What Does Step-family Porn Say about Humanity?

Written by Chad Echakowitz

pexels-photo-112327.jpeg

According to the Rules of the Internet, if something is online, there is porn of it. There are no exceptions. This leads to some pretty nasty, interesting, and questionable things if one were to go digging through the deep, dark web. One implication of this rule is that Porn reflects our reality; it takes what we put on to the Internet and it makes it sexy, whether we want it to or not. Superhero Porn, Space Porn, Underwater Porn, even Nugget Porn are all things that exist and are frequently watched. But these are all eclipsed by one specific genre of Porn: Step-family Pornography.

In 2016, Step-mother and Step-sister Porn were the second and fifth highest searched categories of porn in the world respectively, beaten only by Lesbian Porn. The usual plot of Step-family Porn includes a forlorn and innocent Step-son who is woefully seduced by his Step-sister. The Step-mother then catches them in the act and decides to join in. It really becomes a family affair. But this type of Porn is not exclusively for the cis-gendered. On Homosexual Porn sites one can easily find videos where Step-sons are seduced by their Step-fathers. It is a genre for all, regardless of your sexual predilections.

On paper, it should be quite obvious what the problem is with this category of Porn. This, by definition, represents incest. Incest is the act of undergoing a relationship, either sexual or nuptial, with another person who is a close enough relative in terms of consanguinity (familial relationship). In layman’s terms, incest is having sex with, or getting married to someone in your family. Incest is frowned upon because of the increased chance of genetic issues that might occur in the children of two people with such similar genes. Although Step-family members are biologically different, some laws prohibit the union between these familial relationships because of their close legal relationships.

In terms of English Law, it is illegal to have sex with an adult who is related as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sister, stepsister, brother, stepbrother, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece. America does not have a unified codification on the prohibition of incest, but each State has its own laws on incest. Some States have even gone so far as to enact some radically different legislation when it comes to incest. Rhode Island, for example, has repealed its criminal incest statute, only criminalizing incestuous marriage, and New Jersey has no penalties for incest so long as both parties are over 18.

Incest is generally thought to be a bad thing. Usually, when some sexual act is illegal, any Pornography of that act is illegal too. Child Pornography is a crime independent of statutory rape crimes. Bestiality is illegal and any bestiality Pornography becomes illegal so long as there is penetration by or on an animal on or by a human. And yet Step-family Porn is not illegal. This is most likely due to the fact that the people in those Porn films are not actually related and are therefore not committing any crime. But they are still creating that illusion, and people are still finding it arousing.

If the only argument against incest is that the offspring may be born with biological defects then the purpose of making it illegal is not so much the act, but rather the potential consequence of the act. As such, legislation criminalizing incest is a preventative measure, stopping the act before it can lead to any unfortunate consequences. It would therefore seem that we are not against the act of having sex or marrying our family, but rather we are against the chance of children being born with genetic defects due to the relationship.  

And this is why people don’t have a problem with watching Step-family porn. What those actors are doing is not wrong per se, because they are not going to bear offspring from their union. As Freud said: we all want to have sex with our mothers. This, however, does not mean we want to impregnate them. The same may apply for our Step-brothers or Step–sisters. The Step-Family Porn industry is also an illusion. While people watch this category of Porn, they know, in the back of their minds, that it’s all just role-play, that these people aren’t actually related. It differs from Bestiality or Child Pornography because, by definition, those types of Porn have to be authentic, and as such, involved the real, deplorable, and illegal act.

That being said, there is a psychological aspect to think about. There is a power dynamic that exists between a Step-parent and a Step-child. The parent has more power over the child because of their role as guardian and protector. This role, as has been seen in so many cases, can be wrongfully abused. As such, Step-family Porn can promote the abuse of this power dynamic, with the Step-parent taking advantage of their position to seduce the child. While it is clear that a large percentage of the population finds this genre of Porn arousing, there is a serious problem within the porn industry creating an image of women as objects for sexual abuse. Yes, it is consensual in the Pornography because it has to be, but it could lead to the furtherance of abusive parent-child relationships.

What does this mean in the grander scheme of our society? Do we need to rethink how we see women and the fact that they are not sex objects? (I can’t believe I even need to ask that in 2017; the answer should be an obvious and resounding “yes”). Do we need to tighten up our Porn, banning Step-family Porn for its incestuous connotations? Or do we decriminalize incest so long as no children are born from the relationship? The latter option would be incredibly hard to police, and may be ineffectual. There is no easy answer and as society changes, the laws surrounding sexuality change too. Perhaps, in this brave new world, there is room for incest

As a global community we are becoming more accepting of people and their differing opinions, affinities and ways of life. Incest is a topic which, much like Porn, people have mixed opinions about. But when you really stop to think, and try to see these things from the other side’s perspective, it can really open up a new world for you. I’m not saying incest is right or wrong, and I’m not saying Porn is right or wrong. I am saying that the way we see women as sexual objects is wrong and we need to change this attitude immediately. One cannot just make a snap-judgment about things any more. Life is more complicated than right and wrong. Inclusive, empathetic thinking is the only way forward. And that is the type of thinking the whole family can do.