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Too effective, or not effective enough?

April 1, 2014
Posted at 2:08 pm

I recently posted a story called "The Path of Pain" which featured self-torture as a path to orgasm and sexual fulfillment. It didn't score as well as other stories I've written and submitted to this site. In fact, the only other story that got such a low rating was another story featuring torture called "Deliver Us From Evil."

I looked at other stories featuring torture, and found that even Polecat's artfully written stories ranked lower than they should have. This got me thinking about whether stories that feature such subjects are bound to get a lower score, and why.

Two reasons suggest themselves. The first one is that the thought of torture, whether inflicted by the subject or another character, is a turn-off to the reader. I get that. But if that's the case, why did the reader finish the story and vote on it at all?

The other reason is that, for some reason, the reader wanted more extreme in the way of explicit description or severity of the torture, and I wasn't providing it. I get that, too (although in "Deliver Us" the victim dies as a result of the torture, and I don't know how much more extreme you can get than that).

This is one reason why authors like feedback. The voting scores don't tell us enough; we like to know specifically what turned on our readers or turned them off. Believe me, I read every piece of mail I receive, even though I usually don't respond privately. Your opinion is valuable to us writers, so please don't hesitate to tell us what you think.