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October 09 2006

Slash fiction - "On the internet, they're lovers". AfterElton.com takes a look at one of the more interesting sub-genres of fan fiction and of course there's the obligatory Joss Whedon and the two vampires with a soul mention.

For a while Buffy/Faith was the leading slash fanfic,and to this day it is still really high out there in fanfic. But it also has been around from basically the start of Faith's run in season three. So it is deffinatly not something new.

I think, at least everywhere I see Angel/Spike, while the most talked about slash is actually not the most popular non canon.(I say non-canon because even Joss will not say if it happened or did not happen and that "the line" is actually more a throw away line that was a mistake kept in for laughs, not storyline.)That would defiantly go to Xander/ Angel or Xander/Spike. That would defiantly go to Xander/ Angel or Xander/Spike. Spike/Angel while talked about alot is really a verse small nitch.

I do think it is funny that instead of trying to look or explore the subtext of the actual show and scenes that Angel and Spike had together, the author take quotes that Joss himself has clarrified as jokes for the article. The other gay(at least before he changed for season five of Angel) characters/situations of Andrew and his obvious love of Spike, Xander and Gay Larry or the Willow/Tara relationship are not mentioned. Yes, I know it is more of male slash driven article, but that does seem to limit it then. especially if alot is going on subtext.

I do find it intresting that more straight women write slash fics. I find many of these very well developed and not just PWP. At least the B/F ones's I have read. I have never really been a fan of male/male so I except for seing it alot, I have never read them.

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-10-09 15:09 ]
Well written article, with many viewpoints given -- good find, Simon! :-) The article reminds me of a big (201 posts), fun discussion we had here in which his Royal Purple Jossness had some interesting things to say about slash, including the famous:
In my world, heroes bugger each other senseless. Not all of them, but more than you'd think, and probably not who you're thinking.

That would defiantly go to Xander/ Angel or Xander/Spike. Spike/Angel while talked about alot is really a verse small nitch.


As I'm in between teaching at the moment, I thought I'd test this.

So on Google:

angel spike fanfiction 286,000 results
xander angel fanfiction 108,000 results
xander spike fanfiction 85,300 results

So I'm going to go out on a limb and say in the Buffyverse slash community at the moment, the vampires with a soul have got the zeitgeist thing going on. Anyway it doesn't really matter whose the most popular or who has the most number of fanfics, it's the quality that counts *ahem*.
A confirmation in a line in an episode, coupled with JW's comments, both on the commentary and on this board, kind of make it canon. For me. And lots of other people. :0)

Good article.
Thanks Simon. I agree. With all fanfic, it is quality above anything else. No matter who is the couple or main characters.

If you go to fanfiction.net, On the Buffy side, slash wise, Faith/Buffy seem to be the dominate slash next to Xander/Spike. On the Angel side it seems Spike/Angel or Angel/wes. When Slash really came out for the guys, it was deffiantly Xander and Angel who seemed paired with everyone and mostly each other. Then came Xander and he seems to have become Spike's new best friend in fanfic,if not on the show. In the begining Angel and Spike just were paired to be the anti-Buffy's, before people really saw the pomise between the two souled vamps in season 5.

Like I said where go I run into Spike/Xander almost everyday in multiple stories. I do see Angel/Spike, just not as frequently. I can not comment to much on the qualtiy, but from the few Spike/Angel ones I have read ,they do tend to stay with Angel dominated PWP and the joint hate or making fun of Buffy. The Buffy/Faith seem to do that on the other side with bashing Spike or Angel as well or simply write the men off as though they were nothing but bad flings. Sometimes they will respect Angel, because of Faith but rarely Spike.

Also with the LJ communities now the big thing,there are incrediable drabbles,ficathons and short stories that are all the rage. That seems to be where I see all the Spike/Xander as well. Not sure if goggle would record all those.


Here is a site that is updated daily, I see the slash ships constantly:http://community.livejournal.com/su_herald/
Buffy/Faith has 210,000 so even that pairing is bigger than Xander/Angel|Spike (I don't think Google deliberately ignores any web-pages when indexing though obviously very new pages might not be in the database yet).

Slash isn't really my thing but I think it's great when fans take characters and run with them, creating new possibilities, events and so on. Interesting article.

(i'm curious, BTW, would Willow/Tara still be slash or would that just be termed 'sex fiction' ? Inquiring minds ...)
Leaving it up to the fans can make anything canon, but since Joss said no one BUT him knows if anything actually ever did happen and that he was joking in his commentaries, even coming here to clarrify... it is more opinion then canon. You say many see it as validation, I can say the same that many do not. Because it is more opinion then stated fact.

