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December 11th, 2010

So, I occasionally write porn. Sometimes, when I write porn, I post the stories on Literotica.

I didn't actually intend to start writing porn, or fiction at all for that matter. A bunch of years ago, someone in IM asked me why on earth a person, especially a woman, might choose to be sexually submissive. The normal, prosaic answers that I post on my Web site didn't seem to help her, so I wrote a fiction story from the point of view of a submissive in a D/s relationship to see if that might do the trick. She liked the story quite a lot, told me I should keep writing, so I have.

Well, kind of. Sometimes years go by between writings.

Anyhow, one of the stories I've written is a sprawling (about 110,000 words and still counting) series called "Training," an unfinished first draft of which I've put on literotica and a finished, edited version which is available as an ebook. The story has proven to be extremely popular; Amazon sales of the story help pay my rent, in fact.

The series is not actually about BDSM per se. It's about non-consensual sex; it concerns a woman whose husband has decided, without permission, to turn her into a sex slave. And, interestingly, it's the most popular thing I've ever written.

I maintain an email address just for emails about Literotica stories, since Literotica has a system whereby people can send anonymous emails to story authors.

I get a lot of email about this story. A couple days back, I spent an afternoon going through the emails doing a statistical analysis of people's reaction to it. There's a lot of things about the emails that people semd me which I didn't really expect. This post is a breakdown of that analysis.




Part 1: Sex

From what I've read about Literotica, registered female users outnumber registered male users by about 4:1. (Take that, folks who think porn is just for men!)

When people send an email to a story author from Literotica, the email is anonymous, and does not reveal anything about the sender unless the sender specifically chooses to do so.

I have as of the time of this writing received a total of 222 emails about the "Training" series. A lot of the folks who send me anonymous emails tell me something about themselves. The first thing that I did was break down the emails into three categories: emails from people who specifically told me they were male, emails from people who specifically told me they were female, and emails from people where the sex of the sender wasn't revealed.

Unsurprisingly, email from women outnumbered email from men, at least among email where the senders revealed their sex:



Among people who chose to reveal their sex, women outnumbered men by almost exactly 4:1, which is consistent with the overall demographics on Literotica. This strongly suggests that women and men are almost perfectly equally likely to respond to a story on Literotica by emailing the author...at least if we disregard email from folks who choose not to reveal their sex.

There are a few potential caveats, of course. One might hypothesize that men are more likely to email than women but not to reveal their sex, if the number of emailers who don't reveal their sex is slanted toward men. It's possible the reverse is true, if the number of emailers who don't reveal their sex is slanted toward women. If women are more likely than men to email the author of a story, but also less likely than men to reveal their sex, for example, it could be that women outnumber men in the "unspecified" category by 8:1, and I wouldn't know.

Given how closely the demographics of folks who do reveal their sex matches the demographics of Literotica in general, I'm inclined to say that women who don't reveal their sex also outnumber men who don't reveal their sex by 4:1 as well...but of course, that's an inference, not something I can demonstrate.

What's really interesting to me, though, are the reactions to the story. I generally get a lot of positive response to the story and a handful of negative response, but the breakdown of positive to negative response is really interesting, and not at all what I expected.

Clicky the link to learn what I learned!Collapse )