Crotch Shot

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LJ icon celebrating a "gratuitous" crotch shot. Artist: probodie
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Crotch shot is used by slash fans to describe the camera focus on the clothed male genitalia region. While the term is used outside of fandom to describe both male and female focuses, in slash fandom it has been used exclusively for male characters. The specific camera angle began to be used more frequently in 1970s TV shows such as The Professionals and Starsky & Hutch. It was Number 8 on The Professionals Drinking Game.

Examples of usage

""Picture, if you will, a 1980s’ Sydney suburban lounge room. In it, there are approximately fifteen women - all are white, between the ages of twenty and thirty-eight, and primarily of Anglo-Celtic background. Most, but certainly not all, are heterosexual. These women are watching an episode of the television show, The Professionals. Onscreen, the two heroes, Bodie and Doyle, are fighting another man and both are being literally thrown around a room. After picking themselves up and walking between some cartons, Bodie drops his gun. This earns him a caustic reply from his partner, and a cry of “Crotch shot! Rewind!!” from several of the watching women. Bodie stops; his gun flies back up into its holster. He walks backwards, pauses, and then his actions are repeated. But, this time, he is moved forward frame by frame before being stopped in mid-action to be gazed upon (to appreciative murmurs and comments: “well, he definitely ‘dresses’ to the left” and “now we know why he doesn’t usually wear light coloured trousers”) and then allowed to recommence his movement. What is happening in this room? The simple answer is hegemony in action. I will specifically explore patriarchal hegemony, as it is here that fannish behaviour is so resistant."[1]
"As Professionals fans, we were not aware of having any feminist or political agenda – we were just having fun. However, through our active gaze and through poaching and reworking the masculinity and sexuality of Bodie and Doyle, we renegotiated the gendered active/passive dichotomy. Further, in our conscious and pleasured viewing of those crotch shots; in our discussion of that pleasure, and in our engagement in fandom and slash fiction, we negotiated a resistant space within patriarchal hegemony.[2]
PROFESSIONAL INSIGHT could readily be subtitled "Everything you've always wanted to know about THE PROFESSIONALS, but couldn't figure out because your copy was too many generations down." It's impossible to say anything negative about this zine. In fact, it's difficult not to rave on and on about how much fun this zine is. Complied by 18 dedicated "watchers" who "forced" themselves to spend countless hours viewing the episodes (such sweet torturel), the zine is a wonderful guide to the episodes from a fan point of view. Providing all the data promised in the flyer, and more, the zine is also wonderful for writers who need obscure bits of Information. It's the next best thing to sitting with a group of friends and commenting on crotch shots. If you do not have a copy, buy one. You will not regret It. The people who produced this zine are to be applauded, not only for their efforts but also for their charitable contributions. As the flyer states, part of the purchase price will be donated to the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. What the flyer doesn't tell you is that even the contributors to this terrific zine bought their own copies. Thank you, everyone, for doing this zine. [3]
""Will we still be involved [in S&H fandom] twenty years from now? (Hand me my bifocals, dear, I want to check out this crotch shot!) It's hard to imagine, but even harder to imagine giving it up. Well, Mick Jagger didn't think he'd be singing Rock 'n Roll past the age of forty, either!"[4]
"I was at the Professionals panel and the writing '/' panel, both of which were well attended. The Pros panel was more of a gossip/what's your favorite crotch shot discussion group and was fun (for me anyway). The '/' panel concerned itself with writing as a general thing rather than just '/'. POV was a major topic."[5]


  1. From “Crotch shot! Rewind!!” or The Patriarchal Professionals and the Female Factor.
  2. From “Crotch shot! Rewind!!” or The Patriarchal Professionals and the Female Factor.
  3. from The Hatstand Express #23
  4. Tell Me Something I Don't Know! issue #6.
  5. from a convention report for Zebracon 1984.