Sounds Fake But Okay

Ep 216: Aspecs Explain Romantic Tropes

May 15, 2022 Sounds Fake But Okay
Sounds Fake But Okay
Ep 216: Aspecs Explain Romantic Tropes
Show Notes Transcript

Hey what's up hello! This week, Sarah and Kayla try to sell you on all the best romantic fanfiction tropes. Why? Because we love them. 


Episode Transcript:


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SARAH: Hey, what’s up hello! Welcome to Sounds Fake but Okay, a podcast where an aroace girl, I’m Sarah that’s me

KAYLA: and a bi demisexual girl, that’s me Kayla

SARAH: Talk about love, relationships, sexuality, and pretty much anything else we just don’t understand. 

KAYLA: On today’s episode: romantic tropes. 

SARAH AND KAYLA: Sounds fake, but okay. 

(theme music plays)

SARAH: Welcome back to the pod! 


SARAH: Yes. 

KAYLA: Yes. 

SARAH: Good. 

KAYLA: Yes, we are coming to you live after many audio issues because someone, me, forgot their computer at home and am now in my other home. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: Yeah…

SARAH: Kayla was like “can we podcast on Tuesday?” and I was like “I have to get my roommate from the airport on Tuesday” (laughing)

KAYLA: So now, I just got off a plane. 

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: And because I am home for my sister’s wedding, more on that next week, 

SARAH: (whispering) marriage. Mawiage. 

KAYLA:  mawiage. 

SARAH: Is what brings us together today. 

KAYLA: Can we pause? I want to check – my sound waves sound different, and I want to check.

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: Can you pause your audio?

SARAH: When I say fish, you say sticks! Fish!

KAYLA: Sticks!

SARAH: Fish!

KAYLA: Sticks!

SARAH: Cool. That will help me line them up.

KAYLA: We should keep that in. I just listened to my audio on my computer. If my audio is a bit staticy or weird, I am very sorry. I packed my microphone so we could do this and then was like “I don’t need to bring my laptop, I’m not working the rest of this week” And then…

SARAH: But you did need your laptop.

KAYLA: But I did, she did. Dean even asked me. He was like “are you packing your laptop?” and I was like “pff, no”

SARAH: Never. 

KAYLA: And then, anyway.

SARAH: Here we are, here we are. So let’s just dive in. Kayla, what are we talking about this week?

KAYLA: This week, spurred by some conversation in the discord from – 

SARAH: Months ago. 

KAYLA: Months ago, now, where people were talking about just like romantic tropes, especially those in fanfiction. 

SARAH: Fanfiction tropes. 

KAYLA: Or romance tropes and how they didn’t really understand them, but Sarah and I, aspec as we are, are I think purveyors of fine romantic tropes. 

SARAH: Absolutely.

KAYLA: So we were like “let’s talk about them. Let’s try to explain the appeal. Let’s get into it”

SARAH: I am a proponent. So it’s going to be an aroace and a demi-bi try to to explain the appeal of various romantic/fanfiction tropes.

KAYLA: Yeah. Clearly we are the most certified. 

SARAH: And we are.

KAYLA: And yeah, per last week’s episode, perhaps we are. 

SARAH: And we are. 

KAYLA: We are.

SARAH: So. Where should we start? Well – 

KAYLA:  I mean –

SARAH: Well, let’s list a few. 

KAYLA: Yes, I was just going to say. 

SARAH: Yeah. Number one in my heart, number one also outside of my heart: enemies to lovers.

KAYLA: Yes, very good. I think number one in my heart would be fake dating. 

SARAH: I think fake dating is probably my number 2. 


KAYLA: I do love an enemies to lovers. We also have friends to lovers, we also have friends with benefits to lovers…

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: A forbidden love, classic Romeo and Juliet moment, 

SARAH: Gnomeo and Juliet, if you will.

KAYLA: Exactly.

