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21 October 2004 @ 11:04 pm
Poll: When fan fiction meets real life, what happens?  
In America at this time of year, we get extremely used to answering invasive questions from total strangers. So I thought I'd conduct a poll that could yield potentially interesting results.

Basically, I'm curious about how you handle the interaction between your real life and your fan life; as someone who just recently invited a real-life, pre-fandom friend to view this rather fannish LJ, I find this a topic of relevance right now. And it's sure less depressing than all the political polls I've been reading.

Poll #370787 When fan fiction meets real life, what happens?


Male, or mostly male.
Female, or mostly female.
Other (elaborate in the comments, if you feel like it).
I'd really rather not say.

What's your sexual preference?

Bisexual, but mostly on the straight side.
Bisexual, but mostly on the gay side.
I refuse to choose. Or maybe I just refuse to tell you.
Other (elaborate in the comments, if you feel like it).

What's your most serious current relationship?

I'm single.
Dating, but not serious.
Dating. Seriously.
Living with someone, married, committed for all eternity, etc.
Ending a relationship. Thanks so much for bringing that up.
Other (please elaborate in the comments).

If you've got a Someone Special, does that person know you're into fan fiction, slash, etc.?

Yes. The whole deal - the smut, the perversion, the orgies.
Yes, in a general way, but not so much with the cocks and so on.
Yes, but we never speak of it.
God, I hope not. But he or she might suspect.
No, but I'm considering telling him or her.
No, and he or she will find out over my dead body, and with luck not then.
Other (please elaborate in comments).

Does anyone in your real life (besides that Someone Special, if applicable) know about this fan fiction/slash/smut thing?

Yes. Every single person I know: family, friends, religious officials, and the tax authorities.
Yes, most people, but there's at least one person I hope to god will never find out.
Yes, at least one relative.
Yes, at least one friend.
Yes, at least one co-worker.
Yes, my therapist or religious official or other spiritual, psychological, or moral authority.
No. I believe in separation of life and smut.
Other (please elaborate in comments).

If you've told someone from your real life about this whole fan fiction/slash/smut thing, how did he or she take it?

Actually, I found out he or she is also into this.
Very well. In fact, I made a convert.
Very well. Cheerful and interested acceptance.
Fairly well. Some temporary geechiness, but now he or she is totally fine with it.
So-so. Not as bad as it could have been, but not as good as I'd hoped.
Not so well. We pretend I never mentioned it, or otherwise avoid the topic.
Not so well. There was some arguing.
Badly. There was serious arguing.
Really badly. Let's just say that person and I don't speak much anymore.
Other (please elaborate in comments).
Tags: [poll]
erjikaerjika on October 21st, 2004 11:16 pm (UTC)
(whee, poll!)

Only about four of my female friends know I'm into slash and fan fiction and really know what that means (acceptance ranges, but it's all tolerated). Strangely, nearly all my male friends know I like slash, and they're all totally cool with it! Okay, so they make fun of me sometimes, but they really have no problem with it, which I found surprising yet great.

My mum and dad have accepted I like gay films. But I don't think they'd be able to wrap their minds around me slashing, and more importantly, writing about it.
tried to eat the safe banana: Weee!thefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 02:29 pm (UTC)
That's excellent, that your guy friends are cool with it; I would expect that (guys are much more porn-positive just in general), but I know from other people that that doesn't always happen.

My big concern with my mother and father is having to explain it to them. In detail. And having them ask their usual "we love you, and we want to share your interest, and by god we will share it, no matter how alien it is to us" questions. And then, because of my father's health issues (brain cancer), there's a 30% chance I'd have to go through the whole thing again the next day.

So I'm sure they'd be able to accept my slash habit; I even think they'd be able to cope with me writing it. But I couldn't handle them reading it, which they would definitely want to, and I sure couldn't handle explaining it to them daily.
trapped in ambyr: Rowan (Copyright Andy Goldsworthy)ambyr on October 21st, 2004 11:17 pm (UTC)
I can think of only one awkward moment of overlap -- my boyfriend showed one of my racier stories (NC-17 snuff, as it happened) to his roommate because he knew his roommate liked some of the original work it was based on, although the roommate had never read fanfic before. He did this without telling me, and before I'd met his roommate. So, the first time I finally did meet the guy. . ."By the way, umm, interesting story." "Huh?" "The one where. . ." :ambyr turns bright red:.

