cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,


I've been thinking a lot about incest fics for a while now, but especially since I read this Stuck on You fic, in my endless search for decent Matt and/or Ben fic.

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that incest is one of the issues that maps my boundaries when it comes to slash, because there is only a very narrow window of incest fics I'll even consider reading, no matter what fandom or who wrote them...

First, I'm not making any claims here about real incest. I'm just interested in the boundaries I find in my taste when I run up against it in fiction.

I don't tend to read incest fic--in fact I tend to avoid it. But when I see communities springing up devoted to it in fandoms I sometimes dip into (like HP), it does get me wondering. Of course, some fandoms, like Stuck on You, do suggest it, by their very nature. So I'm curious about what kind of buttons incest fics are pressing in me that I see them as borderline acceptable as a fictional conceit in some permutations, but totally squick-worthy in others.

For a start, there's a whole heap of incest that I'm obviously too well socialised to even get an illicit thrill out of. For instance, anything with a generation gap, and *especially* if one member of the pair is a child. Just. Ew. About 5 years apart is as far as I can consider with any equanimity. Anything greater is a total turn off, because it feels way too much like the most horrible kind of taking advantage of vulnerability and trust. But then, I have problems with chan too. So I'm not too surprised at this part of the squick.

I'm more surprised by the fact that I can kinda see the illicit thrill in considering a relationship between siblings that are close in age. There's a strong bond of friendship, shared experience and trust there though, potentially, which is one of my buttons, so perhaps it's not so surprising upon reflection. I'm thinking of the brother/sister relationship in the Hotel New Hampshire here. That wasn't yuck. But here's the weird thing. I don't want to read slash incest stories (at least not so far). Like Weasleycest. Ew. Although I'm less against Ginny/Ron than other Weasley combinations, which makes me wonder why het seems more okay than slash incest stories. That just seems strange to me. And I haven't been able to come up with a reason for me being squicked more by slash incest than het. Yet. I'm just bemused.

Then, when it comes to rps, for some reason incest feels really invasive and icky, even in close-age siblings. Much more so than in fps. At first I thought it might be because one sibling wasn't in the public eye and doesn't have a public persona, and therefore is *not* fair game (like Elijah and Hannah Wood. Ew.). But it's not just that, because I don't want to read Casey/Ben Affleck, Olsen twincest or Kylie/Danii Minogue either.

But Summer/Joaquin Phoenix? Still a bit ew, but not quite such a squick.

I find this quite unsettling, because I'm used to using my "Horror Quotient" as a barometer for when something is ethically dubious. And these incest-in-fiction boundaries seem to be all over the place. Obviously several different competing ethical cruxes are in equipoise on this issue, for me, and lots of different things can tip me over into ew territory.

What about all of you? Do you have the same kind of boundary issues with incest, chan or maybe something else?
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