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Harry Potter: Sexy?

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I don’t know about you, but slash fiction is something I’ve been blissfully ignorant of. I’m usually pretty open minded but slash fiction involving underage characters seems, well, pretty weird to me.

I mean, I know a person or two who played with this genre&#8212explained at Wikipedia&#8212 particularly with X-Files

But I admit I was a little bit surprised that when I typed “Harry Potter blog” into Google, it led me to slash fiction sites where people imagined sexual situations with Harry Potter characters.

Am I a prude to find this a bit, well, odd?

Do you read and like such things? If so, what’s the appeal?

I came across the slash fiction while preparing for a book discussion at my blog. Here are some more harmless but fun Potter-related links:

And here are some good ones I previously shared:

  • You can go find out what your Harry Potter alter ego is.
  • Just how popular is Harry Potter at Guantanamo Bay? The answer.
  • Here is an excellent review I may use as a jumping off point for the discussion.
  • Here are some spoiler thoughts for those who finished the book.
  • And here are other related links.

Edited: PC

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About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been doing special education work for about five years He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.
  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    None of the main characters are 18 yet, so Harry Potter slash fiction seems inappropriate at the very least, and possibly criminal to possess in some areas.

    Slash fiction in general is completely uninteresting to me, but I’m not hostile to its existence if the characters are all adults. If some people want to write about Kirk and Spock finding rather unusual ways to explore strange new worlds, well, okay. Just don’t ask me to read it.

    Harry Potter slash fiction goes much farther beyond the boundaries of taste. The whole concept has too much potential for really creepy results.

  • Yvonne

    I have read both fanfiction and slashfiction, that has involved Harry Potter characters. HP Slash is 99% of the time, is written by young women, and tends to be about the romance between the characters, but sometimes can be explicit. The characters are usually older (over the age of 18), as the authors are aware of the implications involved.
    The authors do not intend to create “nasty results”.

  • Taja

    I read a great deal of HP fanfiction: slash, femmeslash, and nonslash. I don’t deliberately seek out slashfics to read, but I won’t avoid them, or any other fic that explores unusal or taboo romantic/sexual situations, either. For me, the appeal is always the writing. Is the fic well-written? Are the characters written (more or less) in character? Does the plot hang together?
    And the idea of underage characters engaging in sex? Does anyone really think that teens don’t have sex? that there aren’t homosexual and bisexual teens, having sex? Not ALL teens, to be sure, but it does happen.
    Yes, I generally think the fics that explore relationships between adults and teens, whether slash or nonslash, are a bit icky. But the fics with that sort of content that I’ve liked, MEANT for that situation to be icky, not for it to be viewed or consumed as kiddie porn.
    Art imitates life. Fanfiction is art. Not all of it is quality work. (I won’t pick on any particular work or genre.) Not all of it is appropriate, or intended for, younger readers. (Would you let a ten-year old read a Harlequin romance?) Not all of it is to everyone’s taste. (‘Piss Christ’, anyone?) It sure provokes a reaction in the reader though, doesn’t it?

  • The Theory

    Regarding sexual situations in online fiction… Would it be any more or less shocking to read something of that nature in a regular fiction book?

    I mean, if you changed all the character’s names and put a real binding on it I don’t think any of us would be talking about legal ramifications.

    Now, the catch in this case is that the Harry Potter characters, thanks to the movies, have the faces of real teenagers. Some people might read them and have in mind whatever they innitially pictured hermione when they read the books… or they might see Emma (was her last name Watson?), the girl who portrayed hermione in the movie.

    which is a little unsettling.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Sex scenes involving minors are dangerous ground, no matter what the characters’ names are. It doesn’t matter whether it’s online or print media. Doesn’t matter if it’s words, video, photo images, drawings, paintings, illustrations, or whatever. Laws and cultural values are growing more and more suspicious of anything involving explicit sex. If minors are portrayed, very few will defend the material even as a free speech issue.

    I’m not saying anything about whether this should be the case. But this is what’s happening, like it or not. If you want to protect yourself from a whole lot of trouble you need to be aware of it before you start writing any fanfiction involving characters younger than 18.

