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Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Question Anwered

I got a message from a fan recently asking me a question. It was a good one and I thought you all should hear it so I could answer it publicly. There are some good reasons for wanting to answer this in public.

"I was wondering though if you could tell me as a content creator and one whose work I respect and am a fan of, do you think you could tell me how you would describe the appeal of incest in a fantasy, novel, or game?"

Before I get started on answering that, I want to bring up something. Namely a TED talk that discusses why IQ's have been rising over time. This may seem odd to you, but bear with me for a second.

For those of you who don't want to watch the whole thing, the long story short of it is that we aren't getting massively better at math or writing and things like that. Rather, we're getting much better at a very specific form of thought - abstract thought.

People today grew up in an environment with movies, books, video games, and various hypothetical scenarios. We are used to thinking about a world where reality is different than it actually is. We can accept a world where something obviously fake is true for the sake of a story. Go ask your great-grandfather about some Science Fiction story and most will reject it out of hand. They see imagination as "kids stuff". This isn't universally true, of course - but it is a trend that increases as you go back in time. The source of those cool old people is also clear. They're the ones that got to read Weird Tales as a kid or watch sci-fi movies during their formative years or see or do something that got them to see different possibilities during their formative years. Something almost inescapable now, and something I believe contributes to the rise of "nerd culture". Something that's so ubiquitous now that it's almost a meaningless phrase.

I'm 30, and I'll be 31 next month. I grew up in a rare and unique era in a rural slum and became a nerd in an era where nerds most definitely were NOT cool. I never got to touch a computer until I was in High School. I never got to own a lot of the game systems most people did. What I did have was distantly secondhand.

And so, growing up in a rural backwater with little money I got to see a pre-electronics society in a lot of ways. Few TV's, music played on record players, small towns dominated by blue-collar cowboys and football players. There I became a bookworm. This is not some joking tale about how I was so unpopular in High School. Because of racism, poor family reputation and being a nerd I was almost beaten to death by a mob when I was in middle school. Those were the people that reacted violently to things they couldn't understand. They had, in other words, low abstract intelligence. They saw their world the way it "should" be and reacted violently to any alternate possibility. This also made me obsessed with understanding abstracts and how people process them.

Of course change comes even to rural backwaters given enough time. The place is a lot less racist, a lot less violent, and a lot less primitive now. I latched onto the most advanced technology I could with an undeniable fervor.

So what does any of this have to do with a silly sexual fetish?

First and foremost the incest fantasy is a fantasy. I and a lot of other people who make stuff with some content like that have -ZERO- interest in the real deal. To me the thought of doing anything with my actual family is disgusting. This brings me to a very important point.

The incest fetish isn't about wanting to have sex with your own family,  but imagining fake sexy people having sex with THEIR family.

"What's the difference?" you may ask.

If you have a sister or brother and imagine yourself making out with them your response is probably going to be, "Eew." Possibly followed by "eeeeeeeewwwww". On the other hand a common fantasy of a lot of guys is to have sex with twins or sisters.

Imagine two hot girls making out with one another. (Or if you're into guys, two hot brothers.) Here, have a visual aid with Melita and Kael.

These two are unrelated. Many of you, I imagine, will go, "that's pretty hot!". Now imagine the same image with Tasa and Melita - sisters. A lot of you will still think it's hot, even though you find the idea of real incest repulsive. Why? Because they're people you find sexually attractive doing something that is sexual with each other. Some of you will find the idea even hotter than the non-incestuous pairing though. Why? Because it's wrong and taboo.

But here's the key difference: It isn't real. It's a fake wrong and a fake taboo. It's a good reason for people not to want to do something but do it anyway. It's the same as any bad-boy centric romance novel a lot of women and housewives go gaga for. It's wrong but it's also hot because the people are hot and doing something they aren't supposed to.

Some of you can't see it even then. You may still find it repulsive. No worries - you haven't made it past that bit of abstract thought required to see it. This isn't a personal failing. Despite a lot of my friends liking it I've never been able to feel anything but repulsed by futa, for instance. There's still some element in there that trips you up but works for others.

For me? I feel like it's an excellent enhancer to mind control stories. Why? Because it's a good reason for sexy people to not have sex even if they want to. It's a taboo, forbidden element that allows someone to take control and overcome justified resistance to lead to a satisfying and sexy conclusion.

