Alli Snow (allisnow) wrote,
Alli Snow

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The Fandom Sex Spectrum

I really shouldn't be thinking this hard at this hour. I always end up regretting it.

But I was skimming through the SG1 Fanfic Awards site tonight for want of anything better to do, and wound up reading through the category descriptions. I tell you, the definition of gen is one of the best examples of Stargate SG-1 fandom culture as you'll ever find, sad as it is.

So I ended up discussing the whole ship/UST/smarm/pre-slash/slash spectrum with someone who shall remain nameless *cough*Yam*cough*, and of course pondering the distinct unfairness of the smarm category since it's always dominated by Jack/Daniel stuff and sometimes even indecipherable from pre-slash. But looking at the definitions of the categories, you can see why that is.

You would think UST and Pre-Slash would pretty much be equivalents, two corresponding sides of the spectrum and therefore worded equally. Not so...

UST:"Unresolved Sexual Tension": a story that focuses on the relationship between a man and a woman, where there is an evident sexual attraction.

Pre-Slash: Stories about two (same sex) characters discovering that their feelings are more than friendship. (Pre-slash is when there's no actual sex or kissing, though it may include a declaration of love. It is not the same thing as "smarm".)

These definitions, in effect, make (het) UST and (homo) Pre-Slash about two different things: Pre-Slash is about feelings, and UST is about sex (albeit unconsummated sex).

(In reality... well, I can't speak for Pre-Slash, but UST fic is about feelings every bit as much as it's about sex. Sometimes more.)

Is it any surprise, then, that smarm, which is blessed with the following definition - "A story that focuses on the depth of friendship between two characters" - is habitually closer to Pre-Slash than is UST, and therefore destined to be dominated by 'friendships between two male characters'? After all, who decides between friendship and 'more than friendship', between 'more than friendship' and sexual tension?

In this case, the author decides, which is a part of the problem. Which author is likely to say "No, please, remove my story from that category; when Daniel was admiring Jack's ass it was in a more-than-friendship way, not a depth-of-friendship way"?

You know, entries like this are why I don't tell my relatives how to find me on the Internet.
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