Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: First, Come to Your Conclusion

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  • Andre Alessi,

    There's plenty of Jane Austen erotic fan fiction out there, by the way (link SFW.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I wonder what the relationship is between fanfic and the mainstream porn industry's parodies of major films? If nothing else, it shows that people like to take characters and situations from their favourite works and imagine them into more erotic realms. There's perhaps less of that sort of thing in mainstream porn now (ahem, not that I'd know), which is a pity since the titles were often hilarious.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Addison,

    I once incurred the ire of a Snapes/Hagrid slash fiction community on Livejournal. Just saying.

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I've always wondered if the casting in this was just Russell T Davies saying to fandom, "Oh yeah? What you gonna do now?"

    One of the things I like best about Torchwood is that RTD and others use it to try stories and angles they'd never do in Doctor Who. Roping in James Marsters was genius, some of the other stuff falls flat. But I've always had the feeling that unlike with DW, there are no rules, so it's excitingly unpredictable. It's not like they've even picked a consistent genre or tone for the show.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3411 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Josh Addison,

    I once incurred the ire of a Snapes/Hagrid slash fiction community on Livejournal. Just saying.

    I follow three people on Tumblr, none of whom know each other, who each have developed their own Bellatrix/Draco Sims mods.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Tom Beard,

    There's perhaps less of that sort of thing in mainstream porn now (ahem, not that I'd know), which is a pity since the titles were often hilarious.

    Very hard to be sure, the industry is so enormous now, that there's probably more than there ever was. But is it less as a proportion? Probably...anyone can make porn now, you don't need equipment and distribution networks that evolved from non-porn film. I think the trend is more towards a reality TV style now, because it's so cheap to make.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Roping in James Marsters was genius

    Totally OT: I really liked James Marsters' admission during a chat at Phoenix Comic Con last year that the best on-screen kiss he ever had was with John Barrowman, because he trusted and respected him completely.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I've always wondered if the casting in this was just Russell T Davies saying to fandom, "Oh yeah? What you gonna do now?"

    No, it's the fine print in the Mark Sheppard Full Employment Act -- if he can't answer his phone because he's on set, the call goes straight to Marsters, I believe Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff and Lucy Lawless have a similar arrangement.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11784 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    It can't be easy knowing other people are picking up the stories and characters you worked so hard on and morphing them in ways you would never have thought of, so any writer that makes their peace with that process strikes me as being pretty cool doodz.

    Yeah, I'm not saying it isn't hard. But there's a gap between "not liking" and "telling people that they are officially not allowed to write fanfic, and also that everyone who does is a) pathetically unable to be a REAL WRITER, b) committing the moral equivalent of raping your child or c) both".

    Sadly, many writers fall on the wrong side of that gap, whereas I've seen very few who say something along the lines of "I find it a bit weird and hard to deal with, and I'd prefer you didn't, but if you must I'd rather you just didn't talk about it to me", which is a position I could entirely support. The only one I can think of off-hand is Pratchett, and I'm not sure he was down on it so much as emphasising he needed to not know about it for legal reasons.

    Then there's the writers who "permit" it but try to set rules about it, which is...also kind of missing the point, but I guess a little more well-adjusted. As long as they realise the rules are mostly unenforceable and some people will be moved to break them by the mere fact of their existence.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2092 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    it's the fine print in the Mark Sheppard Full Employment Act

    Tangentially, our viewing lately has consisted of rewatching Battlestar Galactica with the children, and the new series of Doctor Who. I love Mark Sheppard and his stunning ubiquity.

    (Kids are now on to Dollhouse, otherwise known as "Hey, look who it is!")

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    let's take a wander through some gender essentialism, and yet another article saying that in some way, women don't really like sex.

    You know, I've heard this idea repeated so many times as the conclusion of alleged "research", that I wonder why so many people are so threatened by the idea that women might like it.

