The Origin of Squickies

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Title: The Origin of Squickies
Creator: vulgarweed
Date(s): October 17, 2006
External Links: page one; archive link page one, archive link page two
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The Origin of Squickies is a 2006 poll by vulgarweed. The meta part is the many comments fans have.

The question was: "Because I am stuck at work and bored...and because I've been thinking about squicks today, such a fascinating realm of meta, and where they come from. Does the stork bring them?"

Note: this post is NOT about the origin of the term squick, but individual fan's squicks and where those squicks originated.

The Poll Results

There were 173 poll responses. There were 93 comments to the post.

  • Things I've experienced and found horrible: 10 (5.8%)
  • Things I've never experienced but imagine would be horrible: 56 (32.4%)
  • A mix of both: 81 (46.8%)
  • I am unsquickable. Hear me roar: 17 (9.8%)
  • Other. I'll tell you about it in comments: 9 (5.2%)

Some Topics Discussed

  • squick
  • kink
  • is a squick a failed kink?
  • many, many fans describe their squicks, and where they originated

Sample Comments


Personally, I'm squicked a bit by pregnancy in general--never done it, never want to--but where the dislike of mpreg comes in is the suspension of disbelief factor. Odd, since most of my fandoms are fantasy, right? but I can enjoy it as comedy as long as it doesn't go into too much graphic, physical detail.

[vichan]: Pretty much unsquickable, except for one thing - MPREG.

Mostly, it's seriously for spiritual reasons. Moon and stuff. Won't get into it, because it makes me sound crazier than I really am.

[acusa dora]:

Crime scene photos really gross me out, but I don't really like medical stuff in any form.


I really dislike the current fashion for shaving off most pubic hair, as it turns me off.


You know, I haven't really thought about my squicks before. The ones I remember the best are squicks other people have, that they've told me about, because they have a tendency to talk/write about them in really fascinatingly awful ways. A friend of mine even had a problem with reading about characters eating meals. She imagined them slobbering and chewing noisily and stuff. :P Some things just leave a really vivid/funny mental image that even good writing can't dispell entirely. Does that make any sense?


I had to spend a good deal of time mulling it over, but I've finally pinned down the only squick I can think of - frame-ups, when a character is being blamed for something they didn't do. Hate them, look away, stop reading, all instantly. It's a hold over from childhood, but quite a strong one.


Sexualized cannibalism squicks me worse than anything. I considered myself pretty much unsquickable for a long time - there were some things I preferred not to read, just because I didn't find them much of a turn on, but nothing that really just grossed me out. Till I discovered sexualized cannibalism.


Certain situations that involve embarrassment or humilation are difficult for me to read/watch.

[dreya uberwald]: For me there are multiple layers of squick. I tend to have an ick reaction to detailed descriptions of bodily fluids other than blood and sweat - whether mentioned in a sexual context or not; but they don't automatically lead to me hitting the back button and doesn't tend to affect me on any level deeper than eww yuck.

On another level, I have a really strong aversive and viceral reaction to things such as extreme descriptions of sexual violence or any kind of graphic sex involving children or younger teenagers, especially if it involves abuse on the part of an adult. I'd never click on a fic that I new had this content and skip over such scenes when I encounter them in novels.

Interestingly, while eroticised non-con squicks the hell out of me in novels or fanfic based on books, movies or TV shows, it doesn't really bothered me the same when I come across it in anime fandoms. I think this may be to do with the relative realism of the characters and situations in the source material, but I'm not entirely sure.

[quantum witch]:

...yes, cat torture is the height of horror for me. The worst nightmare of my entire existence involved that - on my own cat.

[maggiebloome]: See, here's the thing. I will literally read anything that is written well. But there are many things I can tolerate if they are written simply mediocre-ly(?). So rape and bestiality are major squicks of mine because it would take an XTREEMly talented writer to make me even contemplate the possibility... and even then, the latter would probably not work outside of crackly comedy.

Actually a lot of my squicks are like that... not that they make me nauseous or whatever, they just kind of make me giggle, and I really don't get why they're in the fic and it prevents me from enjoying the rest of it.


A friend/writing partner of mine and I used to say, "There's a thin line between kink and squick." Sometimes we'd write something that we'd find squicky and hot -- hot because it squicked us? Hot because it could turn to squick at any moment yet somehow was walking the tightrope?