Loyalty Kink

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Loyalty kink is a kink or preference for characters showing unwavering or intense loyalty towards another character. Some fans want the loyalty to be obviously, blatantly reciprocal, but other fans prefer it be either actually or seemingly one-sided.

Fan Comments

[...]To me there's a lot of intimacy involved in the subordinate being close enough to this authority figure to anticipate their needs and meet them, and also still being able to feel that kind of idealized, unconditional loyalty when they presumably know this person well enough to see the parts that don't fit the ideal. There's sort of the contrast between the distance of a superior/subordinate relationship and the closeness of friends/confidants(/lovers if it's shipfic) that's something I really like exploring, though it plays out differently and different relationships. And a lot of the same appeal of trust and intimacy that comes with most fic about relationships, just looked at through this very specific lens.[1]

It's the reliability of the loyal character that gets me.

Even in the most stressful situations, even when Character A is at their worst, Character B's always there, completely unflappably reliable. Whether that means kicking ass and saving the day, or making sure Character A remembers to eat when they're stressed.

Maybe Character A has no one else they can trust or confide in, and Character B is always there. Or maybe Character A doesn't confide in Character B at all, but Character B will go ahead and carry out Character A's orders anyway, because they trust their boss without knowing the details of their grand plan.

It can overlap with h/c. It can overlap with UST, too, especially when Character B's loyalty is taken for granted and they're cool with this.

[2]

I think it’s a pretty broad-based description of a fic where Character X demonstrates consistent loyalty or preference for Character Y, or where they demonstrate loyalty by going above and beyond the call of duty for Y. Like, i think “loyalty kink” could be as simple as “you always take X’s side!” or as straightforward as “Arthur and Eames freaking out and running around the world to save one another’s lives time and again” or as complex as that Shalott SGA fic where Rodney becomes the leader of the city and John has to back him up—ie a situation where loyalty is overtly tested and won.

Basically I think it can be anything from a narrative trope to a small moment of characterization/instance of a character dynamic.[3]
see, loyalty can be divided into instant/premade-loyalty. Like the one exists between liege and servant or master and student, or loyalty born out of shared grounds/suffering. And often, military/sports/quest loyalties are the second. it’s like the nakama/made family trope, but often the loyalty will seemingly be one way. [4]

Examples

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Popular loyalty kink ships

Example Fanworks

Meta & Further Reading

Resources

References

  1. Anonymous _coal user, 2014-12-18.
  2. Anonymous _coal user, 2014-12-18.
  3. Aja in response to a tumblr ask, August 14, 2015
  4. rdhero quoting an unnamed friend in response to a tumblr ask, August 15, 2015