You’ve heard of lemons and the Citrus Scale? Well, what about KINKTOMATO?
KINKTOMATO is an important concept in fandom. It’s a humourous re-spelling of YKINMKATO - Your Kink Is Not My Kink (And That’s OK). This is the idea that if you don’t like a particular kink or ship etc, that’s fine but you don’t need to attack or shame the people who do. Just leave them alone to enjoy their fics and art in peace and ask that they do the same in return.
KINKTOMATO is the “you do you” of fandom. It’s the “whatever floats your boat” of leaving other people alone. It’s an easy and judgement-free way of hoping that your fellow fans enjoy their content as much as you enjoy yours and understanding that different folks like different strokes.
Having preferences is human. Having squicks is totally normal. Everyone has NOTPs or lines they don’t want to cross. But fandom is a large group of diverse people with varying tastes and interests and backgrounds. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Ship and let ship. Don’t like? Don’t read. Your kink is not my kink, and that’s okay.
And yes, do bring back “squick” because if it makes you go “ew, ick” then that’s a squick, or a hard “uh no NOT for me” it’s a squick. (Something that’s genuinely triggering will give you symptoms like hyperventillating, shaking hands, cold sweats, nausea, the feeling like you’re gonna faint, etc, but if it just makes you go “ew, ick” and scrunches your face in distaste, then that’s a squick, my friend.)
just to add on - KINKTOMATO is not easy, which goes against the usual ‘it’s not hard to just hit the back button’ narrative but I’m gonna say it. most people think they can do this stuff just fine but usually what
they’re considering as ‘things they don’t like’ are things they feel neutral about. ‘I’m not really
fond of X but it doesn’t make me want to run for the hills if I
see it in a fic’ is not ‘oh wow I really REALLY hate that’. it takes conscious effort to be fair about it. you have to resist the urge to be like ‘this is disgusting and I want to yell at someone for subjecting my poor eyeballs to this’. sometimes you gotta leave and do other things for a few days or even weeks just because you read the tags/summary on something and were like ‘oh god nope no ew ew ew’.
nobody really enjoys practicing this type of self-discipline. it is sincerely unpleasant to encounter kinks you are repulsed/squicked by. there have been times when i was lax in reading through the tags or when i assumed a tag represented one kind of take on a thing but no actually it was another, way less appealing one, and it’s not a fun time to get that particular cold glass of water thrown onto your soul.
be mature and fair about it anyway. resist the urge to be the fandom equivalent of those white suburban moms who yell at underpaid (or volunteer, in this case) cashiers and demand to speak to the manager. ignore the people who will try and appeal to you by telling you that your aversion is a result of some innate Goodness on your part and that people who make things you don’t like are Evil.
And friendly reminder that both tumblr and AO3 have ways to filter out unwanted tags so that you can easily go about your day without seeing content for one of your squicks or notps. In fact, I find it good practice to do an AO3 search for all of my favourite ships, filtering out all tags and ships I don’t like, and then saving that page as a bookmark/favourite to make my future fic-browsing easier. That way, I never accidentally come across something that makes me squick. And whenever I come across another ship or tag that I hate, I add that into my ‘excluded tags’ list and resave it.
It’s really simple and saves me a lot of pain and effort!
found @ 32 likes ON 2020-03-07 02:49:01 BY ME.ME