    Yes, people younger than 18 sometimes do have sex. That doesn’t make it safe to portray them doing it in your fiction.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com Pat Cummings

    According to the Wikipedia page linked to this article, “Warner Brothers, on behalf of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, has issued cease and desist orders in the past as a result of this type of slash.”

    Because of this, I have removed the link to the “chanslash” sites for the Harry Potter characters.

    This is a valid discussion, though, people — is such fiction, written about fictional characters, really dangerous? Or is it just… fiction?

  • Blue Eyes

    I think it’s just fiction. The books are just fiction, the ff is just fiction. That’s why they are called Fanfiction! IN the books it’s alright to have Ginny making out with Dean and Harry, Ron with Lavender, Why would this be any different then having Harry and Draco kiss in a ff?

    Isn’t it suppose to be the writers decision on what they wish to write? I’ll admit I read slash, but I don’t think of it as mindless, yucky, or odd. It’s the writing that makes it beautiful. Two people over coming difference and finding love in one another, it shouldn’t matter what gender. What I think is wrong is that if it was Harry and Ginny in ff stories it would completely fine. It’s because it’s slash.

    I think it should be dropped. It’s all play. You can just as easily pick up a boy/boy romance in a book store, or look up porn. Slash ff’s are just stories, with words, no pictures in an online book, they do not make money by writing them they even state that they don’t, so why the big issue.

    If your afraid that your kids will read something that’s not straight right wing stuff, then either tell them not to or set your computer up so they can’t. If it bugs you then don’t read it. It’s as simple as that.

    Remember it’s just words, fiction.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    It doesn’t matter what I think or you think.

    The danger arises from what legislators, prosecutors, judges, and juries think. If they find some forms of fiction too disturbing, the authors are in danger of losing their liberty and their property.

    If you don’t like this fact, don’t just say so here. Go ahead and say it here if you want, but don’t think you have made much of a difference by doing so. Write to your legislators and make sure they know how you want them to interpret the Constitution’s protections for free speech.

  • http://www.scoopstories.typepad.com Scott Butki

    I’m glad this prompted a discussion and that I’m not the only one uncomfortable with Potter slash fiction.

  • eriqo

    What is slash fiction anyway??

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Slash fiction is a subset of fan fiction, in which the fan author sets up relationships between characters who are not romantically involved in the original version of the story.

    The “slash” term comes from the brief descriptions used to alert readers to the content of these stories on fan fiction sites, Usenet newsgroups, and before the Internet opened up, on local bulletin board systems. A Star Trek story with Kirk and Spock getting romantically involved would fall into the category of “Kirk/Spock” stories, which is pronounced “Kirk-slash-Spock” when spoken out loud.

    Eventually the whole genre became known as “slash” fiction.

    I know all this because I wondered about that too. The term “slash” made me think the stories were about violence, which turned out not to be the case once I looked into it.

  • http://www.scoopstories.typepad.com Scott Butki

    Thanks for the great summary.

    I linked in my original post to Wikipedia’s summary of the term, which is also interesting.

  • eriqo

    thnx vic!

  • Aithinne

    You guys are so niave! 12 year olds are having sex these days and in England where Harry supposedly lives the legal limit for sex is 16. I’m 13 and I’ve read a lot of books with explicite sex scenes because they are seen as classics.Rape and sex are in most books on my school reading list!
    Kill Bill is exeptionally violent but is seen as arrt. Why should fanFICTIONS been seen as otherwise?

  • http://www.scoopstories.typepad.com Scott Butki

    It’s one thing to have underaeg sex and it’s another to write about underage sex but it’s quite another to take underage characters from fiction and imagine having sex with them.

    If you wrote a novel and I then blogged about fantasies abuot having sex with a character you wrote about, that wouldn’t strike you as odd?

  • http://www.scoopstories.typepad.com Scott Butki

    Or do people disagree with that assessment?

  • ciara

    oooooo, harry potter is soooooo sexy!! ow can any1 not luv im? lol
    ciara xxxxxxx

  • with karate ill kik ur ass

    its kinda sik if u ask me

  • http://www.silentbard.net Rhonda

    May I state, 17 is ‘legal’ age in the wizarding world so Harry is a few months shy of being an ‘adult’ in his world by the end of the sixth book. So therefore, even canon Harry is a ‘man’ now.

