Frequently Asked Questions
About Subtleties of Using
Abbreviated Story Codes in A.S.S.

v 6.2 -- June, 2005

Noted (MM) among hot codes

Q1 Is this really necessary?

A1 That depends. Most stories can be coded with the short FAQ: The story code FAQ for authors.
If you aren't satisfied with that coding, this FAQ may help you. Certainly, the FAQ maintainer sees no reason to come here until you have a specific question about a specific story.

Q2 How is this FAQ arranged?

A2 Questions about coding are at the beginning of the FAQ, most such questions need reference to the lists of the actual codes which is in the second section. A reference to other helpful guides is in the third section.
The FAQ answers most questions which deal with particular story codes in the second section. We have jump tabs so that you can go to the area that you want using your browser without paging down. If that doesn't work, please write the maintainer with the name of your browser,

Q3 What happens if I don't follow the capitalization in the FAQ?

A3 If you confuse F with f or M with m, you will probably lose or offend serious numbers of readers. In other areas, the problems will be slight. There is a difference between the effect on the readers who use search engines/filters and those who search by eye. In some subgenres, the consensus capitalization may even have changed since it was checked in 1996; (if so, please let the maintainer know.) Bear in mind, however, that the more capital letters, the more it looks like spam.

Q4 How do I choose a new story code responsibly?

A4 First check below for the area in which you want to create a code. There may well be one already in existence. Second, ask yourself whether many readers will really decide whether to upload based on the information you will give them. If they will not, a new code is unnecessary.
Third, think up a possible code. Fourth, check
The alphabetical list of all story codes to make sure that there are no conflicts. If you code your story with (reluc) because the heroine is reluctant, then you will be engaging in false advertising. The people who read and write (reluc) stories will be justifiably angry.
You might also try your proposed new code in a search engine. If there are many hits inside the body of stories, it won't work effectively as a code.

Q5 Do we really need all these codes?

A5 That's actually several questions.

Q5a Which codes may I omit without offending many people?

A5a I've marked the codes below on three levels {1} to {3}. {1} probably should be used even if they are side issues to the story. [MUST be used if they are marked with an asterisk.] {3} are codes which I would omit unless they are a major point of the story. Some are omitted even when they are the point; does it help your joke to be labeled, (humor)? Many authors think it doesn't.
Codes marked {2} are in between. Remember that every kind of story offends somebody. On my own, notoriously vanilla, stories, I've heard comments that one wanted all romantic stories clearly marked so he didn't get surprised by that icky stuff; another avoided stories involving parents (with each other) because it made him think of his own parents' having sex; a third found breast feeding offensive.
These comments (except for the hot codes marked by an asterisk) are the maintainer's reading of general comments. They represent no sort of consensus as yet.

Q5b Can I consolidate several codes which seem to cover the same acts?

A5b Sometimes. See the comments
For the non-consensual inclusions and
For the violent ones.

Q5c What if the activity isn't really in the story? What if one character tells that story to another? or they pretend that it happens, but it doesn't? or if someone dreams it?

A5c Generally, use the hot codes in those cases, and consider using the others.
If you have a story which appears, at some point, to involve one of the hot labels, then you should use the label. i.e. a story in which the man strangles the woman, she collapses in death, and then -- at the end -- she gets up and says: 'That was the most realistic game yet,' should be labeled (snuff).
If Uther writes a story about John telling Mary about George raping Martha, then John's story is a rape story. Uther's story should be labeled (rape). At some point, of course, this reduces to an absurdity. But one must ask why the incident is included within the tale if it needn't be included within the codes.

Q6 How do I emphasize that certain acitivities are NOT in the story.

A6 If those activities are non-consensual, then (cons) means that the story contians no (nc), (rape), (blackmail), (reluc) or (mc) elements.
Otherwise you might use (no_). Note that this is not a generally used code so far.


0:   Sex age and number.

1:   Hot codes.  It is considered brutally rude to omit 
          these codes if they apply.

2:   Willingness or unwillingness.

3:   Dominance, submission, bondage, pain and violence.

4:   Relationships.

5:   Activities.

6:   Various kinks.

7:   Other particulars.

8:   Special codes for MM and interr stories.


