Can Someone Please Explain?

I love doing research. That probably makes me kind of a nerd (more than kind of a nerd). As Rhonda and I have mentioned here a few times, we have started on a new project. While we are not sharing details yet, it is amazing how research can take you to places that you didn’t necessarily expect when you begin. A big part of me really loves that research then becomes more about a journey. One of the rabbit holes of research I have found myself in lately is about fan fiction.

We have talked about fan fiction on here before. For those not in the know, fan fiction is stories or other fictional works written by fans in connection with specific fandoms. Fanfic, for short, happens in a lot of fandoms, especially those that are based on TV shows and movies. Those are works of fiction to begin with so it does not seem that strange that fans would write stories about made up characters and settings. Typically, fanfic for movies and TV shows involve either filling in gaps like missing scenes, future fiction about what might happen after the show/movie ends or alternate universe ones in which characters are placed in different settings or plots from the show. Fan fiction also happens with real life fandoms. There is fanfic about bands, including Duran Duran.

What interests me at this point is not that people write and/or read fan fiction but that a lot of it is what is called “slash” fanfic. What is that? Simple. It is about same-sex relationships, often romantic and/or sexual ones. In the case of Duran Duran, this means that the focus might be on a John and Simon pairing or a Nick and Roger one. This shouldn’t be that surprising since our fan community does get pretty excited about JoSi or those John and Simon interactions on and off stage. We have even talked about JoSi on here as I have to admit that I appreciate JoSi and even DoJo (Dom and John).

So what about this slash fanfic? Now, I am no expert on fanfic as I’m not a writer myself and would not say that I’m much of a fanfic reader. When I have read fanfic, it has typically been about a TV show or movie like when I was into the TV show, Roswell. Then, I read quite a bit but I have not read a lot of Duran Duran ones. Interestingly enough, when I have searched fanfic sites like Archive of One’s Own, there are Duran ones there (172 to be exact!). The vast majority of the most popular ones are slash ones. The combination varies between the band members but it was rare for me to see one based on a band member and a woman. There were some heterosexual ones but not a lot from what I saw. I know that there is a site for Duran Duran fan fiction in which both slash and non-slash fanfic can be found.

Now, from my research I can tell you that slash is not new. It appeared for the first time with Star Trek stories focused on Kirk and Spock. Obviously, those characters were not romantically and sexually connected on the TV show or even in the movies. Yet, fans placed these two characters together. Why? Why do some Duranies love JoSi? Why would fans read and write slash fanfic? Let me be clear. I’m not asking this with any sort of judgement. Again, I’m a big fan of the JoSi. I have read some slash fanfic when it has come to shows I have liked. I know what some of the fandom experts think. I have done my research. Yet, I wonder what people who do write and read fanfic would say. I know that the gut instinct is to say that it is hot, which I get. But why? What makes it hot? It has to be more than both guys (in this case) are hot.

Let me go a little further with this question. Does it have a greater appeal than heterosexual fanfic? If so, why? Is that true for all fanfic or just the Duran ones? If you write or read slash fanfic, do you notice differences between slash and non-slash? How are the men described? How are the women? What are their relationships with each other like? Are these same sex relationships different than the straight ones in fanfic? How do these stories compare with what you see/know in real life? Are they realistic? Totally different or something in between?

On that note, I’m off to continue my research. I’ll be anxious to see if the Duranie fanfic writers and readers match the experts or not.


7 thoughts on “Can Someone Please Explain?”

  1. Seriously, I have composed three responses to your blog but when I hit send it says the connection wad lost. I think it was intelligent and since I write and read slash I thought I could help but I’m getting discouraged. I’ll try later cause I have to get ready for work. If this goes through I’ll be baffled because I have no clue what is setting off the filter.

    1. That’s so strange because I have gotten your responses to a couple of posts this morning!

      If responding directly on the blog doesn’t work, would you mind just sending an email to Amanda at our Daily Duranie email? I know she’d really love to hear from you because she’s working very hard on some research for a portion of the project we’re currently outlining.

      Thank you!!! -R

    2. I just sent a fourth response and it was lost and I did not type the word I thought was setting off the filter. It was lost. I’m getting blocked on that topic of reply and will try and get the e-mail sent asap.

  2. I have read quite a bit of fanfic, both hetero and slash. I used to be an active member in what we called Offenderland on DDM. The adult fanfic section of the board that has since been removed, triggering the eventual collapse of the whole forum. There was quite a bit of animosity toward those who frequented that section from those in “Random” who said that it was disrespectful of the band members. Opinions on that varied widely. Anyway, that is a whole other topic. The fact is that fanfic exists and for the most part, it is harmless fun with no ill will intended.

    Some of what I read from others was very well written and had an extensive pot and was very detailed. There are some very talented writers out there. One favourite was a period piece that took place set in a large manor house with gardens. I believe it was set in the 19th century or early 20th. Think Downton Abbey, but with far less focus on the staff. It was mainly a JoSi story, but there were wives involved. It was more or a long running secret affair.

    I have also written a little fanfic or both varieties. Mine is always short pieces, no more than a scene or two. (I do not have much writing experience and need to work on plot development for longer pieces.) Unlike others who may fictionalize their characters’ personalities to fit their purposes, I try to make my characters as true to life as possible, capturing the band members’ personalities as closely as I possibly can.

    My hetero fanfic mostly has a woman as the main character whose eyes you see the story through. It is her experiences with each of the characters in their own story. I have written a few small pieces of slash with different pairings, some inspired by others’ writings. My main slash fic, however is a slightly longer and far more detailed JoSi slash that was actually published on that now defunct site you may have been alluding to earlier. It was added as a new story in 2009 and was among the last activity on that site. For those who wish to read it, I warn it is NOT for the feint of heart. It is graphic in depiction of the action. It is called Chocolate Amber. I have sent it privately to friends, as well. My gay male friends have all given me very good feedback.

    Anyway, that is my experience with fanfic. If you have any questions for your research, please feel free to ask.

  3. Personally, I rather read slash fic than oc women with the guys unless is a full, well-thought-out story like i’ve read from some of my facebook friends. Those girls can write!
    That said, I prefer JoNi, NiSi and JoNISi….rarely other pairings.

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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