The newsgroup quickly became one of the most popular text-based newsgroups (i.e. not intended for posting binary files) on Usenet. Amateur writers of all sorts began posting fictional "erotic stories" and finding a worldwide audience for their work. However, because of the very nature of unmoderated newsgroups, alt.sex.stories soon found itself a repository for a great number of poorly-written, sometimes barely legible "stroke" stories consisting of a few sentences or paragraphs. The average quality of the stories posted to the newsgroup seemed somewhat lower and more crude than the stories seen in pornographic magazines and books, and this state of affairs continues to the current day.
Nonetheless, the laughable quality of some of the stories on the newsgroup was offset by a large number of relatively decent "stories." Over time, authors appeared on the newsgroup who were possessed of genuine writing talent. A few of these authors were so popular that they succeeded in using alt.sex.stories to launch moderately successful careers for themselves as writers of erotica. Notable authors of erotica who originally wrote for alt.sex.stories include Elf Sternberg[?] and Mary Anne Mohanraj[?].
As the popularity of the Internet soared in the mid-1990s and authority figures began to restrict access to many adult-oriented Web sites and binary-oriented newsgroups, alt.sex.stories managed (by and large) to avoid becoming a target for would-be censors and law enforcement officials cracking down on Internet pornography. The fact that the newsgroup is dedicated primarily to fictional text-based stories, as opposed to graphics and pictures, has allowed the newsgroup to be bypassed and overlooked in the wake of various crackdowns on online "obscenity." Many users of the newsgroup live in the United States, where the First Amendment protects the right of most citizens to post adult-oriented fictional stories in a forum such as the newsgroup. (Text-based pornography is restricted or prohibited in many other countries, however.)
The subject matter of alt.sex.stories has ensured the newsgroup's survival. Even after the entire alt.sex.* newsgroup hierarchy was overwhelmed by unending spamming starting in the mid-1990s, people continued to post stories to alt.sex.stories. Today the newsgroup remains a popular place for users to search for "smut" stories of literally every conceivable form of written erotica that can be devised. (However, the high spam content on the newsgroup means that for many readers, a spam filter especially for newsgroups is necessary to filter out the many junk messages there.)
The newsgroup has served as the source for a great number of anonymous and pseudonymous stories that have since been archived on many adult-oriented Web sites and CD-ROM collections.
The constant spamming of alt.sex.stories by various pay services, scam artists, and bots[?] has also led to the creation of the moderated newsgroup alt.sex.stories.moderated. This moderated newsgroup exists in order to "filter" out the genuine stories from the spam and off-topic postings on alt.sex.stories. Originally moderated by a single person, alt.sex.stories.moderated is currently maintained by a group of volunteers who also manage the alt.sex.stories.moderated Web archive.
The following links point to one or more Web sites that contain adult-oriented text and other materials.