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You know, I was thinking. Am I the only person that doesn't think… - Me myself and I
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liliaeth
liliaeth
You know, I was thinking. Am I the only person that doesn't think that romantic pairings are the most important bonds people can have?

For example, I was asking for recs on spnstoryfinders earlier and I realized that my biggest problem is that even though I love Dean/Castiel, that Castiel is actually third in my list of favorite spn chars, after Sam.

Yet the only way you'll get me to pair Sam/Dean, is if Sam's evil and/or if there's dub-con or non-con of some kind involved.

It's because the brotherly bond between Sam and Dean is far more important to me, than any sexual relationship could ever be. In fact, in a brotherly bond as strong as that between Sam and Dean, having sex can only serve to diminish the bond between them, rather than strengthen it.

Especially with someone like Dean who uses sex as a way to keep from connecting with people.

While I prefer the Dean/Castiel pairing, if I read a Dean/Cas fic, then it wouldn't really feel like SPN to me, unless Sam plays a major part. And I don't mean just him being the awesome brother who helps Dean realize he's in love with Cas and then stops aside for the dean/Cas love story.

What I mean is that I want to read a story that is about Sam and Dean and the bond between them, that happens to have Dean in love with Cas. I'm not saying there aren't any, but they're rare and most of them are Dean/Cas lovestories where Sam is a supporting char to their story.

It's odd, because there are some Dean/oc story or het Dean stories, where the love interest is just there to add to Sam and Dean's stories, but you rarely see this done when the love interest is male. And that's kind of sad.

To give an example in other fandoms. I have seen Spider-Man fics with the pairing Peter/MJ where the focus is really on Peter's relationship with aunt May, or even Johnny Storm. but you rarely find a Peter/Johnny fic that's all about Peter's friendship with MJ.

Or I've seen fics that are Buffy/Spike, but where the focus is really Spike's 'friendship' with Xander, but it's are to find a Spike/Xander fic that focuses equally on the connection between Buffy and Spike.

Are slash fics really that stuck on romance that they can't push the romance aside and use it as a minor part of a friendship story? Or am I just not looking in the right places?

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Comments
enigmaticblues From: enigmaticblues Date: July 28th, 2012 06:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, my Sun 'verse series is more about the relationship between Sam and Dean, although the main pairing is Dean/Cas.

I think that any fic that has a major romantic pairing will almost always by default be about the romantic pairing. Personally, I love fics that have really complicated relationships that may or may not be romantic, and the more complex the emotions, the better. But I think those really can be hard to find at times, depending on the fandom.
liliaeth From: liliaeth Date: November 24th, 2012 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been told that it might have something to do with canon pairings vs fanon pairings. Can't say I disagree with that notion.
honeylocusttree From: honeylocusttree Date: July 28th, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
In fact, in a brotherly bond as strong as that between Sam and Dean, having sex can only serve to diminish the bond between them, rather than strengthen it.

THIS. Exactly. I was actually ruminating on this exact fact recently--like, a week or two ago. I mean putting them in the position (hah) of being lovers instead of freakishly close siblings completely changed the relationship and necessarily cuts out huge great chunks of their interconnection in order to make room for the characteristics of a sexual relationship. It completely misunderstands the nature of such sibling relationships and makes it into something...less.
liliaeth From: liliaeth Date: November 24th, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yet somehow fandom and society as a whole seems to think that somehow a sexual/romantic relationship surpasses all other connections, which I personally just can't agree with.
corbyinoz From: corbyinoz Date: July 28th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, lord, yes. I couldn't agree more. I find the privileging of 'romance' above all other bonds very tiresome. Came up against that in Stargate fandom, where the newly imposed Samantha/Jack romance was suddenly more important than the friendship (or slash r'ship) between Jack and Daniel, which was the basis of the film and the core relationship in the first three seasons. Suddenly that relationship was devalued (in fact, even deconstructed) and it was all mooney-eyed looks from a professional female soldier who should know better. It was even allowed to interfere in the field. What was most saddening was this notion that the strong friendship with a male couldn't continue while the other male was in a 'romantic' relationship with a female (as grotesque as it was).

