Virtue Signalling or Post-Jerk Blues?

Virtue signalling is a creeping phenomenon which I believe threatens creativity.

As well as writing stories and reading any feedback I personally get, I also read a lot of other writers’ stories on this site and I make a point of always reading the readers’ comments on all of them.

Increasingly, I’m noticing that quite a few of the readers’ comments on stories run along the lines of:
'I enjoyed the story but I felt guilty for doing so…"
'Your story was hot, but I felt kinda bad at myself for liking it…"

I should not be surprised at this, because similar ‘guilt-trip’ comments crop up increasingly often in all forms of social media. However, when it comes to this site, I find it rather annoying.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the essence of ‘Gay Spiral’ is the control and domination of a man or men by another man or men. Even in the most ‘vanilla’ stories, the will of the ‘victim’ is bent to that of the ‘perpetrator’. Such actions are, by definition, totally immoral.

So why, therefore, if people find such actions immoral, do people read any of the stories on this site at all? Why not turn to ‘The Adventures of Fluffy the Kitten’, instead? *** Also, why do some guys feel the need to express guilt for reading a story that obviously gave them pleasure?

Is it ‘virtue signalling’? If so, please stop! We KNOW you are against mind control - it’s BAD. All the writers on this site agree with you! We all HATE the idea of it happening in real life. So you don’t need to apply the standards of real life to the story you just read - it’s just fiction. Made-up. A fantasy. It never really happened. The characters don’t really exist and nothing they did was real.

Or…

Maybe it’s that thing that happens after you masturbate. You know… What the French call ‘la petite mort’ after sex. You get all hot and into sex and then you cum and go off the whole idea. You roll off your partner and reach for the tissues. Every dirty thought you just had running through your brain now feels wrong. You feel guilty - evil - soiled - corrupted. Oh fuck!

So, I’m gradually starting to realise that many ‘guilt-ridden’ comments are made post-orgasm, once the hand has been cleansed. It makes sense, I guess.

After all - you don’t want to get your keyboard all slimy…

*** If this trend continues, ‘The Adventures of Fluffy the Kitten’ will be my next story on this site… :wink:

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Now I wanna write a GSS-appropriate “The Adventures of Fluffy the Kitten”! :stuck_out_tongue:

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I love the metaphor…

People are often SO FUCKING GUILTY about having a fetish and masturbating about it.
But… I mean, what the fuck does it matter?
Go to your room have a wank and enjoy it, ffs; if you’re not hurting anyone, you’re not hurting anyone.

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People were taught to feel guilty about touching themselves and having “unchaste” thoughts.

Mind police at its best. How to control the masses? With strict rules based on fear. It still works.

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Sorry RobinHood - Fluffy’s MINE :smiley:

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I’ve been there before. Sometimes you feel as though you’re doing something wrong by enjoying something. Why? It’s hard to say. It’s just this feeling you get. I’ve been trying to work past it for a while, and have only recently (within the past year) truly broken free, I think, of the shame.

I can’t wait for Fluffy the Kitten, also.

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I know I’ve been a little irked by this, sometimes. Similarly with the demand for ‘wholesome’ stories. That is funny, since as you said, the site itself is fundamentally ‘immoral.’ I don’t know who is coming here for moral improvement, or tales about happy, good hypnotists taking away the wills of men for the betterment of society lol. I also read the comments for other authors’ stories, and you’ll find in certain ones,

“This was way too dark. Disgusting. I won’t be reading future chapters!” (A subjective opinion) and then that same user will write on some other story,

“Now this is a GREAT story! So wholesome! I’m so tired of seeing stories on this site about men being taken by force, controlled against their will, made into slaves, life destroying, yada yada yada.”

As if seeing what the site is at its core is a surprise.

The thing that irritates me is that this is a dumping on others enjoyments. To say that the wholesome story is superior, and that the dark story is somehow bad, when really, trying to pretend to take the moral high ground on a site about mind control is absolutely silly. In my opinion, using the straight guy to have sex for an hour, then making him forget and go back to his normal life, ‘wholesome’ as it may be, is still immoral.

Now, I have nothing against romance or more ‘wholesome’ stories. They are not really to my taste, as I love darker stuff, but if the writer creates a story about a guy that uses a guy once and returns him to normal, he may do that. If people like it, good for them and the author. But you won’t see me writing in the comments,

“Now this story SUCKS! Too fluffy! Too wholesome! If you don’t add some darker elements, I’m outta here!”

Heaven forbid I give it bad ratings simply because it isn’t to my taste!

If only the moral do-gooders would figure this out.

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I couldn’t agree more, @MindInABox. The criticism of stories for being immoral is very silly to me. Everything in these stories is wrong by default. That’s just the truth. Do I care? No, and neither should you. They’re stories. But people really seem to get wound up sometimes.

