August 27th, 2003



What do women want? The article of the same name is a cool article about women and sexuality that hangs itself off a study demonstrating that women respond sexually to almost all kinds of porn, mentions a possible "disconnection" between a woman's arousal and her thoughts--cunt and head, basically--then goes on to talk about how certain assumptions of orientation may be culturally created, and raises the question of whether women, more so than men, may be naturally bisexual, or whether eroticized cultural images and stereotypes mold women's sexuality--which also has a flip side, suggesting that men might be "dehomosexualized" by cultural homophobia.

It also did a quick compare-and-contrast of what I'd guess you could call erotic narratives, masculine versus feminine:
In fact, a woman may get fully aroused in the opposite way that a man does, Diamond says. She likens arousal to a pathway: For most men, their interests start with a sexual attraction, and then lead to an emotional attachment. But for women, she said, the interest can go through the pathway in the opposite direction, with a deep emotional bond spawning a sudden sexual interest.
Which makes most slash narratives inherently feminine, if you take that as true, no matter how much we strive to amplify the masculinity of our characters or writing. I think I'm okay with that, though I'd love to see some examples of the masculine model--sex first, emotion later. I can't think of any offhand, except maybe one or two stories of my own. There's probably a substantial number across fandoms, enough to constitute a subgenre, if you want to look at it like that.

Mostly, the article is just an overview of what-ifs and study findings, but it compresses a dozen different topics of interest into one rather short piece, which makes it kind of handy.

kormantic wrote me an awesome little drabbly thingy with Faith and Xander and company, which made me grin and squee. She is so good to me. :>)

I've been watching vids and reading QaF stories, but I've been holding off posting so that I could rec them all at once when I had a chance to gather my thoughts.

Belatedly I had a chance to catch up on my reading and devour Maps and Legends, the new QaF story by sparkledark and blaurosen, and it was wondeful. Road trips are great story fodder and this one just twists off so well from canon that it takes my breath away. The story is entirely composed of Brian/Justin scenes, and yet all of them matched canon tone, as if scenes or DVD chapters had been excerpted from episodes and strung together. Kind of amazing--with that degree of focus, some writers risk getting mired in dialogue. But the dialogue never overwhelmed the story here, and in terms of voice, it was fantastic. The content of their conversation, the story movement, the fights and fears, the plot developments and the ending--all of that was bang on key.

I think this will be one of those cornerstone stories that helps begin to build an oeuvre of respected fiction for a fandom--well, a fandom probably can't have an oeuvre, but I have no other word right now--and QaF has really needed that.

I wanted to make a few edits here and there, removing dialogue slurs (stylistic issue for me), filling in a few missing words, punctuation glitches, etc, but those were mostly minor cosmetic issues. I probably shouldn't even mention them. I'm so giddy to have great fiction! :>)

By the way, if anyone hasn't found their way to sisabet's QaF vid page yet, it should be the next browser stop, because it's got great vids, as well as story recs and other fannish links.

silviakundera has a QaF vid called Fast as You Can (Fiona Apple), which I found a few days ago and adore. I've always loved that song, and its jittery speed and attitude is pure Brian Kinney. The clips were sharp and fast and fun--that little rewind-replay of Justin's dash for the loft was great!--and I thought it overcame a few things that I might have knocked in other vids. For example, there was a shot of Justin turning away and crying, which worked against the emotional grain of the song--pretty much a mismatch and yet in the way of good vids it alters its source, taking a stark emotion and making it rather jaunty. Which works here only because Justin is a melodramatic little princess; the vid doesn't disrespect a horrendously serious moment, the way it would have if it had used a shot of Brian's face as he's seeing Justin's attack, for instance.

Another example is the "I'll be your girl" line--it's usually not a great idea to play feminine references against male characters in vids, and vice versa. I've seen some painfully bad results, though it's usually most egregious when the entire song has recurring gender markers. (For a cool page on other vid guidelines, check this out.) But anyway, I think it's forgivable here. Not as perfectly in context as my favorite example, which are the lines "come out, Virginia" and "you Catholic girls start much too late" in a Wiseguy vid ("Only the Good Die Young" by Merricat Kiernan and killabeez) I love, but okay. One thing I might have changed was the "give me some more of your drugs" clip, because I'll almost always choose a lyric-to-clip metaphor over literalism; and yet it is a great clip.

One of the things that's fun about this song, is you get that change of tone and pace midway through to play with. I think that works well for Justin and Brian, whose relationship yo-yos between poignancy and soap opera.

You know, I've been watching more vids and reading more stories, but I think I've shot my wad with commentary today. I've been watching (and rewatching) some vids I want to make more critical remarks about, but I'm waffling, because I don't often go the critical route with stuff by people I know. And the few times I've done it, I've second-guessed myself afterwards. I'm a wuss.

anaxila recently posted some fabulous fairy icons, which people should flock to. On a radically different note, koimistress posted just today an excerpt from the blog of an Iraqui woman which carried a whiff of The Handmaid's Tale, the echoes of which in my psyche can still freak me the fuck out, years after first reading it.

Great speculation or maybe wishful thinking from gwyn_r about the possibility of canonical gay characters on Angel this fall. No spoilers except for casting--pure what-iffery.

sherrold pointed out this article, which rails against gay stereotypes in Queer as Folk, Queer Eye, and other shows. Because I am lazy and am tiring of typing, I'm just going to dump my list response here, even though it's kind of inadequate to what I'd really like to say.

Collapse )

Thank you and good night.
  • Current Music
    The Other Side -- David Gray

fan-fiction, published fiction

Great post tonight from anaxila about how reading published fiction can differ from reading fan-fiction. Scroll down for my after-dinner thoughts. You can practically smell the butter dripping from every word!

Speaking of which, how do you make basic pasta sauce taste savory? For a long time I've been making this quick-and-dirty pasta sauce: chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh garlic, mushrooms, olive oil, and butter. I try to stay away from salt when I can--never mind the four handfuls of salt-and-vinegar chips I had earlier--so no salt. So, okay. I make this sauce and once in a while it's good, but lately I'm more often finding that it's very bland. If I have it in the house, I might grate reggiano on it, but say that I don't--how do I make this tastier? Aside from salt.

Collapse )