. James is a writer of gay smut. His most recent book is New York Heat.


  1. Combining all your author identities, you're a one man bookstore.

    Whatever level of taboo a reader is seeking, you can fill the bill ;^)

    I don't necessarily agree with your notion that erotic romance means less exploration of taboos. Sure, many erotic romance readers are squeamish (based on my personal observations), but the romance aspect definitely does not exclude taboo activities or relationships.

    1. Point taken and I do agree!

      As for one man bookstore... ;) I'm working on it...


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