So for instance, let's continue with the lesbian theme above (or whatever variant floats your boat).

Two sisters are super sexy and attracted to each other, but both know it's wrong and fight their feelings. As you probably know trying to repress sexual desires really tends to just make them stronger. Now some evil mind controller comes in and makes them make out with each other. The sisters themselves are now blameless - the sexy action that ensues, in spite of it's taboo and wrong nature, is not their fault. The responsibility is out of their hands, so they have no need to feel guilt, nor do the readers. After all, it's the bad, bad mind controller that made them give into those forbidden desires. Their repressed lusts makes it super satisfying and sexy for them.

The same logic and reason applies to any stormy romance. A good Christian girl is sitting at home reading her bible eating Graham Crackers to repress her sexual desires  when some sexy, sexy man comes by and like an evil fiend sweeps her off her feet. She knows it's wrong to give into his lusts but, damn, his pecs are like fucking iron. Even though she says no a lot he takes her anyway and she cannot resist. A stormy, doomed, "forbidden" romance ensues.

The same appeal often rests with stories about steamy affairs. Being married is a good reason not to have sex with anyone else, but it's a popular genre of forbidden love.

Stories are driven by conflict. "Two people wanted to have sex and then did, the end," is a boring story. "Two people wanted to have sex but couldn't and so had to fight their desires only to give in and have sex later" is a Harlequin romance novel. It also makes things hotter. Tension needs to build in order for the payoff when they do have sex to be as big as possible.

All of these are abstracts. Hypotheticals. Not-real scenarios. That's what makes most fantasy fetishes work. Some concepts are repulsive in real life but hot in a fictional story.

For my part I'm fine with incest because in a fictional world all the real world negatives associated with it don't have to exist. It's just a good reason for sexy people to resist having sex with each other.

On the other hand my mind does NOT see past the abstract leap to let me enjoy stories about affairs. I see real life adulterers as horrible people and some part of me will not let me forgive a fictional example. This has to do with my own life. I've never been married but almost was once. While I was in Iraq my fiance got pregnant and married to someone else, breaking up with me on the phone right before I came home. Obviously that has a big part in why I'm not able to accept that abstract.

For the same reason real victims of incest probably won't see the abstract in that scenario. Actual good Christian women sexually assaulted by a handsome sociopath probably wont like that fantasy. Sometimes the opposite is true, of course - some victims of sexual assault enjoy rape fantasies because it's so unlike the reality of what they experienced.

And there you have the basics of what makes it work. It isn't real and almost all sexual fantasies rely on some degree of abstract reason, even if you never realized what made things work for you. It's my job to understand why things work, and that's what makes it all so interesting.

Home Invasion is my next game and it's focused on mind control and incest. It's entirely fake and nobody is based on a real person. I actually had some characters redesigned at points because they vaguely reminded me of real people. That game is being made for people who want more in-depth mind control and liked the Tasa/Melita stuff in Overwhored. I'm going to make it silly, and humorous, and totally not serious and unlike the real world in the ways that matter. And when it's done I'll go right back to making other stuff.

In real life I'm super vanilla. I legitimately like hypnoplay, I like anal sex with hot girls (though the real thing is highly overrated and takes a lot of prep) and... well, that's about it. If I were in a relationship with neither of those things (and I have been in the past) then it'd be perfectly fine.

More important than my real life is the fact that I'm a writer. And in fictionland abstract ideas and conflict rules supreme. Fiction is more interesting than real life because we design it to be. So long as we understand what drives people we can create stuff that fascinates them even if they don't understand why.

I hope the question can be considered answered. Thanks for your time.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It's things like this that make me miss the podcast. =[

  3. Really good, well thought out response.

    A lot of the stuff you wrote I already knew about, but it's really nice to see it explained so well.

  4. Part of the appeal in fiction is that that imagination allows us to experience the illusion of things we cannot have in reality.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. The only thing missing is an extra, definite eeeewwwwwww.

  7. Thanks for the post :) most of this I was also already aware of and to be honest it does not bother me as it is fantasy and fiction and for me personally I have never had any difficulty to seperate fantasy from reality.
    To be honest I think it is pretty hot to image Tasa and Melita and I belive there is also a sketch or to of it in the old bonus archive you posted a couple of months ago i think it i was.

