I was a die-hard Literotica user for a long, long time. I don’t remember how I found it – on a clunky old laptop, sometime in my teens, when I was just getting curious about my own sexuality.
It was a love-hate relationship. I’ve discovered now that any sources of this kind of material are going to be love-hate relationships. Some of the stuff on Literotica was so good. It led me to a lot of self-discovery. (Wink, wink.)
A lot of it was truly awful. Readers didn’t seem to care about story quality. Ratings depended largely on if you were hitting the right kink. Also, it was relatively male-dominated. Women had to have DDDs. Sometimes they had 60DDDs – a sure sign a guy was writing. (Insert eyeroll.)
And of course, it was free. There were no smartphones, no Kindle Unlimited, and 50 Shades of Grey hadn’t even made romantica mainstream yet. Literotica was a BIG DEAL.
Its UI looks a little outdated now, but is still a treasure-trove of some truly hot reads. For free. Without strings attached. It’s also where I started writing – although I eventually removed my work from there to try self-publishing.
Now, of course, smartphones and eReaders have revolutionized steamy reading. It’s more private and portable and one-handed than ever. eReader marketplaces (Nook, Kindle, Kobo) dominate searches for material now – or at least, we self-published authors hope they do, since that’s where you’ll find us!
But this leaves a gap in the story market, I think. Free things, first of all, for all the curious, poor young folk (who are over 17!) out there. But also, a place for short snippets and drafts and writing experiments to call home. That’s why I find Wattpad’s expansion into the Wattpad After Dark app so exciting. Finally, a mobile-oriented free reading platform is acknowledging that people want to read the steamy stuff!
Since I know there’s finally a way for readers to see my shorter, funner, or more experimental stuff on Wattpad, you can find my profile here. Intermittently, I post shorts as contest entries, and I’ve compiled some reading lists with recommendations from other authors!
Do you have a favorite source for free steamy reads? Feel free to share in the comments!