But then there are the taboos based on squeamishness, partisan morality, or outright
homophobia. Some prohibitions are based on pseudoscience; it was once thought that
excessive masturbation caused insanity. (And don't you wish you'd been asked to
supervise the lab tests?) Others are rooted in sheer "I don't like it, so it's
wrong" cussedness. And some taboos have dire results.
"My mum was deeply religious, very sex-negative," says a gay boy in his 20s. "To
this day, I have such hang-ups over sex that I usually have to get stoned or wired
to let myself enjoy it."
Of course, one of the easiest ways to make something more attractive is to forbid it -
just ask Adam and Eve. And all those homophobes railing against the temptation of
queer sex inadvertently testify to its allure.
The less vanilla among us get hard-ons at the thought of transgressive sex, naughtiness
that breaks a taboo or two. That's not to say that anything goes; it doesn't and it
shouldn't. But there's a big difference between barebacking at a gang-bang and getting
spanked while dressed as Dusty Springfield.
Taboo-breaking is easiest if you can find a trustworthy partner in carnal crime, and
a setting where you won't get in trouble. As much fun as it might be to fuck in your
boss's office, you really should make sure the door is locked first.
Role-playing scenes often trade in taboos, allowing us the tang of the forbidden
without the downside. There are good reasons why incest is forbidden - not only the
inbreeding thing, but the unequal power structures of the family unit. But pretending
a scene like that may be nasty, but to some of us, it sure is hot.
If you're taking someone somewhere deep, communication - before, during, and after - is
not only considerate, but can forestall post-scene problems. Even the most carefully
planned scenes, though, can have heavy-duty dimensions. "I did a really brutal
father/son spanking scene with a guy who'd told me his actual father had been
physically abusive," recalls an SM top. "He'd suggested it, and it was fully
pre-negotiated. But frankly, the intensity of the actual scene made me feel a
bit morally queasy, like I shouldn't have been playing with such volatile emotions."
Since plain old cocksucking is forbidden in some quarters, most gay guys are
taboo-breakers from the start. But some fellas don't stray from vanilla, while
others are the "I'll try anything once" sort for whom sexual adventure is a way
of life. Some of us get kinkier as we mature. Others are wild kids who grow
chastened in middle age. But whatever transgressive shit you do - from water
sports to whipping - sobre reflection and sane guidelines will help keep you safe,
both physically and psychologically.
Done wisely and well, breaking a taboo or two can be refreshing fun. It can even
deepen the bond between partners. So when you come across a "thou shalt not," you might
well ask "Why not?" Just don't forget to look both ways before crossing to the taboo side.