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[personal profile] piratemoggy kindly moderated a roundtable on sexuality and fanfic last year. Here's the description we used:

The panel discuss the depiction of sexuality in fanfic. Many fanwriters are writing about sex acts that are outside their experience: others may be projecting their own experiences and fantasies onto canon characters. Why do some writers depict a particular character as generally straight, but 'gay for [insert name here]'? How accurate / credible are fanfic depictions of sex and sexuality? Why does it matter if we get things wrong?

That's where we started. Where we ended up was a lot more complex. Feedback has suggested that we ought to follow up some of the issues raised in more detail.

If you were at the panel, what would you like us to focus on this year? We'd also like to hear from anyone who wasn't there, if they have suggestions on this topic.

Anonymous posting is enabled and all suggestions are welcome.

Thank you!

Summary?

10/3/15 22:56 (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
I was there, but can't really remember the details to reply.I remember it was a very interesting debate and something that probably many of us writers face issues with.

(no subject)

16/3/15 12:58 (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
Glad there'll be more on this, it was a fascinating roundtable. I was especially interested by people's thoughts about, say, a straight woman writing m/m slash - is she putting the fic at arm's length from herself by having no character of her own gender? If so, why might that be? Is that some sort of opposite end of the scale to Mary Sue-ing; self-erasure instead of self-insertion? Does that help the fic fly, or make it more appealing, or is there some sort of internalized misogyny in the mix?
But that puts gender quite high up on the list of things that make people like/unlike one another (higher than I like it, personally speaking).

(no subject)

16/3/15 13:02 (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
What I mean by that is that other aspects - e.g. queerness, kinkiness can be more important - a good example (from erotica rather than fanfic, sorry!) might be Pat Califia's m/m stuff written with a lesbian readership in mind.

(no subject)

20/3/15 18:44 (UTC)
zellieh: kitten looking shocked, openmouthed, text: WTF? (What the fuck?) (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] zellieh
Wasn't there, but I've signed up for this year. Though if this is a sample of the level of questions on fanfic, I may not bother with any of the panels. Over the years, I've already had several conversations on these subjects, several times, so the way you've framed the topics sounds honestly rather basic and, frankly, patronising.

Can you please have more than one panel? Because I am boggled at the idea of trying to have any kind of useful conversation starting with such a ridiculously broad and vague subject. Splitting 'the depiction of sexuality in fanfic' up into more precise questions would get a better conversation going.

Perhaps you could have a Fanfic 101 thread, for outsiders and beginners, and also separate panels assuming basic knowledge and going into more detail? Because that's one of the things I noticed at Loncon: panels that kept things at a basic level suitable for beginners frustrated the long-time fans who already knew the basics, and wanted to talk about details and nuances. OTOH, panels that tried to talk at an advanced level were sometimes stalled and derailed by beginner-level questions. Either way, it often felt like a wasted opportunity, and many people left frustrated.

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