It's been so long that I'd forgotten a lot of the original movie. Some scenes reminded me of Spike--the monster chained up in the cellar, tormented by the hunchback with fire; the way he lashed out in confusion and rage. There was something else. I've already forgotten. Memory is short. But I kept getting Whedony flashes. Other great scenes: the monster and the little girl by the lake, with the flowers. And the one where her father carries her body in.
In "Bride of Frankenstein" the monster gets even more pathetic, lurching around in search of friendship and smiling his big helpless smile. Galumphing through the brush as people keep hounding him off and trying to kill him. Spike, Spike, Spike, you poor big undead freak.
The scenes in the cabin with the blind man kill me. And it's weird, but I think that whole sequence may have been kink-forming. The monster there is mute, hungry, exhausted, lonely, and outcast, and is accepted by the hermit, fed, tended to gently and put to bed, given blind welcome and kindness that brings him to tears. (And now I'm thinking of the great Spike/Buffy story "Love is Blind" by Avalon. Hmm.) Make the blindness metaphorical and that's one of my core kinks in a nutshell.
Sitting here with my laptop I wanted to try and sketch some S/X. (Waves to Herself.) But tonight I keep going, in my inclinations, to the epic AU place and I don't even know where to start. I sit and stare at the white screen and freeze up at "Once upon a time..." It'd take hundreds of pages to tell that story. And my entire right arm down to the fingertips hurts. Which kind of depresses me. As I type this I now and then pause in pain and curse the flesh.
Karloff's face and hands are so beautiful.
So thebratqueen wrote a little S/A for me and got me thinking about kinks. I tend to think my kinks are pretty transparent, but it's been a long time since I set them down in a list. I think kinks and squicks are flip sides of the same coin; I mean, sometimes they are very far apart and distinct, but other times it's a fine and subtle line between one and the other, so I've sort of wandered into talking about both. And then there are things inbetween which are not squicks so much as: "I'd simply prefer not to read X or it kind of distracts me." I'd call those "passes." As you might say to someone in a neutral way: "I pass."
My passes and squicks are idiosyncratic as I think most people's are and should in no way be taken to refer to occurances in any particular story, especially since I rarely remember details. Life is a blur and whatever examples you wrote were probably the exceptions the proved the rule, as skillful writing can render so many things salty and good.
Lists are good. I like to remind myself of what I like. Most of these are slash-specific or strongest when they're slashy, but some can crop up in mainstream contexts--some het movies that hit kink buttons for me include "Pretty Woman," "White Palace," and "The Bodyguard."
I'm trying to think top-down from the general to the specific. It's hard. I tend to meander. (I was going to bullet-point lists, but eh.)
When it comes to pairings, I think I'm into fairly traditional gender and power roles that aren't expressed *as* gendered. Like, I'm really into the idea of the masculine protector and the feminine protected, and similar binary concepts: strong/weak, big/little, powerful/helpless, master/slave, rich/poor, homekeeper/breadwinner. But this is a good example of how easily kink can become squick. It's not enough that characters inhabit these roles: if the emotional dynamic isn't just right, it's creepy. The biggest turn-on is usually when these power imbalances are expressed through chivalry, courtliness, the gentleman's code, noblesse oblige. Honor and tenderness and all that romantic jazz. I know there are classic literary terms for the types of leading men who turn my crank (paging Mister Heathcliff), but I'm too lazy to look them up.
