How do you grade what you've read?

We got 5 categories.
Mind Control
Wanking fodder
Writing quality
Idea / originality

As an Author I have seen high scored fall, and become very disheartened.

I have seen a big glowing dick, or a big shiney lightbulb beside my story, and though “wow, I’m so proud” then someone comes and reads it gives you, 2/5, 1/5, 3/5, 1/5, 1/5. and it cripples your averages and takes all your shiny symbols, and makes you feel like what’s the point of even having a grading system?

As a reader on the other hand, I sometimes feel an author making critical errors and I think “how can a writer make an error like this!? does he have no instinct? should I punish him with bad scores!?”

or “what’s the point in giving everything 5/5? then the grading means nothing”.

Then, as an admin I have seen both sides and sometimes have authors ask me how to handle the scores they receive when higher/lower then they were prepared for.
Sometimes people ask me how to score other’s work.

If I grade a mate’s story… I feel kinda shitty bringing their averages down, but then, am I being a good mate and a decent admin if I’m not honest?

I can’t speak for other people, but this is now how I do it:

I average 3~5/5 on all categories and simply avoid scoring the areas I feel an author wasn’t aiming to deal with.

So if a story does no contain mind control, I simply don’t give a mind control rating at all, likewise the other categories. (except for ‘writing’, since, all submission are literally “writings”)

As soon as I realized you can simply “not bother” grade the categories you believe don’t apply to a story, I instantly looked at grading stories differently.

I can now finish ready and simply tap a 4 or 5 on one category and leave it at that.
If I need to give a punishing score I can (1~2), but there is no need to.

and that’s how I do it now. Thoughts?


That’s a very interesting posting.

I rate similar but a bit different. My way is:

  • Stories that didn’t have any impact on me don’t get any rating.
  • If I rate though, I always rate all categories. And I try to be honest about it. That means if a story doesn’t contain any mind control, it’ll get a low score there, but then I expect the author not to expect a golden brain for his story anyway.
  • I try to tell why I feel the story had an impact, so there’s usually always at least one 5 in my ratings, possibly more of course. But I don’t shy away from giving something from 3 to 4.5, too, if that aspect is good but not great.
  • I know how hard it is to get a golden shine. It’s the top 1.25% of all rated stories, it’s supposed to be hard! And that you get a golden shine when the story is new and lose it later is rather normal, unfortunately I have to say, because I was victim of that with almost all of my stories. Only very few stories manage to keep that. Well, exactly, 1.25 stories out of 100 :slight_smile:

I don’t want to ratings to be disheartening to the author. That’s why the stats are only shown to the author himself and not to the user. It’s not meant to compare stories and their success. The badges are just meant as an additional praise, but even if a story doesn’t get ANY badges (which is true for the majority of the stories after all!) it can still be a very good and hot story - it might just be a bit more targeted at some special interest, addressing a certain niche, or simply not stand out that much.

Of course there are always haters who just want to hurt the author, just for the spite of it. I still wonder how to reduce their effect, because I don’t like this behavior at all. And I think I have some ideas, but I have to be careful with that. No point in talking about this openly just yet, though!


Generally speaking, I only rate stories that actually interest me (which, to be honest, is rare because I have a very narrow niche of interests). I usually rate all five categories, but if I feel a category doesn’t apply, I won’t rate it. For example, if a chapter is more about character development and has no sex or significant domination, I may not rate it for hotness or MC at all. Similarly, sometimes when I’m browsing to see if a story is of interest, I may notice that it’s very well written and leave a vote for that and nothing else if I don’t end up reading the whole thing.

I always rate as honestly as I can, though I won’t deny that there’s a certain amount of pressure not to rate someone badly. It’s rare that I rate someone less than a three unless there’s something really wrong with that aspect of the story. Generally speaking, though, if there’s something that wrong with the story, it falls into the “not interested” category, and I just don’t rate it on anything at all.


For myself, I rate any story that I read completely through. If for whatever reason, I don’t finish it, I leave it alone, as I don’t find it fair to rate something I didn’t complete.

Now for the ratings themselves. I have them split into objective and subjective ones (in my opinion). Hot and Wanking Material are the subjective ones to me, and they are very similar to me. Did it turn me on, and did it get me, well… wanking? Everyone has different opinions as to what is hot and what is wanking material, so context is important here. Some new diaper story just went up recently… I don’t like diaper fetish, so I’ll leave hot and wanking unrated, as it would be unfair to say “This isn’t hot or wankable, it’s trash” and give a low score, since it’s not what I like. That would be like having a sip of green tea, spitting it out, and exclaiming, “This is awful because it’s not Earl Grey!” It’s not bad tea, it’s just not to your taste.

Like others have said, I do try to rate all five whenever possible.

Now, even in a diaper story, I can rate the other three, since they are objective to me.

Writing is grammar, spelling, and readability to me. I know it can be argued that maybe expression, style, etc could be here, but I prefer to rate that in Idea, which includes the general creativity and imagination of a piece. I do that so Idea isn’t too linear. A classic hypnosis induction tale in the simple setting of a bedroom can still get 5/5 for idea from me, if it is presented with flair, in an original and interesting way.

I’m critical of writing. It’s probably the thing I rate lowest on many stories I have read. I can forgive minor errors like a missed period once in a while, or ONE your, when it’s supposed to be you’re. In the case where it only happens once, I get that it was probably missed by accident. But when the story is riddled with wrong spellings, incorrect grammar, tense switching three times in one sentence, it gets a low score in that field.

