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'''Definition of Slash'''
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__NOTOC__
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The term slash or slash fiction refers to fanfiction in which two characters of the same sex are written in a sexual relationship. Slash generally refers to male characters; female characters together is usually called [[Fem Slash]].
  
The term slash refers to stories in which a homosexual relationship between two characters is portrayed, whether the sexual part of the relationship is explicitly described or not. Slash can be either femslash (female character/female character) or slash (male character/male character).  
+
The term slash is believed to have originated in the original Star Trek fandom in the 1960s, with [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirk/Spock stories about Kirk and Spock]. The slash refers to the symbol in abbreviation Kirk/Spock or K/S.  
  
Slash fiction is not widely considered to be conventional lesbian or gay fiction, as the characters portrayed rarely identify as homosexual.  
+
Possibly due to its emphasis in canon on emotions and relationships, Supernatural became one of the major slash TV or movie fandoms from 2006 onwards. It also has a very high proportion of [[Gen]] fic, although much less [[Het]]. [[Fem Slash]] is rare.
  
==The Supernatural Slash Fandom==
+
{{Quotation
 +
|title=
 +
|text=
 +
Welcome to the first annual Supernatural convention. At 3.45 in the Magnolia room, we have the panel 'Frightened little boy, the secret life of Dean'. And at 4.30, there is the 'Homo-erotic subtext of Supernatural'.
 +
|author= Convention Host
 +
|source= [[5.09 The Real Ghostbusters]]
 +
}}
  
Although there exist other slash pairings in Supernatural fandom, [[Sam/Dean]] (aka [[Wincest]]) is the most popular.
+
Based on an analysis of over 39,000 stories fanfiction listed in the [[spnnewsletter|LJ Supernatural newsletter]] up until March 2010, about 59% of Supernatural fan fiction is Slash. 
 +
[[File:Spnficmarch2010.png|thumb|300px|left]]
 +
<br clear="all" />
 +
As of March 2010, Supernatural fic - that is fic focussing on the Show  -  48% of the stories were slash pairings and 17% featured [[Het|heterosexual]] pairings. The remaining 35% were [[Gen]] stories - those stories which don't focus on a romantic or sexual relationship.
  
Occasionally one or both of the brothers will be slashed with minor and/or recurring male characters; OMCs; or characters from other fandoms, including characters that have been portrayed by either [[Jensen Ackles]] or [[Jared Padalecki]] in another tv-series or movie (e.g., Sam/Jake from Devour, Sam/Alec from Dark Angel, Dean/Dean from Gilmore Girls). (See also: [[Crossover]]).  
+
Out of all fic written up to late 2007, over 90% of slash was [[Wincest]]. However a snapshot of fic written in 2009 showed that [[Wincest]] made up around 46% of fic with [[Dean/Castiel]] stories now comprising 47% . The remaining 7% was other slash pairings. The increase in the number of new recurring characters, such as [[Gabriel]], [[Lucifer]] and [[Crowley]] added to the growth of "other slash" pairings. Poor [[Bobby]] rarely gets any sex.
  
Although the pairing had been utilized from the beginning, after the airing of [[1.22 Devil's Trap]] on May 4th 2006 significantly more [[John/Dean]] fanworks appeared (possibly due to the chemistry between Dean and the possessed John). [[John/Sam]] is rarer, but not unknown.  Both pairings often explore issues of authority and consent.
+
While the proportions of the genres have shifted, absolute numbers of fics have increased as well – the growing popularity of [[Dean/Castiel]] has been additive rather than substitutive. As the line graph above shows, the rate at which Wincest and Gen fics are written remains steady. The snapshot period here had nearly 30% more fic being written per month than in early 2008.
  
Possibly due to its emphasis in canon on emotions and relationships, Supernatural became one of the major slash fandoms in 2006-2007. Over the last two years Supernatural fiction has evolved to include all possible genres.  Its canon holds significant sci-fi and fantasy elements that can be easily adapted to suit any kind of universe created by the author.  
+
In [[RPF]] over 95% of the stories are slash - and most of that is [[J2]].
  
With its main pairing already transgressing society's norms, Supernatural seems a confident fandom that is ready to explore every flavor of sexuality. See [[Crack]].
+
Occasionally one or both of the brothers will be slashed with minor and/or recurring male characters; original male characters or characters from other fandoms, including characters that have been portrayed by either [[Jensen Ackles]] or [[Jared Padalecki]] in another tv-series or movie (e.g., Sam/Jake from Devour, Sam/Alec from Dark Angel, Dean/Dean from Gilmore Girls). (See also: [[Crossover]]).
 +
 
 +
Occasionally crossovers between RPF and Supernatural fic occur, with Sam or Dean paired with Jared or Jensen. This pairing gained some canonical support after [[6.15 The French Mistake]]. Sam and Dean have also been paired with versions of themselves - such as [[Future!Dean]] from [[5.04 The End]], [[Samifer]] or younger (or older) versions of themselves.
 +
 
 +
Although the pairing had been utilized from the beginning, after the airing of [[1.22 Devil's Trap]] on May 4th 2006 significantly more [[John/Dean]] fanworks appeared (possibly due to the chemistry between Dean and the possessed John).  [[John/Sam]] is rarer.  Both pairings often explore issues of authority and consent.
 +
{|align="center"
 +
|[[File:Dean-Castiel-dean-and-castiel-8338230-900-507.jpg|thumb|right|Dean & Castiel|200px]]
 +
|[[Image:Wincest.JPG|Sam and Dean in [[1.21 Salvation]]|thumb|right|200px]]
 +
|[[Image:Demonjohn.jpg|Dean and Demon!John from [[1.22 Devil's Trap]]|thumb|right|200px]]
 +
|}
 +
Slash fiction can cover any [[:Category:Fic Genres|genre]] of fiction. The slash relationship may not be the focus of the story, in fact because of the intense relationship between characters like Sam and Dean on the show, these stories may be indistinguishable from [[Gen]] fic. In other cases the story may be all about the relationship. Some stories may contain no sex, or may have allusions to it, others are purely porn and are known as [[PWP]]s or porn without plots.
 +
 
 +
Some fans seek support from canon (or real life) that the slash relationship portrayed in fiction exists, while most are happy to use their stories to provide what canon doesn't.
 +
 
 +
See also:
 +
* [[Supernatural Fic Link Archive]]
 +
* [[OTP]]
 +
* [[Wincest]]
 +
* [[Dean/Castiel]]
 +
* [[RPS]]
 +
* [[Tin Hat]]
 +
* [[Shipper]]
 +
<br>
 +
and you can search through the [[:Category:Pairings|Pairings category]] for other slash pairings
 +
 
 +
==Supernatural Slash escapes fandom==
 +
Wincest got its first bit of official recognition at the [[Asylum 2007|Asylum fan convention in England]] in the Spring of 2007. When [[Jensen Ackles]] was asked what he thought of fan fiction, he replied:
 +
"Some of those fan fictions have some very, very crazy ideas. And sometimes very...disturbing ideas. One of my favorites is, uh, Wincest...I-I only hope that my grandmother never reads those. Jared and I had a good laugh about that one. It was only brought to our attention because [[Kim Manners]] posted it. So um...that's that." [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdYh2wJh7vE Video of quote]
 +
 
 +
When asked about Wincest and fanfiction at [[EyeCon April 2008]], Jared proved diplomatic - and eloquent:
 +
"with fan fiction and RPGs, it's like what I was talking about earlier, that everyone's taking a part and they're not just watching it.. ..and they're really passionate about the show, and especially the fans of Supernatural  it's great learning tool, and exploring tool  to explore this world. So I'm supportive." [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxkAG3N5lM0 Video of quote]
 +
 
 +
[[Image:Jimbeavereyecon 2008.jpg|thumb|right|300px|Jim Beaver proves he knows about the porn!]]
 +
At the same Con Jim Beaver wore a t-shirt that said "I read Bobby/John"
 +
 
