The youths on Derek’s street have it in for him. It’s the third time this month they’ve taken a baseball bat to his mailbox. He stands with his hands on his hips, gazing down at the smashed up wood, and pondering what sort of revenge he can take on the fourteen year old assholes that won’t land him in prison. Perhaps, he could egg their houses. Laura would like that.
"Man," he looks up sharply to see Stiles grinning and shaking his head, waving Derek’s mail in the air. "Again?"
"Yes," he says shortly. "I don’t know why it’s always me."
"Maybe because you give them the best reaction? Also," Stiles gestures at his chest, "I bet at least one of them has a crush on you."
Derek rolls his eyes, holds his hand out for his mail, “Sure, that’s why.”
"Dude, I’m serious. That first morning when you came out all guns blazing with the towel," Stiles’ eyes glaze over briefly, and then he shakes himself. "I was a little afraid you were gonna strangle me with it.”
FAKE GEEK GUYS: A MESSAGE TO MEN ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT
By Andy Khouri
“I think this woman is wrong about something on the Internet. Clearly my best course of action is to threaten her with rape.”
That’s crazy talk, right? So why does it happen all the time?
Honest question, dudes.
That women are harassed online is not news. That women in comics and the broader fandom cultures are harassed online is not news. That these women are routinely transmitted anonymous messages describing graphic sexual violence perpetrated upon them for transgressions as grave as not liking a thing… that is actually news to me, and it’s probably news to a lot of you guys reading this.
So what do we do about it?
Sexual harassment isn’t an occupational hazard. It’s not a glitch in the complex matrix of modern life. It’s not something that just “happens.” It’s something men do. It’s a choice men make. It’s a problem men enable. It’s sometimes a crime men commit. And it is not in the power nor the responsibility of women to wage war on this crime.
It’s on us.
I swear to god, if I read one more “but I’ve never seen it!” in the comments of this very article, I’m going to fucking scream.
Also from the linked article:
It is wholly and rightfully and crucially up to men in this society and especially in this subculture to speak out and watch out. To end the cycle of bullying, harassment and violence. To recognize the grotesque irony of degrading women over matters of heroic fictions whose lessons about fairness and decency we’ve supposedly been studying since we were just little boys, and to start putting those ideas into practice as grown-ass men.
One question, gents: What Would Steve Rogers Do?
This is the monthly installment of softywolf’s Top Ten Sterek Fics (x). The list is in no particular order and my favourite(s) has an asterisk (*) beside it. The theme for each month is chosen either by poll or by me. You can check my #topten tag for previous months.
April’s theme is College/University.
No Homo* by RemainNameless (T | 10186)Stiles’ sophomore year starts something like this:
+ 1 peer-pressuring cat
- 1 best bro to end all best bros
= 1 Craigslist ad headline that reads “str8 dude - m4m - strictly platonic”.
Derek is the fool who replies.
The Hazards (and Benefits) of Channel-Surfing on Friday Nights by herbeautifullie (M | 12175)
He’s watching TV over the edge of his laptop when Scott brings up the fact that he’s still a lonely loser in his third year of college without a boyfriend which, while being completely true, is really fucking unappreciated. It sparks a desperate need to save what little manhood Stiles has and, before he knows it, he’s blurting, “I totally have a boyfriend, dude. Shows how much you know.”
How was he supposed to know Scott would doubt him? It’s not Stiles’ fault that someone named Derek Hale really exists. It’s also not his fault when his lie grows legs and runs so far he can’t find it until it’s too late – too late and standing right in front of him, gorgeous and annoyed and not at all the person Stiles made him up to be.
Yeah, this could get bad.
The Chemistry Between Us by coffeeinallcaps (E | 26041)
Meeting Derek Hale wasn’t special, or frightening, or any of the other things everyone had made it out to be. It was, actually, pretty much the opposite. Stiles didn’t even realize the guy was Derek Hale until the moment had passed. Derek: the most infamous student at Beacon Hills University. Stiles: the freshman who falls for him anyway. Awkward encounters, concerned friends, and lots of not-so-casual sex ensue.
Hale to the Chief by LadyLazarus (E | 14403)
First Son Stiles Stilinski thought college back home in Beacon Hills would be the best thing ever.
