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06 December 2005 @ 08:17 pm

It was this or  go write a rly bitchy article about the Barbie dolls in my class, who are just so above it all that you need a BT credit card to even say hey to them and for whom class is just a negotiable pastime. And I think they might hit me with their anorexic, orange, CommBabe/Oompa Loompa arms if I did allow that to be published. We can't be having with the violence.

So it's the porn.

Be warned, this deals with ADULT THEMES, but I'm not cutting it. I know no one'll read it if I do that. No one will read it if I don't. It's a win-win sitch.

My thoughts are mainly, but not wholly, inspired by the latest Merry Smutmas (I'm not putting in the link because it doesn't just screw up my formatting, it leads it on and two-times it and refuses to foot the psychiatrist's bill. Besides, you all know where to find it.) I think there are people on my flist writing in it, actually, so I would like to say I'm not trying to be insulting. Except that I will be, insulting that is, but at least not just for the sake of it. I've read most of them. And, er, well, it spawned ... this.

First of all, I understand that PWP stories are not meant to be, well, plotty. I'm not going to say anything about how tired the routines for setting up the porn have become, because at least the detention scene one has pretty much been obliterated by new canon. It's got the point where I wince at word counts that are below 3, 000 words, and won't even read 1, 000 word ones. You can just tell how much thought has gone into it -- ie, none.

For the sake of fairness, some stories are just a gasp of a thought where you can achieve in a few words the concept that books might take a hundred chapters to achieve. But, really, not most of them. Most 1, 000 word stories are ... as pointless as they are.

I suppose the tricksome high standards I apply to RL are getting in the way here, too. What I'd really like for Christmas, you see, is for fandom to learn some pacing. As an entity, it is what it describes -- a teenage boy who lasts about five minutes, with quality to match. It explains why my rec-list (which I will get around to publishing some day, like anyone cares) is so short. Most R/NC-17 fics are unmemorable for the very reason you read them at all.

My favourite NC-17 fic -- in other words, one that has stood the test of time and the whittling down of my tastes and standards -- is "Just Add Water" by Cybele. In light of my main objection to most smutfic -- I'll go into that in a min, hur, hur, hur -- it might strike one as odd. BUT, its value lies in the pacing. Cybele doesn't rush it. She gets where she wants to get in a good thirty pages or so, and finds the time for a little character development *shock! gasp! vaudeville clowns and white-faced ladies!* along the way.

I could tell you how smutfics go in my sleep. 1) A flimsy excuse to get the two characters nekkid. 2) One or mutual handjobs. 3) One or mutual blowjobs. 4) If you're lucky, and the person has the faintest clue what s/he is writing about, some preparation for penetration. 4) Buttsex. Which is always as easy as hetsex. Always. I could count on the finger of one hand the people who have even approached describing it as it obviously is. ('Obviously' in the sense of: Bonjour, I'm a straight girl, I have this funny thing called an imagination, do you?) Hello, has none of these writers ever been constipated? *eyeroll*

I deplore the lack of realism in fics. Let's not even start about BDSM fics. I have no objection to that per se (unless someone's trying to do it to me, in which case no); but when is the mindset of the person who wants to be beaten to within an inch of their lives/tied up/made to beg/whatevs ever explored? Oh, Mad Martha did it once. But that wasn't even a smutfic. *eyeroll. is going to be doing this a LOT*

The majority of fanfic deals with Harry, his friends, or his father's friends. All of whom are, by canon, HETEROSEXUAL. Ergo, you have to twist 'em round a bit to make them gay. I have no problem with this. I'm a slasher, it's what I do. However, you and I can sing about Harry being as gay as those monkeys in the nitrous oxide trees (actually, NO2 is a small molecule, fast-acting neurotransmitter that does effect behavioural change -- Pterry and Gneil never knew how right they got it!), but that doesn't mean that he, or anyone else, is going to just be all happy about flying for the other Quidditch team in the blink of an eye -- or, for as long as it takes to get jiggy with Draco/Ron/Zacharias/Hagrid/the Giant Squid.

