Log in

No account? Create an account

The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
the birth of the squick
children of dune - leto 1
Random moment of squickery. And this is not related at all to anything except I got to thinking on my primary squicks and wondered if anyone else had really weird ones.

I mean, I have like, one major pairing squick (will run in the other direction and occasionally refilter my flist to avoid seeing even mention--yes, I know, My neuroses and I are one), and a few minor ones in SGA. But I developed this entire host of bizarre characterization squicks as well that always throw me, because honestly, there is no way to warn for them, some people have entirely differnet ways of seeing the character--which is fine! I swear! Except the sociopathic John thing, that is just stupid--okay, and the robot-of-no-real-emotions John thing, also mindblowingly stupid--but beyond that. And weird, *weird* plot squicks. And there's this entire *litany* of John-related and Rodney-related almost-squicks--I'll read them if this person write it, but not that person, and I'll only read it if this person was making me pre-read it early on and I'm allowed to insert such comments as WHY DID YOU DO THAT? EXPLAIN DAMMIT and then they do, and then I'm okay (see Astolat's Tango for fic that first squicked me, then much later, after a line by line with Amireal, really loving it and adding to re-read list). And I think Bone is still the only person I can read John/Ronon from, and I think a lot of that is because I was reading it well before I hardened into my OTP, and a lot of it because no other character suffered for the making of the pairing, which some John/Ronon fics I read seemed to have at least some bit of Rodney-left-out-and-hurt, which kind of sours it.

But okay, I'm asking for other people to tell me their weird squicks, I'll tell a few of the less-humiliating ones. I just want to feel less weird.

1.) partner betrayal - this is a stop-traffic squick. I'd like to thank rageprufrock for destroying my soul, because it's Pru and I read it, even though I knew I'd be homicidal before, during, and after. I love you, Pru, but OHMYGOD Directional Theory. Still not over that one. Immortality. Never, ever getting over that one. And that's been five years! Even the implications of it get to me in some really weird, primal way. Even if it's *informal*, I get mildly freaked out. But I am weird, and I embrace my weirdness.

2.) consensual non-con - okay, just go with this one. One of the characters wants to have sex, the other doesn't, or doesn't want it to have this certain kind of sex, first person drugs them and/or ties them up, they still say no, but then there's orgasm and they really really like it! *thinks* This also goes for the aliens made them have sex, but only when after, there seems to be no consequences, becuase the second person is still a-okay with everything even though they were totally not okay beforehand or even most of during, and the first person is smugly sure he did everyhing perfectly, which I have read not as many times as the first kind, but still, really, ewww. Okay, I have read some I could get through like that, and some I couldn't, and I think a lot depends on how I read author intent. eleveninches fic Them Other Boys Don't Know How to Act didn't even ping me on the freak-o-meter, but part of that is a.) I know her b.) she gave me a pre-fic synopsis so I knew exactly what I would be getting into and c.) I've read her fic enough to see where her characterization comes from, and so could go with it and laugh hysterically. Because honestly, that was funny.

3.) humiliation for use of teaching character a lesson - it's not conditional, I will always, always, always hate it (see some of the post-Trinities for dramatic interpretations on both sides; Rodney the trod-upon and bullied by everyone and cutting himself while people hope he suicides and John and Elizabeth teh evil monsters destroying his soul with their cruelty, cause for serious--wtf?). There are two or three really good fics that made me flinch with the humiliation teaches this character an important lesson--Transcendental is an excellent fic with a good example of John-learning-to-take-orders, and after my first few reads, I discovered the fine art of skipping the key points and moving to the fun plotty stuff again. And it's never come close to a few of the others that try to Teach Rodney To Be A Better Person, or John To Be More Emotionally Open, or Rodney To Not Take John For Granted or...yeah.

3b. Humiliation in general, but this is slippery-slope and there's no solid rule here. I just learned to hit back really really fast. More often than not, back. I think it honestly depends on how I read author intent in this one. Sometimes it's hysterical and funny and fun and reads like it, and sometimes, or a lot of time, it reads like a grudge against a certain character.

