• Member Since 25th Feb, 2013
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Titanium Dragon


TD writes and reviews pony fanfiction, and has a serious RariJack addiction. Send help and/or ponies.

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Feb
1st
2015

Recommended Story Reviews #2 – Estrus, Dream of Me, Cadance in A Minor, Friendship (with benefits) is Magic, The Average Day of Lyra and Bon Bon… Or Other Misleading Titles · 8:59pm Feb 1st, 2015

Some stories on the site are rated mature to keep them out of the hands of children. Because, really, what child would lie about being 18 on the Internet?

Some of these stories are quite good.

These are all non-pornographic mature-rated stories which I recommend, stories which I have collected over the space of two years within the fandom. Some of them are funny, some of them are serious, but all of them are quite good, and none of them are pornographic in nature. Each story includes a brief "objectionable content" warning in my review, describing what sort of mature content you can expect.

Note that due to the FIMFiction rules against direct-linking to mature-rated stories in blog posts these are all instead links to search pages from which you can find the stories in question, so you're going to have to do a bit more doing to find these stories. But, as this is a recommended story review, I'd say all of these are worth it.

Today’s reviews:

Estrus by Friendly Uncle
Dream of Me by Twilightclopple
Cadence in A Minor by Isseus
Friendship (with benefits) is Magic by Tumbleweed
The Average Life of Lyra and Bon Bon… Or Other Misleading Titles by SnowFinder


Estrus
by Friendly Uncle

Sex, Comedy, Slice of Life

Twilight doesn’t know the facts of life. You know, the birds and the bees. The reason you sometimes get that not so fresh feeling. We’re talkin’ about ruttin’. And who better to fill her in than her faithful friends? ...yeah, this is gonna get ugly.

Why I faved it: It is hilarious.

Objectionable Content Warning: Lots of jokes/commentary about sex ed and self-gratification, but nothing pornographic.

Review
Rarity runs into Twilight in the Ponyville market and Twilight seems a bit flushed. An accidental brush of the tail across Rarity’s face gives Rarity all the information she requires – Twilight is in heat. When Rarity tells Twilight that there is no need to hide being in heat, and that ponies are frank about such things in Ponyville, Twilight has no idea what Rarity is talking about. Rarity realizes, much to her horror, that Twilight doesn’t know what heat is, and decides to do what any sane pony would do in this situation – namely go and talk to Applejack about how to handle this situation.

Naturally, all of Twilight’s other friends end up catching wind of the “secret meeting” between Rarity and Applejack, and they all try to figure out how it is possible that Twilight Sparkle of all ponies doesn’t know what heat is, having discussions about estrus, sex ed, sex toys, and the various experiences and misadventures they have had learning about sex in school and from their parents, while speculating about what Twilight’s education must have been like.

Finally, with a plan in hand (to some extent), the group heads out to deal with Twilight. Further hilarity ensues.

This is a very, very funny story. From the horror stories of sex ed to awkward conversations with parents to their very unhelpful discussion about how to advice Twilight to deal with being in heat, this story is wonderful from start to finish. And, rarely for such a story, every character actually feels in character and doesn’t just randomly turn into a secret sex maniac for no reason. Even Twilight’s ignorance makes perfect sense in-character by the end of the story.

Recommendation: Highly Recommended.


[url=goo.gl/GnmkQU]Dream of Me
by Twilightclopple

Sex, Romance, Sad, Dark

Two ponies sit together. One is quiet, one talks.

"When we spoke, I heard you, but I didn't listen. And now, when there's nothing left to say, I can't hear you anymore, but I still listen."

Why I added it: Feels.

Objectionable Content Warning: Rainbow Dash masturbates while fantasizing/reminiscing about her injured lover, which includes (part of) a remembered sex scene.

Review
Twilight Sparkle is in a coma in the hospital, and no one is sure when – or if – she is going to wake up. Rainbow Dash, her lover, comes to keep her company, reading her books, bringing her flowers, talking to her… all the things people seem to do with coma patients in the hopes that what they do now will bring them comfort – and, in Rainbow Dash’s case, make up for all her broken promises.