Yes, Harry (I'll keep using him as a punchbag, 'cause JK does too) might be attracted to some boy and a hand job ensues -- he'd feel desperately uncomfortable afterwards, wouldn't he? He'd want some time to think about it, come to terms with it, square it with his moral framework, wouldn't he? Wouldn't YOU? And if you make him gay for a while, then present him with an opportunity to do something about it, why, oh why, would he do it all in one night? He'd probably be too excited to have time for the five-act sex, and I don't think gay men are born knowing how to give it/take it up the arse, do you?

(Again, that's why Just Add Water works so well, because you have the mentor in the form of Bill, who really knows what he's doing.)

It'd be nice if you could blame this on the neophytes. Sadly, lazy popular writers (as opposed to BNFs; whoever said that our fandom has grown too big for them was right, they're more diffuse and numerous nowadays) are frequently just as guilty. It's even worse then, because you can read how empty the story is AS WELL AS glimpsing how good it could be if only they'd put in the effort. Give or take a few, most writers with a large following deserve it; so it's a pity when they let it all slide.

It's something that makes me boggle, people squeeing over really dull porn. Dull porn is worse than bad porn. At least you can laugh at bad porn. 'Porn' by visceral definition is something that 'excites'. Not something that makes you yawn and say, "Oh, this again?"

My message for this Smutmas/Christmas/Hogswatch/oh screw it, you get the idea is: fanfic writers, don't be afraid! Spend some time living in your character's skin. Imagine what it'd feel like, to confront and enjoy those feelings that we like to project on to them. Don't revert to formula. Cliche is only a good thing if, as a certain furiosity said, you do something different with it. (At least, I think it was f. Sounds like something she'd say.) What happens afterwards? What happened before? (I'm so channelling ... everyone at the moment. How many news features have I read deploring sex toys, demanding that we put the guilt back into sex, that sex is an earth-shattering and messy event and not something that can be packaged and sold with batteries?) I wanter know.

And you're supposed to tell me. That's your JOB.


ETA: Sometimes I shake my head at the things I know. Like, lawks.

Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Current Music: the sound of my own procrastination
all work and no play: daniel radcliffe (happy)hesychasm on December 6th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC)
Awww. Just when I was thinking about taking a study break to write some porn. (g)

I agree with you on some days, because generally I get more satisfaction, emotionally and intellectually, out of reading longer stories. But on other days (like today) I just want something fun and decently-written and easy to chew. Fandom's big enough for all of it, I suppose.

But yeah, it would be nice if it weren't all so interchangeable and predictable. I think that's probably why I started reading kinkier porn -- because the regular old vanilla dick sucking and fucking, to borrow a phrase from synchronik, just wasn't doing it for me anymore.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Jedi pantsscoradh on December 7th, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
I know! And I must be giving the impression that I'm going to eschew all stories of the sort from here on in. And of course I'm not. (Mainly because I would cut down my reading choice quite considerably if I did so.) I just get easily frustrated by the sameness of the stories.

It is amazing what I've grown used to in that sense. I mean, come on, I know what rimming is. That's quite enough for one year.

As for writing porn, it's taken me over two years in fandom to feel up to doing that. I guess, because it was such a struggle for me, I don't think it's something that should be taken lightly.

Or maybe I'm just a die-hard romantic, I dunno.:P
Minnowminnow_53 on December 6th, 2005 01:28 pm (UTC)
Well, yeah. I'm getting to the point where I only read porn by two authors, because they're also good writers.

I think you have to allow some leeway for the magic universe in HP fanfiction: for instance, the lubricating spell, which in RL would be so ludicrous you'd be screeching under the table, but in fiction about wizards is perfectly logical.

The truth is, as you point out, that gay sex isn't as automatic and programmed as het sex. But then, het porn is no more erotic or inspiring than slash. It's equally mechanical, repetitive and ultimately both dreary and soul-destroying. Of course, I'd probably write it if I could... :D

Btw, you can encapsulate an exquisite story into 1000 words if you're lucky and skilled enough, and it doesn't have to be porn.