It is considered viciously rude to include the categories that I have marked with an asterisk (*) without warning of them in the story codes.

0: Sex, Age, (and number)

M    An adult man (18 or older){1} 
m    Boy - Teenager (13 - 17){1}
b    Boy - Preteen (age 12 or younger){1}
F    An adult woman (18 or older){1}
f    Girl - Teenager (13 - 17){1}
g    Girl - Preteen (age 12 or younger){1}

MF   Heterosexual adult sex
mf   Young heterosexual sex
FF   Homosexual adult female sex
MM*  Homosexual adult male sex
ff   Young lesbian sex
mm*  Homosexual, young male sex
Mg* or mF  Permutations of this are an adult having sex with a 
     young child.

+    2 or more of the same sex, that is
M+F  Several men having sex with the same woman
MF+  Several women having sex with the same man
MF MF     John has sex with Mary and Ted has sex with Alice OR
MF        John has sex with Mary and Ted has sex with Alice
M+F+      They all mix it up.

_solo    Masturbation by M, m, b, F, f or g.{2}
fsolo    e.g.   Masturbation by an adolescent girl.
group     More than 3 people having sex.{2}
orgy      Large-group sex. When group isn't good enough.{2}

Fembot    A female robot, designed to give sexual pleasure.
fembot    A version of the same, designed to look like a teenaged girl.
H         A hermaphrodite adult.
h         A hermaphrodite under 18.

All persons involved in sexual activity should be mentioned in some form. Persons not engaged in sexual activity (not even in non-intercourse sexual activity) need not be mentioned.

One can always code the same person twice if that improves the clarity of the relationships, i.e. (MF Mf) where John fucks both Mary and Martha. Otherwise, we suggest using ~ to signify 'with.' This distinguishes (M~FF) where a man has sex with two women from (MF~F). (M~dog) also can be used in (best) or (zoo) stories for a man with dog.
Many authors use / for the same purpose, but that has a special meaning in the dominance community. There, those to the left of the / dominate those to the right. (M/F/F) means that a woman dominates another and they are both dominated by a man. So that symbol should probably be left to the dominance community.

One should remember that most search engines do not regard either connector as a valid search symbol.

Generally, male homosexual activity squicks a fair number of men. Lesbian activity doesn't seem to bother very many people. However, some jurisdictions forbid the depiction of sexual activities which are illegal there. So casual FF activity should probably be labeled as well, even if it is not a major theme of your story.

1: Hot codes.

It is considered brutally rude to omit these
codes if they apply:

b         Boy under 13 participates in sex
bd        Bondage and Discipline{1}
best      Bestiality. Sex with an animal (see also zoo){1}
blackmail      Forcing sex through threat of exposure.{1}
copr      Coprophilia (Fun with feces){1}
g         Girl under 13 participates in sex
inc       Incest{1}
mc        Mind control
MM        (or mm, etc.)  Male homosexuality
nc        Non-consensual Sexual Activity{1}
nec       [Necrophilia] Sex with a dead person{1}
ped       [Pedophilia]  Participants age 12 or below. Should use 
          the proper sex and age codes instead, but those codes 
          may not be omitted if one of the participants in sex is 
          under the age of 13.
rape      Brutal nc.{1}
rim*      Oral-anal contact.
sad       [Sadism]  For 'just' inflicting pain. {1}
sm        Sadomasochism (inflicting pain for mutual enjoyment{1}
snuff     Killing{1}
tort      Torture.{1} 
viol      Violent, not always sad {1}
ws        Water Sports {1}
zoo       [Zoophilia]  Caring and consensual sexual relationship between a 
          human and an animal of another species.{1}

And generally any level of sex-related violence. Of course, some of these terms include others.
For the non-consensual inclusions and
For the violent ones.

However, we consider it fair to use (caution) in story codes to indicate that the story might squick some people, but telling why it might squick them might spoil the story for others.

It is also rude to use any code to describe your work if it does not apply within these guidelines. That is to say, 'Hey, all those people who read romantic stories should have their horizons expanded by my great rape-&-torture story, so I'll label it (rom),' is vicious. So is doing the reverse. However, precedence should always be given to the feelings of the people who might be squicked over the people who might be looking for that sort of story.

