“Just Don’t Frighten the Horses”: Discussing Porn and Kink in Fandom Spaces

Hillary Hencely, Georgia College & State University


In my presentation, I plan to discuss why the banning of sexually explicit content is occurring in fandom spaces, who is trying to ban this content, and why it should matter to people both inside and outside of fandom. I also intend to look at these answers within the framework of feminism and fandom culture. When fanfiction is considered to be literature, it is easy to see why fanfiction matters. This is especially true when the authors of fanfiction are primarily women and are told that their content might be harmful to others through the reasoning that pornography is anti-feminist. I want to explore why these ideas are false and how actually banning sexually explicit content is not only harmful to fanfiction authors but also to marginalized groups as a whole. In order to do this, I also plan to examine the novel Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, as it started out as Twilight fanfiction, and the objections to it based on its sexual content.