Not everyone is in fandom for the s/exual content. If you are? That’s cool. Seriously. You do you, and enjoy what you enjoy. But this idea that fandom is all about the p/orn (which is especially pervasive from the outside, among people who know about fandom but might not be engaged in it, or who only know the stereotypes) is not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
I just wanted to say that, in case some of my followers need to hear it.
I’ll admit, I often feel (and have often felt!) like an odd duck because while I adore romance, and adore characters in love–falling in love, being in love, navigating love–I have almost no interest in being in the same metaphorical room when they’re having s/ex. I don’t think about it. I don’t imagine it. I am far, far more likely to spend half an hour thinking about kissing or cuddling or one person taking out the garbage because the second person is exhausted. (And I acknowledge there are folks out there for whom even this romance-focus is meh! You’re allowed to have your place in fandom too! I promise!)
I’ve written s/ex scenes when I felt like the story genuinely asked for them. It doesn’t happen often. I have written characters whose comfort with or love of s/ex is part of their character, part of the story they want me to tell. Mostly, my characters ask me to leave. And I oblige them. I’ve occasionally met with criticism for this. I’ve had people ask me for stories with more s/exual content, or tell me my stories “would be better” with more s/ex in them. In the past, I’ve shrugged it off, or felt like I needed to justify myself, or just felt hurt full-stop. Sometimes it made me feel lonely, or not good enough, or like I was broken, or like there was something ‘wrong’ with me for not actually wanting to either read or write the explicit. (Not to say I avoid everything with an E-rating. Really. It comes down to what else is happening in the story; hook me with characters and plot and I’ll stick around for the s/ex.)
Meanwhile, yes, there’s a lot of s/exual content in fandom. I guess if you’re on the outside looking in, and you only catch a glimpse, you might think that’s all that’s happening. It took me a long, long time to realize that there’s a place in fandom (and in life, really) for people like me, people for whom the s/exual content isn’t the driving force of engagement. You don’t need to explain yourself. You don’t need to justify yourself. And you’re not alone.