The Alt.Sex.Stories.* Hierachy and Related Groups FAQ

by Apuleius (

HTML conversion by Steve Grantz (

Version 1.01 - October 5, 1998

New in this edition: Additions and correction to Sections 6, 13, and 14.

This document is a guide to the various erotic text newsgroups available on Usenet. Comments and suggestions regarding this FAQ are welcome; send to Note that this FAQ is quite long; if you just want an introduction to the basics of reading and posting, please consult "Sex Stories - Things You Should Know", originally by Kim, now maintained by Seurat ( This is posted periodically to the relevant newsgroups, and is also available from The latest version of the present FAQ is always available from this site.

This FAQ is copyright 1998 by Apuleius ( It may be copied and distributed freely, provided that the entire text is transmitted unaltered (including this message). Use of this document in any commercial endeavour (for example, members-only websites, CD-ROMs) is prohibited.




1) Introduction
2) A Short History of the A.S.S. Hierachy
3) Group Structure
4) Story Codes
5) Posting Stories
6) Old Stories and Reposting
7) Copyright and Legal Issues
8) Alt.Sex.Stories.d
9) Reviews and Reviewers
10) Thanking Authors
11) Anonymous Posting
12) Spam and how to deal with it
13) How to find good stories
14) Further Reading
Appendix A: How to find a particular story
Appendix B: Filtering in Forte Agent
Appendix C: Formatting Details for Word



Section 1: Introduction

Welcome to the Alt.Sex.Stories.* hierachy FAQ. The purpose of this document is to answer commonly asked questions regarding the groups, as well as providing background material and pointers to further resources. I should point out right away that I have no special status within the hierachy - I'm just a normal user who has taken the time to write this guide. Please do not email me about anything not directly related to this FAQ - if you have any general questions, please ask in instead.

The information contained herein is not the "law": no-one has the power to enforce the suggestions I make within this FAQ. However, most of what follows are the generally accepted conventions and protocols of the newsgroups. Following them will make the a.s.s. hierachy a better place for everyone.

September 1998



Section 2: A Short History of the A.S.S Hierachy

Erotic stories on Usenet were originally posted to the venerable Then, rec.arts.erotica was created in May 1991. This was a moderated group in which the moderator, initially Tim Pierce, added an extra header marking each story out of 10 and giving a short comment. R.a.e. tended to focus on the more "literary" material, and the moderator would delete stories considered to be poorly spelt or formatted.

In response to the rather restrictive policies of this group (in particular, the disallowing of reposts), and were created in May-June 1992, as a non-moderated alternative. As with most of Usenet, complete archives of the groups are nonexistant until the establishment of Dejanews in early 1995, but many stories from this time are still extant. Increased traffic on the group led to the creation of the first subgroups, a.s.s.h in December 1994, and a.s.s.g in May 1995.

In July 1995, Celeste posted her first Celestial Reviews, beginning a tradition that continues to this day. A readership report from around the same time listed as the fourth-most read group on Usenet, with over 8000 messages posted per month, totalling 58MB, and an estimated readership of 220,000 people.

In August 1995, Paul Robinson created, but due to his avoidance of moderatorial responsibilty and the fact that rec.arts.erotica served much the same purpose, the group was virtually unused until its revival in 1997.

The anonymous posting service, which many people used to post their stories, ceased operation in September 1996. Many authors, who had relied on this service, stopped posting altogether and are no longer contactable.

In 1996-7, the hierachy began to be seriously affected by spam, in common with much of Usenet. The number of posts to rec.arts.erotica was also declining due to moderatorial problems, and many users felt that a moderated group was needed with a more liberal editorial policy. This problem was solved in January 1997, when Eli-the-Bearded took over the moderation of, and established a WWW archive of all the postings. Eli also created in April of that year. Meanwhile, a.s.s.d began using the {ASSD} convention to indicate genuine posts (as opposed to spam). Rec.arts.erotica has since declined into almost total obscurity.

