Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Dark/Gay Side of the Force

The Dark Side… that’s the topic this fortnight.  With that in mind, and given the fact that this is an erotic authors blog, my mind went in only one direction.

Gay erotic Star Wars fan-fiction.

Gay erotic fan-fiction, or slash fiction as it’s often called (named so for the slash that appears between romantic pairing’s names — Kirk/Spock, for example), has been around since the days of the original Star Trek TV series.

Pretty much any major sci-fi franchise has fans writing dirty stories about the guys they wish could just get together and fuck.  (This seems to be primarily a sci-fi fanbase thing, though it does occasionally crop up in other non-sci-fi franchises.)  This seems to pop up regularly on Tumblr — when I have some time to kill and scroll through my feed there, I see a *lot* of Teen Wolf chatter.  I’ve never seen the show — I don’t even know if it’s still on or what channel it’s on — but I know all about the smouldering sexual tension that fans see between the two male leads.  There might even be some minimal gay subtext to their relationship on screen, but the internet has taken it and run with it.

Slash fiction seems to be incredibly popular.

Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens came out in December of last year — about four months ago.  Fans, particularly LGBT fans and lovers of slash fiction, picked up on some sexual tension between the new characters of Finn and Poe.  Indeed, even the actors who portray Finn and Poe have spoken about sexual tension between their characters.  Unfortunately, as the article I just linked to pointed out — there’s probably little chance of seeing such a romance between these characters, particularly since they are lead characters.  I know I wouldn’t mind seeing them get down and dirty, though. :)



I was curious who prevalent Finn/Poe slash fiction is, given the huge popularity of slash fiction and the huge popularity of Star Wars.  On one site — *one* site — there are over 2,100 Finn/Poe stories listed.  Yes, there are a lot of Star Wars fans out there and a lot of slash fiction writers out there, but that number still astounds me.  While that site I linked to — Archive of Our Own — is, to my understanding, one of the larger fan-fiction sites on the net, there are still several others that would have their own database of Finn/Poe stories.  There are thousands upon thousands of stories of Finn and Poe getting it on.  (Since I’m a huge Star Trek fan, I had to know… there are over 12,000 Kirk/Spock stories on Archive of Our Own, which makes the number of Star Wars stories even more astounding, as Star Trek is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year -- it's been around 50 times longer than Finn/Poe, but only has 6 times the stories.)

It makes me wonder if it would actually be a good business move to make the characters gay in Star Wars: Episode VIII… though I suspect it still won’t happen.  Partly because of the business reasons mentioned in the article listed above — that this would probably get the movie banned in China, which is a huge market — and partly because such a move would, unfortunately and irrationally, drive a lot of conservative Christian folk to boycott the movie.  Even in this age of growing equality, it’s still solid business advice to keep your characters straight — at least your main characters.

But if it were to happen, if Star Wars were to make these characters fall in love, I wonder if that would actually reduce the interest in Finn/Poe slash fiction, since it’s no longer a “taboo” thing.  I suspect part of the appeal is that slash fiction writers know there’s little to no chance of it happening on screen, so they come up with ways to explore the characters’ unacknowledged lusts and the taboo nature of their steamy affair.  If they were a couple on screen, then the illicitness of the pairing is lost.  We know they’re in love, they’re a couple, and they likely fuck regularly.  While there are still many people that would love to write and read stories about an already-established couple, I suspect it would lose its appeal to slash fiction writers.

Slash fiction is about exploring the dark lusts of characters, of what happens when they finally give in to what they know in their hearts to be true, and it’s a re-invention of a sci-fi franchise, giving it new life and breath for fans.  It’s also about getting off. ;)



(Speaking of getting off… in my Googling, I found a photo manipulation blog.  It’s like slash fiction but in X-rated pictures.  Check out Finn and Poe finally giving into their burning need for each other, and check out some of the other pics on the site, too.)



Cameron D. James is a writer of gay erotica and M/M erotic romance; his latest release is Seduced by My Best Friend’s Dad (co-written with Sandra Claire). He lives in Canada, is always crushing on Starbucks baristas, and has two rescue cats. To learn more about Cameron, visit http://www.camerondjames.com.

5 comments:

  1. Slash fans might even prefer not to have the couplings occur "in canon" because they'd rather be able to make the scenes just the way they want them. Kind of like choose-your-own-adventure stories, but better, because you don't just choose from alternate scenarios provided for you, but make up your own according to your own fantasies. Like, um, writing your own stories! But using characters readers will already recognize.

    Maybe some day not too far in the future people will look back on the days when writers created their own characters, and actually got paid for writing, and shake their heads in disbelief.

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    1. It's a lot easier to riff on characters someone else has created, than to create your own.

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  2. So does anyone write F/F slash fiction? Or is there such a dearth of strong female characters in popular culture (or popular sci/fi, at least) that one can't find a plausible pair?

    Great post, Cameron. I love the statistics you've dug up!

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  3. After seeing the latest Star Wars movie, I had no doubt that Poe/Finn slash was being written, even as I was watching the big (IMAX) screen. I never guessed how many stories have appeared so far! Re F/F slash fiction, the Xenaverse was very popular while Xena the Warrior Princess was showing regularly on TV. A friend of mine who was into it claimed that someone she knew on a fanfic site had her story chosen for an actual episode! And the writer was paid. :)

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  4. Love that you brought up slash. Yes, there's a ton of F/F slash fiction. Some of my favorite pairings are from Agent Carter and Babylon 5. Think of any two characters, and I feel like you can find slash about them somewhere...

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