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Old 07-09-2009, 03:23 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by netseeker View Post
...
I think it's noteworthy how unbiased you and all the other posters reacted on the topic. I find it quite interesting how the discussion might evolve.
I think it IS an interesting topic, and I'd like to discuss it seriously. Thing is, not eveyone has the same limits, and what may be perfectly acceptable to me, might be too much for others. Some might be worried about minors reading the discussion - but how can you keep them away, anyway (I know what I was like at 12-14).

I'd like to hear more from the men in this thread though, there's been some snickering, but not so much serious input.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:31 PM   #62
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LOL, I appreciate everyone's handling of this.

I totally understand that some of the stories on my site are male-oriented and some are female-oriented. We try to help readers find the stories they might be interested in by not only breaking them down into categories, but also offering other useful meta data such as the narrative mode and point-of-view. We also try to give some hints with tags and a short passage in addition to a "one-liner" description.

Our intention was to offer a site where anyone (interested in erotica) could find stories they would be interested in without wasting too much time going through stories they won't care for.

My concern when hearing things like "too male-oriented" is that perhaps it's something else, like the look of the site, or the ads or something I don't even realize that might be turning some readers away.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:41 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Barnsy View Post
...
We try to help readers find the stories they might be interested in by not only breaking them down into categories, but also offering other useful meta data such as the narrative mode and point-of-view. We also try to give some hints with tags and a short passage in addition to a "one-liner" description.

Our intention was to offer a site where anyone (interested in erotica) could find stories they would be interested in without wasting too much time going through stories they won't care for.
I appreciate this effort, makes things easy to find.

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Originally Posted by Barnsy View Post
My concern when hearing things like "too male-oriented" is that perhaps it's something else, like the look of the site, or the ads or something I don't even realize that might be turning some readers away.
I think it's probably quite a balancing act, to try to do this. What I can say, is that he site doesn't look especially female-oriented, but it seems (though I haven't still gotten around to search much) that there's quite a variety, and that it is not off-putting to me as a woman. What IS off-putting in general, is ads targetted specifically at men - and I think one reason is that such ads and images are the norm, and that I have experienced that sites with such images probably/rarely have anything to interest me. I would probably leave quickly if I thought it was such a site.

I would say it is important that you get the message, that this site is intended for both men and women, over VERY quickly, so that a potential user of the site stays a bit longer.

Last edited by Ea; 07-09-2009 at 03:46 PM. Reason: fixing typos and errors
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:42 PM   #64
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Should we try the discussion anyway? Use asterisks in some words? Use euphemisms where possible? (Either of those veers a bit towards the ridiculous, but it's possible to hold a reasonable discussion through that.)
I think you made good suggestions how we could deal with such particular cases. Let's see how the discussion will evolve...

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Thing is, not eveyone has the same limits, and what may be perfectly acceptable to me, might be too much for others. Some might be worried about minors reading the discussion - but how can you keep them away, anyway (I know what I was like at 12-14).
We can't keep them away and the title of this thread is very clear. We have to take care that we don't go beyond the pale and the moderators will step in if the discussion seems to go off course.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:35 PM   #65
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I don't see the ads; I browse with Firefox and Adblock Plus. I tend to forget that most websites have ads. (Looking around, I saw an ad for Penthouse something-or-other. Decided not to add it to the adblock list. However, I'm not buying Penthouse anything. Especially not online.)

I do notice that the graphics (the repeated pic of the woman in the red, erm, dress, which I misremembered as a bikini, and the title page image of a woman in lingerie) are aimed at men--they're women in skimpy outfits, and while I can appreciate "sexy pics of women," I've got a lot less appreciation for "women with unlikely anatomy in outfits held in place by force of will."

The descriptions of the stories are mostly geared to classic male pornseeker sensibilities: mentions of large breasts, beautiful hair, and four-letter words beginning with "c." (The gay stories don't mention large breasts, of course; they mention large other body parts, and replace hair with muscles. Go fig.) Any story that mentions bra size is a dead giveaway as "written by a man, for other men to read." (While women are aware of their cup sizes, it's not an erotic detail for most of us... it's like shoe sizes; you know your own, learn to estimate other women's rather by accident, and know which companies use different numbers to describe what fits you. You acknowledge extremes of some sorts... but the number itself doesn't carry any erotic thrill.)

And what's the all the shaving? My husband calls it "an obsession with women who look like 12-year-old boys."

I think I'll stop at that, before I start ranting about the actual editing (or lack thereof) in the stories. "barely covering her taunt young body"... "the shorts art her knees prevented her"... "gguess I'll just have to...."

I agree with Ea, in that the site is not off-putting (except perhaps for the main graphic, which screams we have hot stuff for straight guys), but has no particular appeal for women, either. There's nothing that says "women looking for erotica can find it here!"
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:52 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Should we try the discussion anyway? Use asterisks in some words? Use euphemisms where possible? (Either of those veers a bit towards the ridiculous, but it's possible to hold a reasonable discussion through that.)
I automatically imagine discussions that look like: "The ***** section features far too many **** of ****** than my *** or I like to **** at, but if ****** *** *** *** ************ ******* ** ***, I might ***** ** ***** *** * ***."