This is an excellent story about Rainbow Dash’s regrets over her relationship with Twilight Sparkle. Rainbow Dash misses her badly, and blames herself for Twilight’s injury and coma. Through the story, we go between Rainbow Dash’s sad life today, and the happier days when Twilight was well. We see Rainbow Dash see every mistake she made, everything she did wrong, every promise she broke, the regret she has that Twilight even chose to love her, and in the end, she is determined to keep her one last promise, so that she can say she did at least one thing right by Twilight as the unicorn lies wasting away in a hospital bed.

This story starts off a little bit rough, with a somewhat mediocre first paragraph, but quickly gets into the swing of things, and by the end of the story, you will likely have, as they say on the internet, “feels”. This is definitely a story with a lot of tension in it, as Twilight’s condition deteriorates, and if that is not your thing, you may not want to read this.

If you like that sort of depth of emotion, though, with a strong payoff at the end as Rainbow Dash keeps her final promise, you shouldn’t miss this story.

Recommendation: Highly Recommended

EDIT 2/8/2015: This story has been removed from FIMFiction by its author.


Cadence in A Minor
by Isseus

Sex, Romance, Slice of Life

Shining Armor and Princess Cadance are happily married. But what happens after the lights go out?

Well... actually very little.

Shining Armor has a problem, and finding the solution might be harder than either of them thought.

Why I added it: This is an interesting and serious examination of the damage which might have been inflicted on Cadance and Shining Armor’s relationship by Queen Chrysalis.

Objectionable Content: Frank discussions about sex, masturbation, martial aids, and Shining Armor having sexual fantasies about his wife and other ponies.

Review
Set after Princess Cadance and Prince Shining Armor’s honeymoon, this story is a serious examination of the psychological issues that the two of them might have had to confront after having been imprisoned and repeatedly raped by the bug queen, respectively. Both of them feel as though their lives have been ripped out of their control, with Cadance struggling with control issues and Shining Armor feeling helpless. Their sex life has become dysfunctional because Shining Armor has been traumatized by Chrysalis wearing the face of his beloved and mind controlling him and raping him, and Cadance herself struggles with the fact that Shining Armor doesn’t seem to want her anymore.

This is a somewhat strange story as it takes the My Little Pony verse and puts serious psychology into it – Shining Armor and Cadance have been traumatized by what happened, and they, via each other, their friends, and a psychiatrist, need to put themselves back together again.

The sexual content in this story is very much taken seriously – it isn’t there for the purpose of being erotic, but to show how messed up their relationship is. The graphic descriptions of some of Shining Armor’s actions and fantasies are deliberately contrasted with what is going on in his relationship and his feelings of shame about them. Their sex life being in trouble is at the center of the conflict of the plot, but it isn’t gratuitous, but a serious examination of how messed up Shining Armor might be after the experience that he had.

If this sounds at all interesting to you, this story is well worth the time spent reading it, though it is not yet complete – hovering at 110,000 words, it is still being updated, albeit very slowly, but according to its writer it is only a couple chapters away from its conclusion.

Recommendation: Recommended


Friendship (with Benefits) is Magic
by Tumbleweed
Sex, Comedy

A follow up to 'What do You do With a Drunken Unicorn' Princess Celestia gets 'that' letter. Luna provides commentary.

Why I added it: It amused me.

Objectionable Content Warning: Sex toys used as props for comedy; the story features no sex and nothing pornographic or graphic.

Review
What do You do With a Drunken Unicorn is a very short story which involves Twilight getting drunk, talking about boys, and then throwing up, concluding with a terrible friendship letter.

Dear Princess Celestia,

Today I learned a true friend will take care of you, even when you're at your worst. Nothing says friendship like someone holding your mane at three in the morning when you just can't stop being sick.

Also, it's good to eat something before you go to a party.

When Celestia gets the letter, Luna makes a crack about whether or not Twilight will send Celestia a letter when she loses her virginity, too.

This story, of course, starts out with:

Dear Princess Celestia, I never thought it could happen to me…

Really, saying anything more about this story would spoil it. This story is funny from Celestia’s conversation with Luna about the letter to Twilight being sent a box for “further experimentation”, and at only a bit over 4,000 words, it is well worth your time to read.

Recommendation: Highly Recommended.


