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Synonyms: Adult, smut, erotica, Sexually-Explicit Fanworks, pornography, lemon, spooge, furporn, Nfic, NB, pr0n, pron
See also: PWP, Porn Battle, kink, Slash Slut
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Fans frequently use the term Porn when referring to sexually explicit fanworks that are created at least in part to arouse the reader or viewer, as opposed to depictions of sexual abuse that are meant to evoke only pity or rage. (But see also authorial intent). In a fannish context, "porn" does not refer to the pornography industry.

The intentional misspellings pron and pr0n may have been invented to avoid filters for explicit sexual content. The terms are now often used as affectionate slang for porn.

Fans may also refer to non-sexual fanworks (or sourcetexts) as "porn" if those texts fill a different need. For instance, emoporn is emotionally satisfying the way sexual porn is erotically satisfying, and identity porn is a term for the tension and drama of characters with secret identities.

Different fandoms may use different terms to describe porn in their milieu. For instance, furry fandom uses "spooge", "furporn", or "yiff". In Lois & Clark, a primarily het fandom, it's called "Nfic" for "naughty fic". Jane Austen fandom, another predominantly het arena, sometimes calls it "NB" for "naughty bit" or "nasty bit". Many anime & manga fandoms in the 90s and early 2000s used the term "lemon" (with "lime" being the equivalent of "teen").

A Very Early Fannish Use

While the word "porn" in the mainstream world in a negative way for a long time, the term was used by fans affectionately as early as 1978. From the editorial of a Star Trek: TOS zine, Fantasia #2:

Fandom, too, has changed somewhat in the year since my first issue. There have been some problems, not the least of which is the latest rift between the porn-haters and the porn-lovers (I use the word 'porn' here very loosely to refer to any fiction that is adult in content, although I really don't feel that much of the adult Treklit is really pornographic). Being "pro porn" myself, I've decided to put my two cent's worth in…

A few years after the release of Star Wars, a fan wrote:

... this is a plea to all would-be writers of Star Wars pornography and the already-existing writers of such. Please, do not continue doing this! Most of us are having a wonderful time writing fiction and would be very unhappy to see it disappear. I know how much fun it is to write sexually explicit material; I've done so myself, but I don't plan to publish it. Writing it and publishing it are two different things altogether. If you want other people to see your lovingly assembled porn, show it around, but don't publish it "officially" or there may be trouble for which the vast majority of fandom would never forgive you. [1]

Admitted Unrealism

Fannish porn, like non-fannish porn, can be viewed as being unrealistic. Some fans say this like it was a bad thing!

One fan writes:

Pornography is unrealistic. But that’s great! When you think about it, the more real porn is, the more horrifying it can be. And textual porn is unrealistic by its very nature, in that text distances the reader from some of the harsher truths of sex. When you read, you get to use your imagination, rather than having bodily imperfections, embarrassing noises, and inconvenient excretions thrust upon your various senses. If I wanted something that was mortifying, inconvenient, awkward, stressful, poorly timed, and disappointing, I wouldn’t bother looking for porn, I would just have real sex. [2]

Meta/Further Reading


  1. ^ from Alderaan #15 (August 1981)
  2. ^ from Berlynn Wohl's Awesome Slash Tutorial for Cool People, December 21, 2011