How old are you?

  • Posted on: 17 June 2008
  • By: MeiLin

Comments

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

Just barely in the category...

DrMorganes's picture

Petitioner

Once again, I feel old...

Saphira's picture

Postulant

I've never put much stock in physical age. But, for the purposes of the poll, I did register the age of my body, although some mornings it feels much, much older. I've been told several times that I'm an 'old soul'...maybe that has some merit...perhaps not. Smile

MeiLin's picture

Most High

But then, I'm astonished by how many of you are males. The common wisdom was this story would attract women in their 30s. Surprise!

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

Part of the reason you have such a young crowd is probably where you advertise. I think the fan bases for Tales of MU/Pages Unbound and webcomics like Something Positive are much, much younger than your 30-40 year old age range. I think if you advertised in the backs of the trashy novels in the grocery store, you'd get a lot more 30-50 year old women.

You also open yourself up to a lot of people who wouldn't normally bother with this sort of thing because you actually edit your work (unlike some of those novels), have characters that people can care about, and a lot more depth than the usual "heaving bosoms and throbbing ..."

I also think (although I am less confident asserting this, so let's say instead that I theorize) that in general more men spend more time looking at sexy things on the internet than their female counterparts, visual or otherwise, so it would follow that you would have at least a percentage of male readers.

Nye's picture

Supplicant

I just turned 30, too. I'm not as surprised by the age of the readers as I am with their maturity. I live in the Bay Area, CA, so alternative lifestyles, thoughts, and kinks are pretty damn normal and tolerated here. Still, I know a lot of places aren't so open or accepting, even on University campuses. I still remember the number of people I had to explain BDSM to... and sometimes introduce to my pet, fiance, and/or Master or various portions of the three.

SkyRider's picture

Devotee

I am amused by these results - perhaps we should also have a gender poll to see what ratio of male to female or female to male readers we have. Blum 3

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Part of what I'm doing over the break is setting up DigitalNovelists.org, where I'll be hosting a survey for the readers of the writers in the Digital Blogads Network. I'll be asking questions like age, gender identification, orientation, income (yeah I know, but advertisers care), interests, all that stuff.

SkyRider's picture

Devotee

OK, that makes perfect sense, and should be less stressful than having to try to write constantly to meet deadlines - so long as you're resting Smile

V's picture

Embodiment

Pure speculation:
--Lacking a consistent supply of quality stories in this genre (HA! You has a GENRE. As if...) it could be that women in their 30s aren't looking for erotica online in nearly the same numbers that younger guys are.
--As to young age: same thing. People 30-50 are probably competent to use MS Word while at work, but far less likely to go "hang out" on the web in their free time looking for entertainment. Call it a generational thing, call it whatever you want.
--As to acceptance: Well, people who are willing to stick around after all the noncon you start out with probably self-select towards being pretty open-minded (excluding a troll with very conflicted desires who just posts rotten reviews about the girl who keeps getting serial-raped). People linking over from ToMU--yeah, they've seen worse Smile

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

If you look at who is out there writing up all the slash fanfic, namely female writers, I'm not so sure your first point holds. In fact, it seems to me that erotica in the written - as opposed to visual - form is far more of a female than male thing. Hence, I guess, MeiLin's expectations.

The age thing seems less clear-cut to me. There might be something to your argument, but contrariwise, there also are surprisingly many people in the 40+ age bracket online these days.

As for open-mindedness, yeah, I can see that. I'm less sure about your comparison with ToMU, though. I found the Hildin-Emmae chapters a damn sight more sickening than anything I've seen on ToMU, including Puddy's stuff and Two's back story and dead fish incident.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

I'm in my late 40s! And I'm far from alone, there are a lot of net-savvy older folks out there, especially older women. I'm on email lists with scads of them. They're just not *here*, which is weird since many of them beta'd the original Warin-Emmae story, and they were almost universally "whew!" over it. I got one email that was nothing but giant red letters:

hot Hot HOT!!!!!

Smile

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

Is that the same as the one in the intimate history? Where was it posted (and are you still advertising wherever you originally posted)? Also, do you have any other stuff you've written in the past that we could dip into, even if it's just terrible fan-fic in which super-Elvis fights squid monsters?

MeiLin's picture

Most High

The original Warin-Emmae story was/is "The Tale of Two Kingdoms." As other ideas for stories came to me, I came up with the framing story of Temmin that connects them all. You can see the drafts (and they're really not very good--I mean, REALLY) at my LiveJournal. See the links to the right under Twitter.

Other things I've written are almost all at A Teaspoon and an Open Mind, the great Doctor Who fanfic repository. Best thing is to read "Valiant," the novella I cobbled together out of the short stories I wrote. Whofic is what broke me open as a fiction writer. There is also my sole Serenity/Firefly fic, "Prayer," which was written for an LJ friend.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

My mother is 50 and very net savvy, and ALL THREE of my 70somethin grandmothers love the Internet! Hell, one of 'em text messages me all the time!!

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

That's awesome!...but would they read this? (Although maybe you don't really want to think about that.)

Man, I hope I'm that hip when I'm old.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

I found my dad's written porn on the computer one morning. He went to shut it down and didn't click "Turn off computer" so when I got down there in the mornign and hit "cancel" it was still there.
Soooo I wouldn't put it past 'em.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

"As for open-mindedness, yeah, I can see that. I'm less sure about your comparison with ToMU, though. I found the Hildin-Emmae chapters a damn sight more sickening than anything I've seen on ToMU, including Puddy's stuff and Two's back story and dead fish incident."

