Sex in fanfiction part 8 – perceptions of sexy

Last night was my birthday party, which meant that I got to pick the movie and the music before we headed out. This led to a long conversation about what we think is sexy and what we are attracted to. My wonderful lady friends have a wide and varied taste, which always means that conversations along this line tend to be riddled with some degree of teasing. But I thought it was a topic that had a lot of relevance to this series.

We each have our own tastes – when asked who my ideal man was I answered ‘Sam Neil’ – which tends to make people laugh given the age difference etc, but in all honesty I think the man is sex on legs.

This week I’ve been reading a lot of Sherlock fic – Mystrade (Mycroft and Lestrade slash) and it’s had me thinking a lot about perceptions of sex. Take those two characters and the actors who portray them – both are older gentlemen, one is greying and the other is red haired and not conventional looking, and yet they are both still incredibly sexy and sensual men. And clearly fic writers think so too, because some of the writing on these…….well, wow!

It’s very clear that not only do the characters think the others are attractive, but that the fic writers think so too. Which is awesome. Chemistry is a big part of attraction, but honestly, so is appearance.

We all say that looks don’t matter, but they do to a point. If you aren’t physically attracted to someone then a relationship is going to stall. That said, attraction is subjective. Personally I have no time for pretty characters. I like someone with a distinctive look, quirks, expressive faces. For instance, I’d rather have Martin Freeman than Brad Pitt – I mean, Brad’s cute and all, but he does nothing for me. Martin Freeman I want to hug and squeeze until his eyes bulge and then I want to carry him around in my pocket forever. I’m not the only one – I had a conversation this morning with my friend who said pretty much exactly the same thing.

Sometimes we just can’t explain our crushes – for instance I think that Mark Gatiss is incredibly sexy. I think the same thing about Norman Reedus – the dirtier his character gets the more I want to jump him. A friend pointed out a moment in a series 2 episode that tends to get referenced and used a lot in fanfiction – the moment in Chupacabra when Daryl – dirty and bloody and barely on his feet – comes staggering out looking so terrible that he is mistaken for a zombie. And that is the moment that you realise how sexy the character is.

And this has as much to do with the character as it does with the actor. For instance, this week I watched the movie ‘Starter for Ten’ and I HATED Benedict Cumberbatch in it. I hated the character. I hated how he looked. His clothes. The things he said. And then I watched August: Ossage County a day later and I loved him so much that I wanted to look after him and make him pie and never let anyone hurt him again. Neither of which are even close to how I feel when I watch him in Sherlock and want to do dirty things to him. Same actor, different characters, different response.

Sexy is all perception.

I’m sure I’ll do more on this topic in due course, but just something to think about on a Sunday evening,

Love, etc,

C

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Sex in fanfiction part 8 – perceptions of sexy

  1. I have to say, I really love this post and agree completely. We all have our tastes, and it doesn’t all have to do with sexual attraction either though it often does. I think Ben and Martin are adorable, and coupled with the way their characters act on the show, that makes me very happy to write Johnlock.

    I’m not attracted to guys, but I’ll still take a well written and sweet fics with them over smut that’s badly written involving my favorite female characters being in a relationship. Of course, as a lesbian I will take well written femmeslash over johnlock any day. But there’s not enough of that so I have to supplement my fic reading and writing.

    • I completely agree on all points. Taste and attraction are strange things and so personal, and as I said, the same person can play several characters and you might only be attracted to one of them – as much because of the writing as the acting. And then there are characters that are supposed to be sexy but that some of us just find damn creepy coughedwardcullencough.

      I’ve not read a lot of femslash that I’ve really liked, but there is some awesome Andrea/Michonne stuff out there if you are into The Walking Dead.

      But give Mystrade a go if you haven’t already. 🙂

  2. Oh, yes! That character is creepy, and so angst ridden it isn’t funny. I haven’t read much Mystrade, but have enjoyed what I’ve read when I do.

    I write Hoshi/T’Pol Femslash if you want to check it out on Archive of Our Own, as well as other fandoms and pairings. http://archiveofourown.org/users/LillithsGarden

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