Thoughts on cross-posting all stories across all sites

TL;DR: I think the recent change to include stories from each site on all sites by default is a bad choice. I explain why I think so in a very long and meandering post.

Recently, Martin posted another update to the site, as detailed here: Site Updates Pt. 2 - #113 by Martin. As always, I’ll speak for everyone to express how grateful we are for his dedication to this website and the extent to which he invests his time and energy into improving it.

With that out of the way… :slight_smile:

One of the major changes he implemented was changing the default behavior of all four websites to show every story posted to each website. So a story posted on Gay Spiral will appear on Gay Cupid, Gay Kinky, and the other one (the bondage one, I don’t read that one), even if it doesn’t include the Cupid or Bondage theme. The rationale was that the non-Spiral sites see so little traffic after being live for years, and stories posted there don’t get the attention they deserve. Makes sense. Takes advantage of the increased eyeballs on Gay Spiral Stories, which leads to more attention which leads to more repeat traffic, etc.

However, I see this change and I find myself asking, won’t this have the opposite effect?

I will admit, I don’t spend much time on the sites other than Spiral. After all, it’s what I and most people on this forum sought out and formed a community around. It targets a particular niche that has few outlets available, even fewer that have the (relatively) consistent level of quality we find here. To say nothing of the active Discord channel. It’s a vibrant community, but let’s not forget that it took quite a while to get to this point. I don’t know the numbers, but I suspect this grew over the course of 1-2 decades to reach this point. Whether it continues to grow, I’m not sure, but it’s vibrant nevertheless and shows no signs of slowing.

Martin has a noble and ambitious vision for this website, which I fully support, to diversify beyond sexy guy-on-guy hypno shenanigans. We have a site dedicated for bondage (still don’t remember the name), one for non-kink erotic stories, and an aggregate site that encompasses all of the above, as well as anything that currently doesn’t fit. One can also cross post between the sites such that if you hit multiple genres, you aren’t constrained to one or the other.

This is where I think the problem lies.

The few times I’ve popped over to Gay Cupid Stories, it looked an awful lot like Gay Spiral Stories. Scroll down the list and you’ll see spiral after spiral indicating the primary or secondary theme is hypno/mind control. Again, this is highly understandable, given the vast majority of this community was drawn here because of that interest and continues to support it. I suspect the addition of this and the other sites has challenged the authors of Gay Spiral to broaden their horizons and include themes they might not have. I wrote one (okay) story for Gay Cupid, but discovered it wasn’t my niche and I struggled to find inspiration when mind control wasn’t involved. I suspect I’m not alone in this regard.

Which leads to the inevitable: people who like writing mind control stories continue to write mind control stories. There’s no dedicated community for Cupid or Bondage or Kinky, just offshoots of the existing community that took years to form, largely in response to the absence of a quality space for those who like the gay mind-control genre. And those who are drawn to this kink will continue to discover and hopefully contribute to Spiral. Existing members will drop off, new members will join, dedicated members will persist, and so the community will presumably thrive.

So then, how does a similar community form around Gay Cupid Stories? To someone looking for a platform for free short form gay erotica, they might come across Gay Cupid Stories and consider it, only to discover that 90% of the stories relate to mind control, which to be frank, is not everyone’s cup of tea. Not that it needs to be; the particularity of this genre is what makes Gay Spiral Stories so strong. But for a new website to grow separately from Gay Spiral, it seems to me it should be differentiating itself from Spiral, not integrating further into it.

Yes, there are options to change which stories you see. Another addition with this update was a “pure” button that restricts stories to only those that were posted to a given site (enabling “pure” on Spiral will only show stories that include “Spiral” as a primary or secondary theme). Choices and customization are always welcome, but they also add a layer of friction that a new reader may not be aware of or care to have to adjust when they are looking for their preferred content. For the advanced reader, this is a wonderful addition and I don’t think it should be removed, but I suspect most readers don’t fit this category and will simply think that what they see is what they will get.

So, what is my long winded point? I think it’s a mistake to cross post all of the stories across all of the websites. I understand the impulse to want to share Cupid and Bondage stories in a space with the largest audience, but it’s not going to matter if the audience you’re sharing with isn’t looking for what you’re serving. And further, when you do actually find those members interested in the stated offerings of Cupid and Bondage, they won’t find it because it’s flooded with Spiral stories. Maybe there’s some opportunity for readers to switch between the sites. Maybe some readers prefer to view through Kinky so they can see all of it because they have a refined palette that can tolerate all manner of kink. For me, and readers like me, there’s simply not an incentive to broaden my horizons to content I’m categorically disinterested in.

