I’m no expert on taboos, or how to go about defining what a taboo is. Others who have posted on this topic have much more profound insights than I have. I thought there was little I could add, even though I could talk for hours about the hypocrisy when a sexual act among consenting adults is considered taboo, but a blockbuster when brought to the silver screens in a Hollywood studio. I’m still not sure posting this is right. I may need a glass of wine or two before I do.
History as roleplay.
Roleplay is not necessarily a big turn on for me, but it can be fun and I’m not one for spoiling someone else’s fantasy. Where it gets dicey for me is at the border of roleplay and historical re-enactment. Now, for many, the term historical re-enactment does not necessarily conjure up notions of erotic taboos. I’m sure, however, there are some forms of roleplay that hit too close to home, even when they appear harmless in the abstract, and certainly would be largely unobjectionable by society.
I grew up in a very sheltered setting in Berlin (Germany). My father, who is a number of years older than my mother, was not as fortunate; neither was his older sister. They grew up in what is now Poland; his sister was in her early teens when WWII came to an end. She passed away before she reached her 20th birthday. In our family, nobody ever spoke of her, just like the subject of sex was never mentioned. Bear with with if you don’t see the connection; I didn’t see it coming either when it first hit me.
Uniforms are a big turn on whether in the cliches of Hollywood, or the reality of everyday dating. There are certainly plenty of soldiers who end up in a relationship with partners from countries where they were stationed. I get the attraction, how it makes a man, and women, look. There is a sense of authority, strength, discipline, and honor that comes with a uniform (I’m mostly thinking of military uniforms, but it could also be an airline, or other uniform that carries authority and stripes have to be earned).
Uniforms are a huge fetish as well. Sorry to talk about latex in this context, but in the better stocked latex stores, it’s possible to find just about any latex replica of a real uniform, current or historic. So what’s the taboo?
Only once did I have a client who wanted to wear his WWII uniform, and have an interrogation scene where I was to play the role of the sexy spy. I’m sure up to this point, this could have been a very sexy scenario. We didn’t get too much into the scene before it became clear that he was not just living out a fetish, but re-enacting his version of history. He was German, but wanted to play a sadistic Russian interrogator. He even spoke enough Russian to make it convincing.
He threatened, in his idea of role play, to send troops to my family’s house and rape all my (fictional) sisters. I’m sure he meant absolutely no harm to anyone, but had a fascination with history, uniforms, interrogation scenes, and rape scenarios.
I, on the other hand, broke down in tears and had to stop the scene. I could not do it. While I may never know what happened when Russian troops overran my family’s small village in current-day Poland, I had always assumed that it was horrific and ultimately led to my aunt’s early death. Being asked to re-enact what was a family taboo, one that was probably too painful for my father to ever talk about, hit too close to home.
If the roleplay had not been so convincingly staged and replayed, if it hadn’t felt like a re-enactment of actual events, rather than a fetish or sexual fantasy, I’m sure I would have been fine. This was too real, and became more personal than I had ever imagined.
I don’t believe I’m alone in drawing a line when historical events are treated like sexual fantasies. There is an above the line, where it can be a wonderful, erotic, experience that two partners share. But when connected to a D/s scene, there is a dangerous mind-game the sub can experience, even if consenting to the scene in advance. By the time the scene is in full swing, it may well be too late.
No doubt I’m the exception, but any form of roleplay that pretends to be based on actual historical events is now a hard taboo for me.