I’m sorry to say it, but I’m probably more critical of the Mind Control. It is the primary reason I use this site. I don’t do anything to rob people of their glory or happiness, but as a fellow consumer of the stories, when I am browsing along, looking for a story to read, and I see a new one with a gold, flashing brain indicating “Outstandingly Hypnotic,” I’ll probably take a look. The problem is that when I read it, and find the ‘mind control’ was “I told him to look into my eyes, and he instantly fell in love with me,” PERIOD, I get a little ticked off. Sure the guy may act like a damn perfect slave for the rest of the story, but… That was the mind control that’s receiving the gold badge “Outstandingly Hypnotic?” That one sentence blip? Maybe it’s just me I guess. I know it can be argued that the rest counts toward the score, but in my case, the believability of the rest is ruined.

Oh well, that’s just my subjective opinion on what I find to be an objective category, lol.

It would be interesting if people would ‘rate,’ in a sense, by commenting as well, but it would have to be less ‘personal.’ Like before, I’m not going to comment in the diaper story “This story wasn’t hot because I’m not into diapers.” Sometimes people actually write that in stories which is bonkers. I like incest stories, and the amount of comments like “This turned me off because of the incest,” especially in that genre, are astounding. I don’t know if people just think that’s constructive criticism, but they should know it isn’t lol. I definitely disagree with people rating stories badly because of their specific dislikes.


Overall I find rating as stand alone numbers meaningless. Tastes are different, and the experience of different people makes their windows of different sizes. A five for someone is a four for someone else, even if their taste is identical.

Where rating of this sort is useful is for clustering. If you read a story, it would be great if you could get a list of all other stories that have the same rating from the same people, good or bad. If the chav story you liked got a 5 from ScallyLover2001 and a 1 from ScatFan, then stories with high ratings from ScallyLover2001 are good possible choices, but those with low scores from ScatFan are probably better for you than those with high scores.

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That’s a couple steps from developing personalized recommendation engines the way Amazon and such use your viewing/buying history to generate new leads for you. Obviously the implementation would be different but … I work in a different branch of statistics, and I know that it can be computationally complicated and hard to implement something like that.

It’d be really cool, but it’s also a lot of sensitive data that really only Martin has/should have access to in order to make sure the system is working. How would ratings “change” if people knew it would affect their recommendation algorithm?

I think that sort of thing is, by definition bad.

Like, if you only get what you like, you miss out of the great variety.
Statistical algorithms lack the ability to account for natural human discovery.

I like Arvo Part’s Nucc Dimmitis, but if I started my youtube search history looking up techno, I would never get recommended a classical piece in a million years.

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This kinda thing only creates bubble and feels like spiritual incest.

At least the algorithms should always mix up some stuff which are out of your bubble. I understand that you want to present stuff that interests the person in question, but if you overdo it, you end up in a virtual singularity.

Strongly agreed on all points!

I only get irritated when I feel like someone is trolling me with their ratings. Like with my latest story “Zoombombing,” the ratings were very high, but they dropped significantly after a single Anon user rated it 0.5 in all categories. I’m certainly willing to accept that the story might not be to everyone’s taste, but come on!

I know Martin uses a sophisticated ratings formula that I don’t even begin to understand, but I wish those “outlier” ratings were dropped entirely.

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Had the 0.5 rating in all categories myself the other day. I don’t understand it! :slight_smile:

But then, tbh, I don’t really pay much attention to the ratings when gauging the success of a story, so it doesn’t really bother me.

I pay way more attention than I should, but I know that at the end of the day internet points don’t matter.

I just have to remind myself of it from time to time and take solace in the fact that hundreds of people reading and liking my weird sexy writing stuff is its own reward…

It’s horrible and childish

I don’t really think it is. If I read a story, like most of it, but hate a one element then why shouldn’t I put a low rating on it. Now, that said, I personally only rate stories that had things I liked - if everything a bout the story is considered by me to be stupid or ridiculous then I just back out and don’t make any rating votes. But if a story has a great theme but the hypnosis is like ‘look into my eyes, you are now mine’ and that is it then yeah I think giving theme a five star vote and hypnosis a half star vote makes sense.

That’s fair, but we’re talking about very low ratings in all categories. Or like giving someone a 0,5 in ‘writing’ while it’s obviously not written baldy at all, just because you happen to not like the story.

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It’s so hard to not pay attention to the numbers. I know that the numbers have no impact on my life, that the poorly defined categories basically ensures confused ratings, and the non-standardized scale makes even those who intend to convey the same information click differently. But you still wonder why that guy who put 0.5 on writing did what he did.

He probably just wanted to scroll on his phone and hit the “writing” rating control by accident. That’s why it’s been ignored and doesn’t count towards your “medals” (i.e. icons shown at your story when it get’s high ratings)

It’s not too tough to grade for me. I used to neglect grading a lot, but now that @Martin put in the reminder system it actually did get me to start rating more. I never feel too guilty about giving bad reviews, though I generally give good ones. I’m fairly stingy with giving 5s (though I do sometimes), but believe me when I say I throw around 4.5s like candy.

I only give bad reviews when I mean it. I’m not going to give a well-written story a 2/5 on writing, just because it wasn’t for me. I’m going to give a story 2/5 on writing, though, if it’s really poorly written. I think if someone makes a bunch of grammar mistakes, or doesn’t use paragraphs, or doesn’t use quotation marks, he should see from the community that his story was hard to read. And I know personally that when people are truthful with their reviews and don’t give high reviews out too quickly, that it feels all that much better to get high reviews when you do get them.


if I had my druthers, I’d shut off the ratings for my stories. I get tired of “This isn’t something I’m into” or “Not my thing” then get a ,5 rating. It’s disincentivising. One persons pettiness makes me not want to write. And when I open my stories up to editing or contrubution, no one does. I do wish we had the option of not being rated or at least use the mean and not the mode.

What do you mean by that, Thames?