  8. >image with Tasa and Melita

    i-i would fund this

    1. You already did, there are two pictures of them making out in the bonus sketches on Patreon.

  9. This is yet another reason I read your blog, even when there is not a game update. You have clear, well-thought-out ideas, and express them in a wonderfully cohesive way.

    I hope you never give up game creation, but if you do, please keep adding to public discourse with posts like this.

  10. That has to be one of, if not THE most, intellectual response to a question about porn on the internet. You really did perfectly explain it in a eloquent and thought full manner; a rarity on the internet and especially for subjects such as this. Kudos to you Cypress Zeta

  11. Please don't say "a victim of incest". You really should use a clearer statement, such as "a victim of incestuous sexual abuse". Not all cases of incest are abuse cases. The ones that are are obviously terrible, since that's rape and rape is always terrible (in a real life setting, I'm not trying to look down on anyones fetishes here), but there are instances of incest that are perfectly mutual and consensual, and they shouldn't be casually lumped together with rape and abuse.

    1. Baron Von Otto the III, noble of Europe, I do not mean to insult your long and storied tradition of cousin marriage!

      Seriously though you're right. That said that phrasing is a mouthful and if you obsess about always being perfectly clear you sound like a robot or social justice warrior.

      Real incest and discussions of morality concerning it are a different kettle of fish. Real immediate family level incest has a number of issues beyond just consent.

      Suffice to say however my short statement above was directed at people with unpleasant experiences possibly not being able to see past their own trauma to get a fake fetish, something that should be clear from the context.

  12. Neat post. I also find it interesting how closely your likes and dislikes re:porn appear to align with my own (though I'm fairly ambivalent about mind control, I must admit). That and a few other parallels occasionally make me feel like I'm looking at something written by another version of myself when I read your posts. I just can't decide whether to find it comforting or creepy...

    Ahem. Anyway. Good thoughts.

  13. Assuming the "eeewwwwww" factor doesn't block out any potential enjoyment of the story, there is also a love appeal. I'm sorta a sucker for a good love story. Two people who love each other find a new way to love each other and share a deeper, more encompassing version of it. While that isn't particularly hot or erotic, it has an enjoyment factor for some. For me, it can make hot writing hotter by adding in another layer of passion.

  14. Cypress when will be next update for non-patrons?I cant wait :(

  15. I don't know where to post this sooo

    I cant get the game to work. i start the game get a black screen for a while and then it crashes.

    What version of RPG maker and the rtp do i need? Maybe i have the wrong ones.

  16. I have to assume you already know you're brilliant.


  18. Wow. Yes this is grossly inadequate but it's 8am and I haven't been to bed. This is a stellar explanation. I will be sharing it with my wife who happens to have this particular turn on (the incest bit). I am pretty flexible with much of it particular if there is mind control/hypnosis involved. It's a fetish to the point that I have been able to in one case been able to enjoy a strictly all male story solely because hypnosis/control was involved, it happened to involve anthropomorphism so that may have helped. This was rather surprising to me after the fact.

  19. I've never been one to accept "It's wrong because it's wrong" explanations and thus often try to find why societal taboos are taboos.
    On the subject of incest the best my passing interest search and own theory says incest is bad because it ruins genetic diversity and increases the likelyhood of negative traits in offspring.
    Since I haven't thought of any other reason than the "ew" you mentioned, technically incest should be okay if done in the interest of sexual pleasure rather than reproduction.
    That said I still find incest repugnant, but in media I can get over it despite often questioning why the scene couldn't have been exactly the same with a few lines changed so it wasn't incest. Though as you stated there is that interest in the forbidden.
    Of course there could be a better reason than the rather dry genetics one, but until I hear/think/whatever of one then I don't see an earthshattering problem with incest between same-sex couples at least...
    In any case I believe the abstract thought capability is an excellent tool for learning from your mistakes before you make them so to speak. Or simply for the enjoyment of trying something out in your head.

  20. If he had known anything about IQ Scores he would be aware that 130 is the new average not being no where near being gifted you would have to score close to 200 to be almost genius .