Femslash (also known as "f/f slash", "femmeslash", "altfic" and "saffic")[1] is a subgenre of slash fan fiction which focuses on romantic and/or sexual relationships between female fictional characters.[2] Typically, characters featured in femslash are heterosexual in the canon universe; however, similar fan fiction about lesbian characters is commonly labeled as femslash for convenience.[3] The term is generally applied only to fanworks based on Western fandoms; the nearest anime/manga equivalents are more often called yuri and shōjo-ai fanfiction.[4] "Saffic" is a portmanteau of Sapphic and fiction.[5]

As of 2006, femslash is enjoying increasing popularity and is the "dominant form" of slash in some fandoms.[6] Some fans see "slash" as being indicative of a male-male relationship.[6]

There is less femslash than there is slash based on male couples;[7] for example, in the Lord of the Rings fandom, only a small number of femslash stories are written about the Arwen/Éowyn pairing in comparison to slash between the male characters.[8] It has been suggested that heterosexual female slash authors generally do not write femslash,[7] and that it is rare to find a fandom with two sufficiently engaging female characters.[9] Janeway/Seven is the main Star Trek femslash pairing, as only they have "an on-screen relationship fraught with deep emotional connection and conflict".[10] Although it is debated whether fanfiction about canon lesbians such as Willow and Tara of Buffy the Vampire Slayer counts as "slash", their relationship storylines are more coy than heterosexual ones, which entices Willow/Tara femslash authors to fill in the gaps in the known relationship storyline.[9] It is "relatively recently" that male writers have begun writing femslash, and this entry of males into femslash has occurred within Buffy femslash. The femslash authorship is mostly female.[11]

The television show The L Word set up a contest at the website where fans could submit a femme slash fanfic. The winner's story was incorporated into a scene of a third season episode.[12][13]

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  1. Lawrence, K. F.; schraefel, m. c. (2006). "Web Based Semantic Communities – Who, How and Why We Might Want Them in the First Place"]. University of Southampton. Retrieved 12 August 2007. 
  2. Lo, Malinda. (4 January 2006) Fan Fiction Comes Out of the Closet Accessed 19 July 2007.
  3. Herzing, Melissa. (April 2005) The Internet World of Fan Fiction Virginia Commonwealth University. Accessed 12 August 2007.
  4. "Lunaescence". Dictionary of Anime Fandom. Retrieved 19 July 2007. 
  5. Tosenberger, Catherine (2008) "Homosexuality at the Online Hogwarts: Harry Potter Slash Fanfiction" Children's Literature 36 pp.185-207 Template:Doi
  6. 6.0 6.1 K. Faith Lawrence (March 2008). "The Web of Community Trust". University of Southampton. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Fan/tastic Voyage. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  8. Thompson, Kristin (2007). The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood. University of California Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-520-24774-1. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Fan Fiction Comes Out of the Closet". January 4, 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  10. Julie Levin Russo (August 2002). New Voy "cyborg sex". 
  11. "Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies". Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  12. Hibberd, James (December 5, 2005), "Lights! Camera! 'L Word' Action!". Television Week. 24 (49):4
  13. (December 5, 2005), "At Deadline".MediaWeek. 15 (44):3

External linksEdit

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