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Is it halal for me to have sexual fantasies about a specific fictional character and to read erotica about them without getting off and acting upon? Just for comfort or boredness, for example. When I read smut, I don't get sexually aroused or act up, it's normal for me and just makes me feel loved.

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Asalaam Alaikum

it is NOT permissible in islam to engage in such acts. by reading them you are falling under the category of supporting it. just like supply increases as demand increase, you are unknowingly encouraging those who print, publish and distribute such material.

Allah says in quran

but do not help one another in sin and transgression [al-Maa'idah 5:2]

furthure more i will mention from authentic sunnah that prohibits such,

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

I did not see anything so resembling minor sins as what Abu Huraira said from the Prophet, who said, "Allah has written for the son of Adam his inevitable share of adultery whether he is aware of it or not: The adultery of the eye is the looking (at something which is sinful to look at), and the adultery of the tongue is to utter (what it is unlawful to utter), and the innerself wishes and longs for (adultery) and the private parts turn that into reality or refrain from submitting to the temptation."

[Sahih al-Bukhari 6612]

what our eyes see and what our ears hear are very easily felt in our hearts. we may think it is just a very small sin, or no sin at all. but continuously doing small sins will eventually turn out to be a bigger problem. we must understand and know that our creator,Allah the mighty and sublime does not like such lewd and indecent acts. there are angels recording everything we do, so be careful of what you do.

there are numerous other verses in quran and many ahadith from authentic sunnah that forbids and prohibits these kind of 'faahisha' (indecent or immoral acts).

try to find comfort in something else, something permissible and find another way to cure your boredom.

Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. [13:28]

may Allah grant you mercy and guide you to the straight path.

Allah knows best.

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