FAQs

Things You Should Know

(A help file for alt.sex.stories and related groups)

Introduction

This is a “help you get started” post, for both readers and writers, and covers several of the things you may have been puzzled about, were confused on how to do, or were just unaware of. I hope you find it of use.

First, it should be understood that any group on usenet is not a central location. It is not a bulletin board as such. There is no central authority, and nobody to complain to, other than your own ISP (Internet Service Provider), who either does or doesn’t carry a particular group. These newsgroups are held by your ISP, but are filled by being linked to thousands of other newservers around the world. They are constantly passing posts to each other to update themselves and keep the groups as up to date as possible. This is how posts propagate around the usenet system, jumping from server to server, ISP to ISP.

The length of time a particular story stays on a group, before being removed, varies between ISPs, and is dependent on such things as their local disk space, how many posts they receive and their general “time held” policies. So please don’t write to the ASSM moderator asking him not to remove your stories, or post to the newsgroups about it. Newsserver administrators probably don’t read the groups, and certainly won’t take instructions or requests from them.

This is not, by any means, directions on how to write a story or tips on grammar or a guide on how to deal with your ISP.

Finally, remember this is a guide to the alt.sex.stories.* worlds, and is not gospel or chartered law.

Just read it and make your own judgment on its content and intention.


-Seurat


People, places, and things

Be aware (not beware) of the people on the net! Many people do not use their name, usually taking a psuedonym which they feel is a bit more descriptive to some aspect of themselves. Since they can be whatever people want them to be, some strange ones have come up. Read any newsgroup for a while, and you will note the personality behind a poster. Read stories by a certain author for a while, and you will come to recognize styles and themes. This can help you decide if a story is worth reading or not, i.e. ‘I’ve always liked Deidre’s, I wonder if anybody else writes like she did?’

Some of the people mentioned in this file go by such names as ‘Eli the Bearded’ and ‘Celeste’. Their reasons for these names are their own, and usually is not a point to argue about. However, it is considered bad taste to use a name already in use. To intentionally use anothers name is one of the few taboos on the internet.


Newsgroups Available (or ‘Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore’)

Newsgroups are collections of posts usually with a common theme. If you want to argue the merits of James Kirk as commander of the Enterprise on the old TV show ‘Star Trek’, there are newsgroups specifically designed about that subject. If you want to read about James Kirk having sex on the Enterprise, well then, you’ve come to the right place. The alt.sex.stories newsgroups (yes, there are more than one),
are all about writing and reading about sex. It can be suggestive, erotic, or ; it can titilate your senses or induce ; make you laugh, cry, or seek out your significant other for a quickie. It can tempt you to write your own stories, or it can disgust you. If it deals with sex and is a story, you’ll find it here sooner or later.

There are few different types of newsgroup in the alt.sex.stories (ASS) hierarchy.

The main story group is:

alt.sex.stories — (contains all types of stories)

with the more specialist groups:

alt.sex.stories. — (contains stories about ,
, sadism, and masochism)
alt.sex.stories.cuckold — (wife infidelity stories)
alt.sex.stories. — (same sex sex stories)
alt.sex.stories.hetero — (straight sex stories)
alt.sex.stories.tg — (transgendered//and transexual stories)
alt.sex.stories. — (incestual stories)

Note: some of these groups may not be carried by your ISP, and your ISP may carry others not on this list. If you want access to them you’ll have to ask your ISP to add them to their lists.

None of the above groups are moderated. In other words, anyone is free to post what they like to these groups and nobody can stop them. Because of this they come under constant attack of spammers (people or organizations that use newsgroups to promote commercial services by posting copious amounts of advertising). To combat this invasion there is also a story group that is moderated, called:

alt.sex.stories.moderated — (contains all types of stories, no spam)

Moderation of a newsgroup means a person, presently Eli the Bearded, has to approve the posting before it is allowed to appear. He generally doesn’t censor on content of the stories, just makes sure that spam doesn’t get through. Though I do believe he will not allow material that will breach certain copyrights. You can either post to ASSM in the same way you post to any of the groups.

There is also another moderated group called:

alt.sex.stories..moderated — (same sex sex, no spam)

The moderator is Mykkhal.

Another way to combat spam is to use newsreader software that has a filtering system that can be programmed to eliminate the worst offenders. It is beyond the scope of this post to attempt to explain such things because they are beyond my range. I suffer like most others and just ignore the spam.

There is also a discussion group called:

alt.sex.stories.d — (discussion about everything)

ASSD is for the discussion of writing about sex, and in general terms is for readers and authors to talk about stories, and what you liked or didn’t like about stories that have been posted to the other story groups etc. Often the threads (related posts on one topic) will be of a more general nature, usually relating to sex in some fashion. It is NOT a place to post stories. As this group is not moderated, a convention has been established to insert {ASSD} in the subject line, so that posts can be easily differentiated from the spam. Some people use the same convention for posting to the other groups, though it is less common; albeit a sensible idea.

There is also a group called:

alt.stories.erotic — (stories about sex)

It was named this in an attempt to avoid being flooded by spammers because it was believed that the removal of the word ‘sex’ would cause the group to avoid unwanted attention.So called, in an attempt to avoid spam, on the theory that spammers. Unfortunately this is no longer true, and this group gets its share of spam too.

How and what to post to ASS and the other groups
First: preparation of your story.

It has been established that only plain ASCII text should be used to post to any of the groups. This means that the following are all unacceptable: zip files (compressed), native word processor files (such as Word, Word Perfect, etc), or any attachment file such as graphics files like GIF of JPEG, or HTML (web pages).

