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I'm not doing a ficlet today, because
A)I can't think of anything to go with today's prompt. (Which seem to be a song about being on a city bus.)
B)I'm behind on work and I'm thinking I'll probably have to work until 11pm or something ridiculous to make up for it.

On the one hand, I could just churn out anything so that I successfully post a ficlet on every single day in April... but I find that I actually do care a little bit about the quality of the fics, so I don't want to do that.

So, instead, how about we discuss something...

My younger sister thinks that I should share my fanfiction writing (not this blog, but my AO3 account) with my friends/family on facebook. I'm against this for various reasons, but she thinks they're all stupid reasons and I should do it anyway. Now, my mum already knows about and reads this blog, and I've already shared my AO3 account with my eldest sister. My other older sister knows that I write fanfiction (she's seen the bound books that a fan made of my demented'verse), but she's never asked to read it (or maybe she has, and I sent her the link and I've just forgotten.)

Now, my reasoning is that if people that already know that I write fanfiction were interested, they would ask for links (as my eldest/youngest sister have done.) My younger sister argument to that was that she assumed because I didn't OFFER the links, that I didn't want her to read it, and it made her sad. But, in my mind, if you want a book, you go buy it from the author - you don't wait for authors to show up at your door and offer you their books. Anyway... that's a whole separate argument and really reflects more the differences in our styles of interactions with the world around us.

What I DID want to ask though was how you all felt about the whole Fandom/IRL divide?

Do you keep your fandom life and your "real" life completely separate? (As I try to.) Why, why not? Do you think they SHOULD be separate?

Personally, I like to keep them separate. I (rarely) friend fandom friends on facebook, since I see FB as mainly a place to keep in touch with old-school mates and family. Twitter is a bit more of a hodge podge though, but because of that I'm never exactly sure what to say on it.

I used to have a non-fandom LJ, but it's been inactive for years, because there's more engagement over here - and I think I also just grew out of the narcissistic stage in life where I thought people might care about my inner thoughts. (Blogging is so '00s).

Now, the reasons I like to keep everything separate is because...

A) I've always liked to keep things separated from each other. I even have different groups of RL friends, and I get really uncomfortable when they come into contact with each other.

B) Since I first found online fandom back in the 90s, it just seemed like something that was supposed to be a secret.... like fight club. :P I don't know if that's a product of the whole "fan shame" thing or if it's a product of the fact that people who aren't in fandom just honestly don't understand and/or care about anything fandom related. (My younger sister argues that they would care about my fanfiction because it's my WRITING and that's interesting - but I think she just says that because she's very sweet and she cares about my writing despite not watching the shows that I write about... other people wouldn't, I don't think.)

C) When I HAVE told other people about my fanfiction/fandom activities, they've sometimes started trying to figure out how I can monetize it.... which, you know, it's nice that they're trying to figure out how to get me a career that I actually enjoy, but that goes against like ALL THE CODES OF CONDUCT OF FANDOM, and sometimes I've had  quite a hard time getting that message across. You can monetize fanart, not fanfiction, and unless I start putting in years of study, I'm not going to suddenly become a monetized fanartist. (And seriously, "just change the names of the characters in the fanfiction, it worked for Fifty Shades of Grey"  - and then I've gotta explain the difference between AU-writers and canon-writers.... and it just goes on and on. So, maybe this reason is: TOO MUCH EXPLAINING IS ANNOYING!

D) I'm a very weirdly selectively private person. I mean, I'll happily answer basically any question honestly, but I don't like offering information about myself... especially when it comes to my family for some odd reason. Like, I just don't want them to know things about me. It's really really weird. Basically, I probably have psychological problems when it comes to issues of vulnerability or some such psychobabble. I like to live secret lives... I think it's part of the reason I don't date - I honestly DON'T want to share my life with anyone. :P

Anyway, I'd be interested to here how you feel about the issue. Should we be coming out of the fandom closet, or is that door there for a reason?