I remember when I wrote a story about raping and torturing a guy, as well as mind controlling him, there was some degree of backlash. Lots of good feedback, but some backlash. Because it’s immoral to torture someone. But - isn’t it immoral to hypnotize someone? Why are we comparing these things? You can’t exactly tell me that what I get off to is wrong, when you get off to things that are wrong yourself.

I feel the same way about raceplay stories. No one’s political views are changed by reading these stories, I guarantee you. No one is stupid enough to be influenced by a fetish story. So I genuinely don’t understand the issue. Is it immoral? Hell fucking yes, but they all are. And you can’t really make the argument that they’re setting back political progress, because again, no one is shaping political views on fetish stories, and they have absolutely no relevance to politics at large.

Just my two cents.

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I totally agree with every word cassiaframboise and firesix say on this.

I have already ranted on at length elsewhere in this forum about the ‘raceplay’ issue, which I see as virtue signalling at its absolute worst. Stories which have a white man being dominated by a black man are fine, apparently, but watch out if you ever try to switch things around!

The outcry about this has caused me a great deal of frustration and still prevents me from sharing certain stories I have already written on this site or anywhere else. I feel as though I have already been silenced and censored. It is a total double standard.

As for darker stuff, comments on some of my stories have expressed disappointment that I didn’t go even darker, while others complain even if I attempt a happier ending. For my series ‘The Eden Virus’ I actually wrote two alternative endings, one ‘lighter’ and one ‘darker’ but that didn’t seem to please anyone very much, either.

To quote a sexist phrase, I guess I just need to ‘man up’ about it and accept that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

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The one “regret” comment I got on one of my stories was the religious one (Patron Saint of Bottoms), involving a chaste and pious young man being topped by God. It went like this: “As a practicing Muslim (which, I know it doesn’t have the same weight as Christians regarding this story particularly, but still) I’m so ashamed with how hard this story makes me be.” I honestly considered that to be one of the highest pieces of praise I’ve gotten on this site.
Honestly, whether it’s virtue signaling or not, I consider those admissions of guilt to be compliments. It means you’ve managed to write something effective enough to turn someone on despite any misgivings they might have with the premise.

Virtue signaling isn’t a thing.

Considering you’re writing this stuff because its at least semi taboo, I’d just take it as a compliment. Sure, it might be annoying that they’re mentioning it or wording it that way, but really it’s just the same tmi impulse that gets people to say “i loved Fluffy the Kitten!..
And i came three times.”

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@BlindSeer0 I think those people are annoying, but my biggest issue are the hardcore virtue signalers. I understand where people who say, “I like this, but I’m ashamed to,” are coming from. It’s annoying, but I understand what they’re saying. What really grinds my gears are people who truly think you’re a bad person for writing what you did. What immediately comes to mind is a comment I once got, which was “Thanks for reminding me why I don’t come to this site.” That commenter needs to quit. Oh, I get it, you’re so pure. Get real.

Yeah, that’s annoying. There’s criticism, and then there is just being negative and comments that make me wonder why you’re reading this (assuming it’s tagged correctly with appropriate warnings).

I think something to understand is that just because you’re into some things on this site, doesn’t mean you’re in to everything on it. Just like being into feet and sneakers doesn’t mean you’re in to scat or diapers, being into mind control doesn’t mean you’re in to hard core rape, and those things aren’t mutually exclusive because suspension of disbelief is different for different people and functions differently things that couldn’t actually happen vs things that could actually happen in real life.

For me I prefer muscle growth and stuff over traditional mind control, though it doesn’t particularly bother me and I’m ok with it in my stories. But i also really like happy endings and get turned off HARD by evil winning. So when i get to the ends of a story i otherwise enjoyed but the evil person won, i might comment on that. Not because i want to guilt the author, but because i was so invested in it.

And like i said above, i don’t actually think virtue signaling is a thing. People almost never post these comments because they want to win brownie points with an invisible audience, but because it evoked a strong response from them. Sometimes that response is mean and nasty, but i think that has more to do with not having a filter between keyboard and brain.

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Yes, I understand what you’re saying. I’ve had moments where I’ve felt similarly, and was frustrated or borderline angry about the ending of the story. But when I do leave a negative comment, I try to make sure it’s not just about it not being for me. I try to make some legitimate criticism about the writing or the execution. And if I can’t think of a criticism outside of “I didn’t like it,” then I just don’t leave the comment.

BlindSeer0, please forgive me for contradicting you, but virtue signalling is very much a real thing. It is alive and well in Canadian and American universities and has already spread to Europe, stifling free speech and reasoned debate on all manner of subjects. It is also now seeping into literature and, if not halted, will eventually result in sites like this being closed down in the name of ‘political correctness’.

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And then there’s the opposite.

Anyone who’s commenting on blatant racism, discrimination or any other kind of “othering” is immediately labled as an “SJW” (social justice warrior).

Political correctness became something bad a while ago. While I agree that you can go overboard with it and misuse it to silence people or unwelcome opinions, turning it around into a generally bad thing has caused the situation where we’re in atm: Many many people not only think it’s ok to be as political incorrect, they also see that as necessary.

