Sexualized Saturdays: Friendship and Femslash

Recently, I have been reading a lot more femslash than I used to in my quest to read better fanfiction. And as a queer woman, you would think that I’d ship more femslash pairings. You’d think that when two female characters spent any significant amount of screen time together, my brain would immediately go to all kinds of happy slashy places.

Regrettably, though, that is not what happens. Well, not all the time. I started noticing that I was more drawn to certain female ships than others. In an article discussing the AO3 census, Luce mentioned that most male/male slash fanfiction pairings are usually either friends or rivals. I tend to gravitate toward femslash pairings where the two characters are rivals like Swan Queen (Emma Swan/Regina Mills from Once Upon a Time) but when two female characters are canonically good friends, I simply can’t ship them. It’s so rare to see good female friendships—or female relationships of any kind—that I feel the need to protect those relationships.

tumblr_static_tumblr_m2jmzffr5e1qh48ebo1_400Not long ago, Luce also discussed some theories as to why there aren’t as many femslash pairings as there are male/male slash pairings. And I started wondering if maybe not being able to ship female friends contributes to the lack of femslash in fandom.

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Did Kate Argent Save the Teen Wolf Fandom?

After reading MadameAce’s and Tsunderin’s excellent post about Girl-Bashing in Yaoi Fics, I began to wonder if the same problem of demonizing women in fanfiction for the sake of a male/male romantic relationship would still occur if the woman being demonized is canonically an evil ex-lover. MadameAce describes the typical plot in slash fanfiction that often demonizes women, writing:

Normally, the two male characters will hook up, and the female character—sometimes a canon love interest for one of the males—is made out to be a jealous, manipulative excuse for a human being, so the story, author, and readers can feel justified when she is righteously cut down for daring to get in the way of the lovers.

In Teen Wolf, Kate Argent is, in canon, a former lover of Derek’s who horribly manipulated and deceived him in order to kill his entire family. If we just gave Derek a new male love interest, in that scenario it could be yet another female-hating stereotypical slash fanfic.

1_derek-kate-allisonMadameAce and Tsunderin’s post shows how normally good and upright female characters are turned into evil homophobes so that the reader does not have to feel guilty about the female characters being abandoned for the sake of a male/male fanfic. These fanfics generally just show lazy writing. Instead of making these female characters deal with the emotions that would come from a lover leaving them for another man they are simply shown to already be abusive and uncaring toward their partner so that the reader does not have to feel bad for them, and paving the way for a male/male relationship. But Kate is already an abusive and uncaring former lover of Derek’s. So does the fact that Kate is a canon character that is already fulfilling a role that many fanfic authors use save other female characters that are canonically good from being demonized? And does that lessen the sexism or just create more problems?

Now one can also argue that Kate is just a bad female character so both the show and the fanfiction are displaying some measure of sexism. So let’s take a look.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Is Slash Fanfiction Degrading or/and Homophobic?

tumblr_leo5unpjjl1qzb8r6o1_500I have always felt that one of the biggest arguments against slash fanfiction is that it often takes gay romances and makes them heteronormative. In doing so, fanfic can become both degrading and homophobic.

There are a lot of issues to unpack here and for that reason this might end up being a topic I go back to again. Furthermore, this problem is tied to other issues I won’t touch on too much in this post because either I or one of the other authors have already addressed them in a different one.

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Fanfiction Fridays: Prince Among Wolves by tylerfucklin

As many of you who read this blog know, I recently became obsessed with Teen Wolf. And of course my favorite part about joining a new fandom is, of course, all the new fanfiction! Now this is Teen Wolf so you know I have to talk about Sterek.

Okay, this pic isn't really Sterek but just go with it because it's cute!

Okay, this pic isn’t really Sterek but just go with it because it’s cute!

Chances are, even if you don’t know anything about Teen Wolf or watched it at all, you probably know about Sterek. Maybe you see it on Tumblr constantly or maybe you were annoyed because “that fucking Teen Wolf pairing beat my favorite ship in an online poll again!” Yep, Sterek has made a name for itself in the slash community and that’s surprising, because the two characters in this pairing, Stiles and Derek, don’t actually share that many scenes together canonically speaking. But when they do interact the dynamic between the two is pure gold. Even if you don’t ship them, chances are you still love seeing them together.

Sterek dominates the Teen Wolf fandom, so there is a lot of fanfiction for it, but most of them are pretty standard. I have often heard that the Teen Wolf fandom has a reputation for having some bad fanfiction, but honestly I haven’t read anything too bad. I have even read fanfics where characters call themselves feminists and the female characters are still well written and never demonized for the sake of a slash pairing. But maybe I’m just finding good fics. Now, that being said, Teen Wolf fanfiction is pretty much the same as any other fanfiction. Same tropes, same plots, same type of pairings, but you know, with werewolves this time!

But then I found Prince Among Wolves by tylerfucklin and was blown away!

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Sexualized Saturdays: Male Pregnancy in Fanfiction

Okay, so for the most part Sexualized Saturdays has been pretty tame. We have mostly talked about sexuality and the portrayal of relationships, with a couple notable exceptions, but now I am about to take you deep into the world of fanfiction and fetishes. Be warned, if you see Irene Adler in any future Sexualized Saturdays posts it means adult content ahead.

“I know fanfic authors, well, I know what they like.”

Let’s talk about one theme that shows up a lot in fanfiction: male pregnancy.

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