The current number of daily readers of a.s.s and related groups is unknown, but the previous FAQ put it at over 50,000, and it is undoubtedly much higher. Since its establishment, writers have constructed a corpus of stories numbering in the tens of thousands. There does seem to have been a genuine increase in the average quality of writing, as well as a growing number of novel-length efforts. Several "stories" are as good as anything you can buy in book form. Although the web has proved a competitor, the a.s.s. hierachy remains the primary place for distribution of quality erotic literature on the Internet.



Section 3: Group Structure

As groups within the alt hierachy, a.s.s.* have no official charter which sets down what is and what isn't "acceptable use". Anyone can post whatever they like. However, the following list contains suggestions as to what should be posted in each of the groups. I also document any other related groups on Usenet. Briefly, and are the main places to post stories, and is the place to discuss them. For more information about where to post, please consult "Posting Stories", later in this document.
This group is for erotic texts of any subject matter. The amount of erotic material may be very small, or it may be the primary focus of the story. From time to time, one will also see posts which more properly belong in a.s.s.d, e.g. "Please post more (insert genre) stories". Announcements of new, non-commercial websites are probably OK, too. It is fair to say that this newsgroup has the largest readership of them all, and is the group most frequently scanned by "casual" readers.
Once again, erotic texts of any subject matter. The "moderated" indicates that all posts to this newsgroup have to be approved by someone before they appear. The present moderator is Eli-the-Bearded ( This means, effectively, that a.s.s.m. is spam-free, as Eli (or rather his software) rejects all attempted posts by spammers, and only allows stories and reviews through. For more information, see Eli's FAQ on the subject at He also maintains a web archive of all a.s.s.m. posts at It's important to realise that a.s.s.m. is not a.s.s. with the spam filtered out - it is a group in its own right.
(marital infidelity)
(same as cuckold, so = significant other) (transgender)
Not all these "special interest" groups are carried by all servers. Note that story posters won't neccessarily crosspost appropriate stories to these groups, so if you're looking for a particular genre it's a good idea to check a.s.s. and a.s.s.m. as well. Some of these groups are rarely used.
This has the same procedure as a.s.s.m. It is moderated by Mykkhal ( An archive of its stories is available at
Anything about erotic stories which isn't actually a story itself. As such, it will commonly include reviews of stories, discussions about writing in general, and requests for reposts. All posters should follow the {ASSD} convention to indicate non-spam messages. For more information about this and a.s.s.d in general, see Section 8 of this document.
Outside the hierachy:


Erotic texts of any nature. This group was established in an attempt to avoid spam by staying out of the hierachy. Although receiving less spam than other groups, it is not immune to such posts, unfortunately.
This group is for erotic stories of any nature, which are not posted in normal ASCII format. As such, it can include zip files, HTML documents, and native word processor files.
From the cursory glance I had, this appears to be a combination story/discussion group, even including specialised story codes to indicate characters in the eponymous TV series. For more information, see
This group is very rarely used. Although it still shows up on all news servers, it is unlikely that you will find anything there. For more information, see Section 2 "A Short History of the A.S.S. Hierachy", earlier in this document. The current moderator is Michael Handler (
These are not on Usenet, but rather Usenet II (for more information, see The "czar" is, you guessed it, Eli-the-Bearded ( At the moment, these groups generate very little traffic, but this may change. For more information about the groups, see Eli's guidelines at



Section 4: Story Codes

In any general group such as, it is helpful for readers to know what they are getting themselves into before they start reading a story. The groups contain stories with descriptions of every sexual activity you could think of (and some you couldn't), and people naturally want to avoid stories that they would be "squicked" by (more on that term later). Conversely, they would like to know when a story has a theme which specially interests them (e.g. romance). To solve this problem, a rather elaborate "coding" system has been developed. Written properly, the codes indicate the participants, the level of consent and any other special modifiers.