    Now on to the “issue”, Slash fan fiction in the HP Universe. Well there’s a few things worth saying

    1) Not all slash fiction is PORN, most of it is but there are slash stories where the characters (either two males or two females) do no more than Ron and Ginny did in the sixth book, which is heavy snogging (kissing). And quite a few focus on the issue of coming to terms with being gay/lesbian/bi more so than the sexual aspect of such a relationship. Maybe these fics are in the minority, but they exsist. And maybe it helps young people on the verge of coming out to read/write G-PG13 rated slash stories (yes, they exsist along with R/NC17 material) about characters they feel close to. And it helps in coming to terms with the fact they’re not-Hetero.

    2) Because these are fictional characters from a BOOK they don’t have to be the age they were in the last published book or the ‘current age’ of the actors in the film. Plenty of stories in Harry Potter land (Het/Slash/Gen) ‘speculate’ on the future/adult lives of the characters and will likely continue to do so after the publishing of the seventh and final book. Especially since once it arrives the canon will be complete and set in stone, so everyone has an even playing feild.

    3) HP Slash was pre-movie, so we can’t make it dirty because now actual teen faces can be attached to the names. And not everyone is associating these characters with the actors. I personally have a Harry tbat’s not Daniel Radcliffe, a Ron that’s not Rupert Grint, and a Hermione that’s not Emma Watson that has stayed with me because I read the books before the movies exsisted. I never had a problem imagining my trio becoming adults who (shock) had sex. Actually it did begin to squick me when Dan, Emma, and Rupert were little and (in the majority) people associated those cute little baby faces with Harry, Hermione, and Ron. But now even they’re in there teens, so it’s less weird.

    4) I’m not for the teacher/student and adult/child stuff in HP (Heterosexual or not), but I personally have no problem with stories where teens (Heterosexual or not) have an honest coming to terms with their sexuality within a story, with or without a Harry Potter context.

  • deatheater

    id shag dan radcliff till he was dead!!!!!

    no joke!honest!

  • http://www.scoopstories.typepad.com Scott Butki

    How old is he now?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    If “shagging them until they’re dead” becomes the new standard way of saying you find someone attractive, that would be a great deal more disturbing than any fan fiction.

  • Annie

    ok, this is really weird. I’d just like to say although im against sex outside the context of marriage, I have no problem with the characters having sex as long as it isn’t put into the story. Rowling knows when the reader has got the idea, she doesn’t need graphic details which would otherwise spoil these books.

  • Annie

    Bu the way, im 14, Aussie, and Catholic

  • http://www.scoopstories.typepad.com Scott Butki

    Bad news. There’s a new report out that Potter may get killed off in the next book. Details here.

  • Yukio Hiriataro

    I write and read Harry Potter Fanfiction and have been for near five years. I also write and read an assortment of anime and other related fictions. If you go to Adult fanfiction you can see the full range of fanfic’s available. And AFF’s only one fandom. Like music, or sculpture writing’s an art- and fanfictions a form of writing next to short stories, novels and newspaper / magazine articles. People write fanfiction for a multitude of reasons- to pass time, work on writing skills, for the sake of writing, the need to get a good story out of one’s head and onto the paper, out of a desire to see two characters together in romantic / suggestive situations etc etc.

    People *read* fanfiction for a multitude of reasons also- to pass the time, because one likes the idea of two characters together in romantic / suggestive situations, because they *like* it, to get off on it (both male and female though mostly female) and more.

    Know what a beta is? A beta is someone who actually edits fanfiction, yes we have editors- we take just as much pride in our spelling and grammar as any novelist.