 +
[[Misha Collins]] has mentioned [[Slash]] at a number of [[:Category:Conventions|conventions]] - eg: at the [[Salute to Supernatural Vancouver 2009]] where he said he'd heard about "Dean/Castiel/Pie fic" and at [[Collectormania London 2009]] he said he had read some slash fanfic but "stopped at the part where Cas choked... on someone's cock" [http://deeptown-girl.livejournal.com/114801.html Source]. At [[Asylum Europe: No Rest for the Wicked 2010]] , he tried to explain Slash to [[Mark Pellegrino]] and concluded "it's a great cultural asset...it unites the world!" [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYUqeSB02dU Source]
 +
The episode [[4.18 The Monster at the End of This Book]] aired in which specific mention was made of Sam/Dean fanfic.
 +
<blockquote>
 +
'''Dean:''' There's Sam Girls and Dean Girls and...what's a slash fan?<br>
 +
'''Sam:''' As in Sam slash Dean, together<br>
 +
'''Dean:''' Like together, together? They do know we are brothers right?<br>
 +
'''Sam:''' Doesn't seem to matter.<br>
 +
'''Dean:''' Well that's just sick!<br>
 +
</blockquote>
 +
There followed much discussion in fandom whether this exchange indicated the Show's support or condemnation of Wincest. It is certainly the first time on a TV show that incestuous gay porn has been mentioned by the  characters about whom it is written.
 +
 
 +
In Season Five, the character of [[Becky Rosen]] is introduced. <sup>[[5.01 Sympathy for the Devil]]</sup> She is a fan of the "supernatural" novels and runs a website called morethanbrothers.net. She is first seen writing a [[Wincest]] fic which can be read [[Becky Rosen|here]].
 +
 
 +
In [[5.09 The Real Ghostbusters]] at the Supernatural Convention, the MC announces that there will be a session on "The homoerotic subtext of Supernatural". The two fanboys featured in the episode [[Demian and Barnes]], who are role playing as Sam and Dean at the convention, are revealed at the end of the episode to be lovers.
 +
 
 +
Perhaps because of the mentions in [[Canon]], [[Wincest]] is mentioned more often in the media in association with the fandom than other [[Slash]] pairings or even fanfiction generally.
 +
[[Image:Jared and Jensen at the Chicago Con 2007.jpg|thumb|right|Jared and Jensen at the Chicago Con in 2007|300px]]
 +
 
 +
On 6 November 2011, [[Jim Beaver]] responded to some [[Tin Hats]] on [[Twitter]] with this comment: For the record, I think slash fiction is cool, and if Wincest is what you dig, more power to you. But regardez vous: fiction ISN'T real life [https://twitter.com/#!/jumblejim/status/133132542814597120 source].
  
 
==Brief Overview of the History of Slash Fiction==
 
==Brief Overview of the History of Slash Fiction==
 
 
In general, fandom scholars agree (Jenkins, Brooker, Bacon-Smith) that slash was introduced with Kirk/Spock homoerotic fan fiction in the early to mid-70s in Star Trek fandom. The name "slash" fiction comes from the / between the names of the pairing in fan fiction, and was also presumably coined in Star Trek fiction. Even though initially timidly introduced and confronted with ideas of masculinity and heroism, "slash" gained a wider audience over the years.  
 
In general, fandom scholars agree (Jenkins, Brooker, Bacon-Smith) that slash was introduced with Kirk/Spock homoerotic fan fiction in the early to mid-70s in Star Trek fandom. The name "slash" fiction comes from the / between the names of the pairing in fan fiction, and was also presumably coined in Star Trek fiction. Even though initially timidly introduced and confronted with ideas of masculinity and heroism, "slash" gained a wider audience over the years.  
  
 
Much has been said about why fans (the majority of them women) write slash fiction, and it always stands in relation to the concept of slash fiction itself.  
 
Much has been said about why fans (the majority of them women) write slash fiction, and it always stands in relation to the concept of slash fiction itself.  
  
Camilla Bacon-Smith understood slash fiction as a way of helping women deal with traumatic love relationships by utilizing a non-threatening, non-aggressive form of male sexuality as means of comfort. The notion that fans write slash as means of therapy and to write about their own hurt and their need for tenderness seems quite antiquated today, and has been openly opposed by fans and acafans alike for decades.  
+
Camilla Bacon-Smith understood slash fiction as a way of helping women deal with traumatic love relationships by utilizing a non-threatening, non-aggressive form of male sexuality as means of comfort. The notion that fans write slash as means of therapy and to write about their own hurt and their need for tenderness seems quite antiquated today, and has been challenged by fans and acafans alike for decades.  
  
In the mid-80s some scholars, most notably Henry Jenkins, introduced the idea of slash fiction as a possible reaction to traditional mainstream pornography; that it was a form of fiction liberating itself from gender hierarchy and genderized images. This form of transgression is also often cited as one of the joys of writing slash fiction.
+
In the mid-80s some scholars, most notably Henry Jenkins, introduced the idea of slash fiction as a possible reaction to traditional mainstream pornography; that it was a form of fiction liberating itself from gender hierarchy and genderized images. This form of transgression is also often cited as one of the joys of writing slash fiction.  
  
The transgression of gender in slash fanfiction has also raised question as to whether or not slashed characters should be considered gay, or rather have their own sexuality fluent between male and female characteristics.  
+
Slash fiction is not widely considered to be conventional lesbian or gay fiction, as the characters portrayed rarely identify as homosexual or queer.
  
Jenkins was the first academic to define slash not as merely concerned with representations of sexuality: "Slash is not so much a genre about sex as it is a genre about the limitations of traditional masculinity and about reconfiguring male identity."<sup>Jenkins, Henry (1992), S. 191</sup> Furthermore, the emphasis of sex is identified in its emotional quality.
+
Jenkins was the first academic to define slash not as merely concerned with representations of sexuality: "Slash is not so much a genre about sex as it is a genre about the limitations of traditional masculinity and about reconfiguring male identity."<sup>Jenkins, Henry (1992), S. 191</sup>  
  
Over the last 15 years, with the emerging and widespread use of the internet, increased visibility of and participation in fandom, as well as social changes, fans have become bolder in describing their enjoyment of slash. While older generations of slash writers prided themselves on belonging to a sub-culture, inventing a new form of pornography and transgressing gender lines (and being generally very conscious about all this), a new generation of writers has joined slash fandom. This new generation finds itself in a more slash-friendly environment, and seems understandably a bit more confident about writing erotic fiction, often claiming that they write slash mainly because it's a turn on to see two men fuck.  
+
Over the last 15 years, with the emerging and widespread use of the internet, increased visibility of and participation in fandom, as well as social changes, fans have become bolder in describing their enjoyment of slash. While older generations of slash writers prided themselves on belonging to a sub-culture, inventing a new form of pornography and transgressing gender lines (and being generally very conscious about all this), a new generation of writers has joined slash fandom. This new generation finds itself in a more slash-friendly environment, and seems understandably a bit more confident about writing erotic fiction, often claiming that they write slash mainly because it's a turn-on to see two men fuck.
  
Transgression and recontextualization (see Jenkins, 1992) still seem to play a part, but this new confidence (fueled by generally more acceptance of both female sexuality and lesbian, gay, bi and transgendered people in Western society) often reduces the feelings of shame authors and readers of slash fanfiction may have experienced in the past. Nowadays, slash seems to be a very public, very well-known chapter of fan involvement.
+
Transgression and recontextualization (see Jenkins, 1992) still seem to play a part, but this new confidence (fueled by generally more acceptance of both female sexuality and lesbian, gay, bi, queer and transgendered people in Western society) often reduces the feelings of shame authors and readers of slash fanfiction may have experienced in the past. Nowadays, slash is a very public, very well-known chapter of fan involvement.
  
 
== Small Bibliography and Suggested Further Reading (chronological)==
 
== Small Bibliography and Suggested Further Reading (chronological)==
Line 47: Line 109:
 
== Links of Interest ==
 
== Links of Interest ==
  
 +
* [http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/146/149 From canon to fanon and back again: The epic journey of Supernatural  and its fans] by Melissa Gray
 +
* [http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/159/138 A box of mirrors, a unicorn, and a pony] by Jules Wilkinson
 +
* [http://missyjack.livejournal.com/592966.html What we write: ana anlysis of Supernatural fic] by missyjack
 
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash_fiction Slash fiction entry on Wikipedia] (focuses on recent years and new fandoms)
 
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash_fiction Slash fiction entry on Wikipedia] (focuses on recent years and new fandoms)
 +
* [http://fanlore.org/wiki/Slash Overview of Slash in fandom] on Fanlore
 
