AUTHOR QUESTION: Writing Porn vs Reading Porn

A series of questions for all authors of smut:

When it comes to porn, are your reading and writing habits similar? Do you read things to get off that are similar to what you write? Or are there things–kinks, characters, scenarios–that you enjoy reading but would never write?

Contrariwise, are there things you would write but would never read in order to get off?

And–if there is a difference–why do you think the difference is there?

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I basically write what I want to read, so I find that if I want exactly my favourite kind of erotica, I need go nowhere else than one of my stories. But there are some things that other authors capture that I can’t, that I still love: there’s a particular porn logic vibe that several authors I love do well that I’d have no idea how to write. Elmara’s Dumb Jock Roommate, Charlie Walker’s stuff, Franco Apollo…

They all still have a core of real, meaningful, believable characters that I really love, but there’s this porny intensity to their narratives that I shy away from writing. Like, I can’t write ‘his fat, bouncing ass’ even if I love that imagery, it’s anathema to me as a writer. I have to replace it with less direct phrasing like ‘his supple, muscular rear’ or ‘the way it seemed to shake when smacked’.

The other issue I have is that reading is a lot harder for me than writing, especially lately. Lots of stories come through my inbox as an approver that I’m like “wow, I’d like to read that for fun and not just as an approver!” but I never get the time or energy. I think it’s either that I feel like I have to want to get off for it to be worth reading stories, or that I have difficulty convincing myself to read something new that might or might not be good. It’s the same issue I have reading new books; sometimes I’d so much rather read books I’ve already read. Whereas writing, I can do that more consistently; it’s somehow easier to write than to read.

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The only significant difference in my reading vs. writing habits is that once in a blue moon, I’ll read straight/bi hypno stories, almost always with a male Tist written by a male author. While entirely gay myself, I find that if you ignore the bits and pieces, the dynamic is often similar, and for whatever reason, straight male authors seem to like the “clueless/oblivious” theme that really gets me going. Gay authors don’t seem to write that style very much, and those of us who do all know each other by now :stuck_out_tongue:

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For me the overlap of what I want to read and what I would write is pretty much 1:1. Or sort of at least. When it comes to kinks, scenarios, characters, etc., there’s a complete correlation. One part that does differ, though, is length. I’ll write multiple chapters (and likely wind up delaying on actually finishing stories for… a while, because of it), but nothing past around 4 chapters. Some authors here are capable of planning out and writing what amounts to actual novels of content, which is deeply impressive, but not something I aspire to.

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I started writing because I was coming up with scenarios for… for personal use, and that’s still my main motivating factor. No one reads what I write more than me! Everything I write is catering solely to my own interests, though I’m still constrained by my skills as an author so whether or not my work lives up to what I want it to be is another story (pun not intended).

But as a reader, if I find an author or an idea that I like then I’ll read it even if it’s not something that I’m “interested interested” in. My own tastes run somewhat adjacent to a lot of the stuff on this site but I still like checking here just because there are writers here with great style who can make me enjoy kinks that I don’t personally have. A fun story is a fun story, even if I’m not getting off on it.

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I think I might be an outlier here–while I write fantasies I find sexy while I’m writing them, I don’t ever get off to my own stuff, once written. And when I’m in the mood to read some porn, I look for stuff that’s sort of adjacent to my writing interests but usually is darker/more ridiculous/squelchier in every sense of the word.

I think the difference for me is I’m intrigued about how far someone will push a particular envelope, and I already know how far I myself will go. (Usually, not terrifically far.) It’s hard for me to maintain dark narratives–I start feeling sorry for the characters, and it takes more work to keep something…sort of sexually grim. There have been a few narratives I’ve committed to that were sort of edge cases for me–they tend to be some of the more popular stories I’ve written but I resented writing them for much of the story because they seemed to require plumbing the depths of my perversion and I kept wanting to lighten them up. I still get in the mood to write messy stuff, but I know now that I have to have a pretty solid idea in mind to keep me through all the second-guessing. When I’m reading something, however, all that tension is gone–it’s the other author making all the choices, and I can just go along for the smutty ride, anticipating every dark twist.

I will say that something that I do write but wouldn’t read (at least, to get off) is romance. I really enjoy writing characters getting together and getting a little–butchly smitten with each other–but it most often irritates me in stories I’m reading to get off. This might be because a lot of romance in general is written with too obvious a shade–I despise long languishing passages about feelings, even in my non-smut–but I usually check out if the romance supercedes the porn, despite writing–and enjoying writing–that kind of smut all the time.

