If you want to live in a “Children of the Corn”-style bubble of innocence and purity, well, to me, that’s a startling approach to adolescence, but every generation’s got to find its own way to reject the one before, so: do as you will. But you can’t bring the bubble to the party, kids. Fandom, established media-style fandom, was by and for adults before some of your parents were born now. You don’t get to show up and demand that everyone suddenly change their ways because you’re a minor and you want to enjoy the benefits of adult creative activity without the bits that make you uncomfortable. If you think you’re old enough to be roaming the Internet unsupervised, then you also think you’re old enough to be working out your limits by experience, like everybody else, like I did when I was underage and lying about it online. If you’re not old enough to be roaming the Internet unsupervised and you’re doing it anyway, then that’s on your parents, not on fandom.
If you were only reading fic rated G on AO3, if you had the various safe modes on other media enabled, you would be encountering very little disturbing material, anyway (at least in the crude way people tend to define “disturbing” these days; some of the most frankly horrifying art I have ever engaged with would have been rated PG at most under present systems, but none of that kind of work ever seems to draw your protests). In the end, what you really want is to be able to seek out the edges of your little world, but be able to blame other people when you don’t like what you find. Sorry. Adolescence is when you get to stop expecting others to pad your world for you and start experiencing the actual consequences of the risks you take, including feeling appalled and revolted at what other people think and feel.
Now, ironically, fandom’s actually a fairly good place for such risk-taking, as, for the most part, you control whether you engage and you can choose the level of your engagement. You can leave a site, blacklist something, stop reading an author, walk away from your computer. Are there actual people (as opposed to works of art, which cannot engage with you unless you engage with them) who will take advantage of you in fandom? Of course there are. Unfortunately, such people are everywhere. They will be there however “innocent” and “wholesome” the environment appears to be, superficially. That’s evil for you. There are abusers in elementary school. There are abusers in scout troops. There are abusers in houses of worship. Shutting down adult creative activity because you happen to be in the vicinity isn’t going to change any of that. It may help you avoid some of those icky feelings that you get when you think about sex (and you live in a rape culture, those feelings are actually understandable, even if your coping techniques are terrible), but no one, except maybe your parents, has a moral imperative to help you avoid those.
In the end, you’re not my kid and you’re not my intended audience. I’m under no obligation to imagine only healthy, wholesome relationships between people for your benefit. Until you’re old enough to understand that the world is not exclusively made up of people whose responsibility it is to protect you from your own decisions, yes, you’re too young for established media fandom. Fandom shouldn’t be “friendly” to you.
Summary: The first words you’ll hear your soulmate say are tattooed onto your skin from birth. You hear the words, but in the worst possible situation - he’s in love with your close friend. Scenario: Soulmate AU, angst, fluff Word Count: 5,746
ENFP stereotype: crazy, always yelling, always crying, loud, obsessed with rainbows and unicorns for some reason.
ENFPs irl: being an ENFP myself I’ll say that we are so much more mellow than you’d expect. Some of us are actually kind of quiet and can get confused as introverts. We are excitable people, without a doubt, but we’re picky about who we want to be excitable around.
INFP stereotype: dark, brooding, always sad, poetic, cries a lot, takes everything personally, probably emo
INFPs irl: I won’t deny that INFPs definitely can be like this, but they’re also surprisingly playful & don’t show their emotions as much as you’d expect. Every INFP I’ve met is super witty and they always have the most perfect comedic timing! Seriously, y'all could be comedians. They can sometimes be smartasses and seem like INTPs, even ENTPs on the surface.
ISFP irl: I won’t deny that the stereotype is pretty accurate. But like INFPs, they don’t show their emotions as often as you’d think. They actually come off as quite aloof and unemotional on the surface. Also; even though they’re sensors, they are very much like intuitives! I dated an ISFP and we used to have the most interesting conversations.
ESFP stereotype: party animal, attention whore, loud, annoying
ESFPs irl: Like the ENFPs, they’re surprisingly laid back. And some can be confused as introverts; they’re very similar to their ISFP “cousins”. Although ESFPs are party animals without a doubt, they have a surprisingly mellow vibe. They’re also a LOT smarter than you’d think.
ENTP stereotype: asshole, always debating, just dicks in general
ENTPs irl: I have a lovely ENTP teacher and my dad is an ENTP as well. Honestly, I think ENTPs are one of the thinking types that can often be confused to be feelers. They’re often VERY friendly and charismatic— sometimes even more so than ENFPs— and you’ll find that they’re surprisingly very emotional when you get to know them. Remember, kids: thinkers have feelings too, they just have a harder time grasping them than feeling types.