* [http://www.henryjenkins.org/ Confessions of an AkaFan: Henry Jenkins' Blog]
 
* [http://www.henryjenkins.org/ Confessions of an AkaFan: Henry Jenkins' Blog]
* [http://web.mit.edu/cms/People/henry3/ Henry Jenkins Website] (offers several Essays)
 
 
* [http://www.henryjenkins.org/2007/01/supernatural.html Henry Jenkins on "Supernatural"]
 
* [http://www.henryjenkins.org/2007/01/supernatural.html Henry Jenkins on "Supernatural"]
* [http://khellekson.wordpress.com/ Karen Hellekson Blog]
 
 
* [http://www.karenhellekson.com/theorize/fanfic-bib.html Bibliography collected by Karen Hellekson and Karen Busse]
 
* [http://www.karenhellekson.com/theorize/fanfic-bib.html Bibliography collected by Karen Hellekson and Karen Busse]
 
* [http://etd.vcu.edu/theses/available/etd-05092005-125907/unrestricted/herzingthesis.pdf Herzing, Melissa Jean. 2005. The Internet world of fan fiction. MA thesis, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.]
 
* [http://etd.vcu.edu/theses/available/etd-05092005-125907/unrestricted/herzingthesis.pdf Herzing, Melissa Jean. 2005. The Internet world of fan fiction. MA thesis, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.]
 
== Articles on the Internet ==
 
 
 
* [http://web.mit.edu/cms/People/henry3/bonking.html Henry Jenkins: Normal Female Interest in Men Bonking]
 
* [http://web.mit.edu/cms/People/henry3/bonking.html Henry Jenkins: Normal Female Interest in Men Bonking]
 
* [http://commons.somewhere.com/rre/1998/The.Poachers.and.the.Sto.html Henry Jenkins: The Poachers and the Stormtroopers: Popular culture in the digital age. Red Rock Eater Digest. Talk presented at the Univ. of Michigan, Spring 1998.]
 
* [http://commons.somewhere.com/rre/1998/The.Poachers.and.the.Sto.html Henry Jenkins: The Poachers and the Stormtroopers: Popular culture in the digital age. Red Rock Eater Digest. Talk presented at the Univ. of Michigan, Spring 1998.]
Line 65: Line 126:
  
  
 
+
[[Category:Vernacular]]
[[Category:Fandom]][[Category:Vernacular]] [[Category:Fanworks]][[Category:Pairings]] [[Category:Slash]] [[Category:Fic Genres]]
+
[[Category:Fandom]][[Category:Fanfiction]][[Category:Fic Genres]][[Category:Slash]] [[Category:Pairings]][[Category:Vernacular]][[Category:Fanworks]]

Latest revision as of 10:26, 6 July 2013

The term slash or slash fiction refers to fanfiction in which two characters of the same sex are written in a sexual relationship. Slash generally refers to male characters; female characters together is usually called Fem Slash.

The term slash is believed to have originated in the original Star Trek fandom in the 1960s, with stories about Kirk and Spock. The slash refers to the symbol in abbreviation Kirk/Spock or K/S.

Possibly due to its emphasis in canon on emotions and relationships, Supernatural became one of the major slash TV or movie fandoms from 2006 onwards. It also has a very high proportion of Gen fic, although much less Het. Fem Slash is rare.

Welcome to the first annual Supernatural convention. At 3.45 in the Magnolia room, we have the panel 'Frightened little boy, the secret life of Dean'. And at 4.30, there is the 'Homo-erotic subtext of Supernatural'.

– Convention Host, 5.09 The Real Ghostbusters

Based on an analysis of over 39,000 stories fanfiction listed in the LJ Supernatural newsletter up until March 2010, about 59% of Supernatural fan fiction is Slash.

Spnficmarch2010.png


As of March 2010, Supernatural fic - that is fic focussing on the Show - 48% of the stories were slash pairings and 17% featured heterosexual pairings. The remaining 35% were Gen stories - those stories which don't focus on a romantic or sexual relationship.

Out of all fic written up to late 2007, over 90% of slash was Wincest. However a snapshot of fic written in 2009 showed that Wincest made up around 46% of fic with Dean/Castiel stories now comprising 47% . The remaining 7% was other slash pairings. The increase in the number of new recurring characters, such as Gabriel, Lucifer and Crowley added to the growth of "other slash" pairings. Poor Bobby rarely gets any sex.

