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Sexual Related Terms: Fandom Style

Samantha Kaczala | Interrobang | Lifestyles | September 11th, 2017

When works in the fan-based (fandom) community contain relationships and sexual content, we geeks have the right terms to categorize what you are viewing or reading. Fans use these terms, also known as tags, to categorize our fan written fiction (fanfiction) or fan art. It’s how we are able to identify easily what a story is going to be about and know what we want to check out and what we definitely no-way-in-heck are ever going to read. The majority of tags are associated with fanfiction communities. If you’re ever going to check out fanwork make sure to check the tags to make sure you are finding something you want to read.

Here are the ABCs of some sexual related terms used in fandom communities:


Typically a short story with little to no plot. Fluff revolves around adorable romantic actions such as cuddling or snuggling. This usually leaves a reader with a warm bubbly feeling.


Refers to fanfiction with light or mild sexual content. This usually features little to no actual action “onscreen” and is in most cases rated PG-13.


Fanfiction that contains at least a scene of sexual intercourse or content in detail. Avert thy eyes, kiddies. In most cases, there is an actual plot to the story.


A Japanese adjective meaning “perverted”. Hentai is pornographic anime or graphic novels (manga). In the fandom community the term is mainly used by artists of anime fan made comics. The term can also be used in the context to describe a person’s (almost always male) perverted actions and any deviant looking object.


Also known as ships, pairings, loveteams (Filipino) or couplings/CP (East Asia). Shipping is when a fan is rooting for two characters to get together romantically. The couple can be canon, confirmed as truth in the work, or be one that the fan would have liked to seen. People who ship are called shippers. Ships are usually denoted with parts of the couple’s name fused together such as Natsu and Lucy from the anime Fairy Tail becoming Nalu as their ship name.


A ‘/’ is used to indicate male/male pairings. The tag came from the early Star Trek fandom where shippers of Kirk and Spock would write the couple as “Kirk/Spock”. These couples tend to be non-canonical in the original work, however, the increase in homosexual oriented works has increased the amount of canon pairings.


Is the female/female equivalent to slash. The fandom has been small for many years, but has started picking up with the recent increase in female homosexual ships in series like The 100.

Yaoi or Yuri:

Japanese terms that indicate “boy’s love” (yaoi) and “girl’s love” (yuri). The terms are used to describe anime or manga that have themes of homosexual love. Fandoms that are based off anime or manga are seen to use these terms in the same way to describe the homosexual sexual orientation of the couple they are writing about.


Short for heterosexual. Refers to pairings that are male/female.

Slow Burn:

A story that focuses on a gradual evolution of the relationship from love or lust to sex. Contains a lot of smoldering passions and emotional tension for the steamy romance readers out there.

Dub-con or Non-con:

Means “dubious consent” and “nonconsensual.” Generally stories with sexual content where one character’s consent is not explicitly stated for various reasons or not stated at all.


Fanfictions that contain especially romantic, loving, sappy fluff such as public displays of affection.


Changes the gender of one or several canonical characters in a fan work. Some fans genderbend their favorite characters to create a heterosexual couple where there would not originally be one.

Healing Cock:

Also called Magical Healing Cock. It is a story element in romance fanfiction in which a character that has been traumatized physically, in some cases sexually or psychologically is healed with the power of sex. Considered by some as a sign of a badfic (bad fanfiction). Other fanfiction writers have taken the trope literally and some have expressed the fantasy in the idea by showing the negative realistic outcome of the trope’s actions.

F**k or Die:

Also known as “sex or death,” where the characters have to engage in sex or face the consequences. The participants are coerced or forced by an outside factor and most stories depict the characters consenting to the act willingly, avoiding topics of rape. Failure to do the deed does not necessarily mean the characters have to actual die and can be interpreted as a different type of death. Post-sex angst or awkwardness is common, but also a majority or the fanfiction is humorous.


Strongest rating a story can carry indicating graphic or explicit sex and/or violence. You have to be 18 years or older to read.


An acronym for “porn without plot” or “Plot? What plot?” Just as it says – a fanfiction focusing solely on the sex.


Is the acronym for “not safe for work”. Indicates a fan work that you would not want your boss or co-workers looking over your shoulder and seeing. Generally sexual R-rated material.


Means “unresolved sexual tension.” When it is clear that two characters want each other in a story, but have not acted upon the want. This is why we have shippers. *wink*


Means “resolved sexual tension.” An UST is implied in the beginning of the story or throughout it with the end result being that the characters resolve the sexual tension by the end of the story.


An intentional misspelling of porn that is used with pornographic fanfiction so that it does not get filtered by net programs.