Dante's Inferno
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LolaVerdigris

For those women who identity as straight/primarily straight, do you enjoy reading or writing femslash (fan fiction that involves a romantic involvement between two women)? Do you find romantic stories between two women just as enjoyable as those between mixed-sex couples? Are you ever surprised at what texts/shows/films/games have been "queered" by fans?

8/13/2012 #1
otherrealmwriter

I am a straight woman and I find no issue with femmslash whatsoever. I do find an issue when a story has it just for shock value and does no justice to the couple dynmaics whatsoever.

8/18/2012 #2
LolaVerdigris

Thanks for responding. :) So it looks like as long as the f/f relationship or romance is believable and well-written you can enjoy it?

8/28/2012 . Edited 8/28/2012 #3
otherrealmwriter
Thanks for responding. :) So it looks like as long as the f/f relationship or romance is believable and well-written you can enjoy it?

You are welcome and yes, for me it comes down more to the plot than anything. Pairing orientation means very little to me. Yes there is some charachters I like only reading certain pairings about but overall, I don't mind much.

8/29/2012 #4
The Sleeping Tide

I am female and I have nothing against femslah. I'm not overly interested in reading it or RPing it, just not my thing but I have nothing against it.

For the most part sexuality shouldn't matter when it comes to things like character interaction or plot. It should only matter if one character is trying to get into a relationship with another one.

A characters reproductive organs or orientation or sexuality shouldn't matter when it comes to plot or character interaction.

8/29/2012 #5
Moon Lily91

I'm a straight female, but I've read some books about lesbian/gay relationships. They turned out to be better in regards to relationship dynamics, and more realistic, than the books that had straight relationships. Granted that I read them in my school library, which was pretty small and didn't have a wide variety of books, but I had no regrets reading those stories.

8/31/2012 #6
LolaVerdigris

That's really interesting. What do you think made the relationship dynamics more interesting in the particular lesbian/gay books you've read than in straight ones? Is there a different plot structure that lesbian/gay books can develop?

8/31/2012 #7
mandrakefunnyjuice
That's really interesting. What do you think made the relationship dynamics more interesting in the particular lesbian/gay books you've read than in straight ones? Is there a different plot structure that lesbian/gay books can develop?

Genericism. Let's face it, we've been reading about heterosexual people since the beginning of the written word, with few notable exceptions. Homosexuality has only recently been accepted as something that isn't taboo within the last fifty years, and even still in some cultures it's frowned upon. Heterosexuality is generic. There's nothing wrong with it, but we've read it all before. Nothing surprises us. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy, they hit it off/break it off/do something stupid, yadda yadda, life goes on. With a lesbian or a gay relationship, generically speaking, you'll have either two people who are just figuring out their kinks, or people who already know what they want and go for it. Either way, it's different, and we crave difference. We don't like to be bored. Case example: Jack Harkness. Never has there been a greater or more entertaining man whore in sci fi.

Problem with fanfiction is that so few writers actually know how to realistically write what they call "slash." Usually because they themselves are heterosexual, and have no idea how an actual homosexual encounter works. At all. Whatsoever. A few of them get it right, though. Then again, just about all of the sexual encounters in the history of fanfiction that I've had the misfortune to peruse aren't realistic at all, even if they're het. I could explain why that is too, but people here would probably get all butt hurt. Plus I'm tired of typing.

8/31/2012 #8
The Sleeping Tide

Being heterosexual doesn't always have anything to do with how well you can write gay fics. There are a LOT of badly written adult fics out there and if you look you will often see a patten. A lot of the same thing over and over and over again, both in gay and hetro fics.

You don't have to have sex to write adult fics either.

A lot of people, not all but many, who write adult fics are horny teens or screaming fangrils who just cannibalize what they have already seen and puke it back up in their writing. A lot of yaoi fangirls base their fics off the typical yaoi manga, the screaming cry uke and strong forceful top and a lot of rape them until they like it crap.

Doing a little research never hurts. There are a lot of fee sites with al manner of tips and tricks on writing both adult and non adult gay fics but sadly most writers avoid them and just write unrealistic fics that are full of the same things.