SARAH: I know some people are, they die on the hill of friends to lovers over enemies to lovers, which I know as a proponent of a good, platonic bond you would think I might be in that camp, but no. I fucking love enemies to lovers. My favorite two romantic movies are Pride and Prejudice, 2005, enemies to lovers and 10 Things I Hate About You, 1999, enemies to lovers.

KAYLA: I’m trying to think of other tropes. I feel like we’re definitely missing some. 

SARAH: Those are like the big ones. 

KAYLA: They definitely are, I just feel like we certainly must be – 

SARAH: Sharing a bed. That’s a different type of trope. 

KAYLA: Sharing a bed, only one bed at the inn.

SARAH: Only one bed. 

KAYLA: I don’t know if there’s a name for – oh, love triangle. Oh yeah, stuck together trope like snowed in, stuck in an elevator trope.

SARAH: Mhm. Yeah.


KAYLA:  I guess this falls under the category of forbidden love but kind of like a princess and the pauper situation. 

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: But I feel like that’s kind of like a forbidden love thing.

SARAH: Yeah, like uptown girl and downtown boy.

KAYLA: City boy.

SARAH: Yeah. All right. Where do we want to start? I think we should actually start with friends to lovers. 

KAYLA: Okay. 

SARAH: Here’s my pitch: I think enemies to lovers, friends with benefits to lovers, pretty much all of these, have a friends to lovers element in them. Because I feel like any good romantic/sexual relationship is based in friendship. 

KAYLA: Yes. 

SARAH: Whether or not you were friends for a long time first, it’s still based in friendship, so let’s start with friends to lovers. Here’s – 

KAYLA: Okay. 

SARAH: Actually, you go first. 

KAYLA: Well, this is what I almost texted you when we were talking about doing this episode. Man my waveforms are weird, I’m so concerned. 

SARAH: You know, it is what it is. 

KAYLA: There’s these videos going around TikTok of people saying like, basically the gist of the video is saying here’s why I like this trope. 


KAYLA: And I’ve seen it for friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, whatever. I recently saw one for friends to lovers, and the person was basically saying the reason they loved it so much was the idea that someone would care for you so much as a friend – 


KAYLA: Before objectifying you in a sexual way. 

SARAH: Mhm. Yeah. 

KAYLA: And I’ve seen people say similar things about enemies to lovers. The type of enemy, I guess, where it’s based in mutual respect. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: They’re basically saying like someone respecting you enough as an enemy –

SARAH: Like rivals to lovers. 

KAYLA: Yeah, to see you as their equal in a rival…

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: Before they then, again, objectify you. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: But I feel like that’s the crux of it. 

SARAH: I think there’s also an element of this person got to know you, and they still stayed, and they still wanted to take a step, not further, but you know, in the terms that we use to talk about it, they still wanted to take it a step further. 

KAYLA: Yeah, they still wanted to commit.

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: Because friendship – I feel like we’ve talked about this before, or maybe in the book? Sometimes I forget. 

SARAH: I get confused about what we have and haven’t said on the podcast because some of it’s in the book. 

KAYLA: You’ll just have to wait to see. But in most friendships, there’s not really a strong element of commitment unless you go out of your way to place it there. 

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: But with relationships, typically, there is . With a friend, I feel like you’re usually pretty liberal about like what you show them, where the start of a relationship you might try to hide your ugliest parts. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: So it’s the idea you show them your ugliest and weirdest parts and they would still…

SARAH: They would still want to stay. 

KAYLA: Want a further commitment with you. And I do think there is something to say for they didn’t have an ulterior motive. 

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: At the beginning when they were becoming your friend there was no ulterior motive of having sex or getting in a relationship. 

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: They got to know you for you, and because of that they wanted to take it further. 

SARAH: Yeah, and all of the friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, friends with benefits to lovers, they all have that absolutely delightful italicized “Oh” moment. 

KAYLA: Ah, I love the “Oh”. 

