@PhilipK’s topic suggestion, ‘Toxic’ Masculinity, spawned a host of wildly different takes on the idea and brought about a fun and fascinating competition. I’m starting this thread to discuss some of your favourite takes and stories (especially the obscure ones!), your surprises, and expectations.
A few starting questions, if anyone wants to talk:
- Were you pleasantly surprised by any of the takes? How did some stories represent the theme in a way that intrigued you?
- Did any stories capture what you were looking for in a story about toxic masculinity? What kinks were you hoping to see?
- Do you have any favourites, especially obscure stories? Did you like any of the stories that placed in the contest? (That one’s a selfish question. I demand endless praise showered on mine.)
Thanks to all the participants—and everyone who read, favourited, and rated stories to contribute to the ultimate rankings!
I didn’t really get to read other stories in the competition—though I wanted to read Ballerbug Outbreak, otherwise, mind control stories don’t really hit for me—but I did finally get to @Cockatrice’s Like Summer Rain and it was as exceptional as I hoped from my much earlier brief skim.
Of all the stories in the contest, it seems to most directly address the problem of toxic masculinity in the “real world”, although it’s a world adjacent to ours. It does so with flying colours, delving deep into a character who reflects real world motivations for toxic masculinity—particularly in the gay community, which is what it focuses on, to great effect (and probably some conviction).
Of all the stories, it was also unfortunately the least set up to win, since you need to get four good scores + favourites and it was a Cupid exclusive with no sex and hardly any mind control. Still, I am immensely thankful that Cockatrice took it upon himself to write it anyway. It was needed.
Thanks for pulling together this thread, Soren! It’s a great idea!
I thought there would be more “big sub small top” stories because of the kind of topic it was, (It’s what I like to read) I’m a little disappointed But everyone who participated did a great job writing, congratulations to the winners
Ohhhh, like toxic masculinity with turnabout. I wonder why nobody jumped on the comeuppance vibe! Or maybe I just missed those stories.
Personally, I just wish the contest had started a few months earlier. The four guys in my story “The Losers” were each based on a toxic masculinity archetype and I could have easily tweaked it to fit more obviously into this theme. Of the four, one was a “player” who manipulated women into sex (among other sins), one was a “nice guy” incel type who subconsciously blamed women for not hurling themselves at his feet, one was a younger military vet with anger control issues, and the last one was a Boomer who thought a Confederate do-rag and a biker vest made him look sexy. None of that really came across because there were no female characters for them to interact with.