CVG 2018 Day 3, Part 2 - Sex in Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Content Warning: Rape gets brought up in this post. It is mentioned in the Hard Passes.

CONvergence 2018 was July 5-8, 2018, almost 3 months ago now. I had planned on getting this post done two weeks ago as I have been trying to get posts out on a regular basis, but certain events tied up my brainspace. I’m not willing to say that I am back on track yet, but I am certainly trying. As a reminder of Day 3 (Saturday the 7th), I was on the panel “Polyamory 101” and attended “Sex in Sci-Fi/Fantasy”. For part 2, I present to you my notes from “Sex in Sci-Fi/Fantasy”.


Sex in Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Sex and sexuality is an important part of the human experience. Let's examine how one creates and consumes fictions when it delves into the most intimate of subjects. Panelists: John Seavey (mod), Lauren Wells, Greg Weisman, Lathan Murrell, Jei Herald-Zamora

Goliath & Elisa took 65 episodes before they got to their first kiss; however, Superboy & Miss Martian were intimate after only 11 episodes.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy can explore different aspects of intimacy than what is seen in traditional society.

Humor makes sex/intimate feel more organic.

We would like to see a superhero polycule [Note 1].

Sex should add to plot, and it did in the ‘70s. But it got pegged to writers by the 90s and it no longer became relevant (see - libertarians).

Hard passes are also contextual - age, maturity, et cetera.

Steven Universe is ahead of the curve on almost any representation issue. It even has a polyamorous relationship [Note 2].

Penny Dreadful is interesting in character interaction - sensory awareness and other little things.

Pacing is important.

Aliens being perfectly anatomically compatible with humans and can have children are annoying - we need more variety in aliens.

3+ Parents. Divine parent inserting stuff to mix, for example.

80’s movie Starman.

Swamp Thing grows a hallucinogenic yam so that someone can have sex with him. Alan Moore’s 1980’s run [Note 3].

Sci-Fi/Fantasy challenges the status quo - it often is written by heteronormative people who lack diversity, however. Older fiction especially maintains the same tropes. Example: Trope of strong woman falling for stronger men. See: Anita Blake.

We would like to see female characters who are both physically & emotionally strong.

Check out Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey.

Does body horror get used as sex in sci-fi because it can use what is not possible? - There is a darker, sinister side. Dystopian novels show this.
Anything that involves sex includes some body horror.

  • Puberty

  • Changes

  • New Feelings

  • Transformations of Self

  • Transformations of Other

The Untamed (Spanish: La Región Salvaje) - Mexican sci-fi sex monster. Shows that you can get consumed if you indulge too much.

Power dynamics & vampires.

Is there anything that fantasy does better than sci-fi?

  • The random hook-up.

  • The validity of short relationships.

  • The importance of balance between cultures that don’t mesh well.

  • AI can explore romance & gender [Note 4].

Hard Passes:
Galaxy of Terror - Slug Rape (a person in audience said this).
Overdoing, drawing stuff out too much.


Notes:

  1. Since then, a superhero novel that centers POC, queer, and polyamorous identities has been released - it is called For Hire: Operator (Volume 1).

  2. See also:

    1. Steven Universe as Queer Space Opera

    2. Gem Watch

  3. After poking around some, I found that it is from Moore’s run on The Saga of Swamp Thing, issue #34; a stand-alone issue entitled “Rite of Spring”.

  4. See also:

    1. Androids, AI, And Gender Theory

    2. "Androids, AI, And Gender Theory" and "Artificial People in Science Fiction"


STAY TUNED FOR CVG 2018 DAY 4


If you can, please help me continue to get out to conventions and attend panels. Writing about each panel takes a lot of work, ranging from extensive note-taking and transcribing, to understanding the content of the panel, to analyzing the information, and there is maintaining this website and creating the content for ease of access. As little as $1/month will help me get into a position where I can prepare and create quality content for everyone. To this end, I am on Patreon, a membership platform service to help facilitate the relationship between patrons and creators.
I know that it's not always possible to sponsor someone on a monthly basis. If you would help me with a one time donation, please feel free to use PayPalSquareCash, or Vemno. Producing content takes time and effort, and any support would be most appreciated. Your donations help me cover expenses and eventually will let me be able to create quality content full-time.