The only time a story should be completely uncoded is when it is "vanilla" - that is, non-kinky male-female sexual activity between consenting adults. Unfortunately, readers cannot assume as much from uncoded stories. Some authors object to this system, feeling that their stories should be read for their literary value, regardless of what kind of sex occurs. It also causes problems where pre-disclosure of a particular sexual activity would "give away" the story. In these situations, an author or reposter should still put "content warning" or something similar in the subject header if the story is not completely "vanilla".

Some codes are self-explanatory; the following list describes only those which are commonly used and require explanation. The explanations are partly taken from the most complete references on the subject, currently maintained by Uther Pendragon ( Anyone looking for a complete listing should consult these documents. There are two, one for authors and one for readers, available at: (for readers) (for authors)


Story Codes
M An adult male (over 18)
m Boy - Teenager (not yet 18)
b Boy - Pre-teen (age 12 or less)
F An adult female (over 18)
f Girl - Teenager (not yet 18)
g Girl - Pre-teen (age 12 or less)


These occur in any permutation (so "MF" indicates heterosexual adult sex, "mf" indicates heterosexual teenage sex, etc). A "+" indicates two or more of the same sex (e.g. "MF+" means several women with the same man). Additionally, "-solo" appended to any of the above indicates masturbation by that participant (e.g. "F-solo").

Level of Consent
rom Romantic: sex between characters in love
con(s) Consensual, non-romantic sexual activity
reluc Reluctant: coercion of some kind involved
nc Non-consensual sexual activity
Other Features
-dom Domination by any participant (e.g. Mdom, Fdom)
1st First time
bd Bondage, discipline
exhib Exhibitionism: sex in public places
hist Historical: stories set before c. 1950
(im)preg Impregnation, sex with pregnant woman
inter(r) Interracial
inc Incest
lac Lactation: (human) milk
mc Mind control: hypnotism etc.
sm Sadomasochism
tg Transgender
voy Voyeurism
ws Water sports (golden showers)


Section 5: Posting Stories

If you want a post or repost a story, there are a few conventions which have been established to make reading easier for everyone. Following them will ensure that the story is appreciated by the widest possible readership. As a quick guide, stories should:

More detailed explanations of these guidelines follow.

Conversion and Formatting Considerations

Word Processors are most useful for spell checking and formatting, but their native file formats are not a good idea for posting to a.s.s and its related groups. Stories should be posted in plain ASCII text only (that is, no zip or HTML files), and should include no extended characters (e.g. "smart quotes" or accent marks), because, after passing through many different servers, it's most unlikely that they will emerge intact on the reader's news server. If you must post in a non-ASCII format, use alt.binaries.stories.erotic. Most word processors provide an option to save as "Plain Text" or similar. For specific instructions for one of the most popular, please see Appendix C "Formatting Details for Word".

The line length should be set to no more than 80 characters; 72 is the most common standard. The following should be avoided: double spaced lines, justified alignment (where the text fills the line completely from left to right), and tabs. The interpretation of tabs varies between different systems, so please use the equivalent number of normal spaces instead.


Where and How to Post

Alt.Sex.Stories.Moderated is probably the first group to consider; people are much more likely to see your story here since there's no spam. Eli will automatically cross-post your story to, so there's no need to manually add this yourself. In addition to normal posting methods, a.s.s.m. submissions can be emailed to Even though the group is moderated, there is no need to have a Subject line such as "Please add this to a.s.s.m", as is seen occasionally. Just post as you normally would. Stories posted to a.s.s.m. must have a valid return address, or else they will be rejected.

There's really only two reasons you would not post to a.s.s.m.: you don't like your story being archived, or you've stated in the story that you want to retain complete distribution control. If either (or both) of these is the case, you should consider a.s.s.

Alt.Sex.Stories has the advantage of being more widely read, but it is full of spam. You should also set the "Followup-To:" header to ""; that way, people commenting on your story can just hit reply and automatically post to the right group (in a.s.s.m., this is done automatically). If you don't want your post archived, make sure your post has an "X-NoArchive:yes" header, so Dejanews and other services won't copy your post.