( 71 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 18th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
I would love to engage in a thoughtful discussion but I'm all out of thoughts tonight...
Apr. 18th, 2013 02:46 am (UTC)
No worries, this entry will be up for a while ;)
Apr. 18th, 2013 02:55 am (UTC)
I told my mom about the Epic and she said, "Why don't you just change the names and sell it as a real novel?"

I just had to breathe for a second.
Apr. 18th, 2013 02:59 am (UTC)
Oh man, EXACTLY!

Like, people tell this to me after I've explained that it's a Supernatural/Harry Potter crossover... HOW CAN THAT POSSIBLY BE CHANGED INTO AN ORIGINAL NOVEL BY JUST "CHANGING THE NAMES"!?

Drives me crazy.
(no subject) - grasshopr_molly - Apr. 18th, 2013 03:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Apr. 18th, 2013 03:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 18th, 2013 03:10 am (UTC)
Always a tricky one I know... I'm open about my fannishness in general (ie. about being a sci fi fan and a geek and such) but a bit less so about fanfic/slash/etc. Which annoys me at the same time that I know why I do it - because too many people still think it's weird/stupid/whatever and I don't want to argue about it. At the same time... part of me wants to say fuck off to all of them and proudly call myself a slasher. :)

I've always been primarily friends with other fans - I don't think I've ever actually had a non-fannish friend since I was a kid. Guess I just gravitate towards befriending people with the same interests. It's been a bit awkward at times, though, having such a big fan community at the Cafe where everyone is a fan but not necessarily, you know, a fan like us. I mean people are generally cool about it, but even from my closest friends there I get teased about being into fic/being a slasher ("what are you drawing? is it gay porn??") and I get a bit sick of it. I might have possibly blown up (mildly) about it awhile back. ^^ But yeah, even though people there don't really care, I wish there were more who were into fic and such! A lot of them just think it's kinda weird and don't get it, and occasionally say annoyingly hurtful and offensive things about fic. I get a bit sensitive about it at times, because I figure... we're all fans, and isn't the point of fandom to be accepting of all kinds of fannishness? I think a lot of non-fic readers in fandom tend to look down on it and assume it's all crap, and I try to educate people that a lot of it is actually very good, but... yeah. Mostly they still just giggle about how I draw gay porn. ^^

Which is a long way of saying... that yeah, even within real life fandom, it can be hard being a fic/slash/etc fan! I was more closed off about it when I first started going to the Cafe, and eventually I was like "fuck it, I draw, read, and once in a blue moon even write gay slash porn. Go me!" But there are still some parts of fandom, ie. RPF, that I don't really feel comfortable talking about there.

My family knows about my fannishness because I've been a fan since I was like 12, and I wasn't exactly circumspect about it. "Hey Mom, look at this gay porn I drew! What do you think?" yeah that was me at 14. wtf self. Mostly she just rolls her eyes and is used to it. I'm super lucky in that two of my co-workers are geeks - neither are into the fic side of things and I haven't really mentioned it, but hey, I work with people who understand my love of Buffy and Doctor Who so yay! They're even coming to FanExpo.

