The taboo topic of incest continually makes its way into every day conversation—an interesting prominence for something so controversial. Yet the frequency of these taboo conversational occurrences continues to increase. In the majority of these discussions, incestuous relationships are depicted as a “reluctant sexual experience” or worse.
Could it be that the environment of sexual censorship on television during the 1940’s, ‘50s, 60’s, and 70s required all incest to be depicted in an immoral light? However, a surprising number of consenting relationships exist as well, and more recently, the way incest is being depicted in society has started raising questions as to the possibilities of incestuous relationships being consensually romantic. Examining the motivations of each represented incestuous coupling only furthers the acceptance of incest as a whole. Whether or not someone looks for incest, it’s readily stumbled upon. In fact, the topic of incest is so widely mentioned it’s guaranteed to show up at some point.
Schools generally require young adults to explore mythology at some point in their education. While we often find mythological gods and goddesses involved in relationships riddled with incest, often these relationships contain lessons of a significant cultural relevance in today’s modern society. The Oedipus Trilogy is often required reading at the high school level. No one objects to these stories being read, examined, and then reexamined as a culturally important work. For many, these Greek Tragedies raise questions on the acceptability and impact of incestuous relationships. And the Oedipus Trilogy isn’t the only group of stories that high schooled youth run into regarding the topic of incest. Recommended books such as The Mayfair Trilogy by Anne Rice, V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradely, and Aztec by Gary Jennings all contain incest at some level.
Incest permeates not only our everyday culture, but our pop culture as well. We easily see this in some of today’s most popular shows and movies. Witness Back To The Future and Star Wars. The currently popular Game of Thrones television series is certainly no stranger to incestuous sex. Likewise, the cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show features the beloved characters of Riff Raff and his sister Magenta who many debate maintain a sexual relationship. Lolita seems to be another cult move classic that captures the story of pseudo incest well enough to figure in a variety of film adaptations. The popular shows House, Numb3rs, Sons of Anarchy, and American Horror Story: Coven all touch on incestuous relationships in a variety of forms.
The topic of incestuous relationships between cousins can be tough to debate despite the ever growing list of its acceptance within pop culture and dramatized depictions. Sometimes movies portray cousin relationships as consensual and completely acceptable, while other times the topic is dealt with carefully to meet censorship sensibility standards. Nevertheless, many different stories touch on sexual relationships between cousins, such as, Mansfield Park and Jane Eyre, which have become great works of literature. One popular film series that touches on a cousin romance is the ever classic Godfather Trilogy. This romantic relationship is depicted in a better light, if not completely acceptable as well. More frequently today, cousin relationships are being depicted as consensual bordering on assumptions of social acceptance.
Today we find incest brought up in many different environments, in many different ways. Often we don’t even notice the presence of incest while taking the overall story as a whole. In movies and television shows, incest means guaranteed expansion and ever growing popularity with audiences. Today’s view is changing away from the established belief of forced sexual relationships. The realistic depictions of consented incestuous romances have us asking, “Just how taboo should incest be today?” Considering the controversy surrounding incest, the taboo is quite popular and embedded into our everyday culture. Just what the future holds regarding the legality of and social acceptance of incestuous relationships remains unclear. All Lot’s Cave knows is that incestuous erotica has never been so popular.