My Quest to Become a Harry Potter Erotic Fan Fiction Writer
Seven days and 12,000 words later, I understand why a children’s book universe is such a potent vehicle for smut.
Image via The Potterotica Podcast/Facebook
This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
“Harry used his hand to slowly jerk Draco off whilst his tongue worked quick circles around the tip of Draco’s prick.” Eek. If this quote fills you with confusion/dread/discomfort then you’re probably like I was a few months ago—blissfully unaware that there's a world out there filled with wands, polyjuice potions, an eclectic variety of words for a penis and an uncomfortable obsession with the term “folds.” Yes, it’s Harry Potter erotic fan fiction and it’s 100 percent a thing.
Fan fiction has basically existed as long as the internet. There are hundreds of websites out there dedicated to all sorts of fan fiction but the number one favorite on all of these sites is apparently Harry Potter erotica (that’s wizards having sex, FYI) and I’m desperate to find out why that is. I read about a dozen stories before I realized that this was something I wanted to tap into myself. Was I aroused? No. Impressed? Maybe. All I knew was that I wanted to learn more about the process. So I set off on a little quest to become a Harry Potter erotic fan fiction sensation because why would I not want to spend a week of my life writing about wizards banging?
In order to begin, I had to come up with a pen-name, and as if by magic “The Golden Snatch” became mine. But as I attempted to type out a few sentences, my initial thoughts of “how hard can it be to write about Hagrid getting a blowjob?” rapidly dissipated into a deep set revulsion and fear that soon I would have to describe Harry Potter’s penis and in a non-ironic way. Suddenly, I was drowning in HP sex puns like “expelli-anus” and “expecto patro-cum” and maybe I was losing my mind. None of this was sexy. I absolutely needed some help. So I sent an SOS email to three people who are more than well-versed in Harry’s erogenous zones—the creators of The Potterotica Podcast.
I asked my new Potterotica friends Allie, Lyndsay, and Danny what readers will expect in my stories aside from the magical muffs and wizardry wangs of the preexisting Potter characters we’ve all grown up with. I had been advised by Danny that the golden sex ratio for fic is "more sex the better," so this was something I had to think about. “Women are squirters,” Allie told me. Interesting. I guess if people can fly on broomsticks in this world then all women can be graced with that little bit of magic too.
“Everyone loves the sex scenes between Harry and Draco because their sexual tension is so high in the books,” one avid reader named Mackenzie told me. Harry and Draco, coined ‘Drarry’ by their readership are apparently one spicy, spicy dish. Seeing as they are the most shipped couple I can't really get away with not including some Drarry loving in my story. “Who else?” I asked her. “Sirius and Hermione is a big one, Ron and Pansy Parkinson, Hermione and Snape.”
That last one shocks me a little. I’m not sure I’m down for the whole teacher-student vibe; that's not sexy, that's just very, very illegal. Mackenzie assures me it’s not really her thing either. A seedier part of the fan fiction world is that it allows people to explore things that mainstream audiences would normally consider to be a little taboo (or a lot taboo). So the amount of violent/incestuous/nonconsensual stories out there is high.
“Also there's never enough foreplay,” Lyndsay said. Apparently, the women are always “dripping” right away. Sexy—sure, realistic—no. Clearly people were calling out for more realistic sex scenes amidst the smut. Maybe my role would be to write some tired-from-work-keep-your-tops-on kind of sex, or some long sessions of heavy petting to liven up this HP erotic world with some realism. “Get some foreplay in there, girl,” advised Allie. Not a problem. The more time I can spend avoiding actual penetration in this story the better.
Already I felt like I had tapped into a really nice community of fans sharing horny HP fics, berating each other for being Hufflepuff, and generally having a good time. We even spent some time workshopping polyjuice sperm puns (thats polyjizz if you were wondering). Yes people enjoy the smut but really they just love Harry Potter and everything that comes from it. Lyndsay called the Potterotica Facebook page a “safe space” where an open and honest dialogue around sex and consent is not only encouraged, but imperative. The subculture is becoming a platform for better representation too, with heaps of fan fiction set out to rectify the original books’ heteronormative blunderings by actually including LGBTQ characters. I never knew HP porn would be the catalyst for conversations around sexuality, mental health, and good consensual sex—but apparently it is.