One time could be anything and nothing..but is never referred to again. For me Spike is also talking about him and ANGELUS, not Angel. We know they are VERY different men, with different minds and ways of doing things. Angel never did anything with Spike. Never had the time or want. Angelus dominated Spike and it was Angelus he was tlaking about when he made that throw away line mention. Canon on the show does not support it ever being Angel. Refrences and jokes made in commentaries and interviews do not make it canon.

I remember back when bad Girls aired, there was some of talk from some of the writer's and fans about "IF" anything had happened betwen Faith and Buffy from the time they killed the vamps in the nest to the time the were dancing in the Bronze. There was obviously as missing scene as Buffy's cuts are all stitched and she and Faith seems to having this very bondy sexual vibe, that before hand was not there. It was debated on that while canon shown did not support it happened the clues and subtext of show did. So I guess it is up to each viewer, like in all things Buffy to take what see form it and wrap their own minds around it.

I doubt it ignores them Sage, but I wonder if it is harder to pick up things done on LJ and in ficathons opposed to picking up just strait fic websites and stories archived on fic sites. It is also how you phrase in the search engine. I put Faith/Bufffy fan fiction into yahoo and got this:312,000 for Faith/Buffy fan fiction, but none of those even included LJ's. I got even more for Angel/Spike. Really those who would know best are those who are still out there writting the fiction and who are still in the communties.

Willow/Tara is slash because is two women. It is just canon slash oppsed to AU slash. I think.=)

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-10-09 15:20 ]
"[Fan fiction authors] and the powers that be have always had an uneasy relationship. Shows, movies and book series often succeed because of these groups — alienating us is never good for business. However, they are bound to protect their own copyrights. I'm happy to protect the current status quo. They pretend people like me don't exist; I pretend they don't know; and we're all happy."

This quote from the article may be one of the more concise descriptions of the situation I've ever read.
So I'm going to go out on a limb and say in the Buffyverse slash community at the moment, the vampires with a soul have got the zeitgeist thing going on.


Hey, now, don't drag me into this ;) As an aside, I wouldn't consider any pairings in fanfic that are canon to be slash, but maybe I'm old-skool in my attitude about that. Its just fanfic to me if it doesn't add a non-canon pairing.
Ah, how happy I was to find a vocal fandom that likes the idea of two men getting it on. I felt quite odd in the idea that while it was okay that men like the idea of two women, women liking the idea of two men was just wrong.

Though, ironically, I generally don't like most slash fanfiction...I guess because, almost by default, at least one(usually both) character ends up being OOC from how I know and love them.

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2006-10-09 16:34 ]
Not part of Star Trek fandom, Rogue Slayer? The Kirk/Spock ladies pioneered the genre :)

ETA - not that anyone's as vocal as SpAngels...
Oh dear.
Krycek!
-swoon-
What kind of slash you see really depends on which sites you hang out at. I was really surprised at the numbers for Xander/Angel because thats a pairing I think I have only run across once or twice.

But that makes sense because as a Spike fan, if Spikes not in it I probably won't run across it. Or possibly my eyes see it and my brain just doesn't acknowledge its existence.

When I first started reading fan fiction I read only Spike/Buffy because I was looking for the happy ending I didn't get on the show. When something was described as slash I thought that meant that there was a lot of blood and guts, like a slasher film so I wouldn't read it for that reason.

I was wrong. Now I read more Spangel than Spuffy.

But I have heard others say that Willow/Tara is not considered Slash because it is canon. And before Spuffy happened on the show it was considered slash. Just saying.
Sadly, before my time, Z.

Though at Shatner's roast, there were quite a few Shatner/Sulu jokes...

What?! Spuffy was slash? NO nononono...slash is specifically same sex pairings. Or maybe at one time it meant something different that I'm not aware of, but I don't think it had anything to do with canon.

ETA: now that I check out wikipedia, I have myself thoroughly confused. So there is no consensus on what slash means? It can mean either only any non-canon relationship, or only any same sex relationship, or I guess a myriad of other things...

To my knowledge, it's most commonly used to mean same sex pairings nowadays, but again...I'm not really big into the slash writings, so I could be way off.

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2006-10-09 17:28 ]
Donna I could link you to some very good Spangel fics if you like. They are excellent fics in and of themselves, that just happen to be Spangel in nature. In fact I know one author who keeps trying to write in the smut but the plotline keeps getting in the way. LOL.

