"Basically the fanfic subculture of any fandom is a women driven space where women of all ages explore their sexuality and the dynamics of relationships in the safety of community and sometimes anonymity. Some of it is eye-bleedingly bad, and some of it is good enough that the authors go onto write professionally. Sometimes professionals are the ones writing the fic.
"It attracts a lot of scorn and academic interest because it's weird, it's sexy, it's community building, and it's transgressive. But mostly because the bulk of it is generated by women and some people are still subconsciously shocked that while we have vaginas, we also have brains and desires and enjoy having and using both to our own advantage."
-- FunkyHelix, 2009-09-06