Erotica’s Weird Numbers Fetish

On a whole, I wouldn’t say I’m proud of my new story. It’s a risk I took, and a new format, but on a whole taking a risk and trying something new doesn’t justify the end product as above average, and I recognize that. I’d say the story is okay – not amazing, but not terrible either. There are one or two things I was happy with – the unhinged state of the main character, the lack of him giving his name, and most importantly, the lack of any number.

Numbers as a means of conveying sexiness has become beyond baffling to me recently. Erotica is obsessed with numbers – 5′ 10″ guy with a 11″ dick, 40DD breasts, had sex with 11 people, Boring Poorly Written Sex with Too Many Family Members Chapter 57, 17 cheerleaders having an orgy, etc. I’m thankful there aren’t more sex stories starring guys with two penises than I’ve read (which rests at one).

I first noticed when out of the blue, in someone’s story, a girl was listed as 120 pounds. There are some writing teachers out there that argue that numbers should be written, not listed (ex. “twelve plates” as opposed to “12 plates”) but I’m not sure how much I agree with that. It may have had something to do with the story I read though. It took me right out of the story and I found myself wondering, “Wait – why is that relevant?” And really, it wasn’t. I’m not sure how I feel about describing characters – On one side, I want to describe characters as vividly as I see them and allow people to envision every freckle on Jacqueline’s cheeks as successfully as I do (random name). On the other, I know people read erotics stories a lot of the time and project. I remember having a huge crush on a girl named Sydney when I was 15, and every time I looked up erotica I specifically looked for stories involving girls named Sydney. I read these stories to imagine Sydney in these scenarios and accepting the main character’s advances, my advances.

Some of these Sydneys were written to have blonde hair, and I didn’t like that. The Sydney I liked had brown hair. So I stopped reading those stories. Had the story only said Sydney, and not described her, I could project more freely – but description is half of the appeal of porn, so it’s a difficult battle. Some writers choose to heavily describe their characters, and some choose to not describe them at all. I probably lean more towards the former, but neither is wrong.

Numbers are where it starts to get a bit tricky. Let’s use the example of weight in porn stories – number one, I barely ever see a girl described as more than 120 pounds. Not only are we seeing a lack of imagination there, we’re seeing a lack of diversity. I was a chubby kid, and seeing only ripped, hunky grade nines in porn stories really made me feel bad about myself. (Oddly, I never let the ten inch dicks thing bother me though – I wasn’t a dumb kid, but I was a dumb kid). I can’t imagine a 130lb girl logging on to finger herself only to get sad at her weight deserved to feel like the girls in porn are prettier than her because she’s 130lbs. Here’s a fun fact – let’s suppose this girl is 18-25 so that we can be legal thinking about her masturbating. She is only overweight if she is… drum roll please… under 5′. And it’s not too different if she’s in high school, even gonig down to grade nine. Inversely, that 120lb girl in your porn story? She is medically underweight if she’s anything above 5’4″. It’s fine to think I’m being pedantic about this, but speaking as someone who has struggled with being both overweight and underweight in his life, this stuff truly matters. And if a rebuttal to that is, “Yeah but we don’t have to account for everyone, I don’t want to sacrifice realism in my story to pander,” then fine. You’re probably American though. Is it a crazy coincidence that everyone who has sex is in your story is either skinny or gym-commercial-level fit, given how many people in that country are overweight?

Sorry, I think I leaned on the preach button while writing that paragraph. To reiterate, listing weight in porn stories is weird in general. Rest assured, people don’t need to know the weight of characters to picture them and jack off to them. When people tell me that their character ‘admired her 95 pound body in the mirror’ (and yes, that happened) I immediately think about eating disorders more than how sexy that character is. Plus, even if one isn’t bothered by this, it may distort their view of the real world. If <120lb people are the only girls that exist in porn stories, someone who reads erotica all day might look at their friends or self, who hopefully are above 125lbs, and think they’re fat. Maybe a girl may not like her classmate or be drawn away from her highschool boyfriend because he’s not ripped like all of the tenth graders in porn stories seem to be. Both sides can be argued heavily, but if we just didn’t bother to be so specific as to list a character’s weight, this problem wouldn’t even exist. It’s not sexy and devalues the reader’s perception of either your characters or real life, or both.

That one’s an easy target, but some people like picturing huge dicks and big tits, so this next one’s a bit harder to truly question. First off – let’s assume you’re a straight guy, which probably isn’t too hard given my demographic stats. What’s the difference between a 6″ dick in a story and a 10″ dick? Maybe it’s a question you never asked yourself before. What’s sexier about that, since you’re not attracted to it? Is it because his size influences how good he can make a girl feel? (Because here’s a fun fact – for the purpose of this discussion I’ll admit I’m above 8″ and it’s not a good thing. More girls have turned me down for sex due to my size than my one friend who openly admits he’s 4″. With a good number of girls it hurts and isn’t fun, for both parties. People say size doesn’t matter, but it does – a weird truth is that being above a certain size can actually hinder your sexual chance.) So if it’s not to pleasure the girl and skewer her, what’s so attractive about a big dick? My theory is that people just think larger numbers are more impressive, and authors think your protagonist should be impressive, someone a reader looks up to.

“So what do we do? List all of our protagonists as having 5″ dicks?” Here’s an idea: Don’t list his size at all. For those that read Panopticon – did not knowing the size of the protagonist’s dick make you unable to masturbate to it? Did you have to know if Clara was a C or D to really picture her? My sex stories, I’d like to believe, are sexy because of the character and circumstance of the sex, not just the genitals smashing together. What would I really add to that appeal by adding measurements? This is an epiphany I recently had, and it’s made me reconsider a lot of the stuff I wrote in the past and realize I wrote those out of obligation, because ‘other porn stories wrote it,’ not because I felt like it was needed in the story.

Some girls and gay guys are turned on by bigger dicks, so fair enough, seeing a big dick called out for what it is can be especially sexy. That’s why I understand why so many authors fawn over tit sizes. I get it, believe me. I like larger breasts too. My biggest question was why I saw so many stories coming from self-proclaimed straight guys about guys with 8-12 inch dicks. It made no sense. I’m not calling for a complete removal of numbers from sex stories, I’m only asking that we, as authors, consider why we put that number in our stories, whether it’s weight, dick size, tit size, number of people, number of chapters, etc. It should mean something, and enhance the story. If it doesn’t, and you don’t need it in the story to satisfy a particular fetish and/or advance the story, challenge yourself to omit the information. Stories are just as much about what we don’t write as they are about what we do. By avoiding including weird, unsexy material, your story will become sexier even if you don’t add seventeen paragraphs about the process of the two having sex (something I’m still trying to work on). Have a good week, everyone.

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