Pushing Boundaries By Taking Taboos Seriously

Written by 3XWEST

Pure Taboo – our most notorious series. It’s as polarizing as it is popular, as compelling as it is controversial, and as shrewd as it is lewd. Whatever your thoughts are about Pure Taboo, you can’t deny you HAVE thought about it – and that was always the goal. To encourage discourse, to be thought-provoking, and to push boundaries in both the adult industry and in the world at large. Its massive commercial success was just the cherry on top. But at its base (and at OUR most base), it’s only ever been about the taboos.

Ta·boo (noun)

Something that is not acceptable to say, mention, or do.

Taboos are a fascinating topic to explore in philosophy, in sociology, and in art – and it has become a staple of adult entertainment since who knows how long (certainly at least since 1980 when the landmark film “Taboo” starring Kay Parker shook us all and redefined the landscape of porn forever!)

Porn is itself a taboo in most social circles – a dirty little secret that a majority of adults (~58% according to many studies) consume regularly… but few will admit to. Many of us are raised to believe our sexual appetites are something to be ashamed of, rather than recognized as a natural and near-universal experience we all share. And imagine, that’s even just for “vanilla” sex and porn – the hush culture surrounding atypical sexual attractions is even more silencing.

So if all porn is already shunned, then imagine where that leaves the taboo genre of porn which sexualizes subject matter that polite society finds obscene or scandalous. One would think that if this public aversion towards sexual taboos was reflective of our own private opinions, then taboo porn would be avoided at all costs, confined to the darkest recesses of the internet. And yet, look at how big the audience is for it. Porn lists of most-searched keywords and categories have long been dominated by variations of family roleplay, older-younger pairings, power dynamics, seduction & reluctance, and extreme sex acts we’d never ‘fess up to liking even to our most intimate friends and romantic partners. But if so many of us are “depraved” in all the exact same ways, then are we really depraved at all? When the outsiders outnumber the in-group, how long until THEY start to become the new in-group?

In this way, taboo porn fulfills an important role for everyone whose tastes and preferences are valid, but suppressed from being felt or acknowledged. It can be seen as a direct counterbalance to this societal sexual suppression – the more tucked away from the public eye something is kept, the more we are bound to seek it out surreptitiously. Providing a safe, fully fictional alternative can offer a form of healthy and consensually-created escapism, a pressure valve for the release of built-up desire and yearning that we push down lest we be perceived as abnormal or perverted.

And so, taboo porn has surged in popularity online in the 2000s and especially the 2010s – but a notable pattern was that these emergent studios and productions didn’t aim to rock the boat TOO much. Everything was a little bit sanitized – a lighthearted, almost jokesy atmosphere often permeated the content to keep things from ever becoming too serious, too real-world. And that’s totally fine! We’ve done the same with plenty of our own series, such as Mommy’s Boy, Devil’s Film, Sister Trick, and the like. It’s clearly a style that’s beloved by many, but what we noticed was that even on the other side of the coin there wasn’t much representation for dramatic taboo content. What was out there was equally sanitized in a different way – very erotica-influenced, with a soap opera flair and the drama being heightened into melodrama to the point where it no longer felt “real” anymore. Again, perfectly great for all who like it – but where was that one step further, towards depicting a grounded, realistic depiction of taboo encounters? Taboo porn where the consequences for the characters were true to life, the stakes for pursuing forbidden desires were just as risky as we’d imagine them to be in our own shoes, and the seduction was more believable and accessible as a fantasy because it didn’t magically work out perfectly on the first try. 

And so, with Pure Taboo, we wanted to create a series that didn’t shy away from its subject matter – that unapologetically pushed boundaries and gave popular taboos the gravitas that we felt were missing from porn for too long. Its motto from the very first page of the first draft of the series vision was “taking taboo seriously” – a pledge we made not just for our audience but for ourselves as well, to remind ourselves that this brand would not follow in the footsteps of others and soften anything. We embraced the hard edges, the sharp points, the good-bad-and-ugly, the warts and all. We committed to being inspired by all the most popular porn tropes in the taboo market, but to recontextualize them in the bleak dark world of Pure Taboo regardless of how zany the premise might seem – whether we were portraying a swapping of stepdaughters or a crooked impregnation scheme, a duplicitous bait-&-switch or a lesbian seduced into first-time straight sex. The series’ claim to fame was to always find and honor the underlying fantasy of the taboo being explored, regardless of how bizarre or surreal the events may seem.

And fame it claimed! The brand quickly skyrocketed to become our top-selling site, and even with the introduction of dozens of Adult Time original series to follow, none has managed to topple this undisputed king of the hill. And sure enough, its fame also brought notoriety – for staff, for customers, and even for the industry at large. Feathers were ruffled, the vision was questioned, ideas were balked at, copycats rose and fell – but throughout, people were TALKING about us. Which meant that they were talking about taboos. Mission accomplished.

By now, the Pure Taboo style has become infamous. The cast of each episode shines with unmatched acting skills to deliver performances that are emotional and powerful, sometimes unsettlingly so. The writing is sick and twisted, in all the most delightful ways we could hope for. The cinematography and editing is a master-stroke in matching the mainstream tone of true crime and psychological thriller films and TV shows, down to the (love it or hate it!) desaturated colors, moody shadows, and claustrophobic camera angles that make these genres pop. And most importantly, the themes remain relevant, current, and unabashedly taboo, vigorously mined through trends research and content analysis to ensure that we are always delivering the forbidden fruit that haunts the hearts, minds, and loins of porn audiences.

If Pure Taboo has ever been your guilty pleasure, feel guilty no longer. You’re in good company.

Click here to watch a full Pure Taboo scene for free!

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