So, my proposal would be to reverse the change, and go hard in the opposite direction. Completely sequester stories to their primary website: only Spiral stories on Spiral, Cupid on Cupid, and so on. I would even suggest limiting intentional cross-posting, and deferring to the most niche kink. There’s very little downside in including a Spiral/Cupid story on Spiral, but I would resist the urge to include a story with that kind of theme on Cupid unless the mind control element is so minor as to be considered incidental. I can’t speak to Bondage, but I suspect there’s more wiggle room there between Spiral/Bondage stories, but there are certainly instances where the bondage/leather/bdsm element overwhelms the Spiral element so much so that it feels out of place on Spiral, and vice versa.

I know it’s disappointing (and possibly expensive) to put up these websites only to see them pale in comparison to Gay Spiral Stories, and I appreciate how much sympathy you feel for the authors who post stories there only to have them go unread, and it is a very real concern that authors will leave the platform if they feel there’s no audience. That problem I don’t have an easy solution for. Does it make sense to commission authors to write vanilla stories to boost the content on the site? Can we collaborate with similar sites outside of our group to cross promote and draw in an outside audience? I have neither the expertise nor the resources to carry out a marketing strategy like that, but what I do believe quite strongly is that if we continue in the direction Martin has proposed, that they will suffocate under the weight of Spiral and it may not matter.

I would much rather see these sites live on their own, small as they may be, rather than be artificially supported by Gay Spiral Stories forever, which I believe will be the outcome of this strategy. Martin proposed in Discord eliminating the three sister sites altogether and just having Kinky as the singular platform. This isn’t a terrible suggestion, but it still remains that Gay Spiral will likely dominate that platform, and if that stopped being the case, readers and authors like me may not feel like this is our space anymore.

Of course, I don’t bear any of the responsibility for this website and its success. Martin does, as do the other contributors who are much more active than I am. I am quite willing to be wrong about my thesis and welcome dissenting views. I would also be thrilled to be proven wrong in the form of increased readership and traffic to the other sites and an increase in authorship to those less-contributed sites. I have full faith in Martin, enough that I feel like I can offer my unfiltered and unsolicited opinion, for him to completely ignore or embrace, and I’ll be happy with whatever he decides is best. I leave it to you, Martin.


Thank you for your well thought through and extremely well written argument. I really appreciate that.

And let me assure you, that I had the same thoughts as you.

One of the reasons that so many stories on Cupid (and Collar) bear the Spiral icon, too, is that this was the only way in the past to get seen. Most authors intentionally x-posted to Spiral to make their story seen, otherway their work would go to waste. Very understandable.

In a perfect scenario this wouldn’t be needed, and frankly, it’s not needed any longer now with this change.

But I fully understand your issues with it.

What I might see as a (rather strange, but practical) workaround is to change the default like this:

Only on Spiral the default for “Pure Mode” will be turned off. So those people who are just casually visit Spiral out of habit, get to see all stories - this is the vast majority. But on Collar and Cupid the default for “Pure Mode” would be set to “on”. Meaning that when you look there, you’ll see only stories meant to be placed there.

After some time authors will target for Cupid and Collar specifically wihout the need to x-post to Spiral. And maybe, after some time, when those sited found their own userbase and traffic, we can change the default for Spiral, too.

What do you think?

You’ve written so much, and but I have to leave for my dad, so excuse me if I didn’t go into everything you wrote, but I promise that I’ll come back this evening and take the time your posting has earned, ok?

1 Like

For where the conversation is, I want to say I agree with almost 80-90% of OP and also I agree with Martin’s solution (pure mode on by default for Cupid, off for Spiral).

I’m focusing on the ‘agreeing’ bits because it is objectively an astute judgment and elegant stop gap by Martin, in a place I wish we weren’t in to begin with.

Now, I want to add my voice to the concepts of “what good / what bad” does mixing the sites bring, as in, the idea no one visits Cupid, ergo authors cross post to get reads.

