The first space [bad bromance] offers is in the transgressive sexual performance of the writing itself. If the act of writing utopian, egalitarian slash resists heteronormativity (either because of its queer content or because women are writing sexually explicit fantasies and sharing them with one another), then the act of composing and sharing these darker works does so even more. In many ways, writing utopian slash no longer carries the same subversive charge; it’s no longer an underground, secretive practice. (…) But what about sex that is not safe, not sane, perhaps not consensual? What about fantasies that some consider anti-feminist? What about things that offend others? What about sharing those fantasies in a climate where those who conflate your fantasy with you actual, real-world desires are quick to try and shame you for them? Writing and sharing these darker works challenges the restrictions which both patriarchal and only nominally liberating perspectives attempt to enforce. Like publishing The Story of O, posting these works in and of itself can be a challenge to heteronormative expectations.

Fowler, C. A. (2018) “A Bad Bromance: Betrayal, Violence and Dark Delight in Subverting the Romance Narrative”, in Spacey, A. (ed.), The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction: Essays on Power, Consent and the Body, Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
Tagged on: