Anna S. (eliade) wrote,
Anna S.


I was thinking just now that I'm not as familiar with my friends' kinks as I should be. I know S. likes rape, R. likes whipping, J. likes... well, I think she likes whipping too, and maybe scars. But these can't be *it*. These are just primary kinks that lodged associatively in my mind. But to really write a story for a friend, to please them, you'd surely want to know at least a half dozen good, solid kinks, right? And not just the fun sex kinks, but the more general story kinks--historicals, hurt/comfort, hairshirts and boyish whining. Big guy and little guy.

But that last example points out a problem. Like, big guy and little guy: there's a kink of my own, which was utterly satisfied in Sentinel fandom. I just think it's adorable when one man come's up to another man's chin and has to bounce up onto the balls of his feet to plant a liplock. Except, this is a contigent kink--when I give the example above, what I really mean is, it's sexy and cute when Blair kisses Jim. Because, hello, he really is significantly shorter. Not so much a kink when people write Krycek/Mulder or Spike/Xander in this fashion. So the kink is contingent on other things--on whether it fits the characters, on whether the guys are cute enough to pull it off, on whether it's used sparingly and timed well.

So if I told someone that I had a big guy/little guy kink and they thought, "Ah, I'll write her an S/X story," and they put that in, I'd probably wince. But when it comes to J/B, it can be a turn on plugging directly into the primitive anterior socket of my brain.

Some kinks are character, pairing, or show specific. Some aren't--like biting the nape of the neck. There's a boundary crosser for you. I've tended to consider domesticity ("nesting") one of my crossover kinks, but on second thought that's not true--it's wrong for Jack/Daniel, but right for Jim/Blair. Wrong for Mulder/Krycek but right for Spike/Xander. Don't ask me *why*.

Also, sometimes it's hard to articulate kinks, or maybe I mean to disarticulate them--to pull the bones from the body that hides them, and identify them separately by name. You read a story and it satisfies in a dozen ways, rings your bells like a wand sliding across a xylophone. But was it just "A" that pleased you, or was it "A" combined with "B" in the presence of "C"? And what if you did "B" slightly differently--would it perhaps not just neutralize the appeal of "A" but actually pervert it to something horrible?

I'm being abstract, but say you have a shmoopy kink like domesticity (not domestic *discipline*, thank you). And say it's appealing if one guy is dependent on the other in some way--one is the caretaker, the other is a bit wounded in spirit. All good. But then say your writer decides that this formula also needs some hurt/comfort, so she makes the dependent guy not so much wounded in spirit as dying of AIDS. She finds this romantic, but your pleasure has just plummeted, doused by the chill wave of reality.

Anyhoo. I don't know how to write an S/X story tailored to the readerly tastes of a friend--but more than that, I'm not even sure I could specify a recipe for a story matching *my* tastes. I fear someone would try to write to my spec, but they'd add stuff or overlook the nuances that make a kink a kink, and I'd be like, "Thanks ever so for your Spike-rapes-Xander-and-eats-his-liver-story, though perhaps I should clarify that when I said I liked 'angst', I actually meant..." Blah blah.

I also think this is part of why there's a communication gap when it comes to badfic, or maybe I want to say "fanfic of a lesser god," which nonetheless hits certain buttons for us. You try to explain to friends what it is about the wildly over-the-top story "Repossession" that sucks you in despite your heartburn, but it's hard, because it's this, and this, and this--and it fact it *is* those things, but what you can't explain is that you're seeing beyond the gaudy Tammy Faye make-up to the perfect bone structure hiding beneath, the mathematical proportions of which precisely match your definition of beauty. For example, the almost feral instinct to protectiveness that one man can feel for another, more vulnerable man--that gives a frisson of delight; something in you responds on a nervous-system level that you can't control, even when your higher brain is blanching at the badly sketched, comic-book rendition, where the colors of emotion are bleeding out all over the place, messy and clumsy and garish.

I'm spent.

One more quote, from a post I just made to a list on the fannish use of the word "ship":

I think the term's usage is changing. But maybe I'm just projecting because my own use of it is. I use it generically now, without any connotations of genre (e.g., "romance"). It's totally become a shorthand for "relationship," which is a tedious word to type out. So I might say, "The Jack/Daniel ship is sinking under a mass of writers who've never met a gay man outside a hair salon," or "Sometimes I want to lift the Spike/Xander ship out of the Buffyverse and set it sailing across alternate dimensions."

I also like it cause it's metaphory. {g}
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