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I’m not sure why I feel the need to apologize for writing you, but if you knew me, you’d understand. That’s just me. I suppose it’s because sending you an email makes me feel like I’m intruding into your personal life, and since you don’t know me, I’m sure you see me as some stranger butting in without an invitation. So I hope you’ll forgive me if I’m bothering you.
The reason I’m writing is I just cried my way through another one of your beautiful stories (this is the third time) and the way you write speaks to my heart in all the ways I always hoped my ex-husband would.
I’m a chick. I admit it. Yes, I’m emotional. Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic. And yes…I’m divorced. But when I read your stories, I feel like you’re talking to me and me alone. It’s like you and I are the only people in the whole world or that I’m the only person who matters to you and there aren’t words to describe how that makes me feel.
Okay, now that you think I’m some kind of nutty ditz, I’ll stop talking. I’m sure you won’t write me back anyway and after this crazy introduction, why would you? Besides, you’re probably happily married and if so, I envy your wife. Big sigh…
Oh, PS. After crying the whole way through your story, I read the comments from other readers about it. Four of them were positive with two of them being very complimentary. I especially agreed with the person who said you’re one of his favorite writers on this site. But the guy who made such a big deal about using ‘site’ instead of ‘sight’ really got under my skin. He also seemed to think a couple of typos and a missing word ruined the entire story. How can anyone read something so beautiful and only see the trivial stuff? I just don’t get it.
Okay, now I’m really done. Just please keep writing, okay? You give people like me hope to keep trying. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll meet a man as romantic as you.
Your Biggest Fan”
“That was really nice,” he thought to himself as he finished reading yet another email from a reader on Literotica.
Scott Henderson discovered Literotica, a site—not a sight—dedicated to erotic literature on a whim. It was a place where people could express themselves fully and completely without having to worry about most forms of censure or offending people by explicitly writing about the sexual aspects of love. One could be romantic or downright crass and still be published even though ‘being published’ didn’t imply money or fame. It just meant sticking to the site’s guidelines: no characters under 18 in any story, don’t talk about current elections, etc. It was such a pleasant surprise to find a place where he could be as detailed as he wanted when romance finally led to the bedroom and not offend people by using the very words most people used when making love.
He understood why so many people felt it was wrong to openly discuss something so private and so personal, yet he couldn’t have disagreed with them more strongly. ‘Free love’ was irresponsible, but sexual repression was downright unhealthy and freedom of speech was a constitutionally protected right. Most of those who found such things objectionable were deeply religious and while he respected freedom of religion as much as free speech, he just couldn’t see how people still believed in mysticism in the age of science. But believe they did and that was also their constitutional right just as it was his to write whatever he wanted in a romantic story.
He’d been trying to find something other than the brutal, in-your-face porn he’d began watching a few months after the death of his wife. He’d read Playboy (only for the articles, of course) back in high school and college, but on-line porn had never appealed to him. His beautiful wife met all of his needs so there was no reason to watch paid actors pretending to be romantic. He only turned to it because he still couldn’t bring himself to date, and he was the kind of guy who’d never pay for sex, so he’d started watching porn. But it was all so phony, so staged, so utterly direct and devoid of romance. Guy meets girl, clothes come off immediately, and they’re fucking each other’s brains out seconds later. Just like real life, right?
He’d tried looking for ‘soft porn’ and found a couple of sites which featured sex where the porn was often mingled with some amount of staged romance, but it still wasn’t romantic. For a while, that was fine, but after a short time, even that was way over the top. For some reason, he decided to try looking a different way and searched using the words ‘erotic literature’. The results were very interesting.
He looked through several of the links his search returned, but the one that intrigued him was called Literotica. It had numerous categories of published stories from pure romance to incest to group sex to crossdressing to various fetishes to sci-fi and pretty much anything else one could possibly care to read about.
