keiramarcos: (Default)
[personal profile] keiramarcos

I could spend a whole year talking about the fetishizing of men in fandom because it is wide spread and it leads to some truly ugly behavior on the parts of fans. It breeds contempt for show creators and sometimes obsessions with actors that can and have gotten dangerously out of hand. Actors sometimes get melded with the characters they play in a fan’s mind, and that can lead to the fan believing they know them in very intimate ways when it simply isn’t true.

One of the most distressing things I see in fandom is the objectification of the real people who play the characters we love. I can’t really do anything about the problem but I notice it, and it’s often utterly appalling. I want to just lose my shit sometimes and point out—hey, that’s a fucking human being you’re talking about there. He’s not some puppet you can play around with like a goddamned toy.

You probably think it doesn’t matter what you think in your head or what you put on Tumblr regarding an actor or actress. You think it’s perfectly okay to write a fic about Joe Flanigan and David Hewlett cheating on their wives/girlfriends/families because you’re just writing fiction. It’s not hurting anything. Except they both have children and one day one of those kids might stumble across your fucked up little short story about their dad cheating on their mom, and of course, because you’re an asshole you’ve made sure to insult and degrade their mother as much as possible to justify the cheating. I’m sure that’s going to be a fun conversation for everyone involved.

Explicit sex in fan fiction plays a role in objectification, and I acknowledge this. I’ve always known that there is a subset of people who only read my work for the sex. They make it clear in their comments and in specifically in the parts of my stories they remember. I once saw a “find a fic” request on an LJ community that outlined five sex scenes and not a single plot point. All they remembered was the sex. It wasn’t my story they were looking for, but more than one person suggested that I might be the author of this missing fic. I’m glad I wasn’t. I felt let down and terrible for the author it was though because one person after another on that thread would comment about having read the fic. Not a single one of them mentioned a plot point or a bit of characterization that wasn’t sex.

I knew the story they were looking for—it was a beautiful piece of work with excellent characterization and an engrossing plot that was utterly breathtaking. I never commented on that thread with the answer because I wanted no part of the conversation. I think it took six or seven weeks for someone to provide a link. I don’t want to discuss the title or author here because it’s not fair to her or her work. That thread on that fic finders community wasn’t fair to her work either. But it did highlight something I’d noticed about a few readers on my site. The sex stood out for them. Specifically, the gay sex stood out for them, and nothing else was really important.

Early on, I had to figure out where my hard line was regarding objectification in my fandom work. I decided that I would write about characters, not actors. I don’t read or write “real person fiction” as a result. For example, John Sheppard is a character—a fictional person who exists in the Stargate fandom that I know well. Joe Flanigan is a real person—he has a family and a personal life that is none of my business. I don’t know him at all, and honestly, I have no interest in knowing him. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but I’m not here for Joe Flanigan. I’m in the Stargate fandom for John Sheppard.

 

 

 

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Date: 2017-08-27 04:15 am (UTC)
justalurkr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] justalurkr
While I have enjoyed the sex in your fiction, it is by no means the reason I reread your oeuvre about twice a year. The care your characters express for their loved ones across all personal and familial relationships is just inspiring!

Date: 2017-08-27 04:27 am (UTC)
turtle7761: (Default)
From: [personal profile] turtle7761
To be honest I read slash despite the sex. I'm just not someone who needs a lot of sex in a story, I do however need well-developed characters who do what they do for a reason and not just because the writer thinks they should.

I've read real-person slash once and while it was well written I had the urge to go and scrub myself off, I just felt dirty. I, like you realize that this is a real person and not the same person as any character they've ever played on screen. It's not something I could ever read again.
Edited Date: 2017-08-27 04:27 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-08-27 04:59 am (UTC)
sarehkert: WTF Bunny (WTF)
From: [personal profile] sarehkert
I'll take a well written story over sex scenes, I enjoy reading sex scenes but it's not everything. And yes they are real people with real lives, never understood RPS.
I also don't understand how people can ask actors the "have you ever read" question at a fan con, and then get insulted when the actor says it's not their thing.