In addition to the above, you should consider cross-posting to one of the "special interest" groups if your story is appropriate, and also to alt.erotic.stories. Alt.Binaries.Stories.Erotic should only be used if you have a really good reason, e.g. your story takes advantage of HTML formatting. Posts to a.s.s.m.g can be emailed to

To make sure people notice your story, especially if you're a new author, you might want to post a "Spotlight" in a.s.s.d. For more information, see Section 8: ASSD.


Part Division

If your story is over 60K in size, consider dividing it up into sections, preferably at chapter or part divisions. Many stories will be divided at more frequent intervals, due to the rules imposed by individual ISPs or the limitations of newsreading software. In general, however, it's a good idea to keep divisions to a minimum. No-one likes searching for missing story sections in a spam-filled group like a.s.s.


Post Structure

The first thing to consider is the format of your Subject line. Readers browsing the groups will use this to decide whether or not to read a story, so it's a good idea to make it as informative as possible. It should contain the following information: the title of the story, the author, the appropriate codes (unless you object to the idea), and the chapter or part number (if applicable). There are many ways of presenting all this, but a common way is:

{Author}"Title"(codes)[x/y] e.g. {John}"Fun with Mary"(MF con)[1/2]

This is the method proposed in the Codes FAQ (see that document for more information), and it has begun to be adopted by many authors and reposters.

Regardless of how the information is presented, the most common feature omitted from the subject line is the author's name; posters are strongly advised to include this detail for the benefit of readers browsing the group.

Further information can be provided at the start of the line: "RP" (for repost) means this is a story which has already been posted to the group at some stage; "New" means this a story which has never been posted anywhere before. If you have changed your story since its last post, it's a good idea to indicate this with "Rev" (for revised). If you want Celeste to review your work (see Section 9 "Reviews and Reviewers"), you can indicate this by appending a "<*>" to the end of the line. Finally, if you're posting to a.s.s., you can prefix the whole thing with {ASS} to indicate this is an actual story and not just spam. This is not neccessary for a.s.s.m. as it filters out spam anyway.

Make sure the author's name, email address and story title are stated at the start of the story. If this is a section of a multi-part story, you should indicate as much at the end of the message body (e.g. "End of Part 1. Continued in Part 2..."). Some authors will restate the story title and authorship again at the end of the post, as an extra defence against unscrupulous reposters (see the next section).


Section 6: Old Stories, Reposting and Distribution

The increased availibility of large archives has decreased the need for stories to be reposted. Archives have distinct advantages over reposts: they provide a relatively easy way to obtain a story, and help reduce traffic on the groups. However, they have one major disadvantage: excellent stories from the past are "hidden away", and newcomers to the groups are limited to whatever is being cuurently written. Reposters, therefore, have the primary function of keeping stories "alive" after their authors have ceased posting them. Readers should not just let reposters do all the work for them: exploration of archives such as and (especially using the "Power Search" facility) is strongly encouraged. Sometimes, you will turn up "hidden gems" that thoroughly deserve to be reposted.

Be wary, however, when reposting. A few authors wish to retain complete distribution control over their story (that is, only they themselves can repost it). An author will usually make this quite clear in his/her introductory remarks, and these wishes should be respected. This admonition applies equally to anyone planning to make a story accessible via a WWW archive. It is vital for authors to make clear exactly what their distribution policy is.

The most common distribution policy in the groups states that copyright is retained by the author, but the story may be distributed by anyone as long as no text is changed, the details of authorship are retained, and the process of distribution makes no money for the distributor. Not surprisingly, very few people take kindly to the idea of someone making money from a story which its author made available for free. Note that this effectively rules out use of a story on commercial sites or CD-ROMs.

If a story makes no mention of a distribution policy, you should contact the author and ask him/her whether you can repost or archive it. If the author's email address is missing or invalid, make every attempt to discover their current contact details. If contacting the author is still not possible, it is probably acceptable to distribute the story, following the guidelines given above. Note that this technically constitutes copyright infringment, and several people would strongly disagree with me on this policy (see Section 7). It is impossible to reach a consensus on this point; it is up to individual reposters to decide for themselves.

There are quite a few stories circulating with unknown or attributed authorship, including some of exceptional quality. This situation is partly due to unscrupulous reposters who deliberately remove indications of authorship and copyright from authors' texts. It is also due to authors who fail to state their authorship in the body of the message (as opposed to the Subject line). Authors should always restate their name and email address before the start of the story (and possibly at its end) to help guard against their authorship being "detached" when someone else reposts it.

So, if you want to repost a story not written by yourself, please follow these guidelines:


Section 7: Copyright and Legal Issues

"R.a.e, [and by extension, a.s.s.] by its very nature of being part of Usenet, is a cesspool with respect to copyright law. Since the mere act of posting to Usenet causes thousands of copies of the article to be made, there must be an implicit granting of duplication rights with each post if Usenet is at all legal under the Berne Convention. How far those implicit rights extend is the deep murky filth of the cesspool."

- Eli the Bearded

Firstly, anyone interested in the issue of copyright on Usenet should read Brad Templeton's "10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained" at

This establishes the important point that an author has a copyright on anything they post to Usenet, regardless of whether he/she actually states this. It follows that an author could have legal remedies if someone makes an unauthorized repost, or includes their story on a website or CD-ROM (such distrubution is not "fair use"). Many authors don't mind people reposting their stories, and will state as much at the start of the story. Some authors don't want their stories reposted at all, and there is indeed the possibility of legal action if someone does so.

So, caveat missor: it is the reposter's responsibility to ensure that the original author granted general distribution rights. If no statement was made on this matter, the reposter can assume the de facto "duplication allowed for non-commercial use" principle, but does so at his/her own risk.

A quite seperate but equally problematic issue is the very legality of the stories themselves. In Singapore, for example, ISPs are forbidden from distributing contents which "are pornographic or otherwise obscene", "promote permissiveness or promiscuity", "depict or promote gross exploitation of...nudity [or] sex," and many more. Even in countries with relatively liberal censorship laws, stories which depict illegal activities could be subject to the same restrictions. All readers and contributors should be aware of the legal ramifications in their jurisdictions of possessing and distributing such material. A useful resource in this respect is the Electronic Frontier Foundation at


Section 8: Alt.Sex.Stories.d

One of the surest signs that the a.s.s. hierachy supports a "community" is to be found in a.s.s.d. The "d" stands for discussion - that is, anything related to erotic stories which isn't actually a story itself. This is the place to announce new stories, ask for reposts, discuss the process of writing, and post reviews (and reviews of reviews :-). Surprisingly, very few of the threads focus on specific stories, and frequently discussion will move off on a tangent to issues of a more general nature. The number of active participants is quite small, but there are many occasional contributors, and almost certainly a high proportion of lurkers. The readers of a.s.s.d, however, are a small subset of the total a.s.s. readership.

A few commonly used terms may require explanation. A "stroke" story is one which does not aspire to be a work of "literature" - its purpose is sexual arousal only. A "genre" writer is someone who concentrates on writing about an unusual sexual behaviour, as opposed to "vanilla" writers who concentrate on stories of the standard adult male-female consensual variety. There is much discussion about whether these distinctions should exist. To be "squicked" by a story or genre means one is repulsed by those activities, and doesn't find them sexually arousing at all.

If you begin a thread on a.s.s.d, always prefix your subject line with "{ASSD}", e.g. "{ASSD} Literary vs. Stroke". This convention is used to indicate a genuine post (as opposed to spam), and it has been very effective. Spammers, being terminally stupid people, haven't worked it out yet :-) Some readers will filter out posts that don't use this convention, so make sure you use it. Note, however, that there's no need to rearrange your newsreader's suggested header for replies; for example "Re: {ASSD} Literary vs. Stroke" is correct, while "{ASSD} Re: Literary vs. Stroke" is not. If you discover a genuine post that is not using this convention, please email the post's author and let them know about it.