Sorry that was mostly just a long ramble. I've had Feelings about this for awhile. Bottom line, though, I completely understand why some people keep fandom and RL separate, esp the slash/fic/etc side of fandom. Because sadly some people just won't get it and will judge us for it. And much though I want to just say "whatever, screw you all this is who I am", when it comes to real life and business and stuff that's not always going to fly. But I'm generally happy that fandom is becoming more mainstream and accepted, so we can start coming out of the closet. Although it does dilute the 'special secret club' aspect of fandom, it's refreshing to see people getting more educated about it and hopefully coming to judge it less.
Apr. 18th, 2013 03:36 am (UTC)
Oh and as a follow up because I didn't mention it - that all said, I do keep most of my fannishness off Facebook... or rather, the fic/LJ/etc side of it. I'm open about what I like, but when my friend from the Cafe suggested I post my Tony/Steve slash drawing on FB so she could see it I was like "um no. Just no. I will send you a link instead." The lines are blurring more and more from having Cafe friends on FB, and it gets hard to keep them separate... and really sometimes I'm not sure how much I want to separate them, but otoh there are old colleagues and such on my FB that remain useful connections to have, and they don't need to know this stuff...
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Apr. 18th, 2013 03:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ria_oaks - Apr. 18th, 2013 04:03 am (UTC) - Expand
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Apr. 18th, 2013 03:24 am (UTC)
I'm fairly open in personal conversation about the fact that I'm involved in fandom, but usually only with select audiences (if that makes sense). I'm generally pickier about who actually gets links to my stuff. But really, that's more a matter of trying to be more careful than I used to be about RL details getting to fandom folks than being at all ashamed about the stuff I write, although there are certain fandoms (SPN especially) where I have to be careful about getting a o.O reaction over the theology on points where the canon doesn't square at all with what I believe. Haven't gotten the "change the names and sell it" spiel--but I have taken a few plot points from abandoned fics and worked them into original fic.
Apr. 18th, 2013 03:39 am (UTC)
I used to be less careful about IRL stuff getting out to fandom... and I probably still am less careful then I should be. There's another fan though that has the exact same first name as me though who is MUCH different than me (and also a bigger name in some SPN fan spaces) so I quickly took my name off this account so that there would hopefully be no confusion about us being the same person (it's not a common name.)

But for the most part I'm pretty open about my personal life in fandom places, but not fandom in personal life places.

With my friends, I'm fairly open about being a fan, and a few of them know that I write - but I try not to talk about it too much and I downplay it. And yeah, it's only with selective audiences, because, as I said, I'm a strangely private person even among family/friends.
Apr. 18th, 2013 03:27 am (UTC)
I keep mine separate. Not so much because of immediate family, but because of the people connected through them. Do I really want my mother's office partner (who used to be my best friend growing up) that I'm that into TV shows? And what shows they are? Or my cousin, who is Mr. Judgmental? Or my snobby coworker, who only watches PBS and reads "LITrature", who is a facebook friend of another coworker who is on my friends list?

It's not that I'm ashamed of what I do, or watch, or read about, it's just that I like my privacy and I want to know who knows what. And if you put it out there on Facebook, eventually friends of friends of friends will know.

So for me, keeping fandom friends and RL connections will be mostly separate. And really, it's for my peace of mind. For whatever that's worth!
Apr. 18th, 2013 03:34 am (UTC)
Yes, that's basically how I feel about it too. It's a privacy issue for me. I want to be in control of who knows, and putting it out there attached to my real name (even on my "top privacy settings" FB account) is too much (especially because FB is unpredictable with privacy.)

It's different when you publish things with your own name attached, but fanfic is always written under a pseudonym and I see that as a gift to privacy.
Apr. 18th, 2013 03:48 am (UTC)
I keep my interests separate too! My immediate family knows that I love the show and that I read stories (they don't know much about the stories whatever they are - and they seem to think that I'm going through my second teen years - hehe) I don't talk about it unless someone else brings up the show.

I even have two separate Facebook accounts (personal and fandom) my Mother is the one who suggested I separate my accounts. She was being asked questions about posts that I was putting on my account and she said they should ask me but instead they kept going to her in person wth? So I created a whole separate one just to keep the two apart. It's actually been very freeing. With one not having the others as friends at all - never the two meeting - I don't have to edit my comments on my fan page (I do anyway) but it is easier to post and not worry about comments being said to my Mother with each post.

