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Why Do Our Characters Have Sex? - Mo's Journal
January 25th, 2007
04:39 pm

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Why Do Our Characters Have Sex?

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From:eveningblue
Date:January 25th, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
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This is a really interesting post. It gives me a lot to think about.

I think that in the three fandoms I've read extensively in (S&H, Highlander and Pros) there is such a strong OTP feeling about the two characters being slashed that the sex is almost always written as an inevitable expression of love. Not always, but almost always. Maybe this is part of why I prefer established-relationship stories, because the sex is less of the "oh my god I can't believe you feel this way I feel this way too let's make love" variety, and is more likely to say something more about the characters and their relationship than about pure romantic inevitability.

Part of why I so much enjoy your Scott/Logan stories is that there is less of that feeling of inevitability--with them and with Adam and Jean-Paul--there is always the chance that this thing Won't Work Out. And not for any huge romantic reason but simply because they're incompatible. It's obvious from your writing that you've thought about all these issues.

It's weird (to me) that I am so attracted to these OTP shows because I basically agree with what xtricks said in his journal about how so much slash is just romance written with one butch man and one feminized man, and I don't really like it. Maybe I'd be better off finding an ensemble type of canon source (like X-Men). But on the other hand I really am a romantic sucker for the whole OTP/soulmate thing.

Oy, I rambled. Sorry!
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From:mofic
Date:January 26th, 2007 12:27 am (UTC)
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Don't be sorry - it was interesting rambling. I do think it's possible for two people to conceive of themselves as soulmates without falling into the traps xtricks talks about so well in his journal.

Another post you might want to read is here . It's a spinoff from xtrick's post and makes very good points. It also prompted a lot of my thinking for this post.

Something else I'd like to cover - but I think I need to think more about it before I do - is how gender differences in expectations and views of "romance" figure into this. There was an essay I wish I could find again that someone pointed me to months ago, that was a slash writer basically responding to gay male objections to slash. She talked about what she got out of a kind of slash that feminizes men and also objectifies men's bodies, as well as the romantic aspects of it. She was presenting this as a woman's view and basically saying that men don't have to like it, won't like it, aren't expected to like it, but it's ours.

Only it's the kind of slash I hate, and I felt like yelling "Ain't I a Woman?" when I read it. I do want my sex to be realistic, and I don't think that means I value male aesthetic more than female literary aesthetic. If anything, I think that a lot of "romantic" slash is not so much feminine in its imagination as heterosexual.

Anyway, I do actually have more complex thoughts than that about the essay, and about the whole concept of a romantic male/male erotic stories written by and for women, but I think I need to both find that essay and reread it and think some more about that.
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From:eveningblue
Date:January 26th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
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Was it possibly by Ann Somerville (logophilos)? I think I've seen her write about similar issues.

If anything, I think that a lot of "romantic" slash is not so much feminine in its imagination as heterosexual.

Maybe that's true, but that's probably because a lot of women who write it are writing from their own (het) experiences and (het) fantasies, and are writing it for other (het) women.
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From:mofic
Date:January 26th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC)
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It was called something like "This is not the slash you're looking for". I don't know who wrote it, but I really would like to find it again...
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From:executrix
Date:January 26th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
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Replying to lemurgrrrl: your post made me think of a slash dynamic that I really like (although of course it's not the only possible one!): Guy Who Wants to Be There/Guy Who Doesn't Want to Be There. Sex is always going to be more important to the guy who doesn't want to be there than to the one who's always all about the mission.
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From:talktooloose
Date:January 27th, 2007 04:14 am (UTC)
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Random ramble in response.

One of the most powerful things about Mo's Scott/Logan pairing is Scott's acceptance that Logan will probably never settle down and commit to a traditional relationship. Scott's acceptance of the relationship AS IT IS is one of the reasons it is strong and enduring. Would that we all had the strength to accept our relationships as they were rather than judge by how well they follow pre-written societal patterns.
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From:mofic
Date:January 27th, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
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Scott comes to that acceptance with a lot of struggle and a lot of pain - for both of them. I think it's a rare individual who can easily reject those patterns.
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