Femslash (also known as "f/f slash", "femmeslash", and "saffic") is a subgenre of slash fan fiction which focuses on romantic and/or sexual relationships between female fictional characters. Typically, characters featured in femslash are heterosexual in the canon universe; however, similar fan fiction about lesbian characters are commonly labeled as femslash for convenience. The term is generally applied only to fanworks based on Western fandoms; the nearest anime/manga equivalents are yuri and sh?jo-ai fanfiction.

Terminology: Variations and Debate

A range of terms developed in different communities, including the following:


This term arose in the '''' fandom, considered the first major femslash fandom, as an abbreviated portmanteau of the words "alternate" and "fanfic", to suggest an "alternate" (i.e. subtextual) reading of the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. It remains largely specific to "Xena" fandom.

Femslash, femmeslash, F/F slash, FS and girlslash

"Femslash", "femmeslash", "f/f slash", "FS" and "girlslash" mark out femslash as a distinct category of "slash". The equivalent terms ("boyslash", "manslash" and "m/m slash" or simply just "slash") are also used, but have not fallen into equal currency.


This term, a punning portmanteau of sapphic and fan fiction, arose as an attempt to assert the separate status of writing about women in a relationship instead of treating it as a subgenre of writing about men. The term is not generally applied to all fan writings about female/female pairings but to those which are seen as demonstrating a more consciously lesbian aesthetic perspective.


Some fans consider "slash" to refer to all same-sex pairings, not simply male/male and argue that it is unnecessary to use terms which distinguish same-sex fanfiction based on the gender of characters. However, many fans simply assume that slash is a male/male pairing; so, some authors simply use the term "slash", while others have more definite terms.


Yuri is a term generally found in fanfiction about Anime or Manga, but it is spreading to other areas of fandom. Though it can be used by authors to encompass all female/female pairings, it is most likely to be found in the description of an M rated fiction.



Dani Morin wrote the first known story to involve femslash, "Kismet", which was published in the Star Trek-focused magazine, ''Obsc'Zine, in 1977. In the mid-1980s, femslash appeared again in the small Blake's 7 community, whose membership included Jane Carnell, Barbara Tennison, M.J. Dolan, and Bryn Lantry. As fan terminology became popular in the community, these female/female stories became known as f/f slash''. During the mid-to-late 1980s, some fandoms moved online in the form of university networks, Usenet, and mailing lists.

Early influential themes

Femslash drew inspiration from several themes derived from television programs. In 1997, ERs characters Kerry Weaver and Kim Legaspi developed a close relationship. Xena: Warrior Princess was centered on the adventures of two female heroines and was popular among the lesbian audience. Sailor Moon inspired a large femslash community; it attracted Americans who were not steeped in eastern or Japanese fannish cultural practices and helped create a larger femslash audience for anime shows that were gaining popularity in the United States, such as Card Captor Sakura and Revolutionary Girl Utena. Eastern and western fandoms mixed to create a single femslash culture.

Increase in popularity

As attention grew, femslash material expanded into other fictional universes, and femslash became more acceptable. Writers from the older fandoms migrated to new fandoms, which had well-defined female characters, more than one attractive and interesting female character, or both. Smallville, Battlestar Galatica, Harry Potter, Queen of Swords, Stargate, South of Nowhere, The L Word, Bad Girls, and Firefly quickly gained femslash communities.

Evolution to the present

Free mailing list services (such as YahooGroups), archives (such as FanFiction.Net), blogs, and audio or video clips are common across fandoms, including femslash. However, femslash communities have not fully embraced zines and conventions, which are common in other fandoms.

Also, many fanfiction writers don't consider femslash to be a serious fandom, a treat with less respect than the more popular Het and Slash communities. The International Day of Femslash, schedueled for July 18, 2008 and hosted by ralst.com, is expected to be a major push to bring femslash to the front of popular fanfiction and bring more respect to the subgenre.

See also

External links

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This article is based on "Femslash" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Femslash&action=history