A hugely important point I neglected to mention in my last blog post is that nerds are not a monolith. They’re a socially diverse bunch and no one nerd is exactly like another. I hope my previous blog didn’t have this tone, but it’s ridiculous to say nerds all act in one specific way. My goal was more to point out how nerds don’t all act in the one specific way all erotica stories like to depict, and in fact, erotica stories show a very specific and rare type of nerd and portray all nerds as them, as if everyone from the Deep South acts and looks exactly like Ted Nugent or something.
Turns out Ted Nugent isn’t even from the South. Not gonna lie, that arguably helps prove my point further.
It’s easy to have that kind of conversation with nerds, because they’re the underdog and people feel they have undiscovered talents with their hidden brilliance (also kind of a stereotype, I’ve met as many dumb nerds as smart ones). If we want to have a harder-to-swallow conversation, let’s flip the script and look at how the same thing is done to popular students.
In the same way as nerds, if I asked you to tell me what you think a ‘popular kid’ in a high school erotic story acts/looks like, most of you would give me similar answers. Nerds are kind of endearing because, especially in the way erotica portrays them, they’re the underdog that you want to succeed. Popular kids aren’t. Can you imagine a story as boring as “the popular good-looking kid gets a romantic partner and has amazing sex with them, the end”? Truth be told, yes I can, because I’ve read very bad erotica (and interestingly, some weirdly good erotica) that has had this exact premise, but that defeats my point: We don’t enjoy stories that uphold the status quo, even in erotica. We want the nerdy boy to get the girl. We want the closeted unpopular girl to make out with the school’s cheerleader (but don’t do that when it’s boys kissing boys, that’d be gay, heaven forbid).
This has led to an interestingly uncharitable view of popular kids in erotica, particularly popular girls. They’re often seen as an object to be overcome, which is kind of really sexist, but that’s a whole other blog topic in itself. Popular girls, if they exist in a high school erotica story, will absolutely be fucked by the protagonist by the end of the story, but only in a way that “teaches her a lesson” or “humbles her” or something. And they’re always the same stuck-up bitchy Queen Bees that think they run everything and are in for a rude awakening when she gets fucked by the main character’s penis or something, as if being penetrated is itself submission to men and acceptance of inferiority (also sexist, if you’re keeping score).
I’ve met maybe one of these stuck-up Queen Bees in my high school life, and she wasn’t even in the popular clique; she just tried her hardest to be. A lot of the popular girls I knew growing up were… well, they were like Taylor’s friend group. Taylor herself is based on an acquaintance I know who hired me to tutor her, then to do her homework for money (scandalous, I know). This led to me meeting more and more popular students, and before long, I was hanging out with them. While I never knew a Morgan, I knew many people with different Morgan-esque personality traits – kind of like how I never knew a Nicole Baker, but her personality is so distinct that it’s clear that in some way she was clearly inspired by people that actually exist.
Popular kids are not a monolith any more than nerds are, but the twist here is that it’s fun to see them as a monolith, especially if you were unpopular growing up. And herein lies a dark truth: if you were bullied or shunned or mistreated by a group of people, from the outside, those people will look the same. Even if they believed something you found appalling, if you look down on them or are angry with them, they’re going to look like they’re all the same bitchy Queen Bee, when in reality they could be a Morgan or a Taylor or a Lexi. The closer you get to that group, and to human beings in general, the more you’ll realize the nuances that make us all human beings. This is a lesson my pompous grade nine self had to learn the hard way, especially after some rude behavior from my end.
Chances are you know this truth yourself about treating groups as a monolith. If you’re politically extreme, you might be having one of two reactions. If you’re perceptive, you might realize that you’ve been seeing “the people on the other side” this way for a while (it happens to all of us). If you’re scared of introspection, you might leave it at thinking that “the other side” does it to you, and you’re glad you picked the “winning side.” This goes beyond politics too – identity, upbringing, race, class, creed, etc.
And, of course, the most important category of people of all, stereotyped cliques in high school erotica.
To end off this blog post, I want to make a note about this website. Pretty soon we’ll be coming up on the 5-year anniversary of this website existing (the 7-year anniversary of me writing erotica was about a month or so ago). For the majority of those five years, this website wasn’t too popular. Very often, these weekly blogs would likely get two views in its first week. Think about that: you, reading this right now, would be 50% of the viewership of this blog. I try not to care about numbers but the fact that it’s gone up by digits’ worth of people is both very gratifying and a good reminder of what, and who, I write for. I write for you. I write for your joy, your love of stories, and your eagerness to follow along with your fictional friends’ adventures. I think that’s just wonderful, and I’m happy to bring these friends to you. I’ll talk to you all next week.