Dariarotica, a portmanteau of Daria and erotica, is a fandom term coined in the 2000s for fanworks of a primarily erotic nature (versus fanservice, minor references or 'R-rated' scenes, or bawdy humor).
Most Daria websites and forums have never allowed erotic works to be posted. Fandom views on this have changed back and forth, but since the late 2010s it's been an almost entirely dead genre.
History in fandom
While the show itself was on, there were extremely few examples of Dariarotica due to the fandom being younger, legal concerns, and a general lack of support. With the show still on the air, fans did not want to call negative attention to themselves, lest it reflect negatively on the program, and were uneasy about teenagers reading erotic work. Many of the major fans did not look favorably towards erotica in general, seeing it as a lesser form of fiction. Outpost Daria would not host erotic work in general and there were no dedicated sites.
One known exception to the lack of erotica, and one of the most famous/infamous early erotic works, was "Ragged Denim" which featured Trent Lane and Jesse Moreno engaging in sexual acts. Its reception was highly negative, a situation likely intensified by the fact that the scenes in question portrayed gay male sex, which at the time was not as accepted as straight or even lesbian situations. The fallout at least partially led to co-author Tony Seljuk leaving the fandom; he would later claim the story was deliberately done to "repulse" and provoke that fandom.
A group of fans disgruntled with the prevailing view would create the porn site Lawndale After Dark - which borrowed graphics from other websites - as a vicious prank, with some deliberately over-the-top and offensive stories. (An anonymous post was made on the PPMB forum to 'alert' fandom) Fandom response at the time was extremely negative, especially from the website Outpost Daria about its stolen graphics, but Lawndale After Dark started to have genuine submissions of erotic work, though not enough to make it a going concern. The site was allowed to lapse out of existence.
As the show ceased production and the fanbase grew older in the 2000s, the interest in erotica grew and gradually became more accepted. In this more laissez-faire mood, the Daria Fanworks Awards (founded in 2004) offered three categories for Dariarotica: Favorite Erotica - Straight, Favorite Erotica - Gay/Lesbian, and Favorite Erotic Visual. Mistress Daria's Dungeon would replace Lawndale After Dark as a repository for porn; as Paperpusher's Message Board banned much adult content, Sh33p's Fluff Message Board was formed as a message board with fewer restrictions, and its members-only "Baa'd Sheep" forum has become the main source for new erotic fanworks, with Leather Chef writing challenges; and the 2007 website Lawndale Online would have an adults-only Zon sub-section.
This continued during the early 2010s but as the decade went on, the fandom-specific websites and forums that allowed Dariarotica began to die off one by one. Due to changes in the fandom, with older members leaving and new ones entering, interest in erotica fell and nothing has replaced these websites. The Awards' "Favorite Erotic" setion is mostly dropped for lack of entries.
Arguments For and Against
Fandom has argued about the genre for many years.
As with other fandoms and in society in general, there are always people who consider erotica in general to be morally wrong or that it is a lesser genre of writing; America (the source of most fans) has liberalised on this since the 1990s and this is less likely to be an explicity argument. Due to this, fans who have written erotica have used aliases to seperate it from their 'main' work.
When the show was still on the air, there was an unspoken (and sometimes spoken) discouragement of erotica. One reason was that the target audience were teenagers and should not be exposed. Another was concern that this could incur the wrath of MTV: during this time, Fanfiction.net had removed all NC-17 fanfics and Anne Rice famously threatened legal action against fanworks of her novels, so legal action was a genuine risk fandoms were concerned about. This is now seen as less of a risk, as fanworks are now more tolerated and erotic fanworks tend to be a punchline. The fandom, including most new fans coming in since the DVD and streaming, leans older and so can consume erotica without any legal issues.
Since then, the main argument against is down to most of the characters being high schoolers. Erotica creators in such fandoms traditionally have the characters be eighteen (the legal age of consent for real-world porn) or aged up to adults, but even declaring them eighteen can be seen as dubious.
The arguments for are that some adult fans would like to read about adult situations, and that sexual desires are an entirely natural thing for fans to express or consume. It is also canon that several of the characters are having sex. On the ethical grounds it was argued, as in many fandoms, that erotica fanworks are entirely fictional - there's no harm or potential of harm because Daria is not a real person.
Works of Dariarotica
(Limited to works with existing wiki pages and involving adult characters)
- Bar Fly by Mr Bigglesworth
- Nervous Dreams by Richard Lobinske
- Night in the Tank by KatrinaMedina
- Odell's Pleasant Day by Brother Grimace
- pizza by Jim North
- Ragged Denim by Tony Seljuk and Katherine Goodman
- "Legal issues with fan fiction" on Wikipedia.com
- "NC17 Stories on Fanfiction.net ...and elsewhere...": essay on Fanfiction.net's decision to remove all NC-17 adult-themed stories from its archives, with author's thoughts on what works or doesn't work in erotic fanfiction