(The incredibly awesome DestinationToast was kind enough to let me republish her about Femslash Stats for Feb 2015 on These Curious Times. You can find all of her brilliant fandom stat analysis on her fandom stats blog: ToastyStats!)
Femslash February approaches! There are a bunch of femslash tumblrs and fans out there doing awesome things in celebration. I wanted to take a look at the stats.
The graphs above display the biggest femslash ships and fandoms on AO3, as of January 2015, excluding fics with F/M or M/M pairings. The reason for that exclusion is discussed more below the cut. (Character first/last names were somewhat arbitrarily chosen by me in fandoms I’m not familiar with; sorry if any of the pairing names are weirdly stated!)
You can also browse the full list of F/F ships with at least 100 fanworks.
Click through for more topics, including:
- the most explicit F/F ships
- F/F ships that are the biggest ship in their fandom
- the most active F/F ships and fandoms currently
- popular fics that are F/F
- top FFN femslash fandoms
As I’ve discussed before, far fewer works on AO3 are F/F than some other categories (particularly M/M):
I’ve talked previously about some of the reasons why this dearth might exist and which fandoms have a lot of femslash [more extensive discussion on AO3], but I’ve leveled up at stats and at AO3 searches since then (and time has passed), and I want to take a more in-depth look at F/F fic.
When I started to delve deeper into femslash stats, I first looked at the biggest F/F ships without putting any restrictions on it – I included all fics that were tagged F/F. And I got this:
… except that it also included Destiel and Sterek in the top 10 ships, and I realized that while some of those might be cisswap/Rule 63 fic, a lot of them were probably primarily Destiel or Sterek fics with a secondary F/F pair.
So I excluded popular non-F/F ships like Johnlock, Destiel, and Sterek from the above list. (I’ll probably look at Rule 63 fics separately, eventually.)
This, BTW, was the corresponding list of fandoms with the most F/F (with no filtering):
Even after this filtering of non-F/F pairs, I realized a lot of the remaining pairings might often be background pairings to primary ships that are F/M or M/M… which led me to filter those out and produce the graphs at the top of the post. The graphs at the top of the post are conservative; I undoubtedly filtered out a bunch of fics that are actually focused on an F/F ship. But the ones that remain after filtering – are ships (and fandoms) that are more certain to have a bunch of femslash-centric fic.
It’s always possible, BTW, that I missed some (see methodology at the end; it’s not perfect). Feel free to reblog and add the stats/links for any ships I missed!
Edit: Also note that there is at least one non-binary character in here (LaFontaine). I didn’t filter out NB characters or uses of the “Other” tag – I figured they could also use more love. 🙂
Edit 2: I also included both MCU and Avengers, even though the latter is a subset of the former, because Avengers is the biggest specific fandom tag within the Marvel universe, and MCU is the most umbrella tag for Marvel movies and TV shows.
My next question: Which fandoms are focused primarily on an F/F ship? This time, I looked at which fandoms have a F/F ship that is the biggest ship in the fandom.
I was expecting some of these ships and fandoms to make appearances, but not others. I’d no idea that Carmilla, a recent webseries, had rapidly developed such an active fandom. I also didn’t know that Frozencest was a popular thing (sorry for anyone who just had to go scrub their brain).
Like many AO3 readers, F/F readers show a preference for explicit fic in terms of the average number of kudos awarded. So which F/F ships have the most works rated Explicit? (I’ve once again filtered F/M and M/M):
Okay, so say you’re excited to join in one of these fandoms or ships that you hadn’t thought of before… which fandoms and ships are currently most active? I looked at activity for 2015 so far:
It looks like the new Marvel show Agent Carter is the new rising star fandom in the femslash world!
So how does all this compare to FFN, anyway? It’s hard to tell, because FFN doesn’t let you filter by ship or relationship category. Only some F/F stories mention “femslash” in the summary (and even fewer use “F/F” or “femmeslash”). But to try to get some sense of which fandoms are producing the most F/F fic, I searched for “femslash” and got the following results:
Edit: see addendum on Searching for F/F on FFN and Wattpad, which explores alternate F/F terminology.
The top three fandoms here are three of the biggest fandoms on FFN. And a bunch of these also show up over on AO3. But there are some surprises like Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place, which probably correlate with the FFN user demographics skewing younger than AO3’s.
Finally, as promised, a list of some of the most popular F/F fics (measured by kudos). Here are just the top 5:
- How I Survived My Summer Vacation, by Tamika Flynn, Age 12 ¾, Welcome to Night Vale (Tamika Flynn/OFC)
- Wolves of the North, Shingeki no Kyojin | Attack on Titan (Krista Lenz | Historia Reiss/Ymir, Mikasa Ackerman/Annie Leonhart, possibly more to come later)
- Temporary Distractions, Once Upon a Time (TV) (Evil Queen | Regina Mills/Emma Swan)
- the sun don’t set if we keep heading west, Carmilla (Web Series) (Laura Hollis/Carmilla Karnstein)
- Down The Rabbit Hole, Once Upon a Time (TV) (Evil Queen | Regina Mills/Emma Swan, Lacey/Red Riding Hood | Ruby, Aurora/Mulan)
Thanks for reading! If you’re curious how I got all these stats, here’s a bit of methodology:
To get some of the numbers, I used an AO3 API that esgibter, annathecrow, and I (but mostly they 🙂 ) have been developing. We’re building a frontend to create pretty visualizations, but for right now you can use it to get raw data about any AO3 tag. E.g., stats about the F/F tag.
I also looked at the AO3 works page for the F/F tag and looked at the top ships and fandoms – and then started to filter those out and see what was left. For instance, here’s what’s left after you eliminate F/M, M/M, and the top two most popular F/F ships… you can start to dig down and find the less popular F/F ships this way. If you can’t tell how I did that, I typed the following into the “Search within results” box in the sidebar:
-“M/M” -“F/M” -“Evil Queen | Regina Mills/Emma Swan” -“Rose Lalonde/Kanaya Maryam”
That removes all of those items from the search results.
In some cases, this removed too much – there were popular non-primary ships in some fandoms that I ended up missing due to filtering – so I also looked at the list of top 10 ships for each of the above fandoms and all of the biggest AO3 fandoms and looked for F/F ships with at least 100 fanworks. (There are a bunch more I found with slightly less than 100 – like Joan Watson/Jamie Moriarty, one of my faves, which currently has 93 fics – but for my own sanity, I had to set a threshold somewhere.)
If you have any questions or thoughts, please share! And have a terrific Femslash February – and beyond. 🙂
As Destination Toast is a multifanworks wonder, her fanworks are scattered around the interwebs. You can find more of her fandom studies at her stats blog toastystats and her masterlist of fandom stats. Her collection of Sherlock fiction lives on AO3. And you can find all of her thinky meta on tumblr. If just want to look at cute pictures of Toasty’s kittens, they have a web presence as well!