I actually enjoyed a decent amount of The Libertines music, but I’ll admit now that much of their appeal was wondering if and when Doherty and Barat would just drop their instruments and MAKE OUT ALREADY.
It was their gimmick, but it was a good one. The relationship between Pete and Carl was absolutely the most appealing thing about The Libertines, but man did my teenage self love watching those two sweaty boys on drugs sing into one another’s mouths about how tragically they loved each other.
On that note, and referring back to my more oblique comments on Patrick Wolf today, what is up with fandom such that when dudes are actually (more or less) straight, (disproportionately female) fanbases ‘ship them and want them to be gay (cf. The Libertines, Supernatural, slash fiction) but when celebrities are actually (more or less) gay, there seems to be the weird pushback we saw with Patrick, where there’s an active resistance/defence of their heterosexuality/interest in women?
It’s not a critique of fandom, per se, but it’s something that I’ve never really understood.
(I’ll just note that Panic at the Disco, Patrick Stump, etc. are also part of this conversation, since they came up earlier re: female audiences.)
My instinctive reaction here is that IRL sexuality is a red herring - Doherty/Barat are two people who were in a band together, and a lot of the extramusical interest for the NME on down was their relationship drama. PWolf-the-artist is solo, and PWolf-the-persona is singular even when he sings about love. This goes back to the “competing strategies of moe” conversation, which… okay, was a completely different conversation from this one, but the gist of it was you can either imagine yourself in relationship to the character/celebrity, or you can “ship” the characters/celebrities, with your situation vis them relatively occluded.
On the other hand, from a purely GLBT perspective, some people may have felt PWolf represented them as a bisexual and be moved to defend that visibility. In this case, it’s the fan shipping stuff that’s the red herring.
To be honest, I kind of don’t think the “PWolf heterosexuality pushback” people and the “Libertines slash fiction” people are the same fans, even if both groups may consist majorly of young women? Fandom encompasses multitudes. I would bet a lot of fans these days quietly ship PWolf and his lovely fiance, but fanfiction about them would just be an unnecessary gloss on PWolf’s own output (see Saturday’s OWOB posts? XD).