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[personal profile] lauren3210
I’ve been thinking about writing a post about this for quite a while, mainly because every time I sign myself up to a gift fic fest such as [ profile] hd_erised, I am never entirely sure what I want to say when it comes to my preferences. I mean, if anyone were to ask me which I prefer, I would say Top!Harry/bottom!Draco, however, some of my favourite H/D fics ever feature explicit Top!Draco/bottom!Harry, and I’ve been trying to figure out why that is for the longest time. And so, as I’m currently in the home stretch of my Erised fic and have a lot of other projects that could do with some time being spent on them, I am of course procrastinating terribly by thinking about this instead so, here I am!

As a multi-fandom shipper with a lot of ships under my belt, I tend to skip from one to the other during my fic reading time, and I’ve started to notice a bit of a pattern: I prefer the mouthy guy in the relationship to be the bottom. It’s not always the case, but in general that seems to be my preference. For example, I like my Sterek fics to feature a sarcastic, smart-mouthed Stiles, and a grumbly and frustrated Derek only managing to get him to shut the fuck up while he’s fucking him into incoherency. I like a Merlin running rings around his confused and irritated Arthur until Arthur pins him against a wall and sticks his tongue down his throat. I like a Steve McGarrett who is completely hypnotized by the movements of Danno’s hands during his many angry rants, until he pins those flailing hands behind Danno’s back. I like a Bucky who finds Steve’s sassy comebacks hilarious until they're directed at him, and then he needs to find another use for that mouth. I like a prim and put together Arthur who can only be reduced to a sweaty, blushing mess when Eames is whispering dirty things into his ear.

So it seems that, in general, I like the big, muscled, sometimes not entirely human, guy being pulled around by the chest hair by their sarcastic, mouthy, sometimes slighter counterpart. Or, in other words, I like the more physically capable guy fucking the more mentally capable guy, because that’s the only time in the relationship when they can get the upper hand. Maybe it’s because I recognize something in them about myself and my own relationship, I don’t know, but it does seem to be my thing. Everyone’s got their preferences though, I guess.

But there are some ships that just don’t fit that mold, and H/D is the most obvious one. I mean, you could possibly break them down into their simplest forms for them to fit – if all Harry was was a Quidditch player, then he could be the muscled guy, and Draco could be the mouthy sarcastic guy – but trying to do that feels very wrong to me, because that’s not how I see them at all.

As much as I believe that a person’s sexual preferences have nothing to do with how they act in real life – unassuming in the boardroom does not automatically translate into a submissive in the bedroom, nor does it mean the opposite – I do think that in fiction, sexual dynamics can be a useful tool for highlighting a character, or a relationship. And I think that this is what trips me up when it comes to H/D; because there are so many fanon interpretations of their relationship that my preferences fluctuate too much for me to generalize them. Unlike the vast majority of my other ships, who are at the very least friendly with each other (if not best friends) canonically, in the books the most civilized Harry and Draco get with each other is when they actively ignore each other, so there's really not much there for me to get a baseline for their romantic interactions.

So I think that, when my initial response is to say I prefer Top!Harry/bottom!Draco, I am actually trying to fit them into a generalization that I have made for myself through reading about other ships. Harry, with his ‘jump first, think later’ attitude, is more likely to fit the ‘physically capable’ role, and Draco, with his calculating schemes, is more likely to fit the ‘mentally capable’ role, and so my brain automatically slots them into those places. The only problem is that they can, and do, fit both of those roles depending on the story being told (maybe Harry’s an Auror, or maybe Draco is, or Harry’s a little bit lost post-war, and Draco’s a damn dragon-tamer), and so the sexual dynamic tool is used in a multitude of ways, because that is the beauty of story-telling.

So, at the end of my rambling musings, I guess my answer to the question of what my preferences are should be this:

I truly don’t care, as long as the sex fits the relationship, and the relationship fits the story.

Okay, I’m gonna go write now, because I’ve procrastinated long enough (damn it). Back to your regularly scheduled Friday night on LJ!
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