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On Johnlock

Fiction, particularly fan fiction, is a common topic of discussion amongst my friends. In particular - because, honestly, we're all sex crazed - the topic of pairings comes up with startling regularity. And while I know that my friends teasing is harmless and meant in jest (and in the cases of the boys, meant to hide their discomfort), I always find myself just a bit defensive about the whole thing.

You see, I write slash. (Or yaoi, or male-male, or whatever you want to call it.) I write stories about guys being with other guys. Mostly those stories are just that – stories. Genuine narratives, often, because this is me, ones that are highly character driven and emotive. And yeah, sometimes they are outright porn. And goodness knows I read more than my fair share of gay porn. I'm very honest about this fact. My friends all know it (and tease me for it) and I'm not ashamed.

But I'm definitely defensive.

Because I've gotten the reviews. The ones that say "john and Sherlock r not gay, if u think they r then u r gay."

Yes, thank you. I've seen the series. I know that John and Sherlock aren't gay (John's very pointed about this and Sherlock is probably asexual if anything). As for the commentary on my own sexuality all I can say is: what?

Firstly, if you actually think I'm gay than it's not much of insult. Secondly, I'm a girl and I'm bi-curious, but I think guy/guy is bloody hot and honestly that's pretty normal. Most of the guys I know think lesbians are hot too. Thirdly, has it ever occurred to you that I may have reasons for writing the pairing outside of just the sex thing?

Yeah, imagine that.

Anyone, and I mean anyone, who has seen/read any version of Sherlock Holmes can tell you that Holmes and Watson have a major bromance thing going on. The dynamic between the two of them is utterly fantastic. Theirs is a friendship so tightly woven and so natural that it stands as a brilliant literary example of what friendship is. And in the case of BBC's Sherlock, the writers have obviously gone out of their way to play up this dynamic. And they poke fun at it. Jokes about John and Sherlock's relationship are everywhere and I'm pretty sure that the writers knew what they were doing there: It's called fan service.

I love these characters. I love how they are together, the way they talk and interact and, yeah, there is a part of me that would love to see it become more, even though I know it won't. This is why I write Johnlock. To explore the outer edges of that dynamic.

I don't write Sherlolly because I honestly don't like Molly and I think the way Sherlock treats her is abhorrent and honestly, Sherlock doesn't see her that way. There is nothing there to work with. No starting ground from which I can say: yeah, that'll work. (This, incidentally is the reason I don't write Shinichi/Heiji for Detective Conan, I just don't see it working.)

And Irene?


I admit, A Scandal in Belgravia definitely managed to put some sexual tension between those two. It's there and it's canon. It's also something I can't ever see developing into a real relationship.

As for John... who would I pair him with? The BBC series hasn't provided a character worth talking about (okay, yes, Sarah, but she's boring and it wouldn't work and you all know it). The original has Mary Morstan, who shows up in The Sign of Four and is never mentioned by name again. To be fair to poor Mary I do actually like the concept of her and sincerely hope they end up using her character for the series, but writing for her and John is like writing for an OC, something I am neither good at nor enjoy doing.

And then there is John and Sherlock.

And it works. There is enough there between them, in the actual canon, to make a go of it in the fan fiction.

It helps, a lot, that both of them are well developed. It's hard to pair up a major character with a minor one when the minor character hasn't seen enough development (learned that lesson in the Harry Potter fandom). And, let's be honest, if BBC Sherlock is about anything it's about friendship. It's about John and Sherlock and their crazy adventures and their fantastic ever-growing dynamic. The crimes, the mysteries, are just the packaging. They are fun, they are interesting, but they aren't the point. They aren't the theme.

So, what, please tell me, is so wrong with me taking it a step further?