    I tried reading that Fay Weldon sort-of-memoir the other day, What Makes Women Happy , knowing it had had bad reviews but thinking it might be entertaining. I got no further than her assertions that (a) most women don't much like sex, except for emotional reasons and (b) most women never have orgasms but there are more important things in life so what does it matter? She went on to say something about FAKING IT TO MAKE HIM FEEL GOOD but I could read no further due to feeling all stabby, if I can borrow Danielle's wonderful phrase.

    I don't know why Weldon feels the need to say these things. Perhaps she is speaking of her own experience, but that hardly qualifies her to speak for other women.

    And I took down my copy of The Hite Report for a dose of sanity. Hite and her collaborators actually asked thousands of women what their sexual desires and experiences were, and paid attention to what they said. And the responses are so detailed and so varied. And so horny . The women in the study all seem so hopeful that because they can openly talk about their sexuality, that everything will change. That was in 1976.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3411 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Then there’s the writers who “permit” it but try to set rules about it, which is…also kind of missing the point, but I guess a little more well-adjusted. As long as they realise the rules are mostly unenforceable and some people will be moved to break them by the mere fact of their existence.

    I think (and this is just a guess based on what I've seen from the outside of all this) it can be really intimidating for many writers to engage with fan communities in anything but the most formal, structured ways, and reading fanfic (let alone commenting on it) is a kind of engagement. When someone self-identifies as a fan, and starts writing fanfic, or creating fan art, they're signalling that they are really passionate about what they're doing, and sometimes that passion gets in the way of good manners.

    Someone who I think has probably done best at it has been Gail Simone, who writes comics for DC, and who tried to be really active in the comics fandom on Tumblr (although like you say, she's also been quite explicit about drawing a line around fan fiction and generally not commenting on it.) If ever there was a positive role-model for conscious engagement with a fanbase, it's Gail. But what she found was that many fans take that engagement as an excuse to let rip with all their individual concerns, often in pretty confrontational, nasty ways. I'd like to think that this was just because "the Internet makes people mean" but it's hard to miss the ways in which fan fic/fan art alters some fans' perceptions of their own place in the creative process of the work which inspires them.

    Which is not to say that writing or reading slash (for example) leads to being an arsehole in general. If anything, that playing around with the internal assumptions in an artwork works to reclaim parts of the world that were previously off-limits for many people (I mean, personally I find Rule 63 a source of constant joy.) But I can certainly understand why many writers would have emotional difficulty in commenting coherently on fan fiction because of the context of the culture that fan fiction generally arises in.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    It can't be easy knowing other people are picking up the stories and characters you worked so hard on and morphing them in ways you would never have thought of, so any writer that makes their peace with that process strikes me as being pretty cool doodz.

    I've only just made the first steps into writing fiction, and right from the start I considered that the stories and characters wouldn't end with my writing: the ultimate success as a writer would be for his or her creations to have a life outside of the original pages. Of course, someone would have to read it first.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    I’m constantly surprised at how inventive some of these kinks are. I mean, Aragorn/Frodo is pretty tame in the grand scheme of things.

    Sam will kill him.

    ETA Forgot the fricking link

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Lilith __,

    Perhaps she is speaking of her own experience, but that hardly qualifies her to speak for other women.

    If this EXTREMELY TRUE THING - "your opinion does not qualify you to speak for all of us" - was more widely accepted, I think 75% of women opinion columnists might be out of a job.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Tamara, in reply to Danielle,

    Starting with Shelley Bridgman hopefully.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Danielle,

    The sad thing is, an honest personal account of someone's own experience is usually enlightening and fascinating. It's only the stupidly patronising generalisations that suck.


    ETA: Reminds me of the wonderful thing the headmistress of the all-girls school I attended once said to me, when I used the wrong corridor: she said, "Girls don't come this way."

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3411 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tamara,

    Starting with Shelley Bridgman hopefully.

    It has occurred to me that there's a reason other than her witless opinions to think unkindly about Shelley Bridgeman.

    She's the kind of daft hobbyist who is driving down both standards and rates of pay in freelance journalism.

    Grrrr.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18513 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It has occurred to me that there's a reason other than her witless opinions to think unkindly about Shelley Bridgeman.