Also, I read a great many Spangel fics way before S5. I love me some Spander too, but those stories seem more OOC than Spangel ones as, while I loved the interaction between Spike and Xander in S4 and S5, I can't quite believe some of the stories set in S6 and beyond. The S4/5 ones are good. Also, I've noticed that a great many Spander fics are AU. I do like the odd AU now and then, Bent Justice being a particularly good Spangel AU with nearly all the characters featured (Xander, OZ, Wesley, Gunn, Giles, etc). But I prefer my fics to be grounded in the reality of the shows.

I just think Spangel has such a rich background to work from and I don't see the fics drying up anytime soon. Thankfully.
Rogue Slayer - it started out as homosexual non-canon pairings, but now seems to mean any non-canon pairing. In my estimation as Willow-Tara are canon, they really don't fit the bill.
Gosh, I just have a hard time thinking that if I wrote a Fred/Angel fic, it would be called slash...can't wrap my head around it!
Yeah, I always think same sex when I think of slash, too. I'm old fashioned that way.
So why is it that a genre that deals exclusively in same-sex relationships, mostly between men, is written almost entirely by straight women?

Because it's hawt?!

Especially Spangel. But by definition, I guess Spangel's not considered slash anymore since it was made cannon in the AtS season 5 episode, Power Play.
A question for anyone who considers Mercedes McNab's Nude pictures exploitative: Do you also find graphic sexual depictions of fictional characters in fanfic exploitative, considering most everyone who reads the stuff is visualizing the actor who portrayed said character engaging in the graphic portayal, and unlike the nude model who voluntarily poses, has no say in the matter? Would you be influenced at all if you learned, as in the referenced case of Blake's 7, tha actor(s) objected to strangers using their unique personage for masturbatory fodder? And would it make a difference what the reason for the actor's objection is? What if he/she let it be known being used as wank bait creeped them out, didn't jibe with their religious beliefs, etc?

Just curious. Out of jokes so I thought I'd ask.
Hmm...I have to think that most attractive celebrities know that their visage(and other parts) might play a role in people's fantasies. And I'd assume most are okay with it, because if people AREN'T using you as 'wank bait' anymore, then that's probably a bad sign!
But if someone literally said, "Stop imagining me or (most often) my character when you have sexual fantasies"...tough call. I mean, if it's just "Don't write about me/my character in sexy fanfiction" that's one thing. But how can they know who and how often people use them in fantasies? And how can that be against their religious beliefs? I think it's traditionally 'immoral' to lust, not be lusted after!

But it does raise an interesting question...if James Marsters came out and said, "I don't like people writing about Spike or imagining him in naughty situations," does he actually have the 'ground' to request that? Seeing as he didn't create the character, but he did give him a face, so to speak? Who has more 'moral sway' over what is done with the character of Spike, since Joss'(et al) writing and James acting and looks are all part and parcel of the character?
So your wank objects can be censored now?! Well that's just going too far :O
Who has more 'moral sway' over what is done with the character of Spike, since Joss'(et al) writing and James acting and looks are all part and parcel of the character?


20th Century Fox. Period. Money more important than who wrote or played the character.
I don't think any person who performs publicly really has grounds for such unreasonable and inappropriately broad expectations of privacy. As many who've met celebs can attest, its often really the character we crush on, not the actor (not always the case, but just saying) and if we happen to lust over someone who looks and sounds just like them, tough cookies. They signed up for the fame and the fortune and if they lie awake terrified that someone out there somewhere might be having a fantasy about them then a) they have too much time on their hands and b) they are in the wrong business.

They are welcome to wish anything they want about what is done with the characters, but its not up to them. Joss (or rather the studios/production companies) has (have) legal grounds (and an obligation as a holder of intellectual property) to defend/control use of his characters, but the actors, much as we revere them for their contribution to breathing life into these characters, are essentially hired help.
20th Century Fox. Period. Money more important than who wrote or played the character.

Well, I know legally, but I meant more in the 'moral' category of telling people not to fantasize(which is ridiculous in itself). I know Fox can sue people for fanfic, if they so choose. I just meant in terms of who would we be more beholden to if they asked us to stop imagining characters in naughty ways. The creator or the actor who brought it life?

And I agree with Z, you're in the wrong business if you don't want someone fantasizing about you. Heck, I'm sure even the most unattractive celebrity has starred in a fantasy or two. And yeah, I don't fantasize about James, just Spike. Mostly because I don't know James, but I 'know' Spike, as much as one can. And Spike's a vampire.
Rogue Slayer said
Heck, I'm sure even the most unattractive celebrity has starred in a fantasy or two.