Sometimes you may see a message with a Subject header including the word "Spot" or "Spotlight". This convention, originally suggested by Malinov indicates that the message is designed to bring attention to a particular story which is currently available somewhere in the groups. The Spotlight may be written by the story's author, or by a reader wishing to give their quick opinion of the story, as opposed to a more formal, in-depth "review".


Section 9: Reviews and Reviewers

Undoubtedly, no other subject has caused more disagreement, and indeed anger within the erotic stories community than the subject of reviews and reviewing techniques. New readers may wonder what the problem is, so I will present an overview of the issues involved, followed by an introduction to well-known reviewers.

Unlike movie and book reviews, where the creator of the work is in a sense "shielded" from the review by his or her reputation and marketing, public story reviews take place in a world where everyone is equal. Equally unlike movie and book reviews, the creator of the work receives absolutely no remuneration for their efforts, apart from praise (and criticism) from the community. In such an atmosphere, there is the danger of authors interpreting all negative comments as a personal slight, and the impression that reviewers are passing judgement from "on high".

Almost without exception, reviewers have tended to focus upon the "literary" aspects of the story, such as the plot, character development and grammatical details. This conflicts with the primary function of a great many stories, generally termed "stroke", whose function is purely to arouse. For these stories, it has been suggested that "literary" quality is basically irrelevant, and the real measure of quality is how "hot" the story is. There is disagreement as to how far the standards of one can be applied to the other.

The most contentious issue of all is whether reviewers should review stories which contain content that they are "squicked" by. Debate "free email" accounts, in conjunction with a mail2news address or a public posting service (such as Dejanews). For a list of many providers, see Note that these services are not designed to be safe anonymizers (see, for example, and only provide a very basic level of security.

If you don't require replies to your post, consider using an anonymous remailer such as Replay posting service ( This will send your post to a newsgroup, but remove all indications of where it was posted from, and set the Reply-to header to "", an invalid address. Note that this will not work with as it requires a valid return address.

One service which seems to be quite popular is, at This is an anonymous remailer service (you get an address like, used in conjunction with mail2news, and it is very secure. It does, however, require a knowledge of the encryption program PGP and/or client software such as Private Idaho. For more information about this, see

Finally, a few services offer anonymous email and Usenet posting at a cost. See and for examples.


Section 12: Spam and how to deal with it

So far, this FAQ has overlooked the reality of browsing an unmoderated and unfiltered newsgroup within the hierachy. Typically, most messages will not be stories at all; they will be spam of the "VIRGIN SLUT CHEERLEADER WANTS YOUR COCK!!!" variety :-) It is possible, however, to eliminate most if not all of this spam.

The easiest way to avoid spam is to simply use the group which eliminates it totally: As stated before, a.s.s.m. should be the group of choice for both writers and readers unless they have a good reason not to utilise it.

When browsing unmoderated groups, there are two general methods to avoid the spam. The first is to use a news server which has software (such as Spam Hippo) to filter out the spam before the posts reach the reader. Services such as Newsguy ( offer this service; they are, however, not free. If you don't mind the advertising, Dejanews ( is a free WWW-based alternative which generally does a good job of removing spam.

The second method involves using a newsreader on the reader's local computer to filter out the spam. Not all news programs provide this feature; programs that do include the shareware Gravity (, and the commercial Forte Agent ( Generally, you configure the program to delete posts based on words that do (or don't) appear in the Subject lines. For example, in, you can tell the program to remove any messages that don't have "{ASSD}" in them, since they are almost certainly spam. For the other groups (e.g., the program could remove posts which include common spam words, such as "pics", "slut", etc. It is difficult to give specific details because of the great variety in program design; see Appendix B "Filtering in Forte Agent" for detailed instructions on how to achieve this with one of the most popular newsreaders.