I understand where your family is concerned - they are encouraging you and want to share. They don't see that what you write is for fans (especially if they are not fans).
Apr. 18th, 2013 03:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, I've debated getting separate accounts. Especially since I'm the only one with my name in the entire world, so I lose basically ALL anonymity whenever someone finds out my name. (Which many many people have done, because I've sent a lot of PDF copies of my writing to fans from my personal email account.)

Anyway, by now I kind of feel like that ship has sailed. :P

Oddly enough though, the time when I wish that I COULD post on facebook about fandom related stuff is the times when I don't want fandom related people to read what I'm saying, because I'm complaining about them. :P So, getting a separate account wouldn't solve that problem, but telling my friends/family about my fanworks WOULD.

I think my sister just thought I should share, because I spend a LOT of my time writing (and am open about this) but no one ever gets to see the results. She thought that maybe people would be interested to know that I'm actually capable of writing and writing well, rather than assume that I'm only writing for myself and/or suck at it.
Apr. 18th, 2013 04:06 am (UTC)
Mostly I try to hide porny/disturbing/age-inappropriate fandom stuff from my younger cousins (who add me on Facebook); otherwise, I don't make it a secret in RL that I participate in fannish things. Being a fan is a huge part of my personal identity, so I find it pointless to try to downplay what I do with 60% of my free time.

That said, I generally don't disclose personal details on fan spaces. I think it's a holdover from my days as a 12-year-old sneaking into adults-only communities :P
Apr. 18th, 2013 04:14 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, that's the other problem with FB, my nieces and nephews are on there. As it is, I already forget about them and say inappropriate things... I just hope they're only there for the games and don't actually care about their weird Aunt who rarely talks to them.

I try to keep my name out of fannish spaces, but then I blew that completely when I just decided to send out PDFs from my personal email account... of course, I always put the disclaimer not to use my name for evil, but my name is NOT common (*sings "the wonderful thing about tiggers..."*)

But yeah, as it is, I think anyone with a brain could figure out exactly where I live... maybe not the house, but definitely the neighbourhood.
Apr. 18th, 2013 04:41 am (UTC)
I don't keep my fannishness under a bushel, but I don't wave it like a banner either. It's a hobby of mine that I really love, and that's kinda that! I am mindful that clients might stumble on it, so I'm pretty vanilla. If I feel like getting dicier, I can do so out of the 'quickreaver' zone. I'm pretty simple like that.

Also, I know the sort of crazy reputation 'fans' can get; I want to prove that wrong. One can be a functional adult AND a fangirl. It's O.KAY. No different than being a sports fanatic, imho.
Apr. 18th, 2013 04:45 am (UTC)
It's true, and that's an argument for being open about it - because that way people can see that it doesn't mean that you're a weird awkward person who lives in a basement and does whatever it is that people currently think that fans do. :P

My stuff is pretty vanilla, so it's not really the content that I'm afraid of sharing... it's more the privacy aspect of it, where I really just like having secrets.

But then there is also the aspect of not wanting to have to explain myself again and again to people who have the wrong idea about it all - whether that's laziness, or what, I don't know.
(no subject) - quickreaver - Apr. 18th, 2013 05:02 am (UTC) - Expand
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Apr. 18th, 2013 05:23 am (UTC)
I`m like you - my siblings know I write fanfic, but I don`t actually send it to them. If they ask me for a story, I will send them a link to something safe and gen, with no adult concepts whatsoever. I figure, being not IN fandom, they will get bored and not bother to ask for anything else!

I think we need a glass door there - we are happy to acknowledge fandom`s existence, but you only get to come in if you`re one of us. Otherwise, we`ll just pass you things out the window.

Side note - do you have a sister who lives in town, or did I actually see you on the train the other day but assume it wasn`t you because your hair was different to what I remember? ;)

Apr. 18th, 2013 05:30 am (UTC)
Yes, I like your analogy or whatever it is. The club has glass walls, but you still have to be a member to use the facilities... but occasionally we'll give a tour. ;)

I do have a sister who lives in town, but she doesn't look a thing like me. (To the point where I highly doubt anyone would realize that we were even related.)

