For some of us, smart is sexy. So fetishizing Sherlock Holmes might actually be, well, elementary. But in China, where homoerotic slash fiction webmasters have risked prison, lovin’ on Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is quite a commitment.
ForeignPolicy.com reports that Cumberbatch’s Holmes is the stuff of a burgeoning erotic fixation. His tongue is the source of unholy speculation, and we are not talking about his rapier wit. There are suggestive videos packed with furtive glances between Holmes and his protégé, Dr. Watson, and photo-manipulated kisses. In one story Holmes even deduces that Watson is moonlighting as a porn star to pay off his medical school student loans. Just imagine where that episode leads.
The Chinese blogosphere is already host to an array of slash fiction, but this particular articulation of “the love that dares not speak its name” is slightly ironic in terms of the colonial past of these two cultural players. Which might be the beauty of popular entertainment, and the borderless public spaces of the Internet. Governments have limited power when people vote with their — ahem — hearts.