Frequently Asked Questions
Abbreviated Story Codes in A.S.S.
Authors' Version

v 6.2 -- June 2005

Q How do I code a story I have written so as to communicate most accurately to potential readers?


Noted (MM) among hot codes

Q1 What does "story code" mean?

A1 Story codes are a group of symbols on the subject line of stories posted in,, and several closely-related newsgroups. They communicate to some of the readers some of the contents of the story. Generally, codes are intended to address the download decisions of many potential readers. Some warn of content that some readers want to avoid. Some advertise content that some readers want to download. Most codes do both.

Q2 How do I use this FAQ?

A2 If you are new to coding, you should probably browse through it once. You should learn the codes used in the area in which you want to write (we call that your subgenre). For a new story, and especially for a new subgenre, you can check the section involved. Otherwise, check out the "changes" section at the top of each posting.

You should know the codes for sex, age, and number in part 3.0 below. You should be aware of the hot codes in part 3.1. And you should know the codes of your own subgenre. You needn't necessarily know the code subtleties of other subgenres, except to know that you shouldn't use those codes for another purpose.

In the FAQ, we often write a single code within its own set of parentheses. This is to signal that we are looking at codes; use only one set of parentheses on actual stories.

Q3 What are the codes?

A3 Here they are broken down into categories. Some codes are repeated, with the same definition, in more than one category.


3.0:      Sex, age, and number. 
3.1:      Hot codes.  It is considered brutally rude to omit 
          these codes if they apply. 
3.2:      Willingness or unwillingness. 
3.3:      Dominance, submission, bondage, pain and violence. 
3.4:      Relationships. 
3.5:      Activities. 
3.6:      Various kinks. 
3.7:      Other particulars. 


It is considered viciously rude to include the categories that I have marked with an asterisk (*) without warning of them in the story codes. See section 3.1.

3.0: Sex, Age, and number of persons engaged in sexual activity. (Not only intercourse.)

M    An adult man (18 or older) 
m    Boy - Teenager (13 - 17) 
b*   Boy - Preteen (age 12 or younger) 
F    An adult woman (18 or older) 
f    Girl - Teenager (13 - 17) 
g*   Girl - Preteen (age 12 or younger) 

Some examples of how these are used: 

MF   Heterosexual adult sex 
mf   Young heterosexual sex 
FF   Homosexual adult female sex 
MM*  Homosexual adult male sex 
ff   Young lesbian sex 
mm*  Homosexual, young male sex 
Mg* or mF  Permutations of this are an adult having sex with a 

+    2 or more of the same sex, that is 
M+F  Several men having sex with the same woman 
MF+  Several women having sex with the same man 
M+F+      They all mix it up 
MF mf     Two couples, not a foursome 

fsolo    e.g.   Masturbation by an adolescent girl. 

When these are not sufficient to distinguish who is doing what 
with whom, there is a discussion of connectors, ~, (or /) in 
 The coding subtlety FAQ.  

Fembot    A female robot, designed to give sexual pleasure.
fembot    A version of the same, designed to look like a teenaged girl.

3.1: Hot codes.   It is considered brutally rude to omit these 
          codes if they apply: 

b         Boy under 13 participates in sex
bd        Bondage and Discipline 
best      Bestiality. Sex with an animal (see also zoo) 
blackmail Forcing sex through threat of exposure. 
cbt       Cock & ball torture 
fist      Fisting 
g         Girl under 13 participates in sex
inc       Incest 
mc        Mind control 
MM        (or mm, etc.)  Male homosexuality
nc        Non-consensual Sexual Activity 
nec       [Necrophilia]  Sex with a dead person 
ped       [Pedophilia]  Participants age 12 or below. Should use 
          the proper sex and age codes instead, but those codes 
          may not be omitted if one of the participants in sex is 
          under the age of 13.
rape      rape 
reluc     starts out as rape, but she loves it. 
sad       [sadism]  For "just" inflicting pain. Can be used with 
          'nc' or 'cons'. 
scat      [Scatology] Fun with feces. 
sm        Sadomasochism: pain which gives pleasure to both 
snuff     Killing 
tort      Torture. 
viol      Violence, not always (sad). 
ws        Water Sports 
zoo       [Zoophilia]  Caring and consensual sexual relationships 
          between humans and animals. (See also best) 

And generally any level of sex-related violence.  Of course, some 
of these terms include others.  If you include (tort) and (snuff) 
then (sad) is redundant. 

However, we consider it fair to use (caution) in story codes to indicate that the story might squick some people, but telling why it might squick them might spoil the story for others.

Generally, male homosexual activity squicks a fair number of men. Lesbian activity doesn't seem to bother very many people. However, some jurisdictions forbid the depiction of sexual activity which are illegal there. So casual FF activity should probably be labeled as well, even if it is not a major theme of your story.

3.2: Willingness or unwillingness. 

blackmail*  Forcing sex through threat of exposure. 
cons       Only Consensual Sexual Activity (including possible 
               non-intercourse sexual activity) is in the story. 
mc*        Mind control. 
nc*        Some non-consensual Sexual Activity (including 
                possible non-intercourse sexual activity.) 
rape*      Brutal non-consensual intercourse. 
reluc*     Starts out as rape, but she loves it. 
rom        [Romantic]  Consensual Sexual Activity only.  Based, 
               at least in part, on the characters' love for one 
               another.  Just now, wisest to include (cons). 