    I myself am a published author- my book is fiction though it deals with subjects other then romance, and they are, of course, my own characters. And no- to answer your question, if I stumbled on a fic in which my characters were used in suggestive stories or otherwise- I wouldn’t be wierded out- I’d be flattered, as a matter of fact. The sheer amount of HP fanfiction comes from the sheer popularity of the books- ff authors pounce on books / movies / games / anime’s / cartoons etc that have good plots and well developed characters- the reason for writing a story that has sex in it, by using another person’s characters and setting, is because you can forgo all the time consuming stuff like introducing characters plot and setting- and just get to the good stuff (i.e: sex)

    Already pointed out- we do not make money off of this, so I personally don’t see the problem. Don’t like it? Don’t read. It’s as simple as that. But seriously. Visit AFF, and you’ll see *just* how vast this genre is- it’s is an art form, and also a hobby- some stories are incredibly *hot* and – let’s admit it- lately our culture revolves more and more around sex, our children are made privy to it daily on your average commercials- billboards, TV, store items- I passed a shop the other day with my two-year old and found dildo’s set up for display right in the front window- seriously, who *can* keep everything away from their children, without removing what fun life has to offer? Are we to toss or prevent the TV from being watched? What then? Board games? Those only last so long. Parks? -Perverts in abundance. The only thing you *can* do, it give them your best definition of right and wrong, and hope they make the right decisions. Now that’s just a broad example. But I’m sure you understand what I mean.

    Personally, I’m *addicted* to fanfiction. I love it. I crave it- I don’t smoke, but it’s just as strong a craving. And it’s *fun* you people forget what *fun* was like? Some people fuck, some people write, some people act, some people sculpt, some people paint / draw / build / teach etc etc etc. We all have hobbies- would you harp on someone for painting a nude lady? Michelangelo’s David- it’s art, is it not? He’s nude- his *thing* is hangin’ right tout there for the world to see! Should we censor it and lock it up?

    For people who are shocked / offended by the sculpture- they don’t have to look- no none’s forcing them to look. It’s the same with fanfiction.

    If you *don’t* like, you *don’t* read. It’s really not rocket science here.

    All I’m asking is for people to be open-minded.

    The same goes for gay marriage. I myself am straight- but I fervently believe that love is love and knows no gender. Try and keep that in mind.

  • http://freewayjam.blogspot.com uao

    Your *points* are very *well-taken*, Yukio.

    *I* never *thought* about *fan fiction* in quite *that way* before.

    ;-)

  • Eda

    I agree entirely with Yukio. While to some people, it may be entirely shocking to discover stories about underaged individuals engaging in sexual acts, to others it is an art form. And like she said… don’t like? Don’t read. Almost any type of fantasy an idividual can have can be found within the fanfiction realm. Even sexual fantasies: bondage, sado masochism, bdsm, rape, gay, lesbian, etc. Most to all sites with “adult” fanfictions are labeled as such, so that it is more difficult to simply and unknowingly venture into them.

    And also, the point of: can you honestly expect that normal teenagers aren’t engaging in acts of sexual nature before legal age? Sex is a status symbol these days within our society. We are made fun of if we do not participate within it, and, since to most it is considered “pleasurable”, most are more than willing to partake of it.

    Fanfiction is a form of escape. A girl can write a story in which she has wings, or in which she is dating her true love (who loves her back madly and believes that she is an ultimate godess). It is a way of expressing what you would like to see or have as reality. It is also simply for pure entertainment.

    Nobody is actually being harmed by individuals writing about characters involved in sexual situations, and nobody is being forced to read them if they are against them. There is a distinct line between writing about sexual fantasies, situations, etc. and actually acting them out. THese are merely stories, and I believe they are perfectly fine.

  • Yukio

    In responce to Uao: -_- Real mature – I’d love to thwack you, but I have better things to do. It’s called emphasis, maybe you’ve heard of it?

  • http://freewayjam.blogspot.com uao

    Oh lighten, up Yukio.

    I’ve heard of emphasis, but you know as well as I do you can’t clutter up paragraphs with asterisks like that. What would an editor say?

    Anyway, I was kidding.

    ;-)

  • http://newmedia3d.bravejournal.com/index.php Jennipher

    It’s disgusting. Those are children and adults fantasizing about being with children is wrong on any level. It’s one thing if a teen has a Harry Potter poster, but those sites are plain ol creepy.

  • http://male chrstian gerrne

    Is Harry Potter gay?