While the proportions of the genres have shifted, absolute numbers of fics have increased as well – the growing popularity of Dean/Castiel has been additive rather than substitutive. As the line graph above shows, the rate at which Wincest and Gen fics are written remains steady. The snapshot period here had nearly 30% more fic being written per month than in early 2008.

In RPF over 95% of the stories are slash - and most of that is J2.

Occasionally one or both of the brothers will be slashed with minor and/or recurring male characters; original male characters or characters from other fandoms, including characters that have been portrayed by either Jensen Ackles or Jared Padalecki in another tv-series or movie (e.g., Sam/Jake from Devour, Sam/Alec from Dark Angel, Dean/Dean from Gilmore Girls). (See also: Crossover).

Occasionally crossovers between RPF and Supernatural fic occur, with Sam or Dean paired with Jared or Jensen. This pairing gained some canonical support after 6.15 The French Mistake. Sam and Dean have also been paired with versions of themselves - such as Future!Dean from 5.04 The End, Samifer or younger (or older) versions of themselves.

Although the pairing had been utilized from the beginning, after the airing of 1.22 Devil's Trap on May 4th 2006 significantly more John/Dean fanworks appeared (possibly due to the chemistry between Dean and the possessed John). John/Sam is rarer. Both pairings often explore issues of authority and consent.

Dean & Castiel
Sam and Dean in 1.21 Salvation
Dean and Demon!John from 1.22 Devil's Trap

Slash fiction can cover any genre of fiction. The slash relationship may not be the focus of the story, in fact because of the intense relationship between characters like Sam and Dean on the show, these stories may be indistinguishable from Gen fic. In other cases the story may be all about the relationship. Some stories may contain no sex, or may have allusions to it, others are purely porn and are known as PWPs or porn without plots.

Some fans seek support from canon (or real life) that the slash relationship portrayed in fiction exists, while most are happy to use their stories to provide what canon doesn't.

See also:


and you can search through the Pairings category for other slash pairings

Supernatural Slash escapes fandom

Wincest got its first bit of official recognition at the Asylum fan convention in England in the Spring of 2007. When Jensen Ackles was asked what he thought of fan fiction, he replied: "Some of those fan fictions have some very, very crazy ideas. And sometimes very...disturbing ideas. One of my favorites is, uh, Wincest...I-I only hope that my grandmother never reads those. Jared and I had a good laugh about that one. It was only brought to our attention because Kim Manners posted it. So um...that's that." Video of quote

When asked about Wincest and fanfiction at EyeCon April 2008, Jared proved diplomatic - and eloquent: "with fan fiction and RPGs, it's like what I was talking about earlier, that everyone's taking a part and they're not just watching it.. ..and they're really passionate about the show, and especially the fans of Supernatural it's great learning tool, and exploring tool to explore this world. So I'm supportive." Video of quote

Jim Beaver proves he knows about the porn!

At the same Con Jim Beaver wore a t-shirt that said "I read Bobby/John"

Misha Collins has mentioned Slash at a number of conventions - eg: at the Salute to Supernatural Vancouver 2009 where he said he'd heard about "Dean/Castiel/Pie fic" and at Collectormania London 2009 he said he had read some slash fanfic but "stopped at the part where Cas choked... on someone's cock" Source. At Asylum Europe: No Rest for the Wicked 2010 , he tried to explain Slash to Mark Pellegrino and concluded "it's a great cultural asset...it unites the world!" Source The episode 4.18 The Monster at the End of This Book aired in which specific mention was made of Sam/Dean fanfic.

Dean: There's Sam Girls and Dean Girls and...what's a slash fan?
Sam: As in Sam slash Dean, together
Dean: Like together, together? They do know we are brothers right?
Sam: Doesn't seem to matter.
Dean: Well that's just sick!

There followed much discussion in fandom whether this exchange indicated the Show's support or condemnation of Wincest. It is certainly the first time on a TV show that incestuous gay porn has been mentioned by the characters about whom it is written.

In Season Five, the character of Becky Rosen is introduced. 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil She is a fan of the "supernatural" novels and runs a website called morethanbrothers.net. She is first seen writing a Wincest fic which can be read here.