Date: 2017-08-27 05:05 am (UTC)
skeddy_kat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] skeddy_kat
I agree with you 100%. It is the characters we know and love - not the actors. The folks who get all weird about their personal lives always annoy me, too. I've seen rants and laments because of people certain actors were dating or marrying. Do these "fans" think they were next in line for a relationship?

Date: 2017-08-27 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] djaddict
I enjoy the sex scenes in fic but that is not why I read and enjoy it. I like long stories that give me something of substance besides the relationships, romance and sex.

Like snarky, intelligent, powerful characters that stand for something and have something to say ( like your characters).

I absolutely cringe when I hear someone ask an actor about fanfic or fan art, it is just so inappropriate.

Date: 2017-08-27 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] timespirt
I always said I love the worlds you create and I mean that. I can get lost in reading the way you write my favorite characters in your stories. I love all the details you bring to them. The sex is only one small part of the epic adventure. You write the characters better than the writers of the show did. You keep me coming back for more because i want to know what comes next for them and it's so much fun. I enjoy the journey and I thank you for giving the SGA characters new adventures so I can follow along.

I think real person fic is creepy and way too far over the line.

Date: 2017-08-27 05:33 am (UTC)
belle_meri: Scattering of shamrocks on a soft palest green background with my name on the icon (Default)
From: [personal profile] belle_meri
Ah, the great fetishization debate... have you seen the big long and somewhat insulting variant of this going around Facebook and the MM romance community recently? It's reached the stage where I don't want to write anymore because of the on-going debate over the amount of, extent of, descriptiveness of, and realism of the sex scenes in slash fiction - be it original or fan fiction. Much less getting into the debate over the difference between actors and their characters.

Date: 2017-08-27 05:42 am (UTC)
rosefyre: Me with Computer (Me with Computer)
From: [personal profile] rosefyre
Honestly when I reread your fic (and even read it the first time) I skim the sex at least half the time, if not more. I'm there for the plot, not the sex, and you do excellent plot.

There's nothing wrong with liking sex in fic, but fetishizing the actors is...creepy. *shrugs* RPF has its place (historical is fine, minor real people showing up in fics - i.e. someone being interviewed by Barbara Walters or going to a Lady Gaga concert - is fine), but going too far with currently living people and relationships that aren't real is...yeah. Weird is the nicest word for it.

Date: 2017-08-27 05:48 am (UTC)
meteorfire: (Default)
From: [personal profile] meteorfire
I agree so hard. In my opinion, most sex scenes are uncomfortable and weird, but that's because of who I am as a person, and not any fault in the author's part. I read fic for the plot and the relationships. I love Ties that Bind, but I was never in it for the sex scenes. I absolutely adore the way you write the characters and how they interact. The care and emotions are what hooks me, not any sexy domination scenario.

Usually the things someone recalls from a fic are the details that stand out the most. I can tell you about that one fic with the jealous girl who stole a fancy dildo from a main character, or a fic with the son unknowingly conceived with an Ancient woman who then went back in time. I can't tell you about a single sex scene from any fic I've ever read, and I don't really understand anyone who can. It's probably all in the wiring.

Date: 2017-08-27 06:03 am (UTC)
brokenamethyst: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brokenamethyst
The care you take in weaving your story shines through and, for me, is the most alluring part. You make your characters worthy of each other and take the time and care to build a foundation of strength and trust. Even in Ties that Bind, one of the most explicit stories I've read there is a gentleness to the narration and John approaches Rodney with a soft touch, Romancing him in one of the most important ways. Your characters coax their partners in a way that they needed; John makes Rodney feels safe and builds up his trust in others romantically, Harry provides Draco with and a partner who both loves him for all that he is and supports him in his endeavors. The same can be found in the Hold My Coffee series. You build strong characters and mate them with equally vivid and powerful counterparts. They guard their loves, their hearts, with a ruthlessness that I can only describe as awe inspiring. I don't get how someone could go through over 100k worth of work and only focus on the sex scenes because seriously I could write several essays based off themes and turn of characterizations found in your work.

