The Weird, Wild World of Slash Fiction

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News Media Commentary
Title: The Weird, Wild World of Slash Fiction
Commentator: Eric Diaz
Date(s): April 2010
Venue: Geekscape (website)
Fandom: slash
External Links: here: WebCite
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The Weird, Wild World of Slash Fiction was written by Eric Diaz for Geekscape. The article uses uncredited fanart, including one piece that was removed from the site two years after the post was created.

In the first paragraph, the author defines all slash fanworks as pornography which gives the reader a general idea of the author's depth of understanding of the slash genre.

Some topics discussed: how creepy slash fanworks are, how unrealistic slash fanworks are, slash fanworks are created by "unfulfilled women," slash written by women has too much talking and not enough filth, fiction written by "teenage girls and their Mothers" is bad... [note 1]

Some Excerpts

Now, you might think that the purveyors of such fiction would be people like me, gay male geeks with filthy minds and too much time on their hands. But the reality is even more strange; the majority of Slash Fiction is written by women, something like eighty to ninety percent in fact. And not just straight women, but lesbian women as well. And while one would think that the lesbian geeks who write this stuff are writing about the erotic adventures of Buffy and Faith getting it on, or Wonder Woman and Supergirl, but think again. Most of the Slash fiction by gay women is still about male on male action, with the notable exception of some Xena: Warrior Princess fiction.

Having sampled some of this literature, I must say it’s pretty clear to be mostly written by women. Lots and lots of time is spent talking about the characters’ romantic longings, and it takes way too long to get to the actual smut. If gay dudes were writing this, we’d be on page two and Superman and Batman would be fucking already, and saying much, much dirtier things to each other.

While Paramount and Gene Roddenberry tolerated the proliferation of K/S fiction, on the other end of the Sci Fi spectrum George Lucas was having none of it. He did his best to issue cease and dissest [sic] orders to writers of Luke Skywalker/Han Solo Slash back in the day.[note 2] But today, it’s just all over the place. Just Google “Star Wars Slash Fiction,” and you’ll find evidence of hundreds of stories of Luke and Han playing “hide the lightsaber” on the Millennium Falcon, or Obi Wan Kenobi teaching his young Padawan Anakin Skywalker a lesson in obedience (I always thought there was something kinda sexual about the word padawan anyway.) Either Lucas got tired of fighting his dirtier minded fan base on this one, or he just stopped caring. In any event, Lucas is one to talk about what’s appropriate and what isn’t. This is the same man who had siblings Luke and Leia making out after all. Eww.
The other great Slash Fic movement came with the release of Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings Trilogy. There were some slash stories dealing with Aaragorn and Boromir or Legolas, and just what they were doing in those tents while the Hobbits were on their second and third breakfasts. But those paled in comparison to the amount of Hobbit sex that was being written about by teenage girls and middle aged women — and this is where the lines between fantasy and reality get very blurry. During the years long making of the Rings films, rumors were rampant from supposed “insiders” that Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Dominic Monaghan (Merry) were having a very intense affair. Gay Hollywood Gossip forums like the infamous Data Lounge had pages and pages of “Insider Info” on these two and their love affair, and how New Line Cinema and Time Warner were furious about it and trying to keep it under wraps for fear of harming the franchise. These threads went on for YEARS. Fangirls went from writing about F/M (Frodo/Merry) fiction to just writing about E/D (Elijah/Dominic) fiction. About the actual actors. This lead to a whole new creepy form of Slash Fiction that still runs rampant; that which is about real people.
Ok, here’s where things get really creepy. Well, depending on who is writing it I suppose. Considering all the kids in the Potter-verse are under aged, does this not qualify as child pornography? Even if it’s not about real people? I guess there really isn’t anything that creepy about a 15 year old girl writing about the underlying sexual tension between young Mr. Potter and Draco Malfoy, but if it’s a fortysomething year old woman? (Or man, some guys do write this stuff after all.) It’s all kinds of wrong. I suppose in some ways, the Harry Potter fanfic writes itself, what with all the wands and whatnot. Just please don’t get Dumbledore involved. I mean, I know he’s the only officially gay character in the Potter-verse, but that would just be gross.
So as long as there are unfulfilled women who are also geeks, I think there will always be Slash Fic. It’s here to stay, I’m afraid, no matter how awful it may be. I can only imagine how many teen girls and their Mothers are typing away at some Twilight Slash as I write this. In the end it, harms no one and just seems all rather pointless — but then, so do a lot of fetishy things. However, if some of these enterprising writers wish to begin producing actual pornographic films with character lookalikes, then this I heartily endorse and look forward to. Bring it on.

Notes

  1. A topic not discussed: the author's own misogyny and ageism.
  2. Absolutely not true. Lucas' initial complaint was of explicit het. Slash was not really a topic of discussion until much later, and not by Lucas. See Open Letters to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett for more information.