In the onscreen context of Sherlock the crop can only be used to make coy hints at possible meanings, because of the cultural obligation to present it within a frame of conventional titillation. In the open field of fandom, it becomes a reference point for remixing the gender and power dynamics of Sherlock’s opening scene, aka making it fun. Cast off the narrative of shaming, and ogle on your own terms, sisters.
What follows contains no euphemisms. What follows talks about erections, damp knickers, and arousal. Because what follows is the brief tale of how Improbable Press, perhaps the world's tiniest publishing company specialising in Sherlock Holmes erotic and romantic fiction, began, and how it means to go on. Wet panties and all.
Those inclined to seek homoromantic subtext in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories have never had to work very hard to envision it. Even in Doyle’s own time, perceptive readers did some subtle winking and nodding and incorporated their findings into their own parodies and homages… Still, it would take nearly a century from Holmes and Watson’s first appearance on the page for them to get an explicit erotic romance of their own. This essay will focus on "The Sexual Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Dr. John Watson, MD.," published in 1971 by Olympia Press. The real author was Larry Townsend, (1930-2008), a California leatherman with a knack for pseudo-Victorian prose...