The Average Life of Lyra and Bon Bon… or Other Misleading Titles
by SnowFinder

Romance, Comedy, Random, Slice of Life

Lyra and Bon Bon are one of Ponyville's closest couple. Maybe. Probably. At the very least their lives are a bit on the exciting side. Wrong? Well, this summary is a bunch of lies, isn't it?

Bon Bon is a cocky Canterlot mare. Lyra is a happy go lucky pony. Together, they will save Equestria. Well, other ponies might...these two are mostly just happy to pay the rent.

A joint story showcasing a series of misadventures in the life of Lyra and Bon Bon.

Why I added it: Lyra and Bon Bon’s voicing.

Objectionable Content: Some crude language from Bon Bon.

Review
This story is told from the point of view of two very eccentric mares – the extremely grumpy social climber Bon Bon, and the cheerfully empty-headed Lyra. The story is sprinkled with gems like:

Regardless, it was after we lost the home and my older brother ran off with that foreign countess that I really had to step up and find my calling. Now, given my name–Lyra Heartstrings–I was certain I was destined to be a heart surgeon... but that didn't really pan out very well. After the trial, I decided to just fall back on the lyre I had been learning to play since I was a foal. Turns out I'm not bad at that!

"Sweet Celestia where's the bag?!" Bon Bon screamed as she started to look under the couch, lifting it up with inpony strength as her heart raced. If they lost the rent money, they may as well become traveling circus performers. Entertaining thought for a filly, but she had no desire to see Ponyacci's wrinkled flank ever again. The things a filly with a backstage pass could see if she utilized it! She learned to keep her makeup on, which was a life lesson that she never forgot. Ever. The other lesson experience had taught her was to keep her money in a secure location, but Lyra always seemed prepared to almost give her a heart attack with her tendency to misplace things.

The story moves back and forth between their two points of views in each section of the story, with Bon Bon’s extreme cynicism being offset by Lyra’s endless, but rather thoughtless, cheer.

This is really more of a serial than a single story, with two episodes published so far.

Paying the Rent: Lyra and Bon Bon set out to pay the rent with a bag full of bits in the middle of the night, because Bon Bon is paranoid about losing the bag of bits somehow. But stopping by Applejack’s new bar on the way couldn’t hurt, right? And well, what kind of young, attractive mares buy their own drinks? Even if they are lesbians, it isn’t like the barflies need to know that, right?

Dresses and Messes: The next day, Lyra and Bon Bon have to deal with the joys of everyday life, like a leaky roof which is causing mold to grow in the ceiling, or a beautiful gift that Lyra ordered for Bon Bon from Rarity, even though they’re short on money.

The main selling point of this story is the alternation between the points of view of Lyra and Bon Bon, and the character each of them shows not only in their own section, but in their view of the other pony, and what it says about the point of view character themselves. The devotion the two ponies show to each other in spite of – or perhaps because of – their quirks is quite nice to see, especially in light of their struggle to keep themselves out of debt.

The story is marked as incomplete, but the two episodes which have been published are both complete. It is unlikely that there will ever be another episode, but what is presently there won’t leave the reader hanging.

Recommendation: Recommended


Summary
Estrus by Friendly Uncle
Highly Recommended

Dream of Me by Twilightclopple
Highly Recommended

Cadence in A Minor by Isseus
Recommended

Friendship (with benefits) is Magic by Tumbleweed
Highly Recommended

The Average Life of Lyra and Bon Bon… Or Other Misleading Titles by SnowFinder
Recommended

And there you have it! A short list, but a strong one. I hope that, for those of you who are not of a delicate disposition, you find these stories enjoyable.

No, not like that. It isn't a euphemism.

Number of stories still listed as "Read It Later – High Priority": 197

Number of stories listed as “Read It Later”: 1544

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Comments ( 25 )

Number of stories listed as “Read It Later”: 1544

Good lord. I bid thee good luck.

2762396
The sad thing is, if I read 5 stories a day, every day, for the rest of the year... I wouldn't clear out my read later lists.

Cadence in A Minor is one of my favorite stories on the site, and completely derailed my plans for a series of stories about Cadance and Shining's honeymoon, because I realized how fucked up they would have been.

Estrus is also good. I'll have to check out the others.