    She's the kind of daft hobbyist who is driving down both standards and rates of pay in freelance journalism.

    Grrrr.

    One word: Prolefeed.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4060 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I was introduced to the world of porn for women the Year Before the Internet Happened and yes, I can testify that the sex wasn't explicit at all. Not did it last for like a dozen pages per act.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Lilith __,

    I got no further than her assertions that (a) most women don’t much like sex, except for emotional reasons and (b) most women never have orgasms but there are more important things in life so what does it matter?

    And that may well be perfectly valid for Ms. Weldon, but that's no more a sound basis for a generalisation than the period of my life marked by sexual bulimia (binge, purge while luxuriating in self-hatred, change your knickers and repeat).

    I think (and this is just a guess based on what I’ve seen from the outside of all this) it can be really intimidating for many writers to engage with fan communities in anything but the most formal, structured ways, and reading fanfic (let alone commenting on it) is a kind of engagement.

    It can also be an expensive, time-consuming nightmare if you're stuck defending yourself against charges that you plagiarised fanfic on a newsgroup or site you're on the record having visited. ( Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski was an early example of fan-writer interaction on line, and he was pretty upfront that he'd withdraw from the moderated Usenet groups he posted to if the moderators didn't actively filter out fanfic.) I can understand why a lot of television writers -- and authors with long-running series like Martin -- are perfectly happy to engage with fans, but would rather keep fanfic well out of the mix.

    Though, I must admit, in my next life I would like to open a wee village pub called The Magical Healing Cock -- though the town would have to be called Winc(h)ester.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11784 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    "Girls don't come this way."

    tee-hee.

    If this EXTREMELY TRUE THING - "your opinion does not qualify you to speak for all of us" - was more widely accepted, I think 75% of women opinion columnists might be out of a job.

    Also, my blood pressure would drop considerably. I just... I DON'T get the weird acceptance of the idea that women don't like sex. It makes no sense at all. Do these people think women don't masturbate? (or, only do it in a loving, relationshippy context after taking themselves out to dinner?)

    And no, I'm not saying all women like sex. I'm not saying that, okay?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I DON’T get the weird acceptance of the idea that women don’t like sex. It makes no sense at all. Do these people think women don’t masturbate? (or, only do it in a loving, relationshippy context after taking themselves out to dinner?)

    If I can, uh, bang on about the Hite Report again, one of her key conclusions is that most women orgasm reliably from masturbation, and that women use a variety of types of stimulation, most involving the clitoris...but that to know what does it for any particular woman you need to ASK HER!

    I think confusion has arisen in some poorly-designed research where it's not clear what's meant by "sex". The majority of women in Hite's study did not orgasm from vaginal intercourse where there was no other stimulation. If "sex" means only vaginal intercourse, and it doesn't lead to orgasm for most women, you can see how some would conclude that "women don't like sex", or, "women don't find sex satisfying".

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3411 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings, in reply to Lilith __,

    If “sex” means only vaginal intercourse, and it doesn’t lead to orgasm for most women, you can see how some would conclude that “women don’t like sex”, or, “women don’t find sex satisfying”.

    It's possible you are onto something. I was wondering earlier if the 'women only want sex until they've had enough babies" thing actually reflects the fact that fear of an unwanted pregnancy can be an enormous turn off for some women which, similarly, assumes a reasonably narrow definition of "sex".

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Tui Head, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Wait, wait, there are straight people on tumblr? Where?

    But I don't get why you're surprised that women are embracing Dean/Castiel, since fic-writing and manip-making fandom is pretty heavily dominated by women, particularly slash (although not, IMO, to the extent that some have presented it). Or do you mean you're surprised by women being into slash generally? We don't need to rehash that, I hope.

    I don't believe you about Tim/Damian though. Jason/Tim, Dick/Tim (the greatest scan on my dash today: work safe, if you don't understand puns), sure. But Damian's ten and, more to the point, everyone hates him.

    Te Whanganui-ā-Tara • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

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