There are things in the Big Black scarier than Reavers.
Three words. Real. Person. Slash.
One day, not so long ago, I’m floating through the space junk of the big ol’ fanfic ‘verse, looking, as always, for the elusive grail – a decent Mal/Simon where I’ll still believe its them even once the pants come off and I find this…
“Finally he half-heartedly asks Nathan to please stop, we're at work, dammit, but Nathan just smirks and pushes Sean against a wall.”
“Hmmm…” I think, “…new characters in the Whedonverse…?” So I read on. More fool I. By the time I’ve got to the end of the scenario I need to go and have a shower. Not because I’m all hot under the collar but because I want to scrub with a wirebrush in the hope that the last five minutes might wash away down the drain.
It’s true. I could have just flicked off the page as soon as I realised what was really going on, but these things are like watching a train wreck or picking a scab. It hurts, you want to turn away, but no, too late she cried.
This is a FUBAR little subculture. Not satisfied with having the Captain hump whatever’s standing/lying/kneeling still long enough on board ship; they’ve got the nice bloke that plays him at it too.
Sure, an actor’s public identity is as fictional as the characters they play – and the shipping that’s going on here is with these fictional personas – the Nathan or Sean or Alan as entity in someone’s head. So why am I so disturbed?
Because it does feel like I’m in someone’s head. Slashers, shippers and fanficers generally, listen up – I have my own grubby little fantasies – I got no business sharing yours.
Slash, the conventional kind, is about a shared universe and a shared canon. It’s the big what if? It’s the resolution of sexual tension, real or imagined or just slightly hinted at. It’s taking our heroes where no man has gone before.
Slash pushes the boundaries of character and let’s writers and readers identify with, control, contort these characters. And it’s all about voice. It has to sound like Mal, or Simon or Avon or Blake or Harry for that matter and gorramit if real person slash just can’t do that. Doesn’t want to do that. Is doing something altogether different.
Now there ain’t nothing wrong with folks having their fun…even if that fun is gay sex scenarios between the imagined avatars of real people…but why in the name of all that’s good and clean and right would anyone else want to read it?
Terentius once said “I am human. Nothing human is alien to me.” I know this because I now have it printed on a t-shirt. Even Reavers were human once…but none of this makes it any more right.
Out here in space, I often feel like no one can hear me scream, but I’ve found my place to stand. Real Person Slash is my line in the sand and damned if I’ll step over it.