|Trope · Genre|
|Related:||Superheroes, Identity Reveal, Secret Identities|
|See Also:||Finding Out|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The term is believed to originate in DC Comics fandom before or around 2005. It has been claimed that Thete1 aka Te coined the term, but the exact origins are unknown. As well as DC fandoms, identity porn is commonly used in Marvel Comics and related fandoms, due to the plethora of multi-identitied superheroes. It has also spread to many other fandoms. The term has been applied to scenarios where characters interacting online do not realize they know one of their online friends in real life.
Identity porn is easiest to explain in the DCU (and the term probably originated there). Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Superman. The two body love triangle. Because there's three people there, three identities. Both Clark Kent and Superman are independently real to different social circles. But in order to get the kink I think they also have to be real to overlapping social circles. If someone is one self with one person and a different self with a different person then there's no clash, crunch, tension, just these seperate pieces. If they are, or want to be, real in both personas, then you can get identity porn.
it has to approach it from a particular direction, that I have been thinking of to myself as being about "role-playing as yourself", where the various identities start escaping from the boxes the characters try to keep them in, overlapping and blending. It is generally heavy on the dramatic irony, interesting combinations of denial and self-awareness, compartmentalization taken to extremes, and grand reveals.
[...] I wonder if the striving for wholeness, for the truth behind the masks, is what other people kink on emotionally. For me, the point of identity porn has to do with the ways it shows the whole person who's pretending to be only part of themselves. The climax, then, is when all those masks collide and fall apart, leaving the whole person exposed to someone else who knows them better than they ever would have without the playing with masks.
Actual porn not required, that’s just the trope name. Basically I’m looking for fics that play around with the superhero secret identity thing. The “god you’re terrible” about one identity, not knowing they’re the person they’re crushing on. The “oh no I like them both” but they’re the same person. The “uh oh I accidentally brought up something you said to the other me, yes I’m friends with that hero and we talked about you!”
Identity Porn stories focus heavily on the dual personas of particular characters, and in fandoms with superhero elements they often focus on the difficulty of maintaining a secret identity. An ID porn story may examine how a character behaves in different situations, when using different personas. These stories often rely on the fact the reader is aware of this person's dual personas to build tension or create humour.
Identity porn fics include stories where at least one character isn’t aware of another character’s second identity. For example, a character might not be aware that Bruce Wayne is Batman. These fics may also involve a secret identity reveal but this is not a necessity.
Identity porn stories don't necessarily include smut, but there are stories that do. One of the first stories to reference the term identity porn, How To Marry A Millionaire, features a Bruce Wayne that is (seemingly) unaware Nightwing is his ward Dick Grayson and this leads to a sexual encounter.
This trope has also been applied to fics with no superhero elements. In stories with modern settings, online identities provide a second persona for characters.
In other stories a character going undercover or having a fake identity can lead to scenarios where their identities overlap.
Elements of this trope can also appear in Time Travel stories, where a character may take on a fake identity and interact with family, friends or people they know from their original time.
- identity porn, post by Melannen. Livejournal post with many comments discussing identity porn and offering recs.
- Identity Porn, post by beccaelizabeth. Dreamwidth meta post.
- DCU meta question by Petra. DW post, main discussion in comments.
- Five Things Meme, post by mithen. DW post discussing identity porn, see also comments.
- request for identity porn fic on Kink_finders.
