How writing erotic fan fiction changed my sex life

March 5 | Guest post by Ash
Notes from my husband on my writing.
Notes from my husband on my writing.

Since the beginning of my sexual awakening (or when my high school boyfriend put his hands down my pants), I loved sex. I love having it, discussing it, learning about it, advocating for it, and the list goes on. It fascinates me. I wouldn't say I reach any kind of nymphomaniac levels but my libido and sexual curiosity and enthusiasm are all pretty high.

Along with sex, my other interests are TV shows, movies, and books. There is a particular workplace sitcom that I adore and almost exclusively write fanfic about. The bridge between these interests is not a long one, and soon I was writing erotic fan fiction.

I don't know how familiar you are with erotic fan fiction (think Fifty Shades of Grey except good, and starring your favorite fictional characters) or what it looks like or how it plays into your life. But from what I can tell, from the other fabulous writers and readers I know, it is kind of a private, secret thing. As for me, some of my friends know I write it. But no one in real life reads it or knows how much it means to me or how involved I am as much as my husband.

Yes, after (a little) personal deliberation, I told my husband that I was a fan fiction writer.

First, I told him I was doing it. Then, I asked him to read over one for typos and editing reasons (he's also a writer) and then I had him do it for another, and then some more stories. He was my backup editor when my regular editors (or betas) were busy, or offline, and I was getting too antsy. After that, I didn't mind him knowing just what I was writing — positions, trope-y circumstances, characters involved — and soon he was just as a part of the process as any of my online friends. We discussed plot devices I was having a hard time getting through, character POV struggles, canon gaps I needed to fill believably, how characters would say certain things, etc.

He was involved but I don't think the switch in our sex life really happened until he read My Really Long Fic, which was around 75,000 words (to give you a point of reference, that is about as long as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone). This story was long, yes, but the plot, dumbed down of course, is basically that two characters from said workplace TV show were fuck buddies who fell in love, so there was lots of sex. Lots and lots of sex. Angry sex, vulnerable sex, "I don't know if I like you" sex, "I think I do like you" sex, "I like you" sex, break up sex, "let's get back together" sex, "I love you" sex… the list goes on and on. This was a huge for me and I owe a lot of thanks to this fic, and its readers and encouragers. But I also think handing it over to my husband to read changed something between us, too.

There are lots of big and small things that aided that shift, but here are the big four:

1. Trust

It took a lot of fucking guts to tell my husband I did this. It could have gone one of three ways. One: He could laugh at me and tease me endlessly about it. Two: He could ignore that I even said anything, and it would never be brought up again. But he went with the third option: Supporting and encouraging me. He was the cheerleader for me among a "fan base" of the faceless. There is something to be said for someone who loves you and them showing they love you unconditionally over and over again.

Trust lends itself beautifully to having a fantastic sex life. It doesn't hurt all the non-sexy things in marriage either.

2. Risks

While I have a lot of sex, there are still things I write that I haven't done. And after I handed over some sexy writing, it suddenly seemed safe and okay to try new things. Everyone knows after six plus years of sex with the same person, things can get routine (I would argue, though, never boring) so it was kind of interesting to see how things kind of shifted.

Suddenly, there was more talking during sex, there were new positions and longer minutes dedicated to the act in general. I am not saying anything literally jumped off the page for us (while I think role play sounds awesome, I just can't get into it), but there was a change. I think we both were more aware of how sex makes us feel, how it can be shared, where hands can be placed and legs be thrown. It was freeing and it was like a want we never had to discuss because I wrote it, he read it, and we suddenly knew it would be worth a try.

3. Upswing in libido

This is pretty self explanatory. Four hours a day, I am basically reading and writing porn, and using memories and spank bank material to get words onto a page. I need a release, right? And after reading it, so does he. Once I shared this thing with him, we both suddenly needed to have a lot more sex.

And we do.

4. Stimulation (of the mind, pervert)

As a writer, you are more alert to the world around you. You need to study your surroundings so you can describe it later, you need to make note of how leather feels under your fingertips so you can explain it, you need to smell something gross so you can use words other than "disgusting." This is also true of sex when you are writing a lot of steamy scenes.

This made me a much more alert sexual partner. I was studying where my hands felt the best, how friction felt, what happened in my body during climax. I asked my husband how it felt to get certain sexual favors done because I didn't have a penis and sometimes I wrote from the point-of-view of a male and could use some help.