Was it on Sunday? I was on the train on Sunday - probably wearing a brown jacket with my ipod ear buds in. I tend to be very anti-social on the train and just stand by the doors, listen to music, and look out the window...even when going through tunnels.

If it wasn't Sunday and I didn't have ear buds in and I wasn't standing by the door, then it wasn't me. :P
(no subject) - jedinic - Apr. 19th, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Apr. 19th, 2013 09:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 18th, 2013 09:40 am (UTC)
My older sister knows I write fic, and even what pairings I ship, but she is in other fandoms and doesn't read my stuff.

As for other people in RL...it's well known that I'm a big fan of SPN but I don't mention fandom at all. It's just a conversation I would rather not have, partly because I don't want anyone I know reading my stuff (anything, ever, I'm weird like that) and partly because of what I ship. I just know people wouldn't get it if they found out I ship Wincest.
Apr. 18th, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC)
It's true, in fandom, no one really blinks at incestuous gay porn - not so much outside of it... well, unless you're a straight male talking about straight mainstream porn and "twins". Because you know, double-standards... but then there's always a dick involves somehow, I think, so it's not quite the same.
Apr. 18th, 2013 12:22 pm (UTC)
i never told people in my life even that i read fanfiction. my brother knows, but it just from using same computer most of the time while visiting parents. he never asked if i tried to write (thank god for small favorites!). I think if your siters know and want to read they can look it up on google (if they are shy) or ask for links. Writing is your hobbby. Something yours and only yours. (Or at least that how i see it). you don`t need to share it, if you don`t want to.
Apr. 18th, 2013 06:47 pm (UTC)
No one would be able to find me on google without knowing my writing-handle or the title of my stories..

Writing is your hobbby. Something yours and only yours. (Or at least that how i see it). you don`t need to share it, if you don`t want to.

It's true, and this is pretty much how I see it too. I think it's different for my younger sister, because her hobbies are music and art, both of which have become her careers - so she doesn't see creative hobbies as private things, she sees them as things that go up in galleries and are preformed on stage.
Apr. 18th, 2013 12:34 pm (UTC)
I don't keep my fandom life and RL completely separate.... I'm 45, and I predate the era of fannishness being cool... it's still amazing to me how accepted fannishness has become.

I've always been deeply, deeply fannish. I sent coins through the mail when I was like a baby to try and get Lee Majors's autograph. (It didn't work!) (He played the Six Million Dollar Man you know.)

I think Facebook has privacy problems on many different levels -- so I don't do it. I see the advantages to it for sure, but for me they just don't outweigh the disadvantages. I don't want people friending me. Let my real life friends be my actual real life friends, right? Not just friends on Facebook. I have to build a Facebook page for my work and I honestly hate the idea, but it can't be avoided. I'm just hoping to keep it as far removed from "me" as I possibly possibly can. D:

So therefore my fannish friends on LJ can be internet friends, and I refer to LJ friends as internet friends to my friends in real life. My husband is my closest friend and he knows all about the goings on on LJ. He is not as fannish as I am but he understands me so that is Okay. :) I share my gen writing with my son as well (he is 12).

I also really hope that no one under age (like my son) will rush past my warnings and get traumatized. That would be a sad day for me! o_O Most of my work is sweet and happy but I have written a wincest or two... :)

I am not secretive about my fannishness, but I also don't invite RL folks to read my work, because, well, PORN. :D RL folks know that my husband and I are crazy about each other (we're about to celebrate our 20th anniversary) and of course my husband reads pretty much everything I write, but some folks can be very touchy about porn you know. :D

I used to long for the day when slashgirls could come out of the closet. I honestly think that day is here. I'm not pleased with Shades of Grey representing us, but at least it's out there and millions of readers have voted with their money.