DC Comics and Related Fandoms
- A Clarification of Range by Te, possibly fandom's most idporntastic writer. DC Comics, Tim/Kon slash. Kon fucks a lot of people. Most of them are Tim. (2004)
- How to Marry a Millionaire series by Petra & Jamjar, DC Comics, Bruce/Dick slash. Early use of term identity porn (an in-progress title was "Identity Porn story".)(2005)
- Off Page Six by glossing. DC Comics, Bruce Wayne/Superboy. Bruce is not Batman, Superboy is not Superman. (2006)
- That Old Schizophrenic Jealousy by Lenore. Smallville, Clark/Lex/Superman. Lex and Superman are sleeping together. Clark is jealous.(2011)
- News Flash by Mithen. DC Comics, "Batman reveals his identity to the League and Wally West remembers his previous run-ins with Bruce Wayne in terrifying slow-motion."(2012)
- Silhouette by Crimson1. The Flash, Barry Allen/Leonard Snart. "Barry takes advice from Iris and Cisco to defeat Cold in a whole new way - by being a better thief." (2015)
- The Salmon Incident by CoffioCake. DC Comics, Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne. Clark develops a crush on his not-boss, Bruce Wayne, and makes the mistake of asking Batman for dating tips. (2017)
- all each riddles, when unknown by susiecarter. DCEU, Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne. "Post-MoS AU: Clark is assigned a straightforward human-interest piece—on Wayne Enterprises. Then Batman catches Superman's attention, Clark Kent starts investigating Batman, Bruce Wayne spends a lot of time (arguing with) hitting on Clark Kent, and Bruce's best efforts to find a way to hurt Superman start to bear fruit." (2017)
- The Downsides to a Secret Identity by liodain. DCEU, Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne. "Bruce Wayne has taken a shine to Clark Kent, but Clark is more interested in the Bat of Gotham. The Bat, however, has it in for the Superman in a big way. Clark should probably have considered that before falling quite so hard. They're working together to track down some missing Kryptonian weaponry, after all...". Written for the Superbat Reverse Bang 2018. (2018)
Marvel Comics and Related Fandoms
- Hypotenuse by derryderrydown, Marvel Comics. Steve Rogers breaks up with Tony Stark because he is in love with Iron Man, without knowing that they're the same person.(2011)
- Slipping off the Page into Your Hands by Sineala, Marvel Comics, Steve/Tony. "Steve's problem is that the future he has awoken into is nothing he was ever expecting: he has a soulmate now. Who might be a robot. And if his soulmate is Iron Man, how can he be so attracted to Tony Stark?"
- Under the Hide of Me by poisonivory. Daredevil, Matt/Foggy, "When a case turns dangerous, Matt appoints himself Foggy's personal bodyguard. Foggy's not complaining - but he would like to know why Daredevil won't stop flirting with him." (2015)
- The Sound of Ringing Laughter by Samsonet. Daredevil, Matt/Foggy, in which Foggy gets involved with Matt Murdock's arrogant twin brother (who is secretly his alter ego) Mike.
- Know Your Enemy by Unsentimental Fool. Robin Hood (BBC 2006), Guy/Marian. Queer het, with Marian as the Night Watchman. (2009)
- Fall Stories by thingswithwings. Leverage. Parker (Alice)/Peggy, Parker/Sophie. Parker likes being Alice, but she likes being Parker too. (2009)
- Jeffrey Nullier's "Man With Fedora" by Sam Starbuck. A White Collar gen story in which Neal pretends to be himself. (2010)
- The Hound by Mitsuhachi. A Naruto KakaIru story, in which Iruka is visited by a mysterious ANBU while his lover is away.(2011)
- 5U175 by Closer - Suits, Mike/Harvey slash. BNF fic-writer Mike tries never to think of his boss Harvey that way, but is falling hard for a Star Trek GNF. Who turns out to be Harvey. Oops. (2012)
- Identity Porn tag at Archive of Our Own.
- Cliche: Identity Porn category at more than friends Superman/Batman archive.
- Recs tagged Identity Porn at Fancake
- Recs tagged Secret Identities at Fancake
- Recs tagged Secret Identiy Reveal at Fancake
- Melannen in a post on Kink Finders 18 July 2011 (accessed 6 December 2011).
- Comment thread in a post by Melannen 23 July 2011 (accessed 6 December 2011).
- Five Things Meme by mithen, 2009
- Identity Porn, post by beccaelizabeth, 23 July 2011 (accessed 6 December 2011).
- identity porn, post by melannen, 7 July 2011 (accessed 6 December 2011).
- Petra in comments of post by Melannen, 23 July 2011 (accessed 7 December 2011).
- Identity porn fics, reddit post by u/another_athena, Feb 2020.
- Petra in comments of post by Melannen, 23 July 2011: "In the chatlog searching, I found instances where I referred to the How to Marry a Millionaire 'verse while I was writing it as "The Identity Porn story," so for me at the time they seem to have been more or less synonymous."