Irene Adler: Are you jealous?
John Watson: We're not a couple.
Irene Adler: Yes you are.
- A Scandal in Belgravia
Venting again.
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IAMSHERLOCKED007 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Nicely said. I totally agree ;)
JennyTang2038 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2016  Student General Artist
Very well written response, cheers and applause~
razi1999 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Power to ya I get that one all the time at school sad part is they say im s guy and we go to an all girls school
askpuertoricofem Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I agree with you. And with Irene even in the story where she debuted was more of a challenge. She beat him so he was interested but john never had to beat him in anything. John and sherlock are a perfect couple. 
rosariogirl54321 Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
The first thing I said when my sister and I read this was: "She's so . . . right!"
And you are.
My sister and I write stories, and we have these two characters, Jak and Nial. They are, as you might have guessed, both men.
Well, Sarah and I were thinking about who they should end up with, who could possibly match them, when I suggested, "What if they ended up with each other?"
Naturally, Sarah instantly said, "Hot diggity!"
Okay, so maybe she didn't put it exactly like that, but it was implied.
Anyway, we couldn't imagine them ending up with anyone else, and perhaps it's the same for you.
Of course, perhaps not. But we just wanted to comment, as we both rather enjoyed your rant.
It was very thought-out and, well, as I already commented, it was right.
The logic . . . it was so logical.
Very well done, was what I wanted to say.
EspirituDelMar Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
Seriously, you should post this in mire places (ever heard of Try there please!!) becausr really, than logic is unquestionable :)
Thanks from a johnlocker!! ^_^
AkoyaMizuno Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
LOL. Indeed, I have an account on ffn. But this isn't strictly a piece of fanfiction, so it has no place there. Thanks for the support however.
scars-last-forever Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
But you could still put it there; that aside what you just did doesn't just apply to johnlock, it applies to other pairings as well, so for that, thank you.
CrimsonRomancex Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013
Omg your are my new hero!!!!! Let me love you XD 
Ochobu Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow. I really respect the way you flat-out logic'd through the entire process. Being a STEM nerd, I like logic ;). I think I may use your logic as a reference for my own "explanations" with others. And...venting in logic is the BEST kind :D
TheBoringPumpkin Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
A agree 100%
Scotland-TARDIS Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Very much agreed upon.
kitty15553 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
i completely agree with you :)
Danlef Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Professional Writer
Sincerely I have pondered some time ago to write anything pretty close to this. Then I found this and all I have to do is say "Same for me!"

And fav, of course.

Funny enough, I am a woman, actually a mother. I was never keen on watching porn stuff, actually - being a bit shy - I don't like particularly even an erotic scene in the movies, the best kissing scene of all times for me is that in Jane Eyre 2006 - after the fire - when the two don't actually kiss at all - just stay inches apart for a couple of seconds.

Sherlock and John - I don't think either of them is gay. But they are both exceptions to their own rules. I think John can be called "sherlocked" and he alone is the very heart of Sherlock, since Sherlock does not have one of his own.

I don't mind reading about their sex. In fact I think it's pretty hot, reading about it. And yet I am straight, I don't think about making love to a girl even in my wildest fantasies. Maybe I am gay in the same sense Irene Adler used it - not opposed to the idea loving Sherlock if I were John.
YoshiLovesAuto Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Nicely worded argument. I myself am a gay man, & it can be extremely trying when I am among friends to keep my bloody mouth shut about the gay little through running through my head when we all get together & watch something on the telly. Case in point, how many times during THIS show did I have to bite back the comment, "Oh please, they are SO married", for fear of one of my more squeamish friends going, "Don't say things like that, please." It's even worse if, the gods forbid, we're watching something like "The Road to El Dorado". JESUS TAP DANCING CHRIST.

& so, keep your chin up, because you are absolutely right about everything. It's what we as a fandom enjoy & others need to realize that it allows us a whole new level of enjoyment from the show.
VitaniBlackx Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I agree with you wholeheartedly. Johnlock is practically canon and to be honest the writers provide so much fanservice who can blame you for writing fanfiction. I can't believe people use gay as a derogatory term. I'm bi and people use it as an excuse to be judgmental and harsh. Anyway sorry to vent.... Johnlock forever...
himitsutsubasa Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The actors seem to have pretty awesome chemistry too. Martin commented on it, saying, "Either you have it, or you don't. We got lucky becuase we did."
himitsutsubasa Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree on every level.

Bromance for the win!
mandalorianmedjai Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
HA! The first two paragraphs are the story of my life! :XD:
Way to stand up for johnlock (and slash in general) :w00t: Cheers. :)
Super-Skitty Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Student Writer
I completely agree with this. Every word. I know Johnlock is never going to happen, but at the same time it's the only pairing I can see honestly working. Although I do actually kind of like Molly - she seems so sweet and obviously she means something to Sherlock, even if not in that way - but I think you're right that they wouldn't really work together. There just isn't that same dynamic that a good relationship needs, that is there between Sherlock and John.
So yeah, unless they really develop the Mary character throughout the series (if they introduce her at all), I can't see either of them with anybody else. I respect other peoples' opinions on pairings, but I agree with your reasoning entirely here.