Next, the podcast put me in touch with another listener ready to talk me through exactly what readers want when they chose to read fan fiction. Alyssa confessed to me she probably started reading erotic fiction “a little younger than appropriate” as she went searching for the smutty stuff around age 15. “I loved the getting together fics,” she told me—a.k.a. the moment when Hermione finally gives Ron a good old blowjob which, weirdly, is not included by J.K. Rowling in the original seven books.
Alyssa advised me to be delicate with my word choice. “If you’re describing a penis, you wouldn't call it a penis,” she said, adding “you don't need to describe it as ‘huge and long and hard and red.’” Red?! Oh boy, I’m too gay for this. “Yeah they’re all red in fan fiction, I don't know why.” Now, I’ve read enough smut in my time to know that dicks are normally throbbing and vaginas are usually weird mewling delicate flowers, so I think I get what she’s talking about, but for me this is so unsexy I could cry. I make a mental note to google some decent words for vagina that don't make me turn into the awkward face emoji. “Folds is something that comes up a lot,” Mackenzie told me. A lady’s folds may be the most unpleasant thing I’ve heard today. It’s got to go in the story.
With a vague idea of a storyline and some pretty horrendous buzzwords picked out (“joybox" anyone?!) I reached out to an actual writer of Harry Potter fic, so that maybe she could hold my hand and explain to me gently how I could possibly start to knit those words together and write actual smutty sentences. Chelsea had very recently started writing fan fiction for herself after being an avid reader for some time. “It felt like a natural impulse to want to put those characters in more adult situations and expand them,” she told me of her first foray into writing.
It seemed to come up again and again that the writing of smut was simply due to the fact that these people loved the characters and wanted to see more from them… in some cases a lot more. Fan fiction for them was a natural progression from loving the Harry Potter books as children to loving them in their own way as adults. Of course, I get that Harry Potter is fantastic, but I'm still struggling with the concept of having to strip down my favorite characters and have them rub up on each other. But this is where Chelsea came in.
Apparently, it’s not all explicit content in the fan fiction world and there are varying degrees from “explicit” to “mature” to “teen.” So if you're struggling to write the naughtiest bits you can merely suggest them in a more PG-13 kind of way. Think chaste hand holding between Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom and maybe a little boob grab. But for me this seemed like a bit of a cop out—I was here for smut, so I would write smut. “If you're jumping into this world you may as well dive into the deep end,” Chelsea added. She was right. It was time to dive in headfirst.
There was something really easy and natural about writing about Harry Potter characters who'd I'd grown up with, albeit less naked, and I couldn’t help but find myself geeking out a bit. My Harry Potter knowledge was extensive (and thoroughly honed on the Harry Potter section of QuizUp) and writing this fic felt like a fun way to test that. I started putting twists and turns into the story and thinking things like “Classic Ginny Weasley” or “that's SO Draco Malfoy” and I really hadn’t expected that to happen at all.
I knew I had to write three sex scenes for my fic, and they were looming over me like something pulsing and throbbing and red, TBH. My first attempt at writing a sexy line went something like this: “Ginny reached out her hand and touched Cho’s…” but then I couldn't continue. I couldn't say it. I thought maybe at this point saying "you-know-what" would be an appropriate term for her vagina; it seemed in keeping with the theme of the books. But, fear of a name just increases fear of the thing itself, we’ve heard it before. If Harry can say “Voldemort,” I can say “folds.” Folds! Oh God! “Touched her glistening folds” is undoubtedly the worst thing I had ever had to type in my life but after I typed it once, things got a little easier. I couldn't help but feel a little proud. First folds, and then things were glistening and pulsing and I was up, up, and away.
I spent about an hour writing the scene where Ginny Weasley and Cho Chang (oops spoilers) first have sex in my story. Once I’d ripped the whole “folds” band-aid off I was starting to maybe enjoy myself. Was I aroused?! Maybe?! I was basically getting to think about sex and write it down, and it wasn't that horrible. I think maybe I blacked out because an hour later I had 3,000 words of unadulterated, uninhibited, uncringeworthy lesbian witch sex and I don't fully remember writing it. Cho and Ginny have a great time though, don't worry.