But seriously, folks, I agree that the site has an overwhelming straight-male-oriented look. However, as the various genres are very hard to mix visually without looking pretty silly, it was an easy direction to take. As a designer, might I suggest something other than a black background (not sure why... maybe it's the video-in-the-dark thing... but black seems to be more of a male background color than female, IMO), and possibly a banner that uses images that are obviously separate. Think of a collection of photos of various similar subjects, spread out on a surface: Each one is different, none of them dominate the rest, but the common theme is evident.

As to the content, I haven't looked further than a few opening passages here and there. I saw no openings that seemed memorable, or even particularly interesting... just typical of "cheap porn"... cut right to the chase. Because of this, I haven't read anything further. On the other hand, I'll be recuperating from an operation next week, and I may find I have much more time on my han-- uh, strike that... I mean, solo leisure time in which to examine things-- uh, strike that, too... I mean examine the content of the site further.

(Okay, I took my cheap shot.)
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:14 AM   #67
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It's tough to get men to pay for text-based erotica, though. Most of the text erotica/porn I've seen that's geared towards men is free.

Women, on the other hand, are willing to spend $ for good quality erotica. May their tribe increase!
:coughs: I don't mind reading text-based erotica - allows me to make up my own visuals :coughs:
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:18 AM   #68
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(Okay, I took my cheap shot.)

I'll take mine - perhaps the visual orientation towards us poor males is an avenue used to pay for the site - after all the stories are 'free' ? (perhaps Barnsy could elucidate?)
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:16 AM   #69
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I automatically imagine discussions that look like: "The ***** section features far too many **** of ****** than my *** or I like to **** at, but if ****** *** *** *** ************ ******* ** ***, I might ***** ** ***** *** * ***."

But seriously, folks, I agree that the site has an overwhelming straight-male-oriented look. However, as the various genres are very hard to mix visually without looking pretty silly, it was an easy direction to take. As a designer, might I suggest something other than a black background (not sure why... maybe it's the video-in-the-dark thing... but black seems to be more of a male background color than female, IMO), and possibly a banner that uses images that are obviously separate. Think of a collection of photos of various similar subjects, spread out on a surface: Each one is different, none of them dominate the rest, but the common theme is evident.

As to the content, I haven't looked further than a few opening passages here and there. I saw no openings that seemed memorable, or even particularly interesting... just typical of "cheap porn"... cut right to the chase. Because of this, I haven't read anything further. On the other hand, I'll be recuperating from an operation next week, and I may find I have much more time on my han-- uh, strike that... I mean, solo leisure time in which to examine things-- uh, strike that, too... I mean examine the content of the site further.

(Okay, I took my cheap shot.)
Steve, YOU LOOKED!!

I did, too, mainly because of the discussion here. I tend to like the relationship aspects of romance as opposed to just the "relations" aspects. What can I say, I'm a big softy who prefers subtlety to being smacked upside the head (no pun intended).

It strikes me that the real problem with the look of the sight and the question of being male/female oriented is actually a common gender issue. Men tend to prefer more graphic visuals where women prefer more subtle sensory appeal. The same can be said for the stories we read.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:36 AM   #70
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I'll take mine - perhaps the visual orientation towards us poor males is an avenue used to pay for the site - after all the stories are 'free' ? (perhaps Barnsy could elucidate?)
We set out to create Erotica Republic because we were unsatisfied with the other free erotica sites out there. I'm not sure if any of you have been to any of them but for the most part they lack style and are often difficult to navigate. We also found on many that the stories were full of spelling, grammatical and formatting errors. We set out to try to do better.

I will admit that sure there will be some errors found in our stories, but we do try our best to fix the ones we find. Do remember that these stories are written by amateur authors who do it for the love of writing.

As for the look of our site, we wanted to go with a "pulp" style. After all, we are featuring short and cheap (free) stories. Besides, I thought it was a cool look. Currently, the majority of our readers are female and many have told us they like the look of the site.

The way we pay for the site is (will be) advertising revenue. As our traffic increases, I do expect our demographic to even out when it comes to gender. This is when I anticipate that our more "risqué" ads will do better. Currently it is our dating, e-cigarette and Amazon ads that are doing well. It is VERY difficult for us to find advertisers for anything but "risqué" businesses as a lot of mainstream companies (Google Adsense) WILL NOT work with us which is really sad.

As for our content, I'd say we have a very wide range. If you go into certain "taboo" categories, expect to read "taboo" stories. We do have many stories that don't actually have any explicit passages but simply allude to certain acts. We have MANY talented authors who contribute on our site. Some have gone on to be published in print. Some are published authors who pen erotica under a different name.

