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An Intricate Disguise


Selling out has never felt so dirty. (Patreon!)

  • MStaying Put
    A surely weak and helpless stallion is living on the edge of the Everfree. Twilight and co. attempt to rescue him and herd him under the safety of mares. Said stallion happens to like the sound of herding, but he'll not say it outright. (RGRE)
    An Intricate Disguise · 28k words  ·  1,544  103 · 18k views

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Jan
11th
2019

Loathsome Rage: A Response to MrNumbers from the Erotic Writing Community · 4:30am Jan 11th, 2019

This blog is the result of a shared opinion between myself and multiple other voices in the erotic writing scene. Me, MadMaxtheBlack, Shakespearicles, Some Leech, Anonymous Pegasus, ClopficsintheComments, Alcatraz, Distorted Flare, B_25… we’ve all read what MrNumbers has to say about the current state of porn on FimFiction, and we’re here to voice our responses. To defend you, all readers and writers, in your right to produce and consume what you want without guilt or the feeling that you’re contributing to a problem.

Below, we’ll be breaking down his argument one by one, and explaining exactly why the porn scene should retain its right to autonomy. MrNumbers has provoked a large response from the writers of this website by so abrasively stating his opinions, and each of us owe it to you, the readers, to show exactly where we stand on this, and prove that we won’t stand for being lambasted or bullied into submission.

An Intricate Disguise

Hello, smut lovers, horse readers, and everybody else. I’m writing this essay as a direct response to The State of FimFiction’s Fading Erotic Scene, and the concepts presented therein, as well as refuting all arguments that I feel are either incorrectly put together or genuinely misinformed. This is not designed as an attack on MrNumbers or his beliefs, but I feel it’s important for me to say nonetheless.

With that all out of the way, let’s dive in:

I’ll be going thesis by thesis from here on out: outlining the propositions made by MrNumbers in said blog and then highlighting my personal issues with said statements.

First of all, let it be said that the core issue MrNumbers speaks about within his blog is not a non-issue on a macro level. Objectification and devaluation of female voices do exist in online communities such as this one, and certain factors will always have the ability to propagate that, regardless of intent.

However, the introduction to his blog? The entire basis of his argument that women are being misrepresented in this fandom? That’s based on an assumption, and an incorrect one at that. MrNumbers doesn’t understand the demographics on FimFiction. He makes it sound as if he does—citing the thoughts and feelings of a few female friends in the community, none of whom he’s named or quoted—and appeals to your ignorance as a reader that this is a male dominated, and mainly straight community. He makes it sound as if a vast majority of the readers on this site, a vast majority of the users, are male, and this preempts his entire argument. He states this as fact.

This is wrong, and I have proof.

This wasn’t easy proof to get, but I went the extra mile to research this. Finding specific demographics on a website—full, conclusive ones—is difficult, and for a while, I found myself against a brick wall.

What did I do in the end, after multiple failed searches? I went to Alexa by Amazon, one of the leading and most reputable, accurate tools for website statistics. Business CEO’s use this exclusively. SEO writers use this to promote huge pages and better understand their audience and competition. I used it to get information on a My Little Pony fanfiction website, because I like proving my points. This involved getting a free trial (which I’ve since cancelled) to a $180 per month plan. In doing so, I was able to procure the statistics I’m about to put in your face. There are more, but this is the most salient.


The very clearly diminishing level of females. I mean, you can’t argue with Numbers, right?

That’s right. 60% of the site’s users are male, and 40% female. A majority male, sure, but a very slim one at that. Looks like they’ve all been scared off, huh?

MrNumbers predicates his entire blog on the assumption that there are many, many male users outnumbering females, and expects that to be believed without question. And out of 300,000 unique users per month (another stat I procured), MrNumbers has surrounded himself with enough people that already share his views—some of whom are female—that he’s managed to skew the public perception in favour of his opinions and create the impression that he’s speaking for women as a whole. (This is extremely visible in the comments section of his blog, where a couple of his female friends rush to his defence repeatedly.)

MrNumbers is not speaking for a majority of women. He’s speaking for a few, and he’s doing so in a site that, guess what? DOESN’T highlight gender when it comes to users. Yes, the term ‘brony’ has male connotations, but that means little here. Is there a bio section where you’re required to put male/female when you join the site? No. We all use avatars. Usernames. Symbols of anonymity, to the point that I personally have been asked if I’m male or female a ton of times, and I’m sure a lot of you have too.

And yet, we’re apparently, according to him, dealing in an erotic writing scene that is written almost exclusively by males, and for males, and we’re driving women away. That we aren’t looking at things through a female perspective. That we’re perpetuating rape culture and silencing female voices in our community through misrepresentations of female characters. That we need feminism in order to fix this ‘issue’.

I think I’ve just highlighted that the issue itself doesn’t exist. At least, not as MrNumbers states it. Yes, there’s a small majority of males here. Yes, women do typically have a worse time online due to male attitudes and perceptions of females, but that’s an everywhere problem, not a FimFiction exclusive one. Let’s stop pretending it’s exclusive to this site, and that catering towards women exclusively in erotic writing is going to be some magical cure-all.


The next point I want to bring up, briefly, is an equivocation issue that is prevalent throughout MrNumbers’ blog, and shows itself right in the early stages. The blog is titled ‘Fading Erotic Scene’, and throughout, begins to use the words ‘erotica’ and ‘porn’ interchangeably. This is an issue, especially if you’re trying to put across that one of these categories is meant to be like the other.

Let’s get one thing straight now: porn and erotica are two separate things. They’re in the same ballpark, yes, but they aren’t entirely synonymous. There’s a reason that in the fiction market, there are categories for ‘erotic romance’, ‘adult romance’, and ‘erotica’. There’s a reason we’d refer to some stories as ‘erotic fiction’ and others as ‘smut’, and that’s because they’re meant to accomplish different things by design and purpose.

So the first question I’d pose here is what does constitute erotica? And what is porn, by that same token? If we’re to believe that sex-positive narratives are a necessity to ensure the happiness and mental healthiness of the erotic reader-base as a whole, then where do we cross that line? Which of these two, disparate categories is meant to be used for physical stimulation, and which for mental? Are the two mutually exclusive?

And, most importantly, is it inherently an issue to read something solely for the sake of physical, base gratification? Specifically if said fiction is apparently written by men, for men? With the previous information, we now know that to be untrue, but I’m interested in exploring this perspective regardless.

Is it only for men because it’s written by men to begin with? I’m not in a woman’s mind. Neither is MrNumbers. We’re both male ourselves. I have a varied audience, personally. I know this because I communicate with my readers from time to time, finding them to be both male and female. This is my personal experience, but I find it’s better reflected in the overall erotic fiction community than within the boundaries of FimFiction. More on that shortly.

Let’s talk about the free market. The people who decide what does and doesn’t get popular. In the case of this site, that’s you guys, my awesome readers, guys and girls, but mainly guys. In the case of most other areas on the web, in regards to erotic writing? That’s a predominantly female audience. AO3, Wattpad, FanFiction.net, Royal Road… all mainly female audiences, and I can provide screenshots showing this. As for the erotic writing scene? It’s the same there.

And it’s no secret that it’s considered that many women do prefer sensory input, gradual buildups, characterisation playing a distinct role in sexiness, and less object appeal, more person appeal. That’s pretty well documented. But is it conclusive?

I don’t think it’s particularly fair to put women in a box like that. Or men, either. Because I’m a man, am I not allowed to like character-focussed porn that’s sex positive in nature? Do characters that go ‘I saw a nice body and now must acquire it’ have to be the ones that resonate with me? Personally, I quite enjoyed The Princess and her Marshmallow[, written by MrNumbers (he revealed the alt in his blog thread so I can talk about this without breaking rules), and that was a sex-positive, erotically charged story that was sweet in nature, much like the wine the pair were sipping.

But from the sounds of things, as a member of a ‘male audience’, I should primarily enjoy stories that look at women through a ‘male’ scope. And this is also apparently a bad thing.

One of the phrases that’s thrown around a lot in the aforementioned blog is ‘male gaze’, the notion that a guy sees sex differently to a woman. How do women see sex, MrNumbers? You bash EL James for having a terrible perception of men and women (and here, I agree with you), but there’s no arguing with the fact that the Fifty Shades series sold like the Bible. Is the onus on females, feminists or not, to challenge these societal norms that you spout? Is it wrong for them to ‘objectify themselves’ by reading and enjoying something that regardless of quality played very fast and loose with both consent and treatment of females and yet became incredibly popular?

MrNumbers seems to believe that women look at men in only a certain way, especially in regards to erotica: a way that highlights character, pesonality, and situation, a lot more than physical, base desire. I believe this is a very limited scope of females, and all in all, a narrow view.

I personally believe that women have just as much agency to look at men (or other women) for their bodies and physical characteristics as men do in the reverse. It’s their prerogative. You can’t pigeonhole what women like or want. Women do not necessarily want stories that paint women realistically, just as men don’t necessarily want stories that paint men realistically. They want fantasy. They want fun.

Surrealism plays a major part in this. In fiction, we get to experience and enjoy situations that we can’t in real life. Whether that’s something more extreme, such as bestiality, non-con, or incest, or something more vanilla, but equally unrealistic, such as a universe wherein characters treat sex differently than people might in the real world… we’re not expecting that in the real world. Of course we aren’t. But literacy gives us an outlet nonetheless, a form of satiation that we can’t afford elsewhere.