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All of my stories are written in mind for me to come back to later and… enjoy :wink: .

I love when other people enjoy my stories as well, but a lot of times I write for myself and my own sexuality, so I naturally just write what I like to read. But man, sometimes a writer just hits something that I am unable to hit on myself that is super erotic! This is why I love different writing styles.

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I know exactly what you mean by the clueless/oblivious theme! Personally, within mind control/hypnosis, I’m a big fan of when the controlled person is a mindless zombie, basically. No expression, nothing. I find that a lot of hypnosis or mind control-oriented stories really transform the person into really enjoying/being excited about their commands, but that just doesn’t turn me on, really.

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I think I might be an outlier here–while I write fantasies I find sexy while I’m writing them, I don’t ever get off to my own stuff, once written

I am similar. I find my ideas hot before I write them, but once I write them down, I rarely get aroused by my own writing… maybe that’s the critic in me. For my own writing, I’m constantly thinking about how I could have written it ‘better’ and so it stops being sexy.

I also tend to enjoy reading a broader range than I write, mainly with darker stuff. I like reading everything from light and fluffy to dark and nasty, and I dabble in writing certain kinks and in darker moments, but rarely do I want to write full-on nasty or cruel stuff. But I find reading it extremely erotic from time to time. Same with certain kinks. Reading certain kinks I will likely never write is still hot to me.

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C.S. Lewis had a philosophy about telling smutty jokes–which he did a fuckton of before his conversion–I forget exactly where I read it. The idea was some people tell smutty jokes for the community aspect, while others tell it for the smut. I’ve wondered from time to time about developing an aesthetics of smut along the same lines to explain this divide in my own approach to smut, but I’ve never really thought anyone but me would be interested. And of course, almost all categorizations beginning with Lewis’s frameworks are a fraught endeavor.

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I think we’re actually talking about two different things. What I meant is when the person doesn’t appear different to anyone else, and even to themselves, the changes in their behaviour seem to be entirely by choice. For example, they’ve recently developed an interest in large dildos despite never having been into butt play at all before, and they think that that’s their own interests changing naturally, but it’s actually the hypnosis/magic/whatever. They’re not oblivious to everything, just to the changes within themselves.

Possibly a topic for a different discussion, but I’m more in your camp than the wiped-clean camp. I think it’s sexier/more interesting–even more powerful–when someone stays who they are, essentially, but are changed in as fundamental way as sexual proclivity/orientation.

That being said, my sense is that the wiped-clean camp is a larger share of the GSS readership–and nawt wrong with that, as Mary Berry used to say.

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gotcha lol

I definitely get off to a broader (and sometimes way darker!) range of things than what I enjoy writing, or even want to write.

I also don’t get off to my own writing—I was surprised to learn that some authors write ‘one-handed’, so to speak, or that the writing of the story itself can involves self-pleasure. (Yeah, I know that description is a bit clinical… :sweat_smile: JACKING OFF yes anyways)

I do definitely fantasize a lot when I’m on my own and busy getting off. Sometimes those fantasies can inspire a story idea too… But turning those ideas into actual written stories will use really different parts of my brain, I think… I guess writing a story feels more like play, for me—like, playing in a sandbox? It’s fun to make something! And there’s an enjoyable challenge to it too. “Can I make this feel hot for other people as well? How should I go about this so that it’s fun (and :hot_face: “fun” ) to read for others?”

But the stuff that’s fun to fantasize about in detail (and then to try turning into a story) can definitely be narrower in range than what I’ve enjoyed getting off to when reading stuff on the site.

I don’t object to romance in my erotica (lol) and I enjoy it as a happy ending. But yeah, hm, I’m not reading this site for romance. I’m not even reading it for descriptions of sex—I could get that on any old erotica site. On this site, I’ve gotten off to stories that had zero sex at all, and I think that kinda sums up the point. We’re here for stuff that scratches our vaguely-defined kinks, whatever they are… and it’s usually not ‘romance’ or ‘vanilla sex’.

If the kink is there and done really well, and there’s a romance, or plot, or humor, then I’m happily along for the ride. In fact, all that stuff can make me enjoy the ride a ton more!

But without the kink aspect, it’s just a story to me… And then it’s competing in my head with stuff that’s often way better at satisfying the craving-a-story urge—like, all the stories/movies/etc already out there. That’s some tough competition.