He looked through a Beylikdüzü escort handful of stories and quickly got the gist of how things worked. Pick a theme, decide on a story line, develop it, flesh out the characters, and allow them to not only romance one another but to actually experience the physical details of love making—or just plain old fucking. It all depended on what one wanted to write.
Henderson had always enjoyed writing and had gotten pretty good at it over the years having completed both his BA and MA. He also regularly wrote detailed reports for his job with the federal government as a civilian policy analyst for the Department of Defense at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. His work was detailed and accurate and regularly drew accolades from his superiors for its quality. He lived in Falls Church, Virginia, and commuted to the city each morning on public transportation, worked an eight-hour day along with an hour in the gym, then headed home. He didn’t love his job, but he’d pretty much always liked it and had no complaints. His real joy in life came from his marriage and he looked forward to getting home to his wife every day.
He’d met Constance Anne McAllister in college and fell head over heels in love with her. How could he help it? Connie had been so easy to love. She was full of life and like him, a hopeless romantic. The honeymoon had been fantastic, but unlike so many other couples where things started going downhill as soon as they got back home, their bond strengthened and their love grew over time. They had mutual friends and often entertained, but both of them much preferred being alone with one another to anything else. They unfailingly took at least one vacation a year traveling to some new place around the world and had plans to see the rest of it until she got sick.
Connie was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cervical cancer that wasn’t detected until it was in Stage 3B. At that point, the cure rate was a dismal 35%. In spite of their team of doctors’ best efforts, she’d lost her battle a little a year after the diagnosis. To say Scott had been devastated was an understatement in the extreme. He was overwhelmed with grief and anguish. The days dragged on endlessly and every night seemed like an eternity until sheer exhaustion mercifully forced him to fall asleep for a few hours. The brief respite from his sorrows ended when he awoke in an empty bed reminding him she was never coming back. His life was Groundhog Day only without the comedy or the chance of getting the girl the next time.
After a couple of months of tearful nights, too much alcohol, and unbearable loneliness, he’d turned to on-line porn as a possible source of relief. But after just a few weeks of looking at the same kind of canned scenarios and over-the-top sex, he was at wits ends. And that’s when he found the site.
Since then, he’d been able to partially fill the huge hole in his heart by channeling all of the pent-up grief and emotions into his erotic storytelling. Initially, he used his life with Connie as the basis for the romantic stories he wrote. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love, boy proposes, girl accepts, they marry, have lots of great sex, and live happily ever after. Just as porn had gotten through a couple of months, so had writing purely romantic stories with happy endings.
But the more he wrote, the more new ideas started flowing from somewhere deep inside him, taking him into all kinds of new areas and sometimes well outside his comfort zone. He initially paid no attention to the comments readers made primarily because he was unaware people even made them. That is until he received his first private email thanking him for writing such a warm, loving story. That particular reader told him he’d made a comment after reading the story, and Henderson went to find it. He noted there were a total of five comments including the one from the reader who’d emailed him.
The first was very short and said only: “Great story!” The second was from the guy who emailed him and then he read a third which said: “You need to get yourself an editor.” There was no explanation as to why so he dismissed it. The fourth comment read: “You’re one of my favorite new writers. Love your stories!” The fifth agreed with the third and said: “Have you heard of spell check? It’s ‘there’ not ‘their’ and ‘too’ not ‘to.’ Get an editor.” Henderson went back and reread the story and found that he had indeed used both words incorrectly. What he found interesting is how very differently people viewed the final product and what they chose to hone in on.
He also learned he could look at ‘recent activity’ on the page where he submitted his stories and see who’d favorited one of his stories or added him to their favorite authors’ list as well as who’d made a comment. He was amazed at how many people had done just that in the first two cases.