The problem is someone taking that material at face value and seeing it as something that should be taken seriously and extended into the real world, something that perpetuates a certain treatment of a group of individuals or is encouraging others to hurt. That’s… frankly ridiculous and childish. It’s like watching a cartoon show and expecting Roadrunner to leap into your living room via explosion. It’s absurdity. Real life has its limits and norms. Real life sex has its limits and norms. Fictitious sex is absurd. Why? Because it deals with things that might not be possible or realistic elsewhere. Explores different mentalities and alternate societies, trusts the reader to understand that while some content is dirty, demeaning, and crass, it’s not REAL. It’s not expected to be real. It’s expected to be an escape—that’s what fiction is.

I TRUST my readers to be able to distinguish that and enjoy precisely what they want to, no matter the flavour of their fantasy. In my worlds, your fantasy becomes reality for only a brief period of time, but when you break immersion, I don’t expect you to take your values from what I’ve written, to consider hardcore rape, degradation of females, or casual natures of sex that’s present in some of my stories as acceptable in the real world. I trust you to be able to distinguish, to have that wherewithal.

And from the distinct look of things, MrNumbers doesn’t. He’s acting as if you, the readers, are all children that need to be guided to a more ‘pure’ state of enjoyment, a feminist-esque one that respects female characters and holds the values of healthy sex and relationships above all else.

Let me tell you something: if all stories were like that? It’d be boring. I’d hate it. Not because I’m a misogynist, or anything like that, but because I believe in a freedom to exercise fantasy as well as creative expression. If I want to envision a character as a horny little slut that’s desperate for me for a half hour of reading, does that mean I expect that from my next relationship? Of course not.  

And if a woman wishes to read a dubious-consent fantasy which deals in objectification and degradation alike, does that mean she wishes to be hurt in the real world, that she’s been socialised to enjoy being inferior? Of course it doesn’t.

Unfortunately, It’s this mentality that stands at the core of his argument: defending those that do not wish to be defended, making blanket statements that ostensibly apply to all females, rather than actually appreciating the documented opinions of the female majority. That, in of itself, is inherently misogynistic.


So, we’ve established that there’s an issue here in that women are being misrepresented in MrNumbers’ blog. On top of that, there’s the lack of any substantiation as to the claim that women see porn any differently than men. This is damaging—hair trigger reactions to issues that aren’t actually present, curtailing freedom of expression and enjoyment.

Because that’s what this is really about, isn’t it? Unhealthy showcases of relationship models, sexual encounters, and genders as a whole. Let’s deal with the third for now.

It’s put across that a male writer showing a female, lesbian relationship is likely to make certain pitfalls by looking at things through male goggles. I find myself wondering why Numbers’ method of substantiating this in The State of FimFiction’s Fading Erotic Scene is to ‘interview’ one writer of one fanfiction and then put it across that this is the norm. (Again, he’s assuming that a vast majority of writers do the same.) Not only that, but in the case of Salvation, Numbers actually excuses this ‘prevalent issue’ we’re discussing, on the grounds that in his opinion, that story is subjectively good, in spite of his argument.

Which is it, MrNumbers? I thought accurate female representation and not making sex the goal of a relationship mattered above everything else. Does it not when it comes to stories you find to be quality regardless?

It is important to highlight certain aspects of the female psyche when writing females, but there is always going to be a degree of separation. That’s impossible to weather completely. The most any of us can do, as male or females, is hope that we’re getting our characters as true to their archetypes as possible, and attempt not to bastardise that which they stand for.

It’s one of the reasons a lot of male writers choose to write a more ‘masculine’ character, such as Rainbow Dash, as their limited omniscience protagonist. It offers an opportunity to delve into a female mindset with a ‘safety layer’ of cis-masculine traits, and if anything, is a good stepping stone should a writer be looking to transcend writing in solely a male perspective and begin to see things through the eyes of another.

And that’s the thing: MrNumbers makes it sound as if we should be scared off of writing female characters how we normally would because we might not get it totally right. I put this to anyone reading who writes: If your character is an extension of your imagination, can you get that character wrong? If it’s someone else’s character, or the character is meant to stand for something, you’re never going to get it totally right. That’s an impossibility. All you can hope to do, I repeat, is try to hit as close to home as you possibly can.

Otherwise, we’d have to all stop writing female characters, and we’d have to tell the girls to pack it in with writing male protagonists too, because they just might not understand their motivations and idiosyncrasies well enough. Sorry, J.K. Rowling. You’re off the Christmas list.

And, as I’ll get back to later on, MrNumbers seems to enjoy cherry picking quite a lot. He cherry picks his examples, as well as his quotes, and uses at best circumstantial evidence to support his claims. In the context of MrNumbers’ blog, I’m a writer that deals solely in titles that show women to be sex objects and sex to be the only important element of any relationship. This is my apparent ethos, and reflects the way I view women. This means that I ‘have a very poor understanding of both women and consent’.

Some of my stories are written like this by design, yes, but guess what? There’s variety in my titles, too. I have stories that are romance focussed, stories that deal with dubious situationality and characters that are in no way realistic—that are driving the porn, and then I have other stories that are more thoughtful, wherein the sex is only an element of the narrative which is tied together by the plot, as well as the thoughts, emotions, and actions of each character.

Sometimes, said stories don’t showcase either gender in what would be considered a positive light. Sometimes, I very much think that they do, or at the very least they try their hardest to. But hey, all of the ‘sex-positive’ or happy, consensual stories I’ve ever written are rendered irrelevant due to the fact that I’ve also written other things that don’t fit Numbers’ prescribed fix to our community’s ‘problem’, right? Either everything I write conforms to his ideology, or none of it does, and he’s chosen to pick out ‘the worst of the bunch’, whatever would fit his point, exaggerate it, and then paint me as a reprehensible individual for a portion of what I’ve produced, acting as if it’s the rule of all my work. That’s fine. I’ll get into it properly later on.

In fact, it’s quite funny that Numbers talks so extensively about toxicity in the community when he displays it so heavily here.


Let’s get off of writing gender as a whole for a moment and move towards another, large focal point of Numbers’ blog. Reversed Gender Roles Equestria, or RGRE for short.

MrNumbers seems to have a flawed understanding of just what RGRE is, and that’s his fault. Why? Because he clearly hasn’t read enough RGRE titles to be informed beyond a rudimentary level of what the theme typically contains. His words are:

...to RGRE: Reverse Gender Roles Equestria stories. What does that even mean?

Apparently, it means guys are demure and pursued by the more sexually aggressive mares who want to fuck all the time. This is usually experienced by an Anon human-insert character - which is to say, an external character who expresses 'our' gender values.



I mean straight out the gate we make two uncomfortable statements with this: First, that all guys want out of their relationships is sex and women are less 'fully realized people' and more 'the gatekeepers of sex', complex social puzzles to solve for the reward of a sexual relationship, a prize for being Deemed Worthy. The other statement is that by inverting that, you’re playing up the audience’s power fantasy: Damn, isn’t it desirable to be seen that way? Isn't it gratifying?

Fucking hell, no it isn’t.

Are you kidding me? How do you think it would actually go, to be seen like that?

To have half the human population see you, either consciously or unconsciously, is trying to ‘solve’ you, so they can use you. That the positive relationship they want with you is conditional. That your positive qualities aren’t something that make you a better friend, but a more desirable relationship. That your vulnerabilities are to be exploited as the ultimate keys to the puzzle, so you can’t trust any comfort that you’re given by this half of people you meet.

That’s fucking miserable.

The entire scope of Numbers’ understanding of the genre is based off of a descriptive connotation of verbiage. Namely, the title itself, and what it must clearly stand for based upon the words used. Reversed gender roles must connote a reversal of current, western gender roles, according to this blog. The actual, prescriptive usage of this phrase by thousands of RGRE readers is quite different. Again, anyone who had read more than a tiny bit of RGRE would be aware of this.

And that’s in the fact that RGRE is not meant to accurately represent societal norms. It’s a grounds of exaggeration and often silliness, a concept to be played with, and it most certainly does not presuppose that the mares who are attempting to sexually assault or otherwise harass the usually male protagonist are what’s considered usual male actions.

Most RGRE exists in a social model that is often compared to 1950’s suburban western culture. I’d call that a gross under-exaggeration, personally, but that’s the most common description I see. What it actually is is societal norms being not only flipped, but often dialled up to eleven. Why? Because it makes for an interesting dynamic and allows social commentary aided in part by the hyperbolic nature of the setting. It can be rather funny, when not taken seriously.

It can also be dramatic. One of the core issues I see in MrNumbers’ interpretation of RGRE is that the lead stallion is often enjoying the fact that mares are constantly trying to win him over, or viewing him as a sexual conquest. True to women who might be treated in the same way in real life (though likely to a lesser extent), many of them hate it. Many of the RGRE stories I’ve read make an effort to subvert the norms that are established by said universe, and highlight the difficulty that stallions (our ‘females’, here) face through day to day life, not being trusted to do things on their own, being forced to conform to herd mentality, and being reduced to sex objects for the gratification of mares.

It’s dehumanising, when looked at like that. It’s not something nearly any stallion (or man or woman) would want, in reality. But then, we’re not looking at reality here. Ordinary Medical Procedures by Little Big Pony is an example of an RGRE story that takes porn logic to the extreme. Here, all of the stallions are scared of the outright predator mares, while our protagonist, Titus, doesn’t really understand what all of the fuss is about, due to being from our world and having our societal views. They’re just horny little horses to him.