Sex wasn't just a hot house of physical pleasure, it was also a time for me to become super-aware of myself. It made me a better sexual partner — hyper-aware of my partner's reactions and breaths. And because I was more aware of what I liked — what motions made me feel the best, and exactly how I felt right before my orgasm was going to start to build — I could easily communicate my wants and needs to my husband. And as a special bonus, my mind was being stimulated with my body and I was very, very aware of how being loved made my body feel. Which goes to show, self love is liberating for the avid erotic fan fiction reader, as well (no partner required!).

Frankly, I think that is just bad ass.

I'm glad I threw caution to the wind and shared out what kind of things I was up to behind the computer screen, because my marriage is better because of it. Would we be fine without it? Would we still be together? Would we still be having great sex? A million times yes. But, I will take the extra boost anywhere I can get it.

And you can get it, too. For free! Happy reading.

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    • "There is a particular workplace sitcom…"
      Law & Order is definitely high-drama, so I'm going to guess no ("sitcom" is TV jargon for situational comedy.)
      This is a fantastic article that has had the unfortunate side-effect of drawing me into a fanfic about a show I watch.

      3 agree
      • Good point. I just saw the names in the picture with the article and Googled. I can't think of a sitcom with those characters but I really only watch Parks & Rec in that genre.

        1 agrees
        • Hah! It took me so long to realize why people were guessing Law & Order and Scandal! The picture is misleading because it's not actually fan fiction my husband is commenting on, it is original fiction. Oops!

          Also, I only didn't note what fandom, or show, I write for because I didn't want anyone thinking I was pimping myself out. It is Parks and Rec! (In the comments it doesn't count as pimping right?)

          6 agree
          • This is The Empire, darling. We don't DO humble.

            I was really hoping it was The Office because there's a camera guy named Brian (so "shoot her" works) and I really always wanted to see an AU where Pam and Brian hooked up and I immediately found one just like that and so I wasted my entire day at the office reading it. XD
            Not to talk smack, but that fanfiction archive is much better than some other one/s on the internet. -coughcough-

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      • I'd go with The Office πŸ˜‰ But I don't think we're going to get any confirmation here, guys. If the author had wanted it known, she would have said it outright.

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        • And user-led guessing won't work very well because it's common practice for fanfiction writers to develop their own characters, so. It could be aaaaaaanything!

          1 agrees
        • I was hoping The Office too. I'm snorting just imagining the characters getting into kinky situations.

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          • To be fair, I have read some good, very sexy Office fic. Mmmmm. Never written any though!

            1 agrees
        • I don't think it's The Office, unless she changed the names. In the picture above, you can see the names Olivia, Brian, and Steve. The only show I can find with an "Olivia" is Scandal (which also has a Stephen in the character, list….but no Brian. Hmmm). Would The Office involve a scenario where "Steve" would tell "Brian" to shoot "Olivia"?

          1 agrees
  1. Whew! A little warm in here now.

    I love this and I think it translates to any medium that you convey a part of your personal self: writing, painting, etc. The trust part is huge for those that dabble in writing (erotic or not).

    I also am a huge advocate for fan fiction. I know people view it as cheating, but it is such a great writin exercise! You're given characters that already exist and you have to write something that keeps them in line with who they are. Not as easy as it seems.

    8 agree
      • It's considered "cheating" by some people because apparently writing fanfic means "you're not creative / skilled / talented enough to invent your own characters / universe / plot / whatever". Duh. Borrowing an existing character and writing them convincingly in-character is so much harder, sometimes.

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          • Oh, alright. Gotcha. On the other hand, I'm quite positive that there might be some uber-jealous people out there who don't appreciate their partners' fanfic fantasies involving sparkly Vampires / randy Klingons / Elvish princesses / the tenth and eleventh Doctor / Benedict Cumberbatch / insert Geekdom of choice at all. πŸ˜‰

            6 agree
  2. I love this explanation of erotic fan fic, "think Fifty Shades of Grey except good, and starring your favorite fictional characters"…………………This is hilarious considering that Fifty Shades WAS originally erotic fan fic…of Twilight.

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    • You are absolutely right! To be honest, I just seem to be able to find much better smut online for free than in the pages of those books… just sayin'. πŸ˜‰

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      • Definitely agree. There's erotic fan fiction…and then there's BAD erotic fan fiction.

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  3. I recently began writing an erotic/romance story so this article is very timely. My husband actually suggested that I write a romance but I don't think he figured it would lead to more sex. But yes, I do find we have had more sex since I began writing.