For multiple nonconsensual codes, see 

3.3: Dominance, submission, bondage, pain and violence. _dom Domination by member of sex/age "_" e.g. Mdom Dominant adult male Fdom Dominant adult female bd* Bondage and Discipline cbt* Cock & ball torture fist* Fisting humil Humiliation. Some of the sexual charge of the story involves the humiliation of one of the characters. mc* Mind control rough Consensually rough sex, not always sm. sad* [Sadism] For "just" inflicting pain. Can be used with 'nc' or 'cons'. sm* Sadomasochism: pain which gives pleasure to both parties snuff* Killing span [Spanking] Mild (sm) tort* Torture. Severe non-consensual pain-giving viol* Violence, not always (sad)

Generally, (snuff) applies to killing in which the description of the killing is supposed to add to the sexual charge; (viol) includes stories which are violent, even if the sex isn't.

3.4: Relationships cheat Married or committed people having sex outside of the commitment, cheating on their partner, as distinct from swinging. inc* Incest interr Interracial rom [Romantic] Consensual Sexual Activity only. Based, at least in part, on the characters' love for one another. wife Wife *watching* (participatory cuckoldry) wl [Wedded Lust] Sex within the marital relationship.
3.5: Activities solo Masturbation by M, m, b, F, f or g; e.g. Msolo anal Anal sex, not always genital penetration. best* Bestiality. Sex with an animal (see also zoo) enem Enemas exhib Exhibitionism fist* Fisting inc* Incest mc* Mind control nec* [Necrophilia] Sex with a dead person nosex There is no intercourse in the story. This is a preemptive code in the sense that it overrides any implication of intercourse by other codes used. oral Oral-genital contact. ped* [Pedophilia] Some participants age 12 or below. piv [Penis in vagina.] "Straight" intercourse. rim* Oral-anal contact. scat* [Scatology] Fun with feces. tg Transgendered (Transsexual) vore Eating (literally) someone or something alive. Think Jonah. voy Voyeurism wife Wife *watching* (participatory cuckoldry) ws* Water Sports (aka golden showers, that is: people who like getting pissed on (as opposed to pissed off). zoo* [Zoophilia] Caring and consensual relationships between humans and animals. (See also best)
3.6: Various kinks. bi Bisexuality of one or more characters. lac [Lactation] Playing with (human) milk. preg [Pregnant] Sex with a pregnant woman or impregnation. toys Vibrators or other adult toys
3.7: Other particulars. 1st First time intercourse. You may also use m1st, F1st, etc. Sometimes first time MM or FF intercourse for someone who has already experienced MF. Fembot A female robot, designed to give sexual pleasure. fembot A version of the same, designed to look like a teenaged girl. filk New lyrics for a familiar tune. furry Anthropomorphized animals hist Has a historical theme humor Humor. Funny interr Interracial parody Imitation of a style or particular story with the intent to amuse. ScFi Science fiction setting. Please note spelling. size Overdeveloped body-parts

Q4 What if none of these codes cover my needs for my story?

A4 Consult The FAQ on coding subtleties. which has less-often-used codes and comments on dealing with a case where new codes are really needed.

Q5 What happens if I use these codes exactly?

A5 Some readers search on these codes, by eye or by search engine. The ones who are looking for a story like yours will find yours. Of those who enjoy it, some will look for more of your stories. Your readership will be increased; one or two of them might even write you fan mail.

Also, every pleased reader will have been "positively reinforced" for reading* and for using the codes. You will have helped not only yourself, but the rest of the authors.

Q6 What happens if I misuse these codes?

A6 The reader who is using the codes to look for precisely that sort of story will miss yours. The reader who downloads your story because he is looking for what you claimed it was will be displeased. Depending on his level of displeasure and his tolerance, his actions can range from junking that particular story to kill-filing you or even writing you a nasty letter or a comment in the group.

Certainly, each such reader will have been "negatively reinforced," very slightly less likely to trust codes, to use codes, and to read

Q7a What happens if I use the codes I think fit, but not the ones in the FAQ that the reader expects?

Q7b What happens if I use precisely the codes in the FAQ, but those aren't the ones the reader considers appropriate for the story?

A7 Pretty much the same thing as A6. Readers react according to their expectations. The FAQ follows usage, not usage following the FAQ, much less your opinions.

Q8 What happens if I don't use codes?

A8 Some readers won't touch an uncoded story. The readers who do download your story are likely not looking for that sort of story. Almost certainly, coding increases your readership -- how much depends on the subgenre and other particulars. More about this in The FAQ on coding subtleties.

Q9 How much code should I put on the story.

A9 You should use the appropriate sex and age codes in section 3.0, any hot codes from section 3.1, and the main theme of the story. Beyond that, consult
The FAQ on coding subtleties. You might also check out the coding of some stories which you have read and remember, although the best writers aren't always the best coders.

Q10 What is in the subtleties of coding FAQ?

A10 Rarely used codes and codes from specialized newsgroups and for (MM) or (interr) stories. The order of using codes. More on how much code is necessary.

Q11 How are these codes presented?

A11 The story-codes for each story should all be enclosed in one set of ( parentheses ) after the story name. The codes should be separated by spaces, and no single code should include a space [e.g. (ScFi) not (sci fi); (Mdom} not {M dom)].

The codes for sex and age are run together when those persons are involved with each other [(MFF) not (M F F)]. These codes are run into the following codes when they are modifiers [(Fdom) (Msolo) (f1st)].

Usually, the codes for sex and age come first.

It would be nice if you used these codes just as they are given, capitals and lower-case letters and all.

If you are posting to ASSM, then
Romeo and Juliet 1 {Shakespeare} (Mf viol 1st) [1/5] works for a subject line.

If you are not posting on ASSM, but are posting on ASS, then use: {ASS} Romeo and Juliet 1 {Shakespeare} (Mf viol 1st) [1/5]

Much more on the entire subject line at:

The ASSM subject line FAQ

Q12 What other resources are available?

The FAQ on subtleties of story coding.

The story-code FAQ for readers.

The alphabetical list of all story codes.


The list of all story codes by type of story.

End of FAQ

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