Slash Goggles

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Synonyms: see lavender
See also: slash, subtext, UST, Pining, Eye Sex
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The other day I was reading Kipling and I said to myself, "Hey, there's homoerotic subtext in here!" I couldn't decide whether to congratulate myself on my perspicacity or be irritated that I've been conditioned to wonder about that sort of thing. I compromised by chastising myself for temporal parochialism. - Arlo Guthrie [citation needed]

'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

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]

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.[3]

[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. [4]


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.[5]


  1. ^ 2007 comments at Crack Van
  2. ^ Girls who are boys who like boys to be girls... (accessed 12 October 2011)
  3. ^ destielhiseyesopened, March 8, 2015
  4. ^ goddess47. Slash Report, posted to LiveJournal 6 September 2013. (Accessed 24 August 2014.)
  5. ^ Gay male fan "Sparky", writing in his blog Spark in Darkness, Slash Goggles, Fanservice and No Actual Inclusion, Saturday, 21 July 2012.