Note: This was a post I originally created for Dennis Cooper’s blog, where it was published on 7/31/2009
The Nifty Erotic Stories Archive is a web resource that comprises a vast collection of erotic fiction involving alternative sexualities (mostly gay male, but also bestiality, bisexual, lesbian, and transgender). It started as a personal archive of both pictures and stories made available to the public via anonymous FTP at CMU by student and, later, staff member Chris. In 1993 the archive was taken over by the current archivist, David, who categorized the stories and eventually created its current web incarnation.
The site accepts any and all submissions that fit into its guidelines (stories must be original works and can not include subject matter such as “rape or coercion of minors,” “suicide or attempted suicide without consequences” and others).
“The Nifty Archive primarily is maintained by one person who handles all sections except Transgender. A few kind, reliable readers involved with the Transgender community help with that section.
“Maintaining the Archive is done as a hobby: a volunteer, part-time effort. No one receives any compensation for or personal benefit from maintaining the Archive. Readers do not pay to access stories; authors do not pay to display stories; websites which host the Archive must make it accessible to all and do not pay for the content; stories are not obscured with banner advertising in and around them. The Archive does not own any of the stories and does not sell them or license them to others. All webhosting graciously is donated. Some readers help defray the incidental costs for which we are extremely grateful and hope that more readers will help in the future.”
AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID, THE NIFTY ARCHIVIST
How many hours do you spend reading submitted stories in a typical day/week?
Nifty requires more work than just reviewing the stories. I also maintain prolific authors listings, fix broken links (including in stories), review stories, and reformat stories for publication. I work on Nifty about 30 hours a week.
Do you fully read the stories, or just skim them for content?
This depends on the story topic and the author. If I only need to categorize the story, I try to skim it. If the story may contain content that would violate Nifty’s guidelines, I read it in detail.
How often (if ever) do you find yourself getting caught up in a story and enjoying it?
I sometimes read stories on subjects that I enjoy or stories that are written in a style that grabs me. A number of readers have volunteered to help with Nifty over the years, but reviewing stories is a lot different than reading them for pleasure. I receive over 50 messages a day — mostly story submissions — and cannot read them all for pleasure.
You said that Nifty is a hobby for you, and it’s one you seem to have been doing for some time. What keeps you doing it?
I created Nifty as a statement about free speech — I did not want to be an “armchair liberal” making donations to various causes and instead decided to take action.
Nifty requires a lot of time and effort to maintain, but in some ways it is a pleasant distraction from life or my regular job. I can add a few stories in between meetings or while waiting for my some other project at work to complete and feel that I have accomplished something.
It seems Nifty offers a portrait of its users’ fantasy lives at any given time. I’m thinking specifically of “boy band” stories, which were quite prevalent for a while and less so now. Have you noticed any other changes or shifts in what Nifty writers have fantasized and written about in the years that you’ve been maintaining the archive?
I agree that Nifty is a window onto the evolving fantasies of gay men. I am proud that Nifty has a compilation of stories beginning from the BBS days and that is why it is an *archive* — a permanent collection of old and new stories. One of its purposes is as an academic resource, not that everyone uses it for that. Although I have been contacted by university professors who have used it for research.
Nifty used to receive more submissions about anonymous encounters in t-rooms and saunas and clubs, but now seems to receive more stories about beginning relationships, especially co-workers or friends. As more college students find Nifty, there are more stories about college or high school relationships — this often shows seasonal variations as universities are in session or on summer break.
SOME NOT-SO-RANDOMLY CHOSEN STORIES
Saved By the Hand
“‘Oh, I love this Zack. We have to do this more often, since it’s better than rubbing my own dick.’ Zack said the same thing, and noticed Slater’s erect nipples on his bulging pecs. ‘You know, Slater. I’ve always wanted to touch and suck your chest. It’s just so…muscular, that I’ve always wanted to do—‘ Slater anxiously cut him off. ‘Do it. Straddle me and suck them.'”
“’I……I ………I think I am in love with you.’ Josh looked away as he said it. He wasn’t sure if he should be embarrassed or scared. ‘I know. I have known for a long time. I see the way you look at me. And guess what, I love you too!” Chris said as he leaned in and kissed him again. “In fact, I love you so much that I want to explore all these parka fantasies you have written about.’”
“Robby and his father pranced around us saying they had found their Bitch at last for Pal. I felt like a celebrity bitch. Suddenly I was being filled with that dogs hot cum until I felt like I was going to explode. He kept pumping my ass driving his cum even deeper into me and then finally when he dismounted from me I was sorry to have him stop. Giggling I ask if they had anymore dogs.”
“Wayne started to suck harder, feelin’ my dick throbb in his mouff e’rytime he went down on it wuz drivin’ dat nigga cra-z. He wuz breathin’ hard through his nose and huffin’ on e’ry down stroke. He liked the feel of my dick fillin’ his mouff. I could tell he wuz dyin’ to taste my load for the first time, and I wannit to give it to ’em.”
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
Here’s the first story I ever submitted to Nifty. It was rejected, because (I think) the lack of consent on the part of the son character.
I’ve been reading the Nifty Archive since I was fifteen years old. I used to print my favorite stories out on my dad’s dot-matrix printer and hide them in a trunk in my room. One of the first stories I ever submitted to Nifty came back to me, six years later, as dialogue in a mainstream porno film (directed by Joe Gage, full story here). Though that’s surely an unusual case, porn nevertheless has the power to lurk in the collective unconsciousness, which makes Nifty some weird back-alley repository for the past sixteen years of gay/bi/trans desires.
I guess what I find most valuable about Nifty is the unpretentiousness of it. Everyone is a storyteller, whether they realize it or not. When you concoct a sexual fantasy in your head (even when you watch a porno movie you tend to fill in the blanks), you are writing a story. And if you take the time to write it down and post it to Nifty, thousands will read it and many will take the time to tell you they like it, too. So that’s a beautiful thing.