Examples--Edward Lewis in "Pretty Woman." He's a cutthroat tycoon but when it comes to Viv, he treats her like a lady. Angel, with a souled Spike: cold and closed-off and suspicious at first, and maybe he treats Spike hard and maybe the sex gets brutal, but once he commits himself he's protective. Or, Angel with Wes in one my favorite stories, "Wesley Rogue Demon": Cordy and Gunn are aghast that he'd let Wes abase himself, but Angel understands that Wes can't do anything else at that point--he's been conditioned to serve; there's a great scene where Wes sits at Angel's knee as Angel strokes his hair. It's not sexual but there are powerful undercurrents of just about every core-kink dynamic I love. Another example: in the more romantic (read: melodramatic, operatic, and perhaps ludicrous) versions of my Slave!Spike fantasies, Spike has been horribly abused at the hands of others, and he is so traumatized that he can function only on the most basic level, and instead of taking advantage of him and abusing him further, Xander rises to the occasion and goes all gentle and manly. And then there's this crazy Spike/Wes thing that's been in my head recently--a particular scene where Wes is trying to sneak Spike out of a cocktail party after just meeting him, and they're spotted by Angel, Buffy, Xander et al. They all sneer at Spike and scoff at the idea that he's souled; Angel grabs Spike by the throat and threatens him until Wes gets Angel to let him go--then there's some stuff that doesn't need going into, but boils down to them finding out that Spike is an escort, at which Xander nails the vampire's patheticness with one cutting comment. And then Wes just cuts them all out, gaze trained on Spike's as if there's no one else in the room, and his voice takes on that gentling tone that A.D. does like no one else--low and delicate and ineffably kind--and he touches Spike's neck where Angel has grabbed him and asks if he's all right, and asks if he's ready to leave, and says this all with such blindered focus and perfect respect that it's like a gentleman helping a whore to her feet out of the mud where someone has kicked her and humiliated her, and it's the absolute certainty of manners and the aristocratic indifference to the presence of the others that nails it for me.
Along those lines, there are a whole host of tropes--I'm going to redefine the word and call them tropes--that litter such fantasies. Like the kneeling thing; where one man kneels by another man and rests his head against his leg, just because he longs to do so, like a dog that craves comfort, or because it's required as some kind of externally imposed slave etiquette (like, native to a strange land they're traveling through, where demons are kept by humans), in which case there are layers of significance: the audience thinks the slave kneels out of necessity, but the slave really kneels by choice. The slave is always favored, however, prized, and there must be some point at which the master demonstrates this to witnesses. The witnesses are either surprised, because they consider slaves generally to be mere animals; or they nod and smile their approval, because there is nothing more worthy than a noble slave. (Sometimes I find condescension sexy. But it's a third-party perception. Condescension doesn't really exist between master and slave. By putting the condescension off into the ignorant audience, you get a frisson of contrast between what's false and what's true. Which is what makes pretense erotically charged, unlike the simple role-playing of say, BDSM, where it's all just games and bullshit. I'm still talking about fiction, of course--not real-life BDSM.)
Sort of following on the above, I have this whole kinkalicious thing with hurt/comfort, where the hurt man is psychologically damaged, broken--oh, right, might as well list the whole constellation of symptoms: feral, mute, dependent, insecure, subservient, animalistic, recovering from rape and torture and cruelties of all kind, vulnerable and fiercely loyal to only one man--and that one man, the comfortidor, is invested with all the powers of a white knight, to be protective of his charge.
Sometimes my romantic fantasies take a dark turn, off the well-lit path, forking into weird bosky shadowlands of kink. And then the master gets mean, nasty, abuses his helpless slave. That's the stuff I don't really write and rarely even talk about--I think I've mentioned it only a few times here, a while back. It's all manacles and elaborate contraptions with straps and sex toys and enforced immobility. Endless violent blow jobs and fucking. Gags and gang bangs. Enemas and suffering. You know the drill.
But back in the area of good kink, where it's getting into actual sex now, I'm into--well, okay, I'm still into the violent fucking. But violent tender fucking. Which at the core of it is about urgency overriding normal good sexual manners until it takes on the guise of demand. Except that the one fulfilling the demand is very, very willing. This is where two guys grab each other and tumble against a wall, kissing and doing all the grabby good stuff, and one guy grips the other by the neck and pushes him down--but the guy is already folding to his knees desperately--and lust ignites and a really fabulous blow-job is provided, and if at some point the one guy starts fucking the other guy's mouth with brutal ferocity, no one is protesting, and afterwards there is a proper expression of gratitude. (And slumping.)
I have this whole nape-of-the-neck thing. And the Lord decreed, "It is proper that a man touch the nape of another man's neck gently on any pretext; and also he must bite it hard during certain methods of sexual congress, you can imagine the position, I'm sure; and pushing down on the smaller man's neck so that it bows in submission is also cool, amen."
Biting in general, good.
Scenes of elaborate kink often work in my head, but then give me pause in stories. At this point I'm a hard sell--there are plenty of stories where someone handcuffs his pal to the bed and torments him in various and sundry ways. I'm not saying I won't read them. But it could be hotter and more distinctive if there's some reason, some psychologically interesting and plausible reason, or even, you know, a plot reason. It really depends on the writing, though. You want to read something and just *feel* it on a visceral level, whatever it is: the dry-mouthed racing urgency, the driving need of a character to get his dick in something, or needing to be tossed over a table and get roughly fucked in the ass.
