About Literotica

Literotica is the most popular English-language adult storytelling community in the world.1 Standing apart from other popular writing-focused websites, Literotica was built by adults for adults from the start - and that’s just one of the things that makes our community unique.

Officially founded in 1998, the Literotica Community has been growing for 25 years. Today, more than 50 million people visit Literotica each month to read and write original self-published sex stories, erotic audio, adult comics, and interactive fiction. Our community of two and a half million registered members includes 100,000 authors who’ve published an astounding 500,000+ stories.

Our History

Literotica was launched by Laurel and Manu in the fall of 1998. The idea for a sex-positive pro-free speech story publishing website had been evolving for several years before Literotica’s official coming out. The two avid readers had been running a small sporadically-updated link list, sharing interesting adult-focused articles, erotic stories, and photos. Some shared stories had been published in the Usenet group alt.sex.stories, which by the mid 1990s was becoming increasingly burdened by spam.

Only a few years after the Mosaic web browser launched in 1993, Usenet itself - the then epicenter of internet sex story publishing - started to feel a little dated compared to the exciting new experience of browsing the world wide web. The legendary ASSTR and NIFTY aggregated Usenet stories for people to read on the nascent web, but they were both “archives” of already published material, often presenting works in plain text file format.

What if there was a way for aspiring erotica authors to publish their work in a format purpose-built to be read on the web? What if we could organize stories into easy to browse categories (rather than grouping by author, like archives of the time)? What if we allowed readers to vote and comment on stories so that we could surface popular works for the community? What if we let authors read their stories aloud in audio format? The “what ifs” kept adding up until we knew we had to act. As avid BBS and Usenet users ourselves, participants in early community driven websites like IMDB, IAFD, and Ebay, lovers of new technologies, and still being young enough to think anything was possible, we decided it was time to create a new type of adult community, one based exclusively around erotic fiction.

We learned a lot very quickly after Literotica went live. Thanks to the kindness of popular early adult review sites like Persian Kitty (RIP Beth) and Jane’s Guide, story submissions started slowly but continued steadily. In the beginning, every story we published was reviewed and then hand coded in HTML by Laurel. At some point, our hosting company realized we were “posting porn” and pulled the plug on the site. We found a new host and continued on, more aware that not everyone was as open minded as we were. But how open minded were we, authors began asking. The only rule at the start was that all characters in sexual situations should be adults. Reader feedback quickly helped us understand that community guidelines needed a little bit more structure. Shouting “free speech” and running for cover may have worked in Usenet, but expectations of web users were different. We spent a lot of time in discussion with authors and readers, making many friends as we did so. Policies and guidelines evolved as the community grew.

Around the year 2000, as we upgraded our community forum from UBB (Perl) to vBulletin (PHP), we met a brilliant programmer who helped us create the custom Literotica content management system, which remains the foundation of the site to this day. Not having to hand code every story before it was published, hand count votes, and do other busy work feed up more time create new website features as they were requested by authors and readers.

The new millennium kicked off a time of incredible growth for the Literotica community - going from thousands of visitors a day to hundreds of thousands and eventually reaching a milestone million plus visitors per day. Authors who’d started out at Literotica began dominating many of the adult ebook sales charts on Amazon and other platforms. The late great pioneering queer publisher Bill Brent published two official “Literotica” print anthologies (one with a foreword by National Book Award Winner William T. Vollmann).

As the smartphone era dawned, Literotica released one of the first - and most popular - adult Android apps in the world (Google later changed their policy, prohibiting all adult apps). We produced an official podcast to spotlight adult storytellers. Literotica alumni ventured out into the world, launching their own websites, publishing companies, apps, and other projects. Mainstream media eventually started to take notice, featuring the Literotica community in numerous major articles and books about online erotica.

Powered by our amazing community, Literotica has become something bigger and far more important than anything we could ever have imagined. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of stories published and the careers launched, countless lifelong friendships, marriages, and other beautiful relationships have started here. People regularly share how much their sex lives and relationships have been improved by the act of reading and writing erotica. We’ve even known Literotica authors, since passed away, who’ve asked that their work published here remain online as part of their everlasting legacy.

It’s difficult to believe that Literotica has been around for 25 years. The world and the web are barely recognizable compared to what they looked like back in the 1990s. Through all the changes, we’ve remain committed to the simple goal we had when Literotica first started - nurturing a stimulating adults-only community that both storytellers and readers are proud to call “home”.

Our Future

Literotica the Next Generation is near. An ongoing site-wide modernization of our interface is making Literotica easier to use and more customizable on any device - mobile, tablet, or desktop. As one of the longest running erotica platforms in the world, we have a lot to update - but you can see the new design right now by visiting any Story Page. As we continue rolling out interface updates, we’ll also be releasing a long list of new features and other improvements.

Technological advances continue to open up possibilities in storytelling that we could only have dreamed of when Literotica first launched, and we’re extremely excited to help the Literotica Community remain on the forefront of whatever the future of adult fiction may bring.

1. Several teen-focused fan fiction websites attract larger audiences, but their average member age is below 18 - the minimum age required to visit Literotica.