I set out to finish my 12,000 words of sexy, sexy stuff plus intense narrative action over the next few days and as the days went on, what started off as a chore actually became something I started to look forward to. I found it frustrating to tell people what I was up to that week. Apparently, “writing Harry Potter porn” is not a regular response to “what have you been up to?” and I was getting tired of having to explain myself. What’s wrong with writing smut?! I found myself leaving social events early so I could go home to tend to the smut whilst finding any excuse to read bits out to my friends. I even texted my gay friend Kyle to try and workshop a Draco and Harry sex scene at 9 AM on a Wednesday. He politely declined. Suit yourself, Kyle.
It took me four days to write my story and then I sent it off for feedback from a writer who diligently edited the filthy thing. Rachel helped me affix words like “throbbing” and “rippling” to sentences to make them a little sexier and even sent me to a website that had a comprehensive list of reportedly sexy descriptive words for erotic writers to use. Unfortunately, I read the phrase “meat wand” and immediately had to close the page.
“Just call it a cock,” Rachel replied when I called her, squirming. That was refreshing to hear, “cock” was practically music to my ears in comparison to the “fleshy pink meat wands” that had been burned into my memory forevermore. If anything, that website just showed me what profanity I should be avoiding because if I’m going to make Harry fucking Draco sexy it’s not going to be by using words like ‘squelch’ is it?
I had finished writing and the next step, I guess, was having real-life people actually read it. This was when I started to panic. A weird existential crisis ensued and I began to question everything—maybe the smut was terrible, maybe my characters weren’t realistic, maybe I’d offend a large demographic of people by writing terrible gay sex or maybe I’d got the color of Draco’s eyes wrong! I realized that this panic probably showed me that the story meant a little more to me than I had expected. Writing erotica is quite personal and putting it out there for the world to see is a big deal. But it was too late to back out now and I reassured myself that I'd have my classy pseudonym to hide behind if the super fans started sharpening their pitchforks.
Hashtagging my smut was the last hurdle I had to get over. So I reluctantly tagged “angst and feels” and “cunnilingus” amongst others and then up the story went. About ten minutes after I published my story, I checked it out to see how the story looked on the website and was quite shocked to see that my smutty little creation had gone up to nearly one hundred hits. Now, some of these stories rack up viewing figures in the hundreds of thousands so this was nothing in comparison. Mainly I was just surprised that many people’s eyes had read the twelve times I’d used the word “cock” in the first thousand words. Instead of feeling embarrassed though, I felt a little proud. Not long after it was posted I started to get positive feedback too. Strangers telling me I’d done a good job and even requests for more (including texts from my actual girlfriend who couldn't get enough) and I realized that maybe people were enjoying what I had written, maybe it was a bit sexy after all?!
Seven days and 12,000 words later, I had finished and published my first erotic story and I no longer needed to take hot showers every five minutes to wash it all off. In seven days, I’d gone from a rookie to still probably a rookie, but at least I can type the word folds now without wanted to gouge out my eyes. So there you go mom; your pilates instructor’s daughter may be a lawyer but yours just wrote 12,000 words of pure wizard porn so lets put that in the family newsletter. I do feel weirdly proud of myself. Some people might want to run a marathon in their lifetime, but I wanted to write a piece of wizardry smut and I see nothing wrong with that.
So am I a sensation? Probably not. But had I caused a stir in the genitals of a few strangers? Perhaps! My story now has over 1,000 hits in just three days plus The Potterotica Podcast have actually asked to read it out on their show, so who knows, maybe I am the next E. L. James. I now understand why HP smut is the most read on the internet; because it’s fun, it’s sometimes maybe sexy (sometimes maybe horrific), and the fact that lubrication spells can exist is a game changer. If anything the amount of wizard porn out there is just a testament to how wonderful the books are and how large a following this franchise still has even 20 years after the first book was published. So, if you’re a fan of Harry Potter (or even if you're not) and want to be aroused, disgusted, and disturbed all at once, go check out for yourself here (spoiler alert it’s full of dirty dirty smut).
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This article originally appeared on VICE CA.