4.) death fic - this isn't as much a squick as a generalized preference of never, ever seeing it. Even long after post-death. I've read a few and some were good and a couple were great, and still, no.

5.) Anything At All To Do With Anyone Turned Into a Sex Slave. Period and end. I have yet to read a fic that can convince me otherwise. At least, not since 2005.

6.) Anything With Mutilation - I have been persuaded to a few. It took a lot of persuasion. And three people in chat telling me, they promised, I would love it. I would not want to kill them. I really, really wouldn't. They promised, promised, promised. They know I know where they lived. But general rule--no.

7.) Grudgefic - being OTC more than OTP half the time, you cannot freak me out more than by writing an entire story explaining how much John sucks as a human being and Rodney putting up with him and John's unspeakable gratefulness for it. Drives me *nuts*. Rodney doesn't get that treatmetn quite as much--well, outside a few key archives--but teh back button is well exercised. I mean, don't get me wrong, I get grudgefic--I who turned Lana into a heroin addict prostitute, special hell for that one--but see OTC and OTP. Squick. Anytime you spend an entire story punishing a character--oh God, that one with John agreeing he totally deserved to be drugged into Rodney's slave because he told Cameron about the lemon, Jesus H--no. Seriously. I am totally back button girl. And will possibly whimper about it to svmadelyn.

Hmm. Codicil to 7 - a lot of my issues with fic outside this list do have a great deal to do with John. I'm really not going to apologize for that one--I don't flame the authors or do antirecs or wander around talking about how much Author A sucks, but I'm not going to be sorry I can't read something I think just uses John in ways that to me make no sense. But I have found over time my patience gets thinned by my perception of either OOC or character abuse and there's this short list in my head of authors I simply don't trust and can no longer read without a specific rec from someone who knows me well enough, and some people write fic that to me, was so *wrong* I can't read anything else they write, because of that one fic, so all fics after it have that intent behind it. Which is freakishly limiting--there are reasons I trust implicitly anything ltlj recs, because I've read every one of her fics and her characterization of John, to me, is spot-on--and a couple of other reccers that tend toward the same taste I have. And I do recognize this is a taste issue--every fic I've mentined here is fic I like a lot, for various reasons, but is also fic that had a squick factor for me--it's not a quality issue. I don't tend to talk about fic I hated. It causes fine lines and early aging.

But sometimes--and this is just sometimes--I get the crazy feeling that it's not quite done anymore to have fairly specific tastes in fic, or to not like something due to those tastes, and the warnings debates had a side issue wandering through in a few ljs that seemed to emphasize the fact that if you have an issue with a particular kind of fic, you have a serious problem. I cannot read unequal OT3 or OT4, unless the author is basically Pru, or anything Rodney/Ronon period and end right there, and have come to really flinch around Sheppard/Weir. Some Ronon fic has started to get on my nerves, which means I'm skipping that pretty much consistently outside a specific rec, and some Weir fic have done the same thing. I get weird about John/Teyla now, and don't read it as much as I used to. The longer I'm in SGA, the more rigid the squicks and tastes have become, too. And there is definitely a--hmm. Maybe a generalized feeling that if you aren't reading all of it, or don't like some aspects of something, you're just not open minded enough. I am perfectly okay with everyone having their own take on characters, their own pairings, etc--except the sociopahtic John thing, God, just stop that shit--I just quietly, for the most part, exercise my option to stop and say "wow, that totally did not work for me at all."

The thing is, a squick is less a voluntary choice than a start of surprise, a "I am not enjoying this at all" and finding a pattern in it. Reading outside that is impossible, at least for me--if squick is hit, I cannot enjoy. If I do not enjoy, I stop doing it. It's not a personal judgement on the writer, though I can see, and have felt sometimes when I hit someone's squicks, that it can seem that way. It can also seem like a judgement--the non-con-really-he-meant-it I actually do get is a fantasy type and I don't actually think the authors are fine with rape and rohypnol being an awesome dating tool. And there is the part of me that knows that what we read is only a fraction of what the author really meant to get across, and what I get out of it can be diametrically opposite to what they meant. But the thing is, my reading will always trump author intent, with a few key DVD commentary exceptions that i have read that explained a lot something that bothered or confused me.

But saying what I do and do not like--outside those fandomwide things that everyone will claim--does feel sometimes like I'm quietly stepping on a landmine and waiting for it to blow. And I say this as someone who got feedback about The Principle of Exclusion stating that poor Rod was humiliated and ostracized by everyone--and you know, did my freakout in private that my author intent did not get the right thing across. I know that what we read isn't always the same as what the author meant.

Okay, now, so I feel less like a black peep at Easter--squicks? Issues? Oooh. In case I offended someone,and I'm pretty sure someone had to have been, I openly throw this one out--have I written anything that squicked you? How and why?

Oh God, humiliation squick. If I read something that makes me feel embarrassed, I can't finish it.

*nods sadly* The twitch-wince-and run method. I know it well.

Very similar squicks as you, generally; I particularly have problems with cheating and humiliation. Cheating is what will always make me hit the back button. I've read some things in RPS where I know that the person has a real life partner, and technically has one in the timeline of the fic, but as long as they are not mentioned, or the author establishes that the two have broken up, I'm fine. The second the girl/boyfriend is mentioned and dismissed as unimportant, I hit the back button. Sometimes even if the ramifications of cheating are dealt with, I'm still squicked.

I've been able to read fic with humiliation in the past, but I dislike the sort of one-sided presentation of it, where -- egad, dividing line is difficult to articulate -- one character is doing something utterly embarrassing, and there's no redeeming emotion or motivation behind their embarrassing behavior. This is why I have difficulty with some of Ben Stiller's movies, for example.

This one's really petty and weird, but for sex scenes, I don't like romantic sex. Or, I guess, really romantic sex, with love and flowers and whispering of each others' names. It really bothers me, for some reason, which I can't really explain.

Interesting concept, anyway. I wrote more in response than I expected to, so apologies for that.

Oh feel free. It's nice to know I'm not alone in just finding some things I can't read beyond. And I like lengthy answers!

Interesting with the RPS--I don't read much, and what I read luckily always had two characters without real life significant others at the time of reading.

I kind of wish I could get an example of the dividing line, but I think I know what you're talking about there. *grr* Ben Stiller. Yeah.

Number three, especially public humiliation, I can't stand them.

Before I used to like Sociopahtic!John, but as not anymore. Being in the military doesn't make you a sociopath, and John never cause harm for harm sakes.

I used to read it, too, but the ones I read had a lot of--hmm. I'm trying to think. The author really worked to make the audience eblieve it. I didn't but I could see where it could go. Or very AU as well. But the ones that take it for granted as a character trait--I just cannot deal with it. It's like they just dropped another character in with his name.

Oh yeah, I totally have squicks... ha! I haven't read QaF fic in YEARS but I am still not over the evil!Mikey and evil!Ted fics. Not ever getting over that.

I'm mostly reading in SPN these days and I cannot handle and will not read/will stop reading: incest involving John, abusive!John... abusive!any-of-the-Winchesters, actually; I've got this thing where the moment I think trust breaks down, I end the story in my head with, "And then somebody died" and hit the back button, because you can't convince me it would end any other way.

Oooh. Yeah, I skim SPN occasionally and can't even open the incest John ones. It just is totally not my thing.

Amen to the humiliation squick. It just hurts to read (or watch, or hear about...). eep

*grins* Or have horrible flashbacks of by accident later, when you read and don't hit back fast enough.

Not that that has happened to me or anything....

You want to feel less weird?
Here are some weird squicks:
1. Anything that has Ronon having sex. I just ... no. No way and nu-uh and just no. He is too much the little brother type for me to even want to think about him having sex.
2. "I love you". There are very, very, very, very few fics in SGA where I can stand reading it. It simply seems unlikely for two people who do not enjoy to talk about their emotions to go and fling those three words around lightly. There are exceptions to that rule, but damn, does it have to be deftly handled.
3. The term "lover" used in fic. Seriously. If that's in a fic, you will have to do a damn lot to keep me, because my scream-and-flight instinct is at full throttle.
4. RPS. Full stop. Not even going there. For various reasons that will get me slammed by RPS fans and writers.
5. AUs. And, yes, I realise that people consider me a snob for it, or just plain weird, but I prefer canon-based stories that aren't AU and thus either skip AUs or hit the back-button with gusto.
6. Genderswitch. See me running for the freaking hills
7. m/m/m threesomes. I have logistics issues.
8. non-con or rape fics. (Not including the very few stories who handle ths subject tastefully) But, we have had this conversation before, I think.