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Agreed, Sexdroid-013. Trump’s right-wing regime has of course labelled anyone with ‘liberal’ views as a ‘fake-news’ merchant and SJW. It is interesting to me that in my comparatively short life-time, standing up for social justice can have changed from being a virtue to a sin. I guess all I am arguing for is a little freedom of expression and the common sense to realise that in a site dedicated to hypnosis stories, you might read about a few bad things happening to some fictional characters.

To me, ‘political correctness’ is an extreme form of the social liberalism that used to be the norm in Western societies. The difference is that a reasonable, intelligent, liberal-minded person fights and protests against racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination, which we would all agree is a good thing and should continue. In it’s extreme form of ‘political correctness’, the desire to signal that one is virtuous leads to a failure to criticise misbehaviour in ‘minority’ communities. In the UK, this has led to a systemic failure to protect black children from abuse [including genital mutilation], teenage girls from being groomed by men of Pakistani origin and young women from the Muslim and Sikh communities being the victims of so-called ‘honour killings’. In all such cases, the potential ‘whistle-blowers’ such as social workers, teachers and police failed in their duty due to a fear that any criticism of a minority community would be seen as ‘racist’. Political correctness is also the reason behind the growing hesitation of published writers to feature characters in their stories who are of a different race or gender, for fear of being accused of some kind of colonialist or sexist appropriation of another group’s identity.

It would seem that, unfortunately, we now live in very dangerous times…

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Honestly, I blame this weird social conditioning happening throughout queer communities. Everything has to be political or morally correct or else you feel guilt. It’s like people refuse to categorize and now everything must blend together.

Not to speak against our hivemind here, but talking about racism isn’t virtue signalling. I was at protests against police brutality in America last night - and it was a very mixed crowd. You don’t have to be white (or black) to care about building a more just society. You don’t have to put it in your writing, but you shouldn’t shy away from it either. Yeah, race play can be hot for some people - it can also lead a lot of people subject to the race play without their consent to be in an awkward position for the rest of their lives. White people, broadly speaking, have the privilege of not having their identities broadly sexualized. Black, Asian, Latinx, etc people grow up in a world where they often don’t get a say in how their sexual personality is perceived - they either accept a stereotype, or react against it. Neither is fair. But it’s a choice to indulge a “standard” trope, abstain from using it, or subvert it, and each of them carries a bit of ethical weight.

It’s not a special sacred duty of erotica writers to solve systemic racism, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being sensitive to other people’s feelings - we’re literally writing to inspire feelings in others, and we obviously have the talent to do it well. In a more just world where there were no social repercussions for being known to enjoy or write erotica, we could have a different conversation about this. But we really only have each other here, and we have to keep a mind for how we can easily harm each other’s enjoyment of our shared hobby, I think. For a lot of people, reading erotica is the only safe space their sexuality ever gets, and if we have a duty, it might be to that impulse. That’s probably also true of racists whose sexuality is tied up in their ideas of racial self-worth! But we should think about ways to process and deconstruct impulses that hurt people in the real world if we want to be responsible with our fantasy worlds.

Leaving a comment expressing how a story made you feel can be a weird experience; GSS is the first place I’ve had the ability to interact directly and publicly with the community that’s read something that just got me off, with the assumption that they also read it and probably got off to it as well. We have a community here - and we should be sensitive to as much of that community as possible if we want it to be a welcoming one. Yeah some comments can be discouraging - but it’s important to note, people aren’t necessarily virtue signalling. They want authors to know how a piece made them feel - in a way no rating or thumbs-up can really articulate. Even if we don’t like a comment, we can and should honor the fact that it moved someone. (Obviously doesn’t apply to harassing or abusive comments, but thankfully I haven’t seen much/any of that around here.)

Be excellent for each other, dudes.

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Obviously, talking about racism is not virtue signalling. Likewise, people going on marches to show solidarity with the black community in a time of political oppression is not virtue signalling. It is not political correctness, either. If I may say so, Dace, you are confusing what I am arguing against with ‘real’ racism.

Virtue signalling / political correctness is when you refuse to criticise a ‘minority’ person or community even if they richly deserve it because you want to show your peers how amazingly anti-racist you are. For years, I had a whole host of problems with white teachers refusing to discipline or chastise my [black] nephew when he acted up or failed to do homework. Apparently, it was fine to sacrifice his educational chances to salve their ‘liberal’ consciences. The reality is that such behaviour by ‘professionals’ is, at worst, racist in itself and, at best, patronising bullshit.

More trivially and to the point of my original blog, virtue signalling is also when people make ridiculous remarks on this site expressing guilt feelings about a story they actively sought out, enjoyed and – probably - came over.

I’m sick of such hypocritical cant. I say it again - if you can’t stand the heat – get off this site and go back to Fluffy the Kitten.

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