Spammers typically find valid email addresses by "harvesting" them from newsgroups. For information about "spam-blocking" your email address, see

For more information about spam and how to fight it, see



Section 13: How to find good stories

In the face of so many thousands of stories, new readers are inevitably faced with the question "where do I start?". There are several documents available which provide lists of stories, categorised by author and title. One is compiled by Ray N. Velez (, and provides the title, author, genre and a numerical rating for over 2000 stories. It is posted periodically to a.s.s. and is also available from

Annex B of Ole Joe's Guide lists hundreds of stories, by author:

Celeste compiles lists of the Top 100 stories reviewed each year:

An excellent resource has been compiled by Bitbard, in the form of links to almost all of the stories in Celeste's monthly Top 20 lists. These are available at

In addition, the present author has compiled links to all of the stories in Celeste's Top 100 of 1995. This is available at is also a good place to check for announcements and discussion of good stories. If you have trouble locating a story, you can request a repost in a.s.s.d; however, the vast majority of stories are freely available from one of the major archives. For instructions on finding a particular story, see Appendix A.


Section 14: Further Reading

There are a number of excellent documents which provide additional information about various aspects of a.s.s. The latest text versions (if there are ones) are always available from and additional links are listed below for HTML versions, or if the document has a quasi-"official" location.


The a.s.s.* Free Story FAQ, by Anne747

This is an honourable attempt to drive out the spammers and pay-sites, by providing a list of free, "author-friendly" websites which are related in some way to the a.s.s. hierachy. The official location is:


The Guide to a.s.s, by Ole Joe (

An amazing achievement, this is an "encyclopedia" of story authors, plus a very comprehensive list of stories. It is essential reading for anyone new to the groups, and indispensable as a reference for those creating story collections of their own. A new version is posted to every few months, and an HTML version (not neccessarily the latest edition) is online at


Codes in a.s.s. Stories, by Uther Pendragon (

There are in fact two documents with this title, one designed for authors and reposters, and one for readers. Both explain the meaning of the story codes which commonly appear in the Subject header (see Section 4 of this FAQ). Both documents are posted periodically to the newsgroups, and are also available (not neccessarily the latest version) at: (for writers) (for readers)


The Alt.Sex.Stories.Moderated FAQ, by Eli-the-Bearded (

Explains how to post to this newsgroup, with important information about acceptable content and common problems. First-time posters to a.s.s.m. are encouraged to read this document first. It is posted monthly to the group and is also available from:


The Celestial FAQ, by Celeste (

Information about the hierachy's longest running series of reviews, and their author. It explains her motivations, rating system, and provides a list of authors and links. Other documents by Celeste include: Celestial Grammar, Advanced Celestial Grammar, the story "Virtuous Reality" and the List of Credulous Assumptions (see CR 175).


Sex Stories: What You Should Know, by Kim

A short guide to the basics of reading and posting, this document filled the need for a descriptive document about the hierachy from the cessation of the previous FAQ to the establishment of the present one. The document is currently maintained by Seurat (


Stories List, by Ray N. Velez

A list of over 2460 stories, arranged by title and (in a seperate document) by author. Each entry lists the title, author and genre, and gives a numerical rating out of 1000. A very wide range of stories is listed, and later editions include a list of story websites.


The Alt.Sex.Stories FAQ, by Larry Summers (

This document, no longer updated, was the "official" FAQ for quite a long period of time. It is valuable historically, but contains much information that is now outdated or irrelevent.



Appendix A: How to find a particular story

There are several huge online archives available which provide access to thousands of stories. It is likely that at least one of these archives has the story you're looking for.

Dejanews (

Dejanews has an archive of most newsgroups, dating back to March 1995. It is best to use the "Power Search" facility, especially when looking for older stories. Start by searching on the story's title, and then on the author's name and words likely to appear in the story (e.g. characters' names). If you get too many hits from non-story groups, limit the search by putting "" in the Newsgroups: field in addition to your original search argument (this will search the whole hierachy, not just A similar service is located at, but the archive is much smaller.