ESTJ/ENTJ stereotype: mean, bossy, stoic
EXTJs irl: Both of these types are stereotyped to be very mean & bossy people. They sometimes can come across like that, but often times when they’re being bossy, they’re only trying to help you. A lot of people misinterpret their actions. Yes, some EXTJs abuse their power, but a lot of them are just looking out for people and making sure they do the right thing. They’re also very fun & social if you become friends with them! They’re so much nicer than you’d expect.
ISTJ stereotype: boring, hates people, stoic
ISTJs irl: They aren’t boring, just very mellow. Every ISTJ I’ve met has a very calm tone of voice. Like EXTJs, they can come off as bossy, but often times they’re only trying to help you. They definitely have a fun, charismatic side to them too.
INTJ stereotype: evil, hates people, antisocial
INTJs irl: Yeah, a lot of INTJs are like this. But they can be really good friends; they can just be quite picky about who they want to spend time with, because they’re often very very introverted. When you do get “chosen” by an INTJ, they’re actually super fun to talk to and be around. They have a soft, sweet side too that they’ll reveal to you if you get close enough. Like ISTJs, they’re often super mellow people.
ISFJ stereotype: pure, soft, will bake you cookies, very emotional
ISFJs irl: Alright. I’ll admit that the ISFJ stereotype is pretty spot on. But they’re also more smart & independent than you’d expect. They’re very caring about others, but will still go out and get what they want no matter what the cost; a confident ISFJ won’t be afraid to cut you out of the picture if you’re hindering their progress! They also give REALLY good advice. That’s typical of an XXFJ type though, tbh.
INFJ stereotype: extremely introverted. dark and brooding. probably psychic.
INFJs irl: I have an INFJ best friend and let me tell you, these types really do come off as extroverted! They can be very charismatic and chatty and are so much less mysterious/cryptic than you’d expect. They’re so fun to be around!! I’ll agree that they’re probably psychic though tbh. A lot of INFJs I’ve met have had weird spiritual experiences & predicted things that I never could have thought of before. They can also be huge party animals if you bring out their wild side!
ENFJs irl: I honestly don’t disagree with this stereotype. ENFJs can be manipulative, but they don’t always have malicious intent. They’re a little similar to EXTJs at times; they seem controlling, but often times they’re just trying to help. ENFJs sometimes get a bad rep, but I think they are super impessive and smart people. And yes, it’s true; they most likely know you better than you know yourself.
ESFJ stereotype: typical basic bitch, loud, charismatic, over emotional
ESFJs irl: I’d say the stereotype is true, but exaggerated. Some ESFJs can be a bit obnoxious, I’ll admit, but they’re usually super wonderful to be around. Their presence is often very fun & refreshing. They may seem smothering at times, but just know that deep in their heart it’s because they want to keep people happy. Every ESFJ I’ve met does their very best to put a smile on everyone’s face; they’re always joking around, giving out compliments, and giving out hugs. They often have good intentions with everything they do and you can just /tell/.
ESTP stereotype: daredevil, asshole, party animal, impulsive
ESTPs irl: They definitely have a tendency to be all of the above. But they’re also super friendly & charismatic, and very caring deep down. They’re also often really really smart, but don’t often show it unless you get them talking about a subject they’re invested in. When they’re not out partying and going wild, they are actually super chill people.
IXTPs irl: Actually sweethearts. They often aren’t too great at expressing emotion, but they’re just so nice, they can even sometimes appear nicer than the IXFPs. They care so much for people without even realizing it. I dated an ISTP and he used to do the sweetest romantic gestures ever!! They come off as aloof, cold, and often robotic; but you still get a general sense that they care for the people around them, and they often truly do deep down.
You know that feeling when a stranger offers you a cigarette at a show or when your coworker laughs at your mean joke? How about when you have a coffee and its raining but you feel like you dont mind? Or that feeling when someone brings surprise party drugs for free? That’s Lou Reed watching over you, and I bet you’ve never thanked him once, but he’s there….giving gifts
So some context: we’re playing a murder mystery based loosely in the Victorian era. The players are me, a catfolk investigator, my brother, a human inquisitor, and our friend, a half elven vigilante. Near the beginning of the campaign my (useless lesbian) investigator tried flirting with the princess they were escorting, which is kinda what started this whole mess.
So later on, my investigator got pulled into a bedroom and had a spell cast on her by an elven seductress. After a lot of back and forth, this is the exchange between our party and the seductress.
Inquisitor: why did you bring [catfolk] into the room?
When you originally pulled the invitation from your mailbox you thought it had been yet another wedding invitation from one of your college friends. The elaborate gold writing on the black envelope, wrapped in actual lace. It was easy to assume from its elegance that it would be something like that.
Okay I know this sounds like a shitpost but I am completely serious. I think I have some solid points, so bear with me.
Point 1 His Role in the Story
Dogmeat is one of 5 companions that the game makes you even interact with before going to the Institute and choosing a faction (the others being Codsworth, Piper, Nick, and Hancock. 6 if you count Deacon), and one of 2 that it makes you bring along in your party for the main story (Nick). Even if you skipped over Red Rocket and went straight to Diamond City, Nick brings him along to track Kellogg and then he becomes available to recruit from there because you missed him before. The game doesn’t start making you take on companions like that otherwise until you start trying to join factions.
Point 2 His Interactions with Other Characters
Speaking of factions, if you do follow him from the gas station to Concord, he leads you to the de facto leader of the Minutemen, the only faction that’s both capable of building the only way into the Institute and also not actively trying to hunt and destroy them. The fact that the person who builds the Minutemen teleporter is a synth is, I’m sure, pure coincidence. Or maybe it isn’t, considering another synth that he’s apparently worked with before is Nick Valentine.
Both Nick and Mama Murphy tell you how he’s not a dog that you own, he’s a dog who chooses his own companions and sticks by them. It’s never said how long. Maybe he just up and leaves one day once he’s bored or not needed, or maybe he sticks around until there’s nobody to stick around with. Mama Murphy has been shown to be under the influence of some kind of chem more often than not (unless you convince her to get clean) and Nick, as shown in Far Harbor, has gaps and faded bits in his memory, so it’s entirely possible that Dogmeat has been around for a really long time to have this reputation, but neither of them has really noticed just how long and how unusual that is.
Who knows? Maybe it’s all coincidental, but that I somehow doubt because…
Point 3 His High Intelligence
This dog is absurdly smart. His Intelligence score is 8, and it shows. Within the lore of the game, 5 is the average for a normal person, 10 is supposed to be the peak human capability. So this dog is not only smarter than the average human, he’s up there with human geniuses. And it shows. He’s capable of understanding more complex commands than canine companions in previous games (which, okay yeah, can also just be put down to better game programming). If we go back to the faction thing again, the other two people besides Sturges that can decipher the blueprints for the teleporter are Tinker Tom, the Railroad genius, and Proctor Ingram, the Brotherhood Scientist. Ingram has had the benefit of training with one of the best technological forces in the wastelands. Tom has had to adapt and learn as a constant trial by fire in going up against the biggest tech behemoth in the Commonwealth. Sturges is a handyman. But all three manage to successfully build the machine from this:
I’m not saying Sturges was only able to build a highly complex piece of machinery from crayon scribbles because he’s a synth, but compared to the other people you run into, synths tend to be more intelligent. So why wouldn’t synth animals be any different?
Point 4 He’s Not Like Other Dogs
What are the odds of running into a perfect purebred German Shepherd in the wasteland? Like, at all? Looking at all the other kinds of dogs you run into…
…the odds aren’t great. You don’t run across a single other dog that looks like him. Every other one you run across is either a grizzled mystery mutt or a heavily mutated monstrosity. Still all cute in their way, but definitely not Dogmeat. In fact, not even the other Dogmeats look like our Dogmeat. Even as far back as the first Fallout, Dogmeat definitely fell under the mutt category.
Point 5 There is Precedent
He wouldn’t be the first synth animal the Institute has made. We all know about the gorillas, and even though dialog from Deacon about the watchers was removed, everything else about them is still there; documented in the Institute terminals and mentioned by more than one of their scientists. So he wouldn’t be the first synth animal created, he wouldn’t be the first sent to keep an eye on Vault 111,
And he wouldn’t be the first to rebel. It’s like Mama Murphy said, “Dogmeat’s his own man. You can’t own a free spirit like him.” He probably stopped responding to Institute commands and was too much trouble to retrieve, reprogram, or reproduce, so they just left him out on the surface. He’d stick with someone for a while, then go back to check near the Vault to see if the Sole Survivor had come out yet, wait a while, then take off if you weren’t there. Which would explain why a perfect, loyal, purebred German Shepherd was so close by as soon as you get out.
Point 6 It Means He’s Immortal
Due to game mechanics, Dogmeat can’t be killed. At all. And unless they’re programmed to, synths don’t age either. So he won’t die of old age. And look at that face.