I do also think that our writing is political. First of all, slash helps people understand gay love as just another option along the spectrum. Second, writing women characters well is important and I think that's making real headway and coming to be valorized in the fannish community. (When I first started reading slash in the 90s, there were very few women characters of any sort, and good het was extremely thin on the ground.) I still think of course that there is a lot of internalized misogyny amongst fen, that comes to light as overt hostility to women characters that just can't seem to measure up -- but I think there are also fen who take it upon themselves to write those characters into deeper and more compelling stories than are made time for on TV. And like someone above said, even our porn is political, because we have become easier with ourselves and our hidden desires - we've created a community where it's okay to share those secrets, and that imho is a real good.

Sooo -- every so often my writing of fanfic comes up in every day life and I'm open about that -- but people don't really want to know more and that's fine too!!

I'd rather they'd read my children's novel anyway, because fanfic is best when you are in fandom as part of the conversation.

Rushing off now to write some heartbreaking cas/meg! Not really, I don't have time-- but soon maybe. :)

Putting Felicia Day in my icon really makes me so happy. If I had only had a role model like the Fabulous Felicia in my day.... that would have been amazing! Andre Norton, you know, went by a man's name her entire career, and that's what it used to be like for a fangirl -- the only girl in the comic book store. :)
Apr. 18th, 2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
I absolutely loath facebook. I'm on there, and maybe it was fun back in 2007 when I first joined and my only friends were my best friends... but now it's everyone and their mother and the privacy-aspect is crap... and yeah, I just really don't like it. But, whatever, I kind of feel like it's a trap you can't get out of - though I do know people who have ended their accounts, so it IS possible.

I think the debate about the political/cultural aspects of fanfic is a whole other kettle of fish... but these things do come up when you're trying to explain it to non-fannish people. It's weird.

I guess I'm loathe to share because it kind of feels like a rabbit hole to wonderland - you think at first that you just have to explain the potions that make you shrink and grow, and the next thing you know you're also trying to explain a tea party, walrus' eating oysters, the queen of hearts, high caterpillars... and none of it makes sense anymore.

And yeah, depending on the eyes that see it, there might be too much to explain... like trying to explain the complicated nature of female erotic fantasies to a 12 year-old boy. I mean, arguably (if he's straight) it might make him a better lover later on... but yeah, it's not something I would necessarily want to explain. :P
Apr. 18th, 2013 05:05 pm (UTC)
I'm all about never the twain shall meet when it comes to real life and fandom. Well, that's not exactly true. I don't want anything that ties my real life and name to my fannish activities, but I'm quite happy to share RL details with my flist.

Part of it is, yes, it is fun to have a secret club. Part of it is that fandom is not really well understood in the mainstream, and to cop to it is to get tagged with those things the mainstream associates with fandom. Part of it is that, yeah, fandom is a wide umbrella, and that includes the absolutely batshit insane. Tin hatters exist, and in numbers large enough that although they're not representative, we can't exactly just pretend that isn't part of fandom. There's also the fact that fandom gets off in a big way (literally, sometime) in breaking taboos (and I suspect this has a lot to do with the fact that it IS a secret club, and there's a lot of fun in embracing something you know you couldn't get away with elsewhere).