His roommate was more or less ok with the story, so it wasn't too awkward, but I chewed my boyfriend out pretty heavily afterwards. I don't want people's first impression of me to be the smut, you know? Unless they're also into it, of course, and we can swap recs :-).
tried to eat the safe banana: Namastethefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 02:33 pm (UTC)
Total sympathy on the boyfriend's roommate thing. That would be seriously irritating, if for no other reason than that you got blindsided. I mean, come on; if you're going to share my stuff without my consent, at least warn me that you did that before I meet the person, y'know? I'm assuming you explained to the boyfriend the error of his ways.

(And, of course, you're right; it's different if it's a mutual thing. I suppose lots of people's first impression of me is this LJ, but that's OK because they share the interest; I just don't want, say, my Best Beloved's sister's best friend to meet me this way.)
Pimpmaster Zero: this is sexveronamay on October 21st, 2004 11:18 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how to answer the "does anyone in your RL know?" question, mainly because my social life is almost entirely made up of fellow slashers whom I met online! So yes, all my friends know because they do it too, but there was no disclosure to be made. *g*

And I'd *love* to tell my mum, because I think she could actually be converted, but my dad would hit the roof. So, nope. Not going there.

I made the decision recently, when I started looking for a new job, to add "fandom and fan fiction" as hobbies on my CV. Haven't been called on it yet, but I'm looking forward to when it happens.
tried to eat the safe banana: Sleepythefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 02:43 pm (UTC)
Oooo! I definitely want to know how putting "fandom and fan fiction" on your CV works out, if employers ask you about it and so on. I'm really curious.

(And if you did convert your mum, would that make you feel weird? For me it would be strange to share porn with a family member, especially a parent.)
(no subject) - veronamay on October 22nd, 2004 03:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Iphiginia Saberhagen: From makesmewannadie and thefourthvinefanofall on October 21st, 2004 11:25 pm (UTC)
"Geechiness". What a FANTASTIC word!

As far as "serious current relationship" and whether that person knows of my deep and abiding love for slash: No, she doesn't, because she's eight, and that's just not appropriate. :-D I know, it's cheating, what with the kid and all.

Also: Did you get my e-mail of last week? If not, nothing big; I'll try to figure out ways to work it into LJ conversations. ;-)

I hope everything's okay. MWAH!
tried to eat the safe banana: Word whorethefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 02:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I love "geechiness." I actually remember where I first saw "geechy." It was in Donald Westlake's Don't Ask. (And if you haven't read it, you should, because the Dortmunder series can cure all ills. Seriously. Start with The Hot Rock. And I think you'd especially appreciate the lawyer described at the beginning of Nobody's Perfect; I read that first chapter in a bookstore and disgraced myself to the point where I had to leave and finish my bout of hysteria in the parking lot.) "Geechy" was such a perfect word that it immediately migrated to my vocabulary and has been there ever since.

And, hey; kids were supposed to be covered in the next demographics poll! But, OK, you've always been an over-achiever, so I suppose it makes sense that you had to jump the gun.

(I got your email YESTERDAY. My mail server is so, so fucked. ARG!)
(no subject) - fanofall on October 22nd, 2004 05:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(also, i can kill you with my brain.): mouthwipe (by extraflamey)skripka on October 21st, 2004 11:33 pm (UTC)
A "fan" of mine "outed" me to my brother; I told my not-quite-ex, and when he got mad at me, he "outed" me to my mom. Seeing as how 90% of my output is smutty slash, this has been an interesting year... Interestingly enough, the slash doesn't bother my mom--she's just anti-porn.
tried to eat the safe banana: Suspicious owlthefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 02:54 pm (UTC)
Grrr. I am giving electronic nasty looks to both your "fan" and your ex; telling someone else's secrets is not acceptable behavior. That sucks, and you have my sympathy. Also, I promise to kick those people on the shins if I ever meet them in real life.

