I ended up in a site hosting RPS fics starring LotR actors. And what do you know? I read an EW-OB one that was pretty good, as hot fics go! I didn't believe it at all, since I think both actors are straight. I especially doubted it after having seen EW's lack-lustre ("lack-lust"?) on-screen love-making in All I Want (but I grant that he was playing a role, and, perhaps, he actually is a lot more capable than those scenes indicate).
(This journal entry contains explicit language.)
Anyway, having read this EW-OB story, I wanted to test an idea .... A lot of what goes on in explicit LotR fanfic (it seems to me, now) is massively better suited to the secondary world in which it really belongs -- that is, in Real Person erotica, slash or het.
What I mean is, a lot of what goes on in LotR erotic fan fiction is really attuned to relationships and characters who inhabit the present-day world, or nearly. The mores are present-day; the characters are present-day; the language, especially, is present-day. Why not just take all this anachronistic erotica and put it where it really belongs? In the late-20th; 21st century?
One site that I browsed offered an extremely helpful new way of categorizing highly-rated fan-fics. I will copy it out. I lifted it off a site I found while browsing, called, "Elijah het".
Here is what I found notable, stated in what was the announcement of the site's mod, about fanfic ratings:
Here is the new system, based on a post from aina_baggins.
U (Universal) - (Contains all the criteria below to use this rating)
* Nothing that will offend any audience
* No violent content
* No sexual content beyond a kiss on the mouth
* Only mild emotional and/or physical anguish
* No torment without comfort/resolution
* No character death
M - Mature (Contains ONE OR MORE of the below criteria to obtain rating)
* Mild violence
* Mild sexual references - inclusive of heavy kissing and petting.
* Emotional and/or physical anguish
* Character death
A - Adult (Contains ONE OR MORE of the below criteria to obtain rating)
ADULT RATED FICS MUST BE FRIENDS LOCKED
* Sex scene(s)
* Severe emotional and/or physical anguish
* Traumatic character death
* Suggested rape/non consensual situations
E - Explicit (Contains ONE OR MORE of the below criteria to obtain rating)
EXPLICIT RATED FICS MUST BE FRIENDS LOCKED
* Extreme violence
* Explicit sex scene(s)
* Rape/non consensual situations
To translate further for those of you who post here often...
U - Universal is basically equivalent to G/PG. There would be kissing, but no one would be opening their mouths. It would be very hearts and flowers and sweet and innocent. I think I've seen one or two stories posted here that fit this category, out of the more than 150 posted.
M - Mature would be a bit more like PG 13. There would be some hot and heavy making out, maybe some touching, but everyone would keep their clothes on. This might be similar to those high school makeout sessions we all had, when you'd dry hump each other but you were too scared to put your hand down his pants. LOL
A - Adult Here's a rating I expect to see quite often. Almost all the fics posted here should be rated Adult because almost every fic posted here has a sex scene. By sex scene, I mean any scene where someone has an orgasm. It doesn't necessarily mean penetration. It could be from oral, or a handjob, or phone sex, or whatever your crazed imaginations come up with. If someone has an orgasm, it's a sex scene. OK? And that means an Adult rating, and that means friends locking. The equivalent to this on the MPAA scale is R.
E - Explicit The difference between Adult and Explicit would be a pretty fine line, in my opinion. I'd say the devil is in the details. In an Adult fic, you might read about two characters having sex but maybe it wouldn't describe every little sensation or detail or wax rhapsodic about the veins in someone's organ. But in Explicit, you'd find out about those veins, and about the taste and the consistency of their bodily fluids.
Basically, an Adult fic might use the word "arousal" to describe a penis. But an Explicit fic would say "cock". An Adult fic might fade to black on our two protagonists as they lie down on their silk sheets, but an Explicit fic would describe how those sheets came to be stained with baby oil.
Explicit fics should always be friends locked in this community.
I hope this has helped. I do expect you all to use this rating in order to avoid any MPAA related woes.
Your friendly moderator...
This was an extremely helpful tweaking of the rating system, I thought. Under the old system, one author could describe Frodo jerking himself off with almost minute anatomical detail, step-by-step, using non-Tolkien expressions like "cock" and "balls", yet the story might be rated "R". Another author would write a "romantic" interlude, which showed her characters having some sort of interactive sex -- but described with typically euphemistic language -- and the story would be rated "NC-17".
I thought this moderator's comments were right on the money. It's not what the characters do, but how it's described. If Frodo "delved his rigid shaft (or, hardened arousal) into her silken folds/the innermost recesses of his body", it's classified as "Adult" in this rating system. But, if Frodo, "drove his rampant cock into her dripping cunt/his tight ass", it's rated higher, as "Explicit".
I see it more as a difference in "eras" of erotica. If the story is supposed to tell the tale of lovers in an older time, euphemisms* strike the right chord for me; if it's supposed to tell the tale of lovers in more recent times, the franker language can be more appropriate. In any case, I think these alternate categories offer a very helpful distinction for readers of erotic/romantic fan fictions, distinguishing between levels of NC-17.
* Note: Actually, the examples of both "Adult" and "Explicit" writing use euphemisms. "Cock", "balls" and "slit" (or "cunt") are merely more contemporary, no-nonesense euphemisms than ones like, "arousal", "fruit" or "folds". After all, if writers of erotica used no euphemisms at all, we would be reading words like, "penis," "scrotum" and "vagina." I don't recall ever having done so.
Note on note: I stand corrected on what I thought was the comparative modernity of "cock" and "balls" - see entry below, having read excerpt from Teasel's LJ.