I think that’s a false economy. The reason Spiral stories can’t be put on Cupid is it will drown Cupid; if there is any hope of developing its own identity (in 7~15 years, like Spiral) it needs to not be “a ghetto in the shadow of spiral.”
Separate content (mostly or within reason), separate banners, separate sponsored stories.

And then why not Cupid on Spiral? Well… it’s trying to sneak vegan sausages from your (thus far, failing) vegan restaurant, onto the plates of meat eaters from your (popular) carnivore’s restaurant, and hoping it doesn’t effect their trust in you or your consistency of product (but it will).
Furthermore, from the perspective of an author, If I want to write a romance-focused character study, I don’t like the implied subjugation of needing to put an arbitrary pornographic chapter for the people I know are reading “a story published on spiral” with their dick in their hand, and, nor is it fair for me to ‘trick’ those readers with a 6k long “love ramble” and a ‘lovely kiss’ at the end.

We can trick the Spiral readership into mixing Cupid stories into their to read list, but we can’t trick them into liking them and being happy they were gently and discretely flimflammed by (admittedly) gracefully implemented menu switches.
It’s not fair for an author to say “I want the Spiral readership, but I don’t want to give the Spiral readership what they come to Spiral to read.” It’s better to have five readers rather then 1000 readers, but 995 of them are pissed off and have now black-listed me as an author because I made them sit through (from their perspective) off topic BS.

Going back to the food metaphor. Customers don’t want to be ‘tricked’ into including vegan dishes in their diet, or having to say (more then once) “no thanks; as implied by my coming here, to spiral, I only want a menu of the food I came here for.” Neither do vegan chefs want the constant oppression of needing their dishes to be suitable for hoodwinking meat eaters; fake hotdogs, tofu burgers, steaks with smoke and bacon seasoning.

I don’t want Cupid authors to need to constantly think about their stories in the context of being 90%+ for Spiral audiences anyways. I believe Cupid has massive untapped potential, and to get to the beginning of that journey, it needs more distance from Spiral, rather then less.

All of this is true.

But if we don’t do cross-marketing, it’s more likely that Cupid will die off on the lack of content - as it’s too frustrating for authors to publish Cupid-exclusive stories - before it has the chance to gain a footing.

Actually, for Collar there is already a bit of a following, so I am a bit more optimistic for that site.

So deactivating Pure Mode on Spiral by default (but keeping it on for the other sites) is a sneaky, a bit pushy cross-marketing incentive, which could cause some indignation. But in the end, every person does have the option to switch to Pure mode if he can’t stand it. Giving the user the power is always the best solution.

Still, the vast majority will at least get the Cupid- and Collar-Exclusive stories listed, which will make a difference, I hope. Once we have enough exclusive content for these site, we can always change the default for pure to “on”, or even return the sites to the exclusive way they used to be, of course with an announcement where to find the non-Spiral content.

It’s not ideal, but for me it’s the least evil of all options.

1 Like

You are definitely correct there. It is, I think, the best option for the situation.
Also, while I’m not a Collar-kid personally, it fills my heart with happiness to know it’s on the up.

My focus is on Cupid. Can I ask (again, for certain) why you’re opposed to the idea of more separation for Cupid specifically? Like, it seems to be exactly what it needs. Collar has strong enough flavours to stand up to Spiral. It’s basically like spiral except with a different theme. Cupid is a theoretically different beast.

You affirm this quite a bit

It’s too frustrating for authors to publish Cupid Exclusive stories [because of low hits]

Like, is this feedback you have received from “Cupid” authors? and if so, Who are they and how many strong are they?

Cause, I’m a Cupid Author, and I don’t find that frustrating. I’m only frustrated by Cupid having to try find it’s own identity, at gun point (succeed or die), while existing as an ‘Alt-skin’ to Spiral.

And besides all of this, If you clear the space to let it flourish, it might, and if it doesn’t then it doesn’t matter, because only the people invested in it will lose out. (So practically zero users apparently, and like, two already-currently-frustrated Cupid authors; Me, and this other guy who says “I’m a Cupid author, but publishing Cupid-exclusive is frustrating”)
Like… let the people who wanna try make it work work :person_shrugging:. If no one is going there except a handful of authors saying “please let us have an empty space rather then this Spiral clone” then, wouldn’t the empty space be easier and better, then something that is not working anyways?

1 Like

To add another more in depth answer to your suggestion to separate the sites altogether:

That was never an option and never what I wanted to do. Especially as there are many stories which bridge over the sites by default. There are romantic mind-control stories with BDSM elements.

