Why do I Like Slash? Plain Answers from a Het Woman

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Title: Why do I Like Slash? Plain Answers from a Het Woman
Creator: Dark Twin
Date(s): October 9, 2004 (author's journal), November 14, 2004 (Fanfic Symposium)
Medium: online
Topic: Fanfiction, Slash
External Links: Why do I Like Slash? Plain Answers from a Het Woman, Archived version
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Why do I Like Slash? Plain Answers from a Het Woman is a very long essay by Dark Twin.

It is part of the Fanfic Symposium series.

The essay was also posted to the author's own journal on October 9 with the title "Why I like slash. Tough question, plain answers." There are many comments by fans on the essay there.


Probably every female member of the huge worldwide community of slash fans of all fandoms has asked herself this question at some point, and so have I. It didn’t happen immediately after I’d discovered the phenomenon of slash, but after merrily playing around in that world for a few months, both reading and writing, at some point I sat down and found myself wondering. I hadn’t actually noticed how much I liked slash, even ­ it was more that I noticed that I didn’t like m/f romance in fanfic (I still don’t), and that I disliked it precisely because it was all about love and sex when the original story of my favourite fandom wasn’t. That made sense to the canon-maniac in me ­ it seemed somehow disrespectful of the original author to throw her characters into bed together when she herself had obviously not planned for them to end up there (yet). But that seemed curiously inconsistent with the fact that I was already knee-deep into another fanfic genre in the same fandom that was all about love and sex. And that in a way that is probably even more removed from the original author’s ideas than the het fics.

Canon-mania and respect for the original author aside, it just wasn’t logical. I’m a heterosexual female. I was getting turned on by the idea of two men having sex. It didn’t make sense.

Being the analytical person that I am, I set out to explore this phenomenon, maybe in the hopes of finding answers that would set my mind at rest, maybe in the hope of distancing myself from the problem by rationally analysing it to death (I tend to do that), I don’t know. And I had to start by wondering whether I was even asking the right question.

Reactions and Reviews

At the Fanfic Symposium Post


I dunno. I found the "I can't stand to see the character I'm so in love with in the arms of another woman" ...rather sad. [1]


Is that for real? Are there really fans who don't want a male character on a tv show (or movie or book) to fall in love with a woman because the fan would be *jealous*?

:boggles at this:

Falling in love with a man is somehow better ...? This strikes me as a corrolary to the (idiotic) reaction some women have if they hear that an actor may be gay how it's such a bummer. As if, if he were straight, you'd be in the running. Since you're never ever going to meet this guy, what does it matter who he falls in love with? How is one better/worse than the other? You're jealous if he hooks up with a woman, but you're okay if he hooks up with a man? I (obviously) can't get past this.[2]


Well... this is one of the reasons I've been known to give for slash, and this is why (but please bear in mind that this applies only to fictional characters and not real people):

The way I see it, if Character X is straight, then I want him--he's fictional, so I (or my MarySue counterpart) have as much of a chance as any other girl. If he's gay, there's nothing I can do about that, and it doesn't matter; it's easier to have this character be completely inaccessible than to be perfect-but-fictional.

Granted, that's just my take on the situation, and I'm aware that it might sound bizarre, but ::shrug:: hope it helps.[3]


Hey, I'm just paraphrasing what she wrote: "It hurts to see a male character I’m really in love with with another girl. I obviously want to see him with someone, because I want him to be happy, and also because I think he’s hot and I want to see some action. But if that comes at the price of seeing him in the arms of another girl, I’d rather not see it at all. It’s not like I prefer picturing him in my arms instead, not literally."

But later she goes on to say she writes Character X because she wants to fuck Character Y.

Which all feeds into my personal theory that slash is just another type of Mary Sue. [4]


We don't writes 'em, we just posts 'em.

Seriously, the Symposium takes what is submitted, as long as it is on topic. This has been the site's policy (oh, all right, my policy) since it was created in 1999.

Readers are encouraged to discuss, argue, and refute here or in columns.[5]

At the Author's Livejournal Post

Why I like slash. Tough question, plain answers.; archive link


  1. on the LiveJournal announcement post
  2. on the LiveJournal announcement post
  3. on the LiveJournal announcement post
  4. on the LiveJournal announcement post
  5. on the LiveJournal announcement post