Any time one starts to discuss "men are this way, women are that way," one is just looking for trouble. Gender traits are definitely a sliding scale, and as much as we'd like to claim either sex is all the same, it just ain't so. Given all that, and the trouble I'm apt to get into on a discussion of same, here goes nothing . . . by the way, this particular blog is for the eighteen and older set, so you kiddies scamper off now.
Soooooooo much foreplay on the latest episode of the Baker Street Babes' podcast. Pre-show intro, proper intro, asking multiple guests the BSB questions . . . were this podcast run by men, I should think they'd get to the actual sex part a whole lot sooner . . . or would they? After a hundred years of male-run Sherlockiana, why is this the first recorded conversation on Sherlock and sex? Has the internet finally loosened cultural norms up that much, or were us guys all afraid of getting in trouble with the missus? Or does it run much deeper than that?
Episode 44 of the Babes podcast, "Sherlock After Dark, Part 1," raises a lot of questions. I don't care if you're male, female, gay, straight, asexual, bisexual, or something else that hasn't fully caught on yet, sex can usually stir up a conversation, especially when we're amongst our favorite companions. And it's not like it's never come up in Sherlockian circles before . . . my blushes, Watson! But the ladies have opened up a can of penis-shaped worms this episode, and I can't help but blog a comment or two.
The Babes raise the classic question of a stereotypical male encountering slash fan fiction, "Why do women enjoy imagining two men together?" and, yes, there are males out there so narcissistic that they can't comprehend any point of view but their own. But I think the question they're truly asking is something that runs a lot deeper in our culture: "Why are you women going there?"
Slash fiction, with its oft-explicit Kirk-on-Spock, Holmes-on-Watson sex scenes are a distinctly female past-time. If you look at the hundred years of Sherlockiana pre-TV fandoms, you don't see a lot of Holmes-and-Watson-having-sex pastiches. Not with each other, not with any hottie clients, not even with Dr. and Mrs. Watson on their honeymoon. Sherlockian chronologers even seem to go out of their way to keep Watson chastely at one-wife-and-done. And when you consider that Sherlockiana was male-dominated for so long, with men-only meetings in many cities, you have to stop and wonder why.
I mean, men like sex. Men like sex a lot. A LOT. Women like to talk about how a man will never know how painful childbirth truly is, but . . . and I know many a lady who will argue this with me . . . I don't think most women will ever truly understand just how much men like sex. So why aren't we writing pastiches about Holmes and Kitty Winter rolling around the bushes, or Watson and . . . well, everyone getting it on? Grimesby Roylott was left alone in the house with full-grown twin step-daughters, for gosh sakes! If that's not a premise for porn, I don't know what is.
One could go the "elite devotee" route and claim that the Sherlockian male is just better than that, but c'mon . . . Les Klinger didn't bring up Watson's "ejaculated" on the BSB podcast because he just discovered it. Bawdy bits have been a part of Sherlockian culture for a very long time. But not much sex fanfic.
It doesn't take much strolling around the internet to see one difference in males and females when it comes to constructing sexual entertainments. Men, the prime consumers of internet porn, don't seem to need plot. Or scene. Or characters. Or names. Or costumes. Or . . . well, you get the picture. Fanfic "porn" is about the culmination of a passionate relationship. The ladies writing it seem to just like to take their time in getting to a story's climax.
Before male Sherlockians spend too much time complaining about the rise of fandom Sherlockiana and all it brings with it, like this new sexy side of pastichery, perhaps we should stop and think about what is actually being brought to the table. A little more foreplay, perhaps. A little more relationship discussion. A little more balance. A chance to see favorite characters from a different point of view.
And before female Sherlockians (and podcasting ladies) spend too much time pondering why men don't get this or that bit, they should also remember that male or female, we are as varied as the colors of the rainbow when it comes to some topics, and for every man or woman you meet that's one way, rest assured there's an opposite number of the same gender somewhere else. Which is why I could well be wrong on any statement I made in the preceding ramble.
Kudos to the Baker Street Babes for keeping it interesting. Looking forward to part two. (Though why you couldn't have just had one very long special episode, I'm not entirely sure.)