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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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this is not the time to evaluate my feelings on feelings, really
children of dune - leto 1
I'm not sure it's unsettling enough to make a conscious choice to be self-aware about what stories in a kink meme I gravitate to.

However, in the interests of full disclosure, here are the things that I really wish I liked:

1.) Slave AUs - okay, I can't even explain this one, but a lot of it has to do with my embarrassment squick that is hit by them too often. They borderline me, because I like D/s, and I've even liked it at the slave level D/s, but the consent is what makes it work for me because hey, it's fairly hot for someone to desperately beg someone else to put them in a collar and tie them to a tree (substitute your choice here, it's one in the morning and I just came off three hours at the AI kink meme reading you have no idea what; I don't even know what I was reading). Consent is the panacea of the embarrassment squick. Mostly. I can still get hit by it, but then I just skim. It's weird. But I wish I liked them, because a.) there are a lot of them and b.) I'd like to actually write one. But seriously. I can squick myself in the embarrassment department, which isn't easy because it's like tickling yourself. It's a good sign when I cringe from myself I shouldn't be writing it.

I mean, I feel I should write it because it squicks me. Like, not to cure the squick but to examine it in a really meta-like, post-modern I-need-a-hobby-that-isn't-hyperexamining-the-source-and-my-reaction-to-it sort of way. Or just so I can blunt the edges of the squick and enjoy it, because seriously, this cuts off a lot of otherwise readable fic and it's depressing when I find myself in the kink-meme staring at 'necrophilia' going "yes, this squicks me so much I want to cry hysterically, but there's nothing else to read". No one should have a moment like that.

2.) I was less specific in my role choices. This is just--I get a preference and I'll break it once in a while, but me and avilio_18 had a really sharply defined moment talking in email about what we considered in character and I realized, yeah. I'm like really really specific sometimes. This is not specific to what I write, weirdly enough; SGA I had Rodney topping three quarters of the time, but I preferred it the other way around while reading. No idea what that's about. But it is annoying because again, it cuts off like, a random percentage depending on fandom of stories I can't get into and see above. Not on.

3.) Mpreg - okay, this is tricky, because I have read and loved it, but for the life of me, even knowing this, my knee-jerk is AVOID AVOID FLASHING LIGHTS and yo, I beta'ed a freaking mpreg series that I spent quality time nagging the author about, and then once upon a time wrote it myself, but--there you go. I get people who don't understand the attraction of it because I get the same Flags of No, but then I read it and love it because it's awesome. And yet. I have to convince myself to do it every damn time.

I was thinking of making a list of my kinks that actually bother me or make me curious (in fandom; I don't feel particular shame for what I put in as keywords on asstr.org because hello, someone wrote it, who am I not to appreciate their work? You rock, author of fic with keywords I will never admit to anyone, ever), but that ends up a sociopolitical statement that I cannot imagine I'd be interested in making. Sexuality and sexual desire for women is already politicized, evaluated, judged, and recontextualized in fandom, and I'm uncomfortable with my body pretty much always; I can't get away from that. I can, however, avoid adding a new and exciting layer of judging myself on top of the way I already do. I do not need to layer cake my judgment. Though I'd kill for a brownie right now.

I wonder what it's like to feel comfortable in your skin and with yourself. I mean, I get that the human condition apparently requires we never have a moment's peace, but you'd think the human condition would have a failsafe to shut that shit down once in a while so we wouldn't end up circling ourselves madly chasing a non-existent tail for enlightenment or at least something close to comfort. I'm asking for like, once a week, one hour. Or so.

Yes, it's almost two and this is what passes for deep thoughts. I'm going to go look for porn now and hate insomnia like whoa.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/40686.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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1) Oh ye embarrassment squick, I know thee well. Okay, I don't even know, but I can read some slave fic, some D/s fic and then others are OH JOHN RINGO NO, or you know, cause actual flashbacks. Pretty much if you put John Sheppard in something slinky, or eyeliner, and have him on his knees a lot, I am THERE, whoo doggies, where's the popcorn.