SARAH: Where like the person realizes. 

KAYLA: You know what I want in our book? I put an italicized “Oh” in our book. 

SARAH: You did! You did put an italicized “Oh” in our book. Hold on, I’m going to add that to my “things we mentioned in the SFBO book out of context” and it’s just a bunch of images. 

KAYLA: And you know I did it on purpose. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: Because I said I must. Anyway, look out for that. There’s a singular italicized “Oh” in our book unless the copy editor takes it out. 

SARAH: Unless. (mumbling) it probably won’t happen. But – what was I going to say? Oh! I know. Oh. I just had my own italicized “Oh” moment. Childhood friends to lovers specifically. 

KAYLA: Mm, mm. 

SARAH: Is a really nice one because like you to some extent grew up together, you have seen each other grow and change, and it gets to a point where it’s like “oh, actually”

KAYLA: Hm, interesting. 

SARAH: And that’s always a delight. 


KAYLA: This makes me think of another offshoot of the friend trope which is like your older brother’s friend. 

SARAH: Yeah. Best friend’s brother. 

KAYLA: Yeah. Anyway. 

SARAH: What I, I think earlier started to say then got distracted with my thought that got distracted by my other thought, was that friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, they all are based in not wanting to fuck up a friendship. 

KAYLA: Yes. 

SARAH: The primary conflict comes from “I don’t want to fuck this up because if I admit my feelings and they don’t feel the same way it could change our platonic relationship forever. If we do date and it goes horribly wrong, I don’t want to lose them” and that just once again proves the importance of platonic relationships. 

KAYLA: That’s very true. I mean, that’s the thing about why any of these tropes work. 

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: Is that there is some element of conflict, obviously, because that’s how you write a story. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: But that is very true. Especially with friends to benefits and friends to lovers is that is always the conflict is like “oh well they probably just also just see me as a friend” 

SARAH: Mhm.  

KAYLA: Or “what if we do start dating and then you like break up and I lose my best friend or whatever”

SARAH: Especially if you have shared friend groups. 


SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: It’s time for the Be Real. 

SARAH: Oh shit, where’s my notification? Oh I see it now. Be Real on the podcast. Be Real live on the podcast. 

KAYLA: I’d say add me on Be Real but don’t. 

SARAH: Don’t. 

KAYLA: It’s not for my friends, it’s just for me. Okay, I got a notification. It’s being buggy again. 

SARAH: It gets buggy so often. 

KAYLA: This is what they get for having an app – 

SARAH: There we go. 

KAYLA: – where the whole idea is everyone in the world goes on the app at once. I’ve taken my picture. 

SARAH: Me too. 

KAYLA: Now it will take approximately 30 minutes to upload. 


SARAH: Anyway. 

KAYLA: Anyways. 

SARAH: If you don’t have the app Be Real, it’s a fun time. Don’t add us. 

KAYLA: It’s a really good app. 

SARAH: Don’t add us, but it’s a fun time. 

KAYLA: It’s incredibly buggy. My friend did apply to work there just to fix it because he’s so annoyed by it, but they have not read his application yet. Anyway. 

SARAH: Anyway. Yeah. All of that is just because friendship is the most important thing and you don’t want to fuck it up. On that note, let’s transition to friends with benefits to lovers, or, as Kayla said a couple minutes ago, friends to benefits. 


KAYLA: Did I say that? 

SARAH: Yes you did. 

KAYLA: I love that. 

SARAH: You’re welcome. 

KAYLA: I think the most notable version of this is the two basically identical films. 

SARAH: That came out the same year. 

KAYLA: Did they really? 

SARAH: That the lead from one of them and the lead from the other one ended up marrying each other. 

KAYLA: That’s so true. Because yeah, one had Justin Timberlake – 

SARAH: We’re talking about the movies Friends With Benefits and No Strings Attached. 

KAYLA: Who was the other one? Was it Ashton –

SARAH: No Strings Attached  yeah it’s Ashton Kutcher and somebody. 