8/31/2012 #9
Moon Lily91
That's really interesting. What do you think made the relationship dynamics more interesting in the particular lesbian/gay books you've read than in straight ones? Is there a different plot structure that lesbian/gay books can develop?

Well, in one book I read called "Far From Xanadu", the main character, called Mike, had a crush on a new student, Xanadu. They first started out as friends, but early on, Xanadu gets a boyfriend. That doesn't really stop Mike from having feelings for her.

I remember in one scene, Mike's gay friend (I forgot his name) told her that she should just give up on Xanadu. He even went on to say that she was just toying with Mike, flirting with Mike to keep her guessing and have her stay with her. Xanadu never outright said how she felt about Mike.

Near the end, Xanadu has a fight with her boyfriend, and it was presumed that they broke up. She goes to Mike, crying about the breakup and that Mike would be a better person to be with. They end up having sex (there was no scene, but it's mentioned later), and it seemed like Mike finally got the girl of her dreams. However, the next day, Xanadu says she's back with her boyfriend and that she wasn't thinking straight last night (she even laughs at the pun of "thinking straight"). She goes on to say to forget what happened last night, but asks if they could still be friends.

I guess what I liked the most about this story was that no matter how much you love someone, how perfect the two of you seem together, you can't always have them. From what I read, it seemed like Xanadu was Mike's first real love, and unfortunately, not everyone ends up with their first love. What makes it worse is that Mike believed she finally had her but had her dream crushed. The idea of thinking that you got what you wanted, but it turned out you never really did have it was heartbreaking, and yet amazing. I never read anything like that before.

Then again, it could be that the authoress was just good at what she wrote. I've read a few other books she wrote, but this one stood out the most for me since it showed that not everyone ends up with their first love interest. Usually, in the stories I've read with straight relationships, it was the opposite, as in the main character got the boy/girl, who was normally their first love. Yes, I've seen exceptions, but at the time, I really liked the theme of wanting something (or someone) you can never have that I saw in that book.

8/31/2012 . Edited 9/1/2012 #10
Zokolov

I've read many stories about same-sex relationships and I have to agree that they just felt more, well, interesting than the generic straight romances. Plus I think anytime a story has a non-stereotypical LGBT character as the protagonist or at least a major character, society takes a step forward. Or something. Of course, many countries still punish homosexuality by death, so I doubt the whole world will ever stop discriminating.

It's been a dream of mine to write a book or a movie or TV show or anything where the main character is gay and no one makes a big deal about it.

Oh, and even a mostly-straight guy like me has to admit that Jack Harness is one hot man.

8/31/2012 . Edited 8/31/2012 #11
LolaVerdigris

Thank you all for the detailed responses! After reading your replies it seems that a main reason why fem/slash stories are enjoyable is their potential for new narratives and plot lines that are typically not found in hetero fan fiction. Extra question: What are some of the first femslash stories that you've all read that got you hooked? Was there any initial hesitation to read it because of the slash content?

9/1/2012 #12
The Sleeping Tide

While I am not overly interested in fem-slash, not my cup of tea. I do read a lot of male slash. I've never shied away from a fic just for having things like slash.

I do how ever, hit the back button more often then not because of bad sex scenes that belong more on the set of a cheap porno or in a trash book like 50 Shades of Grey.

More writers need to get a better grip on anatomy before even attempting to write a sex scene no matter how tame it is. Terrible metaphors kill it and this is true for any fic.

9/1/2012 #13
Aria's Locket

Fem-slash isn't really my taste either ( I personally prefer male-slash myself) but I appreciate a well written story. So I have read fem-slash, male-slash, incest, etc. because the stories containing them are exceptional.

Certain things do bug me though. Like Sleeping Tide, I immediately go back if I read a sex scene that is just plain horrible (awkward vocabulary, mid-sex conversations, blatant disregard for basic human anatomy, etc.) I don't mind the substance of the story so long as there is quality to back it up.

9/2/2012 #14
LolaVerdigris

A couple of people have said they don't mind femslash as long as the story is good, but they prefer slash to it. Is there a reason that slash is more appealing over femslash to some of you?