But throughout your work there is a major distinction between healthy and dangerous obsession. Between what is appropriate behavior and what is not. Harry being obsessed with the shape of Draco's behind in his trousers is fine because it's entirely mutual, David Kleinman attempting to force his attentions on Meredith because he's attracted to her regardless of if its returned is just one of the glaring examples in your work. The theme of what constitutes a healthy relationship can be found throughout all the stories that I've read by you. I see where some stories/fandoms/movies etc can have an enthralling affect on the fans and its disturbing. Some fandoms made it so I wouldn't even look at the source material because of the harassment of the actors. Hiddleston, Patterson, Felton, Radcliffe, Watson. And far too many others. Sometimes fans are the worst part of fandom.

Date: 2017-08-27 08:17 am (UTC)
vaahtera: (Default)
From: [personal profile] vaahtera
RPF is something I have never understood, personally it creeps me the hell out. I once started to read a Stargate fic which to be fair started well, until... The author had negleted to mention anywhere that it was in fact RPF fic instead of fic about the characters. I stopped reading immediately and actually felt dirty. After that I haven't gone near fics which don't explicitly mention that they're based on the characters. That experience still makes me shutter.

RPF to me is just extremele creepy, it makes me uncomfrotable on a level I can't explain and most of all for me personally it feels like it's disrespecting the work of the actors.

So agree

Date: 2017-08-27 08:50 am (UTC)
missyb1986: Cute (Lick)
From: [personal profile] missyb1986
I personally when I'm re-reading a fic I've read before..... tend to skip the sex scenes. I don't know if anyone else does, but I really prefer to read fics for the plot 95% of the time. There are a few fics I read for teh sex, but that's mainly because they're either pwp or the fic is just sex!! I adore reading your works, and will happily skim past the sex scenes to get to the plot!!

Date: 2017-08-27 09:12 am (UTC)
elaiel: monty the cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] elaiel
I love the porn. But I don't always read the same fic twice for the same reason, sometimes I'm there for the angst, sometimes I'm there for the porny goodness. And for me the porn doesn't work without the story to provide context.

I usually find RPF uncomfortable for all of the reasons you and other people have mentioned. I do occasionally read RPF from a couple of authors who also write in my preferred fandoms, as I really like their style and plots, but I'll admit the reason I can manage those is it's RPF about people I don't know anything about (not my fandoms) so to me it feels like fiction. I guess that's a bit of a double standard, but it's a wider remove conceptually.
Edited Date: 2017-08-27 09:13 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-08-27 09:59 am (UTC)
esteefee: (col_kitty)
From: [personal profile] esteefee
holy shit preach. I am 100% into John Sheppard, intergalactic space puppy, and his adventures with his geniusy boyfriend Dr Dr Rodney McKay, and the other vastly excellent people of their acquaintance too awesome to count. That's what I'm here for. I don't want to know the actors. I do hope they have long and happy lives, but that's none of my business.

And I can't tell you how many times I have labored, labored over a story, been so proud to put out something I felt was positively unique and interesting, only to have someone comment "omg so scorching hot!!" I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for every comment in this day of kudos, but ouch.

You have hit the nail bang.

Date: 2017-08-27 10:40 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] h_mireles
I've never gotten the appeal of real person fanfiction. The actor that particular writer is obsessed with will play many parts over his/her career, all with different backgrounds. And yes, these are real people, with real lives, real families and real relationships that are out of bounds in my opinion. If a writer is so obsessed with someone that they blur the line between person and role, perhaps they should just get some air (and a clue) and realize that once they put that shit out there online, some form is out there forever for anyone to see.

Oy - and explicit sex in fanfiction?!? Don't get me wrong, I loves me some wonderfully written sex scenes, but I believe I like the heart of a story so much more. Sex in some fanfic is a bit like icing on the cake; I really like icing, but sometimes I just want the cake.

Date: 2017-08-27 11:42 am (UTC)
em_kellesvig: Teyla looking side eyed in disbelief (SGATeylaCallsBullshit)
From: [personal profile] em_kellesvig
I drew that same hard line about twenty years ago in the Highlander fandom: wouldn't write RPF/S, wouldn't read it, wouldn't edit it. These people have real lives; don't go making shit up. Didn't make me many friends then or since. Oh, well.

