First Time (genre)

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


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.

Fan Comments

In 1996, a fan commented on the appeal of first time stories:

First time stories. Ah, one of my favorite topics. Semesters ago, I wrote a paper comparing slash to romance novels. Slash borrows from other genres and adapts them, too, but a lot is borrowed from romance and the dismissal of the connection in academic works on slash irks me because it's treated as if we ought to be embarrassed about it. One of the conventions the genres share is the virginity of at least one partner. I think there lots of reasons for why it's used so often: It makes the occasion more special, it's more potent emotionally, more intense, a unique event. It also allows the partner with more experience to be protective and gentle and for the first-timer to be vulnerable, so both let their emotional guards down or have them stripped away and find the other accepts them. There's more at stake for them both. It isn't the reactions of others that matter, it's the way finally being together after a long and stormy courtship feels to each of the partners that makes first time stones so hot. Well for me, anyway. All this doesn't mean I like them to the exclusion of all other story-types, but I do think first times are among the tastiest fan fic. [4]
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. [5]

Examples of First Time fiction



front cover of First Time #3 (1985), Caren P.
back cover of First Time #3, Caren P.

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.[6]


  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. ^ from Rallying Call #16 (January 1996)
  5. ^ comments at Crack Van
  6. ^ Latest editions of First Time zine