9/3/2012 #15
Moon Lily91
Extra question: What are some of the first femslash stories that you've all read that got you hooked? Was there any initial hesitation to read it because of the slash content?

Most of the femslash stories I've read were mostly published books, mainly because fanfics usually disappointed me. Aside from "Far From Xanadu", "Keeping You a Secret", another book by the same authoress Julie Anne Peters, is another close favorite. This one started out with the main character, Holland (age 17), living a normal quiet life at home, school, and with her boyfriend. I believe it was the start of the school year where she meets someone, an openly lesbian girl named Cecelia. This book was very different from "Far From Xanadu" because in "Xanadu", everyone in Mike's hometown was generally okay with her sexuality. But in "Keeping You a Secret", most people were rather homophobic.

Holland first starts out having a little crush on Cecelia (called Cece instead), which confuses her because she believed that she was straight since she had a boyfriend. Later on, she realizes that she's actually falling in love with Cece (after they've become friends and hanging out more). She tells Cece about this, hoping for some clarity about her sexuality. Cece also admits to having feelings for Holland, and even said her intuition (she called it "gaydar" in the book) knew that she was also lesbian.

After that, things start getting bad for Holland. As she starts coming to terms that she is a lesbian, she's conflicted in telling her friends, family, and boyfriend about it for fear of how they'd react. For a while, she hides her relationship with Cece, which was okay at first. But Cece starts getting frustrated that they have to hide their love, and that it was best for Holland to come out so she can be honest with herself and everyone. Holland agrees, first going to her boyfriend about it. This leads to a bad breakup, but it doesn't hold Holland down for too long. She then comes out to her family, which ends up having her thrown out of the house and forbidden to go anywhere near her little sister.

Holland manages to find a studio apartment to stay in and starts gathering her things from her house to live away from her family. As she was packing, her mom tells her she'll let her stay if she stays straight instead of being a lesbian. Holland refuses and moves away, really heartbroken over how her family treated her. The harsh treatment later extends to the students of her school to the point where she's basically ostracized. What kept me reading this story was that this story made being honest yourself can sometimes lead to harsh punishment because of it, which, unfortunately, is sometimes true for teenagers/kids who are discovering who they are. Holland was lucky enough to have a (somewhat) happy ending, but reading everything she had to go through was painful.

I'll admit that, at first, I was very iffy about reading same-sex stories. Since I'm straight, I really doubted that I'd identify or sympathize with the characters, or that I'd have difficulty understanding their situations. I eventually pushed away that thought and began reading them. What kept me reading was, as someone above had said before, it was different from hetero stories. I started looking for any possible book that had same-sex couples/situations and reading them. They really were enjoyable for me.

As for preferring slash over femslash, I'm actually neutral on that. I don't mind reading either as long as the story is good. If I consider the pairing to be realistic, then it's a bonus for me. Reason being is that if the characters genuinely love each other, it doesn't matter to me what sex/gender/whatever they identify themselves as.

9/3/2012 #16
The Sleeping Tide

Its not just fem-slash that disappoints. Slash does that a lot.

I often hit the back button or break out laughing at some of the most horribly done sex scenes I've ever seen. The words the writer uses....so horrible. Its like they have no grasp on anatomy at all.

The usage of things for lube that should never be used for lube. The amount of That Does Not Go There and worse.

9/7/2012 #17
otherrealmwriter
Extra question: What are some of the first femslash stories that you've all read that got you hooked? Was there any initial hesitation to read it because of the slash content?

At first I was a little hesitant to read some SakuraxIno femmslash but I was curious and the plot seemed good and I just read more and found no issues with it. I helped betaed a fanfic that had a lot of femmslash.

