|Synonyms:||xeno, xenokink, xenophilia, alien kink, rishathra, xenosex, xenofic, xenofiction, teratophilia, exophilia|
|See also:||alien kink, monster fucking, tentaclefic, animal transformation, furries, interspecies, robot, Merpeople|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Xeno refers to characters or pairings in which someone is decidedly non-human, be they alien or supernatural creature. Most often used in pairings when it is an interspecies mating between a human and sentient being of other origin.
Other terms that may be used in reference to xeno are "xenophilia", which has a long history of use in SF fandoms for sex with aliens and aliens as a paraphilic fetish; and "rishathra", a term that originated in Larry Niven's Ringworld books to mean specifically "sex for fun with humanoids of species you're not cross-fertile with" but has achieved some wider prevalance as a term for sex with aliens in general, humanoid or not. However fans use xenophilia in reference to non-sexual xeno works too. "Teratophilia" refers specifically to attraction to monsters, as genre known as Monster Fucking.
While most xeno does involve sexual situations, some stories, which celebrate non-humanoid embodiment without sexualizing it, can be gen; and some stories involve nonsexual pairings.
In December 2018, during the Tumblr NSFW Content Purge, Tumblr deleted the teratophilia and xenophilia tags, causing problems for blogs sharing content. In response, fans began using the misspelt tags, teratophillia and xenophillia, to get around the bots. Content tagged exophilia were not affected by the purge.
Xenokink refers to a genre of fanwork involving sexual situations with partners who are markedly non-human, or humans who have bodies that deviate significantly from the accepted human standard. Most xenokink stories involve at least one human or humanoid participant, however, this is not always the case. It is also a term used to identify people with a preference for xenokink. While other fans of Xeno works refer to themselves as xenophiles or exophiles. Other fans describe themselves humorously as Monster Fuckers, but some view this term as a pejorative.
Xenokink has some overlap with other genres and kinks such as alien kink, tentaclefic, bestiality, telepathy, transformation, werewolves, wingfic, furries, angels, mpreg, robots, body modification, man/car and so on. It can be used as an umbrella term for all of those kinks, or to specify a certain way of writing those kinks. Xenokink is often particularly used to refer to sex stories with partners who are extremely non-humanoid, both in body and in psychology; xenokink can even involve partners who are not embodied at all, or whose sentience, if it exists, is beyond human understanding. The writing in a xenokink story will usually emphasize the non-human aspects, and present those aspects as attractive, desirable, and/or arousing to humans. There may be some ambivalence present, but a story that does not celebrate the difference in some way is probably not going to appeal to most xenokink fans.
Because of the nature of the kink, many xeno stories are difficult to categorize using normal fandom genres and warnings. Partners may be non-gendered, of non-binary, fluid, or multiple genders, or not be at home with human concepts of gender at all. Similarly, human standards of consent (including age of consent) may be difficult or impossible to apply, and even rating for explicitness can be difficult with characters for whom sex doesn't involve genitalia or genitalia doesn't involve sex. Some xenokink stories follow a fairly standard romance narrative involving two people falling in love (or involve a fairly standard rape fantasy narrative) but many of them also approach relationships, commitment, and love from unusual angles.
The term is derived from the Greek prefix "xeno-", meaning "stranger", which has been adopted by the SF community to mean "alien". For obvious practical reasons, most fandoms with a xenokink presence involve science fiction/fantasy elements, although crackfic means you never have to apologize for giving someone tentacles. The term seems to have arisen out of English-language yaoi/anime/JRPG fandoms, with it showing up in searchable online contexts for the first time in approximately 2006. Much xenokink, even when it is not categorizable as slash, tends to be written within the slash-friendly media fandom communities, and it is often included in slash challenges or other slash-specific spaces. There is also a notable amount of original xenokink work done by people with fandom backgrounds. Xenokink also seems to attract a higher-than-normal proportion of fans who identify primarily as pansexual, asexual, genderqueer, kinky, or otherwise outside het/cis/glbt categories.
Fandoms With Canon Xenokink Pairings or Significant Amounts of Xenokink Fic
- Doctor Who. This includes some versions of Time Lord sexuality that emphasize alienness, and also Doctor/TARDIS and non-humanoid characters.
- The Last Remnant: four sentient species with drastically dissimilar appearance; some NPCs in the game express attraction outside their species.
- Stargate:Atlantis. Because SGA fandom writes everything.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Not all TMNT fic, even that about non-human characters, takes a xenokink perspective, but some of it does.
- Teen Titans, and DC-comics-based fandoms in general. Various superheroes with non-standard embodiments, possibly sentient tools and technology, and the occasional random friendly space creature.
- Top Gear. This fandom has both the Stig and canon carsexuality.
- Torchwood. Which is to say Jack Harkness.
- Transformers: Giant Robots.
- X-Men: Less-humanoid mutants and canon pairings with aliens.
- Homestuck: Trolls.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe: There are several aliens who are frequently paired with human characters by fans. Among them are Gamora, Loki, and Thor.
- Mass Effect: Extremely common in this fandom. In the first game, players of both genders could romance Liara T'Soni. By Mass Effect 2 -primarily due to fan demand-, Female Shepards could romance two male aliens (Garrus Vakarian and Thane Krios), and a Male Shepard could romance one (Tali'Zorah). There are also fanworks that involve characters who are not official love interest options (such as Samara, Mordin Solus, Wrex, and Javik) as well.
- Dragon Age: The Qunari race of horned giants (theorized to be part dragon) have a devoted following, and as with Mass Effect, Bioware added a romanceable Qunari companion to Dragon Age: Inquisition. Named Iron Bull, when the developers announced that he would be romanceable by characters of all races and genders, they encouraged fans to use the hashtag #RideTheBull. Also for the first time in Inquisition, the player could choose to play as a Qunari (named Adaar), who could then romance most of the other romanceable companions; popular Adaar relationships include Female Adaar/Sera, Female Adaar/Josephine Montilyet, and Male Adaar/Dorian Pavus. And if neither Iron Bull or Dorian are romanced by the player character, it is possible for them to start an affair that becomes a serious relationship; the "Adoribull" ship is one of the most popular in the fandom. Other fanworks include Dragon Age: Origins companion Sten and Dragon Age II adversary The Arishok. In December 2015, there was a fanworks fest dedicated to Qunari relationships of all kinds (canon, non-canon, original characters), called Love Under the Qun, based in part on the conceit that Qunari xenokink literature probably exists in-universe.
???? (Somebody who knows Japanese fandoms better than me should come in, especially!)