He thought about the complaints and had to admit they were on the money. Beylikdüzü escort He had used the wrong form of both words. The question he asked became why these individuals felt compelled to say something. He sat back and gave it some thought. Literotica certainly wasn’t academia so the idea that simply pointing out a mistake or mistakes was somehow going to ‘raise the academic bar’ on what was essentially a porn site made him chuckle. He wasn’t the least bit offended by the negative comments, he just found it amusing that people felt the need to point out problems without offering any further ‘help’ other than admonishing him to ‘get an editor.’ In that regard, what was telling someone ‘get an editor’ supposed to do? How did noting a typo improve anything? It didn’t change the story and in his case, he wasn’t going to change the way he wrote. And finally, since this was basically a porn site, he wasn’t going to go over a story five times with a fine-tooth comb the way he had his masters’ thesis or any paper at work to keep a tiny number of people happy when they were probably the kind of people who were rarely ever happy in life to begin with.
He sat there and laughed out loud when he thought about people who seemed compelled to offer unsolicited advice. More than once during a workout in the gym, he’d watched some guy with a huge gut walk up to someone doing perfect deadlifts and say, “Hey, buddy. Remember to lift with your legs and not your back!” These were the same guys who’d then remind someone to wipe down their equipment when they were done even though the wipe down did nothing to sterilize the area. In Henderson’s mind, if you had a fear of germs in public places, then you should clean the equipment to your satisfaction before using it. Telling someone else to clean up after the fact—especially when the guy who used the equipment wasn’t even sweating was a control thing and some people were control freaks. What good did it do to spray the seat and cosmetically wipe it off when nearly of all the bacteria were on the handles? But there was no reasoning with people who had all the answers and felt compelled to share their ‘wisdom’ with the lowly, unwashed masses.
Personally, Henderson never, ever offered unsolicited advice to anyone. Not even teenagers. He was a Libertarian and believed in letting people do their own thing from the gym to the political arena to academia to love and romance. If someone asked him for his opinion, he’d offer his best personal advice. Otherwise, it was none of his business.
He soon concluded these ‘pointer-outers’ were the control freaks of Literotica, something he confirmed when he learned he could see how many stories they’d published by looking at their Bio page. Almost invariably, the guys with the most complaints had never published a single story. A couple had published two or three and when he read through them, he laughed out loud again. He found typo after typo after typo in the work of these same guys who glibly told him to ‘read his story again and clean it up before publishing.’ Clearly what was good for the goose did not apply to the gander and yet they just had to say something and the something was always negative. They could ignore the 99% everyone else loved and see only the 1% that drove them crazy. He actually felt pity for them if all they could find were the tiny flaws in an otherwise beautiful diamond.
It got to be downright funny as the complimentary emails kept pouring in with the laudatory comments outweighed the ‘pointer-outers’ around fifty-to-one. Again, the things they pointed out were nearly always correct. But the larger point was this: why did they feel compelled to point them out on a porn site? Maybe they somehow felt better about themselves having let others know what great proof readers they were and all of the ‘horribly egregious errors’ they’d found.
With all that in mind, he made his reply to ‘Biggest Fan.”
“Dear Biggest Fan,
Not only do I not think you’re crazy or a ‘ditz’, I found your kind words to be very thoughtful. Thank you for taking the time to write and share your feelings with me. I get quite a few emails each week and reply to every one of them.
As to the negative comments, I just ignore them. One of my own personal favorite writers on the site often replies to them when they do the same thing to his stories. I love the way he rips into them for ‘not being able to write a story of their own if their lives depended on it but being the first to make some inane comment.’ They all think he’s angry or sensitive, but I can tell he just loves pointing out their hypocrisy and for him, it’s a kind of game he enjoys playing.
I dunno. Some people just feel compelled to offer unsolicited advice. I’m sure that in their own minds, they think they’re making some kind of positive contribution by pointing out missing words or typos. I’d never say anything to them, but those kinds of comments tell me a lot more about the Escort Beylikdüzü person making them than the person writing the story. If you’ve ever watched a movie about the military with someone who’s served, many of them go nuts when they see problems with a uniform. ‘Ahhh! His ribbons are on backwards! Look! His rank insignia is all cockeyed!’ It’s probably the same thing for a doctor watching a medical procedure on a TV show.
There are some folks who, in spite of their best efforts, just can’t write well. It’s a very difficult skill, and they have trouble with not only spelling but grammar, syntax, exposition, pacing, and plot development. But at least they try. The ‘pointer-outers’ do nothing but…point things out. C’est la vie, no?
On to more important things…
Like you, I am a hopeless romantic. I lost my beautiful wife of 10 years, Connie, just over a year ago to cancer and this site (not ‘sight’) has been a big help in allowing me to express all of the romantic thoughts fighting to be let out now that I can no longer express them to the one I love. We did so many things for one another like leaving little notes in hidden places to planning a weekend getaway to well…more private things for when we arrived. I’m very open and expressive in my writing, but never kiss and tell in real life. 🙂
I’m sorry to learn your marriage ended, and I can tell from your words it hurt you deeply. I won’t pretend to understand your pain nor will I try and share mine with you. I much rather prefer to try and remain optimistic and like you, am hoping that I may one day find someone else to love. There will never be another Connie, so I would never compare anyone to her. That will never be an issue.
Again, thank you for writing to me. I have another story I’ll be finishing shortly and I’d love to know your impressions. In fact, if you’d like to read it before anyone else, I’d be happy to send it to you. (You won’t hurt my feelings if you tell me ‘no.’)
Best of luck to you in your search for love,
A fellow hopeless romantic.”
The following evening he was checking email before going back to work on the story he was writing and saw a reply from ‘Biggest Fan.’
Thank you for telling me your real name and for writing me back. Mine is Kayla—Saunders. That’s my maiden name, by the way. I went back to it right after the divorce.
I was very (pleasantly) surprised to get a reply from you! I honestly thought you’d read it and just send it to the trash. Maybe I’m still a little insecure after my divorce. I’ll spare you the details, but my ex-husband had a way of making me feel small and stupid on a regular basis for most of the five years we were married.
Hey, if he were to read your stories, I’m sure he’d be one of your ‘pointer-outers!’ He managed to find fault with virtually everything I did and that’s a big part of the reason for my current lack of self confidence. That may also be why I spend so much time reading romantic stories like yours rather than trying to meet an actual guy. The few dates I’ve been on were disasters with the guys pressuring me to sleep with them on the first date. (What is it with guys like that anyway?) So I read. Stories don’t put you down or criticize or humiliate. Sorry, I said I didn’t mean to go there.
I think you’re right (not ‘write’—lol) about the negative comments. They probably think they’re being helpful and never stop to think that just pointing out a mistake isn’t being helpful. It’s just being petty. Well, imho, anyway.
I would love to preview your story and feel honored you would ask me. If I do find any typos or missing words should I write back and tell you to get an editor? 🙂
I’m no one to talk. I do have an associate’s degree, but I’m one of those people who couldn’t write a story if her life depended on it and I know it! No, I’m not kidding. That’s 100% true. I would never even try because I know the pointer-outers would crucify me! That’s another reason why I enjoy reading yours so much.
I don’t really know anything about you and I have no idea why I’m doing this, but I’m attaching a pic of me from a few months ago. I told you I’m divorced and a hopeless romantic. Beyond that I’m 28, have no children, live in Orlando, Florida, and work full-time as an assistant manager at a local Target store.
I was too shy to mention this before, but I wanted to say your sex scenes are absolutely delicious. By the time I get to them, I manage to stop crying and start…lusting!
If I haven’t totally scared you off, I would love to hear back from you and to read your story!
Kayla, who is still your biggest fan!”
Henderson smiled as he read her reply then sat up straight and said, “Holy shit!” when he opened her pic. He tried very hard not to stereotype people, but doing so was human nature, and all people had to constantly battle against those kinds of negative tendencies. He’d had this image in his mind of some very large woman with glasses and bad teeth who sat around reading romantic stories in a tattered robe wondering what went wrong in her marriage. When she told him she worked at Target, it fed right into his stereotype.
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