9/9/2012 #18
LolaVerdigris

@Moon Lily91 "I'll admit that, at first, I was very iffy about reading same-sex stories. Since I'm straight, I really doubted that I'd identify or sympathize with the characters, or that I'd have difficulty understanding their situations. I eventually pushed away that thought and began reading them. What kept me reading was, as someone above had said before, it was different from hetero stories. I started looking for any possible book that had same-sex couples/situations and reading them. They really were enjoyable for me.As for preferring slash over femslash, I'm actually neutral on that. I don't mind reading either as long as the story is good. If I consider the pairing to be realistic, then it's a bonus for me. Reason being is that if the characters genuinely love each other, it doesn't matter to me what sex/gender/whatever they identify themselves as." --- I love your thoughts here. ;) @The Sleeping Tide, I completely agree, if the sex scenes aren't believable, I lose interest in the story. @otherrealmwriter, "I helped betaed a fanfic that had a lot of femmslash." that's great! :)

9/10/2012 #19
The Sleeping Tide

I prefer slash for the most part.

One of my peeves is when screaming fangirls smash two male characters together and make them fall in magic love when they would kill each other first. Its very unbelievable. Same goes with victim automatically falling in love with their captor.

If characters are going to fall in love, it has to at least be believable. Not Add Water for Instant Love.

Same goes for sex scenes. It has to be at least believable and it always helps if the writer has done some research on it instead of just basing it off every bad fanfic they have read.

9/11/2012 #20
mandrakefunnyjuice
Oh, and even a mostly-straight guy like me has to admit that Jack Harness is one hot man.

Lol it's been like, a month or whatever and I just now came back to this thread and read that. And it made me giggle like a chipmunk. I don't know why I'm posting this, though. I'm tired.

It's been a dream of mine to write a book or a movie or TV show or anything where the main character is gay and no one makes a big deal about it.

The most major parts that gay people seem to have in stories are as the token gay friend to the female main character, or the "symbol" character who stands up for whatever they believe in. Like in Milk. Except no one saw that movie, because it sucked, so that was a bad example. Point is, having a gay side character is integral to any modern storyline. Like having a token black guy. Or a token gay black guy - that's the double whammy, right there. True Blood has Lafayette, for example, who is the most ridiculously flamboyant gay black man in the history of everything. There hasn't been a main character LGBT of 'em for something whose story didn't suck ass, or people didn't make a mountain out of a mole hill of. Maybe it's because there's not a wide enough market for such a character, or the target audience isn't big enough yet. Or too many people are still lost in the closet. I don't know.

9/12/2012 #21
Zokolov
Lol it's been like, a month or whatever and I just now came back to this thread and read that. And it made me giggle like a chipmunk. I don't know why I'm posting this, though. I'm tired.

:D I'm happy to make at least someone laugh.

There hasn't been a main character LGBT of 'em for something whose story didn't suck ass, or people didn't make a mountain out of a mole hill of. Maybe it's because there's not a wide enough market for such a character, or the target audience isn't big enough yet. Or too many people are still lost in the closet

At the drop of my hat, I can't think of anything besides Torchwood which was already mentioned. Very rarely, video games with romance subplots allow you to play as a gay or bi character - Dragon Age, Mass Effect, etc. And... well, that's pretty much it. There would be a market for it if writers were more clever and open about it. Though the meddling executives would just probably veto the idea and make them straight instead. I'm just relieved whenever something comes along where the main character isn't a white, heterosexual (and sexually active, of course) male in his 20's or 30's. Not that there's anything wrong with characters like that, but it's still pretty noticable that there's a bias there.

9/13/2012 #22
mandrakefunnyjuice
I'm just relieved whenever something comes along where the main character isn't a white, heterosexual (and sexually active, of course) male in his 20's or 30's. Not that there's anything wrong with characters like that, but it's still pretty noticable that there's a bias there.

No kidding. When the main character isn't a white hetero man from 20-30, he's a chick with giant tits. I guess we'll just have to hold our breath until a decent story comes along with a decent, non-campy, non-token LGBT character rolls on by.

9/13/2012 #23
LolaVerdigris

"No kidding. When the main character isn't a white hetero man from 20-30, he's a chick with giant tits. I guess we'll just have to hold our breath until a decent story comes along with a decent, non-campy, non-token LGBT character rolls on by." --Hahaha. Or we're going to have write the stories we want to see/read ourselves. :)

9/30/2012 #24
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