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Usually "slash" refers to male/male couples. The word "FemSlash" is used to describe female/female couples. To this day, most slash is written by females for females to read.
The word is believed to have first been used with Kirk/Spock pairings in fan stories. These stories began being written in the late 1970's.
Slash fiction does not need explicit sexual encounters to be considered slash.
In Japanese manga, slash stories are called yaoi. This is only used to describe male/male relationships. Yuri is used to describe female/female relationships, much the same as the word "FemSlash" is used.
- An article on a Franz Ferdinand/Morrissey slash story
- "Harry Potter and the mystery of an academic obsession"—an August, 2006 Observer article discussing Harry Potter slash.
- Performance, Property, and the Slashing of Gender in Fan Fiction
- Slash Fiction/Fanfiction - The International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments