Thursday, November 6, 2014

On Sherlock vs. Elementary Shipping Part II

In a previous post, I gave my thoughts on the fixation Sherlock fans have towards 'shipping' (or romantic/sexual relation-ships hence the term) a whole slew of Sherlock characters.  I compared this with Elementary, the 'rival' Sherlock Holmes television program. The shipping between the female Doctor Watson and male Sherlock Holmes on Elementary was neither as prevalent or intense as that between the male Doctor Watson and male Sherlock Holmes on Sherlock, yet many Sherlockians were incensed that Elementary could possibly have actual sex between Joan and Sherlock when they themselves fantasize constantly about actual sex between Sherlock and John.  I made a few snide remarks and ended by saying that with all this shipping going on, at least no one was shipping Sam and Dean Winchester on Supernatural.

Oh, but I spoke too soon.  I never figured that there would be such a thing, but I didn't count on the crazy.  While looking for my own amusement whether there was any Sherstrade shipping (relations between Sherlock and Inspector Lestrade), I came upon Wincest: sex between the Winchester Brothers.  I found that there are fans of Supernatural who have created artwork and written fanfiction celebrating a sexual relationship between two males of the same family.

Bet you won't see THAT at Comic-Con!   

Now, I'm a pretty old-school type of guy, and there is a lot I don't generally understand about the world.   Shipping as a whole puzzles me, for when I watched television shows like The A-Team or Street Hawk, sex between characters was not on my mind.  Even when they were opposite-sex pairings like Saved by the Bell, really explicit sexual fantasies about two or more characters with each other were a bit foreign to me.  I figured Slater & Jesse going on and having a romance was part of the story.  I just never imagined Slater and Zach going at it.  One thing is certain: I NEVER imagined Alex P. Keaton and Mallory in throes of sexual ecstasy with each other. 

No sex please.  We're British.

The most I ever wanted to do was join them in their adventures, not their bed.  I first discovered Sherlock Holmes on the Granada Television series with Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwick.  Watching it then and now the most I thought of was to be part of the team investigating the strange crimes that came their way.  Both as a child and adult, I never imagined that Holmes and Watson were lovers, and I certainly never wanted to have sex with either of them.  If any shipping opportunities were open, it would be here since Brett was bisexual.  However, no one ever wrote fanction with either of them indulging in the pleasures of the flesh, let alone with each other.

Now it looks like television shows elicit the strangest things.  I know a bit about slash fiction when encountering what I thought were rather peculiar writings involving Constable Benton Fraser and Detective Raymond Del Vecchio of Due South.  Even then, as graphic as some of that writing was, having two brothers become fodder for romantic, let alone purely erotic, ideas is something that I could not contemplate or imagine, let alone share with the world.  The whole Wincest, Johnlock, Sheriarty leaves me less shocked and more confused.

Then again, I perhaps shouldn't be, given how sex-obsessed our current society is.   Given how sex in all its forms (apparently) and deriving mere physical satisfaction for oneself rather than having sex be an intimate situation where your aim is to GIVE pleasure to the other rather than receive pleasure is now the goal, things like shipping (even Wincest or Sherlock's version) shouldn't be surprising.

I know I sound excessively moralistic, and as a flawed human I recognize that we are all subject to several temptations of the flesh, be it drink, drugs, food, or sex among others.  However, this isn't to lecture but to try to understand what motivates things like Johnlock or Wincest.

Yes, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are good-looking men, and we know they are not really related.  However, given that the fanfic isn't about Ackles and Padalecki but Sam and Dean, I don't think that's splitting hairs.  The fact that people create stories where brothers get sexual pleasure from each other I think is dangerous.  Sex should never be about pleasure.  It should be about intimacy, two different things.  The introduction of incest as a viable sexual expression is, well, wrong in my view. 

I know people might tell me, "oh, it's all fantasy, don't take it all so seriously".  I don't see it that way.  What I see are people seriously finding some form of erotic release or escapism by imagining siblings having sex.  I do not think that is right or healthy, and it worries me that I run the risk of being called either bigoted or stupid for saying as much.  If there is now nothing wrong with creating scenarios where brothers Sam and Dean can have sex with each other and enjoy it (under the guise of 'it's all in good fun and we know it's not real'), what then is there to not create fanfic/art where Gotham's Bruce Wayne and James Gordon find themselves in fits of passion with each other? 

It's all in good fun and we know it's not real, right?

If family status isn't a hindrance to sexual satisfaction, why then would age be one?

A slippery slope I think.

I imagine that in reality, the author is imagining him/herself in the place of either Sam or Dean, but that begs the question, 'why not make YOURSELF a character and write about having sex with either Padalecki or Ackles?'  Why make it incestuous?'

This leads me to what I think is the nadir of Sherlockian shipping. 

Supernatural has Wincest. 
Sherlock has Holmescest.

Well, I would say having sex with Mycroft (or Mark Gatiss) would be a crime against humanity.  Unlike Ackles, Padalecki, or Cumberbatch, I don't think Gatiss inspires any lust in anyone apart from his longtime partner.    Still, I am at a loss to understand two things.

First, why are some (not all) Sherlock fans seriously creating scenarios in their minds or on paper where Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes become lovers?

Second, again, why are some Sherlock fans so outraged that on another show, there is a vague possibility, however slight, that the two leads will end up in bed together when they are the ones that are more fixated on the idea of sex between their two leads?

The majority of Elementary fans I know detested Joancroft, when Joan Watson and Mycroft Holmes literally had sex with each other.  If Elementarians found sex between Joan and Mycroft idiotic, I wonder what they'd think if someone came up to them and suggested Rhys Ifans' Mycroft and Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock be the ones that ended up in bed together.  Given what I see of Elementary vs. Sherlock in terms of shipping, Elementary is almost virginal compared to Sherlock

Given how there's strong indication that BBC's Sherlock is a virgin, while CBS' Sherlock has been with several women (most famously Irene Adler), irony abounds! 

Oddly enough, I haven't come across any Holmescest when it comes to Elementary.  Or Sherstrade.  Or Sherbell (Sherlock/Marcus Bell shipping).  In fact, I haven't seen that much shipping in general from many if any Elementary fans. Just from Sherlock fans.

Curious that...

"Were we shipped, Benny?"
"Like you wouldn't believe, Ray.
At least we were sharing oxygen that ONE time..." 

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