After seeing the 1989 movie "War of Roses", I had an erotic dream about Danny DeVito. (blushes)
barboo - well, who hasn't?

...[crickets]...

ETA - me, just so Xane stops thinking I'm weird :)
"And I agree with Z, you're in the wrong business if you don't want someone fantasizing about you. Heck, I'm sure even the most unattractive celebrity has starred in a fantasy or two. And yeah, I don't fantasize about James, just Spike. Mostly because I don't know James, but I 'know' Spike, as much as one can. And Spike's a vampire"

And furthurmore from what I know about "Spike" he would have absolutely no problems with nudity, or being fantasized about. I'm pretty sure he would like it a lot. There. Now I feel better about myself.

Although I am a little worried about Barboo and Zeitgeist. But strangely intrigued at the same time.
barboo, that's hysterical. Hysterical in the sense you can't choose who you're going to dream about any more than you can choose who you'll fall in love with. It just happens.

I have a question, well an admission really, I've never read slash or fanfic, but if I wanted to indulge myself in reading fanfic for characters in the Canon, is fanfiction.net mentioned above one of the better places to start to find quality writing?

And please slap me around if it's already been discussed ad nauseum in these parts, has Joss ever said how he feels about his characters being appropriated for this purpose? I was kind of taken aback by what Anne Rice said in the article but I suppose it's also understandable. But if the writing isn't being sold or promoted to rip off the creator, why the hubbub? It seems to me that, from what I've heard, that these storylines are extensions into fantasy, what the writers wish they'd seen onscreen. I'm not on one side of the fence or the other, just wondering. Thanks.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2006-10-09 21:43 ]
'On the subject of fanfic, I am aware that a good deal of it is naughty. My reaction to that is mixed; on one hand, these are characters played by friends of mine, and the idea that someone is describing them in full naughtitude is a little creepy. On the other hand, eroticising the lives of fictional characters you care about is something we all do, if only in our heads, and it certainly shows that people care. So I'm not really against erotic fic and I certainly don't mind the other kind. I wish I'd had this kind of forum when I was a kid' - Joss Whedon
Fan fiction creepy? Man, I just just reading this story about Joss and Willow the other day, and it wasn't AT ALL creepy.


(Except I wasn't really, and it probably doesn't exist).
Well, if you ever see the movie, DeVito is the most sympathetic character in it. And frankly, I find Michael Douglas (who was the lead) a lot more creepy in real life. I think if I had dreamt about Michael Douglas I would have had to wash my brain out with soap.

And don't even get me started on Rhea Perlman.
Tonya you may want to take a look at the Better Buffy Fiction archive.
Thanks! Appreciate the input from both of you.
Well, it didn't gossi but it probably will by morning ;).

Good question jlv. To me it doesn't seem exploitative to fantasise because basically no-one is being exploited i.e. suffering due to the fantasy (unless we do it to excess and then the way we actually treat people could change for the worse).

That said, once it's written down so that the actor can read it (and be offended by it) I think the situation is much grayer. Then they're potentially suffering as a result though even then, maybe part of the onus should be on them separating themselves from the character so that fantasies with e.g. Spike are NOT fantasies with James in the actor's mind ?

(and also to some extent it does come with the fame package)
angel spike fanfiction 286,000 results
xander angel fanfiction 108,000 results
xander spike fanfiction 85,300 results


This is not a valid measurement, because Google will only show the results were the combination of the three terms are found. But if this is a slash fanfiction with the pairing you are seeking for is only a fraction of them. With Spike in the Angel show , and both main characters, it is not surprising that there is a lot of fanficion with the two together in it. But that doesn't mean that they are always shipped together. Other problems are that most ships are denoted by nicknames, like Spander or Spangel or denoted by S/X or S/A or X/A (which could also mean Xander/Anya).

Fanfiction.net only shows a fraction of the fanfiction out there, especially in the slash fandom. They have their own sites, or yahoo groups (google doesn't count the huge amount of fanfiction found on yahoo groups). Spike/Xander seems to be scattered all over the place, which makes it hard to say how big this particular fandom really is. Personally I think it is still the biggest male slash pairing in the Buffyfandom. And in femslash I still think Willow/Tara is the biggest.
An actor certainly has to expect that some fantasizing about them, either as themselves or in character, will take place, but they also have a right, if it creeps them out, to say, "Well, to be honest, it creeps me out." I can see both sides of this subject, just as in that excellent Joss quote that debw posted.

