Before I get into this week’s blog topic, I just want to remind you all that The Good, The Bad and The Molly Chapter 11 will be dropping a week from now, on Thursday the fifth. If you’ve been following the story, I hope you’re looking forward to that.
So, as I may have mentioned, on sexstories.com I started and semi-ran a little forum called The XNXX Author’s Lounge. The intent of it was to create a fun area for authors to talk to one another, and maybe exchange tips and questions, or pool resources or something. As usual, my naivety worked against me – on multiple occasions the forum just sort of became an area for bitter authors to complain their ratings weren’t high enough, or even just stir up pointless drama against other authors. The ratings system on sexstories is admittedly questionable, relying on anonymous voting with one vote per story taken from your IP address every few days, for a maximum of 12 or so stories.
I think I wrote here several times about this forum, because I was a well-reviewed author who will respond to just about anything. That’s a big flaw of mine, I’m easily baited. Much like in my stories, I never stop talking. I was an easy target several times of authors accusing me of things, or just being nasty in general, perhaps expecting me to intervene with several paragraphs of how they could be a better person.
For those that want to be entertained by the stupid forum, you can find it here: https://forum.xnxx.com/threads/the-xnxx-authors-lounge.526054/
Enter the DMV, or the Down-Motherfuckin’-Voters, as I like to call them. They have a different name for themselves but it’s one of those edgy ‘I’m trying to be cool’ names so I’ll stick with the one I made, thanks. The DMV is most likely one person that owns some kind of server farm, either a physical or software-based platform with a ton of IP addresses, and uses the IP address-based voting system on sexstories.com to upvote or downvote any story they please to hell. In the past they’ve upvoted my stories to suspiciously high levels to get people to think I’m a bad person, then downvoted my stories back down to make sure people can’t find them, I guess. If I only published to that site, this would affect me heavily, and limit the audience I could access. Obviously, you’re reading this blog, so you know I don’t have that problem, but others still do.
There’s a budding erotica writer – very active in the community but only recently published his second-story – that got hit with a ton of downvotes, rather unfairly, by the DMV. The DMV seems to exist to sow seeds of chaos rather than hit specific people, though I’m a particular favorite of theirs to play with. Hey, I started writing to be entertaining, so if nothing else I guess I’m fulfilling my purpose.
These people exist in online places. If you create a system, people will find ways to abuse it after a while. I’m frankly just surprised it went this long unchecked. The DMV was a natural progression for the site, and honestly, without the forum I created, it’s possible they wouldn’t exist at all since no one would be there to discuss them and give them attention. There’s some irony for you. To me, the DMV kind of crosses the line when it eliminates opportunity from budding writers, but on a personal front, I’m honestly barely affected.
Someone running a server farm has the opportunity to make my ratings go down on one of the sites I publish to. Firstly, that’s one of many. Secondly, they appeared maybe 8 months ago. I’ve been writing erotica since 2014. I’ve been writing erotica before the DMV as an entity existed (and odds are before the guy running it was legally allowed to read smut), and I’ll be writing erotica long after the DMV stops. People get bored. People stop. Unless this guy is an obsessive that keeps toying with the system for years, they’ll move on. And if they toy with the system that long, XNXX, the parent company, is going to take notice and change the system. They’re playing a lose-lose game, but it looks like they’re winning because they have short-term results and human beings are bad at seeing the long term.
I know a good few writers are invested in this kind of drama and a good number of them read my blogs here so I thought I’d address it directly here. I’m not going to pretend I’m superior and above the drama and it bores me or whatever – whether futile or not, someone is trying to affect the success of my stories, as well as the stories of many others, all for personal enjoyment of fucking with a system. When I announced that Only If You Want was coming to the site soon, the DMV responded with ‘I anxiously await it.’ Again, primarily I’m banking that this is a 15-year-old that discovered how IP addresses work and they’re going to either grow out of this or get a 9-5 job or something. All that comment was missing was a Guy Fawkes mask avatar picture. If people can’t find Only If You Want there, they can find it here, or on any other mainstream erotica website. It’s not negatively affecting me much. I’m just sad for the budding authors with good stories that think they’re being told by the masses, “Hey, your story sucks” when in reality some dude thinks he’s God of that website for knowing how computers work. It’s kind of sad, but again, it was an inevitability someone would find a way to abuse the system. I guess it’s a part of the toll you pay for writing erotica online.
So what can you do? My advice is keep posting to that site and pay the DMV no attention. Am I being a hypocrite by writing this blog? Yes. But I’ve also engaged with the DMV multiple times and I’m one of their ‘favorite’ authors, so I’m kind of compromised at this point. Besides, I ignored them for a good four months and they responded to that (craftily, I have to admit) by bloating my story’s ratings so it looked like I was the bad guy. If you can’t fool a writer, fool the masses, I suppose. I lost like four patrons that month alone, and it wasn’t even for the usual reason of my stories being slow to publish.
Ooh! That’s something else you can do to counter the DMV. Support erotica authors. I don’t necessarily just mean monetarily, although again, all of my Patreon patrons mean the world to me and without them I probably would have stopped writing by now, so thank you to them. But also, care about the work free erotica authors give. Bookmark your favorite erotica author’s publishing webpage, don’t just wait for their name to show up on a ‘top rated’ list. Look into new writers and find authors who are good but don’t have a lot of support yet. Give them a comment on their stories, give an upvote. Believe me, it means the world to them. Above all, support creation, condemn destruction. Good news, the DMV is going to go away someday. Me? I hope I never stop writing for you all. For now, I’ll talk to you all next week, with a new chapter of GBM.