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Pain as Pleasure: Tough Girls’ Love in Fan Fiction
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2011 (English)In: How does it feel?: Making Sense of Pain / [ed] Hans T. Sternudd & Angela Tumini, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press , 2011, 99-116 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Fan fiction writers use an existing fictional universe to develop scenarios and characters in creative ways within the logic of the original universe. In this chapter, I examine the representations of the erotics of pain in two fan-produced, so-called femslash texts describing romantic and sexual relationships between the two vampire slayers Buffy and Faith from Joss Whedon’s TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In the ‘adult’ Buffy/Faith femslash analysed here, the authors describe pain as inextricably linked to sexual pleasure and intimacy, especially in BDSM sex scenes. Drawing on intertextual links to the TV series, such as the preternatural resilience of Slayer bodies which can take extreme amounts of pain, the fanfic writers create graphic descriptions of safe, sane and consensual BDSM as key elements in Buffy and Faith’s relationship.

I argue that such representations are transgressive in that they break the rules of how sexualities can be represented in the prime-time TV series the two female characters are borrowed from. Furthermore, they subvert stereotypical ideas about female desire and sexual behaviour as ‘passive’ or ‘vanilla’. The potential for transgression may explain fan writers’ attraction to Buffy/Faith femslash centring on BDSM relations as well as readers’ interest in these stories.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press , 2011. 99-116 p.
Keyword [en]
Sexualized pain, pornography, BDSM, intertextuality, Buffy/Faith femslash, fan fiction, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-46808ISBN: 978-1-84888-050-4OAI: diva2:441253
Available from: 2011-09-27 Created: 2011-09-15 Last updated: 2012-01-05Bibliographically approved

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How Does it Feel? Making Sense of Pain

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