KAYLA: Some blonde lady. And the other one is Justin Timberlake.

SARAH: I’ve never seen No Strings Attached. I have seen Friends with Benefits

KAYLA: It’s a good film. 

SARAH: It’s a good movie. 

KAYLA: There’s a flash mob. 

SARAH: Yeah, I was literally about to be like “the flash mob”


KAYLA: Yeah!

SARAH: And an old man who doesn’t wear pants. 

KAYLA: I don’t remember that part. 

SARAH: Anyway. 

KAYLA: Anyway. 

SARAH: His dad has like dementia.


SARAH: And sometimes he just takes off his pants like in public.

KAYLA: Yes. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: To me, the difference between friends to benefits – nope. To me, the difference between friends to lovers and friends with benefits to lovers

SARAH: (laughing) Yes. 

KAYLA: Is obviously the benefits. 

SARAH: The benefits. 

KAYLA: But it adds an extra layer of conflict where they are then having sex. And usually the conflict comes in because one of them catches feelings. Like they agree to not have feelings and to just be friends who have sex 

SARAH: Yes. 

KAYLA: And then one of them catches feelings and it’s like “Oh no”

SARAH: Yes. To be clear, for anyone who or may not know, friends with benefits is like you’re friends and you fuck, but you’re not involved romantically. 

KAYLA: Yes. 

SARAH: Or, you know, to me, friends with benefits, the benefit is friendship.

KAYLA: (laughing) So true. 

SARAH: That’s just me being aroace. 

KAYLA: This one is interesting to me because –

SARAH: It’s complex. 

KAYLA: It’s complex. On the one hand it’s like “yay they get together” because I love a romance. 

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: But on the other hand it would be cool if one time they could just stay with benefits, and prove that –

SARAH: yeah. 

KAYLA: romance and sex don’t have to go together. Obviously that’s like an incredibly boring story and no one wants to hear that, but like – 


SARAH: I think –

KAYAL: Just once. That’s what happens in real life.

SARAH: That can totally be in the story, it just maybe can’t be the main story. 

KAYLA: Yeah I guess that’d have to be the B plot.

SARAH: I think that to some extent the friends with benefits to lovers trope does reinforce this idea that romance and sex have to go together. 


SARAH:  And that you can’t have one without the other, but at the same time, I also think it kind of challenges it in a good way. It challenges not that, but it challenges the status quo in a different way, which is that realizing you have feelings for your friends with benefits friend is throwing a wrench in the relationship escalator and the expectations about how relationships work, and to see successful romantic, sexual relationships come out of that just proves that nothing fucking matters. 

KAYLA: That is true. 

SARAH: There are no rules.

KAYLA: It is the opposite way that you are “supposed to go”

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: You’re supposed to go from romance then to sex. 

SARAH: Yes. 

KAYLA: They are going from friendship then to sex then backwards to romance.

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: So that’s true. But it would just be nice if we could show that you can have platonic feelings for someone and sexual feelings for someone and not the romance. Like it would be cool.

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: Obviously, like I said, I get that wouldn’t be an interesting story because where is the conflict there?

SARAH: I disagree. I think you can find a conflict there. 

KAYLA: Okay well once you finish writing the thing you said you were going to write that you came up with two episodes ago. 

SARAH: Ugh. I did start writing it then I forgot about it. 

KAYLA: I know. 

KAYLA: Once you finish that one, then you can start this one. 

SARAH: I have a whole other screenplay that I’ve been trying to finish for a year, bestie. 

KAYLA: I don’t know how to help you. This is why I don’t write for a living. 

SARAH: Believe in me. 

KAYLA: I do believe in you. 

SARAH: That didn’t help.

KAYLA: Uh what? Okay. Anyway. So okay, you said that enemies to lovers is your number one. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: So what about it makes it better to you than like friends to lovers?

