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.
Not 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.