I'm interested in your mother's reaction. Is she anti-porn for moral or religious reasons or is it an exploitation thing? Because if the latter, I would have thought she'd be OK with stories about fictional characters - I mean, no one's getting hurt. And if the former, I would have thought she'd have a problem with the slash aspect, too. So I find that odd, but I probably just haven't thought the whole thing through properly.
(no subject) - skripka on October 22nd, 2004 11:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Drawthefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC)
See, I knew there'd be poly people on my flist, but I couldn't really figure out how to encompass that in a poll without making it so long no one would take it. Hence the "other" option. Thanks for not taking offense; I honestly did try to be inclusive.

I'm impressed that you have your real name on your LJ. And, in general, bravo to you for being so open and yet not dogmatically so (as in, everyone is by god going to hear the explicit details of my entire sex life, including the 83-year-old woman sitting next to me in the doctor's office waiting to get an x-ray, who is clearly in pain and just wants to be left alone). Really, that's about the best attitude I can imagine having - being comfortable with yourself and sensitive to other people's comfort levels.
the pirate queen of norway: bad placeashkitty on October 22nd, 2004 12:09 am (UTC)
there is no separation of anything for me. ;) But my little sister now has an LJ.
tried to eat the safe banana: Reaching girlthefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 03:03 pm (UTC)
I hope she's not a much littler sister, because that could be kind of weird. (For example, if she starts writing FF and she goes through that Mary Sue phase we all went through at 13. That'd be a tough one to watch a loved one do.) But, in general, that's way cool. Welcome, ashkitty's little sister!
(no subject) - ashkitty on October 22nd, 2004 03:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 03:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ashkitty on October 22nd, 2004 03:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cyanei on October 22nd, 2004 12:19 am (UTC)
First of all, I'd like to note that I clicked the "Male, or most male" dot for gender, while I am biologically female.

And secondly, no one in my life knows that I ever read fanfiction let alone smut, and certainly not slash. Homophobic family. Erg.
tried to eat the safe banana: Lostthefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 03:07 pm (UTC)
First of all, I'd like to note that I clicked the "Male, or most male" dot for gender, while I am biologically female.

I tried to construct the "gender" choices so that there'd be something for everyone, and I wanted respondents to pick whichever one seemed right. Did those choices work for you?

(And thanks for letting me know.)

And secondly, no one in my life knows that I ever read fanfiction let alone smut, and certainly not slash. Homophobic family. Erg.

Yeek. That's sincerely yucky for you. That must suck to have to deal with. Do you have supportive friends, I hope?
(no subject) - cyanei on October 22nd, 2004 03:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 03:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cyanei on October 22nd, 2004 04:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombat OTPthefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 03:20 pm (UTC)
I thought of you while I was compiling this, just because - you know, generalized sympathy and hopes for improvement.

And improvement there is! Because cranberryink will not be able to resist the joys of the fannish smutty lifestyle. We are cool! We are interesting! We have good porn! She is doomed. And then you will have another RL person with whom to share your delightfully sordid hobbies. Yay! (Perhaps you can get her into the fandoms neither of us can do, like Highlander. We'll attain Total Fandom Coverage yet.)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 03:34 pm (UTC)
Well, and it's so much easier (for me, at any rate) to make friends via slash than in real life that eventually one's social life ends up being mostly fandom-related. But do you find it difficult to keep the two separate? I'm forever telling people about this great story I read, and then realizing that a) that was fan fiction and b) this person is not a fan fiction person.

Lady Moirarosaleendhu on October 22nd, 2004 01:05 am (UTC)
I'm pretty honest about my fandom ties with the people I know. I think I've told a pretty even mix of guys and girls among my rl friends (but they're all roleplayers, so y'know...).

My friends have three basic types of responses. Some of them are supportive and possibly fannish themselves. Some of them will listen if I babble, but aren't interested. And some of them tease the hell out of me for it, but not in a bad way, more like a "I don't get it" way. Most of the teasing comes from guy friends who are Very Straight.
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombat crossingthefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 03:37 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes, roleplaying games. I started there myself. What games do you play?

