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Identity Porn

So, I shoot narwhale_callin a PM saying I've fallen prey to some fantastic Identity Porn over on AO3, and she comes back with a question of what it is.

Obviously, this is unacceptable.  So in case anyone else was wondering, have my thoughts on Identity Porn.

According to Fanlore, "Identity porn is a narrative kink that may or may not involve actual porn, involving "people who have secret identities which focus on the consequences of using multiple personas.""  As you might have guessed, I tend to prefer the ones without porn, but some of them get long and convoluted enough that a short sex scene doesn't really bother me in the long run.  It can get to epic comedy of errors proportions, and let's face it.  Greeks may have been superior to the Romans in most all things but conquering, but Roman comedy does have it's own charm to it.  Even if they stole most of it from Late/Middle Greek comedy. 

The most famous example of Identity Porn is probably the Lois Lane - Clark Kent - Superman triangle.  As the reader knows, Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same.  The problem is, no one else knows that, including the girl he's sweet on.  So Lois ends up with two different people pursuing her with no idea that she's chasing the same guy.

Or, if you'd like a more recent example, Spiderman and MJ.

Basically, it's a fun cliché/trope that pops up in comic book fandoms frequently, because, well, Superheroes.  You see it more in the comics side of the fandom, because I don't think any of the current Marvel movie bunch (excluding Spidy, who's technically owned by Sony) actually have secret identities.  Iron Man apparently started a trend.  But in the comics, you've got an Iron Man how had a successful secret identity for years posing as Tony Stark's body guard.  Not even the Avengers knew who he was.  I think only Happy Hogan actually knew for the longest time, since he was the one who had to drag his boss's body around when, oh, the thing that keeps Tony's heart working is out of battery power again. 

So Cap and Iron Man were actually good friends for years without knowing that it was Tony Stark in the armor.  It screws with a person's head after a while.  Tony never officially came clean with it either, having to be outed by a villain who had the ability to disintegrate the armor.  From what I understand, there was a red thong involved.  And only a red thong.  Which, really comic book writers/artists?  THINK OF THE CHAFING.  A red thong ain't gonna protect much when encased in metal.  >.<  But I digress.  I'm sure I don't have to explain how this enters into the Cap/Iron Man ship.

Why is this appealing to me?  Actually, I have no idea why.  I mean, love triangles generally tend to annoy me (unless we're talking Fushigi Yuugi, and then it's just hilarious.  Fushigi Yuugi is a general exception though.), but there's something about a love triangle that doesn't even technically exist that amuses me.  Regardless, I am a sucker for this trope.  I take great sadistic pleasure in watching all of the characters running around angsting for no real reason.  Because hey, why tell someone who you are when you can sit there and angst over it?  Totally makes sense to me. 

That stated, this is a trope that needs to find more fandoms.  Seriously, it's not just the superheros who can use this.  Let's take a look at the Ainley Master, shall we?  Five-era?  Ainley Master embodied Identity Porn.  That is so his kink that it's ridiculous.  The King's Demons is a perfect example of how he just wants to mess with Five's mind by using a disguise.  He doesn't reveal himself until after the horrendously choreographed fight scene, which you know he enjoyed far too much to be healthy.  And let's not go into Time-Flight.  Really.  Let's not.  There was no reason for that, Master.  None at all, other than your Identity Porn Kink.  But even then there's this little thing called dignity...

Also, this may be why I love Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne so much.  While not my favorite by Arina-chi (that would be Time Stranger Kyoko, which I have an insane soft spot for due in part to a very fond rp), it has a lot of  Identity Porn going between Chiaki/Kaitou Sinbad and Maron/Kaitou Jeanne.  Even after Maron-chan finds out who Sinbad is, it takes a while longer for the big reveal on why he's going up against her.  Plus, I'm a total sucker for Access Time, but that's beside the point.  Zen-kun... T_T T_T T_T

It makes me sad that no one who reads this is going to get that.  Maybe I'll link this entry to Ang, just so she'll understand my tears.  Lord knows she used to get enough of it. 

Anyway, my point is, why has this not spread to other fandoms?  I would totally read AU's of Identity Porn, and I generally don't like AU's.  Although, now I'm picturing a weird KKJ/Avengers AU with Cap as Jeanne and Tony as Sinbad, and my mind is going DO NOT WANT.  -_-;;;  It's ah, surprisingly fitting though.  Oh, God.  IT REALLY IS.  Clint could even be Fin Fish, with Natasha as Access Time, though slightly less hyper and more deadly one.  I'm a bit torn on Thor and Bruce as to which one would be Miyako and which one would be Iinchou.  Loki is Noin.  Which is even more disturbing, but hey.  Oh, good Lord, Coulson is Zen-kun, isn't he?  ZEN-KUN.  T_T T_T T_T  Does that make Fury one of the head Angels?  That's kind of disturbing...  Scratch that, this whole mental image is extremely disturbing.  No.  I just... No.  Brain bleach.  Where for art thou?  And who would be Silk? 

LJ, why do you not have a terrified mood?  Because my mind is far more than scary...  I'm just going to watch this video again to clear my thoughts.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 18th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
Oooooohhhhh, that's what you mean. I didn't know there was an actual word for that.

Fanlore definition didn't help understand it, though. It's when you brought in the Clark Kent/Lois Lane/Superman thing that I understood.

Although the first thing I thought of was Twelfth Night.

I totally agree other fandoms should get into Identity Porn, because it is very awesome indeed.


And let's not go into Time-Flight. Really. Let's not.

Oh, let's. Let's. I love Time-Flight and its ridiculousness. BEST/MOST RIDICULOUS/MOST UNNECCESSARY SCOOBY-DOO DISGUISE REVEAL EVER!

^Appropriate icon is appropriate
Nov. 18th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
There's totally a word for it. It's a thing. Respect the thing.

Yeah, the fanlore definition was kind of awkward. The first thing I thought about was that scene between Spidy and MJ, but Superman is the prime example they listed and it was all like... Yeah, that's the one everyone's going to know. Twelfth Night works too though. XD

Oh, Ainley Master. Delgado Master had his summoning, you had your disguises. Simm Master had the drums and insanity.

-_-;;; Completely unnecessary. There was so much 'wtf, mate' to that serial. So much.

It is an appropriate icon. <3
Nov. 18th, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
Also, watch the link at the end if you skipped it. It's sick. And twisted. And made of awesome.
Nov. 19th, 2012 02:39 am (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )