Incest Fantasy And Its Censorship Influences Conversations About Abuse
I have been working for a site that prohibits incest fantasy, and I take issue with its prohibition. If we say that we cannot tolerate anyone fantasizing or imagining that incest occurs, and it still does, unfortunately, the effect this has is that it sends an unintended message that we are uncomfortable with any kind of expression that includes even thinking about it at all. The problem with this attitude is that while we try to combat incest, the reality is that thinking about incest does not amount to a criminal act. While incest should remain illegal, although I believe that underage forms are far more nefarious than adult incest, the images that likely form inside an incest survivor’s mind are a product of our imperfect humanity. While it makes me cringe to imagine having sex with a biological family member, I see the point of not censoring someone’s memories. The memories we have of being abused are real and should not be deemed so odious that we should force these people not to even remember. If you say to me, though, that it is healthier to ban all thoughts of such things, well, I am not convinced that it has that real effect, anyway. Thanks to reverse psychology, often when you say to someone, “do not think that way,” a lot of us take that cue in our minds in a different way. We do the opposite. We cannot stop thinking about it. It is like when someone says, “do not put your hand on the fire.” While, I know, intellectually that I will burn my hand if I do, my brain may be doing something otherwise. I may obsess about my hand upon the fire, even if there is no flame that I can see with my eyes and touch with my hand. So, my assertion is that we do the same thing when we say, “do not think about incest.” When it makes us uncomfortable, and we get upset about it, we are also taking part in a process of healing. To claim that no one should even look back or wonder if they are still affected by it is wrong. As difficult as it is to know how it feels to have been molested or violated by a family member, we must tolerate these things, because we do not know how to do away with all forms of abuse, and many in law enforcement do the same thing. In order to solve crimes, they are required to obsess about them. That is what makes being a cop so hard. It often drives them nuts. They have to do it, though. They would not solve crimes or get any work done, if they were not encouraged to obsess about how a possible perpetrator had gone about committing his offense. I am reminded of a recent video that a friend sent me showing me images of cruelty to animals. I thought I would have years of unpleasant nightmares involving picturing their torture over and over again. I did do that, too, for the first few days after viewing the very real abuse that is taking place in a foreign land, and I knew at that moment that I was correct about incest fantasy, as well. If I believed that I had total control over my mind, I would be lying. I do not have control over the things I see in an average day, and so, I do not go looking for abusive images, but I see why banning any kind of fantasy makes no sense at all. Our minds are our own, but they still cannot be influenced so completely that we can do away with thinking about war, crime, or even joyous memories. I restate, even though we find many things uncomfortable, and we also dislike thinking about bad things, we do not know how at this point in our flawed humanity to prevent ourselves from thinking about things, whether good or bad.
The other problem I have with preventing incest fantasy in Sex Work is that incest fantasy if it involves adults is not a crime, either and should also not be considered such. The only kind of incest that is criminal is when it actually happens. To call incest fantasy a crime if it involves two or more adults who are not related (I withhold judgment on whether biology plays a larger role in determining the definition of actual incest) amounts to an overreach of the Justice System and encourages paranoid reactions to things that are not crimes. It is a Conservative opinion on what constitutes crimes, and I hold Conservatives responsible for some of the worst mistakes in determining healthy approaches to dealing with sex, in general. They tend to want to prevent anyone from displaying any nudity at all, in some vain effort to do away with things they, “claim” are harmful to a small group of people. These extreme reactions often cause more harm than good, because there is no proof that all nudity or all images of sex, and certainly not that, “acting out” a fantasy will cause major damage to anyone. If that were true, then we would ban all images of war, and if we did that, we would never learn about Holocausts, for example. The message it sends to people is that all nudity is shameful and any kind of expression of incest, even when it does not involve relatives is also shameful. By their definition, any film that includes a depiction of sex, nudity, or incest is criminal. That ends up forcing abuse survivors to censor themselves, which communicates to young people or even adults who are being abused right now, that they had better keep it to themselves. It is based in shame, and anyone who has been through therapy knows that talking about abuse is the best way to get through it. Watching films also encourages people who are afraid to talk about abuse to do so. Films and fantasy allow us to use a cathartic process to work through our trauma. They do not necessarily, “teach” people to commit crimes. It would be a leap to judgment to assume such.