Archive for Ship Tease

On Ship Teasing…

Posted in Grumblings with tags , , , on November 11, 2021 by chemiclord

Before I get terribly deep into the weeds, some of my followers might think that I’m writing this in reaction to… certain events among creators I follow, but it’s really not. This has been something on my mind for a while, and it’s taken me a while to compose my thoughts. Which is also why I’m not going to give examples like I normally do with these sort of thought exercises; because it’s no creator’s fault here, and it’s not something to name names over.

Because I know why creators do it. It works. It works extremely well. I’m annoyed that it works.

To put it bluntly; I don’t ship tease. I probably never will ship tease. It doesn’t interest me to do so, it adds nothing to the stories I wish to compose, it’s just empty filler that does nothing for me. If you’re reading something of mine, and two characters aren’t specifically in a relationship or in the process of building one… they aren’t. I’m not leaving breadcrumbs in my prose, I’m not dragging out sexual tension, I’m not subtly building something.

I don’t particularly do “love triangles.” (Note: polyamorous relationships aren’t a “love triangle,” so don’t get yourself all twisted.) I’m not going to lean into romantic tropes trying to “hint” something. In regards to in-story, I’m pretty simple. If I’m not telling you, “these characters are a thing or they are working towards being a thing,” they aren’t. End of story.

To me, ship teasing is the literary equivalent of “cheap heat.” It’s the wrestler going into a city and just flinging generic insults at said city to get people booing. Yeah, you’re getting engagement. Yeah, you’re getting views. But are you actually building anything meaningful? Are you actually contributing anything worthwhile to the community that follows you?

I’d argue… no. You’re not. I find there is little that is more toxic to a community than shipper wars, and that’s something that I find is largely inevitable once the ship teases start. As a creator, I don’t think I would have any ground to decry toxicity in any community I build if I was actively feeding the gasoline to that fire. Sure, shipping shouldn’t be a conflagration point. But it is, and it would be reckless to do something just because it shouldn’t set a community ablaze.

And if prospective readers are that much more interested in teasing out who is or might be bumping genitals rather than any themes or messages I’m trying to deliver… I cordially request you find somewhere else to be. Even if that means I’ll never have the level of success or engagement I could have.