Dariarotica, a portmanteau of Daria and erotica, is the term given to stories, and often art, of an erotic nature that features characters from the TV show Daria. Though attitudes were initially strongly against Dariarotica given the nature of the series, attitudes have gradually changed, overall, to provide places for those interested in such fanworks to create and view them.
What is (and what isn't) Dariarotica
As with any type of erotica, what qualifies as Dariarotica depends on the person. Fanworks may be of an adult nature, but not necessarily erotica, especially in the case of depictions of violence and/or drug use. A common guideline for Dariarotica is inclusion of vivid, non-clinical descriptions of genitalia and sexual acts, as well as visual depictions of same. Often works of Dariarotica are meant to stimulate or "turn on" the reader/viewer, but many works either do not have this intent or make it secondary to another aim. At times, stories found where other adult stories are found may be considered adult for classification purposes. These stories may include stories involving non-sexual nudity and responses to Leather Chef challenges or Scenes That Should Not Be threads.
Many Daria websites do not allow erotic works to be posted, in order to keep their sites "clean" and appeal to all ages, among other reasons. Paperpusher's Message Board does not allow Dariarotica, nor do Outpost Daria, Fanfiction.net, and most other Daria fanfiction websites. Lawndale Online is the most recent website to offer Dariarotica in its Zon adult section. Sh33p's Fluff Message Board has a members-only forum for posting erotic works, as well as Mistress Daria's Dungeon, a repository for erotic Daria fanfiction. The website AdultFanFiction.net hosts erotic fanfiction of any fandom, including Daria. The Daria Fanworks Awards offer three categories for Dariarotica: Favorite Erotica - Straight, Favorite Erotica - Gay/Lesbian, and Favorite Erotic Visual. Note that occasionally the awards for these categories have been dropped or combined for lack of entries, and works not generally considered erotic have been nominated for, and even won, such awards. At the same time, erotic works are not barred from nomination in other categories.
Compare with fanservice.
Arguments For and Against Dariarotica
There is, and has always been, a portion of the fandom who do not take an interest in the genre. Some common reasons for the marginalization of Dariarotica are as follows:
- Many writers have no interest in writing Daria erotica or find they are not proficient in writing within the genre. Thus Daria erotica hasn't had as many excellent writers to champion it as other genres. As such, there are fewer stories one could point to as masterpiece works of the genre.
- Erotica is seen by many as a lesser genre of writing; a sort of "slum category" from which a Daria erotica writer might not escape. As a result, authors who might be interested in writing erotica shy away from it. (Or, in some cases, choose to write some or all of their erotica under pseudonyms.)
- Many people dislike erotica and are not ashamed to say so. (At least, this is their public position on the matter; what they do in private is impossible to determine.) The fact that one of the easier ways to claim that one is a "moral" person is to hate erotica makes this a common viewpoint, a situation that can intimidate new writers.
- While Daria was still on the air, there was an unsaid (and sometimes said) discouragement of pornographic works. This was somewhat understandable at the time, as the characters, as well as the target audience, were teenagers. As well, Daria-related pornography could affect MTV's decision-making process for keeping the show on the air. At the same time, several authors created full scripts in the hopes that they might become new episodes, and felt that MTV equating Daria fandom with erotic works would dash any hopes of this occurring.
- Public laws regarding child pornography have begun to expand their scope. Formerly, a child pornographer was one who created or purchased graphic and explicit media of child sexual acts; the definition is slowly being expanded to those who create art (such as cartoons) or write literature (such as fanfiction). The American legal definition of underage pornography requires that those depicted in media be unable to give consent. This definition includes any one under the age of eighteen, which would include most of the Daria cast for much of the duration it lasted. Thus, many authors and artists feel it isn't worth the potential risk associated with running afoul of such laws, as any erotic works with characters not explicitly stated as being 18 or older may be considered child porn. For more information, see Legal issues with fanworks.
On the other hand, there are also many reasons why authors and artists decide to create erotic works:
- Daria went off the air in January, 2002, with Daria's graduation from High School. The chance for future episodes being produced is practically nonexistent, and much of the original audience is now adults. At the same time, if the series were still going today, the characters would be adults, so it is easier to picture the characters as being adults.
- As much of the Daria fandom community consists of adults, many fans prefer to see stories involving adult situations, which can include violence, drug use, sexual situations, paying bills, taking responsibilities, and more. It is not necessary for such elements to be present for many stories to read properly, but such situations can enhance, or even become integral to, a story. As such, some authors like to have the option for such situations available if necessary.
- Just as some authors and artists are not proficient at producing Dariarotica, some are proficient at it. Some of the most well-known Daria authors, including CINCGREEN and Brother Grimace, have produced works of Dariarotica.
- For visual works, many see the human body as beautiful, and wish to portray the bodies of the characters au naturale. Others with to convey a message that would not be conveyed in the same manner without nudity and/or sexual situations.
The History of Dariarotica
Note: The original author was not around for most of this history, so those who were may feel free to correct inaccuracies
Early examples of Dariarotica were few and far between, for the reasons stated above. One of the most famous/infamous early erotic works was "Ragged Denim," which featured Trent Lane and Jesse Moreno engaging in sexual acts. Despite its high quality, its reception was highly negative, a situation possibly intensified by the fact that the scenes in question portrayed gay male sex, a situation which, especially at the time, was not as accepted as straight or even lesbian situations. Despite the story's current status as one of the better-written male slash stories in the fandom, it at least partially led to one of the story's authors leaving the fandom.
As the show ceased production and the fanbase matured, the interest in Dariarotica grew. Lawndale After Dark was founded as a repository of erotic fanworks (among other aims), and Mistress Daria's Dungeon has grown to take its place as the main website for Dariarotica (and includes the works formerly posted at Lawndale After Dark). As Paperpusher's Message Board has banned much adult content to remain "all-ages" appropriate, 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.
Two of the best-known examples of extreme Dariarotica are "Night of the Storm," by LyinTamer, and its sequel, "The Winters of Those Gone Before," by Brother Grimace. These stories tackled the taboo of incest, having Daria and Quinn be lovers in a traumatized response to their father's murderous rampage and subsequent commitment to a mental institution. Because of their outstanding quality and realistic portrayal, these stories were generally well received by those who chose to read them.
Works of Dariarotica
(Limited to works with existing wiki pages)
- Bar Fly by Mr Bigglesworth
- The Brain & The Beauty by Ronin
- Experimentation OR: What Happened After Tom and Daria Went Upstairs by Greystar
- Nervous Dreams by Richard Lobinske
- Night in the Tank by KatrinaMedina
- Night of the Storm by LyinTamer
- Odell's Pleasant Day by Brother Grimace
- pizza by Jim North
- The Penetration of Stacy Rowe by Catilina
- Quinn’s Nights at Casa Lane by Dervish
- Ragged Denim by Tony Seljuk and Katherine Goodman
- Roofies Roulette by Psychotol
- Size Does Matter - Sidebar 1: Sounds by BlackHole
- Something to Hide by MMan
- Twisted Tales: Jane as Snow White by Dervish
- The Winters of Those Gone Before by Brother Grimace
- Witches’ Flight by Mr Bigglesworth
- All Natural Behaviour by Wouter
- Daria Surprised by Christ Oliver
- Nude Jane by DJ
- Nurse Janey by Ken T
- The Other Kiss by Minkychanz
- Party at Lindy's by Wouter
- "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