As far as canon/noncanon goes, I think it's OK to write something that is noncanon in fanfic, but my objection always is that some fanfic writers are great and should be writing for TV, and others aren't so great. When a great fanfic writer creates something that's noncanon, I enjoy it. When a bad fanfic writer creates something that is completely within canon, I still reject it just because the plot is dumb, or the characters don't sound like themselves, or whatever. The canonyness (nice!) is in the believability of it, I think, not in who's writing it, IMO.

My favorite fanfic of all times is still Ice in Crystal, Parts 1 & 2, which we've linked to from Whedonesque before (IIRC, Saje is a fan of the story, too). It is both canon and noncanon -- the writer took an idea that Tim Minear (canon!) talked about, but hadn't yet written for Firefly (noncanon). It's neither slashy nor (happy) sexy -- warning, it's quite violent and disturbing -- so it's a bit OT for this thread, but it's damn good!
The I Need A Parrot site has 29 Xander/Angel(us) and 174 Xander/Spike stories, with Xander/Andrew, Xander/Giles, and Xander/Wesley coming in from behind with a distant 6, 5, and 5. I attribute the Xander/Spike popularity to opportunity (a lot of time in that basement in season four), the malleability of Xander as a character, the long-standing tension between the two, and "The Look" in Season Seven. I suppose it could only be settled by going through the possible combinations in the respective Angel, Spike, and Xander repositories.

Koos is correct about the Google results; you'd need some way to normalize your results against the popularity of targets like Buffy or Faith.

The celebrity objections could be interesting. I'm guessing I'll have to shelve that Jenny Calendar story I've been working on.

The Kirk/Spock reference is amusing. When I was wee, I read the novelization for the first Star Trek film (yes, I was that desperate for books), and Kirk logs a footnote about how, although he was quite open-minded, he hoped that people didn't think he was foolish enough to take a lover who came into heat only once every seven years.
Indeed. Glad you did the obligatory plug this time billz ;).
This is not a valid measurement


I never claimed it was 100% accurate but has been noted elsewhere* that a slash fan is more likely to find the phrases "manly shoulders" and "smouldering musky eyes" in more Angel/Spike fics than any other male Buffyverse slash fics. And by rule of thumb, that's a pretty accurate indictator. Also fan fic, why are there so many bad writers out there? I know PWP is a badge of honour amongst some, but would it kill you to use grammar properly?

*in my head to precise, so it must be true.
I'm not big on any kind of fanfiction, but when I used to hang out on the Firefly board at Television Without Pity regularly, a number of ladies there were into writing slash-fic. I read a few Simon/Jayne, maybe a couple Simon/Mal, a Mal/Jayne, and one with all three of 'em. But I remember the Simon/Jaynes being the hottest and "fitting" the best.

Don't think I'd be real big into Buffyverse slash-fics, though if I were offered up some links of guaranteed quality and had nothing better to do I'd probably head toward Buffy/Faith and Angel/Lindsey first. Oh and as far as canon goes, Angel/Spike makes a lot of sense, even if was only once, and I did get a bit of a rise out of that line (thanks Joss).

[ edited by Kris on 2006-10-10 01:22 ]
Looking for quality fanfic, I usually hit the LiveJournal communities... these tend to be populated by a regular group of writers, who have been writing for awhile and are actively seeking feedback. Keeps 'em honest! I personally love the slash, so I keep an eye on ThePrettyFits (Mal/Simon) and ShinyHats (Mal/Jayne). TheCortex also has daily recs from all areas of 'Verse fanfic: http://community.livejournal.com/the_cortex/

Gotta say my favorite Buffyverse slash pairing is Giles/Oz (don't hit me!) http://gatefiction.com/hth/crucify.htm
I did get a bit of a rise out of that line

And apparently so did...

Thank you and good night, you've been a great audience! ;-)

*leaves in a hurry*
Simon, think about the actual published books you've read. At least one of them was pretty bad, right? Now imagine a forum where writers don't have to go through an editor, or even have their work approved before it's published. A lot of the bad that would have been weeded out just...isn't.

That's why I always go through the rec pages of authors I like. Because, yea...there's a LOT of bad fanfic out there.
Well, as a writer of fanfic I take ... ah ... I have only shame. *hangs head* "I go online sometimes, but ... everyone's spelling is really bad, and it's ... depressing."

