If you’re getting frustrated by getting error messages while searching for new fics … each tag has its own RSS feed, which updates any time someone uploads a new story with that tag. It’s currently more reliable - and puts less strain on the AO3 servers, I do believe - than going to the site and searching for a tag.
It currently takes a while to get a tag to load on AO3, but once you do, there will be a “subscribe to the feed” link at the top left. Plug that link into your RSS reader of choice, and voila! Lists of stories to choose from without waiting for the AO3 servers to chug along. It works for fandom tags, character tags, whatever tag you want to search through! And specific stories are loading much more reliably than search pages right now.
… this doesn’t solve the uploading-a-story problem, of course, but if you’re jonesing for fic to read and swearing every time an AO3 page fails to load, it’s a good work-around!
(And now I go back to working, and let the queue do its thing for the afternoon. <3)
This is actually how I view AO3 all the time, and possibly why I haven’t had as many 502 issues as others have.
Someone asked for a rebloggable version of my answer from last night about the shame of reading erotic fanfiction, so here you go [with a slight edit for inclusiveness].I don’t know how to put this, but how do I stop feeling so freaked out by erotic fanfiction? Not in the sense that I don’t like it, but in the sense that it makes me feel creepy/guilty afterwards because I’m super paranoid that someone I know will somehow find out that I enjoy reading slash or whatever. (That’s the only reason I’m asking this on anon, btw.)
So what if someone finds out you like reading slash? Other people read erotica of all kinds, don’t you let them tell you they don’t. You can dress it up if you like. Say you read “erotic transformative works” and then let them wonder what the hell that means.
Sex is not bad. Reading about sex is not bad. Finding situations and scenarios composed by others to be arousing is not bad. It’s human nature, right up there with breathing and buying things we don’t need just because they’re on sale. Erotic fanfiction fuels the imagination, spurs creativity, and may help you discover what you do and don’t find arousing, which can be beneficial to your own sex life. How many people have benefitted in the bedroom by their partner’s slashy habit? COUNTLESS THOUSANDS.
YOU LIKE SMUTTY SLASH. OWN IT.
I know it’s easier said than done. But the longer you do it, the more you’ll get used to the idea. And if other people are freaked out…well, that’s not your problem, is it? You’re not responsible for other people’s emotional reactions. And if someone’s opinion of you would be altered by knowing this about you, then their opinion is not based on your actual self but on some set of paradigms they’ve pre-assigned to you based on their own prejudices, and that kind of opinion is not worth worrying about.
People have been writing and reading and enjoying erotica since people have been writing and reading. Erotic fanfiction is just another incarnation, and no less valid for being a derivative work.
Sometimes, I’ve observed, people are freaked out/guilty not because of what they actually feel, but because they feel like they SHOULD feel guilty. That’s the burden of society’s damage, man. FUCK THAT NOISE. I’m not sure HOW you stop feeling freaked out, but I am hereby giving you permission not to feel guilty or creepy.
Usually with longer exposure, we smutty fanfiction aficionados find it easier and easier. I don’t know how new you are to Ye Olde Slash, but the more you read, the more normal it’ll seem.
I hope this helps! Let your freak flag fly, nonnie!
Lori wrote the first fanfic that I read, almost exactly twelve years ago, and she speaks the truth.
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