Most of us - unless we were raised by very permissive hippies - grew up with a long laundry list of "thou shalt not"s. And few areas of life carry more taboos than what happens below the belt.
Some prohibitions make good sense: Thou shalt not cross against the light and get smooshed in the street, for example. And some sex taboos are reasonable, too, whether from a legal, moral, or medical point of view. "Thou shalt not insert a light bulb up your arse" is an admonition most of us can agree with.
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.

Simon Sheppard
Indeep - Order Here

Kinkorama - Order Here

Simon's latest book is In Deep: And Other Stories a new collection of intense erotic gay fiction. It features a gay vampire story to end all gay vampire stories, a raunchy Western tale that would have John Wayne riding a little snug in his saddle, and an in-your-face and up-your-arse retelling of the story of the Garden of Eden (and this time it is all about Adam and Steve). You can order it online from Amazon.

Raunch fans will also enjoy Kinkorama: Dispatches From the Front Lines of Perversion in which he chronicles a first-person exploration of extreme sex from glory holes and three-ways to stronger scenes like S/M play and leather contests. Simon focuses a clear eye on what makes us squirm, sweat, and shiver, revealing a host of sometimes shocking, often hilarious, but always arousing scenarios of all kinds of gay sex. The book is available direct from Amazon. For an OutUK interview with Simon click here. Simon is the co-editor of Rough Stuff: Tales of Gay Men, Sex, and Power and editor of Hotter Than Hell. You can e-mail him at OutUK.


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