Taboo and Forbidden Fantasies
Taboo describes what is prohibited or not allowed by society at a given time. The opposite of what is considered taboo is what society deems valuable or sacred. In a sexual context, a taboo is whatever society has declared inappropriate with regard to sexual fantasy and behavior.
Because taboo is by nature prohibited, the act of embracing a taboo is one of rebellion. By subverting society’s rules and expectations, and indulging in getting what we’re not supposed to have instead, one may experience a sensation of erotic thrill and arousal.
Craving the Forbidden Fruit
According to sexological research conducted by Dr. Justin Lehmiller, taboo or “forbidden sex” is one of the most common sexual fantasies. His research found that these fantasies were even more prevalent than passion or romance.
These so-called “forbidden fruit” fantasies may be considered perverse, depraved, pathological, on controversial. In some cases, enacting these fantasies in real life would be inappropriate, an indicator of mental disorder, or illegal. Exploring them through fictional media such as visual pornography and written erotica or through imagined roleplay scenarios are means of enjoying the eroticism of taboo fantasies without causing harm to another.
Common Taboo Fantasies
Taboo can be somewhat subjective to an individual. However, some concepts will apply more broadly to an entire culture or society given whatever is generally most valued by that group of people.
Some of the most commonly observed taboo or forbidden fantasies include:
- Voyeurism: imagining watching someone else in a sexual scenario, or doing so with consenting partners. This can include activities like cuckolding, group sex, attending sex parties, or roleplay with a partner.
- Exhibitionism: imagining performing or presenting oneself in a sexual scenario for some kind of audience, or doing so with consenting partners. This can also include group sex activities or roleplay scenarios.
- Fetish play: imagining or engaging in any fetish-related activity as part of one’s sexual play. This can include anything from foot worship and boot-licking to wearing stockings and leather. (see: Fetish)
- Incest: imagining having a sexual encounter with a blood relative or family member
- Zoophilia: imagining having sex with animals
- Chronophilia: imagining having sex with someone who is a much different age than yourself, or roleplaying as a different age (see: Age Play)
- Animal Roleplay: dressing up as an anthropormophic animal to engage in erotic or sexual play (e.g. furry sex)
Distinction Between Sexual Fantasy and Illegal Activity
Voyeurism (tendency or desire to become aroused by watching others as they engage in intimate activities) and exhibitionism (tendency or desire to become sexually aroused by the knowledge that others are watching as you engage in intimate activities) are the most common prevalent forbidden fantasies.
These activities should not be performed without the consent of everyone involved. Observing or recording someone without their knowledge or exposing oneself to someone without their consent is harassment and, in many cases, illegal.
However, a distinction was made between consensual and nonconsensual voyeurism and exhibitionism, with the former being more prevalent. When explored with one’s imagination and only with consenting partners, it can be a healthy and safe means of these common sexual fantasies.