Believe it or not, there is a group set up for such posts called:

alt.binaries.stories.sex — (everything)

It does allow the posting of all of the above, so if you wish to post such things, then that is the only acceptable group to do it to.

If you write a story in a word processor, but intend to post it to any of the non-binary groups, then it must be converted to plain text and pasted, or loaded, into your newsreader/emailing software before sending.

Due to the varied reading software, it is also considered polite to add carriage returns at the end of each line. Failure to do this will result in one long line on many readers’ screens. Lines should be kept to no more than about 75 characters in length. 72 is a reasonable length to aim for.

Most word processors allow you to output a file in plain text with line feeds. It may be a good idea to choose a non-proportional font before you do this, to ensure a more uniform line length.

If your story is very long (over 100k), it is a good idea to split it into sections, with an appropriate numbering system in the subject line to indicate the sequence, such as 1/3, 2/3, 3/3. Many authors will spilt at much smaller sizes (say 30k), due to limitations with their software or their ISP’s requirements. If possible the parts should be posted in sequence too. This will mean they will likely arrive at the news servers in sequence and can then be downloaded by the reader in one file, if they have the software to do that.

Second: Subject lines

It has become common convention to give your story a title and to mention that title as the subject of your post. Due to the proliferation of spammers, it helps to add ‘Story:’ or ‘New story:’ at the beginning. It is also nice if you put your psuedonym in brackets at the beginning, identifying the author and allowing the post to be listed alphabetically with other posts. This makes it easier to find and will increase your readership.

example: {Seurat} New story:Muse (MF)

The letters on the end identify the story as Male-Female sex between consenting adults. More on that later.

If you post a story to alt.sex.stories.moderated then Eli will also cross-post it to alt.sex.stories automatically. He also sets any followups to go to alt.sex.stories.d.

If you intend to post a followup to thank an author, having hit the reply button to say “Hey, I liked that story, thanks”, take the trouble to edit out the story before you post it. It is not necessary to post the entire story to ASSD, and would not be welcome there anyway. In fact a simple “I like it” would be better posted to the author directly, if that’s possible. A post on why you thought the author did or didn’t succeed would be very welcome in ASSD.

One thing you should be aware of is that if you post with your own normal email address you will be leaving yourself open to junk mail. To combat this you can either alter you address, obtain a mailbox such as found at Hotmail, or obtain for yourself an anonymous email account. Full explanations of any of these tactics is beyond the scope of this post.

 

Story Codes

There are also established story codes that should be used in the subject line of a story. There is a separate FAQ (frequently asked question) file maintained and posted by Uther Pendragon on a regular basis to ASS and ASSD, both for readers and authors.

The FAQ for writers can be obtained here.

And the FAQ for readers is here.

The necessity of using codes has been debated a lot on ASSD, so it is up to you as a poster to decide if they are useful or not. Their main aim is to alert the reader to the content of the story, so that they may make an informed choice as to what to pay for, in terms of download time which may well be costing them money. Many readers do not download stories without codes unless they recognize the author and appreciate his/her work.

 

Reviews

Anyone is free to write a review of any story and post it to any group. However, the best place to post it is probably ASSD. Some authors do not wish their work to be reviewed, and so state that in the header or introduction of their stories. Failure to state that means they are fair game.

Two people have managed to establish themselves as well-known reviewers, simply by being regular posters of reviews. They are Celeste and Lady Cyrrh. Neither of them should be considered in any official light. They are simply self-appointed reviewers and hold no more sway than anyone else. Should you wish to set yourself up as a reviewer then just do it. Becoming accepted as “worth reading” is only a matter of perseverance, nothing more. Many folks have tried, but only these two have so far succeeded.

Celeste has been doing it for several years and has written over two thousand reviews. An amazing achievement by any standards. It was she who developed the “BlowJob Principle.” This is the idea that if you wish for authors to keep writing the stories you like to read, then you might like to write and tell them so, with a few words of encouragement from time to time. It would probably also be nice for the authors to acknowledge the support with a reciprocal thank you note. Some authors will be very happy to enter into a chain of correspondence with a reader, others won’t have the time or inclination. You’ll just have to try it and see what develops.

Celeste has also instigated a system of guest reviews, and they appear alongside her own reviews under the heading of “Celestial Reviews.” Celeste herself is no longer involved in the writing of the Celestial reviews as of review number 310; the co-editoring of reviews has fallen to BitBard and Miss Behavin’. I wish them all the luck in the world. Reading reviews will often keep you from reading stories you wouldn’t have like and will usually clue you into a few you may have missed.

Lady Cyrrh has been doing reviews for about a year. She does all her own, though I believe she has help with some of the reviews that are to be found on her own website at http://members.aol.com/ladycyrrh/ should you want to read her past reviews. She tends to review stories in the more esoteric genres, but both she and Celeste have been known to stray into each other’s territories. She has also suggested that you may want to check out the following groups for the occasional story you might find there, in amongst the earnest conversation.

soc.sexuality. — ()
soc.subculture.- — ()
soc.subculture.-.femdom –( with the female always in charge)

Many consider it an honor, and mark of success, if their stories rate an A+ from Lady Cyrrh, or a triple ten from Celeste. Many others think it a waste of time and effort, and will have nothing to do with them. Like most things in usenet, it’s for you, the reader, to decide for yourself on such matters. If you feel an urge to voice your opinion on such things, then ASSD is the place to do so. Remember, there is no right or wrong, only individual opinion.

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