But. I only read stuff like that from authors I trust. Really really trust.

There are bounds of humiliation I cannot go, I can't watch a lot of modern movies because the humiliation factor is so high. I can't watch I Love Lucy, for pete's sake. Who IS Pete, anyway?

As for forcing yourself, I point you to two things, the first being something important my therapist told me; if it feels bad, it IS bad. No should, no ought to be able to, if your internal "what the fuck are you doing" monitor says, Oh HELL no, then back the hell away. Sure, think through it, but honestly you might as well just go out and hit yourself with a stick repeatedly in places that really really hurt. Heed The Cringe.

The second is that I tried to write a fic equating what happened to John in "Common Ground" to rape and well, what a bad idea that was. And that was before the PTSD stuff went from pretty well repressed to full blown. I can give you specifics of how bad, but trust me when I say don't attempt something that play on the knife edge of your own hurt or frightened or disgusted with feelings unless you have a pretty fucking important thing to work out and have back up.

2) Darling, why are you being so hard on yourself? Sure, read something you're not familiar with or whatever, but seriously, you're supposed to be having FUN.

3) Yeah, I'm the same way. So I say, 'Ass babies, ass babies, ass babies to myself, (old joke, I blame my friend Stoney) and think, what the hell, back in Voyager, Kes got a swollen tongue and the baby came feet first out of her BACK. So that's some majorly weird stuff, how bad could it be?

I wonder about what it would be like to be comfortable in my own skin, too, and treasure the moments I get where I am. Interestingly enough, going into Second Life has given me some of that. I can be or look like whatever I want. Right now I'm a red-headed mermaid. With a diamond tiara. And that makes me want to squeal and jump up and down like I'm twelve.

::big love for you and your squishy brain::

Edited at 2010-08-18 07:24 am (UTC)

Great post; super-interesting.

Loved this: hello, someone wrote it, who am I not to appreciate their work? You rock, author of fic with keywords I will never admit to anyone, ever.

My squeaks: 1) D/s or slave fic where too much of the self is lost or damaged 2) Any fic that uses the word whilest/whilst

I can have a hard time with slave AUs too, but have you read "Stephen" by amproof? It can be seriously triggery, but the twist on the whole slave cliche and the amazing characterization make it one of the best-- if not the best-- of the fics I've read in this fandom.

My friends had to talk me into reading it because I wouldn't go near it once I found out the setup, but I am so very glad I listened and read it despite my misgivings.

We all have our squick factors. I'm really not fond of rimming - ewww and mpreg just makes me laugh because really, really? I do like slave fics and I don't know why because if I seriously think about it, I just can't believe that I'd like that sort of thing to read.

But don't beat yourself up about things you like or don't like. They are yours to choose. If you don't like them, that's cool. If you do, that's cool, too.

I tend to share your slave squick. One of my favorite writers is penning a slave oriented opus (75 chapters and counting) and I just can not get into it. I do know that my main issue is that she has admitted to constructing her world such that the slave owner has NO CHOICE but to own and sexually use his slaves. The world would enslave him if he voiced any protest what so ever. I decided I can live with slave fic, where the owner has acquired a slave knowing that he is rescuing him from a worse owner, where the owner is undercover and working actively to overthrow the system. But real slave fic where the Master is a "good" man who uses his slaves because he can't help himself just makes my skin crawl. So I avoid that type of fic.

Heya, sorry to butt in but I was wondering if maybe you could provide a link to this opus? I share your "good guy" owner squick but am intrigued by the different forms of slavery in fiction.

No problem, the story is A Kept Boyby poisontaster. She is a fine author who does great world building and interesting, insightful characterizations. If this didn't hit my squick, I would probably be reading and enjoying it. I hope it fills your needs and perhaps the "good guy" owner has been rewritten. Good luck.

