redwing_badger: (Badger: Pride)
[personal profile] redwing_badger

There is a line between slash and fetishization, and that line gets dangerously close to being crossed 96% of the time.

I enjoy slash, obviously, I mean, I write it, but sometimes it's more a matter of "Guys fucking = hot" then it is a matter of "Guys fucking = hot, but there's more to a character than who he sleeps with." I don't mind PWP, but it doesn't *always* need to be about the sex. Sometimes you can have actual plot without gratuitous porning. You don't see a whole lot of slash fics that are just you know, little snapshots in time, two (or three, or more) men just being together, as a couple. A lot of it is fucking, which is all well and good in it's place, but it seems that lately, all the slashfic I read is either about the sex, or is leading up to sex.

If I'm going to read any kind of relationship fic, regardless of the genders of the characters involved, I want it to be believable. People interacting as people, not just as cut and paste sex objects. If two guys are going at it, make it about them, not the sex. I don't want to read fic where you can snip one guy out and put anyone else in there and have it read the same way. That just doesn't work. If it's a grudgefuck, fine, show me inside their heads and make me get why they're grudgefucking. Same thing for if they're suddenly in love forever, or anything else. I can understand a snippet of a pairing, just a one shot, with other similar fics being worked on. That's cool, I'm currently doing that with Holmstrom/Turco.

I also take umbrage at straight women telling me what I can and cannot do in bed. Not all gay men have anal sex. Sometimes we just tangle together and jerk off. Sometimes, we switch in between. Sometimes, we have terrible sex. We can have sex in missionary. Sometimes, we don't want to have sex, but we do it anyway because our partner wants it. Depending on your level of experience, you might opt to not use lube. If you've had anal sex several times, you probably don't need an intense amount of prepreparation. It all depends on the mood, and how you feel at the time. We don't always have sex in bed. We are just as fluid as anyone else is, when it comes to fucking.

And you know, we're not woobies. We don't need another person to depend on all the time. We can take care of ourselves, without a boyfriend there to hold us. Support is fine, codependance is not. Being gay does not make you incapable of being self-sufficient. A lot of us have no choice *but* to be self-sufficient, and usually from a young age. It comes part and parcel with being queer.

The trend, too, of essentially making one of the slash pair the "woman" is irritating and offensive on so many levels, and not a little misogynistic either. Not only do most straight relationships not work like that, gay ones don't either. BECAUSE HELLO THEY ARE BOTH MEN. The dynamic is gonna be different, because the combination of genders is. It's like writers just take the general conception of a hetero relationship and slot two men into those same roles. We are men, and, while there is nothing wrong with being a woman, at all, most men are not going to act like a man and woman would. The genders are different, the societal expectations of those genders are different, and the way two people of opposite genders relate to one another is generally not going to be the same way two people of the same gender will relate to one another. Isn't the typical "nuclear" hetero relationship just a Hollywood concept anyway? In my experience, Hollywood is not really a great basis for forming relationships in the first place.

How about we try to write our characters as functioning, capable adults, equal partners in the relationship, and not horrifically offensive stereotypes? I'm not trying to be the Ambassador of gay men here, I'm just trying to point out that, as a gay man, and having spoken to other gay men about this same thing, I think I have a little more basis to preach about this sort of things than the majority of the writers of slashfic out there.

Date: 2009-12-19 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wholeheartedly agree with this post.

Other Badger (aka my boyfriend) is a master at writing slashfic and making it not just about sex, but relationship dynamics. I wish I had half his talent.

Date: 2009-12-19 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You know, I honestly don't think I've ever read any of his work, but IIRC, he's bisexual, so I'd assume he's more in the know than most slash writers.

Glad to know that you're in agreeance :3 I'm sure there will be some who are not. At least I tried my best to be coherent. <3

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Date: 2009-12-19 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*fistbump of agreeingness*

Date: 2009-12-19 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*returns fistbump* Thank you for straightsplaining to me over IM, it obviously aided my post, my hetero lifemate.

