What’s the most taboo sex story you’ve ever read?
Isn’t that a tough question? For me, I immediately want to ask questions to clarify. What do you mean by, “Taboo”? The most illegal? The most shocking? The most degrading, or the stuff the fewest people are into?
Unsurprisingly, my most recent story sparked a lot of back-and-forth with me on social media and in emails. A few people asked me if I was okay or currently going through some shit. The answer there is that I’m fine and not going through shit currently – the story was loosely based no something I actually went through but it’s in the past. I just went through some stuff that brought up old memories lately, and wrote about it to get it out of my system.
Most interestingly, though, my story was rejected by a particular story site. I won’t bother mentioning which one but it was rejected by the monitors. The reasoning behind it was that the story’s themes were “too dark” for the website. SPOILERS: I totally get that, in a vacuum. A story directed towards the person reading, where a seemingly innocent girl is later telling you how your life is over and you either get to watch her live your formerly great life you once had or kill yourself… that’s dark. But, that website had stories of rape. Non-consensual sex.
Without getting too far into things, I’ve helped fellow students who were rape victims while I was in university. In every case but one, they all mentioned to me in one way or another how they would have preferred to have been killed rather than what happened. All of them cried. Some for hours straight. One of them still hasn’t fully recovered and finds it difficult to meet new friends because she’s scared any new friend she makes is a rapist waiting to happen. That same friend tried to end her life on many occasions. Even presently, she’s not doing well. Effectively, that rape ruined her life. And yet as ghastly as rape is, if someone took the exact moment of her life she got raped and wrote it out as a story, without the aftermath or the consequences, and put it on that very same website, the website would gladly push it through. But a manipulator telling a broken man to kill himself? That’s too far.
That’s the thing about actual rape. Real rape. We don’t actually like having that in our stories. The reality of what happens is too gruesome for us. We like to deny and live in our own little worlds when stuff like that happens – if the rapist protagonist is good enough at sex, the girl being raped will finally enjoy it after a while. Her “body will betray her.” This is a lie. I see it disturbingly often in rape stories. This doesn’t happen. Even if that’s what happens in the moment, that same girl will stare into a mirror for an hour straight that night and cry. It will affect her. But why include that? Let’s just enjoy the moment. You know, the moment of rape. The moment someone essentially took someone’s life and freedom, but maybe the victim hasn’t realized that yet. Why ruin the magic by revealing that?
The ends don’t justify the means in a lot of cases. Progress doesn’t justify slavery, personal justice doesn’t justify murder, and pleasure doesn’t justify rape. We can have our own fantasies, but that doesn’t mean we can deny reality. Rape is the only thing that seems to get a pass on a grand scale. If someone wrote a book about how the slaves loved being slaves and America was at its happiest during the slave trade (although Bill O’Reilly may have, I’ll need to check on that later), people would be outraged. Even justice murder stories have to be written well for people to side with the murderer. But a rapist raping someone and then they enjoy it? It’s so cheaply easy to write that I’m sure many of the stories I’ve read of that were written by edgy minors. That’s dangerous, especially if/when people pick up these stories, read them, and notice a pattern – “Hey, 90% of these rape stories show that if you fuck her long enough she enjoys it after a while. Golly, rape doesn’t sound so bad.”
That’s normalization, and desensitization. I’m not saying it’s particularly prevalent, but it’s present. If a site allows such a trend to persist, it does. That’s free speech and I’m certainly not here to say people can’t write stories like that. But a website cannot claim it’s against harmful stories showing consequences of manipulative behavior, and then allow rape stories. You’re not afraid of disturbing themes, you’re afraid of seeing what these things can do to a person. And refusing to show what happens when people in these stories get manipulated while being okay with the very action that manipulated them is irresponsible.
As mentioned, Breathe was inspired by events that had happened to me. I was manipulated in a similar fashion and a person I thought to be a trusted friend I had known for a year (who claimed to be a champion of mental health) told me that people wouldn’t miss me if I killed myself, and provided me with opportunities to end my life. I came very close to following through on that. This website is effectively telling me the things I went through aren’t valid to be shown because the themes are too disturbing. That’s not free speech. That’s hypocritical. I’m not a champion of shutting down ‘fake rape’ stories, as much as I hate them and what they stand for. I accept that they have their place on the internet and will stay, even with their themes. When these websites reject my stories because they’re too dark, they’re not offering me the same level of respect.
If Breathe disturbed you, know that you’re not facing these demons alone. You have friends, and you are important. If my story spooked you, please get in touch with me, via my email, Twitter, etc, and yell at me if you have to. I’ll gladly take that if you’re angry. Talk with me if you’re not feeling okay and need to be reminded of how the story isn’t real. If you’re not feeling safe, please take a second to google the suicide prevention phone line in your country and give them a call. They’re there to help you. I’ll do what I can to assist you as well. For now, I’ll talk to you all next week.