[“No Homo: Two White Men Touch Each Other. Thursdays 9/8c. “So gay” — Fandom. “I can’t” –Tumblr.” Source.]
Trigger warning for discussion of sexual coercion.
1) I have a problem. I am, as a bisexual and female-presenting person, against bisexual fetishization. My sexuality is not for the consumption of straight dudes! I don’t like being a prop in someone else’s fantasy!
But also I really like watching boys kiss?
2) I see a lot of people complaining about how femmeslash and het are so much less popular than slash fic and attributing this to internal misogyny on the part of fic writers. But… most fanfic writers are straight girls. Of course straight girls are not really interested in porn starring women. It kind of comes with the “straight girl” territory. It’s like saying that straight men not wanting to watch gay porn is proof of their internal misandry.
3) One of the amazing things about watching Avatar: The Last Airbender is that I finally got to ship femmeslash.
(Note: I put off watching Avatar for years and years because people kept telling me about how amazing it was on a social justice level. I don’t watch TV for social justice points, I watch it for fun. So since I’m talking about amazing Avatar is on a social-justice level I feel duty-bound to mention that it also has astonishingly detailed and well-researched worldbuilding, fabulous characters, well-choreographed fight scenes, and clever writing, and you should go watch it.)
But like. There were female characters? More than one of them? And they talked to each other? And they had different personalities and flaws? And none of them were Strong Female Characters or damsels in distress? And holy shit Azula. You don’t get a lot of manipulative violent hypercompetent complete monster female characters who aren’t femme fatales, which is too bad because the “manipulative violent hypercompetent complete monster” characters are basically my favorite.
And suddenly all my OTPs are femmeslash, when previously I’d managed to go about a decade in fandom without the slightest femmeslashy impulse.
Which makes me wonder how much my previous slashy impulses, and the popularity of slash in general, were just because everything I watched was A Bunch of Guys and Black Widow, or A Bunch of Guys and Lieutenant Uhura, or A Bunch of Guys and We’re Not Even Bothering To Half-Ass A Female Character.
4) The first time I told a boyfriend I was bi, back when I was scared and closeted and still thought I was monogamous and a girl, his immediate response was that he didn’t like threesomes.
The second time I told a boyfriend I was bi, his immediate response was to ask me about my sexual fantasies of women.
I once dated a girl who for months only kissed me when there was a boy in the room to get off on it. I went along with it so at least I’d get to kiss her.
5) It’s one thing to consume lesbian porn. I mean, Some Of My Best Friends Like Watching Two Girls Get It On ™. I don’t care about your fondness for yuri! I really don’t! And I feel like most queer dudes probably have a similar attitude towards slash.
But at this point some asshole dude deciding that your sexuality is for his entertainment is pretty much a universal experience for those queer and read as female. (And some straight women too. Anyone get the “women are naturally more sexually fluid than men” line pulled on them?) I feel like a lot of that is because people get this sort of sexual fantasy from porn and then when they meet a queer woman they expect her to fulfill it. And shit man, it’s bad enough that we have to put up with it, I would be deeply unhappy if queer dudes had to put up with that too.
I dunno what the solution is. Maybe poll the non-asshole straight people that like watching queer people have sex and see how they manage to maintain the reality/porn distinction.
6) Maybe it’s different because fandom is mostly women and men historically have power over women. Maybe it’s different for me because I’m bisexual myself, because when I look at two boys kissing I imagine myself as one of the boys, because…
I dunno. I don’t like rules where it’s not okay to do something because you’re privileged but because you’re part of a marginalized group it’s okay. Seems to me if it’s wrong to make someone a prop in your fantasy it’s wrong no matter what group you’re part of.
7) I am deeply creeped out by dudes who are more attracted to me because I’m bi. I’m more attracted to dudes if they’re bi. And, okay, maybe some of it is shared experience of queerness, and some of it is ability to look at cute boys together, and some of it is not having to have that sneaking suspicion that the straight dude really sees me as a girl and is putting up with the whole “genderqueer” thing as one of my eccentricities. But a lot of it is “eeeeee boykissing!”
Never let it be said I’m not vastly hypocritical.
8) The accusation of queer baiting is weird. Like, yes, it would be really shitty if shows habitually hinted at characters being queer without actually making them queer as a calculated attempt to draw in slash fangirls. But I kind of feel like a lot of the accusations of queer baiting come from people who have their slash goggles permanently stuck on their foreheads and are just pissed their ships aren’t canon.
9) I think it’s awesome when straight girls make out for the hell of it. I think it’s awesome when straight girls make out to turn on guys, even, as long as they’re doing it because they want to and not because they feel like they have to to be sexy. I’ve kissed straight girls because kissing is fun and I’ll basically make out with anyone who asks. And I think that straight boys should be equally free to make out with each other and queers to make out heterosexually for the hell of it or to turn someone else on or because kissing is fun.
I’d just rather people stop assuming that when I kiss girls I’m doing it to get into his pants instead of hers. And I don’t want it to be that when some queer dude kisses a boy people assume he’s doing it to get into her pants instead of his.