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October 3, 2012
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#70) My friends have recently been dropping the show ["Friendship is Magic] and I feel kind of left out. Also, my boyfriend is a non-Brony and completely detests the show. I fear telling him that I like the show purely because he is unpredictable. I want to stay with him but I fear losing him.

Answer: First of all, let's approach the issue with your boyfriend. If he doesn't like the show that's fair enough, but he has no right to govern the kind of entertainment that you watch, and neither should you fear telling him such a trivial thing. Strong relationships are built on acceptance and mutual respect; he doesn't have to like the show, but he shouldn't be in any position to make you feel bad for being into it. You can have different interests to the person you're in a relationship with (in some cases those different interests can strengthen a relationship and broaden your own interests) and you should feel comfortable enough with this person to share the fact that you like a TV show.

"Friendship is Magic" is, after all, just a TV show. I don't care if your boyfriend is unpredictable – what right does he have to make you feel guilty about something utterly harmless? You should have the strength to tell him that you're into it, and, if you truly do fear what he might do because he's 'unpredictable', you might want to question why you're in a relationship with this person in the first place. What kind of a boyfriend would break up with you – based on you mentioning 'losing him' – because you like watching a show and engaging with a fandom based on it? It doesn't say much about his character, nor your relationship, if he'd break up with you over something so ridiculous.

With your friends, it's important to remember that people change and a lot of interests change with that. You can't expect people to linger in the same place for too long, and, just as with your boyfriend, you need to learn to be more independent. You don't necessarily need to have friends who are into the show in order to enjoy it; you should be confident enough in your own interests and opinions to like things regardless of whether other people like them. If your friends are drifting, you may benefit from trying to make some friends in the fandom. If you don't have many at the moment, it's not hard to make some – a lot of the DA brony community are kind and welcoming people.

Don't neglect your existing friends, though, and be sure to keep other interests yourself. If your friends are moving away from MLP, chances are they've found something else that they enjoy. You may find that you enjoy whatever that may be as well. Don't change for the sake of others, but don't be afraid to give a variety of things a shot. Your friends, if they're real friends, won't fall out with you just because you have this one tiny interest that differs from their own, and I'd like to think your boyfriend, if he's a half-decent person, wouldn't either.

#71) I have been reading My Little Pony fanfiction for a while now and some contains implicit or explicit depictions of sex. I don't do this as a way to get off or receive sexual stimulation, but rather value the quality of the writing and relationship-building. What is your position on the so-called 'clopfics' and other similar sensual fiction? Is it as bad as the outright r34 image porn, or have a legitimate place within the appropriate 'niches'?
p.s. What stories I am referring are 'the good stuff', i.e. well written and developed stories that contain sex, as compared to the short and shallow 'and then they fucked' shipping stories

Answer: Another Brony Advice, another porn-related question. Good job old Mexican stand-off Parasprite is up there at the top of the page to shoot any pony rustlers who get a little too horny. Yeehaw!

The gist of your comment seems to be that you don't masturbate to stories containing sex, but you do deem them to be useful tools in character-building. Sex is featured in all sorts of excellent films, TV shows and literature, and it's not exactly a bad thing. It can definitely make writing a lot more interesting and adds an element to a story that might not have been there without it. It's not always necessary – some TV shows take it too far for no real reason (A Game of Thrones?) - but it's not necessarily damaging. Now, you've asked a bunch of questions that each require a different sort of argument. Firstly, I'll engage with your question about it being as bad as rule 34 images of ponies.

Personally, I don't think that it is, and we can use a real-life example here to enforce why. When Fifty Shades of Grey was selling in the bucket-loads over the summer, I saw it being sold in supermarkets in front of everyone literally the moment you walked into the shop. I saw parents buying it for their young daughters, and I saw nothing in the way of a mature warning on the book or the stand that the book was being sold on. While I personally lamented how an erotic novel was being sold without any form of boundary, it did prove a point – people don't react the same way to erotic literature as they do to images. I imagine if a picture of a woman performing oral sex on a chap was put up in the shop, people would be far quicker to object.

