Brokeback Mountain as slash fiction

From Steve Sailer’s heretical blog, Brokeback Mountain as slash fiction:

“Slash” is about 100% written and read by women — some lesbian but most straight. In fact it follows romance novel formulas very closely. One member of the buddy pair is more sensitive and feminine — physically a man, emotionally a woman — while the other is a conventional romance hero. With Kirk/Spock, it’s Kirk who’s the sensitive one and Spock who’s the cold, emotionally distant hero who discovers his true feelings at the end. Part of the appeal is that the guys end up having sex not because they’re gay, but because True Love conquers all.

Gay men aren’t any more interested in “slash” than straight men are in Georgette Heyer. [Who?] The real parallel to “slash” among straight men is girl-on-girl pornography, where women combine ultra-feminine bodies with implausibly guy-like appetites for casual sex. Presumably these women inhabit the same male fantasy land where hot babes are interested in cool guy stuff, like martial arts and field-stripping automatic weapons, instead of boring girl stuff, like relationships and feelings (whatever those are).

Both slash and girl-girl porn tell us a lot (maybe more than we’d like to know) about the chasm between male and female sexuality. but, apart from the physical activities, they have nothing to do with real homosexuality. It’s funny how many reviewers are so clueless about human sexuality they can’t figure stuff like this out.


  1. Well then…what’s “real” homosexuality? What’s “real” sexuality, for that matter?

  2. His description of slash is really flawed–for one thing, the whole “one of them is the woman and one of them is the man” thing is total b.s.

  3. Yeah, kinda simplistic and lacking in any serious analysis. This is written by someone who lobbed into Fanfiction Net, read some tweeny fanfic and drew erroneous conclusions about an entire subgenre of literature. ::sighs::

    Slash as a writing style transcends any reductive definition that gets thrown at it. Some stories include very dark exploratory S&M, and the more dystopian adult Harry Potter fics need a large, strong scotch on hand while reading. The ‘good’ stuff never features so-called feminised men. (And you probably won’t find it on Fanfiction Net — It gets locked into LJ comms.)

    What writers like to play with in slash (and I’m one of them) is a relationship that develops between people who cannot be set into a primary and secondary dynamic, ie. male vs female. There is something very freeing and inspiring in exploring an intimate relationship where both ‘players’ have equal authority as individuals. It allows one to concentrate on relational issues about power, autonomy, committment, and of course sex, without having to deal with the inherently predictable quality (and power imbalance) of a heterosexual pairing. I don’t mind straight romance as such, but that isn’t what I’m looking for when I read/write slash.

    Oh, have you read the femmslash at all? I think maybe that would be more your cup of tea — that’s real hot. ;-)

  4. Very interesting. Please suggest some examples.