These are some telltale signs that you have been or are in a fandom :
- a fervent love for specific characters, band members, story lines or actors
- the need to own all paraphernalia connected to your fandom
- joining groups on social media in relation to your fandom
- interacting with said fandom social media
Then there is the REAL fandom signs :
- pausing and/or rewinding your favourite scenes or videos
- creating separate social media accounts to further submerge in the culture anonymously
- searching for every bit of video footage on you tube in relation to the show, the actors, the writers, band members, walkthroughs, previous movie/tv roles of actors
- aaaaand of course writing fan fiction and creating fan art
I've been a part of a few fandoms in my life starting from an extremely early age without realising - apparently I'm very susceptible to pop culture obsessions, pfft, who knew? I've even tried to introduce other people to my fandoms but i have yet to convert anyone.
Currently I'm suffering from Supernaturalitis (and have been for the last few years) which involved most of the symptoms above but I was weary of the fan fiction side of things, feeling it was a step too far. . . until I had a horrid realization : I've inadvertently written fan fiction before.
To understand the horror I felt - let me give you a rundown of what fan fiction is and why it isn't widely discussed amongst normies. It's basically alternate storylines for already established fandoms. These story lines can be characters from a fandom being put into completely alien situations (e.g. The buffy characters going around in a van solving mysteries) or characters acting out situations or relationships that were never written into the show e.g. An alternate timeline where Drogo from Game of Thrones doesn't die or Elaine and Kramer from Seinfeld have a relationship.
Here's some lingo for you : to 'ship' 2 characters means that you want the characters to have a relationship e.g. I ship Dean Winchester and Castiel the angel from Supernatural, (Destiel) and many people ship John and Sherlock from the recent Sherlock series (Johnlock).
Fan fiction is just such a submersible and strangely satisfying medium. A word of warning though - if you have a tendency to obsess over characters and are dissatisfied with implied relationships on your favourite shows, movies or games - don't read fan fiction. Seriously, it is a rabbit hole that I wish someone had warned me about when I first dabbled in it - parents should be warning their kids about the addictive nature of fanfiction instead of fear mongering against weed and heavy metal.
So let's face it, fan fiction is a major outlet for people to imagine their favourite characters getting their fuck on. Not all fan fiction is, but the bulk of it is filthy soul molesting porn.
Pretty much anything you've ever watched has probably got a fan fiction following. To demonstrate this I thought of an innocent subject matter - I dare you to click here (perfectly legal site, don't worry).
Freaky shit, right? Who knew they could feel that way about each other? I didn't even read it but I deduced by the description and the rating that it was going to be nasty. The creepy doesn't stop there I'm afraid, even normal shows get weird ships e.g Buffy and Giles, Bart and Mrs Krabapple, Arya and the Hound, Dean and Sam Winchester (lovingly named Wincest - yup fan fiction authors don't really care about incest).
Another term that you'll wish you didn't know : OTP (one true pairing) because much like organised religion some fans get mightily feisty when it comes to who characters should end up with. Yes, fans love fictional relationships so much they will fight other fans who ship a different fictional relationship. . .
|this is unfortunately - pretty accurate|
So here's the main thing I find weird about fan fiction, depending on the fandom - there is full blown hardcore porn being written and consumed by young girls and boys. Like 14 and up kids are writing some of the filthiest things I've ever read. This sounds really wrong but when I think about it I wrote my first fan fiction when I was 11 about sailor moon and tuxedo mask (granted, it was not porn but definitely more lusty than the actual show). See what I mean about protecting your kids from it - I'm all for natural sexual awakening however not so comfortable with Tweens and young teens writing porn so hardcore that it would make the most seasoned porn star blush.
After my Sailor Moon obsession, my next real run in with fan fiction was during my boy band fan girl phase when the backstreet boys were the only thing I could think about. I even had this overly detailed plan (which became sexy fanfic) of robbing a bank, moving to Kentucky and plotting to marry Kevin (the heavily eye browed backstreet boy) as Kentucky has a younger age of consent.
Then a couple of years later came my Queen obsession and as a proper teenager - this is where the fan fiction became. . . a little graphic. I found a few stories the other day while cleaning my room and I'll admit they made me blush.
Apparently I found all members of Queen quite the loin scorchers.
Another instance of fan fiction that I found hilarious was my sister calling me up one day to ask me if I remembered whether one of the Weasley twins from Harry Potter had gotten a blow job from one of the girls at Hiogwarts. I was confused by the question but started to consider if maybe there was alternate versions of Harry Potter printed (?) until we realised that she had downloaded a fan fiction edited version of the HP books where the children's libidos apparently ran rampant.
A couple of years later I was dissatisfied with the Hunger Games books being too short - fan fiction to the rescue! A very dedicated and talented fan fiction author rewrote all 3 books from the perspective of Peeta . . . Which of course ended up being the rankings of a usual horn bag teenage boy. I still get the real books and the fan fiction confused because it was written so seamlessly (but usually the sexy times are dead giveaways).
So here's the clincher - a few years back I wrote some smutty material (somewhat fan fiction-y), that to my horror, was published out of pure dumb luck. So I thought - lets go all in on this supernatural fandom and interact with people on that level - so I wrote some (tame) fan fiction that has already gained followers and kudos and its only been up for a week!
Despite there being thousands of stories available apparently fans read EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
Why would I put all this (semi) dirty laundry on the interwebs for anyone to see, you ask? Well, because it's taken me over 15 years to realise that both fan fiction and fan art, although embarrassing, are actually really conducive to creativity. Some fans out there are super talented and if the way they find that out is by writing fandom porn or smutty fanart - then rock on you little pervs, rock on.
I just hope that fan girls don't lynch me for revealing the deep dark secrets of fandoms. . .