Meanwhile, your points 1-7 aren't weird at all, actually. especially your number 5. Even though I'm curious what happened in 2005 that made you change your mind.

Fly-by commenting... agree on the Ronon having sex. Okay, I've read a couple very specific team fics, or ... but when I think about it, it's wrong. I can't handle the wrong. He's not a sexual character, in my mind.

I feel this might end up long, and I don't really know you, which could be weird. But... you asked, so.

In terms of what you already listed - partner betrayal, yes muchly. Humiliation? I can't watch things where there's humiliation, and I definitely can't read them. Death depends on how it's done. Sex slavery, if it's slavery to only one master and it is at least somewhat consensual, maybe with happy abolitionist ending, or where it's like faked sex slavery for a certain purpose, that can be hot. Mutilation, maybe if it's better in the end and turns into some good h/c.

But in terms of squicks in general, daydreamer is sitting on my couch right now, and we were reading this at the same time, and we were discussing other things - certain words, certain quirks in writing, can be bad, as well. Even if something is a great premise, I can't stand reading it if it's full of typos or bad grammar or similar things.

In terms of something you've written squicking me - I really don't like Mensa!AU. But it's not yours in particular; I can't remember if I've read yours, actually, and I don't think I'm going to go click on it and find out. I read a couple early on, didn't like them, and won't read them now. It doesn't matter the author. I just ... I like normal AUs, if normal is you would say the characterization stays largely the same, and the relationships play out similarly, and all that. But I like our Rodney, and our John, and I don't really like any of the Mensa takes I did read, and it's now off my list. I'm not offended, I just don't click on them, no matter the author. And I've loved pretty much everything else you've written, as far as I can remember.

I think I've gotten pickier by far. I think it's a natural factor of time - you read things you really like, you automatically, even subconsciously, compare everything after to that first one, and sometimes they don't measure up.

Anyway, long, yes, but I don't think having squicks is a bad thing, or unusual.

Interesitng on the MENSA--I read two and hated them so much I never read another one. I liked like, one or two before that--they were totally different entire *concept* universe types (One was sociopathic atlantis, which was fun for me) but the rest was--yes. That feeling I got from them of smug superiority to our canon characters and I hated that. I mean, I'm sure not all of them are that way? But I haven't read again to find out. And--since you brought up Exclusion--I'm pretty sure it might read the same way from a couple of the comments I got, which was kind of illuminating. I was trying, at the time, to write against that idea, that the au characters weren't any better or any worse, just different, with issues just as serious due to those differences--and maybe I disliked how Rod was presented and wanted to clarify his werid behavior. And honestly, i hate writing non-military John, mostly due to the fact that I feel--and this is just me, being weird--perceive this weird military bias, and really hate to add to it.

And hey, I love length. Always.

Wow, you finished Transcendental Oh, go you. I just could not get past my public humiliation squick and finish it. I have a lot of problems with trinity stories, for that very reason.

It's funny, though. If there is a sexual component, I can usually get past it, but otherwise it completely freaks me out.

I loved it! I just--have to skip about twenty pages in the middle and that bit in the beginning, because it still doesn't make sense why Rodney didn't say "Hey, I have a better idea. Let me block their wormhole instead." It also felt anti-military, but honestly, I think that's me being oversensitized to some SGA fic that came after, and I'm pretty sure that's not in the text.

God, Trinity stories.. Do not remind me.

Oddly, yes, with sex, depending on the context. In the established relationship ones with the humiliation thing as part of the sex, I've liked several.