That is, until he realized that he’d be stuck with Derek Hale as his roommate the entire year.
Circle Yes or No by blacktofade (E | 23191)
Stiles is a TA for Professor Morrell’s class, where Derek happens to be a mature student.
Intro To Art for NonMajors* by otatop (NR | 13489)
Derek has one more class to pass before he can finish his degree but he can’t bring himself to give a shit about art. He can, however, give a shit about his professor.
Special Collections by hannah_baker (E | 16423)
Stiles Stilinski is a senior in college working on his thesis. Derek Hale is the grumpy (though inhumanely attractive) special collections librarian. All they needed was a common interest to spark a friendship that becomes more than either of the bargained for.
Losers by stilinskisparkles (M | 34234)
Where Derek is new to college, eager to spend his time learning, and Stiles is everything he didn’t want in a room mate. He’s loud, he’s into sports, and he keeps trying to make Derek do things.
Or, the one where Derek falls for a jock, Erica will cut you if you disturb her studying, and Jackson is a closeted romantic who pretends to hate everything.
A Broken Heart Is Blind* by halona (M | 5327)
When Lydia dumps Stiles to get back with Jackson, Stiles rebounds with Derek, his former TA. It was just supposed to be a one night stand, but they’re both a little confused about what the rules for those are.
'Linkski's Late Night Antidote To Lame by WhoNatural (T | 13865)
Where Stiles has his own college radio show, and the mysterious, faceless Derek is his number one fan.
Also there’s this really hot guy he keeps meeting in the library who totally hates his guts.
Any time I find out someone I know hasn’t used a toy/been to a sex store, I drag them to one, educate them, and buy them vibrating presents. I think of it as kind of a public service. I encourage everyone to do them same. SPREAD THE LUBE I mean love.
THAT IS THE MOST MAGICAL STORY I HAVE EVER HEARD. YOU’RE LIKE A SEX TOY FAIRY. EVERY GROUP OF FRIENDS SHOULD HAVE ONE. EVERY CITY SHOULD OFFER IT AS A PUBLIC SERVICE. I WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER MYSELF IF SOMEONE WANTS TO GIVE ME A BUDGET.
OH GOSH OKAY.
Only a guest ranch in the American west probably means more cowboys, so you don’t have to worry about thumbs up (neck reining holla) and the only kind of dressage they do is cowboy dressage. I’m gonna say they’re undercover for Reasons because I can’t imagine any of them particularly wanting to go to a guest ranch, but also because that way they’re all forced to participate in order to carry out their investigation. Like, let’s say maybe there’s a bunch of mysterious deaths in the wilderness and they think it might be some kind of creature i don’t know, some sort of man-eating monster, but the bodies keep being found on a grazing allotment and really the only way to get there without being shot by an irate rancher is to go in with the guest ranch that’s running cattle out there. WHATEVER.
Lydia, as it turns out, took show jumping lessons through half of her youth, and spent summers with her obscenely rich east coast grandmother who took her along on foxhunts. She’s never ridden Western before but you wouldn’t know it; when they go out to help gather some cattle, she goes chasing after a wayward calf, down an embankment and over an irritation ditch without even a single strand of her hair coming out of place.
Scott’s a little freaked out by horses as it turns out — there’s a reason he’s an assistant for a small animal vet — so he gets the job of hanging around the ranch itself, looking out for suspicious persons, checking out the property itself. He’s their best scent tracker these days too, and he thinks there’s something fishy about the ranch itself, like maybe the killer is there, so he takes what he sees as the most dangerous assignment. Allison’s his back-up. She hasn’t ridden before, but she takes to it like a natural, has the balance and attention to detail to learn quickly, and the ranch offers private riding lessons, too; she suspects the staff member who teaches the lessons anyway, so it’s a good way to scope him out. (He’s not a monster, he’s just faked a lot of his credentials, is a shitty teacher, and is overall kind of gross.) There’s a lot to do even if you don’t ride, because these kind of ranches are used to uninterested spouses and children being dragged unwillingly on vacation. Scott and Allison go hiking a lot, supposedly to check for scent trail clues, but mostly they hold hands and are cute at each other. They also spend a lot of time at the pool because they look good in swimwear and they know it.