As such, when he’s pulled into an examination room later on, and two mares ‘have their way with him’, it’s written in a way that makes it clear he’s quite happy to consent. If anything, he seems to feel lucky about it. It’s a stretch of logic, no doubt, but it’s also blatant wish fulfilment. The social model displayed in Ordinary Medical Procedures and the protagonist’s casual nature towards pushy, wanting females isn’t one that I necessarily outright agree with, but most people reading it can very likely see that it isn’t meant to be taken seriously. It’s comedic in tone. While glamourising the situation to some extent, it’s not putting itself across as an attempt to impart wisdom or pull people over to thinking that such sexual practices are acceptable.

Because of course they aren’t. The whole story is predicated on a procedure in which the male characters have to go and have their sperm checked a certain amount of times a year to ensure virility. Anyone who believes that that combined with mares that prey on effeminate males is the winning formula to a utopian society is likely either mentally damaged or too young to be reading. And it’s not trying to sell itself as being a realistic world. It’s humor.

But let’s get back to most RGRE. That story is an outlier. Most RGRE deals in subversion. I have one of the most popular RGRE stories on FimFiction, currently (at least since the acronym was adopted), and it’s called Staying Put. Staying Put began as a parody of other stories following the theme at the time, but then blew up. It deals in subversion and drama laced with comedy and sex, and one of the main themes it explores is just how much the character detests the horrible treatment he’s receiving on account of these caricatured mares in this ‘hyper-maretriarchal’ society. In fact, the one mare he does have positive interactions with, Rarity, is the only one who hasn’t treated him like a ‘woman’, or tried to make any pushes or advances on him. In fact, their budding relationship has been—until this point in the story—wholesome, happy, and entirely consensual on both of their parts. And as I said, this is one of the most read and liked RGRE stories of the lot.

But that couldn’t be the case, could it? Not if I look at how Numbers’ blog describes reversed gender roles. MrNumbers seems to have it in his head that any ‘anon/human/self-insert’ male protagonist in an RGRE universe must automatically be accepting of the fact that mares wish to objectify and jump on him. Furthermore, he must enjoy it.

So no, RGRE is not automatically a ‘toxic, base, awful mindset as a wish fulfilment power fantasy’.


But let’s talk about stories that are.

Numbers’ blog tells me that I shouldn’t write such stories. That you shouldn’t read such stories, as they perpetuate a horrible culture of female voices being drowned out, rape culture being perpetuated, and women being misrepresented on a large scale.

Is that really the case, though? Because I get the distinct impression a vast majority of you guys want to read those stories. I could pull up view counts here. The fact that most of the most popular stories on this site in the last few years, in terms of views, deal in extreme porn, such as incest, foalcon, and bestiality. I could cite my own success, in terms of the level of stories that I’ve had featured, and point out that despite the fact that it looks like MrNumbers is speaking for a large portion of the fandom, he’s actually speaking for a small, vocal minority.

But I’d rather put it to you that even MrNumbers doesn’t want what he so sanctimoniously rants about.

Why else would I find multiple foalcon titles in his favourites folder? Growth Spurts, Dominant Ideal, Having Your Cake and Eating Her Out Too… there are more, but I won’t list them all here. Let me say this now: this isn’t me attempting to shame MrNumbers or anyone else for either producing or enjoying foalcon. That’s their right, and this whole blog stands for freedom of expression.

However, I am pointing out the hypocrisy inherent. I, personally, fail to see the ‘feminism’ or ‘proper understanding and women and consent’ that can be found in such a title as Sex Ed: Pony Style, one of his more recent favourites, in which Cadance and Shining Armour teach schoolchildren how to have sex with both live demonstration and ‘homework assignments’ that encourage them to have sex with one another and other ponies. They’re schoolchildren, fillies and foals, cutie mark age. If we were to go by the real world equivalent here, this is statutory rape, regardless of any implied consent or willingness to participate.

But yet, doesn’t MrNumbers condemn stories that showcase women unrealistically, that portray consent in the wrong light? I put it to him that while he tells us we can’t have what fits his morals and tastes, he does not apply those same morals to himself. Why else would he consider it acceptable to read stories about children having graphic sex, whilst saying in his blog:

“The feature box is full of that toxic, base, awful mindset as a wish-fulfilment power fantasy. It’s how it’s defining the core relationship dynamic between the genders.

It genuinely makes me ill. Being in a space where those are the dominantly read, dominantly upvoted stories in the community makes me want to scrub my skin in boiling water.

It’s been very disheartening to see An Intricate Disguise (AIDs) dominate the feature box so consistently. Not because his prose is bad, but because his stories reflect very poor understanding of both women and of consent.”

This, of course, is in reference to stories such as RGRE, stories with dubious consent that’s treated as a non-issue for the purpose of fantasy, and stories such as my most recently posted Stealing Her Laboured Breaths. These make him want to scrub his skin. Foalcon, however, apparently gets a pass. Were you ‘reading them for the plot’, MrNumbers?

Now, in dealing with the above quote, we’ve already discussed RGRE. Let’s ignore the fact that this blog could be construed as an attack against me, the fact it calls me out specifically, and start talking about this ‘poor understanding of women and consent’ I apparently foster or demonstrate in my writing.

First issue here is the implication that my stories in any way reflect me and my understanding of either women or consent. That they’re meant to. I talked about this earlier at some length, but as an aside, I’ll remind the reader that not all fiction is meant to impart lessons, and to assume that fiction or characters demonstrated within fiction in any way represent the viewpoints or characteristics of the author, their reader-base, or anyone is completely silly.

Second is something I mentioned earlier and want to return to. Cherry picking. MrNumbers has pulled a very small section of my story out, and used that to highlight my mistreatment of women in said story, then gone on to call the protagonist a hero, essentially implying that I believe the character in the story is good and just, that the situation he finds himself in is either desirable or acceptable, and that this is how I’m showcasing a disgusting world filled with disgusting views and passing it all off as fine and dandy.

MrNumbers clearly read the first couple hundred words of Stealing Her Laboured Breaths and quit. Justin is not a hero, nor is he presented as such. He is a protagonist, and there’s a major distinction. His situation is not glamourised, and the audience is not meant to root for him. The audience is meant to be scared for the other characters around him. They’re meant to find it difficult to hate him, but do it anyway. That, or they’re meant to find their predisposition on the horror of the acts he’s performing a strong enough ethical quandary that they don’t know what to feel for him. It is a dark, horrifying situation in the making, and it’s not supposed to be fun. MrNumbers has failed to dissect my story and its intent. Instead, he’s pulled a small section that would—on the surface—support his argument, and then proceeded to dig his teeth in.

Let me make something clear now: If we were limited by how characters were made to view women and rape, if we had to fear showcasing misogyny in our protagonists, or unhealthy views of sex in general, out of worry of upsetting some, then we wouldn’t have A Boy and His Dog, by Harlan Ellison.

What is A Boy and His Dog? It’s the short story that was largely responsible for inspiring the Fallout series. It deals with a universe where the world has gone to hell following nuclear devastation, and follows the perspective of a fifteen year old boy named Vic, and his telepathic dog, surviving in the aftermath.

The dog and the boy rely on each other for two things. Vic brings the dog food, and the dog finds women for Vic to rape by sniffing them out. Through Vic’s eyes, we get an eloquent and very interesting portrayal of someone who views women as, for lack of a better term, sex meat, and it goes hand in hand with a stellar, powerful narrative. An interesting thing about said story is that it was written partially for the purpose of showing the horrible nature of men—that in a post-apocalyptic world, men would find themselves to only caring about three things: food, sex, and power, and would be willing to take it however necessary. In other words, this horrible story that degrades women actually makes for excellent social commentary. (I'm getting RGRE flashbacks all of a sudden.)

And according to Numbers, I’m not allowed to write a story where women are sex objectives in the form of Stealing Her Laboured Breaths, because that’s offensive. Could you imagine if A Boy and His Dog was ‘sex-positive’? Out here in the wasteland, where people have to kill and forage to survive, women are treated as queens because it fits in with MrNumbers’ ideology for them to be so.


There are multiple other points I could go into, but I’m going to sum up now, not for the sake of brevity, but for the fact that this blog is beginning to push the limit of how much we’re able to publish in one go on FimFiction, and I want to make sure every other writer gets a good turn displaying their own opinions.

MrNumbers: your points aren’t non-existent. There are issues of female voices being drowned out in not just this fandom, but many, and I do believe that we should work towards equality as a community. I also believe that your blog blows things way out of proportion and highlights the completely wrong things as main causes and contributors, and that you had very little to back any of your words up. I also don’t believe that you believe your own points. Your entire blog stinks of virtue signalling, and in reality, was a ploy for attention, a way to advertise your latest story and put yourself above others in terms of both quality and moral standing (which is the main mention I haven't properly mentioned said story once in my rebuttal). You don’t have women’s best interests at heart. Honestly? I don’t even think you think you do.

You started this discussion with attacks and accusations, and then tried to lock it off. When other people made strong and well-reasoned points, you ignored them, choosing to focus on a smaller number that came to you in hostility. You talk about wanting to protect others, you act as if you promote free speech and people being able to have their say without being drowned out, you try to shut them down, resort to insults, ad hominems, and through your followers and friends, attack in formation to shoot others opinions down. Ultimately, when the fire gets out of control? You attempt to halt the comments on the blog altogether.


I hope you realise you brought this reaction entirely on yourself.

To my readers, and anyone else reading this: Writers aren’t responsible for what you read, and what you do with it. That said, I trust you all to be mature and responsible enough to be able to tell the difference between what is a fantasy and what is a life lesson. I, and all of those supporting this response, will continue to produce varied content, sex-positive or not (as there is, of course, a place for wholesome, sex-positive content, even if it isn’t everywhere!), in an effort to be sure that people of proclivities are being provided for without discrimination or being made to feel that they should be in any way guilty.

After all, regardless of your tastes, you aren’t harming anyone. You’re just reading, being awesome. Keep being awesome. Love you guys.

And now, I’m handing things over to Shakespearicles, who has waited more than long enough to have his say!


As a rule, I avoid politics like the plague. Including the high-school level drama that goes down on FimFiction from time to time. But I have been asked to chime in on this issue in solidarity with the erotic writers community.

I want to address the central point of the blog in question, which would be the title, The State of FimFiction's Fading Erotic Scene. Firstly, it implies that it is fading. This sounds a lot like an opinion presented as fact. One of many such opinions in the blog. Perhaps the better talking point to start with would be: The fading female presence on Fimfiction.

This is something that I am unaware of. I know that there are less users every year in general just based on the displayed site traffic numbers. True, women are leaving, but so are lots and lots of men. As far as the actual demographics that are leaving, and if it is a specifically disproportionate amount of women, I don't know. And really, neither does anyone, including MrNumbers. The site registration doesn't ask for your gender. Not even the site admins know that information. So once again, what is this so-called 'fact' based on? The female users that Numbers knows are leaving? Sounds like a small sample size based on anecdotal evidence.

BUT, for the sake of discussion, let's assume that it is true. That a disproportionate amount of females are leaving the FimFiction community. That is certainly not ideal. But is it so big of a problem as presented? I don't know.

My first impulse would be to say, "Yes! I want to see more erotic fiction written by women!" After all, diversity is good, isn't it? After reading the blog, I though, I should read more erotica by women, and see how it compares to that written by men and see the differences for myself. But I realized that, aside from a handful of users that I know personally, I don't make an association with their gender, AT ALL. I read a story, and I enjoy it outside of the context of its source. I can count on one hand all the times I've dug through a user's blog to find an indication of their gender. Because it usually doesn't matter. At least not to me. A good writer is a good writer. I don't know why it should matter to any other reader.

If female users leaving from being uncomfortable or harassed, that is NOT OK. But that's equally true for any user. This, I feel should have been the central point of the argument. That nobody should have to feel the need to leave from feeling uncomfortable, and certainly shouldn't be the victim of harassment, be they male or female. This is a banner we call ALL get behind. There is already a zero-tolerance policy for harassment. As for feeling uncomfortable due to stories' content, it's been said many times before: Fimfiction needs a better tagging, and tag-filtering system! One needs only to look at Derpibooru to see a good example of this.But ultimately, neither of these problems lay at the feet of the authors.

Says MrNumbers, "That’s why I Need Feminism: I want better porn."
Implying one leads to the other? That's certainly what I'm hearing. The loss of female users is unfortunate, yes. But so is the loss of any. One does not have more value than the other. (A little thing called equality.)

MrNumbers said it best:
"As always, being a woman doesn't mean being good. E L James is still garbage, for instance, with absolutely toxic views of men and women, and female-dominated fandoms like Twilight produce stuff that is really, really harmful in the perceptions of gay men. This is about diversifying your intake, and being more conscious of it."

A poor writer is a poor writer. This is not a gender-specific issue. This is a universal issue of quality. And let's not mistake quality with popularity. After all, the most 'popular' restaurant is McDonald's. The Fimfiction 'Feature Box' is a popularity box, and I've said as much before myself many times. It features what is popular. Outside of the universal parameters of mechanical writing skills like spelling and grammar, whether or not a story is "good" is a matter of individual opinion.

In general, I personally hate reality TV shows. But as long as people keep watching them, they will keep making them. It's a simple matter of supply and demand. You could make a brillant, quality, thoughtful show. But if the demand isn't there it will only get one season. That's why it's called popular culture. And it is driven by the consumers of the media. Including writing.

To lambaste the stories that are popular, for being popular is more of an indictment of the consumers than the producers. To blame the writers for producing what is known to be popular is like blaming McDonalds for making you fat. It robs the agency of the consumer, with a pompous, righteous attitude that "they need to be protected because they just don't know any better."

This 'swooping to the defence of helpless women' angle is the same thing. It's the current year, people. We should be empowering women, not defending them. Women have the power to choose: To choose to stay, or to leave. I'd rather everyone stayed. But it's not 2012 anymore, and people, (men and women) are moving on from ponies. Maybe guys just don't get as much attention when they leave. It's almost as if there are double standards that exist between the genders in society. Hmm...

Speaking of genders and double standards, let's talk about gender roles. More specifically, the points the blog made regarding Reverse Gender Role Equestria or RGRE. I'll be honest, I only just recently learned what this acronym means. I haven't read any stories labeled as such. But I'm familiar with the trope. This isn't a pony specific fiction. The fact the RGRE has a label is just a flash-in-the-pan term like 'Displaced' that makes it low hanging fruit for easy attacks. The fantasy of the woman pursuing the man as opposed to the reverse is not new.

The central point of the argument regarding RGRE, is that it implies gender roles at all, to be reversed in the first place. The 'oppressive' male society in 1950's America, turned up to 11, and then... reversed. This can be done right, accentuating something to an absurd degree to highlight it in a satirical way. It's a good way to provoke discussion, as a political cartoonist would.

But if a reader consumes these absurd extremes as a core belief about their current perception of reality, that's on them, not the writers. Rockstar Games is not liable for you stealing a car after playing GTA. Why should this be any different? The entire argument around RGRE reeks of the sort of rhetoric that I would expect from a flat-earther.

In general, I like and want quality from my erotica that I read and write. And to that end, I find that perspective is very helpful. A proofreader and editor are invaluable to any writer. As a male writer of erotic fiction, I am fortunate to have a female editor, my first line of defence against the dreaded 'male gaze', as it has been labeled.

In terms of the site at large, I do fear the 'echo chamber' effect. If it were just all men writing for men, then we surely lose something. If it just becomes a room of everyone agreeing with each other about how right we all are, unwilling to even hear an outside opinion, then we become no better than extremist political parties. It's bad enough seeing it at the scale of a comment section of a blog.

As I've said, I'd rather everyone stayed on the site. There is no doubt in my mind that diversity is good. It's just not everything. It's more complicated than that. People are more complicated than that. To reduce them to a label does them a disservice.

People are more than just their gender.


I’m going to keep this pretty short and sweet. Yes, I realize that not everyone is on FimFiction for adult material, that’s totally cool, but people need to remember one very important thing. Tastes are subjective.

One hard fact is that an overwhelming majority of the fanbase is comprised dudes, typically in their teens or twenties. As such, they can be a randy lot, simply looking to get their rocks off. If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be a thriving market for pornography, written or otherwise, revolving around pastel equines.

Here’s my basic stance on all this, if you don’t like a particular kink, tone, or type of pornography, simply don’t indulge in it. Nobody is going to force you to sit there and read or watch something. These are all works of fiction.

“But Leech! It’s glamorizing harmful stuff or nurturing a toxic mindset!”
The whole narrative of a media warping people into action has been debunked numerous times. Just look at violent video games. Just because you play GTA or Doom doesn’t mean you’re going to go out and commit violent crimes or anything. Also, by that logic, simply getting off to cartoon horses is tantamount to bestiality, so stew on that one for a minute.

Honestly, and this is just me here, I feel like a lot of this is just people wanting attention or trying to stir the pot. And look, I get that you may not enjoy certain content. I’m not a fan of scat, or snuff, or hard vore, but you don’t see me screaming from the rooftops about how they incite people defecating in public, acts of murder, or cannibalism! My secret? I’m an adult.

I write porn, of all different flavors and consistencies. If you like something I wrote, cool! If you don’t like a different story I wrote, also cool! I’ll respect your choice to have a choice! That’s the wonderful thing about creating stuff. Art, animations, stories, music, whatever! It’s about expression and taking a small amount of joy from pleasing others. My stuff isn’t geared to any one subset of people, so take that with a grain of salt. Bloody hell, I’ve written everything from wholesome and romantic hetrosexual stuff to incestuous transformations with dickmares. What I take the biggest issue with is someone trying to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do. Constructive criticism, I’ll gladly deal with. Outright thought policing though? No thank you.

There’s stuff out there for everyone, regardless of your gender identity, sex, political affiliation, what kinks you’ve got, or anything else. Everyone should be able to find what they enjoy, not have a narrative crammed down their throat or shamed for producing a certain type of content. If you want something specific, or aren’t pleased with the type of content you do find, how about this. How about you stop complaining, slide up to your computer, and make the content yourself.


Honestly, your blog can be summed up with with the following sentence: “I have taken such a great dislike with the current state of porn that I feel as though feminism, which is empowering women, will lead to the creation of better porn.” Feminism and porn/erotica are two mutually exclusive topics. You do make some valid points with harassment, but I’ll get to that soon.

One topic you seemed to be particularly strung up on is the whole RGRE and how it has harmful views of gender representation. RGRE is basically on the same vein as R63 (to find genderswapped versions of every fictional character, especially as fan arts on the internet). People have written a stallion Twilight Sparkle/Dusk Shine having sex with the female counterparts of his/her friends. Is that concept any less damaging towards a female audience? It’s not, but is more a case of cherry picking.

Why not complain about porn as a whole? RGRE is just a fictional genre in a world of pastel horses people have implemented as a means to write more stories. People create all sorts of alternate universes to suit the style of a story. You point out that “Stealing Her Laboured Breaths” by An Intricate Disguise, and “I’m Cool Not Cute” by Horse Girls Are Watching and “Enduring Affection” by Fugger have harmful views on gender representation, so let me take a moment to speak on that.

From a biological and genetic standpoint, there are two chromosomes that determine gender, X and Y. Kleinfelter Syndrome in males is the result of an extra X chromosome, which can affect physical and mental development. There exist multiple variations of chromosomal conditions, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are born either male or female. Someone who’s transgender can be born male but want to be a female (and vice-versa), and that’s totally fine. Gender is being either male or female. Period. Sexual identities include being gay/lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, non-binary, genderqueer, demigirl, demiboy, demisexual, skoliosexual, and the dozens of other identities. It’s those that aren’t real genders, and what people tend to get sore over.

Following that, writing a story where a guy has to have sex to survive is not harmful to anyone in the waking world, especially when it comes to gender representation. It’s a plot device for character development in a fictional universe, simple as that. To play the Devil’s Advocate for a moment, I can understand how RGRE is disliked by some people because it brings to light antiquated mindsets that forward thinking people are trying to get rid of. But at the same time, it’s a fantasy.

By definition, porn is about emphasizing the sensual aspects of a non-sexual subject to stimulate an interest in the audience. ‘Pornography’ is a rather umbrella term that is used to depict sexual acts in media. Eroticism is finding sexual arousement in something. Erotica covers written sexual material and visual portrayals, i.e. art. People find all sorts of things erotic, far too many to name. FiM is a medium where people with vested interests in certain sexual niches can come together to express themselves and find like-minded people.

My first clopfic was a rape story I wrote for shits and giggles because I wanted to, and it led me to discover that there’s a fetish called Non-Con, short for Consensual Nonconsent. I’m allowed to read about humans having sex with fillies, and having a fetish for fantasy rape (which is ironically between two consenting adults) is perfectly fine, but by no means does that justify the deplorable act that occurs in real life on both accounts. Indulging in a fantasy doesn’t make you any less of a good person, and having a fetish is completely different from an unhealthy and unironic obsession that harms others in real life in ways that I can’t begin to list off.

It’s the people that can’t make the distinction between fantasy and reality that you have to worry about. I’ve seen and dealt with numerous cases of people saying things such as; “If you write rape stories, that must mean you’ve got to be a rapist”. I’m paraphrasing that of course, but that’s only the beginning of how narrow-minded people view these kinds of things. It’s almost as though they have to not like the content of the erotica because they don’t want anyone to think less of themselves. “That guy like fillies, he must be a pedo.” You get the jist.

Now, I want to talk more on harassment. Something I haven’t mentioned before because there was no real need to in the past up until now, is the fact that I have been harassed on multiple occasions, both IRL (at school, in the workplace), and on FiM (usually in DMs, and they’re usually funny to read. The funniest example is this glorious screenshot I took: https://i.imgur.com/GhyxhRt.png ). You know what I did? I reported it to the proper authorities. I cut those kinds of people out because they were toxic to me, and that’s what everyone can do, male or female. There’s a good reason to get upset about that too, because I know from experience how uncomfortable it is, and how violated it makes you feel.

But doing nothing about it and letting the distress get to you, bottling it up until it gets to become unbearable is where things start to go wrong. A zero-tolerance for bullshit is a good policy to have, because it lets you deal with rude people more appropriately. In a job I worked at previously, one of the head chefs made an inappropriate comment to one of the waitresses about her shirt. He wound up losing his job because of numerous related complaints.

The point I’m getting at is if you deal with people in a manner befitting of their actions towards you, you almost always come out the better person. One example is that some while ago, I had multiple people downvote all the stories I had at the time. I jokingly made a blog post about it afterwards referencing Liam Neeson, which drew enough attention that supporters of mine upvoted the same stories, effectively rendering the downvotes redundant.

Take that as the principal of the situation. I don’t care if you’re male or female, harassing anyone is a cunty thing to do, plain and simple. I can empathise and sympathise with people who have been harassed in whatever medium they use to entertain or to be entertained on, or just as a generalisation. It’s heartbreaking to see all that negative emotion get the better of someone and force them to leave the MLP fandom. It’s avoidable too, just be strong, hold yourself up high, become brave like Fluttershy. That mare can talk down dragons and the god of chaos! And so too can anyone be the better person, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or how you identify.

Bullies are a dime a dozen, they prey on weak people to feel better about themselves, an underlying issue they have where they result to belittling someone. They resort to using our harmless niches to make us feel bad about ourselves, so why should you listen to the haters instead of your supporters?

It doesn’t matter to me that you want erotica that best suits your niches, that’s fine, but you should be the one to write it instead of going on a tirade about how a certain demographic is creating a one-sided interpretation on something you don’t agree with.


I’d like to start this off by stating that I have a very blunt viewpoint when it comes to writing fanfiction—I write for me. I write stories that I want to read. If you like it, great. If not, you are free to leave an opinion or move along or both. I don’t care.

There’s a lot that Mr. Numbers went over, and honestly, if I felt arsed enough, I could sit down and probably write an equally-as-long-if-not-longer blog contradicting many of the points he decided to pick and choose. So instead, for the sake of my free time (which I barely have enough of these days) as well as my own comfort, I’m going to just say this.

Porn is written for porn.

Yes, yes, we can all claim that those are the words of someone who doesn’t want to put time and effort into a story, and you’re right. I’m not going to sit down and spend a week-and-a-half fleshing out the backstories of characters and their world, only to write one chapter about a mare getting her fuckbox smashed. If you want a story with more ‘story and feels’, go read something that isn’t clop. That’s like complaining that the Saw movies lacked romance, or that the Friday the 13th series doesn’t have enough heartfelt moments. Porn is a genre; don’t be pissy just because it doesn’t have the same things as a different genre.

Numbers claims that “it doesn’t help when we reinforce the idea that sex is something we’re entitled to as an objective, and not as an expression of intimacy”. Well, sorry. I didn’t realize that I had to parent you as well. Jesus Christ, that’s right up there along with video games makes kids violent. Sorry, but if mommy and daddy couldn’t be arsed enough to teach you how to be a decent fucking human being, it’s not my fucking fault. And besides, if someone is mental enough to go sexually assault someone in real life, I highly doubt our stories are the deciding factor for that.

Also, not to get too into this, but why is it RGRE that’s the problem? Where was Mr. Numbers when Fall of Equestria was going around? I’m pretty sure a story series focusing on males raping, enslaving, killing, and mind-washing females deserves more attention than a comedy series about overly exaggerated reversed gender roles. It’s a joke series, spawned by the /mlp/ board in 4chan; it was never meant to be taken seriously. However, it seems that Mr Numbers has missed the point. r/woooosh

Also, why are we being so serious about porn? It’s meant for one thing and one thing only—to make me want to grab my wiener and give it the ride of its life. Or perhaps take your vagina and your hand and turn yourself into a muppet. It’s not meant to be serious; it’s meant to be arousing. You show me one good porno where the delivery boy gets a decent character arc building moment or where there’s some other lesson besides ‘fuck me silly’, and I’ll consider changing my view.

That’s all I’m really going to get into. I don’t feel the need to delve into Mr. Numbers revealing that he needs to be in a relationship or else he becomes some weird Mr. Hyde-like creature that oogles women. What’s that called again? Being single? Actually, no, let’s talk about that. Why are you attacking how other people write stories, all because you have issues with how you view women when you’re single? That sounds like a you problem, not a us problem.

That’s it. I’m done. I’ve spent a lot longer on this than I really wanted. When it comes down to it, this is one person’s opinion on the quality of stories on this site. Now, if you excuse me, I’m going back to writing pony stories for me… using my freetime… cause that’s what I chose to do with my life. Hopefully we can put our differences behind us, for ponyporn. You monsters.


I don't even particularly disagree with points raised in the post. Yes the fandom is predominantly male. Yes the people reading are predominantly male. Yes it's difficult to find stories written 'from the female perspective'.

But where the issue arises is when the post writer comes to the conclusion that 'my opinion is the correct one'.

'Let’s start small and specific, with M rated fics. We’ve come to heavily emphasize a male view of sex and sexuality right now, which more than being an aesthetic problem, it seems to be hurting the quality of the porn we produce.'

Except the problem the writer has with these M-rated fics isn't estensibly the 'quality', but rather the issue of who wrote them and how: 'three have harmful views of gender representation', 'When you’re immersed in the story, it makes complete sense. But it’s also not really how women write these things, or notice them. It’s a male perspective of attraction', 'From here it follows that there are a lot of moments of eroticism in the story, but there’s an emphasis on titillation with them. They’re well written character moments but, again, they’re also clearly written by a guy with a predominantly male audience in mind', 'The problem isn’t that guys shouldn’t write lesbians. The problem is we’ve created an environment where it’s only guys writing female characters, and that being internalized as the female perspective', 'But, again, when there aren’t enough female voices to explain why some of his portrayals are male-emphasised, "male-gazey", those problems are going to go uncontested and unexamined.'

So the argument is that our current porn is 'bad quality' because in a male-dominated fandom, with stories (specifically singling out 'awful' 'toxic' feature box stories which are therefore ostensibly fucking marketed towards the largest demographic of the fandom, as evidence by the fact they're in the POPULAR BOX) are too 'male gazey'.

'The other statement is that by inverting that, you’re playing up the audience’s power fantasy: Damn, isn’t it desirable to be seen that way? Isn't it gratifying?

'Fucking hell, no it isn’t.'

If you're trying to convince people of something, stating your opinion as fact with 'Fucking hell, no it isn't' is a pretty bad argument. For someone prefacing so much of their 'criticism' with 'I don't want to kinkshame' you just summarily dismissed an attempt to play on the audience's power fantasy that is, ostensibly, popular enough to be in the feature box and for you to bitch about it for several thousand words.

'The feature box is full of that toxic, base, awful mindset as a wish-fulfilment power fantasy. It’s how it’s defining the core relationship dynamic between the genders.

'It genuinely makes me ill. Being in a space where those are the dominantly read, dominantly upvoted stories in the community makes me want to scrub my skin in boiling water.'

This is where it goes off the rails.

'It’s been very disheartening to see An Intricate Disguise (AIDs) dominate the feature box so consistently. Not because his prose is bad, but because his stories reflect very poor understanding of both women and of consent.'

And this is where it becomes unacceptable.

Having your own opinions is fine. Hell, like I said at the start, I don't particularly disagree vehemently with a lot of the points raised. But where the fuck do you get off spouting off your opinion as factual while bitching about other writers by name?

And then implying that erotic My Little Pony fanfiction somehow has any bearing on real life sexual statistics?

My god. If the 'implications of consent' are what get you hot under the collar, then that is all well and good. But the implication that all writers should be mindful of that because that is what you consider to be good erotic My Little Pony fanfiction is utterly inane. You are one person. How you apply your values; your sexuality and your estimation of a stories’ worth are clearly rooted in your entirely subjective worldview. Speaking as though you are the arbiter of good pornography is of the same intellectual worth as he-who-shall-not-be-named complaining to every artist ever that they don't draw their horse vagina 'correct enough'

Please, preface your arguments with 'in my opinion' in future, so that your arguments can be given their proper weight. And keep other writer's names out of your mouth. I mean, it's not like the very first rule on the Fimfiction page is 'No personal attacks, in public or otherwise.'

If you don't like what ends up in the feature box, don't read it. If you like porn written from the female perspective, go read it. Nobody is making you do either of those things or stopping you from doing them. Bitch about the feature box in your blog posts. I don't think anyone would mind. But when you start singling out other writers as the 'examples of what is wrong' with erotic My Little Pony fanfiction, then you had best be ready to back up that claim with a little more than 'it has problematic depictions of consent' and 'it's too male-gazey'.

This is fanfiction. People can write literally whatever they want to write. If you don't like what is being written, you are entirely within your rights to write something you deem 'better'; or to not read that which you consider to be 'toxic' or 'awful'. But by denigrating fellow writers by name, you have crossed a line that those with a firm grasp of common decency are careful not to touch.

In closing, I would caution prudence in how you handle your next essay on the dire social issue of 'our erotic my little pony fanfiction isn't feminist enough', but judging from the blog post, you are singularly lacking in that trait.


Preamble:
I’ll be keeping this rather brief. As a reader, you’ve likely already gone through scores of opinions and comments on the subject, perhaps you’ve even settled your viewpoint on the post by MrNumbers and the buzz that it generated… I’d be surprised if you have room for  one more voice added to the cacophony already out there, but there are a couple of points I feel that we really need to touch on.

Don’t look to my little section for any real discussion on the merits of the blog post or the points that it raised. If you really must know where I stand, my views align fairly closely with Shakespearicles’s: MrNumbers blog post is very much opinion, not established fact, and the opinions as stated (a more aggressively sexual type of story rising to prominence in the feature box) should not be taken as negative or requiring immediate change. Like Shake, I abhor any form of harassment or attack, but believe that people should be free to make their own, opinionated decisions as to what they like.

Shake goes on to make some eloquent points about gender, which I will leave to him and other commenters. I only wish to address three smaller points I have not seen stressed as much, which I feel are important.

Diversity: This is perplexing to me. Of all the various communities I am a part of… as a 30-something trader in the financial industry, as a private-hobby pilot, as a regular Catholic church parishioner, as a jock at the elite level of a racquet sport in a male-only locker room environment, and as a nerdy PC gamer who still acts like a 12-year old online… the last place I thought that I would need to explain and defend diversity would be in the My Little Pony fandom.

I mean, when MrNumbers arbitrarily assigned the majority of readers of the site as ‘white, straight, males’ I almost did a double-take. I was sure this would have been one of the only communities out there where everyone has a story about how they had to show that their interests and opinions had nothing to do with their physical characteristics was here.

I mean, there’s very few of us who would meet the public’s expectation of the target demographic of this show. I’m sure most of you have experienced SOME form of the tired accusation that ‘the show is for little girls’? How many of you have responded in the same breath: ‘that may be, but I like it.”

And really, that’s the point. I may be a bit of an older, libertarian-esque conservative fool… but I’ve always found that treating people as individuals in their tastes, opinions, and beliefs is ultimately more humane, and more productive.

I wish people would not attempt to group us into these pigeon-holes. Racial. Sexual. Background or upbringing. Language. Unfortunately, we seem biologically geared to segment ourselves… but it is quite concerning when people so casually ascribe to an entire group an interest in something that they will go on to describe as harmful mere paragraphs later.

I don’t think that there should be any desire to foster diversity either. Minorities do not need to be coddled and hand-held in order to succeed in any community. If you believe in diversity being a strength (which I do), you should feel unencumbered by the makeup of your community in any way, so long as you evaluate the ideas and opinions shared therein with intellectual honesty.

What does this mean in the context of the blog post? Don’t be so quick to ascribe traits or tastes generally. Don’t be so quick to assume that homogeneously opinionated communities are homogeneously ethnic, sexed, or other discriminated communities. And even if they are… Don’t be so quick to ascribe something negative about that - particularly if it has arisen in a natural way as a consequence of interest.

Kink / Fetish / Taste Shaming:

This is a brief point that I wish to put out there. As Princess Celestia herself said: ‘There is no wrong way to fantasize.’

If you’re into rough, violent, non-consensual sex… or ‘power-fantasy’ sex where the male wings the female with but a single wink before unfurling his massive phallus… or even stuff that I don’t quite understand like diaper-play, soul-vore, scat or (I shudder) anthro...

That’s totally fine.

Sort of. There’s a caveat:

It all depends on how you are able to balance that fantasy situation in your mind and life. I’m not just talking about keeping things in the fantasy realm, either… but also the real impact that indulging in fantasies can have for some people. Addiction is a real thing, and for some
people, they may not be able to handle dark/twisted fantasies without it affecting them.

But that’s up to the individual to decide.

So if you’re a mature, adjusted, adult… don’t let anyone else tell you that your sexual taste is improper. You do that for yourself. If you feel you have a problem or you’re worried about how something is impacting you - there’s help for you.

Absolutely do NOT allow anyone to tell you that a particular type of fantasy is superior, or that yours is improper. That’s your own job.

‘Feminist’ romantic-style sex holds no particularly sacred spot on the altar of the spectrum. Nor is it inferior: it is what you make of it. Personally, I would love to see more well-written romantic smut, literature, and art.

White male shaming:

I cringe to even need to mete out this to any readers, but there was an undeniable vein of anti-white, anti-male sentiment portrayed in parts of MrNumbers opinion. I don’t think he even meant it so much: it is an unfortunate trap that you can fall into when playing the game of dividing people into groups.

This message is especially for the young men out there: Being male and white… or even just male… it isn’t something you should ever apologise for. It feels a bit ridiculous to type that out, but I’ve been really surprised by the number of young men I work with who are depressed, anxious, who have given up on relationships and the world - because they’ve been fed a constant narrative that their very being and existence is a source of evil…

As I’ve said before: it isn’t the color of your skin, or what dangles between your legs guys… it’s the content of your character. You are an individual, not a stereotype. Don’t ever let someone insinuate that things you have no control over like your appearance or your birth are grounds for you to be painted with the acts of others…

You are not a rapist, or contributing to rape culture, or a racist, or horny pervert, or filled with hate… unless you choose to be. Let those terrible and discriminatory labels slide off your back, before standing tall and asserting yourself, and what you choose to be.

In case you’re wondering: that piece of advice is for ALL people. Boys and young men just don’t get it that much anymore from society, which is a real shame.

On opinion pieces… to MrNumbers:

A final note is for the original author directly.

I think that you did have a meaningful opinion and point that you wanted to share with the community: you believed there was a dearth of romantically-oriented, ‘feminist’ (as you put it) smut writing. You wanted to see a higher standard in the smut/clopfics that are so popular… to see authors attempt more literary stories.

Those are points I actually agree with.

But the way you formed your thoughts was inflammatory. Accusatory. It presumed malice or carelessness in not only the writers of these stories, but the readers as well. It invoked race, sex, and sexual tastes - hotbeds of controversy.

Maybe that was your plan: to send up a signal flare as bright as possible and create a firestorm of response and invective. But, in my opinion, all those descriptors I used add up to one thing:

An unpersuasive argument.

Perhaps it’s just the Canadian in me, but it is rare that I see a path to any sort of resolution or catharsis in the acrimonious battleground of a text that is more drama and politics than an attempt to express opinion. I think that a well-crafted argument is able to both try the facts at hand, and persuade others to at least attempt to see your perspective, your interpretation.