2762410
Yeah, it is pretty strong, and does a good job of pointing out how messed up that whole thing was for the pair of them. Obviously not how they actually canonically reacted to the incident in the show, but it is an interesting "what if" scenario.

Huh. Turns out I've also read Friendship (With Benefits) is Magic. 2762415 Well, I mean, I guess we don't canonically see how they deal with it, since the next time we meet them is an untold amount of time later in the Crystal Empire.

Some familiar titles here. It's nice to get a sample of what you do like, TD.

Number of stories listed as “Read It Later”: 1544

I won't lie, it's a lot.

i.imgur.com/6GsXCHx.png
(That's 730 stories in read later if you want specifics)

But get on my level, laddie.

Otherwise, thanks for the stories, I'm definitely going to look at most of them.

Great, "Friendship (With Benefits) is Magic" is now my 500th RiL'd story.

Interesting review theme! I'd never have found these on my own. Well, some I'd found, but had been avoiding.

2762410 I'm waiting for the sequel, Shining Armor In A Minor.

2762579
Note that is 1544 stories, not 1544 chapters; it is presently sitting at 40,779,057 words, with high priority contributing another 6,221,248 words. High priority drops to a mere 4,924,454 words if I discount incomplete stories, though...

2762643
Only one of these stories had ever been reviewed before according to the Master List, IIRC. The Average Life of Lyra and Bon Bon… or Other Misleading Titles is quite obscure (398 views), which isn't terribly surprising when you realize that the writer of it never wrote anything else on that account, which has all of ten followers.

I'm not sure what the theme for my next recommended stories reviews thing is going to be at this point, if anything. I'm kind of tempted to do a Trust, The Cost of Life, The Writing on the Wall one (and probably include a couple other, similar stories), but it would probably be more of an analysis thing about why these stories work so well, as doing traditional "reviews" of those stories doesn't make much sense as it is hard to tell people why they should read them when the reason why they should read them is a huge spoiler.

Clearly what I should do is write one for stories like Martial Bliss and Two Peas in a Pod.

2762403
Then clearly you'll have to make it 6-7/day. At the minimum. Chop chop!

Psst! Your link to Friendship (With Benefits) Is Magic takes us to a different story. You might want to fix that. :twilightsmile:

2762788
It was second on the list; changed the search parameters to get rid of the other one. Link should be good now.

I find it hilarious that your risque story reviews have a much much higher rate of recommendation than your normals review lists. :rainbowlaugh:

2762788

He appears to be linking to search results instead of actual stories. Which is an odd way of doing it.

2762806
These were all taken off of my Recommended stories shelf. I already had read all of these stories previously over the course of nearly two years on FIMFiction - these are all reviews of stories I read long ago, as opposed to new stories I read (Read it Later and Read it Now both are stories I've never read before). As such, it isn't random at all - I already knew I liked all of these stories. The actual hit rate for mature-rated stories for me is quite low - of 200 stories or so on my recommended stories shelf, only 10 have mature ratings, whereas 15% of stories on the site are mature-tagged. This might indicate that they are worse than other kinds of stories on average, though it is hard to distinguish between that and my general apathy towards mature-rated stories - I don't read very many of them, and most of the ones I do read are either recommended to me or written by a writer I already know is competent (i.e. HoofBitingActionOverload, Bats, ect.).

Dwonvoted = 32 mature stories/317 total downvoted

No vote =49 mature stories/392 total no votes

Upvoted =21 mature stories/468 total upvotes

Assuming these ratios are representative of the stories I read before the bookshelf system was implemented, somewhere on the order of 1/10 stories I read are mature-rated, of which I upvote only 20%. This means that mature stories have about only half the hit-rate of non-mature rated stories I read, in theory.

I did another one of these back in December; not sure when I'll do the next one, but probably will have less of a gap. I re-read all the stories for my recommended stories reviews to make sure that I remember them and they really belong on my list, which is why I don't do it more often.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Hm, I reviewed Dream of Me and apparently I was highly disappointed by it, the sex scene specifically. I wonder if perhaps you and I are on different wavelengths when it comes to clopfics. <.<

2762854
I wouldn't call Dream of Me a clopfic; a clopfic is, to me, a story which exists for the purpose of sexual gratification. None of these stories are really designed for such purposes; Dream of Me is a shipfic which happens to include Rainbow Dash masturbating while fantasizing about Twilight and feeling like she screwed up her whole relationship. It felt like it was included to highlight Rainbow Dash's feelings rather than to, you know, gratify the audience, seeing as it is intercut with Rainbow Dash feeling terrible about herself and thinking about what she should have done instead.