There are surely a lot of reasons for why literature isn't deemed as damaging as images. I'd say that in terms of sheltering kids, most youngsters wouldn't bother reading a long bit of fanfiction, because they either wouldn't understand it or wouldn't have the patience for it. Literature requires a lot of imagination and the ability to visualise based on what you already know – if a seven year old read about oral sex, they probably wouldn't really be able to picture it, nor understand its application or purpose, and therefore wouldn't really think much of it.

With an image, however, the vision is put into your mind instantly. You don't have to draw on something in your head – it's already there, and it's much more immediate. Therefore, in terms of 'bad' as being gauged by how much damage it could cause, I'd suggest that images and art of the erotic nature are certainly capable of making a more obvious impression upon people, and would therefore, in your words, be worse.

Now, as for my opinion on clop-fics, I again follow the same sort of argument, although I would point out that just because one (images) is worse than the other (clop-fiction), doesn't in any way make either of them good – it just makes one the lesser of two evils. I have no interest in clop-fiction, but I would draw a line between mature fiction with sexual themes and clop. There's a deliberate style employed in the writing of erotic fiction that quite clearly tips the reader off about its content. An example of clop 'language' would be:

'He gripped his throbbing _____ and shoved it into her ____, making her scream in ____, _____ her arms about as he took deeper _____ into her _____ until he ____ in a shower of ____'

It's all very descriptive, largely unrealistic and overblown, and designed to throw as many adjectives in there as possible to describe what is essentially a fairly routine and basic series of actions. It's written in this way because a lot of these words are tags that arouse a reader interested in that sort of thing. Compare that to something more akin to mature fiction, and you'll find that, while sex can still be present, it isn't described in that over-the-top kind of way, and is usually a more subtle affair.

Clop, as it's collectively known now, isn't fine literature, and it isn't ever going to win an award for being edgy and intelligent – it's written largely by horny individuals who are catering for other horny individuals with the sole purpose of getting them to orgasm. Some may attempt to have detailed storylines, but when the over-stuffed adjectives and ridiculous euphemisms enter the mix, it sacrifices its general quality and prestige. Note that I'm not suggesting that sex in any way ruins a text; I'm merely pointing out that erotica written as erotica has a very common and easily-identified style (as emulated above) that doesn't really ignite the fires of literary genius.

#72) I love the fandom and consider myself a brony but I don't really like the show. I haven't seen many of the episodes [of "Friendship is Magic"] but I write a lot of fanfiction and draw pictures of the characters. Is this normal or do most bronies like the show?

Answer: I'd imagine that most bronies like the show. I'm not saying that they all worship the ground that it walks on and sit around in front of the TV just waiting for the next episode to come out, but it's fairly reasonable to assume that most bronies keep up-to-date with it, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it allows them to keep track of what new characters are being introduced and how existing characters may be developing. Secondly, it saves them from falling behind when others will be discussing it around them. And thirdly, y'know, it's a pretty good show.

That said, while many like the show, I'm sure there are a lot who would consider the fandom to be the real thrill of "Friendship is Magic", and so you're undoubtedly not alone in saying that when it comes to the show VS. the fandom, you'd keep the fandom (not that both are mutually exclusive). I would say that you should make sure that in the fiction you write that you at least understand how the characters act in the show (one episode would be enough to give you a pretty decent glimpse into that) so that your fiction seems more realistic. For images, you can easily get away with seeing the characters on Google or DA and then drawing them – you don't have to watch the show to be able to draw characters from it, especially as the internet is full of references.

It's slightly unorthodox to not watch the show that the fandom is built around, but it's definitely not unheard of – I personally don't much care about Season 3 coming out or the future of the show, and instead involve myself on the outskirts of the fandom because it's informative and interesting. I don't claim to be a brony, but I definitely spend a lot of time investigating into the fandom; that includes familiarising myself with the show and its followers. For you, if you're having fun just being part of the fandom, then go ahead – you've surely made some good friends and enjoy your time as part of it, so the mere fact that you aren't a huge fan of the show shouldn't change that.
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Brony Advice is both an active collaboration with artists and an advice column, in the simplest of terms: I want you to send me notes if you have any problems, secrets or comments on the pony fandom of any nature. It doesn't matter how embarrassing, offensive or vicious they might be - if you want someone to comment on them in an unbiased way, send them over. Maybe there's something within the fandom that you particularly despise, or perhaps you're feeling sad and need to hear some friendly advice? Whatever the motive, send me a note with your comment or question.