Date: 2017-08-27 12:04 pm (UTC)
chestnutnola: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chestnutnola
I find RPF deeply uncomfortable for the reasons you've stated, as well. Though, I will admit when I was new to reading fanfiction years ago, I did read a few RPF's and even though they were quite good, I was uncomfortable as I was reading them. I avoid RPF and have for years since then. I do think that intimate sex scenes are a wonderful thing to read, but for me the plot and characterization come first and are the reason I read in the first place whether it be original fiction or fan fiction. I rarely read pure PWP's or Erotica, since I find those types of stories have superficial characterization without any emotional depth. I've tried to write two PWP's and have failed utterly, since I can't not write without a plot and an emotional viewpoint. So they are Porn With Plot rather than a true Porn Without Plot stories, and I'm okay with that. Objectification of the actors who play the character's we love, I do think is part of the fandom consciousness. For me, yes, I love the actors that play my beloved characters, but the character's and their canon worlds are the most important thing for me. When I post actor pics on my wall, I think of them in terms of their fandom characters. It's a fine line, but a necessary one in my opinion.

I'm not really into reading most BDSM stories, but I enjoy Ties That Bind because of your plot and characterization. It's a wonderfully exciting SGA adventure and I do find the BDSM aspects and world you've created fascinating. Best, The Nut.
Edited Date: 2017-08-27 12:06 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-08-27 05:49 pm (UTC)
yanagi_wa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yanagi_wa
I can't read RPF, I just can't. Like you, I feel that characters are free for us to play with; real people are not. It's an invasion of their privacy that can be appalling.

Date: 2017-08-28 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rhiannonmr
I've had issues with RPF/RPS for yrs going back to Star Trek fandoms. I've always had the feeling that the actors are off limits. They exist; they have people in their lives, families and such. Aidan Flanigan(JF's oldest) is 17 yrs old. He can certainly find RPF featuring his father IF he looks for it. Hell if he googles his mother it hits on the first page of the search! Yes I googled her, she's and artist and a damned good one. I won't read it, because I consider it disrespectful of the actor who is bringing the character to life on TV or in the movies. They may look good but what we are seeing is them as that character.

As for sex scenes in fiction? I'll read them but the plot is more important. I'm pretty much guilty of skimming the sex scenes and going more to the plot at times. And when I reread a fic, I read for the plot. Not really into PWPs myself. I love your writing because I love your take on John Sheppard and Rodney McKay. Both are complete beings and people I'd love to have in my corner as it were. Thanks for that. I've had days of enjoyment reading your stuff.

Date: 2017-08-28 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] otrame
Agree completely. There is a huge difference between playing with a fictional character and writing shit about real people. I never read RFP.

That said, I don't think having Larry King doing what Larry King does is a terrible crossing of the line. But it's your line. If you ever go back to it, making is a character that does Larry King-ish interviews will be fine.

And about the sex, while I enjoy your sex scenes, erm... sometimes quite a bit... they are not what makes your writing not only so readable, but so re-readable. Your stories, every single one of them, are about love. Other things happen in them, but underneath it all is love. That's what I want to read.

Date: 2017-08-28 04:47 am (UTC)
tabakat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tabakat
Amen. I admit I started to read rpf in the past. This was because I knew nothing of the 'fandom' when I realized I was reading fictionalization of real people and not characters, I hit back button so hard I think I broke my browser. While, actors, creators+, and writers can reasonably expect their characters to be adored by fans in ever evolving ways. The rpf fandom, bandom and more just struck a me as creepy. I've never understood people who cannot separate an actor from a character, or a celeberaties' public personae from reality.

It makes me worry about adults grasp of reality in general really.

Sex in your stories...

Date: 2017-08-28 07:40 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] wushu76
I have a comment I have always wanted to make about your stories that I have hesitated to because I wasn't sure it would be taken as the compliment I meant it as. I love that if I'm just not in the mood, I can read any one of your stories, jump or just skim the sex scene, and it's still a wonderful story. Yes, you lose some of the intimacy of the relationships, but the story is still there. Present and interesting. I adore that about your writing. Even TTB which is clearly a world where sex is even more present.

So thank you very much!

