Slash Goggles

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Synonyms: see lavender
See also: slash, subtext, UST, Pining, Eye Sex
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'Slash goggles', also called a 'slash gaze' or 'shipping goggles', refers to the metaphorical effect of reading slash -- fan fiction featuring homosexual relationships -- for an extended period, which may lead to seeing slashy subtext in almost all media. E.g., "I was trying to enjoy the Romeo/Juliet, but all I could see through the slash goggles was Romeo/Mercutio!"

Examples of Use


[a fan in crack_van]
I like to read Deep Cover with my rosy-pink slash goggles firmly in place, but however you take it, it's a rollicking good read.[1]


I slash. I am a slasher. I read and write the stuff. Not exclusively - I do write gen too, and sometimes femmeslash or het, and I'll happily read anything that's well written and in-character - but when I engage with texts, I have my slash goggles on, and whilst I may enjoy the canonical relationships depicted, I also notice the potential for others where there's sparkage, whether it's between a guy and a girl, or two guys, or two girls.[2]
Johnlock is my first-ever slash ship. As I’ve said before, I didn’t even see it at first, but after the pool scene I was just hit with “Oh shit, Sherlock is in love with John!” And since then I’ve had a couple others (both Denny and Destiel in SPN, for example). And I’ve started to realize that it’s not so much a matter of putting on slash goggles as it is taking off your heteronormativity goggles. Slashers don’t “see slash” everywhere. They just apply the same standards to two men (or two women) on screen as they would to a man and a woman. And suddenly it’s easy to see how the chemistry could be homoerotic - but we’re not supposed to see that, because we're supposed to assume that all characters are 100% straight unless explicitly told otherwise.[3]
It’s not so much a matter of putting on slash goggles as it is taking off your heteronormativity goggles. Slashers don’t “see slash” everywhere. They just apply the same standards to two men (or two women) on screen as they would to a man and a woman.porcupine-girl[4]
It is worth noting that porcupine-girl is not the first slasher to make this same point using almost these exact words.[5]

[The creators of Slash Report] talk (for up to 2 hours!) on specific fandoms, movies, meta (the most current podcast was on science and they discussed the reality of time travel) and have a ball doing it. They're intelligent, witty, don't pull punches, and look at everything with their slash goggles firmly on.[6]

Thank you! I always figured that Father Brown/Flambeau was my ship of one! But they are totally slashable, right?[7]
Actually until now I had never thought that they are. Yet, on second thought... You're perfectly right :)[7]
This is probably what comes of being unable to take the slash-googles off :)[7]
LOL! Where can I get a prescription for such items?[7]


[...] heteronormativity goggles. They are the things that tell people it’s not okay to see the gay unless it’s specifically pointed out to them.[8]


Fan artist still-sophistory's famous "No Homo" poster, A mock promo poster for a TV show. Two white men, one in a suit and tie and one wearing a jacket and hoodie face the audience, but are heavily shadowed. The text reads: "NO HOMO. Two white men touch each other. Thursdays 9/8c." Beneath it are the blurb reviews, "'so gay' - fandom" and "'i can’t' - Tumblr".

While the idea of slash goggles is mostly used in lighthearted fun, some fans say it is taken too seriously by those who want to see implied slash subtext in even the most ordinary exchanges between men onscreen. Some writers for popular series (e.g., Teen Wolf, Supernatural) teasingly present such exchanges between male co-stars as a form of fanservice. Since they never actually portray the characters having romance, many fans feel this "ship teasing" amounts to queerbaiting. In discussion groups for shows with fan appeal, slash fans may dominate the discussion with speculative squee over perceived relationships; meanwhile, there are few if any actual gay canon characters in TV or on film.

...I’ve already fled, spitting blood and bullets, from threads where discussion of, for example, complete GBLT erasure in any and all Disney programmes was derailed by slash fans running in and discussing which characters they thought were the best slash fodder. Or which characters could possibly maybe. Or which characters they’ve always, personally, interpreted as gay in their own head-cannon (sic). Or, y’know, any number of things that are COMPLETELY BLOODY IRRELEVENT to the actual erasure happening. Or how many times do we see people celebrating and leaping all over the slash potential of a show – even calling it GBLT friendly – when it doesn’t have one single GBLT character or relationship? People are CELEBRATING erasure and calling it inclusion because it fits their slash goggles. And we’d be foolish to think that writers, producers et al aren’t seeing this and playing towards it. It’s ideal – they get inclusion cookies without offending the usual suspects on the right.[9]

Sparky to Spark in Darkness blog

Fan Comments About Seeing Slash


Sandy observed that some of her friends who are slashfen in one universe can't see how anybody could believe that the lads in some other universe are Doing It. Others too have mentioned along the way this idea that somehow there must be homoerotic subtext in the show (or book or film or other medium) itself to support slashing the Lads therein.

OPINION: No evidence whatsoever is needed to support the idea that any given pair of lads in Doing It. All that's needed is the fan's own subjective strings being plucked--in other words, who cares if Avon and Vila treat each other like shit and Starsky and Hutch climb all over each other?--I am never going to stop fantasizing wildly about what Avon and Vila get up to behind closed doors, and I'm never going to be able to take seriously any Husky and Starch slash because the former lads make me go MMMMMMMMMM and the latter make me go KLONK.

This seems to indicate that slash is in the eye of the beholder. That does not mean that we can't relish those precious moments when the lads on screen *do* grope, smile meaningfully at, flirt with, and tease each other. I'm just saying that these are fringe benefits for the slash fan, not the basis for believing that the couple is slashable.


Obviously when there is a visible chemistry between the actors or characters (and I wonder if you can have one without the other), it's easier to imagine slash scenarios arising. But at the end of the day, I think all that's really necessary is one's own lust and imagination. One woman sees a pair of platonic pals where another sees rabid weasels, and there just ain't any saying who's right and who's wrong. Only who's having more fun.[10]