and now, a sexy diversion

  • Oct. 20th, 2010 at 3:39 PM
neomeruru: (Default)
Weirdly intellectual observations on slash fiction ahead. You've been warned.

Today I read something that actually made me pause, because in all the years I've been hanging around with women who write men having all manner of sexytimes, I have never, ever read it before.

And, I mean, there's a lot of kink out there. I mean, there's a freaking rimming meme going on at this very moment. Last week it was catboys, bless their souls. A few months ago I learned about figging -- actually learned something, which was weird considering I've been reading porn since I was eleven. There's been pisskink. There's been snuff -- I know, I wrote what I think is the only one on the Inception kinkmeme. There's been all matter of crazy, filthy stuff committed to words.

All this fits well with one of the common explanations for the slash phenomenon: fandom provides a 'safe place for women to explore and talk about their sexual desires'. I mean, there are tons of reasons, but I usually crack out that one when trying to explain to the mudbloods. The whole slash-fiction-as-feminist-frustration-with-hetero-male-texts is the next step from that, depending on the crowd.

Which brings me back to the original topic of this entry, this mysterious kink I've never read about.

What is it?

Facials!

I know! So mundane. Mainstream, even. And a cursory glance at a few kinkmemes nets a few instances, for sure, but hell. Even mpreg gets more hits.

We're talking thousands of women writing slash, literally millions of fics out there spanning countless fandoms, and practically no one's writing about guys getting it in the face. Contrast this with mainstream pornography, where it happens (to women) on a regular basis.

So, why?

Source material aside (visual medium: come on face; textual medium: describe the unseen), if you accept the above rationale for why slash exists, my hypothesis is that:

A. Slash fiction is written primarily by women, for consumption by women, in communities of women, and
B. Facials are seen as a male-oriented fantasy, and,
C. One of the purposes of fanfiction is to fulfill (or sublimate) the author's wishes or desires

Ergo, most women don't write about facials because they don't fantasize about facials.

Facials, as a male-oriented activity, don't really register on the level of wish-fulfillment, not in the ways that penetration, submission, comeplay, or whatever else does, and we see those (and other) themes abound in slash communities. Despite the characters in the story being symbolically men, they are basically moving under the engine of female desire, and there is very little incentive or motivation to make them do the things we see in mainstream, male-oriented pornography.

Which, I mean, does raise the question about whether or not the things we see in said mainstream, male-oriented pornography are actually existing parts of male fantasy, or a coked-up amalgram cobbled together by industry porn. I wouldn't be so quick to throw male fantasy under the bus by dismissing it offhand, but the near utter lack of it in slash communities does speak to a great divide in desires.