True Dat

Date: 2017-08-29 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] no1elsetoblame
Wise words. I volunteer with a mental health/suicide prevention organization that is closely aligned with a specific fandom. We have an awareness booth at their conventions, and are called upon to help out fans that may experience some extreme emotions during the signings and photo ops. I enjoy every moment of it, and respect the heck out of every fan I have interacted with - but some behaviors I have seen definitely illustrate what you describe in your post. I've watched cast members handle it extremely well while being extremely uncomfortable - they are pros. But - they shouldn't have to deal with such invasive and frankly scary situations. For too many people, there are no lines, which I believe shows an amount of disrespect - which I am sure that these fans aren't trying to show at all. But they don't get it. The fact that the cast is protected by many layers of physical barriers, handlers, body guards, and mental health personnel during these events should be an clue. However, people have expectations of what they want from these interactions, some probably fostered by ideas developed through RPF fandom -which may use real people as subjects but is still FICTION. It can be difficult to witness, and can also overshadow the majority of fans that sincerely want to express gratitude and honest admiration for the cast and crew's efforts. Being a bit "star struck" is one thing, and it doesn't cross boundaries. Objectification that leads to fetishism - a whole, different ball game. (P.S. While I do have to confess that there are parts in your stories that I read through my fingers [personal hang-ups], I honestly admire your works because they are about grownups handling both intriguing and difficult situations like grownups. Not as common in fanworks as one would want. Thanks for that.)

Date: 2017-08-30 02:38 am (UTC)
syble4: (Default)
From: [personal profile] syble4
I've always had a problem with RPF. It's slander, plan and simple. It's one thing to fantasize about an actor, but to write stories about them? That's beyond fantasy, that's hurtful. To them and their families. Saying it's only for fun, and for fandom only, is very ignorant. If you post it, it's out there and anyone, ANYONE, can find it. Do you really want to hurt their reputation or their life?

Date: 2017-08-30 08:53 am (UTC)
liekinloimu: (bunny)
From: [personal profile] liekinloimu
I admit I hesitated to write this, as I’ve trodden extensively on the side of the devil here. I have had two fandoms where I read RPS in a major way.

I’m in no way refuting your points, since they are spot on.

Even though I have read a lot of RPS, I have never liked reading the type of stories you refer to in your post that try to imitate or modify reality to suit the writer’s world view. I have only ever read a handful of these type of stories, most of them by accident, since what I like to read are stories set on sci-fi and fantasy universes or the occasional “bakery-au” type of stories that kind of only borrow the looks, names and some typical characteristics of the actors’ public persona but could actually be original works with very little modification. Some of the best fics I’ve ever read have been of this type of RPS.

However, I do recognize the problem even these types of fics pose; they can make some readers think they know the real persons in question even more than they would think otherwise. They do, after all, use real persons as the base of the story, no matter how far removed the actual story is from the reality.

Unfortunately, fandom or no fandom, there are always going to be people who confuse the actor with the character they play. Only the other week there was a facepalm worth news story about a sales clerk who refused to sell a case of beer for an actor on the basis of the alcohol problem his character is suffering from in a popular television serial. Admittedly the fandom does spread this problem around in the mass hysteria kind of way, though.

I do sometimes wonder about the writers of the types of fics you describe in your post, who demonize the wives/girlfriends or make them cheat their wives or use the actors’ real children in their writings. Do they really not get that they could actually be sued for slander by the people in question? I guess not.

To be fair, sometimes I’d like to see the PR machinery behind the actors/singers take some responsibility for the shit they sow. In one of the comments to your post, was probably on Facebook, somebody mentioned about the Supernatural actors, how they flirt with the Misha /Jensen shippers but are more bothered by the J2, because the J2 fans are so batshit crazy. Well, there was a time when they flirted with the J2 fans as well and even sometimes threw gasoline in the flames, most probably because some publicist thought it a good idea (insert facepalm here). I’m not very knowledgeable about bandom stuff, but I’ve understood something similar happened with for example One Direction. Then when shit hits the fan and way too many fans (ha!) have been sold on a purely fictional relationship, the actors/singers and their significant others are the ones left to take the crap. The PR people should know better than to do this.
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