  • Scott Butki

    Does it matter if he is?

  • http://gratefuldread.net NR Davis

    Doubtful, but who cares?

    I wouldn’t read slash fiction, but you can’t punish someone for what goes on in his or her imagination, however disgusting or inappropriate we find it – even if they write it down. Don’t like it? Follow my lead: Don’t read it.

    Frankly, if some 50-year-old perv finds Harry hot, I hope he or she writes the fantasies down and engages in them on the page or in his/her brain so that repressed desires don’t end up affecting the life of some real-life teenager.

    This is funny: I finally saw HP4 over the weekend. My first thought, made to my 10-year-old son, was, “Oh, gosh, Harry’s hot! How did that happen?” (I’m queer and have no desire to deal with kids on a sexual level, so, young Mr. Radcliffe is in no danger from me.)

  • Aliya

    Alright look- i’m a 13 yr old african american female, and simply put, it’s no big deal! like many have said, unless you were deliberately seeking out these slash sites, you wouldn’t just “accidentally” end up on one. they are clearly labeled so i wish ppl would stop with all the “my child can’t go on the internet without all this explicit content being thrown in their face”, bull. i happen to love fanfiction, slash or het, and if you don’t like, don’t read. simple.
    Also, many are wondering were the attraction to these fics stems from. Forgive me if i’m wrong, but for me, it isn’t just the sex aspect that i find entertaining (although that is a big part of it), i think ppl are attracted to reading about their favorite HP characters in these situations bacause of an attraction to the actors who play said characters. when ppl think of harry, they think of daniel radcliffe, who is admittedly attractive to many. when they think of this sexual attraction, they can’t help but associate it with a sexual attraction to the characters. idk atleast that’s why i read the fics. other than that, it’s just entertainment dealing with a series we all love.

  • ColdSpring

    Does anyone know of any links that actually states that a fanfic writer got in trouble by the law for creating a fanfic that featured underaged sex with canon characters?

  • Scott Butki

    I don’t but it’s a good question.

  • Lindsay

    JK rowling is never going to write explicitly because she knows that a lot of her fan base is very young and within the context of the books, lots of sex would be unnecessary. Fanfiction is a way of imagining the relationships we would like to happen in canon, but probably won’t.

    Most fanfiction is moderated and comes with suitable warnings and ratings. You don’t have to read any fanfiction if you don’t want to. Also the majority of explicit fanfictions use characters that are 16+, which in England is the age of consent anyway. Most writers respect that it may not be suitable to use young characters. I think it is perfectly natural to graduate towards sexual relationships from the ones which Rowling created in canon. Harry Potter may be a children’s book but it also deals with adult issues and relationships. The characters in the books are not children anymore, and neither are the mass of readers.

    I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with sexual content within harry potter fanfiction. Its not what’s in the fanfiction but how its written that counts.

  • Lindsay

    As far as I know there are few restrictions on fanfiction writing, as long as a suitable disclaimer is printed with all writing then it is up to the idividual regulations of the fanfiction site whether or not to publish the work. If complaints are made about individual fanfictions then they are usually removed by the website that published them.

    Cassandra Claire’s fanfiction series was removed from fanfiction.net because it had simply borrowed quotes from tv shows without giving suitable credit. Most fanfiction websites respond to complaints fairly quickly because understandbly, they want to keep a good profile.

    I think it is wrong to censor writing. As long as there are suitable warnings about the content of writing then there would be no reason for it to be removed. Putting restrictions on fanfictions would simply quash free speech and is as bad as book-burning.

  • http://www.scribblet.com Hillary

    Here’s a blog on what
    Anne Rice did to fan fiction
    . She hates it:

    along with a quote from J.K. Rowling: “I’ve read some of it… I find it very flattering that people love the characters that much.” – J.K. Rowling on Harry Potter fanfiction that can be found via the Internet. Fall 2000

  • iggylani

    so since the fan base is young we cant have sex in the books but we can have people that are important to us die? see friends get killed? why is sex worse than that?