I take a pass on scenes of sexual ritual--I'm not especially interested in the routine of two guys taking off their clothes, folding them neatly, moving cooperatively and with lots of conversation and smiles to the bed, where one guy lies down and the other ties him up and teases him with feathers and drips candle wax on him in just the right proportions, and they come with mutual, fulfilling, and emotionally healthy satisfaction expressed by declarations of love. Sex in alleys is better.
This will sound odd and I don't want to upset anyone, but I have this whole finger-in-the-ass pass. It's so common and yet so...so. Eh. If fingers are going to be shoved at crucial moments, I want to hear about the knuckles and the twistiness and the spark of pain and the startled cry or something. I don't know quite what. But I get a very tidy and unsexy image by the perfunctory insertion of a single digit at certain moments. I get that it *feels* good. It's just rarely interesting to me. It's just one finger, you know? It's not *dick*. If I can pretend for a minute that certain intensely stupid people doesn't exist ("Women who write slash just need dick"), I'd like to claim solidarity with valerie_z (who probably won't mind) and note that sex really *is* all about the deep dicking: rough, rude shoves of massive dick. Sometimes. The point is, in the context of the sex I want to read about, dick is an expression of wholeheartedness. A single finger might as well be a number-two pencil neatly dotting the i's and crossing the t's of orgasm.
I think I've wandered off on a tangent.
The description of a dick as "long and thin" I'll take a pass on.
Maybe because I'm a jaded slasher, conscientious descriptions illustrating how one stretches the asshole and how lube is applied really aren't necessary for me. I'd like to skip ahead to the deep dicking with only a passing mention of lube and prep.
The prostate really is the male clitoris. Right? I like to imagine it is, at least in terms of intensity. I don't need to see the word "prostate." We all know what we're talking about when a man gasps and arches off the sheets. This is another one of those fine lines though. ("It's a fine line between clever and stupid.") I can get snagged and thrown out of a story by how a man's response is described when his sweet spot is nailed, especially in first-time stories. If Guy A goes on this determined spelunking mission and Guy B is all like, "No, no, no, not feeling it, hmmm, are you sure there's something up ther--OH MY GOD, YES, YES, YES, I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROARRRR!" It's like: no. I'd prefer the pleasure to be incidental rather than an overblown sexual revelation. Or...I've rethought this. I may be lying to myself here. Nothing wrong with an extreme or even femmey reaction. Maybe it's just the artful spelunking I object to. Or the word. "Prostate." Clinical. On the other hand: "nubbin." Awful.
Back to the good. Men nuzzling. One man coming up behind another man and sliding his arms around him. Barefooted men without shirts, wearing only blue jeans and a slave bracelet. A man getting out his wallet and handing over his AmEx card to his boy-toy. These are all good. Black silk shirts, or maybe white--as long as they're classy and expensive. Bed head. Drunken, kittenish playfulness. Sleepiness, where one guy stretches and wakes up and feels his man behind him, sliding in, and he's still slick and sore, and he's not even really turned on yet, and maybe he won't even come, but it doesn't matter, he'll let his lover take what he wants when he wants.
A guy coming without his dick being touched.
Complicated emotional correspondences, like irritation and sex.
Anguish, intense loneliness and self-hatred, that is eased by another man's comfort and adoration.
All my kinks are so politically incorrect and dysfunctional. Also, I love happy endings.
But, okay, this is like a concentrated soup of kinks (though not all of them); but if you put them into a story without plot or greater context, it might be overkill. And if everyone started writing all these, all the time, my favorite things might start to lose their edge and become as erotically exciting as brown paper packages tied up with string.
"Subtleties" is my most kink-thick fic, if y'all didn't know that already. It's almost *all* there, everything that revs my engine, including the bit where Xander tells Angel off with stoic, jaw-snapping, repressed homicidal rage. The only thing that could have topped that woul be Xander physically stepping between Angel and Spike, and being able to back that symbolic gesture up by tossing Angel across the room. Le sigh.
It's time for me to go to bed. Strangely, my arm feels better even after all this typing. The codeine-laced painkillers must have worked again.
I hope my tone wasn't too earnest and thoughtful as I itemized my kinks. That'd be rather awful and embarrassing, more than the kinks themselves....