I follow the guidelines of FictionRatings. Their ratings are divided into:
- K: “Content suitable for most ages.”
- K+: “Some content may not be suitable for young children.”
- T: “Contains content not suitable for children.”
- M: “Contains content suitable for mature teens and older.” and
- MA: “Contains explicit content for mature adults only.”
How are the stories rated?
Most stories involve adults and, yes, they do grown-up things.
They have sex, they talk about it and they perform it, and sometimes they are not married or of different genders. I generally do not get explicit. There is usually little to no profanity (there are some exceptions) unless you get worked up by words like hell, damn, breast, thigh and butt. I rarely use most terminology, but there are definite implications.
Characters can be nude, and there is some description but very little. Minors never do anything other than kiss, although adult characters may talk about the loss of their virginity – and sometimes that happens when someone is under the age of eighteen. No one has relations with animals, but they do sometimes have relations with non-humans (hey, it’s Star Trek). People also engage in foreplay, and sometimes do things that are a bit unconventional, but it is handled more elliptically the more intense it gets. I like to leave things to your imagination. You, the reader should come up with what the characters sound like, what they feel, how they smell (yes, really), and what moves them.
There is also some violence. Characters are sometimes killed. Mirror universe characters are sometimes tortured (per Star Trek canon). Bad things happen when people get too close to explosions. Diseases can be nasty. I try not to go for the gross-out; I think it’s a cop-out. The reader should draw the conclusions and feel the feelings. I don’t want to spoon-feed you with too much of it.
But it’s sex! Yes, Americans in particular are more squeamish about it than we tend to be about violence. It’s even in our Supreme Court rulings these days. Frankly, I’ve pulled fewer punches with the violence than I have with the sex. If you disagree with my ratings, you’re certainly welcome to.
For the most part, I come down on the side of T for most of the more explicit stories that I write. Some of it may be M in parts. In particular, Multiverse II, Transported, Intolerance and Temper are probably the heaviest in terms of situations. This is my opinion and the ratings themselves can be relaxed or strengthened as values change. Use your own judgment. If you feel that my writing the phrase “he was aroused” is too explicit for you, then turn back now. You won’t offend me.