What I can get with this site, which I can’t really get most elsewhere, are stories that mesh with the kink stuff really well and in a way that heightens the fantasy. I think it’s a bit like… You know that experience as a gay teen, watching or reading some story that almost goes in a really kinky and explicit direction, but then it never quite gets there and stays PG, and the author maybe wasn’t even aware that they were writing fodder for someone’s sexual awakening into their story?

I feel like the best stories on the site can be akin to re-experiencing those familiar teasing stories that fueled so many fantasies, but then the site version of the story doesn’t just go for the kink stuff, it fucking barrels into it at full speed, NC-17 style, and it just keeps going and going, and gleefully smashing into every kink button inside your brain while doing so, along with some you didn’t even know existed.

Or at least that’s the ideal reading experience I often hope for lol

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This is so interesting to me, like—so, I used to have all these ideas for stories I really wanted to write that were non-smutty. I put a lot of creative energy into these grand plans but they never really took off for me. When I started writing smut to be a story, suddenly it was like all those blocks had been removed. And the way I described it when I realised it was that writing erotica satisfied both my sex drive and my creative drive at the same time, and that kept me going.

Seeing my fantasies fulfilled on paper is a big motivator for me, I think, but I’m also really excited to have this room to explore interesting stories, to ‘play’ like you said and make something really cool and meaningful.

That’s probably where my response to your next post comes in. I think part of the reason that things like ‘romance’ etc. worm their way into the smut on this site is because of what I said—one wants to write to satisfy their fantasies, but then they’re writing a story and damn, they want to make it a story, and all these things just come along for the ride. I’m working on a story where two former frat bottoms get hunted down by their frat’s Seeders at an alumni gathering; they’ll be saved by their old flame who they fell out with because of a deep misunderstanding of each other’s needs, and the climax is going to be as much kink as it is an emotional capitulation. I can’t help it.

I do think a trap that is easy to fall into is to start feeling like you’re writing a story, then try to pull back from the kink because you want to feel more literary or whatever, and then all you get is a watered down mess. Art requires aesthetics (IMO) on which to build meaning, and the aesthetics of erotica is a combination of writing and kink. If you lose the kink you’re missing a whole half of the aesthetic base to your art.

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This is exactly how I feel about some of my darker kinks, haha. I don’t have any related to mind control; my hardcore kinks lie along another line which I’ll neglect to state. But—I can fantasise about them briefly, I can get off to the idea of them, but if I start writing them, I feel sorry for my characters, because I have to lose all psychic distance to really get into their heads.

I’m sure there are many writers who genuinely enjoy the existential terror necessitated by some of the really dark mind control kinks, like wiping clean, and therefore can write these grim narratives. I also wouldn’t be surprised, though, if some writers maintain a level of psychic distance between themselves and their characters that protects them from the actual ‘reality’ of the fantasy. I expect that psychic distance to be the same kind as the psychic distance of porn logic. To enjoy the fantasy of porn logic you have to conveniently forget certain realities. Both writer and reader of some of these grim narratives willingly allow themselves to forget certain realities.

This isn’t a completely unwarranted conjecture for me. It’s how I’ve come to enjoy writing my own dark fantasies once in a while. I have to create a separation between myself and the characters that protects me from the existential terror, but the only way to do that is to give a feeling of unreality to the story.

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I was talking to Heru and had another thought about Doms/subs IRL and what you write and what you read.

I consider myself a switch, and I enjoy reading dom or sub perspectives, but I usually write from a sub or switch perspective, rarely “pure” dom. I think the sub in me wants to see the sub perspective, and the dom in me likes seeing how the sub is impacted by the mental changes. Curious about those that fit more cleanly into the D/s boxes than me.

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First, for those who don’t already know me, I’m almost exclusively a Dom. It comes naturally to me, and if I had the opportunity, I’d love to be a 24/7 Dom for someone. I enjoy subbing on occasion, and even respond to some guys as a sub, but it’s something I do for a scene, not something I can do long term.

I prefer to read and write stories from the sub perspective, with only a very small handful from the switch or Dom perspective, and even there, it tends to be more for story purposes than out of a desire to write that. Like Naedre says, seeing the mental changes the sub is going through is what turns me on.

What’s interesting about this is that I’ve occasionally had people request that I write more from the Dom perspective, and I think most of those people have been subs. That makes me wonder if it’s common to want to read/write porn from the opposite perspective from how you identify or if my observations are simply coincidence.

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I have to admit that, while I’m writing a story, I usually look down to make sure that it passes the “bone test“. However, once the story has been posted, I lose interest in it.

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