Is it possible to make money anymore writing pornographic stories?
July 26, 2007 6:31 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to make money anymore writing erotic or fetish stories? Or has the rise of the internet — the amount of video available, the number of stories being written for free — killed that business off? If it is possible, how would one go about doing it?
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Anais Nin did it for a private collector for $1 a page. Assuming you're willing to write to spec, and take direction well, you can always find people willing to pay to have erotica written. You might try placing ads in periodicals and on Web sites like Nerve. In the custom erotica market, I have no idea what the going per word rates are, but I suspect you might want to see about using speech recognition software, unless you're a machine gun typist.
posted by paulsc at 6:43 PM on July 26, 2007

Yes, although don't quit your day job. See the listings at Last Gasp, which distributes a lot of erotica. Many of the books are anthologies - you'll make more as the editor than you would as a writer, but it's a place to start. As a contributor to anthologies like these, pay will probably not be much (most of the presses are of the small press variety), but you'll get experience and a "name" if you start writing stuff that gets accepted.
posted by rtha at 6:47 PM on July 26, 2007

The print market may be slowly drying up because of the internet, but what's left certainly still pays the same. Get copies of the mainstream mags -- Penthouse Variations, Penthouse Forum, Swank, etc. -- see what they're publishing, google for guidance from other writers who are submitting. Porn writers certainly like to write about writing porn, so you'll find plenty of advice out there.

Fetish stories are not going to make you much money because those publications & communities are very literary & definitely produced more on the "labor of love" side.

Anthologies are more for "literary erotica," of course paying less also. What money is left is mostly in straightforward hardcore.

Subscribe to the email list at Tristan Taormino's site,, for lots of calls (mostly anthology & small press).
posted by lorimer at 7:19 PM on July 26, 2007

Start a blog and set it up with AdSense ads. Put your stuff up there with a copyright notice and go to town. If people find it, you can ramp things up subscription- or ad-wise. Like a high-class porn site.
posted by rhizome at 8:02 PM on July 26, 2007

posted by rmd1023 at 8:02 PM on July 26, 2007

Your assumption is invalid. It is actually far easier to sell written erotica or porn nowadays than it was before the Internet. The availability of free stories has actually created a perfectly huge market for erotica that didn't exist before: a market among women.

I make enough money doing this to pay my basic living expenses (food, taxes, utilities, etc.). It's not impossible.
posted by watsondog at 9:03 PM on July 26, 2007

You can publish it yourself.
posted by Melsky at 9:56 PM on July 26, 2007

I make a wee bit o cash writing erotica. I would make more if I bothered to write anymore, but I don't.

I don't really want to get into it here, but if you email me, I will tell you more than you probably wanted to know about the erotica publishing business in America.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 8:26 AM on July 27, 2007

I work as an editorial assistant at a couple of "adult periodicals," and can say that the fiction writers get far less than commiserate freelance rates for non-fiction. Most of the content is written by editors, and the average payout is about $50 for about 800 words. So, maybe somewhere else, but not where I work.
posted by klangklangston at 11:56 AM on July 27, 2007

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