Does any of this make sense? Probably not, but your post does. I agree, on the whole.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Sean the lesbianscoradh on December 7th, 2005 02:15 am (UTC)
I've read enough chicklit to know how boring hetsex can be. People need lots and lots of practice at writing sex, just as with anything. That's one thing that, I'm sorry, just does not come naturally. You might be a born storyteller, but no one is a born writer of erotica.

Oh, I know -- about the 1000 words. However, I like it a bit more developed, just to make it worth my procrastinating while.

It does. xD
(no subject) - minnow_53 on December 7th, 2005 02:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on December 7th, 2005 08:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
Insufferable, man.: harryroncynicalpirate on December 6th, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC)
*flashes Tippex-ed fake ID and grins sheepishly* Yeah, I'm more than qualified to contribute to this conversation.

Mm. I agree. But, y'know, what the people want is easy, accesible, immediate pr0n. It scarcely needs to have emotion, it's just porn for porn's sake. The quality stuff's always going to be hidden by the oceans of generic orgasms, and if English is your first language and you know how to use MS Word spellchecker, you don't really need to put much more effort into it than a few 'ooohs' and 'aahs'.

Bah. Humbug. *is cynical*
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Shit happensscoradh on December 7th, 2005 02:17 am (UTC)
Oh, put it away! You are. :P

I know that. And that's exactly why people shouldn't do it like that. *clenches fists* I've said this already, but it took me a long time to develop the ... skin to write porn. Without flinching, I mean. It should make you flinch for a while. Practice and stuff. I could have written in copied porn a hundred times, but I didn't, because I wanted to be able to do it my way. And now I can.

Just right for the season, m'dear! xD

*sings to 'The Drugs Don't Work'*
(no subject) - cynicalpirate on December 9th, 2005 09:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on December 9th, 2005 09:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cynicalpirate on December 11th, 2005 07:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
not your typical annihilatrix: Angry: Ranty McRantypantsfuriosity on December 6th, 2005 03:09 pm (UTC)
I hate writing porn, mostly because it gets so boring after a while. With writing, I like to have fun and be creative with words, but there are really only so many words you can use in a sex scene without straying into the realm of the ridiculous, e.g. manrods and dewy petals.

However, I've also found that if you want something done in fandom, you gotta do it yourself -- imploring other people to do it will only get you labelled in one way or another. :\ I totally agree with you, btw, except maybe your point 4) about preparation. But that might have something to do with this blinkity-inducing Snarry rapefic I'm writing. :O
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Soul eater Ginnyscoradh on December 7th, 2005 02:20 am (UTC)
*giggles* I know that. With sex scenes, less is definitely more -- more impact, for one thing. I mean, that's why you need previous dialogue and scene-setting, just for some goddamn support.

So someone else said. xD But I've signed on for Springsmut with that aim in mind (both for myself and the person who writes for me), so if that doesn't fall through that'll be one thing. And whatever other challenges I can find -- presumably slashfest will have another run, and of course Big Bang. I'm pissed off at other people. But that only makes me want to do it better; I don't actually care if people are affected. 'Cause they ain't. xD

Oh, god, dry? *winces* I guess it all just comes back to my revulsion for blood.

ex_ella_bane358 on December 6th, 2005 03:09 pm (UTC)
How's that Ron/Draco smut 69 coming along, dearie?

Sometimes I like formulaic Potter porn. Sometimes I like Veela porn. Sometimes I like character pieces. It's a mood thing. I've got room for them all. :)

As for my own writing? That depends on how much time I've got on my hands. Hobby, you know?

Thinking about AFFC still and feeling sad because our dear Mr Martin seems to be following in the footsteps of Jordan -- stretching out, stretching out. *sigh* More detailed stuff later. Gotta go!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Weasley is our Kingscoradh on December 7th, 2005 02:14 am (UTC)
Eh ... I got 4 done before realising I'd never be able to keep it up. Plus, I kept plotting. Not a good idea. I can't do overarching plot, like, ever.