I'll then respond with advice and commentary and post the answers up in future installments. Users will remain anonymous, so you don't need to worry about your feelings and thoughts getting out onto DeviantArt. You may find that some of the things that you've personally been feeling will be addressed.

Feel free to note me if you would like your questions and observations to be answered in an upcoming edition. Every edition will be engaging with three issues. The above three featured today were submitted by anonymous deviants.

Artwork by *Polar59. Go check out his stuff!
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EPsilon933 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013
I saw parents buying it for their young daughters

Should young girls seriously be reading 50 Shades? Isn't there a sex warning to be read somewhere on the back cover at least?
sweetkat22 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012
I told my boyfriend I like ponies, he didn't care much. He doesn't like ponies and never will, he even doesn't mind looking at the art I come across and watching me make the plushies. Boyfriends and friends should be supportive of what you do, sure deep down they will think your a bit strange but thats why my boyfriend loves me- I love him because of a lot of his strange qualities too.
Electroshock70 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome! Another interesting "Brony Advice"!

...And it's 3 comment time!

#70: This woman's relationship seems to be hanging by a thread, if the guy would dump her over a TV show...

Personally, I'd go for a relationship hanging by a thick, reinforced steel chord: Even if it's chinked, It can be repaired with plenty of time to spare.

I recommend that she get a more stable relationship, or at least, re-evaluate her current one. Can't hurt to re-evaluate.

#71: Opinion throwing. Take it as you will: I kinda detest ship-fics in general... Or even ones that try to put romance into the story. Why? 90% of the fan fictions I read, even some that I found good for a while, have failed to put any actual story advancement behind the relationship (oh look! They kissed! Now they will never see each other again!... What was the point?)... And that's pathetic if it's a ship-fic (The story starts right off with one confessing their love for the other. They get married and have kids. Now, for all intents and purposes, The story's done. Why continue?).

...Sorry. That question brought something to the surface. Anyway...

#72: What would a fandom-only brony be called (presuming more labels would be harmless)? ...Something to ponder...

I'm a definite brony for the show. No question about it. I look forward to season 3.

Out of curiosity, why are you not so enthusiastic ?

That's about it. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012
Fandom-only brony? Phony. Ohoho.

As for Season 3, it's not necessarily a lack of enthusiasm. Instead, I've just sort of drifted out of the pony 'thing', and prefer instead to treat the fandom and show as something to research and evaluate. As a social movement/experiment it's interesting to engage with, but as for the show itself, while it's definitely decent, there are plenty of other things that I prefer to watch. In addition, Season 2, for me, had a few too many episodes that I didn't get along with. You can see more on that in this review I wrote a while back: [link]
Electroshock70 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I did see your season two review. It holds a lot of merit, but I still think MLP:FIM is better than 99% of the other garbage on TV. :D
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012
I wouldn't agree that most other shows on TV are garbage: Breaking Bad, Peep Show, Boardwalk Empire, A Game of Thrones, The New Normal, Homeland, The Walking Dead, Modern Family, Treme, Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, Community, The Office (US) and Girls are all really solid shows that are currently running.
Electroshock70 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Opinions. We're allowed to have them. :)
ender1200 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012
There is a differance between clop fic and ship fic containing sex as a device. I bring this up becouse the guy in question 72. seemed to aim his quesion toword the first and then asked about the second.
ender1200 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012
Oops i meant question 71.
Gariandos Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You know, as interesting as it sounds, I have also followed the fandom first, and then started watching the show a little afterwards. Consider it as testing the waters of the fandom, to give you a first hand feel of how it goes.
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