I agree. That's because it's like trying to compare something like Braveheart and cartoon violence. Maybe characters get hurt or even die in cartoons, but you never see any blood. In ToMU, they seem to brush the surface, or hint at terrible things happening in the past, but Mack always seems to squeeze out of situations where she is all-out raped like Emmae was on numerous occasions, and we never hear in full blown detail about Two's experiences. The Intimate History is more grown-up and serious, because it's not watered down for younger audiences, and everything's not always okay in the end of a scene, even if it will be okay at the very end. Maybe that's what makes these characters more life-like. Maybe terrible, terrible things will happen to them, but the stories are about learning and rebuilding. They're often more well-equipped to handle stronger stuff, because they're not college students naively discovering the world. They're already jaded and they have more history, which means you'll need tougher challenges and more horrifying events to bring them to their knees and see who they are at the end of it. That's what makes them real people and helps us relate to them.

I read both this and ToMU, and I love them both for different reasons. The world needs both types of stories. But, then again, I'm an adult that still reads stuff like the Chronicles of Narnia in my spare time.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

do tend to prefer written erotica than visual.

I'm sure I had other things to say but I can't remember.

I'ma baby! Biggrin [19]

MeiLin's picture

Most High

My experience has been the complete opposite. Boys like da pix, girls like da wordz.

Kahlmulandr's picture

I've always prefered written myself....probally cause some of the western novels I started with as a kid could be considered the guys version of a smut novel.

Slagar's picture

Devotee

Honestly, these results seem pretty spot-on to what I would have guessed. The kids are on the Net, looking for things to fill the hours, and guys cruise around looking for sexy things more than girls. As to preferences for words versus pix, I've never seen a strong gender trend in either direction. Meh. I'm more impressed by the two forty-somethings than by the scads of teenagers. Good for them, to be so open-minded and net-savvy, despite all stereotypes to the contrary. Maybe that's just me, though. I'm a twenty year old guy, and as stereotypical as it gets, in certain regards. I linked over from ToMU, but have stopped reading it since.

Interesting data, but doesn't strike me as odd.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

I am a programmer, web developer, proto-blogger. First web page in '94, first blog (though we didn't call it that) in '95. And I'm old enough to be most of you all's mama. I was web literate when you guys were in grade school! Wink And I'm far from alone. You know the people you run with, and they're going to be your age. There are lots of older folks on the internet. My mom is an avid websurfer, for instance.

I worked on a campaign in '04 as part of a volunteer webdev effort, and I don't know what was worse, the ageism or the sexism. I was working with a bunch of young 20-something boys and they drove me bananas with their "don't worry your little gray head, grandma" approach to me.

Moral of the story is: Don't assume you know what people are up to because they're older than you. As I've said elsewhere, I wouldn't have been able to write this story in my early 20s. I'm only able to write it because I'm in the latter half of my life. Experience will out. Wink

V's picture

Embodiment

I apologize if anyone was offended by my generalization. I apologize if people are offended when I state that the median male is, in most ways, physically stronger than the median female. I apologize if people are offended when I say that someone in the US or Europe probably has a higher income and better access to health care than someone in sub-saharan Africa.

That generalizations aren't always nice doesn't necessarily make them false or useless. A quick google search found this poll http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/10/22/how-old-are-problogger-rea... which is basically consistent with my expectations of age and internet use. I'm talking trends, here-- anecdotal stories of grandmothers, grandfathers, or my own parents don't apply here. I have a number of online friends with good portions of grey in their hair--but I still think their generation is LESS likely to be online, as a percentage than someone under 25.

I also agree that men tend to be more visual and women more textual in their preferences--there's certainly crossover (I'm male and love this stuff), but again, that's the trend.

I also deny that I'm ageist Biggrin I'll concede that I stereotype (but not necessarily that I apply that stereotype to any given person when dealing with them an individual), but I deny that I carry out discriminatory practices or perpetuate institutional discrimination. One leg does not a tripod make.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

But we likes to argue!!! And make plentiful pointless statements that everybody else argues with Biggrin It's a great downward spiral doncha think? Wink

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I really like statistics, and I think it's really, really interesting that there are more 70+ people on there than in the 61-70 range (even if the difference is small). I wonder if it's because retired people have more time on their hands? I think it'd be really sweet to read some stuff from some older people, but the internet get so full of junk sometimes, I don't think I'd ever find it. Old people have the best stories.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

smoochies.

Slagar's picture

Devotee

My father, stepmom, and mother are all IT people, 2 are programmers and one's a consultant. Several uncles, too. Even so, that doesn't change the overall statistics. I'm aware of the exceptions, but I also acknowledge the rule. Plus, the open-minded portion of my comment was the more relevant one, since any of those three could build this page in a day, but I doubt any of them would read this story. Sorry if I offended, but I do believe my point holds. Now, I will go back to huddling in a cornere waiting for my new chapter fix. Wink

V's picture

Embodiment

This is definitely an easy-going forum and I don't think anyone was really getting up in arms here. If anything, I got a lil grumpy on my rebuttal. Don't go huddle in a corner--cmon out and join the melee Biggrin

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