All three of those responses actually sound pretty good. (And, hey, if you get teased too much by Very Straight men, you can always retaliate with lesbian porn/threesome fantasy teasing. Seems to me your average straight guy should get this better than anyone besides a fellow slasher.) I'm really encouraged, overall, by the results of this poll and by the comments people are making.
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Black Canarythefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 04:00 pm (UTC)
(I've been meaning to tell you that I love your new themed icons. Particularly this one and the "swing every way" one.)

See, now, I could not imagine having my boss look at pictures of my genital piercings, but it sounds like it worked out pretty well for you. (And yay for geeks. Is it just me, or are geeks just in general likely to be more accepting and open - albeit likely to turn everything into a Geek Debate - than your average person?)

And I'm always fascinated that there are people who incorporated slash into their pre-fannish LJs. You folks are wonderful. (Of course, slash was the only reason I was even willing to consider getting a LJ. I was the Wariest Livejournaler there for a while; it practically took a Christmas special about the magic of livejournal to get me to start one.)

Oh, and my apologies for the paucity of poly-appropriate relationship choices. I was in a trio for quite a while myself, so I know the irritating difficulty of trying to find something suitable on a list like the one above, but I couldn't figure out how to put in every possible option yet still keep it short enough that people would take it. So thanks for picking the most suitable choice; that's pretty much what I hoped the polyfolk would do.
The Divine Goatthedivinegoat on October 22nd, 2004 02:49 am (UTC)
Condescendingly Amused.

The reaction of most people I've told.

But my cousin's on LJ and he's cool.
tried to eat the safe banana: Elektra is angrythefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 05:34 pm (UTC)
Grrr. Condescendingly amused is - well, I'm not entirely sure it's better than a flat-out "ew" reaction. Though I probably feel that way in large part because I used to be condescending about FF (although, thank god, never toward an actual fan) until I found my way to some and realized, my god, this stuff is good. So now the whole condescending amusement bit makes me want to bite someone. I sincerely hope you're less, um, sensitive. Or that you have very sharp teeth.

(Yay, cousin!)
¿es eso un libro de besos?: fangirldarthfox on October 22nd, 2004 03:13 am (UTC)
anyone in my Real Life: a decent number of people, but i wouldn't say "most". i do believe in separation of life and fandom, but that's hard to maintain. :-) i think what it is, really, is that a decent number of fans have come into my Real Life, and there's a few people in Real Life who are aware as well.

how did they take it: i was going to choose "fairly well", but i don't know that there was temporary geechiness. basically i think the position of my non-fannish-but-aware friends is "sure, whatever".
tried to eat the safe banana: Reaching girlthefourthvine on October 22nd, 2004 06:04 pm (UTC)
(Btw, I love that icon. I have a whole bunch of "fangirl" images saved against the day that I learn to make icons, but, really, I think that picture is better than any of the ones I have. Yum.)

It really is tough to maintain separation of life and fandom. Sometimes my parents will ask me what I did with a day off, and I'll think, Jesus, did I do anything non-fannish? Um. Is "computer stuff" vague enough? But I've always been a big person for boundaries between different parts of my life, too.

And yay for your non-fannish (much better term that RL, incidentally, as so many of us have fan friends that have crossed into RL) friends, who seem pretty blase.
rowanfairchild on October 22nd, 2004 04:04 am (UTC)
My husband is kind of an art snob. He knows I *read* slash, but he doesn't know I *write* it. Therefore, he doesn't know my pseud, about my LJ, etc. Frankly, I just don't want to deal with the ridicule. He knows about my thing for gay porn though, and is cool with that--hell, he'll get gay porn for me. It's the *fan* thing he has issues with.

And just in general, I've kept separation between fanlife and "RL" -- I don't think my business clients or my fairly conservative family would be cool with it. Friend-wise, I've been subtly rearranging my friendships over the past 5 years or so -- most of my "RL" friends now *are* fan-friends.
ineke on October 22nd, 2004 08:19 pm (UTC)
Mmm, yeah, my boyfriend knows about my predeliction for gay porn, but as for the writing of slash?