I first learnt to delete my internet history for fanfiction. I would search up dirty and no-so-dirty stories on livejournal in the hour or so before my mum came home from work, and voraciously read about my favourite characters getting together and getting it on. I was 13 when I read my first sex scene. Instead of regarding it with fear like many of my friends did with their first exposures to video porn, I was intrigued. I didn’t know people could write about sex, and I didn’t know they could do it in a way that appealed to me. I don’t remember much other than the description of the brick wall that the character was pressed up against gripping his back like tiny hands. It was ultimately that line that encouraged me to write my own fanfiction. For a long time, all the fanfiction I wrote was rank plagiarism, filled with other people’s phrases and scenarios, and it thankfully remained unpublished in private word documents and notebooks. After a while, I began to become more original. I wrote “fanfiction” about my own life, about what I wished my crush would do and say to me. I wrote stories almost every day, building on my fantasies each night.
When I was 13, I realized I was interested in women as well as men. Fanfiction became a way to read about gay people in love, in a way that I couldn’t find anywhere else. Sure, most of the stories I was reading were about gay men, but it still filled that lonely hole in my heart that begged to see someone like me. I was also reading stories where weird, neurodiverse characters were being loved and loving in return. I was a mess of undiagnosed OCD, anxiety, a mood disorder, and pre-psychosis, and I frequently worried that I was too nuts to date. I could imagine that there was someone in my future who would love me and wouldn’t think I was disgusting for being crazy and bisexual. I used to print out fanfiction and read the physical print outs when I was feeling sad or alone. It was the strangest kind of hope.
Almost as soon as I started reading smutty fanfiction, I started imagining myself in the positions of the characters. I imagined what it would be like to get a blowjob, to fuck someone, to kiss someone and have them feel my stubble. In the year following, I found that more and more of my fantasies were of myself with a penis, or myself with a flat chest, or myself with a deep voice. It wasn’t until I was 14 that I consciously knew what the word transgender meant, but it didn’t take much deliberation before I decided that that word described how I felt. Fanfiction yet again opened up to me the same opportunity it had with my blossoming gayness: a chance to read about characters I already related to, and reading about them as trans, while being loved and fucked and happy.
I didn’t put anything I had written up on the internet until I was 15, when I had my own computer. I wrote regularly after that, putting my favourite characters into different scenarios and settings. I loved writing, and it became my main pastime. I wrote introspective character studies and silly jokes and everything in between. Fanfiction is looked down upon, obviously partially because of its connection to femininity and women’s labour, and I was ashamed of what I was writing. It didn’t seem like people would enjoy what I was writing, but eventually I worked up the courage and posted. It was exciting for people to read what I had written, and I enjoyed seeing people’s responses to my work. I wrote my first sex scene when I was 16. I was, as I am now, in love with blowjobs, happy trails, and puns during sex, but had an inexplicable obsession with licking the roof of your partner’s mouth while kissing. I loved writing it, and I loved writing about sex. I have no doubt that my interest in sex and sexuality started with fanfiction. I went through a period when I was 17 where I identified as asexual, because a mix of depression, severe anxiety, and dysphoria made my sex drive absolutely plummet. I did, during this time, spend 24 straight hours writing asexual-themed fanfiction with a friend. It was a respite for me, a way to escape from the realities of my life. I was in the grips of my final year of high school and I had less time to read for pleasure, so the shorter format of fanfiction was the perfect solution. Fanfiction was still a constant as I began to discover my own sexuality again, encouraging me to try out new things and build new fantasies.
Last year, I took an extended break from fanfiction. I was busy with university, and my mental health was deteriorating, and I was doing other forms of reading. I didn’t have time really to engage in fanfiction in the same way I did before. I still found I needed an outlet to read and write about sex, though, and I became more interested in the world of sex blogging. Last year, I started this very blog, and it was a wonderful outlet for a few months. In March, I fell in love with a new show, and a month ago I wrote my first fanfiction in 8 months. These past few months, I’ve been able to see my kinks reflected in a more precise and cerebral way than I can in porn, and I’ve been able to explore fantasies in a safe and non-judgmental environment. I’m not kidding when I say that there’s a particular story that gave me a foot fetish. Because I’m more kink oriented than I was a few years ago, my fanfiction creation and consumption has become more kink oriented. I’m also studying a creative writing degree now, and fanfiction is a fun, low pressure way to play with character development and phrasing and emotion. I see myself writing fanfiction in some way or another for a long, long time. It’s been a way to process emotions, to discover new things, and to learn more about myself. I’m so glad I’ve found my way back.