Fanfiction can be winceworthy, at least from the standing of the American educational system, which has sorely let me down. Beyond the easy availability of spellchecking (if not grammarchecking), you'd think people would do things like get the names right or make sure the story summary made some kind of sense. I've missed out on the "smouldering musky eyes," though. That's very stinky-sounding, for eyes.
Yeah, but you've got to kiss a lot of toads to get to the prince, right. :0) If I don't like the way something is written I don't read it, end of. The authors I do read are very good writers who just happen to be using established characters and continuing the verse that I love.

Are we still on the "my slash couple's fics are more plentiful than yours" thing. Fanfic sites, LiveJournal, private boards, public boards. Probably about even stevens when push comes to shove, so does it matter.

As to the question of creeping the actors out, etc. I read and write about the characters. As someone said earlier, it's the character that appeals to me in these fics, not the actor who played them. I can and do know how to seperate actor from character and therefore have no problem with fics of this nature.

RPS however is another story. I do know people who write and read them and who are fully capable of seperating fact from fiction. But the line blurs for some people and that's a problem I have with RPS. But character fic, no problems at all.
Something that Jane Espensen said at Worldcon in August may be of interest:
(The relevant part is at the end)
MVI_1236b.flv

And by the time Faith came on to the scene, there was already a year's worth of Spangel fic in the archives...

I know that if I say this, someone will point out some major typo in this post that I missed, but is anyone else getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of misspellings in this thread? Whedonesque is usually much more literate than this. I can barely read a few comments.
What I find interesting about this subject (sorry for weighing in late) is how much subtext the writers actually put into the show. Joss et al. are more than a little willing to allow their characters' sexuality to be a little less rigidly defined than the characters will themselves admit. The "face value" presentation of the characters classifies Tara, Kennedy, and Larry as gay, Willow as bi (or straight, then gay, but I think bi makes the most sense), Andrew as "confused about image", Lorne as, well, pretty ambiguously nonsexual (flirting with everyone, going after no one), and everyone else as straight. But the writers are more than happy to subvert this and start throwing some curveballs. Even pretty close to the surface, we have:

• Angel and Spike: This is pretty obvious, the most overt being Spike’s “Angel and I have never been intimate…except for that one…” in “Power Play.”
• Faith and Buffy: The heart in “Bad Girls” (as well as the dancing with her); Faith’s quasi-sexual attraction to Buffy as a desire to possess her being acted out most perversely in “Who Are You,” where she needs to take Buffy’s body for a sexual test drive. (And she checks it out naked pretty much right away, note as well.) There’s also the kiss on the head in “Enemies.” I’d say it’s one-way Faith to Buffy, but Buffy definitely seems to be into it in “Bad Girls.” I think it makes sense; Faith represents her libido in many ways, so I think there’s some underlying attraction even though for both of them the primary attraction is to men. It’s a kindred spirit thing.
• Spike and Xander: The look in “Beneath You” and Xander’s description of him in “Intervention.” (By contrast, Xander’s description of Angel as “buff” and “a very attractive man” were so clearly rooted in jealousy in "Teacher's Pet" and not nearly so detailed that there was no implied attraction to me.)
• Giles and Ethan: “You’re very attractive, you know.” “Hm?” in “A New Man.” JE is putting it in there deliberately, and I suppose there's a lot left ambiguous about their past together. (Still, this one is a weak case I'd argue for on-screen tension.)
• Anya and Willow: “Well, that did get kinda sexy, didn’t it?” in “Same Time, Same Place.” Is Anya not supposed to be straight?
• Angel and Lindsey: “It’s not me you want to screw—it’s him” in “Darla,” and “I want you Lindsey” in “Not Fade Away.” Lindsey even responds "maybe" to the former: it's a double-entendre among the best lines Minear's ever written.
• Darla and Dru: Their flirtatious behaviour in most of their episodes together, and the “girlfriend” line in “Reunion.” Plus we know that The Immortal had them both at once, but whether this actually constitutes same-sex attraction or merely a willingness to please TI is debatable. (“You never let us do that!” says Angel, but of course there was still time left.)
• Angel and Wes: pretending to be a gay couple in, what, “Expecting,” to cover Cordy’s visions. A bit different because it’s a deliberate put-on, but the fact that it was so easy to slip into this means something, no?
• Willow and Fred: Fred’s disappointed “Oh” in “Orpheus” when Willow said she was seeing someone is pretty mysterious. We know Willow was attracted to Fred (which doesn't count because she's gay/bi), but Fred's response always seemed to convey a bit of disappointment. (Or was it just confusion? At a loss.)
• Harmony: I’m not including the scene from “Disharmony”, because that was mostly broad comedy and not making any real comment about Harm’s feelings for Cordy. (Funny, though!) But we do know that she likes Charlize Theron (“Crush”).
• Everyone/Jonathan: Giles and Xander were clearly into Jonathan in “Superstar.”
• Tara/Giles: I’m tempted to include Tara’s implied attraction to Giles, along with all the other girls, in “Where the Wild Things Are,” as a kind of anti-slash, where a gay character showed brief evidence of a straight attraction.