SARAH: Yeah, so in the discord where this was being discussed, Kayla sent me a screenshot of it so I saw what I had said in fucking what was it? December. 

KAYLA: Yeah, months ago. Pre-hiatus. 

SARAH: And what I said to paraphrase was “the tension. The yearning. The drama. The realization. The turn. It is so delightful” Okay here is everything. This trope has everything. There are two different versions of this. I don’t even know if that’s true. I was going to say there’s the rival enemies to lovers then there’s just the people who fucking hate each other to lovers. No, there are two versions, because Pride and Prejudice is the fucking hate each other to lovers. 

KAYLA: That’s true. 

SARAH: They’re slightly different because rivals to lovers is like “I respect you but also I hate your guts” 

KAYLA: To me, whenever people talk about that version of enemies to lovers, it always makes me think of two knights who they’re both really good at swords –

SARAH: (quietly) they’re good at swords. 

KAYLA: And they respect each other but they also hate each other. 

SARAH: Good at swords. You heard it here first.

KAYLA: You know. 

SARAH: But yeah, you have a mutual respect for your craft, whatever that craft may be. 

KAYLA: Swords. 

SARAH: Swords. But you want to win, you know? 

KAYLA: Yes. 

SARAH: And that adds an interesting dynamic where it’s like even once you get together, to a certain extent, you are still trying to win, but also you care a lot about the other person. And you know what? Sometimes, you might not necessarily let them win, although you might, but you know, you admit they win. And that’s a bigger thing if you were enemies. 

KAYLA: That’s true. 

SARAH: Like actually, no. I love you and you did win. You beat me and that’s fair. It’s so meaningful. 

KAYLA: That is the thing. When it’s enemies to lovers, there’s further to go. 

SARAH: Yes. 

KAYLA: When it’s friends to lovers, they already like each other in some way. 

SARAH: It’s just pining. 

KAYLA: Yes, it’s pining. But then when it’s enemies to lovers, it’s like “I should not be having these feelings” 

SARAH: Yeah. 


KAYLA: Because with friends to lovers yeah it makes sense I would start liking this person, they’re my friend. But when they’re your enemy it’s like “well shit I don’t even want to like them. This is like the last person I want to be involved with”

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: It’s extra angst of it.

SARAH: The timing never lines up, or the people think it never lines up. It’s just dramatic. It’s like “Oh no I’ve developed a crush on this person and they still hate my fucking guts”

KAYLA: This is what happens in season 2 of Bridgerton. Season 2/book 2, I don’t know what order the books go in. 

SARAH: Probably numerical order.

KAYLA: Okay but I heard that they’re going out of order of how the books were written.

SARAH: But the books themselves go in numerical order. 

KAYLA: That’s enough. Anyway, the second season is enemies to lovers, and even at the end when they’re like literally proposing to each other. They’re still like “you’re only proposing to me because blah blah blah you still hate me” and the other person is like “I literally don’t. I’m literally proposing to you, I’m in love with you” Literally last episode like last 10 minutes they’re like “Oh wait” like what’s happening?

SARAH: Oh wait, bestie. So yeah. 

KAYLA: Yeah. 

SARAH: Then we have the fucking hate each other not rivals just pure hate, pure vitriol to lovers, which I mean I think you’re right it’s about there’s so far to go and when you uncover more and more things about this person you want to hate them but it makes them hate them less. 

KAYLA: Yeah. Pride and Prejudice is like the prime example. She hates Darcy because he’s super rude and closed off, but as she learns more about him –

SARAH: Would you say that he is proud and she is prejudiced?

KAYLA: So true. 

SARAH: (laughing) Oh my god, so true. 

KAYLA: But she learns more about him and she’s like “shit I get why he’s like this and now I like him but now I’m too proud” and it’s like a whole mess. 

SARAH: She’s too proud, does he have a prejudice? I mean, he is prejudiced.

KAYLA: Yes, he is prejudiced right to her face.