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    • Beautiful! I think the progression from writing/reading a lot of romance/smut is very natural. There's a lot of pent up sexual energy there, you gotta put it somewhere!

      Good luck in your writing!

      2 agree
  4. Fanfiction is the best. Best best best.

    I love the culture and the community and the creativity and the unabashed sense of fun that exists in the fanbases I frequent. I could write papers. Hell I think I have written papers.

    Honestly most of my sexual exploration as a teen took place through reading and writing fanfiction, because it was delightfully safe and no pressure but also still felt kind of illicit and very exciting. I have a lot of feelings about fanfiction and the value of it. Obviously.

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    • I agree with this. My sexual exploration throughout adolescence mostly took place by me reading steamy fan fics. The most I've ever done that can be considered more 'riquΓ©' than that was self-pleasuring. But I never felt the need to go out there and 'pop my cherry' compared to my peers (and I'm uncomfortable with the idea of doing so with someone I don't really trust/not very close to). And then I began writing a lot of the smut myself once I hit adulthood. A lot of people really like my writing and I've gotten nothing but good reviews, which surprises even me since I'm still a virgin (albeit a pervy one I guess) lol. But I guess that just goes to show how erotic fan fiction can be a healthy, safe outlet to sexual exploration.

      3 agree
    • Yup, I stumbled across "slash fiction" in high school and read a LOT of Harry Potter erotic fan fiction.

      3 agree
  5. I fully support the fanfic community! While not currently a writer of such myself (because I'm too busy reading the amazing stuff produced by others to work on my own less than stellar ideas), I love that the fanfic community is so supportive and inclusive, and that it can help authors and readers to work out real life problems in a safe and friendly environment. It's a great way to experiment, knowing that there's a huge safety net (anonymity on the web playing a big part there). I'd like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone brave enough to put their fanfic, whether stories or art, out there for the rest of us to enjoy!

    6 agree
  6. This is really great. I've had my husband beta-read my G-rated fic, but this may be the push I need to ask if he's willing to read the NC-17 stuff too.

    1 agrees
    • I think the first thing my husband beta'd was g-rated. I'm sure your husband will be pleasantly surprised πŸ˜‰

      1 agrees
      • Hi Ash!
        I'm writing a piece about erotic fan fiction and am looking for some female writers for context. Might I be able to speak to you? I'd be much appreciated!

        1 agrees
  7. I love this! My girlfriend and I actually met through fandom, after I'd been writing both porny and plotty stuff for a couple of years. She doesn't write as much as she'd like because of her schedule and other demands, but we're both each other's first betas and continual sounding-boards; she's the only person who ever sees my stuff when it's still in that [GOD INSERT A GOOD SCENE HERE] stage. There's no doubt that reading/writing fic has shaped our sexual relationship in many wonderful ways.

    I'll just leave you with her comment to me earlier tonight, as we wrapped up a gchat date and I left her with some idle thoughts to pick up with next time: have I mentioned that dating someone who writes porn in her free time is an utter delight?

    5 agree
  8. OMFG. My greatest shame and my greatest pride were once my erotic fanfic… and you've introduced me to a new home for it! I cannot express how big the grin on my face is, especially since I, rather to my surprise, found several stories with my OTP from my fandom. (Yes, I'm one of those dark-siders that reads and writes RPF. I was pretty sure there wasn't a fic site on the web that'd even MIRROR that anymore) Downside is that my husband will not have the interest in reading it, being that my OTP is M/M, but, uh, the upswing in libido is totally a thing. Not that I NEED help with that, but I'm sure he won't complain ^.^

    4 agree
  9. As a bisexual woman in a committed, monogamous relationship with a man, writing femslash-stories sometimes saves my sanity. πŸ˜‰

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  10. I've been writing erotic fan fiction through emails with others. It's completly changed my libedo, but I'm terrified of telling my fiance. He's a bit on the jealous side, but normally is supportive of the things I do. These tips have helped me very much. He knows I'm bisexual, he knows I love him more than anything, and he knows that I'm comitted to him. This writing just gives me that extra "oomph" to feel better and want him more often. And the funny part is, I never imagine anyone in bed besides him. I just like to express myself in ways that he can't give me. To be someone completly different is a whole new world. Thanks for this post!! It lets me know I'm not even close to alone πŸ™‚

    3 agree
  11. I consider myself an author (I only have one short story published in a collection, but frankly, I think writing- especially for the pure love of it!- is what makes one an author, not just being published), and I will admit to having a little stash of erotica I tinker with. Frankly, I began writing it as a virgin, but never put any of the scenes into my actual work, because I felt that, until I'd experienced it myself, I'd prefer to wait. The main female character in my currant WIP is a newlywed, and since I have read a few too many unrealistic first-time sex scenes in some novels I wanted to make it more true-to-life. Needless to say, now that I'm married and have gotten past that mile stone myself, I am rather excited about writing it!