Queasy (

This archive includes all posts to, in addition to a substantial number from rec.arts.erotica and other sources. It is the only archive to preserve posts dating from c. 1990-1994. The only proviso here is not to search on certain words that are too common to be indexed (such as "sex") as this will result in a failed search.

The Alt.Sex.Stories Text Repository (

This FTP site (with a web interface) includes another archive of a.s.s.m. postings, the large story collections of Ole Joe, Kristen and others, and various other archives. The FTP site is limited to 250 connections, so at peak times it might require several attempts to obtain the story.

Metacrawler (

As a last resort, you can try searching the web. It's possible that someone has established an archive somewhere including the story you're looking for.



Appendix B: Filtering in Forte Agent

This section is offered as an example of how to implement newsreader-based filtering. I am explaining Agent's system because it seems to be one of the most widely used news programs (these instructions are for Agent 1.5; earlier versions may differ slightly).

To establish a news filter in Agent, go to Window -> Open Usenet Filters. Click the leftmost button on the toolbar (Add Kill Filter). Now you have to tell Agent what articles to delete; a sample filter expression for spam is:

(www|http|htm*|horny|jpg|slut|$|cum|escort*|hardcore|password|xxx|gay| ({free|live|adult|new}&{stuff|pics|sex|pussy|video|site|action|fuck*}))

This tells Agent to remove any article which has an Author or Subject header containing any word in the first line ("www", "http" etc.) and/or words found in both parts of the second line (for example, "free" and "stuff"). To filter out spam in (using a seperate kill filter), a very effective expression is:

not subject: assd

This tells Agent to delete any article whose subject line doesn't contain the text "assd" (the a.s.s.d community uses this convention to indicate genuine posts; see Section 8 of this document). Once the filter has been defined, click the "Delete" radio button in the "Kill action" section of the dialog box. In the "Scope" section, choose either "Global" or a specific group to which the filter will apply, and click "OK" to close the dialog box. Agent will now filter posts each time it retrieves new headers from the news server.

The above example is only a very limited demonstration of Agent's filtering capability. For details about creating more complex expressions, see Help -> How to use Agent -> How to create message filters.


Appendix C: Formatting Details for Word

In this section I explain one possible (albeit complicated) way of converting a Word document to a plain text file, suitable for posting to Usenet. Word isn't really designed for converting documents to plain text, but it is possible with a bit of manipulation to achieve this.

Firstly, go to Edit -> Select all (or press Ctrl+A), and change the font to Courier, 10 point. Next, adjust the left and/or right margins so that the white portion of the ruler measures 18 centimetres (or just over 7 inches). Don't confuse the margins with the indents; you can tell that you're changing the margins when the mouse pointer chaes to the resize cursor. The rightmost characters in your document should now be at column 72 or similar.

To save the document in the correct format, go to File -> Save As... and pull down the "Save as type" menu. Choose "Text Only with Line Breaks" (not "MS-DOS Text with Line Breaks", as this uses the extended ASCII character set). If your document has unusual formatting (tables, text columns etc.) use "Text with Layout" instead. Name the file and click "Save". Next, open the text file you just created, using Word again. Go to File -> Save As... and pull down the "Save as type" menu. This time choose "Text only" (without Line Breaks), and give the file a different filename to the one you created previously. You can now (finally) import this file in your news reader and post it (in Agent, go to File -> Insert Text File).



I would like to thank all those who have offered comments and advice on the content of this FAQ, especially See-El, Uther Pendragon and Mat Twassel. Thanks also to Steve Grantz for the HTML conversion. I would especially like to thank the authors of, without whom, after all, this FAQ would never have existed.

The End

The Alt.Sex.Stories.* FAQ, v.1.01 by Apuleius (