SARAH: You’re right, that was a silly thing for me to say. 

KAYLA: Wow what a stan you are. 

SARAH: As soon as I said that I was like “no, actually” 

KAYLA: He hated that she was poor.

SARAH: Yeah. It’s hard for me to put into words specifically what it is about enemies to lovers but I think it’s just about the tension. For me, I think just the way I am and the way I can relate to other people’s relationships is I show my love by bullying you. 

KAYLA: Yes. 

SARAH: Like the more I like you, the more I will bully you and the less nice to your face I will be. 

KAYLA: Yes. 

SARAH: Obviously y’all, do that within reason. Don’t just say horribly mean shit to people. Don’t do that. But because that’s my way of showing affection, it’s also an interesting thing of an enemies to lovers thing like where does it go from being an insult to being a loving neg, you know? 

KAYLA: Mm, mm. 

SARAH: And then you realize afterward, you think think “Maybe”

KAYLA: I feel like an argument for this one in particular could be that it’s unrealistic.


KAYLA: Does that ever get in the way? 

SARAH: I think it’s certainly less common in real life than other tropes, but tropes are tropes for a reason. 

KAYLA: True. 

SARAH: How often are you faced with the there’s only one bed trope in real life, you know what I mean? 

KAYLA: Yeah. I mean, that’s any trope, how often are you faced with a Chosen One? Never. 

SARAH: Not really. Not really ever. 

KAYLA: Not really ever. 

SARAH: Well yeah that’s the point of tropes, they’re tropey. 

KAYLA: Yeah. Now let’s talk about my favorite. 

SARAH: Mmkay. 

KAYLA: Fake dating. 

SARAH: Fake dating is so sexy. 

KAYLA: So back in the day, when I was on Tumblr, I was big into Marauder’s Tumblr, which I think tells you anything you need to know about me. 

SARAH: I think the fandoms we both into makes things check out. 

KAYLA: Oh, 100%. And I was very Jily. James and Lily, that was my OTP of choice. And I wish I could go back and find it, but there’s no way I could ever find it. 


KAYLA: But there’s this fake dating fanfic. 

SARAH: Because you never tag shit. 

KAYLA: I don’t even know if I would have reblogged it. I remember reading it.

SARAH: Some of us tag shit. 

KAYLA: I’m not even on Tumblr anymore, it doesn’t matter. Anyway, there was a fake dating one and it was a good length, and it was finished. So good. I love fake dating. 

SARAH: Oh was that the whole story? 

KAYLA: Yeah that was it. Also season one of Bridgerton is fake dating. 

SARAH: Fake dating is so juicy because maybe they know each other well maybe they don’t, but they’re forced to put on a front. 

KAYLA: Often they’re enemies, actually. I feel like.

SARAH: I think maybe that’s why in my head it’s like my number 2 because it’s so often combined with enemies to lovers. 

KAYLA: Yes. It’s not all the time, but I feel like they’re either enemies or don’t really like each other that much. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: But they’re forced to pretend they like each other 

SARAH: I know. And how realistic is that too?

KAYLA: No one ever does that. 

SARAH: Like when do you ever have to pretend to be dating someone? It’s interesting and it’s also a good reflection of what the society that it was created in, what their social expectations are. 

KAYLA: Very true. 

SARAH: Because you have to fulfill the social expectations of what a relationship is supposed to look like, and that’s what you do in a fake dating situation. Then engaging in that can be confusing when you start getting feelings because you’re trying to figure out where your feelings fit into this fake facade that you’ve put up and you’re like “Oh no” once again, “what if they don’t feel the same way? I’m fucking ruined y’all”

KAYLA: It’s such an interesting point because in a lot of these fake dating stories it’s never hard to get people to believe you. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: Because if you go through enough of the motions of what it’s “supposed to look like.” 

