The Porn Diaries #2: Incest is…Best?

Recently, I had an assignment to get running screenshots of a bunch of porn videos in both full screen and embedded format for our software. The tool used to gather the screenshots took a ridiculous amount of shots while it was running (something like one every half second), and I had to go through the frames it took when the videos were done to get rid of the extra screenshots (before the video was started, after it had finished, etc.). This meant that if I didn’t stop the screenshot tool immediately when the video was done, I’d have way more work to do afterward. The easiest way to do this would be to watch the videos, of course, but that wasn’t entirely preferable, so instead, I just plugged my headphones in and had the sound of the video playing while I did other things. To say that what I listened to while finding those 20+ videos was disturbing would be a massive understatement.

My thought process when “choosing” the videos was to make it as random as possible. Obviously, since I was selecting them by hand there was some element that wasn’t random, but I tried not to read titles or categories and just start a video and let it capture. Even so, the number of underdeveloped storylines that played out in my ears that involved the words “mother”, “step-mother”, “step-father”, “daddy”, and “sis” surprised me. The first couple of times I heard it, it was the “step-sibling” route, which I thought was weird, but mostly ignorable. Then another video started, and I heard a girl saying “daddy”, which of course, doesn’t necessarily mean incest as it’s also a term of endearment.  I paid closer attention to this video, and while it remained unclear as to if the relationship was supposed to be father-daughter or stepfather-daughter, when the video ended with his rushing her to get cleaned up before her mother sees her, it became obvious that this wasn’t just a pet name, but rather her actual father figure. I looked into it, and apparently, the incestuous trend in pornography has been rising for years.[1] The question is, is it about a curiosity with actual incest or is it about finding something more extreme to quell a deepening thirst?

A lot of people, myself included, feel that this trend has little to do with the actual act of incest. It is well established that porn is an escalating behavior[2], so once I got over the shock of it all, I assumed that the trend was about the need to cross more lines to get the same effect. One theory is that is has something to do with society’s reluctance to let go of the paraphernalia of their youth. In this case, the item they’re longing to hold onto is the awkward sexual encounters of yesteryear.[3] I can relate to wanting to hold on to a piece of your childhood, but I can’t say that I’ve ever felt a yearning to return to anything that could be described as “awkward”.

Regardless of what someone’s reason is to seek out and consume incest porn, it’s a little concerning. Whether it’s about taboo, escapism, or something else entirely, it represents an alarming trend: the escalating content of pornography. As incest becomes normalized, what current taboo will take its place, and, perhaps more importantly, where does it end?

 

Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Let us know!

 

[1] May, Gareth. “Why Is Incest Porn So Popular?” Vice. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8gdz8k/why-is-incest-porn-so-popular-332. (5/16/18)

[2] “Why Consuming Porn Is An Escalating Behavior.” Fight The New Drug. https://fightthenewdrug.org/why-consuming-porn-is-an-escalating-behavior/. (5/16/18)

[3] Frank, Cosmo. “What’s Up With the Rise of Incest Porn?” Cosmopolitan. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a39382/whats-up-with-the-rise-of-incest-porn/. (5/16/18)

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