I get the crazy feeling that it's not quite done anymore to have fairly specific tastes in fic, or to not like something due to those tastes

Durrr? I should hope not. I'll keep saying it: someone's kink is someone's squick and vice versa. There's nothing wrong with either of them. But both are, as you say, not terribly voluntary.

the warnings debates had a side issue wandering through in a few ljs that seemed to emphasize the fact that if you have an issue with a particular kind of fic, you have a serious problem

Whoa fandom, that's... dumb.

My only sticking point is that a lot of broad expressions of taste don't just say "___ makes me feel ___" ... they tend to blanket statements of "___ is FREAKISH! No decent person likes them!"

Which happens to offend a lot of decent people.

Relatedly, it also gets my back up to label an entire genre based on a sample of badly written fics. Not "___ makes me feel ___" but "All ____ is a horrible waste of breath." Which unfortunately can sometimes encompass the majority of fandom. People end up saying things like okay, only writers X and Z and K's takes on the subject are palatable to me, except I happen to know that writers X and Z and K were the *minority* in another fandom where nearly *everyone* churned out good quality fics on the same subject. It freaks out writers who are trying something new when that's the prevailing wind -- it's all too easy to shame them into hiding or dumbing down a certain type of fic because the greater part of fandom is vocal about how nuts it is.

That to me is not a squick. That's a *personal* reading filter. I've watched a lot of rants talk up those filters to the detriment of the people who write those types of fics, the people who enjoy them, and the people who are truly squicked by them. It's not hard to add "I think" to a general statement, sheesh.

In short, I guarantee you that whatever list of fiction squicks you get out of here, it will be identical to a list of fiction kinks. Just with different people.

I think, though, a lot of people aren't actually serious when they say that--the decent people bit, anyway.

People end up saying things like okay, only writers X and Z and K's takes on the subject are palatable to me, except I happen to know that writers X and Z and K were the *minority* in another fandom where nearly *everyone* churned out good quality fics on the same subject. It freaks out writers who are trying something new when that's the prevailing wind -- it's all too easy to shame them into hiding or dumbing down a certain type of fic because the greater part of fandom is vocal about how nuts it is.

Well, but that's normal--some authors, to me, get a free pass on certain subjects, sometimes, if I'm in the right mood and etc. It's just such a heavy codicil to have--I really like X but only if it's by Y and during days I'm really in a bad mood and need a pick up and right after i watch an ep. Every squick I have up there has been codiciled. But when teh codicil is one fic. OR one author? I recognize that it's a squick, that in generla, this particular thing does not work for me.

In short, I guarantee you that whatever list of fiction squicks you get out of here, it will be identical to a list of fiction kinks. Just with different people.

I honestly cannot tell if you're arguing with me. I don't think anywhere I didn't say--multiple times--how this was a personal weirdness list.

The most wonderful thing about getting into SGA fic about three yers after everyone else is that, so far, I've been able to exercise the back button at the slightest hint of squick without any danger of running out of fic :p

But sometimes--and this is just sometimes--I get the crazy feeling that it's not quite done anymore to have fairly specific tastes in fic, or to not like something due to those tastes,

I think you're right there. Actually, if there's one complaint I have, it's that since I fell face-first into SGA-fic last fall, I haven't really found frequently updated rec pages featuring the kind of quick summaries of stories that would allow me to identify whether the stories being rec'd cater to my fic preferences (tragic, I know!). It's been a few years since the last time I face-planted into a specific fandom, so I might be remembering this wrongly, but it seems to me that there was more of that kind of reccing going on in the past.

Hee! Actually, you're right in a way. There's a lot less wordiness in recs than I like usually--when I check recs, I have to keep in mind who the reccer is and who the author of the fic is, along with the rec, to decide whether to read it.

There's one thing I don't get -- the majority of people I have talked to have a humiliation squick (and man, do I have one. Up to physically cringing and feeling ill and trying to crawl into the other person's pocket, if it's in the cinema) and yet the movie industry makes millions by having humiliation a great gag in every second comedy movie and sitcom. So, what's the deal?

I wonder if it's a guy thing? I amnot saying that facetiously--my dad and my uncle and my male friends *love* the Airplane movies and Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary and they send me to *hide*.

