Extry extry! Breaking news from the East! Women in China really love their Sherlock slash fic. As do plenty of women in the U.S., England, France, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa or pretty much anywhere else on the planet where people are able to watch the show. SHOCKING! It looks like women's sexuality is more complex than most cultures would care to admit, at least when it comes to Benedict Cumberbatch porking Martin Freeman. Rrrrrrrread all about it!
Sherlock — much to the chagrin of showrunner Steven Moffat — is a series that's success is largely thanks to its massive female fanbase and insane Tumblr following. It's not a stretch to say that many of those fans and Tumblrs are devoted to Johnlock (the ship name that implies Sherlock and Watson are more than just friends) As the newest season of Sherlock premieres in China, it's turning out that Chinese women are no different from the rest of us (WHAT?!) and are just as into the idea of Sherlock investigating all over John Watson's face, chest, dong and butt. And they're writing a lot of erotic fan fic about it, too.
One thing that makes this somewhat remarkable is China's history of being less than accepting of gay lifestyles. As Alexander Abad-Santos at The Wire points out, gay people in China will often enter into straight marriages to avoid suspicion and pressure from their families and, on the erotica front, it's even possible to go to jail for writing slash fiction.
But that hasn't scared thousands of Chinese women away from publishing gay Sherlock fan fiction online. Sherlock has over 4,900 entries and countless readers on MTSlash (China's most popular slash fiction site) and these female fans wear their ship proudly, calling themselves "Fu Nu," which originates from the Chinese term for "Rotten Women."
The Wire has published a collection of excerpts (all processed through Google translate) and, like fan fiction anywhere, it's mostly a little weird, incestuous and probably not everyone's cup of tea, but hey, that's what fan fic is for. Keep keepin' it weird, Fu Nu.
Here's one where Sherlock is deflowered by his own brother:
Sherlock is a virgin, no doubt. [Mycroft] Holmes can feel the tension in his body. [He moved] his hand gently in a circular motion on Sherlock's thighs, trying to ease each other's tight, and the other hand on the young Holmes who explore up and down slightly thin body , juvenile unique smooth lines. He finally withdraw from Sherlock mouth, "Sherly, are you sure? ......" his younger brother did not answer, [he] just moved down his body.
And a tender moment between John and Sherlock as Watson dresses Sherlock's wounds:
When this kiss became more and more uncontrollable, John raising his hand against Sherlock's chest ... the heat burned on the face of incredible speeds approaching his ... He still could easily be the man to mobilize desire. But he must stop because he does not want a kiss and Sherlock rip wounds.
By the way, in China, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are known as Curly Fu and Peanut. This — and I say this without any intention of being condescending — is so adorable.
Chinese women's devotion to Johnlock shipping doesn't say anything bad or peculiar about the women themselves, but it does say something about how most cultures (and the way we perceive them) aren't developing fast enough to reflect the mores of the people who live within them. Even in the U.S., the idea that women could be into gay erotica or gay relationships is still a fairly touchy subject, even though today's girls and women are increasingly open about liking it. Get with it, Planet Earth (and Steven Moffat). The women of the world want to see John and Sherlock lock lips and then some.