I wonder what it's like to feel comfortable in your skin and with yourself. I mean, I get that the human condition apparently requires we never have a moment's peace

See no you think that! When you're like that, it's hard to imagine not being like that! And yet I grew up with a whole family that was not like that! Well. Rather, and this will be no surprise, the boys were not like that. They were totally fine with who they were. Never occurred to them to question it. We talked about it sometimes - prompted by me, obvs - and they couldn't understand how anyone could live that way!


I'm not a fan of mpreg either.

The mpreg thing made me chuckle because I'm the polar opposite of you. As a flag-waving fan of the genre I'll fairly LEAP on any mpreg story that I can get my hands on...and usually wind up disappointed and occasionally weirded out like woah. Ah how fanfiction toys with us...

In my book, there are two different kinds of mpreg, the ones that include it and treat it as a totally normal, non kinky thing that happens to people and doesn't have too many gory details, and then the ones that revel in it as a fetish. The Seahorse (J2 fic), is generally non-fetishy, talks more about relationships, life, the universe, etc. and the pregnancy's effects on them, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (http://mpregloveranon.livejournal.com/18989.html), well, you can guess.

(as a sidenote, I've been known to read and enjoy both. Deadlychameleon, shame broken since 1999).

Oooh, interesting post! In ai, I keep finding myself wishing so hard that I could read slave fic with any level of actual pleasure! Uh. Not that I spend any time on the kinkmeme or anything!XD Also, noncon, which... I can't. Dubcon I can do, happily, but further than that I just can't go. For me, d/s is on the line. What I've figured out is, if it's a great writer, they can take me basically anywhere and make me love it. My ability to read it goes down the less skillful the writer is in giving me whatever it is I personally seem to need to read these -- and it definitely revolves around consent, plus some sense that the people are the actual people I enjoy reading about, not just stock d/s figures. Humor is good, too.

I've actually wondered why there seem to be so many slave fics in ai compared to what I at least perceive in other fandoms. Do you think that, too? I can't decide if it just feels that way or is a real phenomenon. It might just feel that way because there's so little fic compared to some fandoms that I desperately search around or something, lol? I've wondered if it's the demographic of the fandom somehow? Or something about the characters? It may bother me even a bit more than normal when a canonically gay guy is involved? Not sure.

I guess I overall feel that, to make me actually engage in any of these types of stories, the writer has to work harder/do more to make me ~believe, or my disbelief/embarrassment kicks in and it's just not fun?

I’m in Viewfinder fandom and there’s a lot of kidnap/rape fic out there. I guess that since the series started off with that in the first chapter, fandom felt entitled to get their kink on. I think where it disturbs me is that the trope is used as an excuse to "break the uke" and it’s more for titillation than character study.

MPREG fascinates me. I’m in the same boat in that my knee-jerk reaction is “ack!” and I think it’s because I feel a lot of it comes from a need/curiosity to see men vulnerable in a way that only women are. And a lot of fic I’ve read have supported my hypothesis. I did recently read a non-crack mpreg recently where the seme inflicted it onto the uke and uke did not react well at all, complete with gender issues “what kind of man am I for letting this happen to me?” angst. I’d like to see more mpreg like that even if the one I read involved a self-inflected c-section.

I wonder what it's like to feel comfortable in your skin and with yourself. I mean, I get that the human condition apparently requires we never have a moment's peace, but you'd think the human condition would have a failsafe to shut that shit down once in a while so we wouldn't end up circling ourselves madly chasing a non-existent tail for enlightenment or at least something close to comfort. I'm asking for like, once a week, one hour. Or so.

I think I'm going to cry, because yes. One hour without this feeling would be so nice, so peaceful.

Potentially Triggery Material Within

1) I... will admit to occasionally indulging myself in absolutely ridiculous H/C slavery stories, though normally noncon slave fic squicks me like whoa (I will skip over the stuff that is too explicit noncon but the H/C gets to me, like the "broken!Xander" fics in BtVS where most of the action is post-rescue). And I agree with Beadattitude, anything with John Sheppard in eyeliner and slinky clothes, on his knees (or his back) and I am there with popcorn and a cocktail.