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Date: 2009-12-19 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't want to read fic where you can snip one guy out and put anyone else in there and have it read the same way.

So much this!

Date: 2009-12-19 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I see a lot of cut and paste IKEA porn :/

Date: 2009-12-19 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I definitely agree! as a fic reader and not so much a writer i'm tired of the same exact thing. "I don't want to read fic where you can snip one guy out and put anyone else in there and have it read the same way. " pretty much explains it perfectly. Sometimes i love a good pwp as much as the next person but what i'm more interested in is how they made it to that point and what's going through their head.

Date: 2009-12-20 12:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Doesn't even have to be about how they made it that point, per se, as long as there is some form of the character shining through. As I said, it's not good if you can clip one of them out, insert another and have it still read the same.

Date: 2009-12-19 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*high-fives you* I don't write a lot of sex anyway because I don't think I'm good at it, but when I do write sex I make sure it has some plot with it. (Of course I haven't written much of anything lately, but whatev...)

Sex scenes are hotter when you understand something about the relationship behind them.

Date: 2009-12-20 12:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well y'know, I will offer my gay sexpertise if ever you need it ;)

I haven't written much of anything either :( I feel your pain.

Date: 2009-12-19 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Agreed. See also the FFR sexperts who claim theirs is the one true way. Hello? It's sex, there's no such thing as a one true way. (Yes, I may have had a run in with another one recently, how can you tell?) (Not to mention the whole "EWWW, POOOOOOP! THERE CANNOT BE POOP!!!" thing is driving me crazy. Shitcock: even if you find it icky, it's not the end of civilisation as we know it.)


Date: 2009-12-20 12:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
NGL Teddy, I was hoping you'd show up and let me know your thoughts on this post. *fistbumps*

I miss those run ins :( I always sleep through them. But yeah, I completely get what you mean (see above re: straight women telling me what I can and cannot do in bed. God that gets on my tits!)

Shitcock. Yes, it happens. Understandable if you don't want to add explicit details of it in your fic, but y'know, adults on FFR should really know what their arses are for by now. In other words: Shit happens.

I debated posting this to FFR, but I wasn't sure it would go over well >:)

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Date: 2009-12-20 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*high fives* I am so with you! My brother may be gay but he is no girl. I would have killed him by now if he was.;p

Date: 2009-12-20 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*returns high five* Not that there's anything wrong with being a girl, it's just that, well... men aren't.

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Date: 2009-12-20 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love this post. Even if I'm not sure what PWP is and am slight confused because of that.

It reminds me of trying to explain to my coworker that bisexual males really do exist. Girl actually was totally convinced that men are gay or straight with no in between. She also seemed to think that once you "go gay" you can never again be turned on by the female body.

As a side note, a bisexual guy I work with will only identify himself as such with people he trusts because of the times he's had women act like he should be totally open to random threesomes a la reverse two lesbians plus one straight guy bs porn. Most people think he's gay because we've all met his boyfriend. Sad side effect of "guys fucking = hot"

Date: 2009-12-20 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
PWP = porn without plot, or plot, what plot? Basically a smutfic.

Well, men do tend to identify more as gay or straight, and not so much bisexual, but that doesn't mean that bisexual men dont' exist FFS >:( I used to ID that way myself, and Jager still does.

Oh christ, bisexual =/= automatic threesome WHY DO PEOPLE NOT GET THAT?

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Date: 2009-12-20 07:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Would I be able to post it, with full credit to you, on a locked community of cricket slashers. many of us are good writers... But some are fucking awful. Having an ACTUAL LIVE GAY MAN (okay, we had one before, except he, uh, was a fucking woobie) talk about writing would be magical.

Date: 2009-12-20 07:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*takes a bow* Go for it! Just toss my name and maybe a link to the post in there, and you may post it to your heart's content.

Actual Live Gay Man translates to Big Damn Gay Hero in my vernacular XD (I blame [ profile] mistressindi for that one).

