You’re looking for something to start your engine and your copy of Fifty Shades of Grey is already falling apart at the seams. You go to Pornhub and see yet another 25-year-old MILF trapped in a washing machine. Ugh. Instead of all that, try out some literotica – erotic stories you can read online or in books.
They say that men watch porn because they are visual creatures. Maybe women would be visual creatures if the visuals on porn sites weren’t often sexist and gross. That’s why literotica has been called “porn for women.”
Now your imagination can run wild without getting distracted by the unconvincing orgasm noises and unnaturally hairless bodies. And trust us, the hype is real. The most popular literotica website, Literotica.com, gets 62.4 million visits per month.
It’s clear that people of all genders enjoy reading sex stories. And the New Year resolution to read more is actually being met. You can try eating less sugar next year.
What Is Literotica?
Literotica is creative, written erotic content, such as short stories, poems, or books. The term comes from the user-submitted erotic fiction website, Literotica.com.
Plus, it’s less of a mouthful than “erotic literature.” Try saying that five times fast, and your tongue will be more tired than the literotica characters.
This genre can refer to any erotic literature, but it most commonly refers to the kind of stories hosted on Literotica.com and other websites where users can self-publish original erotic writing.
Is Literotica Pornography?
Art and sex are subjective and hard to define. Even Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wasn’t able to define the difference between pornography and erotica beyond, “I know it when I see it.” We hope he didn’t pay too much in law school tuition for those fancy legal theories.
According to romance writer Sylvia Day, erotica are stories written about a character’s sexual journey, while porn are stories written just for sexual gratification. But you’ll find plenty of plot-light, sex-heavy stories on Literotica.com.
Colloquially, you won’t hear literotica referred to as porn. Maybe it’s because it’s considered “porn for women” and women’s sexuality isn’t taken seriously. But if it means we get to read Ice Planet Barbarians on the train and not get arrested for public indecency, we’ll take it.
How Long Has Literotica Been Around?
The oldest erotic work we have found is a Sumerian erotic love poem from 2037-2029 BC. The Sumerians literally invented writing, so it’s safe to say we were writing erotica as soon as we could possibly write. Before that, we were probably talking, singing, painting, sculpting, and playing charades erotically.
In the slightly-less distant past of 1998, founders Laurel and Manu launched Literotica.com. They wanted to create a central location for sharing erotic stories, instead of passing along a list of independent website links that could break at any time.
Authors could submit their original erotic stories somewhere searchable and readers could find the stories that scratch their itch.
Another popular place to find sexy original stories were fanfiction websites, such as Fanfiction.net. Wish Harry Potter hooked up with Voldemort instead of defeating him? You could find that story, and many others equally disturbing to contemplate.
How Is Literotica Related to the Literary World?
In the new millennium, published erotic literature boomed as e-readers gained popularity. Erotica literature wasn’t usually sold in book stores besides those XXX bookstores on the highway near the airport. It was much easier and less embarrassing to get a book on your Kindle and carry it around without no horny title or cover art visible.
The power of e-readers and literotica combined in 2011 with Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. She originally published the story on Fanfiction.net as a Twilight fanfiction, Master of the Universe. James then reworked the story into a non-copyright-infringing novel and self-published it as an e-book.
Fifty Shades was so popular as an e-book, it was picked up by a traditional publisher, published as a physical book, and became a phenomenon. Because women can’t have any fun without society being weird about it, this new erotica craze was dubbed “Mommy porn.”
We tried to petition for “Super Sexpot Sultry Stories,” but our submission got “lost in the mail.”
This renewed interest in literotica has sustained in the publishing industry and online. Aspiring literotica authors around the world can self-publish their original sexy stories for everyone to enjoy. And sometimes, they become published books.
Once the publishing industry saw the stacks of cash from Fifty Shades, they were forced to recognize it as popular and profitable.
Many of the erotic or romantic novels you’ll find on bookshelves today started as self-published, online works. In 2021, a Rey and Kylo Ren fanfiction was published as The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood and became a New York Times bestseller. So as you peruse literotica websites looking for downstairs DJ material, you may find the next bestseller.
Popular Literotica Websites
The O.G. literotica website, they named the whole genre. Literotica was among the first websites to host original erotic stories and it’s still one of the most popular.
Nifty focuses on literotica for the LGBTQ+ community and their fans. With more than 300,000 original stories submitted, you’ll have no trouble finding a queer sex story.
3. BDSM Cafe
BDSM Cafe hosts original short stories and novels with a focus on kink. They also have BDSM beginner resources if you want to bring your favorite story to life. Handcuffs sold separately.
4. Lush Stories
Lush hosts original literotica and a social network of literotica fans. After you read a steamy story, try out their chat rooms to…discuss.
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