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(Meme) The smut meme

21st February 2011 (14:27)
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Stolen from ceciliaj  - 25 questions about my views on erotic fanfic. The meme includes 8 questions on vocabulary, so how could I resist?

Defining erotica

1. Do you consider 'bodice ripper' romance novels erotica?
Um... I suppose so? I've never really read any, unless you count Jean Auel's Stone Age novels.

2. Do you dislike, tolerate, or enjoy explicit sex in fiction or art?
It would depend on context (and the quality of the writing or art, of course). I wouldn't not enjoy it, but it might grate if it seemed totally gratuitous.

3. What is the maximum rating that you will read?

4. Does this vary depending on the medium or author?
Not really. I suppose it might be possible that a really good genfic writer sucks at writing sex scenes, or vice-versa, but that wouldn't be a general principle...

5. If you are an author, is the maximum rating for what you write different from what you read?
No. It took a while to work up the courage to write explicit sex scenes but I've broken through that barrier now (ATBSTTA).

Personal Preferences

6. If it wasn't warned for, and you came across an explicit sex scene, would you skip past it as fast as possible, skim through it, or read it?
Read it. Unless I was in a public place or someone was watching over my shoulder or I was at work or something, in which case skim it. :)

7. Do you enjoy BDSM scenes?
Not particularly. There might be specific individual tropes that come under the BDSM banner that interest me, but I'm not a big fan of it in general.

8. What about slave-fic?
Power imbalances squick me, unless the story is about rectifying them. There might be specific and obviously artificial situations I'd be comfortable reading about; but in general, no thanks.

9. Do you prefer het, slash, femslash, or multiples?
Femslash and het, mostly.

10. What is your favorite pairing (or multiple).
I'm not sure I have one in that sense. Most of the erotic fic I've written involves Willow, usually paired with Kennedy or sometimes with Buffy.

11. In a sex scene, what turns you on? Doesn't have to be explicit.
Small but vivid little details that bring the scene to life. Also, it's always fascinating and often sexy to read descriptions of things I haven't or can't experience myself, written by people who can and have. :)

12. What ruins the mood for you?
If it's obvious that the writer doesn't understand the mechanics of what they're describing. If the sex scene is too abstract and vague. (The opposite of the previous question, in other words.)

13. What do you wish writers would include more often in sex scenes?
More of #11 and less of #12. :)

14. What is your biggest squick? The one thing (besides paedophilia) that makes you exit a story and never go back.
Making someone a victim in a lingering and sadistic manner, especially if it involves betrayal or helplessness. In 'Buffy' fandom, that usually means stories where the protagonist has sex with a vampire and ends up getting killed by them.

Vocabulary: For each group of words, choose the one you prefer.

A lot of this depends on context. As I've said before, I associate certain words with particular characters: Willow would say, "penis, vagina, breasts," (unless she was deliberately trying for an attitude); Buffy would say "dick, pussy, boobs" and Faith would say "cock, cunt, tits"; and I think stories about those characters should use the appropriate vocabulary.

15. abdomen, abs, stomach, belly, tummy
Stomach, unless you're talking specifically about a man's muscles in that area ('abs'). But see above: certain words would fit particular characters better.

16. ass, butt, behind, rear end, derriere
Bottom. Probably 'ass' if I'm writing from the POV of an American character. Also I wish to formally protest about the lack of 'arse' as a choice in that list. :)

17. anus, asshole, hole, entrance
Anus, with the caveat as above.

18. penis, cock, dick, manhood, member
Penis, and ditto.

19. testicles, balls, nuts, jewels
In a sexual context, testicles. Balls sounds too much like a swearword, and nuts are what you kick people in.

20. vagina, cunt, pussy, entrance
Vagina - and yes, I tend to use the word to mean the entire female genital area rather than specifically the birth canal. I'm a rebel. 'Pussy' in British English is an embarrassingly twee word last used in naff 70s sitcoms, but I've got accustomed to its use in fandom.

21. labia, lips, mound
I'd probably say 'lips' but labia would be fine too. (Has anybody ever used the term 'labium' in a fic to refer to just one of them? :) )And no, I don't know why 'mound' is in that list. Shouldn't it say "folds" (which is okay as a synonym, although not if they're "slick" since that's way overused) or "petals" (yuck)?

22. breasts, boobs, tits/titties, the girls
Breasts in a sex scene, boobs in regular conversation.

23. have sex, fuck, screw, take, make love
Have sex, though the others are fine depending on who's saying them. Also, 'bonk'. No 'i'.

Truth or Dare

24. Fanfic: Do any of your R/L friends or family know you read it? Write it?
Yes; it's no big secret.

25. Erotica: Do any of them know you read or write sex scenes?
I assume so. It probably wouldn't be something for open discussion though, depending on the person.

Now it's everybody else's turn!


Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 21st February 2011 16:41 (UTC)

Okay, I did one.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 21st February 2011 17:33 (UTC)


Posted by: candleanfeather (candleanfeather)
Posted at: 21st February 2011 17:44 (UTC)

Hi Stormwreath!

"Also I wish to formally protest about the lack of 'arse' as a choice in that list. :)" There's a funny icon about that, have a look at Shapinglight's icons, you'll find it. :-)

"Buffy would say "dick, pussy, boobs" and Faith would say "cock, cunt, tits"". A question about English slang: I suppose Faith's words are more heavy? I always have problems in English to differentiate the levels of language in slang.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 21st February 2011 18:40 (UTC)


And yes, that's what I was aiming for in the difference between Faith and Buffy... although it's complicated. British and American English, and regional, class, gender and age differences, all influence which words are more acceptable than others.

I dont think there's much difference in terms of rudeness between 'dick' and 'cock'. 'Pussy' is, like I said, more of an American word; I'm not sure of its connotations over there, but in Britian it's more snigger-inducing than anything. 'Cunt' is the sort of word that if you used it in public, people would gasp and stare at you and cover their ears. :-) 'Boobs' is kind of a jokey word; 'tits' is cruder and blunter.

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 21st February 2011 18:06 (UTC)

You're really a guy!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 21st February 2011 18:30 (UTC)

Yes, indeed I am. But how could you tell? :)

Posted by: ceciliaj (ceciliaj)
Posted at: 21st February 2011 19:01 (UTC)
Codex thumbs up

hee, love this meme. especially agree with your #11.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 21st February 2011 19:30 (UTC)

You inspired me!

And erotica written by people who are different from me can be a learning experience... :-)

Posted by: Owen (owenthurman)
Posted at: 22nd February 2011 08:21 (UTC)

Wait, did Arrested Development lie to us about pussy then?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd February 2011 09:35 (UTC)

I don't know. What did it say about them? :)

Posted by: Owen (owenthurman)
Posted at: 22nd February 2011 09:49 (UTC)


"Michael, embarrassed to be out of breath in front of an Olympian, covers by telling Rita that she "takes his breath away". Rita, charmed by Michael's romantic statement, tells him that he is a "pussy". Michael couldn't believe it. What he didn't know was that she meant it in the "British" sense of the word: sweet or gentle, like a pussycat."

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd February 2011 11:14 (UTC)

... yeah, I don't think whoever wrote that line is British. :)

It's true that we don't use the word 'pussy' as an insult to someone's masculinity the way Americans do, but I think most Britons would at least be aware that it's an old-fashioned slang expression for the vagina, and would be cautious about using it for that reason unless they were deliberately making a double entendre.

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