|Synonyms:||Plot? What Plot?, Porn Without Plot, Pop Tart|
|See also:||Genre, Lemon, Lime, Porn, Smut, Curse, What Curse?|
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PWP is the term that media fandom uses to describe short erotic stories without much lead-in, if any at all. "PWP" stood for "Plot? What Plot?", and the connotation was that the reader was so turned on by the story that they did not notice if there was an action plot involved; or that instead of a plot, sex is the entire point of the story. Later on, the meaning of the term drifted, and the phrase "Porn Without Plot" is now also used to define the acronym.
A story may be referred to as a PWP if the main focus of the action (pun entirely intended) is on one or more sexual encounters. The definition is fairly flexible, however; some PWPs are good old-fashioned smut, and unapologetically so. Other stories may be referred to as PWPs (by the author[s] or readers) if the plot itself revolves around sex, even when the sexual encounters lead to deeper exploration of the characters and/or their relationships.
KLangley56 pulled together some documentation on when the term originated in a discussion of the term on Cesperanza's Livejournal, 9 September 2008. She believes that the term originated in the 1980s:
- 1) From the May-July 1989 issue of Federation Archives (a Blake's 7 letterzine edited and published by L. Terrell), one LoC refers to Oblaque and Oblaquer (two B7 slash zines) thusly: "The editors have also created a new category of story: PWP. It stands for Plot? What Plot?"
- 2) From the On the Double #13, November 1989 (a slash adzine, published by A. Hughes), an ad from GBH Productions for Oblaquest includes this: "Many fifth season stories and just to lighten the load, a few PWP's (Plot? What Plot?)."
Another fan remembers the term being used in the mid-1980s. She says, "I first came across the term PWP in about 1984 or 1985. I was attending an early slash convention, IDICon. As soon as I arrived at the hotel I was informed I'd been drafted to be on the "Plot? What Plot?" (aka PWP) panel. (The panel was quite a lot of fun, too!)"