I like where you’re going with the Pony Club for Derek. I wanna go in a different direction and say he doesn’t have a lot of riding experience, but he does know horses. There was an old lady who lived down the road, on the other side of the highway, and Derek would ride his bike past her place sometimes, and the horses that were peacefully grazing along the fenceline would suddenly freak out and run in the other direction every time he got anywhere near them. But he loved animals and it completely bummed him out, because animals were never scared of him before but suddenly every creature within a ten-mile radius was running like hell. (“As you come into your power you’ll have to put in more of an effort to control and hide what you are, it’ll come with time,” his mom told him, and “You’re a teenage boy going through puberty, I also want to run away from you most of the time,” his dad said.) So Talia took him over to the old woman’s place — let’s call her Sue — and introduced him, told Sue that he was interested in learning about horses, and would she maybe be willing to teach him a few things, if he helped with chores around the place?
Well, protip, old crotchety rancher types don’t put up with any bullshit. That woman worked him to the BONE. He learned how to drive fence posts, he scrubbed algae from the stock tanks, he shoveled more manure than ten horses on their own ought to be capable of producing. He got hay in places he didn’t think it’d ever come out. (He was a scrawny fourteen-year-old then, but by the time summer ended he was tanned and muscled, grew a few more inches too, went back to school and girls were suddenly looking at him. It seemed like a good thing at the time.) He also learned how to handle the horses, how to keep from startling them, how to get them to come right up to him to put their halters on. It was frustrating when he first started, when Sue sat him down on an upside down bucket out in the pasture and tell him, “Now you just wait here, and they’ll get curious before you know it.” He was out there for four hours with every single horse as far away as they could get, then Sue came out with lunch for them both. Derek chewed on his PB&J and stared at his shoes and said, “They’re never going to be comfortable around me. I’m a predator.” Sue scoffed at him in that way she had — she saved time by compressing “boy don’t be a goddamned fool” into a single nonverbal noise — and said, “All human beings are predators, and horses have been letting us ride for a good long while.” And that was when one of the horses he hadn’t even heard sneaking up behind him knocked off his hat and tried to steal his sandwich. (He really did need to learn to control his wolf powers, puberty was the worst.) So he didn’t really know how to ride, not properly, didn’t actually know how to put a saddle on even because he and Sue hadn’t used them; Sue was retired, and so were her horses, so her idea of riding was mostly climbing on a horse in the pasture, nothing but a halter on its head and the lead rope draped over the withers, but Derek was more than happy with it, spent more than a few afternoons stretched out on his belly, his arms and legs dangling over a horse’s sides, face pressed against a horse’s sun-warmed neck, just being there together while the horse ate. He learned how to direct his energy and turn down his intensity and direct his focus in such a way that those horses were all completely comfortable with him all the time, didn’t even mind having a wolf draped over their backs.
WOW GOSH THAT HEADCANON GOT OUT OF CONTROL. ANYWAY, Derek does okay with the riding at the guest ranch, learns how to use stirrups and how to sit a trot without squishing his junk, but he has bigger problems. He and Stiles are sharing a room, so when Stiles starts complaining about how much his ass hurts, everybody purposefully decides to take it the wrong way and his life devolves into a torturous, endless anal sex joke. They all think it’s funny, the increasingly frantic and wide-eyed dear-god-please-shut-up looks that Derek keeps throwing in Stiles’ direction, and Stiles thinks it’s all hilarious because actually he is in fact talking about being sore from extremely vigorous fucking. Everybody’s joking about it and they don’t even realize it’s true. Derek kind of wants to die and he doesn’t understand why all his friends are immature little dickheads.
Stiles also thinks it’s bullshit that they’re paying for the privilege of driving somebody’s cattle. He’s all, “I thought being a cowboy meant the rancher was paying you to take care of the cattle, not the other way around.” He rides like a sack of potatoes and touches the horses like he thinks they might break and/or bite his face off. The wranglers always set up his tack for him, so he doesn’t wind up in the dirt (again), and they mount on him on a saint of a mare named Sundance who just slows down to a snail’s pace every time Stiles starts to lose his balance.