And as much as I know that there are kinks out there that people may have always wanted to explore and share, just looking at some of the kinks that become popular in fandom...how to say this...while I accept that there are some people who always got a little hot under the collar at the thought of incestuous BDSM with a side order of male pregnancy and bestiality, I very, very, very much doubt they were in anywhere near enough numbers to explain the massive popularity of werewolf mpreg A/B/O fics. Plus, and this is just a general sense I've gotten from watching the evolution of such things...I think if you look back over a fandom's history, you can see that there always seems to be the urge to push the envelope. When I first joined fandom, RPS was really kind of controversial. And now no one bats an eye. Anyway, I'm digressing. My point is that owning up to fandom means owning up to that, too. Even as a gen person, I'm still part of that culture. I may not read it, but that's about as far as I go. It doesn't weird me out like it does people who aren't in fandom. It's like that little video on fannish culture that PBS put together. It was pretty good, and it was meant positively, but yeah, they interviewed someone talking about her fic, which was not only transformers porn, but it was fannish-trope porn (I can't remember exactly. Mpreg or wingfic or SOMETHING). I got what she was saying. It wasn't my cup of tea, but I got why she was doing what she was doing. But I could imagine a non-fannish person nodding along with most of the video and then...cue record scratch music. There's no, no, no way that doesn't sound absolutely insane unless you're already part of the conversation. And I think that goes right back to the secret-club aspect. What we're doing is engaging with media, but we're doing it communally, and all of our fannish endeavors in some way boil down to making a statement that showcases not only our reaction to a text, but our reaction to other people's reaction to the text. We're stuck in an echo chamber- not in the sense of being stuck to the same old ideas, but because we're kind of a self-selected group, the conversation becomes very, very, very insular.

But that's also one of the perks. One of the things I like about having a fannish identity, at least online, is that it's kind of liberating. And I don't mean just in the PORN PORN PORN kind of way- it's not that there aren't expectations here of who I am or how I'll act, but they're very different then the ones I live under in real life, and I'd argue that they're less restrictive. Here, I can like things and discuss things without making it my identity (feminism! comic books! Genre television!). I am just as passionate about skiing as I am fandom, but if I were to be upfront about my involvement in fandom, that would make me a fangirl, but I'd have to make skiing my WHOLE LIFE before people'd seriously consider me a ski bum. Somehow, fandom or feminism or even just really liking watching hot guys in spandex beat the crap out of each other on the big screen either becomes something you have to hedge around and justify, or you have to embrace it as your life.
Apr. 18th, 2013 11:30 pm (UTC)
Plus, and this is just a general sense I've gotten from watching the evolution of such things...I think if you look back over a fandom's history, you can see that there always seems to be the urge to push the envelope.

I agree, but I'm not sure it's necessarily about taboos.. I mean, yeah, part of it is. But I also think that things like A/B/O fics and even beastiality, underage, mpreg, whatever... they aren't so much about taboos as playing with idea of gender and power-imbalances. You push the envelope in order to expose the underlying psychology of a trope and in so doing you create another trope that someone else wants to twist and expose the underbelly of. So, yeah, part of it is about taboos (and you will get people who are almost taboo trolls, who, perhaps, get off on shocking people and it's not even about the porn, but about the offense), but I think the majority is about digging up that underbelly to everything we do and constantly trying to discuss it by exposing it...

But that's all besides the point. I completely agree with what you're saying - it's a rabbit hole of increasing levels of debauchery. And it's hard to explain, in part, I think, because so little of the inner workings of female erotic fantasy are understood or discussed or even acknowledged in mainstream culture. Women aren't supposed to like porn, and they're definitely not supposed to like really fucked-up psychological porn. :P

So, yeah, the conversations are all insular, because it's easiest to explore these things with people who "get" it - to take it further and further, until you're basically in the equivalent of the 10th season of fandom, and unless someone's been there from the beginning, they're not going to understand a single thing that's going on, because they don't have the back story. Now, of course, there are new fans discovering fandom everyday... but there's a difference between coming to it willingly and having it be thrust upon you.

Somehow, fandom or feminism or even just really liking watching hot guys in spandex beat the crap out of each other on the big screen either becomes something you have to hedge around and justify, or you have to embrace it as your life.

I think this is one of my main problems with mixing fandom and RL - I absolutely hate belonging to groups or communities. I know communities are meant to support you and whatnot and that's great, but I balk at anything external to me that people might use to try to "define" me in some way. And willingly advertising the fact that I'm a member of a fandom would do exactly that - it would link me with a group.
(no subject) - claudiapriscus - Apr. 18th, 2013 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Apr. 19th, 2013 12:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 18th, 2013 05:10 pm (UTC)
I have only just got to the point where I admit to my friends that I read fanfic and to my family that I occasionally write it (but only in the vaguest of references).

