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What Does It Mean to Say that Slash is (or isn't) Subversive? - Mo's Journal — LiveJournal
January 22nd, 2007
05:12 pm

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What Does It Mean to Say that Slash is (or isn't) Subversive?

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From:mofic
Date:January 24th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)

Re: here from metafandom

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And to what extent do you think it can tend to not only illuminate women's sexual desires, but also shape them? That's an open question to me.

From:galadhir
Date:January 24th, 2007 10:47 am (UTC)

Re: here from metafandom

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I don't know about that one :) In my own case it felt more like just learning to accept what was there already. I'd been mentally slashing characters since I was about 11. So it wasn't an 'OMG! That's wierd but actually it's kind of cool!' it was an 'OMG! Other women do this too?!' for me. I can't really speak for others though.
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From:mofic
Date:January 24th, 2007 11:15 am (UTC)

Re: here from metafandom

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Actually, I wasn't thinking of just generic slash but more specific phenomena. Some examples:

- a bunch of women into slash report developing interest in sex acts they hadn't enjoyed or weren't willing to try before (e.g. fellatio and/or anal sex) after reading erotic descriptions of men engaging in those activities

- the whole mpreg thing. Were there really lots of women who were interested in stories about men getting pregnant, or did writing them create that demand? This may just be me being clueless about the appeal, but it just seems hard for me to believe there was all that much interest out there.

- more specifically, in TPM fandom there's a whole subset of "tentacle sex" stories, with otherworldly creatures of various kinds with long tentacles. I've heard there are some "Giant Squid" stories, similarly, in HP fandom. I find it hard to believe that tentacles were in a lot of women's erotic imaginations. My guess is someone thought of it, wrote a compelling story, and it helped to shape desire for some others.

As to slash in general, I think a lot of women really have the experience you do - they found slash sexy before they even knew there was such a thing. But others come to it reluctantly and get hooked. Maybe it was there for them all along and they didn't know it. Or maybe it opened up erotic vistas for them. Who knows?
From:galadhir
Date:January 24th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)

Re: here from metafandom

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Hm, developing an interest in sex acts you hadn't heard of before seems to me to be just an inevitable result of having been given more information. You learn about new things, and it's natural to think about them - and if they sound like fun to try them out. It's certainly educational, but I don't know about subversive :)

As far as MPreg goes, I first encountered that in a published book (Called 'Aristoi', in which the hero's boyfriend is modified by nano technology in order to become pregnant. The book is by a man (or at least, the author has a male name.) That was quite a while before I discovered fandom. I thought it was an interesting concept, but it was science fiction, so why not? Fan fic MPreg, I tend to feel is a bit like male-rape fic - a way of exploring a scary concept while keeping it at arm's length.

Tentacle porn :) We have it in PotC fandom too. But I don't think it's *that* out there. It seems to me to share inspiration with things like snake dancers and women being violated by aliens and even tree branches in movies. It's the phallic shape, I guess ;) I have to say it doesn't do a thing for me, but each to their own!
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From:mofic
Date:January 24th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC)

Re: here from metafandom

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It's certainly educational, but I don't know about subversive :)

Oh, I was off on a tangent, not talking about subversion any more. I was just musing on the extent to which slashfic (and other sexually explicit fanfic) reflects sexual desires of the readership and the extent to which it shapes it. I think probably both happen.
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From:mofic
Date:January 25th, 2007 03:09 pm (UTC)

Re: here from metafandom

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Hm, developing an interest in sex acts you hadn't heard of before seems to me to be just an inevitable result of having been given more information.

Yes, but I was talking about something quite different: people developing an interest in sex acts they'd heard of and rejected before, in things they'd either found unappealing to contemplate or - in some cases - had tried and really disliked. I think in those cases the erotic imagination is being affected by the fanfic in a very real sense.
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