My erotic fodder of choice has always been the written variety. I first discovered smut through dirty Harry Potter fanfiction, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve dabbled in video porn, but it just doesn’t push my buttons the same way. Here are some reasons why I love smut so much.
- Plot and Buildup. In a written story, you can have a slow burn in a way that’s really hard to achieve with porn. There can be sexual tension and pining and desperation leading up to the hardcore sexy times. This is tricky to achieve in video porn, partially because the expectation of the industry is to have titillation right off the bat. I’m a big fan of writers who work in interesting plot and slow escalation in a way that would be logistically difficult for the average porn maker to film.
- Emotional Connections. This is especially true for fanfiction, but also for erotic novels or any smut where you get to know the characters really well. I like to care about the people I’m getting turned on by. I don’t want someone I’ve never heard of before, I want a person that I like. (This is also a reason I hear often for liking amateur performers better than mainstream ones, which I do.)
- Naked Bodies Don’t Turn Me On. What I find arousing is sex acts and kinks that I like, not human bodies. So the addition of visuals to video porn isn’t going to do much for me. In smut, the writer is forced to describe the sex that’s taking place, which often leads to gloriously detailed, in-depth imagery about the specific actions. This makes me a happy camper.
- Using My Imagination. One great thing about reading in general is that you can picture things exactly the way you want them. You’re not limited by what the studio had a budget for, or who they cast, or the camera angle they shot from. In smut, you can just let your brain run with it and show you exactly what you want to see.
- Impossible Fantasies. Some fantasies can’t be filmed. In smut, people can explore badwrong, illegal, or immoral fantasies in a way that is safe and does not actually hurt anyone. They can also explore things that are physically impossible, like knotting, or things that are terribly difficult to organize logistically, like gangbangs. In smut, you’re not limited by things like obscenity laws or physics or a performer’s stamina- you have free rein for your fantasies.
- Queer Female Perspectives. The majority of people writing fanfiction, including the smutty kind, are queer and/or female. I happen to be both of those things. Most mainstream porn is shot for the straight male gaze, which is just not me at all. While you can find queer and/or female perspectives in porn, especially the amateur or indie variety, smut allows me to enjoy more queer/female perspectives more easily.
- Avoiding Squicks. A “squick” is something that makes you uncomfortable or turns you off, which you would strongly prefer not to have in your porn. Something that squicks you out isn’t inherently wrong, it’s just not your cup of tea. In fanfiction, there’s a culture of tagging everything and giving warnings so that people can avoid their squicks as well as their triggers. Thanks to super thorough search engines and filtering systems, it’s so much easier than with porn to find smut that contains things you like and nothing you don’t.
What about you, do you prefer smut or porn? Why do you like your medium of choice?