I don't read or write Sam/Dean slash because psychologically I just can't make it work. Dean was in loco parentis for so long, there are massive power abuse issues, just for starters. Then I agree, too, about Dean and sex. Or rather, Dean and intimacy. I don't go much for Dean/Castiel because I find Cas more interesting as a character when he is more unearthly, otherworldly, however you want to phrase it. So although I can see Cas as being fascinated, maybe even enamoured, by Dean, I can't see them consummating it. I don't even think Castiel would want to. Again, the psychology of it doesn't work for me.
liliaeth From: liliaeth Date: November 24th, 2012 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very very true. I think one of the main reasons I get bored with some fandoms. (not necesserily the show it's based on, but the fanfic) is that the focus is so strongly on romantic/sexual pairings, that I just ... lose interest.
super_pan From: super_pan Date: July 29th, 2012 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I dunno, slash doesn't work for me in most of the "fandoms" that I'm in because it seems like the canon specifically precludes it. In the case of Supernatural, I have never seen any evidence that Sam or Dean are anything other than heterosexual. And they have specifically addressed the wincest thing as not gonna happen. In examples where the characters are not as clearly defined in their straightness or gayness or in betweeness, I may see things in a more heterosexual filter but it doesn't bother me as Out Of Character for a character to be gay. Like Dr. Who, or Dumbeldore. But in fact, even heterosexual pairings that I feel are out of character don't work for me either, like Jo or Ellen with anyone, or frankly any character in SPN with any other character, cuz nobody in that verse has time or luck for romantic love or long term partnership other than brotherhood or father/son hunting relationships.

I did read one Bones/SPN crossover that I enjoyed that was Dean/Castiel because it seemed like the romance was a supporting element of the story,not the focus, and it was sort of a little gift to Dean and Cas to be together at the end, and even was a gift to Sam to see his brother happy. The story was fun enough to stand without any romance though.
liliaeth From: liliaeth Date: November 24th, 2012 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh I agree in regards to a lot of fandoms. though I do tend to see Dean as bisexual with a physical preference for breasts and an emotional preference towards men.

But ... that doesn't mean that Dean would act on it. And I can't see him even think of his brother in that way.

Also, no matter who Dean would ever end up in a relationship with, the fact of the matter is that Sam will always come first, no matter how much Dean loves the other person, slash or het.
lusciousxander From: lusciousxander Date: July 29th, 2012 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the difference between Spuffy and Spander is that Spuffy is an established relationship that doesn't need build up or explanation. So, it's easier to have friendship sub-plots between the characters. But Spander isn't canon and needs a buildup and a lot of the writer's time and imagination. Also, we've already seen Spuffy at work on TV, but we never saw a Spander-friendship, so it's probably exciting to write about Xander and Spike working out their differences and becoming snark-y buddies.

This is my take on it. I'd personally love to read a Spike/Buffy friendship in a Spander story. I think these fics exist though, I could swear I read a Spander fic with Spuffy friendship more than once. But it's been a long time since I read Spander or any BtVS fic to be honest – other than the occasional Xander/Giles fic.
liliaeth From: liliaeth Date: November 24th, 2012 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I must admit I haven't been reading much Spike/Xander in the past few years. I can't even say why, I think it's partly because I often find it hard to recognize Xander in them.

I mean, I like the flawed multidimensional Xander we had on the show, and yet in Spander fics he so often gets turned into a Gary Stue. (that and I really find it nigh impossible to see Spike as a top.)
salacious_newt From: salacious_newt Date: July 29th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Spuffy and Peter/MJ are both canon pairings though. It's far more likely to get a canon pairing being the beta relationship explored in a fanfic while the primary one is something else than it is to get any non-canon pairing included on the side while the primary one is another pairing. There's not as much point in including the second pairing if it isn't already canon. That dynamic is just rare in general, really. The OC thing you mentioned is also incredibly rare. It's about as common as this set up with slash pairings, really.

Though if you'd like a rec, We Three Kings is delightful and has a wonderful depiction of Dean/Cas as well as Sam's relationship with Dean and Cas both.

I ship Sam/Dean, but I'm good with Dean/Cas too. It's funny, but I think I'm your exact opposite - when I read Sam/Dean, I'm always on the lookout for stories where Dean and Cas maintain their friendship and the relationship Sam and Dean have with others isn't underplayed. Likewise, when I read Dean/Cas, I don't need or even really want Sam to play an equal role in the story. It can be good when it happens (Sam's probably the main character of We Three Kings, though it's really about equal) but when I read Dean/Cas it's because I want to read about Dean and Cas, not Sam and Dean and oh, btw, Dean's getting it on with Cas on the side.
liliaeth From: liliaeth Date: November 24th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh I love that fic, it gets better with every part.

I can see what you mean about the canon established pairing thing, still...
90scartoonman From: 90scartoonman Date: August 3rd, 2012 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)
You raise good points. Friendship and family bonds are very important...I guess they're just not as spicy as romantic pairings.
liliaeth From: liliaeth Date: November 24th, 2012 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe I just get bored easily with romantic pairings, because after a while, most of these stories end up being way too similar.
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