Why Slash

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Related terms: Women and Slash
See also: My Thoughts on Yaoi, In Defense of Fanfiction
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Like the proverbial salmon swimming upstream, there often comes a time in every meta fan's life when they feel compelled to return to the Ultimate Question: but why slash?[1]

Fans sometimes refer to this perennial wondering as "why slash" or "the why slash debate" and answers are as varied as fen.

The longer one is in fandom, the shorter one's response to this question becomes, often shrinking from vast multipost entries to the pithy and incomplete/inaccurate: "Because two men = hot".

The persistence of the "why slash?" debate, while no equivalent existential soul-searching exists for "why het?" (rather than specific ship manifestos for favorite pairings), reflects the idea that being a slasher is a question of identity and self-definition for some slash readers, rather than just a reading and/or pairing preference in a fandom.

So, good luck! As a fan in 1995 wrote:
Heh. Right. In 20-odd years of writing and reading and *active* discussion (the question was raised on more than one occasion, in fact, as to whether there was a correllation between the drive to analyse into the ground and the drive to read/write slash), there has been nothing even approaching consensus amongst the members of the 'slash community'. If you manage to achieve it here, I can only conclude that you're ignoring some major issues! [2]

Also see Timeline of Slash Meta.

Example Meta Essays












  • sex, and slash sex scenes by Shoshanna. Essay on the writer's initial discovery of and views on slash as the (sole) genre that integrates people's lives in the bedroom with their lives outside it. (April 2011)

Other Examples


  1. ^ Slash Theory metabib 2005-04-22, (Accessed 2008-11-03)
  2. ^ Agnes Tomorrow, at Lysator, V96 #172 (December 31, 1995)