I think for me it's a latent embarassment thing. I started out reading RPS (thank you bandom). And when you're 15 and trying to work your own shit out, admitting to other people that you enjoy reading slashfic about actual real people seems 1) terrifying 2) likely to end in ridicule and 3) detrimental to your efforts of "fitting in" (which is something I only realised was a thing I was trying to do all through secondary school when I went to university and realised that I didn't need to any more).

Also having not had anyone in real life to share this whole... aspect of my personality with until recently, I sort of developed a self censor in regards to 90% things fannish. But also, my parents and sister just aren't into the same stuff as me. I mean, dad will ask occasionally (I explained to him how Captain America became Captain America) and then look really confused at the answer. And it's fine, I don't mind. We'll have fun ridiculing comic book ladies outfits and leave it at that. But it also means I'm not going to be going "oh hey I wrote 15,000 words of Stanford Era SPN fanfic, do you want to read it?" any time soon. :P
Apr. 18th, 2013 11:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that might be part of it too. I started out when I was an early teen basically reading fanfiction for the PWP stories... for, you know... recreational reasons. So, there's that aspect of it too ("fanfic time is private time").

Since then, of course, I actually skip over a lot of the sex in fanfic because I've figured out that there's actually some really kick ass storytelling out there... so it's about the literature rather than the sexy-times. But a lot of people being introduced to it would only see the sexytimes and be like "oh, I know why you read this... heheheheh" and then you're just a horny freak rather than someone who reads/writes good stories. So, yeah, it becomes your reason number 2)likely to end in ridicule.

The odd thing is that I never cared about fitting in as a kid, or now, but kind of to the extreme - where I actually don't want to fit in. I don't want to be part of a group or association, or a community... nor have other people associate me with one. So, if people associate me with "fan", well, I'd actually absolutely hate that - not because there's anything wrong with it at all, but because I don't want to be associated with ANYTHING, save for the things that I can't help (white, female, Canadian)... I actually don't even like telling people my sexual-orientation because I feel that it puts me in a "group."

Anyway, that's my weird psychology.

But yeah, there's also the fact that people just don't care. Nevermind fandom, my family didn't care about the degree that I studied either. They never ask me about history, because they don't care - and I never tell them, because I can see when their eyes glaze over. So, yeah, I would imagine it'd be much the same if I shared my fandom life with them - their eyes would just glaze over and they'd change the subject. :P
(no subject) - claudiapriscus - Apr. 18th, 2013 11:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Apr. 19th, 2013 12:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - claudiapriscus - Apr. 19th, 2013 12:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Apr. 19th, 2013 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - franztastisch - Apr. 19th, 2013 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Apr. 19th, 2013 08:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - franztastisch - Apr. 19th, 2013 08:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Apr. 19th, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - franztastisch - Apr. 19th, 2013 09:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Apr. 19th, 2013 09:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - franztastisch - Apr. 19th, 2013 09:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 19th, 2013 04:35 am (UTC)
Completely separate. It doesn't always work that way because I tend to give the game away with my own enthusiasm, but I try hard to. Cus, ya know. Work. Fans don't work in film. It's taboo. Most of my close friends know, and they're mostly amused by it.
Apr. 19th, 2013 04:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, you have to deal with a whole other kettle of fish, since it intersects oddly with your job.

That was something while I was doing extra work - usually, when I met extras/stuntmen who had been on Supernatural, I would ask them about it and thus reveal that I was a fan. And more than once, they told me "oh! Just tell the agency that you really want to be on the show, and I'm sure they'll sign you up for an episode!" And I always smiled and nodded and privately thought, "I'm pretty sure that saying that will guarantee that I am NEVER put on the show." :P

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