I like Veela!porn when Mira writes it. No, wait, that was Vampire!porn. Eh. Good writers can do anything; I just wish they would.

Yes, but ... if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well. I'd rather forgo a challenge than just submit something I threw together. (Mind you, most of my fics are thrown-together; but it has to be the right kind of thrown-together, you know?!)

Oh, never that bad! Jordan just plain sucks. There were parts of AFFC worth saving -- the whole Martell storyline -- although it could have done with being chopped in half, and half again. And I wonder does Brienne die? And Jaime abandoning Cersei! She proved to be such a tool in the end, wot?
starts with k: Nakey nakey danceanyotherknight on December 6th, 2005 03:11 pm (UTC)
I do so love your rants.

I think most people have taken the smart road and started scrolling past my open letters, especially now that you've summed everything up in a concise, ranty manner. This seems to be a developing trend in fandom right now, a backlash against the text-book manner of writing; one-two-skidoo porn isn't doing it for people anymore because it's just. So. Boring. And anatomically incorrect. Your reference to constipation was certainly spot-on.

It is unlikely that I'll ever write anything over an R-rating because I worry about accurate representation of characters and their emotions/physicalities - you've proofread and sporked enough of my stuff to realise how utterly crap I am at it.

...It's amazing how I can blather without ever coming to a point, yeah?
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Don't quote me -- Wildescoradh on December 7th, 2005 02:08 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think fandom is dividing into two camps as regards porn. It has to be, otherwise people wouldn't be writing it that way. *shrug* Sure, it's easy to do that -- mainly because you're copying what other people have done -- but why do the easy thing? That's not the way to go on.
ex_crystalle432 on December 6th, 2005 04:52 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad I friended you. It's nice to see I'm not the only one who will rant about shit that's bound to piss people off.

So about the porn. Some people like to read to-the-point, down-and-dirty porn. And that's fine. You do not, and that's fine too. But please don't think somebody is a bad writer simply because they pull a PWP out of their ass for a ficathon or whatever. The person who made the request takes some blame, also.

Some people don't like to go through 30 pages before they get to the smut. Some people don't like the angsty emoness that usually accompanies sex. A lot of people read fanfic to ignore reality, kind of lose themselves into a fantasy world where everybody comes and everybody's happy in the end. I will agree there are a lot of chiches and over-used storylines, but still, every story is different.

I will also agree that most of the sex scenes start to blend together after awhile. I feel like I've written the exact same buttsex scene over and over again, and I probably have. The difference, though, is that I'm writing it for a particular person (maybe a handful of my fics have been written for any other reasons besides a request from someone else), and if that particular person wants everybody's happy/everybody comes!buttsex, so be it.

If you feel this strongly about it, make your own request to one of those communities next year or start a challenge of sorts that demands the writer make the smut believable and realistic. I'm sure there are a lot of others who feel the same way that you do, although I admittedly do not.

every Starbucks should have a polar bear: boykissscoradh on December 7th, 2005 02:04 am (UTC)
♥ I was going to start a three-page defence of my tastes, and that I haven't quite said what people thought I said ... but in the end it comes down to people liking something that I don't. I can't find fault in that, with any legitimacy, anyway.

I've decided porn is like glands. There's epocrine glands, which are continuous with the epithelium and secretes into the bloodstream. That's me, because I like stories in context. Then there's exocrine glands, which are isolated islands of epithelium deep in tissues. That's people who don't mind -- well, fine, like -- straight-up shots of porn. And the glands are just like that, and so are people.