Because we all know there's nothing sexier than feeling like you let down your girlfriend and never showed her that you loved her enough, even when you were having sex, right?

To be entirely honest, I always forget that Dream of Me is even mature-rated, because to me the heart of the story isn't about the sex at all, but about the emotions of the characters involved. It is, undoubtedly, a mature-rated story, but to me the story isn't about that at all, it just happens to include it and its inclusion is slotted into the story to highlight Rainbow Dash's feelings of inadequacy.

Pornography is sexual content for the purpose of arousing the audience; thus, while a story may contain sex, unless the purpose of the sex is to arouse the audience, it doesn't contain porn. I don't think Cadence in A Minor or Dream of Me include sex for such purposes, and ergo, I don't think of them as pornographic in nature. I mean, I guess some folks might be aroused by the content, but that isn't why it is in there (at least, I hope not; if it is, I didn't understand either story).

This would be in sharp contrast to something like, say, Love is Like an Apple Tree or Plucked from the Air, which both clearly contain sex for the purpose of arousing the audience, even if there is more to the stories than that. Basically, for me, the dividing line between "porn" and "sexual content" is "Does this exist in the story for no purpose other than gratifying the audience?" (or, "Does this story exist for the purpose of gratifying the audience?").

I would say that Bat's Room for One More is pornographic in nature; that doesn't mean that it isn't a story otherwise, or that it is only pornography, but that the pornography included in the story has as its major primary purpose "getting the audience aroused", though some of it also serves to further the plot, which is about a couple deciding to get adventurous in the bedroom, adding a third person to their sex lives, and then ending up struggling with whether or not the emotions they were feeling for said third person were harming their relationship. While some of the sexual content is in there for the purposes of furthering that plot, and it would be hard to write that story without any sexual content at all (and it would likely be worse for it), it is clear that a lot of the sex in there is written for the audience to "enjoy".

Conversely, the sex scenes in A Song of Ice and Fire are almost all messed up; on-screen sex in those books is almost always a bad idea or messed up in some way, whereas the characters who aren't messed-up and have healthy relationships have sex off-screen. Thus, while those sex scenes (in the books, not the HBO series) might be graphic, I'm not sure that they are pornographic because their intent is always to show a messed up situation and reveal character in that way, rather than just existing to gratify the audience. At least, as far as I can recall.

2762840

Well that was a large oversight by me. I didn't notice that your blog had Recommended Story Review prefacing it. I just gave it a quick glace and read it as Blah Blah Review Story Title Dump.

2762881
Clearly I didn't make it clear enough in my intro.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

2762865
I think, judging by my review, it's safe to say that when sexual content comes into a story, I assume it's done for titillation. I can't really see a purpose for explicit sex, anyway, that metaphor, euphemism or distant reference can't cover. But I more or less thought that scene ruined the story. :B

2762690
Oh.

Holy shit.


(I don't want to be anywhere near your level. You'll be reading the site goes down. down.)

2762579
2762690

You both need to get on my level. Or better yet, I should get down to your level.
i.imgur.com/hgGIVXb.png

At least my Read Later - Recommended list is sitting at a mere 2.9 megawords.

2768339
What's really sad is my "actually read" list is only at 12.8 million words, meaning my RIL - High Priority makes up about half the words I've ever read (actually, probably less than that, as 12.8 million is an underestimate of my true amount of reading due to stories I read before bookshelves were implemented which I've never marked).

2768392

My "actually read" list is...well, my tracking list is very nearly that. I track stories very freely.

It's at about 45 megawords after accounting for unread chapters. Add in re-reading and fics that I disliked enough to not track, and that number becomes even more disturbing. I mean, sure, my reading here is basically taking the place of tv watching for most people (something relatively mindless to do to unwind), but that's more time than I want to think about.

On the bright side, it's much cheaper than cable, or buying trashy novels.

2768515
Reading is much more engaging than watching TV, so you're ahead of most people.

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