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A Random Post About Why Shay Rarely Reads Erotica

When I was high school senior (to put it in more american terms), I used to REALLY be into reading erotica.
I used to hunt it down on the internet, sneaking from search engine to search engine, trying different keywords as bait – looking for those elusive hot stories that might get me off.

Back then, it wasn’t easy to find good free erotica, there were no spicy bloggers pumping out lascivious words to feed my desires, there were few listings of free sites, no, almost nothing to make things easy.

But in the end, after a lot of hard searching, I would manage to scrounge up a few stories; some times they were tame, some times they were hot, and some times they just plain freaked me right out.
And, after all my exploring, after I had tired of reading other people’s fantasies and realized that I was more interested in my own, and especially after I had moved on from stories to my own real experiences, I discovered that I had picked up an interesting skill.

I could spot a faker.

That’s right, I could spot a story that had been written by a man pretending to be a woman. I could spot a story written by a virgin. I could spot a story written by a man who obviously was sick the day they taught sex ed at school and who had obviously never come close to a woman’s body since he was weaned off breast milk.

To be perfectly clear, there is nothing inherently wrong with a man pretending to be a woman, there is certainly nothing wrong with being a virgin, and there’s nothing wrong with knowing nothing AT ALL about women and their bodies (though that last one certainly IS a shame and really should be remedied asap – even if it only involves reading a book or my site; that’s a step in the right direction).

My problem was that I soon became frustrated with these writers for coming up with impossible (or incredibly rare) feats of sexuality for their female characters to preform. [Especially the writers whose work frightened my younger self - shame on you, you gave me nightmares!!!]

Sure, the idea of the young virgin shoving a whole bed post into her vagina while she was possessed by a ghost and then banging her dad in front of her mom might sound hot in theory – at least in the mind of the inexperienced man typing the words I read – but to me, that was crap! I couldn’t identify with main characters like that, heck I didn’t want to identify with characters like the ones in many of the stories I found.
The impossible bored and frustrated me – I wanted something that I could actually do!

Thus I abandoned looking for erotica, I was bored and/or scared away by the freaky, the odd, the boring, and the unrealistic sex acts. Ironically, I turned to hentai – where, although my characters were technically unrealistic as drawings, at least I could make up my own stories to go along with the pictures.

A few of us were talking about this phenomenon of ridiculously unrealistic fantasies not too long ago:

Artful Dodger: So Shay, is there a name for a fetish that can’t actually happen?
hmm I dunno
Naughty Boy: lol
I could make one up – how about “impossiphilia”?
Artful Dodger: I
like that
Naughty Boy:
makes sense

What about you folks, any similar experiences? Any thoughts or comments on this unusually random post?

19 comments to A Random Post About Why Shay Rarely Reads Erotica

  • Prospero

    Hmm. So, it’s not about the faker. It’s about the writer faking it and not doing his or her research, not caring enough about the story or the characters or the reader to either do the research or even think about whether this position or that thought is likely or even possible. That’s just bad writing. And, without the winnowing benefits of editors, you get what you get on the Net. There’s a lot of writing as catharsis, as fantasy, as giggly experiments in using words Dad wouldn’t like. I’d like to think there’s some decent stories being written and offered on the Net. Maybe you just need someone to recommend the good stuff? I do agree that reading the awful stuff is… well, not so much fun.

  • Alex

    Some of the stuff out there is laughable and I know what you mean about some people passing the incredible stuff off as “fact”.

    But here’s a thought; Particularly in the case of extreme sexual acts, e.g. incest, bestiality, rape, sex with minors, do you think some readers think it’s OK to get off on such material because they know it’s not real? I.E. it absolves them from guilt and allows them to believe they aren’t in some way outside the normally accepted spectrum of sexual behaviour/predeliction.

    As I say, just a thought. Great post.

  • Shay

    Prospero – Oh, there definitely is some decent stuff being written these days, don’t get me wrong. And I do find myself reading some on the rare occasion.

    Alex – hmm I’m sure that is possible. I think what scared me about the violence in some of the stories I would happen across (erotica needs warnings!) was the idea that someone might fool themselves into thinking that doing something like that in real life might be okay.

  • Prospero

    Ooo, that’s getting complicated. And way beyond the original “why do people write about impossible stuff as if they know something?” topic.