In regards to Just Add Water, it's not reading 30 pages to find porn; it's 30 pages OF porn, give or take a page to set up the scene. I'd recommend it. ;D

And I have made a request of the sort to hp_springsmut. :) I'm not a completely hollow drum.
Jaximadra_blue on December 6th, 2005 10:04 pm (UTC)
I love you for this rant. Not specifically in my fandom, but it covers everything I've been feeling about SW fandom lately, too. This seriously covers it all. ♥
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Caesarscoradh on December 7th, 2005 02:06 am (UTC)
*grinz* It just makes the porn that much sweeter hotter, when you add in the background. It ... finishes it, or something.
GMTHgmth on December 7th, 2005 07:09 am (UTC)
Here from one of the newsletters
See, the good thing about Smutmas is, now that you know it's not to your taste, you don't have to visit the comm anymore. :-)

In fact I'd almost prefer you didn't, because the whole idea of that comm is for people to create nice things for other people, specifically for that other person's tastes, and having people come in and complain about stuff like this really just defeats the purpose. (Erm... I'm not saying that you have done this, but in years past a few other people have. Just using a general example.) Because the fics and art there *are* written/drawn specifically for other people's tastes, whether it's a 1000 word PWP or a 100,000 word plotty epic. You obviously don't share the taste for PWP, but the point is that a lot of other people do. No one has the right to expect fandom to cater to their tastes all the time. There's plenty of room in fandom for all viewpoints, so how about a little live and let live?

Also, as the mod of Smutmas, and as I think the mods of any fic exchange fest can tell you, I'm just glad when I can get people to come through on their commitment and actually submit something for the fest that meets the 1,000 word requirement. No matter how much lead time you give people, scads of people always turn up at the end begging for extensions. So getting people to come up with epic fics for this exchange is usually out of the question. It's the nature of this kind of fest, and again, now that you know that, you know where not to go looking for new stuff to read. :-)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Michael!scoradh on December 7th, 2005 08:18 am (UTC)
Re: Here from one of the newsletters
My beef (if I have a beef ... which I don't, really, I just like the word) is not with Smutmas. :O I think the fic-exchange idea is excellent and a lot of fun. And everyone who got gifts seems happy with what they got. It's not the institution I'm attacking in the least. And perhaps it is the nature of the job that people end up over-subscribing themselves and thus not having much time to write. However, and no, I didn't make this clear, it wasn't just the Smutmas fics I was talking about. I was talking about a trend in porn writing as a whole that the Smutmas stories I've read seem to personify. I'm sorry if I've offended you by not particularly liking the stories and saying so; it's happened to me and it's not nice, but people think what they like.

I do like PWP stories. I don't like generic PWP stories. *shrugs* So I'm spitting into the wind with this one. The whole entry is just a note to myself to try and achieve the things I want to see in my own fics.

No, what it really was was an attempt to get out of studying anatomy, and that worked! I'm just a miserable bastard anyway, who loves finding fault, and can do it for just about anything. The generalised critiquing just found a specific target yesterday.

(Point: is the nature of the fests such that it doesn't include concrit? Never mind. This isn't concrit, is it? Just bitchin'. :P)
Re: Here from one of the newsletters - gmth on December 7th, 2005 10:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Here from one of the newsletters - scoradh on December 7th, 2005 11:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Beastscoradh on December 7th, 2005 11:12 am (UTC)
Eh, I knew I wasn't alone. ;D

I love helenish too. Her Harry/Ron is beautiful. And memorable, because hey, emotional connexion!
(no subject) - b2wm on December 8th, 2005 09:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on December 8th, 2005 09:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
Hollistesseract_5 on December 7th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC)
here via one of the newsletters
hmmm. I agree with the gist of what you say ~ I abhor the fluffy "wheee sex is easy and always fun" fics that abound. Thus I avoid ff.net and other places where fluffy pwp piles up. I agree that one shouldn't write about types of sex unless one has personal experience! That would cut out about half of the "fireworks the first time" pwp stories around.

However, I disagree that a story needs to be 30,000 words long in order to build up enough of the tension and story for the sex to make sense and be part of the plot. Check out anything that topaz_eyes has written or casirafics's one-shots. Both use canon detail, characterization and plot to make a wonderful story that is erotic and truthful.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: OMGWTFscoradh on December 7th, 2005 02:22 pm (UTC)
Re: here via one of the newsletters
*grins* I don't think 30,000 words is good for tension. Unless you're a really skilled writer, that is! I'm only looking for something that's a little more than a quick blow to the visceral senses, so recs are GOOD. Thanks; I'll be sure to check them out when I next need a porn-fix. (Like ... the next hour or so ...)
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: writingscoradh on December 9th, 2005 12:12 am (UTC)
... uh, if you put a bunch of character development and set-up & pace it correctly, it's no long a short wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am PWP, is it. It's a normal story with sex in it, basically.