    That said, as someone who once wrote some erotic Star Wars pieces, (lol), I might need to return to the wonderful world of fanfic! And possibly let my husband read them…. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the giggles and motivation!

    1 agrees
  12. This makes me so happy. I started writing erotic literature when I was still a teen, but I always hid that fact from people I knew. I sent it to publishers and magazines in secret. When I started writing fanfic, it was even worse. There was just no way I could tell *anyone* about it. Except for the wonderful people I met within the fandom, that is. Throughout the years, I have wanted to tell certain partners about this "hobby", but even letting them know that I wrote original erotic fiction created a bit of awkwardness, so coming out with the truth was unthinkable. I did tell one short-term boyfriend, though never what fandom, nor did I let him read anything. He was unexpectedly supportive, but was not around long enough. This is the kind of thing that I'd want to be able to share with a partner! I work in a very small fandom and maintain an expansive fic archive; it meant a lot to me when I needed it, and it would be wonderful to be able to just be 100% open about it.

    2 agree
  13. Oh man! Sometimes I forget that other people read and write fanfic! I learned how to write by writing Harry Potter fanfic from ages 12-18. I went from cringe-worthy key smashing to long, planned out, involved story arcs within the HP universe. I moved on to other fandoms and soon wrote two original novels.
    Not to mention accidentally stumbling across some erotica at age 13 and thus beginning my sex education. I wrote erotica for a few different fandoms and actively read a lot from many different fandoms. I learned wayyyy more about sex and relationships from fanfic than I ever did from my parents and school.
    I still read and occasionally write it. But my partner relentlessly teases me about it. I can't be on my computer or phone without him complaining that I'm reading "sex fiction." Sigh.
    I wish he was as supportive as your husband!!

    2 agree
  14. Oh goodness, I started watching Supernatural about maybe 8 months ago and you beautiful fanfic writers have been my saving grace (haha) because I seriously can't handle the UST between that ridiculous fallen angel and his broken hunter.

    I've been totally wishing there was a way to get hubby to read some fic, but I exclusively read Destiel and I think he's a bit too straight to read anything I'm going to be able to recommend… I can't use him to beta cuz while I'm an excellent maker, I can't write to save my life πŸ™

    1 agrees
  15. Oh dear I remember first reading fan fiction waaaaay back when I was a young teen. Talk about eye opening. πŸ™‚ It was one of my biggest secrets for years, reading and writing it. I'll never forget the time my mother happened upon a story I was writing in the Harry Potter universe that was uhm… "Dark" to say the least. She brings it up to this day. (It's been ten years give or take.) My husband found out about while we were dating because I left a story up and he read a bit of it. It was M/M, so he got a little uhm scared haha. From there though we had some very honest discussions about what we liked, didn't like, and as so many others have shared had some really great freaking sex. πŸ™‚ I have so much less time now, married, working, kids, but there are still some fandoms that I make sure I carve time out to read in.

    1 agrees
  16. I love, love, love this! I wrote my first fan fiction/erotica a few months ago and when I first got the idea, I was so hesitant to tell my husband (which feels silly in retrospect). He not only thought it was a great idea, but he helped me think of a title, was a sounding board for my plot points, and ultimately edited the whole thing for me (he's an editor by trade, lucky me)! It was fun bonding with him over the project and he's already helping me come up with concepts for future works!

    1 agrees
  17. All I can say is "thank you." My husband and I are deep in "7-year-itch" mode and I am writer who adores erotic literature. This very well may save our marriage as we work in every way except the bedroom. Thank you for sharing!

    1 agrees
  18. I only started writing fic a few months ago and I'm still working on figuring out how to tell him about it. I've mentioned it jokingly in passing and he laughed about it, but his interest stopped there. Of course that's mostly because I write M/M stuff, so not something he is into. Someday I might show him the more "gen" stuff, but I doubt fic will ever be an interest we share.

    1 agrees

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