Reducing the sites to Kinky alone would be a very good solution to almost all problems, but it would also alienate the established GSS userbase. Not an option either.

I’ve just uploaded the change that sets the default for pure to “on” on Cupid and Collar. On Spiral it will stay “off” as default for now. Each person can choose to enable it, if they want, and honestly, I don’t know why anyone would care that there is the option to turn it off for other people. You don’t see what they’re doing.

So everyone can chose how GSS and the other sites are looking for them.

I see where you’re coming for I think.

Let me chew this much so far.

I always assume that if I go to gay kinky stories it’ shows me the stories on all the various specialized sites. After all, regardless where they are posted, they’re all “kinky stories” right.
So, why not just make the kinky story site be a sort of omnibus table of contents for everybody else.

That’s exactly how it had been from the beginning.

The problem is, that most people never bother to look at Kinky. Only 12% of all visits go to Kinky, the vast majority never bothered to look anywhere but to Spiral:

Why not put a line on each of the other three sites in big bold type saying something like “you can find every story that have been posted on all the other sites listed on kinky. “

And then just ignore all the complaints because you’ve settled the issue.


You mean like this? :slight_smile:

I have been writing many newsflashes about this already. The effect was minimal. People don’t want to move. It’s just like that.

Yes I know and I understood it but sometimes you just have to make the translucent utterly transparent. Happy holidays

1 Like

I must be in the 12%. I thought Martin’s instructions were pretty clear. Kinky has been my main site ever since.


I think it may be starting to become a problem to see this as a problem in the first place.

Why are we acting like Kinky/Cupip/Spiral should be as popular as Spiral? Spiral has been around for eons, and the majority of the people that come are not just accidentally looking for hypnosis fiction, “but any would do”; They know what the theme is, they know where the site is, and they’re coming for what they’re coming for.

None of the other places have that yet, and to discover otherwise you’d need to read banners and ‘look at things’ and try new things and do all the stuff no one wants to do when they come looking for what they’re looking for and know where it is, and find it, and have a wank and then close their browser.

Maybe we have no idea how long it takes for all this new stuff to sink in, you know?


Because, and I thought I’ve written this already, author’s don’t want to write stories which have no audience.

And if there are no exclusive stories on either of the new sites, people don’t bother going there.

It’s a chicken-egg problem.

but Spiral is like 1000~10000+ visits a week?

If cupid is 25~100 then first off, that’s not “nothing”, and second off, any change to this is completely immaterial to Spiral figures

Now let’s fact check your sentence;

Says who? Says what Authors? bah, I deride and contest this assertion (read in a Sideshow Bob voice)

I’m fine with Cupid being a teeny tiny baby, and I publish on it; me; this guy. It reminds me a little bit of my Tumblr account before I came here. It’s like a little growing chestnut of potential.
Who says Author’s write for audiences first?

Like if Cupid doesn’t have any readers for five years, then suddenly some of the [statistically insignificant, compared to Spiral] people mention it to 500~2000 more people.
Bam. Treasure trove.

But it won’t be a treasure trove if it’s just being tossed about by schemes to get eyeballs on it. Eyeballs from people who are aiming for something else, knowing what they’re looking for, finding it, and then leaving, i.e., looking for Spiral stories, finding them, reading them, and then leaving.

No matter what the play is, ingenious or not, fair or not, annoying to Spiral or not, we’re talking diminishing returns for all parties, if we keep trying to “use Spiral, to force Cupid out of it’s egg quicker.”

I imagine this applies to a decent amount. It’s the curse of the social media age. People (understandably) want engagement, they want validation for the work they put out into the world. And this applies to writers, artists, musicians etc.

If you’re putting time into something and no one, or barely anyone is seeing it, it can be a huge demotivator.

1 Like


Just see this as a startup assistance. I agree at some point Cupid and Collar should be able to stand on their own. And then I’ll change the default on GSS again or remove the “non-pure” mode altogether.

If we don’t provide that startup boost, I think it’s not a matter of how long it will take to get on their own feet. The two sites would probably simply die. All statistics point that way.

You imagine, but it doesn’t mean what you imagine is true for all artists.

Some artists create to create, and… 10 - 20 viewers are plenty. Cupid is perfectly functional as a publishing space in this respect.