  • MJ Clon

    As an avid reader/ sometimes writer of fanfiction, slash especially, I felt the need to comment. First of all, fan fiction is completely legal as long as the writers include a disclaimer. If the story has other major issues, they are usually taken down the moment someone notices. There is absolutely nothing wrong with slash fan fiction. Why? FICTION. Not only is the story itself-which never has affiliation with the actual thing- fiction, but so is its base. Even if I don’t enjoy it, something such as a teacher/student romance is completely acceptable. FICTION. Fanfiction was created as a way for people to express their ideas for their favourite book/anime/movie etc., usually scenarios that don’t have a snowball’s chance of happening (Which explains its volumes). Actual sex limits and such have absolutely no effect on fanfiction. If a character is underage, so what? They. Are. Not. Real. If you must include reality, which I don’t understand, as we’re talking about FICTION, I’d love someone to explain what harm it would bring. Once again, FICTION. If one wishes to picture Dan Radcliffe and Tom Felton having sex, that’s not the fault of the writer. Also, if one finds it unsettling, here’s a thought. DON’T READ IT. Slash fanfiction, and fanfiction on a whole, are given ratings to prevent random people from stumbling upon it. Most authors also give the warning of slash, (or anything that may cause discomfort eg.bdsm, rape, death, disorders) or give the pairings. If someone really doesn’t want to read slash, they don’t have to. Simple. No need to attack those who do. One last thing I’d like to point out is that many slash readers/writers aren’t in it just for the sex. Most of the time, it’s a good plotline that grabs attention. Some don’t even contain any (Not to say that a good number are not sex based). Some feel a slash romance would be better for their plotline. Some enjoy slash pairings. Some find it more entertaining. Whatever. Personally, I enjoy slash pairings, and find some of the stories to be more enjoyable and better written. Bottom line, don’t want to, don’t read.

  • hurtingtruth

    I am suprised that out of all the arguements for the Fan fiction nobody has mentioned the FIRST AMENDMENT. freedom of speech! It is commmon knowledge that any book, tv show, movie, anything that is publicized may or may not get fan fiction written about the characters. if the author is so upset by that option, dont write the book. It’s absolutely ridiciolous to get so upset over this. Dont like it, dont read it. They’re not getting money, international fame, they are not a other option source of Anne Rice stories, so that when she publishes a new book that her fans will flock to fan fiction rather than her own stories. NO. she is still getting her money and her fame. She needs to get over it. Its FREEDOM OF SPEECH. I particulary dont like it when people call me mean names. But i can do nothing to stop it because it is the freedom of speech! Seriously, if it keeps going on about this. Pretty soon the US government will say that we are not allowed to talk/write about anything not involving our own selves. People are seriously throwing everything out of proportion here.

  • Kati

    (Sorry about my bad english. I’m not from a english speaking country. But I still want to tell my opinion. So don’t be to harsh about the grammar and spelling! Please!)

    I`m fine with fanfictions.
    Over the last years I was reading alot of them. Even my boyfriend is fine with that.

    And by the way I never found NC-17 Storys about the characters when they were under 15. Mostly they are 17 or older!
    To be honest this is the most important thing for me!!!
    Actually I prefer storys in wich the characters are at least 17 or older.

    Teacher/Student storys are quite disgusting. But I don’t have to read them. So they don’t bother me.

    To me Harry Potter and Co are just characters from a book. I don’t see the actors when I read the storys. What is quite helpful.

  • Julia

    ok u must be a prude because Fanfiction is just a creative way of expressing your self. some people may not like harry maybe they like Draco or fred or others who are not in the books as much. plus if they are a good writer, the characters seem more real.

  • Kayla

    I think that fan-fiction can appear as inappropriate but these stories cause no harm. They are just fictional accounts of the writers mind. If you think children should not be reading these stories then parents should be more involved in their kid’s life. TOM FELTON IS HOT. I wish someone would write about me and him together!!

  • Louise

    I personally love slash, but I absolutely hate the stories written by writers who put themselves in the
    other mainpart and end up romantically involved with them.

    It kind of gives fanfic the image that it’s only written by hormone filled teenage girls.

    As long as the erotic ones are blocked for those under a certain age, I see no fault.