This fic comes back to a concept I did not explore well enough in Those Who Hunt Monsters, because it’s a difficult concept to explore when you want to keep the rating as low as possible. But there’s a lot of ideas in play in these 6000 words, and I want to talk plainly about all of them.
One thing I think got missed by a lot of readers is how deeply uncomfortable Loki’s first sexual experience is. Again, with the low rating, it was really hard to get across how predatory Fandral was in that scene. He was constantly pushing boundaries, asking Loki to do things he didn’t want to do, and eventually pressuring him into sex. And then I never went any farther with it, because of the rating.
But I have this very particular headcanon for Fandral. I see him as this deeply closeted dudebro, with a lot of very specific rules. He’s also deep in denial, which is the reason for the rules. For him, sex is a physical thing, divorced for intimacy or emotion. Which is why he doesn’t let Loki really touch or kiss him. He prefers Loki on his stomach because in that position, Loki can’t touch or kiss him. He’ll go as far as giving a hand job, but he will not be fucked, or give blow jobs. Any position in which he is being penetrated puts him into a role he cannot accept for himself, so he winds up being really toxic in this relationship, forcing it into a very one-sided, all take no give arrangement.
And it’s Loki’s first relationship ever. Nobody has ever given him the time of day, because they’re all too afraid of him. Fandral knows this. He knows Loki is probably starved for affection, and will allow himself to be pushed into a position he might not have sought out on his own. What Fandral doesn’t anticipate is for Loki to be completely into it. It makes it easier to talk his way into Loki’s pants, but then it also creates a situation where Loki wants things from the relationship that Fandral cannot give him.
But I wanted a lot of Loki’s firsts to be deeply unhealthy. He didn’t want to have sex that fist time. He didn’t want to put Fandral’s penis in his mouth, but he did it because Fandral might never speak to him again if he doesn’t it. The fact that he does wind up being into it doesn’t really matter, because he had to be cajoled in the first place.
The first time Fandral fucks him, there’s no conversation about it. Fandral decides this is what he wants, so this is what they’re going to do. Loki’s choices are again, go along with it or risk Fandral never speaking to him again. Fandral doesn’t take his time with it, or make sure that Loki is okay not because he’s a bad person, but because through his own inexperience he simply doesn’t know any better. Neither of them do, and they wind up in this very contentious place toward the end of their relationship because of it. As Loki learns more things about himself, he learns that this isn’t normal, and Fandral is kind of an ass.
And that story of coersion and cajoling is one you’ll hear often from gay men of a certain age. That their first time was less than consensual, and that their partner was usually older and/or more experienced. And often those men had the same experience, of being cajoled and coerced. But a lot of these men don’t see anything wrong with their first experiences, however dubious of consent they may have been. Because the alternative was to never act on these uncomfortable feelings at all, and find themselves married to a woman they hated with kids they resented. For a lot of these men, having someone break down that barrier by not letting them say no is often seen as instrummental to their own self acceptance. The difference here is most men with this story did go on to develop healthy relationships with sex and intimacy, where Loki has not.
But I wanted Loki’s other firsts to be just as unhealthy. With Leita, there was a lot more honesty between them, and they both wanted to be there. When Fandral told him to go try to sleep with a girl, he’d assumed that Loki would not be into it. To Fandral, the idea of liking both does not even cross his mind. Loki loves giving blow jobs and being fucked, so obviously he’d find women repulsive.
Except, whoops, he’s into it. It’s just no one within the court will touch him, because he’s all Jötunn and gross. But this woman, who I figure has a good two or three years on Loki has an ulterior motive of her own. She was sent to the palace for a purpose she probably was not on board with. If she could get knocked up with a prince’s bastard, she can get out of this stupid arrangement and maybe get some hush money on top of it. Loki recognises that something’s a little dodgy here, but he probably wouldn’t figure it out until much later, when he’s a little older and more experienced to understand what was being done to him.
But I wanted all of these really unhealthy firsts to be something that would colour the way he approaches sex and intimacy as a man. He’s already been broken and conditioned to wholly separate the two. You can see that a little bit in Midgard Legends, where he is very strict about separating people out into the friend zone and the fuck zone. People he likes and forms close bonds with are completely sexless beings to him. People he fucks are instantly disposable. And that’s something that’s starting to play a role in Second Rite. Angrboða is blurring that line and it terrifies him. When she tries to seduce him, he freaks out because that’s a line nobody’s allowed to cross. He likes her. He enjoys her company. And that makes her someone he does not have sex with.
It’s a lot to cram into what appears to be 6000 words of porn, but it’s also something I wish I had figured out how to fit into TWHM in the first place.