To say that I have expanded my List Of Characters Who Should Not Be Slashed.*
It is an extremely, extremely
short list. Because I will cheerfully read slash of almost anyone, because this is a kind of literary criticism I find meaningful, plus, sex=yay. However, there are two reasons that I prefer not to read slash of certain characters:
1) The original author managed to create a universe which is dignified and beautiful and complex, and yet in which sex is not a part.
Thus far, this is only Tolkien. I will happily read, say, Care Bears slash (yay yuletide
), but that's because the Care Bears universe, while a fun place, is seriously flawed by its lack of any serious treatment of, say, death. Or evil, or entropy, or even pain, really-- any of the things that makes the real world complicated and worth struggling with. Tolkien has all those things in spades, but he managed to write a universe in which characters have only a tenuous connection to anything biological rather than spiritual. They eat, yes, and get cold and tired and I think they might bleed, but his characters do not sweat, shit, smell, fart, rot, or anything else that bodies do which might be impolite. The only description in the book anywhere-- anywhere
-- along those lines is his description of Mordor, where the landscape is "obscene shapes vomited up" out of the earth. That's it.
Go ahead and check. And so I find it to be a little bit too much of a mind-fuck to think about his characters having sex to enjoy it. I can occasionally enjoy stories just
about the hobbits (particularly if it's PG-rated), as they're the closest to our world of anyone in there, and of course, the Very Secret Diaries are parody of this sort of fic, and of the movie, and are hella funny. But otherwise, no Tolkien slash for me.
2) The characters' relationship is so involved and interesting that sex would make it less complicated, rather than more.
The main reason that I usually like slash is that it adds complexity to a relationship, and therefore to the characters. I adore Harry/Draco slash because the necessary moral ambiguity it implies for both of them makes both infinitely more interesting than the fairly flat cowardly twit/angsty teen hero that they are in the books. However, sometimes, one finds characters whose relationships are already so complicated that in order for them to have sex, one would have to remove
some of the aspects of them (rather than finding explanations for their behavior which lead to sex). And them, I would rather not see slashed.
My new addition to this list is: (being halfway through Season Four) Londo and J'kar from Babylon 5.
DAMN, they're cool together. And man, do I not want to see them have sex.
Other people include:
* the main four from Saiyuki
(I can be argued into Gojyo and Hakkai, because they actually do flirt. But if you try to give me Sanzo and Goku, I will whimper at you.)
* most of the people from the West WIng.
In part because their universe is such that I feel that if they were to have any sexual orientation other than straight, it would be cannon.
It would be part of their identity, and they would talk about it, and it would be an issue-- what it meant that a major White House staffer was gay, openly or closetedly. But mostly because, as said above, it would make their relationships less complex.
... damn, I knew I had some more, but I can't remember them. I'm open to suggestions.
Now, of course, this is all very personal and subjective. And it's not absolute; I'm willing to be that an absolutely brilliant writer could, in fact, give me any of the pairings on the list, and I would like it. But for the most part, I am much much more cautious with them than I am with... oh, anyone else, ever.
If you have any fics that prove me wrong, mind you, I'm all ears...
Reading: Gregory McGuire, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Zenna Henderson, Pilgrimage; lots of manga, particularly Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix, Volumes 1 & 6.
*I've been putting off updating out of the feeling that before I do so, I really ought to respond to the interesting and insightful comments on my last entry. But I am lazy. So thank you all, and khyros, you are totally welcome to link to it, as is anyone else, and I will try to go back and comment on it soon. Sorry that I am lazy, and thanks again!