snickfic: (Ruby crack)
[personal profile] snickfic
I apparently have a universe of RPF knotting fic going, as y'all will have noticed, since I posted it here. I dithered about posting it to a separate sock journal - RPF was not a line whose crossing I was sure I wanted evidence of in my main fannish journal - but I'm pretty bad at keeping my selves separate and anyway I'm proud of the RPF, so here it shall be.

I know some people are squicked by the whole premise of RPF, and I have lots of sympathy for that view. I felt that way for a long time, and even now I have limits: I can't deal with fictionalized real people getting bashed in fic (particularly women, who are, unfortunately, the more likely bash-ees). Also, with a few rare exceptions I don't read RPF whose setting could be mistaken for reality, that is, fic that's about Jensen and Jared being actors on SPN.

However, I've decided that I personally am okay with AU fic, where people physically resembling Jensen and Jared and bearing their names walk around doing things that Jensen and Jared have never done, and the crackier the better.

In fact, that's one of the big appeals of RPF for me: THE CRACK, PEOPLE. I have never seen crack like RPF does crack. Even SPN fandom proper isn't as cracky, although since the two communities have so much overlap in participation, a lot of the trends in each blend into the other.

For example, knotting. The basic premise of knotting is that some men, called alphas, have penises similar to dog penises, which function the way dog penises function. (If you really want to know, google. I expect the Wikipedia article gives a basic outline.) Some other other men, omegas, have various physiological characteristics that predispose them to prefer sex with alphas.

On this basis an entire fanon of tropes has built up. In a given fic, any of the possible might be true:
* omegas go into heat and are temporarily sexually insatiable
* omegas are capable of childbearing
* omegas have natural anal lubrication (this is honestly the most delicate way I could think to phrase this, folks)
* omegas tend to be submissive in sexual, social, and/or relational contexts
* alphas tend to be dominant in some or all of those contexts
* omegas and/or alphas have strong senses of smell and depend on them more for social information than humans do
* female omegas and/or alphas also exist
* betas - what we'd recognize as anatomically and physiologically normal human beings - also exist, both male and female
* various social and technological developments exist to deal with the presence of alphas and omegas, including but not limited to heat suppressants, laws about omega/alpha relationships, all kinds of social mores
* alphas and/or omegas experience prejudice from their opposites, from betas, and/or from society at large
* alphas, betas, and omegas live together in units called 'packs' ranging from just a few individuals to an entire community

Short version: the SPN and SPN RPF slash fandoms (and to a lesser extent some other groups who've since jumped on the bandwagon, such as Sherlock BBC fandom and Inception fandom) have developed wholesale a trope that, it seems to me, basically maps exaggerated male/female cliches onto slash pairings. Frankly, I find this fascinating in and of itself. I realize that the 'feminization' of half a slash pairing is not a new phenomenon, but I'm fascinated that here the feminization is built directly into the worldbuilding.

However, aside from that, it seems to me that it suggests all sort of interesting questions: How would society work differently if a significant percentage of the population experienced periods of particularly high sexual desire? What would the social relationship be between the betas and the omegas and alphas? Would there be omega rights movements? What would the relationship be between omegas and women? How would society view those two groups differently? What if women can be omegas and/or alphas, too - how does that change the dynamic between the different groups? How would the exaggerated gender-coded characteristics of alphas and omegas affect the expected gender relations between beta men and women? And so many more. (Full disclosure: I stole some of these from a discussion I've been having with [ profile] ghostyouknow27.)

Alas, a lot of knotting fic is much more interested in the porn. The first half of a fic will suggest all this fascinating worldbuilding, and then: porn! Cue another round of Snick Is So Not the Intended Audience of This Fic.

(Major exception: all of what Chash calls her "not-knotting knotting fic," found here. These are the fics that got me interested in the first place. They're fun, lighthearted responses to the whole knotting trope, and as such work as a decent introduction to it: you can read between the lines and get a pretty good idea of what they're responding to.)

I kind of want to write a more in-depth post of how various fics are dealing with these various aspects, with tons of links and stuff. This stuff should be documented, darn it! One of these days, maybe.

Anyway, my RPF universe is going to poke at some of these questions. Sometimes. In between the girl-talk and the college nostalgia.

So there you have it, folks: Snick's latest wild hair. Yep.

(Note: previously this post included a cheat sheet to SPN actors appearing in my fic. That information is now in a separate post here.)

Date: 2011-11-20 01:42 pm (UTC)
slaymesoftly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] slaymesoftly
*Runs back to her (relatively) safe little corner of BtVS/AtS et al.* LOL


snickfic: (Default)

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