Instead I feel more like you’ve polarized things even further.

Those who already felt marginalized will now nod their heads along as you push the Overton window of the view of the smut-writers and readers toward some banal socio-cultural grouping, instead of average people just enjoying their sexual fetishes.

Those who never considered the idea that their favorite clop-fic writers could attempt different, more literarily-inclined stories, with different perspectives on sex will dismiss those arguments as the rantings and ravings of overly sensitive snowflakes.

I doubt that was what you meant to accomplish.

You need to add more honey to your arguments… but more importantly, you need to remove a lot of your vinegar. Ramblings about particular authors that you had distaste for, or a whine about how the feature box was filled with a genre that you disagreed with… I understood the underlying point with each section… but underneath that opening layer it is lost behind the static of what seems more like annoyed rivalry, jealousy, or frustration.

But I suppose we aren’t all politicians, or masters of polemics (I certainly make no such claims).

MrNumbers: You are a talented writer, and an intelligent person, your opinions could have merit and I can see that you really did mean well when you set out on this endeavour. I think calling out harassment and sticking up for your friends is a noble thing.

But I think your execution was terrible, and it resulted in you making many points and insinuating even more that you didn’t need to, and which made you look… unhinged.

I wish you the very best, honestly, and hope that you are able to refine your opinions and bring this back to a level of discussion that is about the opinion… not the people, races, sexes, etc.

Wrap-up:

So, of course, I completely screwed this whole thing up and ended up writing and rambling. Sorry about that. I don’t even know if what I wrote did more harm or good. Here’s my tldr:

-Look at people as sovereign individuals, not groups or sub-groups based on characteristics.

-Judge people on their opinions, thoughts and character. Not things they have no control over.

-Believe in diversity of thought and opinion, it will take care of itself - don’t force it.

-Fantasies can’t be inherently WRONG. The effects that they cause might be. You are the only person who can police your own head.

-Young white males: keep your chin up, you’re not as bad as society says.

-There could probably be some more romantically-minded smut on fimfic. Be the change you desire!

-The erotic community on fimfic is just fine.

-Harassment is not acceptable… tell a mod (they do great work)!

-Opinions are great, arguments are great… but you should strive to persuade others… not drive them away.

As always, I wish nothing but the best for you all, fans and haters (please no hate) alike.

Clops

___

In the first sentence, you start off by bringing attention to both your reader’s sexuality and gender. Whether or not this was your intention does not detract from the fact that you deliberately mentioned it. Worse, you then try to disassociate yourself from it in what appears to be an attempt to claim ‘I am not with them’, but try to pass it off as a light hearted joke. Regardless of your true motives, you have clearly set a ‘you versus us’ narrative.

Throughout the blog you on multiple occasions show hostility towards writers and readers of erotica and smut. Mainly over the assumption that the “mostly straight, mostly male audience” write and perceive the characters in a particular way. That this has led women to flee this site. This alone raises a few hackles as it implies that women are inherently more fragile and weak than men. That somehow men can deal with certain subjects to a better degree. At the very least, what your blog seems to suggest is insulting to both genders and reflects poorly on your views.

“We’ve come to heavily emphasize a male view of sex and sexuality right now, which more than being an aesthetic problem, it seems to be hurting the quality of the porn we produce.”

I disagree. Bad writing hurts the quality of porn that is produced. Emphasising a male or female's perspective is not a bad thing. It is simply showing what they view and feel is most important to the story. This does not make it misogynistic or lead to male domination. It simply is them trying to portray a character in a certain way be it an E rated story or M rated.

With erotica: most of the time the main interest is in the sex. People want to read about two characters going at it and that is why we have so many different fetishes and types of erotica writers. Everyone has kinks and wants in a relationship, and portraying them in written format is not demeaning nor should it be viewed as such.

The fact that male writers focus on the male perspective is not them saying that the female perspective is less important or that a women’s enjoyment is. It is simply them writing what they feel comfortable with, what they understand.

As this is a fanfiction website it does have to be kept in mind that about 99% of the people here are not professionals. It might not be easy for everyone to demonstrate female perspectives, even if they are trying hard to.

“That’s why I Need Feminism: I want better porn”

Feminism is not going to yield better porn. Men and women don’t want porn with any political standpoints. They want two people to fuck like filthy animals so they can get off to it. Not have the man or woman sit the other down and ask how they feel about political issues.  This does not mean that I don’t think misogyny should be called out and addressed when it comes up. But not when the intended goal is ‘let's read about two people fucking’.


And if sex, regardless of flavour, is not what you are interested in, then porn and most erotica is not for you.


Well, well, well... what a surprise to see you all here, gang! Rather strange too, don't ya think? All of us here, debating the differences between erotica and porn, auguring of connotations of continuous, mediocre sex on the site (mediocre to whom and for what reason? We'll only vaguely know)—everything for the sake of better... pony sex.

Before we begin, let us give a quick nod to the absurdity of this situation—that is not to say there's not merit in what's being discussed... only the overall theme is tinted by said absurdity. On top of that, I swear no allegiance to either side: I take the events as they come, and play the middle man, all so the full story is revealed to me.

But enough of that. I've been asked to address a point or two, tell a funny story to drain away the overall seriousness, and once done, to promptly fuck off.

I plan on doing such—and in that exact order.


I think the biggest issue with the essay, really, is a lack of overall kindness. It's strange to hear, ain't it? Not wrong wording or improper structure, but rather, a lack of kindness being a cause of divide in the comment section.

There's no sense in addressing each individual point as those above me have already done so. Right now, I can only state how Numbers (and others) are handling the situation. From what I can tell, his point is that we, writers, are responsible for the effect our stories can have—and to take responsibility.

But shouldn't that apply to blogs as well? Regardless of the content of the blog, the comment section is on fire because of it—the comment section that should be Numbers’ responsibility. We creators cause the impact, so it's our duty to take care of the aftermath, right?

Not so. From what I can tell, there have been people in the comment section who have been giving their honest thoughts, even if wrong, and are willing to be corrected. All they ask is for a debate—not an argument, but a debate.

For the sake of clarification of the terminology that will be used (something Numbers failed to do, which resulted in confusion and misinterpretation), I will now explain my use of the following two terms.

An argument entails the desire to win. You don't care about obtaining truth or better logic—this is merely to win and or look good. This is useful at times for the sake of fighting for fighting's sake. Whatever it takes to win.

A debate is when both sides sit down, respecting the other, and wanting to obtain better logic, truth, or, at the least, some sort of understanding. One side gives their point: backed by thoughts and feelings and reasons. The other side, confirming they understand, then give their point or counter point, with the same process done back to avoid a straw-man and to feel understood.

It's a shame to see that so many people, coming in for a debate, are instead winding up in an argument. Most people from Numbers' side are coming in, and instead of trying to understand and educate, are pointing a finger and laughing.

And shitposting, too.

This has caused a further divide and more anger from the opposing side of Numbers. Those who are there to ask for clarification, or to take the debate deeper to a more fundamental root or cause, are being shunned and made fun of—one side weighing down the other along with a flurry of downvotes.

How it's being handled by Numbers is not well. The lack of overall kindness—the unwillingness to listen to others, understand their points, then debate to help bring them to your side—is making the comment section more toxic.

Ironically enough, the one who is doing their proper duty is Clopfics. From what I've gleaned, they have gone in, listened to both sides, restated all points to ensure everyone is understood, and then tried to sort things out.

This has resulted in resolutions in some... and further aggression in others.

Why is it the person who did not make the blog is trying to put out the fire? Why it mostly them going beyond the superficial to find what people truly think and believe, then suggest, kindly and softly, why the other side thinks the way they do?

Shouldn't that have been Numbers' goal from the start? To state what the problem and its cause, then afterward, suggest the relatable and understandable reasons we might have fallen into a particular behaviour or thought process? That would have not made us feel like fools or scum, thus, rendering us less defensive and more understood.

Then he could have gone on with his points, and we would have followed along with less resistance. If kindness or understanding were the tone of his words, so many wouldn't have been hurt or offended, and thus, would have may come to the guy for further clarification on the issue—and how they may help in resolving it.

Pointing the finger leads to resistance; kindness leads to persistence in resolving the issue.

And that's my thesis: Not that Numbers is wrong in every aspect, but rather, he could have gone about it with more kindness, and as a result, come out of it with more understanding from all. I don't think it's okay to suggest that the writer must always take responsibility, when he himself has stated: “I reserve to take a mental health break if this turns into a shitstorm.”

Shouldn't that kindness be given to others as well?

Yr. pal, B


Outro

And... we've reached the end. Phew, this blog was a lot of work to put together, from the research, to the writing, to the coordination with my fellow writers, but I think it was worth it. I hope it was worth it, that our voices will go appreciated.

Let me say something for all of us, and, to the rest of you that helped, forgive me if I'm putting words in your mouth here: we all respect your right to produce and consume whatever content you like, so long as you aren't hurting anyone else. We all respect our readers, and hope that this blog will invite a different perspective, one that promotes acceptance and understanding in our community, one that requires balance between the types of writing that Numbers has condemned and the types of writing he promotes. Both have a place on this site, and I'd love to see more of all manners of writing. Even the most obscure!

I'm going to do something risky here: I've had a Discord server in development for a little while. I was going to use it as a hub for my fanbase, as well as somewhere to both promote my works and a discussion zone for erotic writing in general.