D/S or BDSM stories, even some hardcore S/M stories, I'll admit to liking reading, though more for the dynamics than for the pain aspects (ohai there bloodplay, time to scroll down!) and I'm not into noncon stories whether it's a 'scene' or not.

2) Dude. A lot of times I'm fairly flexible with my pairing/role choices; I'll read rarepairs, etc. But with some pairings I just can't read certain roles-- in NCIS, for example, I can't read Gibbs/DiNozzo with DiNozzo topping; it just doesn't work.

Also, with RPS fic I can't read the more 'out there' stories, like slave!fic, etc. AUs are awesome, but there's just another level of squick there when you're dealing with real people as opposed to fictional characters. And Adam has to be topping :D

3) Hahaha I LOVE mpreg, it's ridiculous. I think it's because I came into fandoms where it's not completely 'out there'; Star Trek's had legit mpreg (Enterprise, Commander Tucker with the impregnating alien sex gel) and Stargate could get away with it, Smallville's full of crack, Harry Potter/BtVS has magic, etc. When you start out with those fandoms it kind of pre-conditions you to not go "what mpreg! not possible, no way!". Some fandoms I will be more leery of, like RPS, but there's been amazing mpreg fics in them (Asking to be Born in FOB bandom, for instance). When I go to read an mpreg story, I'm leery of writing quality and character feminization more than I am of the mpreg itself. There's a lot of really, really bad mpreg out there where the writing is of dubious quality and/or the male 'mother' effectively turns into a girl and is incredibly OOC.

re: 2 - oh, hello me.

This is not specific to what I write, weirdly enough; SGA I had Rodney topping three quarters of the time, but I preferred it the other way around while reading. No idea what that's about.

hopefully this isn't the same with you and american idol 8/adam lambert fandom 'cause, omg, now that'd really bite since basically 95% of the time adam's topping like a boss.

Oh no, AI I'm consistent on preference. *g*

the kink meme is giving me some severe cognitive dissonance though.

it's okay, have some cute kris (a sure solution to a number of things in life).

and if i had the other gif of kris squeezing his legs/thighs together, i'd post that, too... hmm, might need to make it myself.

this is the closest i have, but it's more along the line of "why so precious" than "fffuuu, now i can't stop thinking of kris squeezing his thighs around adam like that."

(okay, so it's still pretty cute, but i remain in the latter category of fffuuu-ness.)

Edited at 2010-08-19 09:29 pm (UTC)

1) I don't like slave AUs because of the consent issues, namely that, the slave is literally unable to give true consent. Even if he/she honesrly wanrs it there's always that gaping maw of inequality, the fact that is consent really consent when it doesn't matter if they consent or not and it's all very headachey and I'd prefer not to deal with it ever. BDSM and D/s where both parties have made the choice is different and son, done right (well, my right) is one of my most bulletproof kinks.

2) I do this too. I usually try different dynamics out first, because sometimes I surprise myself. Most recently I went into Trek expecting to like Kirk/Spock, but it turned out I liked it the other way 'round better. Theoretically, I like to think that most of my pairings ~switch, but when I'm actually reading I like it one way or another for the most part.

3) Lol HP and certain anime fandoms broke me of any squick I might have possessed toward Mpreg. I love it, I freely admit that :D

I don't usually engage in these types of discussions because I've had some people take my "blah blah squicks me" as a judgment on them and it's totally not. I'd never judge someone for having a kink. Hell, I don't even judge kinks! I can be squicked and not judge at the same time! Wild, eh?

1) Iiiinteresting. I like enthusiastic consent but I also really like all-out slave fic. I can deal with a lack of consent if they explicitly acknowledge the lack of consent.

What really squicks me is the grey area in-between, where the writer wants you to assume there is consent but something in the set-up triggers my "Ugh! No! Coercion = bad!" response.

3) I'm in the same boat as seekergeek on this one - I'll gleefully click on any and all mpreg fics, but sometimes fandom lets me down.

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