If you are looking for some excellent stories, I strongly suggest you check out our author HRKW. She has been repeatedly called the "next Stephenie Meyer" and has recently been picked up by a literary agent. Sadly we had to remove a couple of her excellent stories because they are soon to be published.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:12 PM   #71
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We set out to create Erotica Republic because we were unsatisfied with the other free erotica sites out there. I'm not sure if any of you have been to any of them but for the most part they lack style and are often difficult to navigate. We also found on many that the stories were full of spelling, grammatical and formatting errors.
This, I fully agree with.

I tried to branch out from fanfic to "mainstream" erotica, and found that mainstream free text erotica is mostly atrociously written; apparently, there are a great many men who are thrilled to have anything involving active genitalia and don't care about the writing quality.

Quote:
We set out to try to do better.

I will admit that sure there will be some errors found in our stories, but we do try our best to fix the ones we find. Do remember that these stories are written by amateur authors who do it for the love of writing.
A laudable goal, and the writing itself is of at least decent quality. Some if it's good.

Quote:
As for the look of our site, we wanted to go with a "pulp" style. After all, we are featuring short and cheap (free) stories. Besides, I thought it was a cool look. Currently, the majority of our readers are female and many have told us they like the look of the site.
You can't judge the appeal of a site by its current fans, unless you have no interest in drawing new members. The people who currently love it won't tell you what you need to make it appealing to others, and they often can't tell you which features would cause them to leave the site if they changed.

I don't dislike the look of the site, except that I don't care for black backgrounds in general, and that's mitigated by putting the stories themselves on light backgrounds. I don't find the logo-girl appealing. (I don't find her off-putting, either; I just look at her and think "obviously, I am not the target readership for this site." Which may be true.)

Quote:
The way we pay for the site is (will be) advertising revenue. As our traffic increases, I do expect our demographic to even out when it comes to gender. This is when I anticipate that our more "risqué" ads will do better. Currently it is our dating, e-cigarette and Amazon ads that are doing well. It is VERY difficult for us to find advertisers for anything but "risqué" businesses as a lot of mainstream companies (Google Adsense) WILL NOT work with us which is really sad.
So work with risqué ads. But find ones that appeal to women as well as men. (Does Good Vibrations buy web ads?) Dating ads will skew the whole site towards men; e-dating sites are packed with sleazy men who will send of PMs to anyone with a female-sounding name, regardless of interests listed.

Quote:
As for our content, I'd say we have a very wide range. If you go into certain "taboo" categories, expect to read "taboo" stories.
In the fanfic communities, they're called "kinks." And it's widely acknowledged that one person's kink is another's disgust (or "squick"), and mostly people don't argue about other people's tastes in specific story themes. (Not that some people don't scream about them, but the majority ignore the screamers, or just comment with, "if you don't like [X] in stories, why'd you click on the one labeled 'Xophilia with a side of bondage?' Nobody made you read it.")

Quote:
If you are looking for some excellent stories, I strongly suggest you check out our author HRKW. She has been repeatedly called the "next Stephenie Meyer" and has recently been picked up by a literary agent. Sadly we had to remove a couple of her excellent stories because they are soon to be published.
Is there a spot on the site to recommend authors? I remember something about favorites; is there a way to see "most favorited authors/stories?"

Perhaps the PDFs could include at the end, a link back to the site--"If you enjoyed this story, consider adding it to your favorite list [here]" or something like that.

Other note: the FAQ doesn't mention authors being able to remove their stories by request. That may seem obvious to you, but a lot of sites have a TOS that means "once you put it here, we can use it forever." If you allow authors to remove their content at will, that should be mentioned, so they're not discouraged from posting if they think they might get a publishing offer later.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:22 PM   #72
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As for the look of our site, we wanted to go with a "pulp" style. After all, we are featuring short and cheap (free) stories. Besides, I thought it was a cool look. Currently, the majority of our readers are female and many have told us they like the look of the site.
I absolutely love the Sin City feel of it, and I like the banner girl a lot.

I also like the obvious enthusiasm that comes out of the design; it doesn't look overly professional and bland.

No opinion yet on the stories as I have about a two year reading backlog
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:57 PM   #73
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Needs more pictures.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:56 PM   #74
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Since I have started practicing this I do not have to register again and again and again to the same sites I visit about once a month. Before I have always forgotten what name and password I have registered with and had to register again.
There are tools that help you with this. If you use FireFox (all platforms) or IE check out the LastPass add-on. I use RoboForm on PC and 1Password on my Mac. But, sick of manually syncing so I am trying lastpass which is cross platform.

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Old 07-11-2009, 03:48 AM   #75
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Thumbs up Update - ePUB added, DRM removed.

Thanks everyone for checking out the site and for all your helpful advice!

I just wanted to let everyone know that we now offer all of our stories in PDF, Mobipocket, and ePUB formats. All formats are free of DRM too!

Enjoy.
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