First Time (genre)

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Consummation Scene
Related: RST, Established relationship, Virgin!fic, Courtship
See Also:
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Contents

A fic classified as a first time is one where the featured characters engage in an intimate or sexual relationship with each other for the first time. Often the structure of the story is built on overcoming something keeping the characters apart, with the dramatic arc concluding when the obstacle is overcome or circumnavigated.

The Beauty and the Beast fandom often refers to Catherine and Vincent's first time as the "consummation scene".

General

First Time stories appear to be an enormously popular trope in virtually every fandom[1][2] and are often specifically labeled as such as a guide to the reader.[3] Many of the stories mimic the characteristics of romance novels, with unresolved sexual tension, the first flush of realization, the hurdles that must be overcome and the final resolution which, more often than not, involves a sexual encounter.

In 2004, two Professionals fans discuss possible reasons for the popularity of this trope in slash fanworks:
[suzycat wrote]: I have this nascent theory that when we write slash, we like to go back to the moment where homosocial shifts to homosexual, to the point where it all begins, because it meets a need somehow - of the endlessly deferred courtship, maybe, or of a repetition of the adolescent phase where we make "decisions" about identity, or perhaps even the moment we develop an ego identity... For some reason, we really *love* those first times, and we keep writing them/reading them over and over to recreate the excitement and intensity. Before it all goes stale. [nellhowell replies]: Interesting theory. In a sort of related issue, I've heard speculation that fandoms themselves perhaps go in cycles. That is, it's perhaps commonplace for writers in a new fandom to want to explore first times, to speculate on how the specific characters in that world will make that move from homosocial to homosexual, so there's a burst of that type of story to start out with. Then, as the fandom ages and the cache of first-time stories grows large, writers--even new ones to the fandom--branch out into exploring other themes. I don't know if that holds any water or not, but it'd be cool to see a study along these lines. [4]

Examples of First Time fiction

Publications

back cover of issue #3, Caren P.
front cover of issue #3, Caren P.

(1985) 189 pages The first fanzine to cater specifically to this popular genre was First Time, an anthology of stories featuring first time encounters between Kirk and Spock. The zine was published in 1984 by Merry Men Press and proved so popular, it became a series that, as of 2010, is still in publication. It is now up to issue #63 and is the longest-running genre-specific fanzine.[5]

Notes

  1. The LJ K/S community Delicious bookmarks show that first time stories are more popular than those depicting an established relationship
  2. A poll of Xena fans showed that 83% of them prefer first time stories.
  3. List of "First Time" tag use on Archive of our Own
  4. comments at Crack Van
  5. Latest editions of First Time zine
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