Around about the time gmth posted her reply to this, I realised that I'd made that mistake. Had a baby epiphany, basically, while doing another procrastion activity (listening to iPod), and realised that what I wanted was a story with sex in it, not a story about sex.

I refuse to believe that porn is 'meaningless'. Some of it is horrifying and some is interesting and some, if you're lucky, is titivating. However, even the most 'meaningless stuff' -- the blow-up dolls getting it on with the shaven men with the empty eyes etc -- shows us something about society that maybe we don't want to see, so it's called meaningless. Plus, you can't stop people from thinking (Hobb's big beef with fanfic, heh) so if you hand people something meaningless and tell them that's what it is they'll say, "Wait, hang on, no ..."

*sigh* And 'mindless sex'. I haven't done the brain in my anatomy and physiology classes yet, but from what I can tell it's a damn complicated piece of machinery and, hey, EVERY thought comes from there. Despite the lovely myth, even boys don't actually think with their penises. It's mainly erectile tissue, what.

It's not mindless because it you indulge your basic urges, or whatevs, humans are basic urges with a veneer of civilisation. What's the saying, every human is one night and two meals away from barbarism? See, I read yaoi_daily and, while I sometimes just get fed up with it, I also squee every time the pair gets it on if the author/translator manages to tone down the random crazy factor. Why? I'm still not sure, but who started the rule of having to justify what you enjoy? That you enjoy it is proof enough.

Sure, I mean, there are people who don't get off unless you give them good writing, believable characterization, good build-up and a full-course meal, but.... Uh, we're the exception, not the rule.

Seriously? I never even realised that. I just assumed, being arrogant and whatnot, that when people squee'd over 'bad' (yes, I mean badly written, or bad-in-my-opinion) porn that, um, they were lying. *shrugs* Yaoi certainly is better in that sense but even there, you can find some things that connect with you on the 'romance and characterisation' level. (I'm thinking Yatteranzee, that's just a personal choice). God, though, why isn't it obvious to people when something is poorly written or formulaic? Why does it affect them the same way that something really skilfull and crafted does me? Wtf, Creative Being Type-Thing?

Love the icon, btw! That's my Draco. I mean, a Draco that was drawn for me -- it was absolutely my favourite picture in the last Big Bang. ;P

*sigh* Must got to biochem. Apologies for the pretentious rambling above. I blame the chickens.

(Deleted comment)
And the rambling Oscar goes to ... - scoradh on December 9th, 2005 09:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Re: And the rambling Oscar goes to ... - scoradh on December 12th, 2005 12:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
... Rachel! - scoradh on December 9th, 2005 09:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
kabeyk on December 9th, 2005 05:57 am (UTC)
Some of us can't whip up a wonderful 20,000 word H/D plot-and-smutfic as easily as you, is all, heh. (On it's way soon.)

You should really stop encouraging me to write porn then. :P

Porn! *happy* But I do agree with what you're trying to say, really. Less generic porn. It is difficult to write it differently each time. I keep running out of orgasms. Really. Not the easiest thing to describe at the best of times.

every Starbucks should have a polar bear: fashion -- pink violinscoradh on December 9th, 2005 09:00 am (UTC)
*blinks* You are either quite, quite dim or just modest. You do realise you're the best erotica writer this fandom HAS, right up there with amanuensis1? I'm talking about the crappy writers, not you. Never you! Pfft.

Yeah, like it's so hard for YOU. *snorts* Well, fair enough, maybe it is, but it doesn't seem like it. Like ballet -- bloody fucking difficult, but it looks so easy the naked (heh) eye. You're a ballerina. Yay!

*pets her k*