Welcome to the Freak Show

  • Lucy Neville


The introductory chapter provides an overview of previous research that has examined women who engage with m/m pornography and erotica, and reflects on the response of the women who participated in this study to both existing research and popular perceptions of women who like m/m erotic media. The chapter goes on to explore the issues raised by conducting research with an often misrepresented community (Tablesaw, The pervy survey. Dreamwidth blog,, 2009; Jenkins, Textual poachers: Television fans and participatory culture, Routledge, 1992) while at the same time being an active member of that community and using online community spaces (I am a writer of gay male erotic fiction and slashfic which I have published online and in print anthologies). Against the backdrop of a rich history of scholarship that examines the benefits and pitfalls of researching a community while being part of it, the chapter looks at how the respondents themselves reacted to my involvement and positionality, and how this affected their decision to participate in the research (or not).


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucy Neville
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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