A lot of these cases seem to me to be characters seeing some of themselves in the other as well: Lindsey and Spike compare themselves to Angel so want to be more virile than him; Buffy sees herself in Faith and so is compelled to let loose. So how often are the writers using the subtext as a dramatic (or comic) device, and how often are they actually implying real deviations from the heterosexuality the characters claim (or homosexuality in Tara's case)?
deanna b, I wouldn't mention it but you practically asked: The last vowel in "Espenson" is an "o".

As to the spelling errors, perhaps some of the slash devotees are getting so worked up thinking about it they're getting "smouldering musky eyes" themselves. That can't help one's vision.
• Willow and Fred: Fred’s disappointed “Oh” in “Orpheus” when Willow said she was seeing someone is pretty mysterious. We know Willow was attracted to Fred (which doesn't count because she's gay/bi), but Fred's response always seemed to convey a bit of disappointment. (Or was it just confusion? At a loss.)

A bit of disappointment? IMO, Fred was totally crushing on Willow, to the point where Willow had to shut her down. I definitely got that ep as being Fred attracted to Willow, even if Willow wasn't her usually preferred gender. And, really, who wouldn't be attracted to Willow? ;-)
billz, you do have a point about Willow. Although I was surprised when my ex-girlfriend, who had only really watched the first season or so of Buffy, said that the hottest Buffy character was Cordelia and not Willow. Cordelia hotter than Willow? I didn't think anyone, besides Xander and everyone-else-at-Sunnydale-High, believed this. (Not to diss Cordy in the least, natch.)
WilliamTheB: Cordy is sexy!hot, Willow is adorable!hot. Two different hot's, both still very hot.
Nice list WilliamTheB (to me, there was definitely a frisson between Buffy and Faith in "Who are You"/"This Year's Girl" but I think "Bad Girls" could just be seen as them trying to pull blokes by 'performing' with each other in a sexy manner or even just being overtly sexual for the sake of it and the feeling of liberation. Definitely open to interpretation though). I'd say, certainly in the first season at least, Cordelia was more 'conventionally hot'. In a line-up, she's the one you'd pick out. Willow was, as Gouki mentions, more endearingly attractive.

Personally, I liked Willow from the start, probably found her attractive from about late season 2 but it wasn't until she went to college that I would really call her hot (which I think was brilliantly done since a character like Willow would so clearly blossom in every way at college).

I may watch 'Orpheus' again cos it just seemed like confused embarrassment on Fred's part to me. She was being Fred and getting all intense about the geek stuff and Willow mis-understood that as chatting her up. I think I like you guy's idea better though ;).
Call me prude, but I really could never get into slash. I couldn't get into it at all. I've always been more into straightforward canon and regardless of who says it is or is not canon, if it isn't anchored to the relationships on the show, I can't seem to read or enjoy it.
Saje, in an interview with Eliza Dushku I read several years ago, she claimed none of the sexual subtext was in the original scripts. She said she added that stuff herself and the producers liked it and went along.

I also thought Fred's reaction was confused embarrassment. Interesting how people can watch a show and infer different things from continuously evolving facial expressions combined with body movements and sounds, yet mood apparently can be ascertained to a certainty from a still photograph a la Mercedes.
Thought-provoking post, WilliamTheB, about some thought-provoking moments. I like the ambiguity in them because they make me think (1) in what ways is the relationship like a sexual one, (2) in what ways is the relationship a sexual one, and (3) in what ways isn't it, and that sends me deeper into the relationships and the characters.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-10 18:37 to avert apocalypse]

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-10 18:45 ]
I wanted to add to what I said above: as far as Faith/Buffy, the episode that makes me more and more convinced that Faith had at least a quasi-sexual attraction to Buffy isn't "Bad Girls," but "Who Are You."

She gets into Buffy's body, and the first thing she does is to go "take a bath"--i.e. strip naked and move her hands along Buffy's skin. (We see her carressing Buffy's leg, but what else did she do off-camera?) She flirts with Spike, and she sleeps with Buffy's boyfriend. It reminds me of the line in "Our Mrs. Reynolds," where Saffron tells Inara that she wants someone who can "feel what she feels": Faith gets to feel what it's like to be Buffy during sex from the inside out. And that's actually really disturbing when you think about it. (And also, um, incredibly hot. Add in the Willow/Tara scene and you have my pick for the hottest episode ever.)

I'm not suggesting anything ridiculous, like that everything about Faith/Buffy is sexual, or that Faith wanted Buffy's life because she dug her bod. But I think that component is there.

See, I don't read slash, so I can't comment so much on the quality. But it's amazing how much is there to be read in the canon if you stop to think about it.

It really does send you deeper into the relationships and the characters, doesn't it Pointy?
My take on it is that slash is in the eyes of the beholder, and that no pairing is 'better' then any other, and lord, I've read some weird mixes!

My own preference is 'Spangel' and a hefty dollop of 'Spesley' on the side. The Buffyverse is a dark sexual place, with bags of room for folks to play with the characters and take them into all sorts of interesting places aswell as relationships.
The kiss on the head was original supposed to be on the mouth in Enemies, but the writers thought that was going to far and too sexual and changed it at the last minute, I heard also.

I have never been much into the guy/guy slash, but have to say for me the most intresting ladies slash I have read after my favorites of B/F has got to be Cordy/Faith. For some reason I just love this AU pairing.
Another question. Since some creators, like Joss, don't object to erotic fanfic, and since most folks don't seem to care what the actors think because they're fantasizing about the character, not the actor, anyway, and since further, some creators, like Joss, don't object to fan-produced videos, does anyone object to fan-produced hardcore-sex-containing videos? Since you're not thinking of the actor anyway, would it matter if fangirl Nancy, playing Buffy, is energetically inserting inanimate objects into fangirl Louise, playing Faith, who is inserting a non-inanimate part of fanboy Willis, playing Giles, into her own animated orifice? Would it have the same erotic effect as fantasies produced from the written word, or would the unfamiliar faces be too jarring to maintain the fantasy that these are your beloved characters? Would you watch to find out? Does anyone already do this? Does anyone have opinions on whether Joss would object?
Donna Troy, gotta go with you on the Cordy/Faith. Only thing better: Cordy/Faith/Buffy.
If it was one of my favorite pairings, say Spangel, then yeah, why not.
jaynelovesvera said:
deanna b, I wouldn't mention it but you practically asked: The last vowel in "Espenson" is an "o".

Since there's no correct spelling for a proper name, she only spelled it differently, which wouldn't technically be considered a misspelling, only a fas paux. ;D

And I don't think a vid would be able to convey the emotions I like to experience while reading fanfic. I want the sexy romance I didn't get to see.
jlv: "Interesting how people can watch a show and infer different things from continuously evolving facial expressions combined with body movements and sounds, yet mood apparently can be ascertained to a certainty from a still photograph a la Mercedes."

Like I said elsewhere today, such a troublemaker, a Tummler, an utzer. (.)(.) :P (*)(*)

Such tsures! Genuk!

(ETA: Oh, yes, billz, I finally read Julie Fortune's "Ice in Crystal" and really thought it was good. Thanks, Saje, for the numerous recommendations -- I finally listened to one.)

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-10-11 05:39 ]
I think the Tara/Giles moment in the cafe may be attributed to our congenital weakness for acoustic guitar ;>

Maybe Giles opened for the Indigo Girls before he moved to Sunnydale?
Since there's no correct spelling for a proper name, she only spelled it differently, which wouldn't technically be considered a misspelling, only a fas paux. ;D


anindoorkitty, thanks. I wish I'd known that many years ago when Sister Jennifer used to smack my hands with her ruler for spelling my name wrong. I might even have avoided the smack across the mouth I got for referring to her as Sister whaddya-ginned-up-for?

And I agree with you about the vid, it would totally take me out of the fantasy--just wondered what others think. Since I posted that earlier I saw a story on Cinematical where some video game fans are making game-based porn and selling it over the internet.
QuoterGal, glad Saje and I could make another convert to Ice in Crystal. I'm not surprised you liked it, having the good taste in literature that you do! I re-read it myself after I posted the link. Ms. Fortune really did a great job of getting all the characters' viewpoints and dialogue to ring true, and the events she built around Mr. Minear's basic description of the plot -- believable and amazing all at once! Then I think I must have gotten something in my eye, or maybe had an allergy or something. *sniffles, in a manly way* ;-)

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