In 5.09 The Real Ghostbusters at the Supernatural Convention, the MC announces that there will be a session on "The homoerotic subtext of Supernatural". The two fanboys featured in the episode Demian and Barnes, who are role playing as Sam and Dean at the convention, are revealed at the end of the episode to be lovers.

Perhaps because of the mentions in Canon, Wincest is mentioned more often in the media in association with the fandom than other Slash pairings or even fanfiction generally.

Jared and Jensen at the Chicago Con in 2007

On 6 November 2011, Jim Beaver responded to some Tin Hats on Twitter with this comment: For the record, I think slash fiction is cool, and if Wincest is what you dig, more power to you. But regardez vous: fiction ISN'T real life source.

Brief Overview of the History of Slash Fiction

In general, fandom scholars agree (Jenkins, Brooker, Bacon-Smith) that slash was introduced with Kirk/Spock homoerotic fan fiction in the early to mid-70s in Star Trek fandom. The name "slash" fiction comes from the / between the names of the pairing in fan fiction, and was also presumably coined in Star Trek fiction. Even though initially timidly introduced and confronted with ideas of masculinity and heroism, "slash" gained a wider audience over the years.

Much has been said about why fans (the majority of them women) write slash fiction, and it always stands in relation to the concept of slash fiction itself.

Camilla Bacon-Smith understood slash fiction as a way of helping women deal with traumatic love relationships by utilizing a non-threatening, non-aggressive form of male sexuality as means of comfort. The notion that fans write slash as means of therapy and to write about their own hurt and their need for tenderness seems quite antiquated today, and has been challenged by fans and acafans alike for decades.

In the mid-80s some scholars, most notably Henry Jenkins, introduced the idea of slash fiction as a possible reaction to traditional mainstream pornography; that it was a form of fiction liberating itself from gender hierarchy and genderized images. This form of transgression is also often cited as one of the joys of writing slash fiction.

Slash fiction is not widely considered to be conventional lesbian or gay fiction, as the characters portrayed rarely identify as homosexual or queer.

Jenkins was the first academic to define slash not as merely concerned with representations of sexuality: "Slash is not so much a genre about sex as it is a genre about the limitations of traditional masculinity and about reconfiguring male identity."Jenkins, Henry (1992), S. 191

Over the last 15 years, with the emerging and widespread use of the internet, increased visibility of and participation in fandom, as well as social changes, fans have become bolder in describing their enjoyment of slash. While older generations of slash writers prided themselves on belonging to a sub-culture, inventing a new form of pornography and transgressing gender lines (and being generally very conscious about all this), a new generation of writers has joined slash fandom. This new generation finds itself in a more slash-friendly environment, and seems understandably a bit more confident about writing erotic fiction, often claiming that they write slash mainly because it's a turn-on to see two men fuck.

Transgression and recontextualization (see Jenkins, 1992) still seem to play a part, but this new confidence (fueled by generally more acceptance of both female sexuality and lesbian, gay, bi, queer and transgendered people in Western society) often reduces the feelings of shame authors and readers of slash fanfiction may have experienced in the past. Nowadays, slash is a very public, very well-known chapter of fan involvement.

Small Bibliography and Suggested Further Reading (chronological)

  • Bacon-Smith, Camile (1991). Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-1379-3.
  • Jenkins, Henry (1992). Textual Poachers. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-90572-9.
  • Lewis, Lisa A., ed. 1992a. The adoring audience. London: Routledge.
  • Penley, Constance (1997). NASA/Trek: Popular Science and Sex in America. New York: Verso. ISBN 0-86091-617-0.
  • Cicioni, Mirna (1998). "Male Pair Bonds and Female Desire in Fan Slash Writing." In C. Harris & A. Alexander (Eds.) Theorizing Fandom: Fans, Subculture and Identity. Cresskil, New Jersey: Hampton.
  • Harris, Cheryl, and Alison Alexander, ed. 1998. Theorizing fandom: Fans, subculture and identity. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
  • Busse, Kristina/Hellekson Karen. Fan Fiction and Community in the Age of Internet: New Essays. North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN-13: 978-00-7864-2640-9

Links of Interest