    I wrote a back-and-forth story with a woman a few years ago. It was an age play fantasy thing that she wanted to do and it was framed as an incest story. Mind you, she was in no way underage and I am in no way interested in incest. And that story will never see the light of day. Is it because I don’t want my story to lead someone on into doing something wrong? Maybe.

    Some people do have problems separating fantasy from reality. And it’s a dilemma for the writer, if the writer is thoughtful. I mean, I always feel awful writing erotica in which the participants never seem to practice safe sex. And again, that’s a case where you hope the reader knows you can’t just go exchanging fluids in the real world of 2007.

  • Alex

    Prospero, the blurring of fantasy and reality is all too easy online. When, as in the case of your writing project, you explore the boundaries without loosing sight of them there’s a lot to discover. But the online world is filled with individuals with such a wide variety of needs, aspirations and orientations there are myriad opportunities for anyone’s work to be taken out of context.

    The last story I wrote was about a woman having casual sex with multiple partners, strangers who simply appeared in her life and left when the deed was done. I would not advocate that to anyone, of any sex. Quite apart from the lack of deeper fulfilment derived from the sexual act without emotional attachment there’s the sexual health aspect.

    As authors we all have to act responsibly, but we can not be held responsible for the actions of others who take what are often fables and ignore their salutary message. If they choose to follow Icarus in their sexual practices, because of a blogger’s writings or other influences, it’s not only they who will get their wings burnt. Sadly they often take other people with them.

    Sorry, that got a bit dark. Most bloggers and readers are genuinely nice people. You just get the occasional one like, well I’ll not name the twisted bastard, but a guy who appeared briefly last year and after getting short shrift from a number of us withdrew from blogging taking his sick stories with him.

  • SJ

    I’ve read some weird stuff too. Then there is the rape/violence fantasies nobody should so them but it’s not a physical impossibility. Kind of puts me off when not all involved parties are enjoying it.

  • Prospero

    Agree with all you said, Alex. So… how do you feel about warnings on stories? “Here lie beasties” or “Do not try this at home, you yutz?” Is there enough of a difference between writing a toss-off sex scene and writing what might be called a real erotic short story that means one could have a warning/label of contents (“four breasts, one cock, and a roll of duct tape”) and the other should just be experienced? I have no idea. :( Lots of talk for a random post, eh?

  • Shay

    haha I like that label of contents idea!
    It could be like on the back of rental videos (in canada at least); not only do we get a rating and a general listing of content, we also get a swear counter!

  • Rachel

    I definitely could see it as an outlet for fantasies that no one can actually see happening in the clear light of day–or are just those types of passing fancies of, “Ooh, wouldn’t that be kind of fun?”

    I guess I can see it as a way to really play into the bigger fantasy–like how romance novels can have limitless numbers of superrich, gorgeous, kind, straight, sexy men, who are all congregated in groups in certain locations in the world (the UK, France, Seattle and New York seem to be popular)? If that were the case, I’d be moving to one of those places.

    I think it does become a huge problem though when someone goes so far out of the way to create the fantasy that they forget to actually create a character that you can identify with. I don’t have any desire to stick a bedpost up my pussy while being possessed by a ghost (that was a serious, “What the hell?!” moment for me), but if I could identify with the character in some other way I suppose it could be a turn on.

    I don’t know, I guess. I’m a would-be (will-be: all about confidence) erotica and romance novelist/story-writer. I’m also a virgin. But despite my own lack of experience I have actually researched the subject in other ways. There really isn’t any excuse for just flying off at the mouth (or keyboard) if you’re writing fiction and imagining it’s going to be a bestseller.

    And clearly I write a boatload, so length of a story is never going to be my problem. :-)

  • Alex

    I’m in two minds about warnings. Yes they can be useful if the reader wants to avoid content that would not be to their taste, or offend their sensibilities. Yet at the same time some people seem to write with the intention of ticking all the boxes so to speak. Making sure they cover all the clichéd bases of “what makes a sex scene”, if you add a warning would these authors use such warnings to attract a certain type of audience?

    However on the whole I suppose I agree with warnings as they do allow the reader to exercise discretion if the subject matter of a post or indeed entire blog pushes the boundaries.

  • George

    I don’t think being a virgin precludes any knowledge about sex acts. I know a virgin (who is way too old to be one) who posses a tremendous amount of knowledge. She writes incredibly erotic stories and many of them contain extreme sex. While her positions can be all accomplished, the situations are sometimes impossible.

    Is it OK to get off on unusual stories? Of course because most of us will put ourselves into the scene that we are reading and masturbating about and when doing so, the story changes a bit and our minds make it possible.

    just my 2 cents.

  • Gadfly

    When I was in junior high school, I read a fantasy book called “Phthor”, which was a sort of take off on the Lovejoy “Cthulu”

    And the main erotic moment had to do with a boy very much “of age” understanding what to finally do with the naked girl.

    It was … yeah … well … kinda hot.

  • Shay

    Rachel&George – You definitely don’t have to be super experienced to write good erotica. Like Rach said, it’s about researching what you don’t know – it’s the writers who don’t do it that I can spot a mile away. Kind of like that scene in “The 40 Year Old Virgin” where they are all telling sex stories and his really stands out.

    Alex – I get what you’re saying, sometimes it’s good to be caught by surprise and find your boundaries pushed a little further, but only if it’s not like the author is shoving you into the deep end of the pool when you don’t know how to swim. But I don’t think we need to worry about erotica writers taking a warning label as a guide for writing – people already have ideas about what comprises a “good” sex scene, porn has seen to that.

  • exile

    yeah, fakers are irritating. i mean, if you can’t do it in real life you sure as hell can’t write it.

  • Phedre

    my 2 cents- I recently discovered hentai, and hentai movies, and there are some things though that seriously disturb me in those- lolicon and the preponderance of rape. while my inborn advocacy of the right to freedom of speech narrowly outweighs my discomfort, I would appreciate warning labels. I will illustrate with a personal experience-
    while searching for hentai movies to watch, and having not seen very many, I downloaded one that I thought would be a yuri (lesbian) one. Instead it had one of the most violent rape scenes I have ever seen in any movie, with a virgin and lots of blood. I have PTSD which is fairly well controlled these days, but this scene did give me a flashback of the likes I have not had in a long time. Had there been some sort of warning label, or content label, I would have avoided this movie all together.
    ok, seeing how much I have posted (way more than 2 cents LOL) I will refrain from comments regarding lolicon. (suffice it to say it disturbs me both as a person and as a mother in ways I cannot even begin to say succinctly LOL)

  • Shay

    Phedre – that perfectly illustrates the point; we need to know what we are getting into when we are going to watch or read erotica, especially if some/many of us may be disturbed by what we see. Now I know that to many people this sounds wussy and limiting, but, as you’ve just shown, it’s an important courtesy to consumers.

  • Phedre

    n_n thanks Shay. I always say to people, I am in no way saying anything should be banned or censored..I am way too much of a “freedom of speech” gal for that..but I don’t see how it is limiting to give some sort of content tags to erotica. In fact, I would venture to say it would increase the reading/viewing, because it would allow for faster searches for people looking for specific fetishes/content. And I would so appreciate not wasting free download time on stuff I would never want to watch LOL.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve found about 2-3 sites to date that i am satisfied with the organization for(unfortunately, they all have their flaws: one caters often to the ridiculous writer, often indulging in things not just taboo, but rather silly, the 2 others are furry, so if that isn’t your cup of tea, there’s one, and one of the later is so massive that the built-in search engine for it often takes 5 minutes to finish searching for you results. on the plus side, all 3 have massive story archives)
    but speaking of the unrealistic: furry/anthro art and stories. i noted the ad you had on you site,, yet i don’t hear much about it on this site. comments?

    note to self: get a blogging identity. i will probably be Huntor or some such stuff later on. for now, i’ll be lazy and just put anon.

  • Maikeru

    I’ve found a few sites that cater to a fantasy-like aspect similar to the somewhat impossible situations found in various sorts of hentai (copious amounts of fluids, giant, futa, breast growth, etc). Due to the fact that certain aspects may not be everyone’s cup of tea they have a system of tags that include things like bust size, “weird”, growth, futa (though using more generalized terms), and even whether there’s damage to clothing (I suppose some people really like that) as well as many other things.

    There’s a tag search system that uses a series of radio buttons with the options of “yes”, “no”, and “unspecified” for each possible tag. So you could specify that you wanted “Hair Growth”, “Bondage”, and “ripping clothing”, but don’t want “Incest” and “Lactation”. The site then spits back a list of stories that have the tags you want and subtracts what you definitely don’t want from that list while leaving all unspecified tags as wild cards. Then tag search is pretty quick with spitting out the list, but it’s of note that this site caters generally to the large bust/bust growth crowd.

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