...now? it occurs to me that I can't think of a Discord server on this site that's fully devoted to erotic writing, and NSFW things in general. To sharing, promoting, and discussing them in a safe and friendly environment, one without drama, one where everyone's happy and willing to respect one another's opinions.

So... I'm going to post it here. Excuse the mess of it on the way in, if you do choose to join, as I'll need to revamp it to reflect that it's now meant to be a place for erotic fiction in general, not just for my fanbase, but I sincerely hope that this helps in some fashion. That it's well received. That it helps to fill a hole in this community, and give those who appreciate erotica on all ends of the spectrum a more unified voice.

This is the link to join, right on this sentence. Currently, it's pretty empty, as I hadn't launched it yet, but feel free to fill it up! If you're coming for an argument, or to refute the points I or anyone else have made in an unfriendly or inflammatory manner, please don't join and do it in the server. I'll promptly remove you. Go to the comments section if that's what you feel you have to do.

Speaking of which, the comments section is there for you. All of you. Whether you agree with my opinions, and those of my fellow writers, or not, you have a voice. You all have a voice, and the right to express it. That's what this blog is all about. Please do comment with your opinions if you wish to, whether you find yourself agreeing or not. I'd only ask you keep things polite and civil with each other and me in the comments, but I can't force that, and don't wish to force anything.

I'll say it one more time: I love all you guys. Those that read my stuff, those that don't. Those that agree with me, those that don't. You all make up a part of the wonderful community I find myself in, one that I'm very proud of, and I'm glad to have had the chance to make this reply for all of you.

The erotica scene isn't fading. You guys keep it more than alive and healthy.

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Comments ( 247 )

YOU can DO it!

Be a bro; write marco~

I'mma go get some popcorn and wait :rainbowlaugh:

we CAN DO it!

This is the equivalent of a Hamilton style Jefferson rebuttal here.

~Skeeter The Lurker

i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/950/253/bce.jpg
When an anti porn autistic gets btfo by equally autistic porn writers

And so it begins.

Maybe can finally have civil conversations! That would be nice! /s

YOU CAN do it!

I approve this message

Comment posted by Vore Crimes deleted Jan 11th, 2019
Comment posted by Vore Crimes deleted Jan 11th, 2019

Okay, guys. After years of research and many sleepless nights of analysis, I can conclude this is an actual image of MrNumbers.
i.imgflip.com/1x40lx.jpg

R5h
R5h #14 · Jan 11th, 2019 · · 26 ·

From your blog:

Numbers’ blog tells me that I shouldn’t write such stories. That you shouldn’t read such stories, as they perpetuate a horrible culture of female voices being drowned out, rape culture being perpetuated, and women being misrepresented on a large scale.

From Numbers' blog:

Also, I can’t stress this enough, you’re perfectly allowed to write dubcon. You’re perfectly allowed to write noncon. This isn’t about kinkshaming. IF you’re going to write those things though, make sure you know you’re writing it, and try to be aware in how you’re portraying consent.

I feel like there was some miscommunication here.

TL;DR Don't put people in boxes.

4995047
'Such stories' follows on from a deconstruction of RGRE and other such concepts, which Numbers lambasted. I think you might have misinterpreted here, but I can understand how.

Orrm #17 · Jan 11th, 2019 · · 27 ·

..... Dear flipping Yag Kosha why is there so much words and things. Jhi'eet, I can understand writing about characterisation and the like, but porn? Not to say ya cant be creative but f*ckin 'ell this is weird. Every sentence.

4995048
and especially don't put mr. numbers in the featured box

I'm confused. What's going on?

My name is Cleatus Yeetus, and I’m here with the Fetus Deletus. It’s a new invention for child prevention.


Don’t be scabey, Delete of your baby!

4995056
fighting about pony porn.

And now I must shift the tone 180 degrees, and say that I think everyone might agree; Bendy is the epitome of classy, lol.

4995059
Okay. So one guy versus an ENTIRE COMMUNITY and people are getting butthurt about it? Who cares what this person thinks.

4995065
From what I understand it's more one guy having very little chill and saying some pretty dumb things, and the rest of the writing community responding to it

God I f**kin' LOVE debates!

Because it deals with things that might not be possible or realistic elsewhere. Explores different mentalities and alternate societies, trusts the reader to understand that while some content is dirty, demeaning, and crass, it’s not REAL. It’s not expected to be real. It’s expected to be an escape—that’s what fiction is.

I'm reminded of a blog off-site I once read that talked about how when the gay porn industry and community started using condoms in their videos not just for the pornstars' protection but to actively promote condom usage among gay males to prevent sexual diseases, a lot of the gay writing and artist communities didn't follow suit. The specific example the blog used was gay yiff, where it seemed like the percentages of condom usage was switched between porno and art. Since the Furry fandom is very much a sex-positive community, this raised questions about how active and safe the community was going to be, and it turned out it wasn't, with a slightly higher risk of transmitting sexual diseases in the Furry fandom for a while. That's why they now have STI checks and condom stations at furry conventions, as a lot of furries both without and with STIs want to let people know that while sex is fun, you gotta stay safe. Sometimes one night is all it takes to ruin your life.

If you believe in diversity being a strength (which I do), you should feel unencumbered by the makeup of your community in any way, so long as you evaluate the ideas and opinions shared therein with intellectual honesty.

Broke: There are a lot of stories that promote military institutions, and this sense of "law is right and good" that kinda speaks and sometimes reeks of American/British expansionist and colonial thinking. And it's downright boring most times, and fucking terrifying other times when military HiEs get into the picture...

Woke: These white bois don't know how to live life in the fast lane. Writes about cartel ponies and gang wars.

4995017
Changed avatar again I see.

4995068
I just say for them to deal with it. One person over a community doesn't do much

4995077
But they're still within their rights to respond to it, are they not?

I give this blog a big number, out of a slightly larger number.

You can DO it.

You are a brilliant genius!!! Fiction is surreal, it is an escape, especially for me, I love books because they take me to a new world. if life was like Ready Player One, then there would probably be no fiction. This would mean we could do whatever the f*** we want.

4995082
That is true. And skimming over his blog he does come up with some decent points. But as I stated one person over a community of writers ranging from trying to get a threshold to experienced professionals is not gonna make much of a difference. The only points I see valid of discussing is topics that are a bit more......"taboo" to put in a term.

I will bookmark this post cause it takes the words right out of everyone's mouth (I think I speak for majority of users).

Comment posted by Taitai deleted Jan 11th, 2019
Comment posted by Taitai deleted Jan 11th, 2019
Comment posted by Gyro Pony deleted Jan 12th, 2019

The RGRE bit is pretty spot on. People approach it in a lot of ways but typically that's about correct. Most people I've seen who hate RGRE haven't read it and don't know what it is.

Also:
i.gyazo.com/b20dbcce045d7e037f96930e5d364dce.png

I read your honest and well informed opinions

They are a Bether example of the kind of integrity that is needed to be and maintain a fantastic base of opinions and followers on a fan-based environment

...
Now I will proceed to enjoy the wonderful ape-shith fest that will be starting on the comments

4995065
I know.
It's pathetic, right ?

One person makes a blog post and the horde descends.

Defensive much ?

4995103
I guess it depends on the type of clopfics the person is writing.

4995100

Females are still mis-represented

What do you mean? Female writers don't need men to represent them? People with any brain power knows most women are not how they are portrayed in most clop. Same way most people know most guys don't act like the way they do in clop fics. The job of the writer is not to moderate their writing because a group take offence. Their job is to write an idea and entertain the chimps that read it.

I have noticed a change in recent years.
Non-con sex, Rape fics, and so on.
But because there are still female accounts, this is fine right ?
diots.

I have been raped. But that does not mean i am any more entitled to tell people what to write than someone who wasn't. And to my knowledge rape fics tend to be down voted? And even then, it is fiction. So because the fic covers a certain topic that someone has experienced they are not allowed to write it?

4995100
The classic counter argument I just googled and couldn't find, unfortunately.

We are calm, and while you speak about a point of my argument—or rather, a precursor to it—it isn't the focal point of this essay. Female misrepresentation is an issue, one I mention as being present and serious repeatedly throughout the essay. Did you read it past the first page or two? And even if you did, did you miss this, which stands at the core of my thesis?

First of all, let it be said that the core issue MrNumbers speaks about within his blog is not a non-issue on a macro level. Objectification and devaluation of female voices do exist in online communities such as this one, and certain factors will always have the ability to propagate that, regardless of intent.

I'm not arguing that there being a similar level of males and females means that female misrepresentation isn't present. It exists in larger society, which is 50% male, 50% female.

I'm also in no way arguing that women being misrepresented is 'okay' by any means. It isn't. What I'm arguing is equality and freedom of expression. It's a lot to get through, I realise, but please don't assume based upon a preconceived supposition that I'm in any way advocating females being mistreated or having their voice drowned out. I do believe it's a serious issue, I just don't believe this is the root cause.

A change in recent years? I believe such stories have been being produced at a similar level for a long time, long before this site began. I understand if you find certain stories in this vein to be an issue, and I'm not going to tell you that your opinion on that is wrong.

I'd prefer if you didn't call people in this comment sections 'idiots', especially the posters that have colluded to produce this response. It's your prerogative, of course, and I can't enforce anything. Thanks for voicing your opinion.

Well written guys, well written, I approve :yay:

Got nothing else to really say, but I agree with the points in this, :rainbowkiss:

JackRipper
Story Approver

Not related but I thought I’d share.

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