I have a huge humiliation squick. I can't watch "The Office" - even though I love Jim and Pam and ship them hardcore - because of the rest of the show. *shudders*

Also adultery. Cannot stand adultery or cheating, especially when it's carefree.


Parent/child incest.

Anything involving sex with children under 14.

Scat, golden showers, bloodplay.

Non-con, rapefic, etc.

I have a whole huge list of stuff that'll make me not click or click out quickly, but most of that is pairing or characterization dependent and also it can shift and depend on the writer etc. But the ones above are pretty hard and fast.

oh yes. I connect with all of these highly.

Okay, with the rapefic, it's my squick, but it's a context thing as well. If it's writing rape as a rape,not a prelude to true love, then *possibly*.

Power relationships - ie, any sort of relationship based solely on an inequality of power. Which is both surprisingly broad and narrow. I can read some BDSM fic (I came from Highlander by way of Buffy and HP. There's a lot out there) because it's about more than that, but anything where the inequality is glaring me in the face- father/child for an SPN example, teacher/student, some of the SG and SGA examples where someone is in obvious command and using that power - they squick me beyond belief.

Interesting. I tend to like the power play fics *only* in a sexual play context or, variably, when there's an exchange or equalization. It's weird. It honeslty depends on how i read the first three paragraphs, and who teh author is. It does work as a generla rule though--esp the father/child or teacher/student ones.

In Grey's Anatomy fandom, declaration of true love.

I mean, I have issues with it in any fandom, but in Grey's Anatomy it goes from "Weird, this is not really what I'm reading my trashy ficporn for" to "Oh my GOD, do you not PAY ATTENTION TO THE SOURCE TEXT, do you see what is RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, this is NOT A SHOW ABOUT THAT."

And, you know, it can be. For many people it is. It's not an uncommon thing.

But nothing will make me stop reading faster, and once the implication of True Love is there, the only thing that will keep me reading is if it seems like there's a distinct possibility that it's not so much "love" as "artfully done manipulation".

For the love of crap, people, it's Grey's Anatomy, not The Princess Fucking Bride.

*dies* I think I've heard you speak on this before....

I'm mulling through my John is not a sociopath post at random moments, because I figured I'd write and post it later next week, and I was laughing to myself because I thought of the perfect example of "yes, I have read and enjoyed sociopathic JOhn and it was a TOTAL AU," namely Crimes Against Humanity. But *everyone* is a sociopath in that one - it's the precondition of the AU, and you still have John and Rodney making a deep emotional connection with each other, and they've all been tortured and stuff. Plus, you do it incredibly well. I can't think of any other sociopath!John story I've read and enjoyed.

Mutilation is like hitting a brick wall. I slam into it and recoil in horror. Check on humiliation too (I never liked Transcendental; the plot setup didn't work for me at all, and the characterization was so bizarre that I read the first quarter thinking it was a parody), which carries over from every book or TV show or movie EVER. I scrunch down in my chair and cover my eyes and hum to block out the dialogue.

Cross-dressing as a sexual fetish is my silver bullet squick. And with SGA, I usually don't want to read "disaster, disability, years pass and nobody gets better" stories.

The character pairings are interesting to ponder, because I can read almost any pairing (I read nothing that includes Kavanagh or Caldwell, because I don't like either of them), but certain of them only work within very narrow interpretations. Usually I'll give it a try, but I find myself finishing significantly less Weir/Sheppard or John/Teyla or Ronon/Carson (whatever) than I do McKay/Sheppard. Those two work for me in a *lot* of circumstances, after all.

I responded to this and lost the entire comment. But.

Aww, thank you! Though honestly, the sociopath AU is so freaking *cracked*. I keep thinking up ways to top myself, and I can actually feel the weirdness that's going to come out of that.

Pairing related--I am way too OTP. I think my biggest problem with my only viable John/other pairing, John/Teyla, is that I have yet to read a story where I can see them as their canon selve and in a relationship. I love the concept, but I cannot find a fic that executes it the way I see it.

(Deleted comment)