Date: 2009-12-20 12:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

You have basically summed up the reasons why I generally do not read slashfic: 99% of it is unrealistic and ridiculous. I never have written any myself because I simply can not write from the perspective of two men - I mean, how can I?! I know I would make a complete mess of it so I simply don't go there.

And dare I say that I think a LOT of female slashfic writers do it because it's the cool thing to do - they just jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is, hence they just aren't 'into' it enough to make the stories believable or sincere. It's almost like they follow a template, insert their male characters into it and - voila - instant story. Total CRAP!!!!

Date: 2009-12-20 01:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have no problems with straight women writing slash; the problem I have is them fetishizing it. And you know, tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about when I say "Actually, that is possible..."

The most important part of any fic is the characters, not what gender they happen to be; I'm sure that so long as you researched, you could do a fine job. The issue is when they don't research and just wing it. It comes off, as you said, like they have this template that they think is always the right way and it's dull, not to mention uninspired. I'll agree that a lot of female writers probably jump on the "everyone is doing it" bandwagon, and when you have fandoms (hockey RPS, Lord of the Rings and the like) that are male dominated, well, there isn't a lot of opportunity for het.

Date: 2009-12-20 01:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ffrants got to you again, didn't they? *hugs*

-bs, who, admittedly, likes the hotness of two guys having sex :-p

Date: 2009-12-20 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Party FFR and partly fandom in general. *snurgles*

*grin* I like the hotness too.

Date: 2009-12-21 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really want to take everything you said here and post it all over the internet. Everyone needs to see this shit, understand it, and stop being morons.

Date: 2009-12-21 11:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I already gave someone permission to repost XD *highfives* I'm glad I made my points.

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Date: 2009-12-21 11:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
How about we try to write our characters as functioning, capable adults, equal partners in the relationship, and not horrifically offensive stereotypes?

...but, honestly, I think that has nothing to do with if you write slash or het. I mean, there's a lot of awful characterization in het fic, as well. The kind of characterization that makes me want to roll my eyes so hard they hurt. I don't know, Badger, I really don't want to throw things in your cornflakes or anything, but I kinda think it has something to do with how talented a writer someone is, and not if one is a male or female writer... I mean, if someone is really not cut out for writing, it doesn't matter if that person tries their hand on het or slash, it's going to be IKEA-fic (*grins*@that) and, well, it's going to suck.

I'm having all kinds of jumbled thoughts on the matter, which is why it took me so long to pen down *this* aspect, and I still don't know if I've managed to bring some order into it or if it's all...a mess. :(

Date: 2009-12-21 11:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's why I said "characters" and not "gay characters", though I'm speaking specifically of slash here.

Even lousy characterization would still be characterization and not objectification. Even good writers can fall into bad characterization.
It's not how apt the writer is at capturing the characters, it's whether they even bother or just go OMG LOOK BOYS FUCKING IS SO HAWT (which I see a lot, though it tends to be more subtle than that). That's where the characterization vs objectification comes in. I take issue with characterization that consists of "This is how I want to characterize them, to further facilitate my smut." To me, that's both bad characterization and objectification.

It's a bit hard for gay men to objectify gay men without objectifying themselves as well. I see objectification in slash where a straight woman might not, the same way she might see misogyny in a place where I would not. It's not that it's not THERE, it's just that, when coming from different POVs, you're going to interpret things as they relate to you. Doesn't mean it's not there, it's just obvious to you where it may not be obvious to someone else.

I don't read het, really. I don't relate to it. I relate to slash, because I am a gay man. I do not wish to see the characters that are written (in slash) as gay men being used as foppish woobified stereotypes that only exist to embody what some people think gay men are like (both sexually and non sexually).

It's nothing to do with good or bad writing, it's to do with the fact that even *good* writers can objectify gay men. Oftentimes, it happens without them even realizing it's happening. That is the insidious part, which I'm trying to address.

I am not a fetish. I am not a kink. I am a person, and I'd like to see characters portrayed as people, as well rounded characters, and not just objects that fuck so people can fap.

Edited because I left out half a paragraph.
Edited Date: 2009-12-21 11:50 am (UTC)


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