Isaac realizes his horse knows the job better than he does; he just rides along, tries not to fall off, and tries to braid his horse’s mane while he’s on board, which doesn’t work that great. He also discovers wild rags and gives up scarves for awhile; the cowboys love him because he suddenly develops an intense interest in cowboy poetry and starts talking about growing a mustache. Scott and Allison finally keep him behind at the resort for a day, just for his own good, and he abandons his newfound dreams of life on the range when he seems them both in their swimwear.
Oh gosh, I’d pay so much money for that. Tyler Hoechlin could seriously make a killing just as a model for workout videos, he’d never have to work again, we’d all buy them. :D
I think if you’re talking canon though, probably Laura and Derek both realized they were in a lot of danger. Laura had the Alpha power, but a very small pack (just Derek probably) so with the canon idea that power has to be stolen, she’d have been a target of upstart wolves wanting to move up in the world and become Alphas to start their own packs. The two of them also would’ve been very aware of their vulnerability to hunters; even hunters playing by the rules could’ve found excuses to go after them — Chris certainly didn’t hesitate in S1 and I think he would’ve happily killed Derek just on suspicion that he was doing the things we eventually learned were all Peter. But they’d just learned that hunters definitely don’t play even by their own rules. So I think they’d have been highly paranoid and intensely hiding.
I know there’s some discussion over the New York ID having possibly been a fake, but I do think someplace like New York would have been ideal for their purposes. It’s a big city, easy to disappear into and be just another face in the crowd. I could absolutely see Derek doing something like bartending… there’s a reason why it’s such a popular choice in fic, I think. Derek’s fast, has good reflexes, and he’s smart, so I don’t think he’d have trouble learning the job, and he can’t really get drunk as far as we know, so even if customers were buying him drinks all night he’d still be perfectly sober. In the right bar he wouldn’t need to be friendly or flirty, just the way he looks would probably get him hella tips. I think he’d find a kind of routine comfort in keeping the bar clean and pouring drink after drink to people who don’t make any actual effort to get to know him.
IDEK, I’m not being very creative. I mean there’s tons of stuff I’d love to see a more emotionally stable Derek Hale doing, places I could imagine his life having gone or going in the future if he weren’t constantly being tortured and running for his life, and gym fics hold a special place in my heart so I am incredibly aware right now of what Derek Hale would look like teaching yoga thank you for that mental picture, but for actual canon Derek? He was probably just finding the most anonymous work he could get.
TOTES. AGREED. I have been that friend for a few people now. I don’t give a fuck. :D It’s actually really fun as a group activity, IMO, as long as you’re going with people who aren’t dicks. Like go with somebody who’s not going to judge you or loudly exclaim about how gross things are or whatever.
(This isn’t a sex toy example, but I recently got saddled at a gem/bead show with a friend of my mom’s who basically tailed me in my entire wander through the vendor hall, in spite of my frequent attempts to ditch her. SHe kept picking up things right in front of the vendors who were selling them and saying “WOW THIS IS SO UGLY” and “GOSH EVERYBODY LIKES REALLY BIG TACKY JEWELRY THESE DAYS HUH” and things like that. And she does not possess an inside voice. It was sincerely one of the worst days I’ve had in recent memory. And then I also had to drive her home. Fuck my life.)
I don’t get freaked about sex toys like ever, but I do get anxious just when I’m going someplace new, even if it’s just a freaking grocery store I’ve never been in before. So I get those feels. Also if you have any friends who are familiar with the sex shops in your area they can probably steer you toward the better ones and entirely away from the ones that suck. :D
Oh yeah, dude. I mean, it depends a lot on the shop how comfortable it is. My local one I’ve gone into a few times mostly just to buy batteries (why the fuck do supermarkets never carry the type I need, I ask you?), and it’s kind of crappy. It’s a terrible looking shop, it’s like 90% ugly lingerie with really crappy displays, and then the sex toys are all crowded into a tiny curtained off room in the back. Even as a person who’s very comfortable in sex toy shops in general, I’m not comfortable there at all, just because the store doesn’t look well taken care of but also the toy area is SO SMALL that if there are even a couple other people in there they feel too close. I don’t like feeling squeezed in with other people regardless of what I’m shopping for. But I used to go to one in LA called The Pleasure Chest and it’s a huge store, lots to look at, really nicely laid out, very cool employees, I always had a ton of fun shopping there. I always went with friends and we always had a great time, but I don’t know that any of us were particularly shy about any part of the experience so it wasn’t awkward or anything.
