The Allure of Taboo Topics and a Giveaway From Storm Moon Press

I’m turning the floor over to Storm Moon Press Today!

Welcome to the Storm Moon Press 2011 Blog Tour! Today’s post is all about the allure of taboo topics!

 

They say you should never discuss religion, politics, or sex on a first date. These are the topics you can’t bring up at the dinner table (unless your date is awesome and open-minded). They spark heated debates, rile people’s opinions, and test everyone’s comfort zones. Sex is an especially personal topic, and because of the mystique our society places on it, people commonly think they’re alone in any desires they might have. Not wanting to risk backlash and possible social exclusion, few of us speak up unless we find ourselves in a safe space where we don’t feel we’re being judged.

 

Fiction and fantasy are two places we feel a bit safer to explore the taboo, the themes that make our hearts race but society has conditioned us to feel ashamed for enjoying. The fantasy isn’t necessarily a wish for it all to be real, but to explore ourselves in a way we normally can’t. Be it loving but complicated incestuous relationships, the dubious consent of being captured and unable to escape, or the thrill of being powerless in a slavery fantasy, these themes can pull up strong desires and imagery.

Perhaps it is the very aspect of these themes being forbidden that draws us to them. They are the moments when you daydream about being captured by pirates or sold on the auction block to the highest bidder or interrogated by corrupt authorities. While we certainly don’t seek out these situations in real life, the fantasy can turn very erotic in our minds, and that’s when erotic fiction can be the most freeing. Stories about the taboo stimulate our minds and imaginations. We escape mundane life and are transported into scenarios that are new, dangerous, and against the grain of the everyday.

 

At Storm Moon Press, we recognize the value of these themes. They certainly aren’t for everyone, but for those who are captivated by the forbidden topics, we’re happy to announce that we have several anthologies planned for your writing and reading pleasure. Curious to see what themes we have in store? Head over to the Storm Moon Press Anthologies Page, and put ‘taboo’ into the theme filter on the Open Calls tab!

 

The mind is the most erotic tool a person has, so we hope our books stimulate your love of the taboo, whether you’re an author or a reader!

In celebration of the taboo, we’re giving away a copy of our anthology, <i>Wild Passions</i>! Just comment on this post to be entered to win a free ebook copy! <i>Wild Passions</i> contains six stories by awesome authors, all centered around anthropomorphic characters. If you love the furries taboo, then this is the anthology for you! Comment away! Contest winner will be announce tomorrow.

11 Responses to “The Allure of Taboo Topics and a Giveaway From Storm Moon Press”

  1. I do like the cover and am very fond of free books. πŸ˜€

  2. I had no idea there were furry books out there, really! I love the publishers that let authors write what they want. I’m going to check out the publisher now and see what other taboo topics they have to offer!

  3. I love to hear that they’re allowing what are generally considered Taboo topics, but was surprised when the link took us right to the Submission guidelines and read :

    Material that includes the following will be summarily rejected:

    Gratuitous violence (including splatterpunk, slasher, and torture-porn)
    Rape intended to arouse (though we will consider forced seduction or dubious consent if it is respectfully handled)

    So, they do still have their own taboo subjects. While I absolutely agreed with tmost of the listed rejected subjects I find these two just a wee bit ambiguous. In fiction isn’t it pretty much all gratuitous violence? And in the non-con abduction and slave stories aren’t they intended to arouse? And to use the word porn… most people that I know consider all of the erotic romances porn…. which is fine, porn isn’t inheriantly a a bad word.

  4. Regina Ross Says:

    Great post !!!

  5. I wasn’t aware of your company prior to this. I will head over right now and look around. Please enter me in the drawing for the anthology. It’s always wonderful to find new authors.

    Thanks,
    Donna

  6. Courtney S Says:

    This sounds interesting. Please throw my name in the hat.

  7. I enjoyed the post; it was a great read.

    Congrats to Storm Moon Press. May you have many years of success!

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  8. @Pati – I would disagree with your assessment that all violence is gratuitous. It depends on the theme of the story overall, of course, but there is definitely in some stories a level of violence that would be considered “necessary”, particularly if you’re writing an action story or a wartime historical or even a slavery fic where the violent treatment of a character is used to demonstrate to the reader where the boundaries are in this alternate reality.

    The types of stories listed there, though, use violence and gore for their own ends and not part of a larger narrative. These are stories that rely on gore for shock value, not for story advancement. And so I have no problem with that being a hard line for a company primarily publishing erotic romance.

    In regards to the rape, I think they probably mean that topic is rejected UNLESS submitted specifically for one of the fetish/taboo anthologies, which makes perfect sense to me.

    It’s a bit ambiguous, sure, but no more than the “I know it when I see it” standard for obscenity in the Supreme Court. I’ve published two short stories with Storm Moon Press, and I can say that if you can make a good case for keeping questionable material in your story, they’ll definitely be willing to listen and work with you.

    (Also, the word ‘porn’ was used as part of the word ‘torture-porn’, which is a term that refers to a very specific class of story/movie that eroticizes dark and gory torture scenes, and not to pornography in general.)

  9. @Patti: Hey there! πŸ™‚ I’m one of the owners at Storm Moon Press, and I thought I’d drop in here to talk about those particular guidelines.

    Thank you for pointing out the ambiguous nature of some of our stated submission guidelines! We are definitely going to be discussing this among ourselves and revising the guidelines to reflect our views more clearly.

    We do have what we consider ‘taboo’ topics we don’t particularly want to publish because we aren’t confident there’s a market out there. I don’t want someone picking up one of our books thinking it’ll be a lovely erotic romance and wind up with a bestiality scene smacking them in the face. I don’t see the erotic or romantic allure of bestiality, necrophilia, or pedophilia. These just aren’t topics I think readers of this genre are looking to find between the covers of our books. I will say, there are a handful of presses out there who *do* publish those sorts of things (hats off to Forbidden Fiction and Freaky Fountain Press), but that’s just not a bridge I feel comfortable crossing for Storm Moon Press.

    With regards to rape and violence, I think, in the hands of an accomplished author, those topics can be spun in an interesting and compelling story. Because we’re small, we can take on books on a case-by-case basis, and if there is an author who brings us a query or manuscript with these topics, we don’t dismiss it outright. But we have our guidelines set up as they are mainly to discourage frivolous submissions by authors who can’t adequately justify their choices to us.

    We also make a distinction between rape in fiction and rape fantasy in fiction. True rape is more about the control and violence and hate, whereas rape fantasy is much different and tends to focus more on the forced seduction and coercive aspects of non-consent. Using the former to titillate and arouse is simply, in our opinion, irresponsible, and we’ve made the choice not to allow such things. But the latter is something that we will entertain, provided that the prospective author can sell us on their particular take and their ability to write it convincingly.

    Maybe we could have made that more clear in our submission guidelines, but in regards to our taboo anthology calls, we are more interested in the erotic fantasy than the grim and violent reality.

  10. Reading stories that deal with subjects that are considered taboo cause me to step away and discover what the book is trying to communicate.

  11. […] Inside Reader: Aleksandr Voinov – Aleks picks his top 10 books at Elisa Rolle’s Blog **The Allure of Taboo Topics – K. Piet talks about taboo anthology calls from SMP plus a GIVEAWAY for Wild Passions on […]

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