If you have a story which appears, at some point, to involve one of these hot labels, then you should use the label. i.e. a story in which the man strangles the woman, she collapses in death, and then--at the end--she gets up and says: 'That was the most realistic game yet,' should be labeled (snuff).

2: Willingness,

or unwillingness.

blackmail*     Forcing sex through threat of exposure.{1}
cons       Only Consensual Sexual Activity (including some 
           non-intercourse sexual activity) is in the story.{1}
mc*        Mind control{1}
nc*        Non-consensual Sexual Activity (including some non-
rape*      Brutal non-consensual intercourse.{1}
reluc*     [Also include the code (rape)];  starts out as rape, 
               but she loves it.{1}
rom       [Romantic]  The story contains only consensual sexual 
               activity, based -- at least in part -- on the 
               characters' love for one another.{2}

Best practice is to code everything non- consensual (nc) [or (rape)] as well as the particulars.
There is nothing offensive in omitting a code if you have included the general one, (rape) or (nc). (reluc) may be coded (nc) if -- and only if -- the actual intercourse is not accomplished by use or threat of brutal force.

Consensual sex is, of course, the standard. Technically, it need not be labeled. I would, however, recommend using it on all stories which do not contain non-consensual elements, since some people sort on those codes. Where there is both consensual sex and non-consensual sex in the same story (cons) and (rom) are inappropriate.

3: Dominance,

submission, bondage, pain and violence.

_dom      Domination by member of sex/age '_' {1}
Mdom      Dominant adult male{1}
Fdom      Dominant adult female{1}

bd*       Bondage and Discipline{1}
caution   Something is going on that is not covered by the story 
               codes but which might reasonably be expected to 
               offend a fair number of people.
caution   The story code would give away too much of the plot, but
               the story might offend a fair number of people.
cbt*      Cock & ball torture{1}
ds        Dominance (and submission){1}
fist*     Fisting{1} 
humil     Humiliation.  Some of the sexual charge of the story 
          involves the humiliation of one of the characters.
mc*       Mind control{1}
rough     Consensually rough sex, not always sm.{1}
sad*      [sadism]  For 'just' inflicting pain.{1}
sm*       Sadomasochism pain for the pleasure of both.{1}
snuff*    Killing for sexual pleasure.{1}
spank  [or span]  [Spanking]  Mild sm{1}
tort*     Torture. Severe non-consensual infliction of pain.{1}
va        Verbal abuse. [Abusive and dirty language]{2}
viol*     Violence, not always sad{1}

Generally, (snuff) applies to killing in which the description of the killing is supposed to add to the sexual charge; (viol) includes stories which are violent, even if the sex isn't.

When you have coded for the most extreme, omitting the codes for the less extreme is acceptable. (viol) is generally used for non-sexual violence; you should have some specific code from that list for any sexually-connected violence. If you do not, however, use (viol) rather than having no code.

4: Relationships,

cheat     Married or committed people having sex outside of the 
               commitment, cheating on their partner, as distinct 
               from swinging.{1}
cuckold   The story involves the feeling of humiliation of a man's 
               knowing that another has replaced him in his wife's bed{2}
inc*      Incest{1}
interr    Interracial{2}
rom       [Romantic]  The story contains only consensual sexual 
               activity.  Based, at least in part, on the 
               characters' love for one another.{2}
swing     Married or committed couples in which the commitment does not
               imply exclusivity.{2}
wife      Wife watching (participatory cuckoldry){1} 
wl        [Wedded Lust] Sex within the marital relationship{2}

Note on marriage. (wl) is the only code which covers sex between husband and wife. (swing), (wife), and (creampie) [see below] imply that the spouse knows and approves of the other spouse's sexual activity with others. In (cuckold) the husband knows, but doesn't approve. In (cheat) the spouse might find out, but -- if so -- this discovery is a major blow to the relationship.

5: Activities

anal      Anal sex, not always genital penetration.{1}
best*     Bestiality. Sex with an animal (see also zoo){1}
cd        Cross-dressing (Transvestite){2}
copr*     Coprophilia (Fun with feces){1}
creampie  is one man's ejaculate as sucked out of a woman's
          vagina and consumed by (usually another) man
enem      Enemas{1}
exhib     Exhibitionism{2}
fist*     Fisting {1}
hyp       Hypnolove. Consensual hypnosis to enhance mutual 
inc*      Incest{1}
inf       Infantilism{2}
magic     Not only magic, per se, but also demons, fantasy 
               worlds, etc.{1}
mc*       Mind control{1}
menstr    Sex during a woman's menstruation{3}
nec*      [Necrophilia]  Sex with a dead person{1}
nosex     There is no intercourse in the story.  This is a preemptive code
               in the sense that it overrides any implication of 
               intercourse by other codes used.
oral      Oral-genital contact.{3}
ped*      [Pedophilia] Some participants age 12 or below.{1} 
pett      Heavy petting{3}
piv       [Penis in vagina]  "Straight" intercourse.{3}
rim*      Oral-anal contact.
safe      Safe sex{3} 
scat*     [Scatology] Involving feces.{1}
solo      Masturbation{3}
swing     Swinging.{2}
tg        Transgendered (Male changed into a female, or vice 
toys      Vibrators or other adult toys{2}
tv        Transvestite - man dressing as woman{2}
veg       Vegetable. Sex with food.{2}
vore      Eating (literally) someone or something alive.  Think Jonah.
voy       Voyeurism{2}
wife      Wife watching (participatory cuckoldry){1} 
ws*       Water Sports (aka golden showers, that is: people who 
          get pissed on without getting pissed off).{1}
zoo*      [Zoophilia]  Caring and consensual sexual relationships 
          between humans and animals. (See also best){1}

6: Various kinks.

bi        Bisexuality of one or more characters.{2}
breast    Abnormally large breasts{2}
feet      Foot or shoe fetish-story{1}
hair      Hair fetish{2}
hirs      Hirsute - natural unshaved genitals and/or armpits{3}
lac       [Lactation]  Playing with (human) milk.{2}
menstr    Sex during a woman's menstruation
preg      [Pregnant]  Sex with a pregnant woman or impregnation.{2}
size      Overdeveloped body-parts{1}
tg        Transgendered (Transsexual){1}
toys      Generally, adult toys{3}
tv        Transvestite - man dressing as woman{2}
veg       Vegetable. Sex with food.{1}

7: Other particulars.

1st       First time intercourse.  You may also use m1st, F1st, 
          etc.  Sometimes first time MM or FF intercourse for 
          someone who has already experienced MF. {1}  
bibl      Biblical. based on a Bible story.{2}
caution   Something is going on that is not covered by the story 
               codes (or which you want to come as a surprise) 
               but which might reasonably be expected to squick a 
               fair number of people.  
coll      College-theme{3}
dream     Sexual activity during a dream, (daydream or sleep.){2}
fat       Involves fat people{2}
filk      New lyrics for a familiar tune.{2}
furry     Anthropomorphized animals{1}
giant     Abnormally large (tall) persons{2}
goth      Gothic (dark) setting{3}
hist      [Historical]  Occurs in the (reasonably distant) past.{1}
hs        High School-theme{3}
humor     Humor. Funny{3}
interr    Interracial{3}
job       Place-of-work theme{3}
parody    Imitation of a style or particular story with
               the intent to amuse.
real      Supposedly true{3}
ScFi      Science fiction setting.  Please note spelling.{1}
size      Overdeveloped body-parts{1}
stroke    Story is intended to convey only sexual charge without plot 
tragic    Story ends unhappily.{2}

8: Special codes for MM and interr stories.

bear      Hairy male. Usually gay. (Grizzly Adams){3}
twink     gay male: Young and hairless-type (Tom Cruise){3}

BC        (with interr) Black Couple{3}
BF        (with interr) Black Female{3}
BM        (with interr) Black Male{3}
WC        (with interr) White Couple{3}
WM        (with interr) White Male{3}
WF        (with interr) White Female{3}

When you have seen a code used and it seems to fit your story, please consult the FAQ to make certain of its definition. [And of the spelling.]

See Also:

The story code FAQ for readers.

The alphabetical list of all story codes.

The shorter story code FAQ for authors.


The ASSM subject line FAQ

For guidance on the rest of the subject line.

- = - End of FAQ - = -