In my experience the staff at toy shops don’t usually approach you or anything, unless it’s just like “hey welcome, let me know if you need any help”. They’re not going to be like “HEY, SO, I SEE YOU’RE LOOKING AT VIBRATORS, YOU SHOULD GET THIS ONE.” :D If you ask for their help they’re happy to give it but they’re not going to get up all up in your biz. So if you wanted to walk in, look at some stuff so you can see the size and material and whatnot in person, and then walk out again and actually order whatever you decided you want online, you could probably acquire sex toys without actually speaking to anyone at all. Just by virtue of what the product is, a lot of people are much more comfortable shopping online. (I like online shopping too because you can read the reviews of a thing and see if it’s a piece of junk before you buy it. A lot of toy shops carry really cheap toys, which usually means toys that will break after a very short amount of time.) I mean if you feel awkward in general about shopping then shopping for sex toys in person might just be really stressful for you, and the online options are so great you could just give the brick and mortar shops a miss entirely. But if you’re worried about the store employees judging you or something, I wouldn’t be concerned. Their job is selling sex toys. All kinds of sex toys. To all kinds of people. I haven’t known a lot of toy shop employees personally but I’d hazard a guess that they don’t have a single fuck to give about what you’re buying or what you’re planning to use it for.
Oh man, it’s like you’re me. :D I hadn’t been involved in fandom at all really either for the longest time and then I sort of jumped face-first into Teen Wolf, god help me. I don’t know about gaining traction, I think it just kind of… happened, in my case. I think a lot depends on what you’re producing and what your expectations are. Like, when I posted my first Sterek fic, I had mostly older stuff posted on AO3, like Stargate things I’d written ten years ago, and they all had like… 20 hits on them. :D So I posted what would become the first part of Incantation Ink, and within like five minutes it had hits in the triple digits. Which I think was purely because of people browsing the pairing tag. Like I hadn’t even posted a notification anywhere, I didn’t have an anywhere to post it anyway. I can’t remember if I had a tumblr yet but if I did I had like one follower, and that was the person who got me into this mess in the first place. It was crazy, and I was on chat with my friend at the time like “ugh I think there’s something wrong with AO3 this story can’t possibly have all these hits yet” and she laughed at me because she was already in the fandom and she knew about the Sterek. :D I think a lot of it for me was just timing.
ANYWAY, I think now there are so many MORE fan works that it’s hard to get attention even just from tag-browsers, but also like… if you’re writing Sterek, if that’s your thing, you have a big audience already. If you’re writing rarepairs or gen or something like that, people aren’t going to read or share unless they think it’s amazingly good. Like not only is the audience smaller, but it seems like the bar is higher. And the fandom’s been around long enough that there are some fics that have like eighty bajillion hits and kudos and stuff, and if you’re comparing yourself against that, then yeah you’re going to get frustrated. I get it though, because when I post a thing I get obsessed about whether people are reading it and I stress myself out, and I do that even now that I have people subscribed to me on AO3 and following my tumblr and stuff so I know whatever I post is going to get at least SOME reads, even regardless of the pairing or genre or whatever.
I mean I could probably give you advice as far as like… the same advice I might give for social media marketing in general. Do you. Engage with people. Continue being awesome. (I just looked at your blog and I’m now a follower, not because I think you’re pouting but because I like the stuff you post and reblog. It really is that simple.) But as far as your fanfic goes, just keep writing the stuff you want to write. People will read it or they won’t, but you’ll keep getting better and having fun.
I’m sorry if my advice is terrible I sincerely have no idea how a person would consciously gain traction at all. Fandom is a capricious beast and an increasingly crowded space as shows get more popular and the fandom grows with them. One concrete thing you can do though is make it easier for people to FIND your stuff. Link to your AO3 from your tumblr menu. Link to your tumblr from your stories on AO3. People can’t find you and follow you if they don’t know you’re even on those other platforms. You might have followers on tumblr who don’t even realize you write their OTP at all. You might have people reading your stuff on AO3 who don’t realize they can also follow your updates via tumblr.