What is it about fandom that encourages us to push at boundaries and extend our comfort zones?
Is it because we feel like we won't be judged as harshly as in mainstream culture? Is it because there's a degree of anonymity involved? Maybe it's because we can step back and go to our 'real life', if something bad happens. But, for a lot of fans, that isn't necessarily true - we make friends with fans and socialise with them offline as well as on. What is it about this space which makes us do things we might not have done without the knowledge it exists?
ETA: grrliz asked a rather salient question - In what ways do you mean?
So, uh... okay - in certain fandoms there's a high proliferation of incestfic - which at least a few of the writers have said they never thought they would write, but the canon and the fandom climate opened them up to the possibility. Incest has been an element in fiction for an exceedingly long time - it's a taboo which fascinates writers and readers alike, but would all of these writers be writing about incest if it wasn't for their fandom? - quite possibly not.
I don't know. It just seems to me that people take risks in fandom that I'm not sure they would take if it didn't exist. Maybe it's just that these actions are more prominent to me, as a member of various fandoms (and an outskirter on others). I'm thinking of it more as self-imposed boundaries, but obviously other ones get pushed at too.