I find it hard to write slash, although I am doing my best to practice it. But writing a story in which Sherlock and John are together without being "together" seems to be the most natural thing in the world. It naturally flows and just streams onto the page. That is what makes Sherlock Holmes so much more engaging and beautiful than other detective series - that theme of deep, genuine, everlasting friendship.

Woah. Wasn't intending to ramble there. I'm sorry. ^^; But really, well done on writing this. It makes complete sense without getting angry and senseless. Took the thoughts right out of my head.
AkoyaMizuno Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012
Don't ever apologize for long well thought out reviews. They are an utter godsend. Thank you.
iantonia Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Don't say BBC Sherlock's slash will never become canon! Don't! Let us me believe it because makes the show even better. And we know it's great already.
Anyway, I agree with how you phrased things, especially Molly's part. I don't like Irene's pairing and frankly I would've been fine without the last scene in Scandal.
AkoyaMizuno Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012
I'm not so sure it would make the show better honestly. The tension of it, the sense of possibility is almost better. An actual relationship would be... distracting from the feel of the show.
iantonia Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, I have to admit you may be right and tension is a good thing too (as X-files taught us). And since Moffat and Gatiss are pretty faithful to canon, I don't think it will happen. But I like to pretend it might:).
thefish291 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Hmm, yes, quite.
Sherlockfan12 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012
hey thanks for this :) I agree with you and it's nice to hear someone else's defense.

I write Johnlock too, but I'm too embarrassed to tell my friends because none of them would be very accepting of 'cheesy romance' to begin with, and would be uncomfortable with gay romance in particular. Although I'm not into all the Johnlock porn because I personally don't see either of them being super sex-driven or into a lot of the 'kinky' stuff people like to imagine with them, I still LOVE seeing stories with them as a couple because you're right: they have a fantastic base of friendship for romance to grow from. I think that's a great sort of message, in a way, because this is love that has substance, it's not just about good looks, it's not just about sex, it's not trivial infatuation which so many love stories turn out to be, and it's not generic formula romance in which it seems like the characters really could have been happy with just about any other person who happened to like them. John and Sherlock, in any version of these stories, share a deep connection and a real love that you know can weather any storms that come. They have unique personalities which both compliment each-other and present some natural issues for them to work though with each-other.

I totally agree that I just can't see Sherlock with Molly nor Irene. I really can't see him with anyone romantically unless it is John, because John is the only person he'd ever get close enough to to have a real relationship with. And John, sure he could make a happy normal life with someone like Sarah or Mary, but in the end Sherlock is always going to be the most important person to him. I thought it really weird in the original books, actually, when he got married and moved away - that just didn't feel right, but then he was constantly dropping by and staying for days and running around risking his life with Sherlock as if totally forgetting he had a wife waiting worried for him at home. I suppose some of that was old-fashioned ideas about women being more submissive to men running the world, but still, it just sort of felt like he married her because he was following social norms of the time more than anything else and I think a modern John Watson would (eventually) realize he doesn't have to follow the get-married-and-have-children 'norm'.
Tigerspirit360 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You have a very good point thereClap 
BlazedMemoryInk Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This persons saying what we're all thinking!!!

Sorry I just had to put it in there. Jokes aside, I agree with you 100% This is amazing.
HeadmistressMercedes Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yes indeed, took the words right out of my mouth. While I don't write slash per say, I definitely play up the bromance part of their relationship, and then step over the line a bit, and it's because, as you say, there is SO MUCH to work with. They FIT each other, and's a silly lil' story! It's not like we're writing the script for the show, or the next book. Why should people care enough to troll?
Rowlingson39 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012   General Artist
See even if they're not a couple, they do love each other...
And although I don't 'ship it' I feel that if either character were to have one person, it would be each other.
SherlockedGinger Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Did you step into my head and pull my thoughts from it? Because this is basically me - and every other Johnlock shipper on the planet! I think you've practically written a manifesto for us! THANK YOU!! :D
DONT-BL1NK Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
All pf this is 100% true.
remanth Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I like your venting. Its very well-thought-out and not screaming. I have to agree that there is a deep bond between Sherlock and John that will probably always exist, even if the writers don't take it romantically. And I'm curious about it, which is why I also write it. Great job on your explanation and kudos for a well-worded rant :)
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