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Auntie SparkNotes: I Want to Show People My Erotic Fanfiction

Hi Auntie SparkNotes,

This may sound stupid, but I am very, very, very ashamed of writing fanfictions. I write about soccer and girl/girl relationships, and I’m very nervous that some of my friends may find out about it, think it’s weird, etc. Most of my close friends know I’m bi, but what they don’t know is this is one of the only ways I’m able to really think about my sexuality. I’m not allowed to date until I’m 16, so this is kind of my way of having my own “relationship.” I really want my friends and family to see my work, but some of my writings have some, well, more mature topics in them (if you know what I mean). And, most of my friends and family aren’t really comfortable with the fact that I like guys and girls. Plus, I need some serious editing help! Sometimes I get serious writers block, and my family on the fanfic site I write on waits for an update way too long.

Please help! (My future writing career is depending on it!)

Alas, I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree with you there, Sparkler. In fact, I can virtually guarantee you that showing your quasi-pornographic fanfic to your friends and family will not actually be the defining factor in whether you go on to a career as a writer. And that is just one of many reasons why I cannot in good conscience tell you to do that, no matter how much you want me to.

Don’t get me wrong, it is great that you’ve found a way to explore your sexuality in a way that’s safe and satisfying, and that gives you a creative outlet to boot. But exploring your sexuality is a private process, sweet pea. Not just for you, or for LGBT people in general, but for everyone. And the fact that your fanfics double as a fantasy outlet for your own sexual and romantic desires means that showing them around, and particularly to your family members, really is a recipe for making things weird.

But that’s doesn’t mean your problem is unsolvable. It’s just that it’s more like two problems. There’s the part where you need someone to talk to about your sexuality, and there’s the part where you want to share your creative work with the people in your life. And the way to deal with those issues is to tackle them independently.

So: the close friends who supported you when you came out? Those are the friends you can, and should, talk to about your orientation. (You’d also be welcome to tell them that you’ve found it fun and useful to write fanfic, which is hardly a weird or controversial hobby; I’d just draw the line at actually showing them any work which would amount to a grand, in-depth tour of your erotic fantasies.)

And when it comes to showing people your writing, and getting feedback that’ll help you hone your craft, there’s an easy solution for that, too: You’ve just got to write a story that’s a story first and foremost, rather than a fantasy relationship scenario designed to help you get your ya-yas out. Or maybe you already have a story like that, in which case you can go right ahead and show it to anyone you want, including your family. (And if someone thinks it’s weird, all that means is that they’re not your audience; it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.)

The point is, it’s normal and natural and healthy to compartmentalize a bit and be cognizant of boundaries when it comes to what you share with whom. Some people are a good listening ear for working out your issues with your sexuality; some people can offer valuable expertise when it comes to your writing process; some people will be an eager audience for your X-rated fanfic. But very few people are going to be all three, and that’s okay. That’s what friends, or internet friends, or fellow horny fanfic forum members, are for.

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