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA: Then there’s no reason for people to question you. In season one of Bridgerton, it really reflects the society that’s supposed to be in, which is like, I don’t know, regency. She’s like “okay we have to dance together this many times at the ball, you have to send me this kind of flowers, we have to go on this walk in public together” and it’s like that is incredibly rigid.

SARAH: Mhm. 

KAYLA:  but it’s not even that far off from what you would have to do today. And it really shows how much we think things have changed as rigid and traditional, but kind of yes.

SARAH: They’re not as rigard? Not as rigid-ton. They’re not as rigid. 

KAYLA: Yeah. 

SARAH: I think that I forgot. I distracted myself with rigidton.

KAYLA: That’s what you get. 

SARAH: Oh. Okay, yes. In modern situations, a lot of times the situation for fake dating is going to a wedding, like someone else’s wedding or for your parents to think that you’re whatever. And a lot of that is like you have to hold hands, you have to you know, just be affectionate with them and I feel like a lot of times the thing that breaks it is someone suspects that something is up and they’re like “alright fine if you’re really together kiss right now. Do it right now” because –

KAYLA: Mhm. 

SARAH: – in the social order that I find myself existing in, you don’t often see people just like making out on the street, and when you do it’s obnoxious. 

KAYLA: (laughing) True. 

SARAH: And a lot of times that’s the tipping point of like “well, we going to do it? Is this going to happen?” but I think it is interesting that it kind of reflects our expectations are of what a good couple should be and what they should do and what they shouldn’t do. 

KAYLA: That’s very true. And obviously it’s dramatized because if I have a friend who’s dating someone and I don’t see them being overly affectionate, it's not like I suspect something. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: Like obviously, it is a very dramatized version, but you’re right. It does reflect the fact that on the whole we expect couples to have a certain level of physical intimacy which in a way is kind of, you know? 

SARAH: Yeah. It also really depends on the person too. 


SARAH: If anyone on my dad’s side of the family, if I see them holding hands with their significant other I’m like “Oh my god, in public?”

KAYLA: (laughing) In front of God? 

SARAH: Because that’s just the type of people that we all are. 

KAYLA: Yes. 

SARAH: I know that my sister and her fiance literally had conversations of like “it’s not that I don’t like you it’s just that in my family we just don’t hold hands in front of people”, like that’s just the way it is. 


KAYLA: Aw man, your family is so weird. 

SARAH: Anyway, it does depend on the person, but yeah. It’s interesting. I think from there, what we should do – do you have something to add? 

KAYLA: It was more like a final wrapping-up thing, so you go. Are we done? 

SARAH: Well I was going to transition this into only one bed because they go together often. 

KAYLA: Ah yes. 

SARAH: Because a lot of times you get to the hotel…

KAYLA: And what’s that? 

SARAH AND KAYLA: There’s only one bed? 

KAYLA: What?

SARAH: Yeah because a lot of times it’s a fake dating situation where it’s like “well we’re fake dating, we only got one hotel room. We have to sleep in the same bed” and then one of them is always like – I think the interesting thing about only one bed is that when you’re awake you can control your affections and your actions in a way that you can’t when you’re sleeping. 

KAYLA: Well yeah, there’s always “oh I heard them sleeptalking” 

SARAH: They’re a really cuddly sleeper. 

KAYLA: “I woke up and we were cuddling” 

SARAH: Yeah, so that’s always a fun one. I mean there’s also some other ones, but I feel like we hit on all of our favorites. 

KAYLA: We got the most important ones, I think we can all agree on that. 

SARAH: Yeah. And like the whole “snowed in” ones, stuck in a place with them, and I feel like a lot of times it’s not necessarily enemies to lovers, but it’ll be like strangers to lovers or people who don’t like each other that much to lovers and it’s just like exposure therapy.

KAYLA: Yeah. Yes. 

SARAH: And then forbidden love is just very dramatic because it’s forbidden.

KAYLA: It’s secret.

SARAH: (whispering) secret. 

KAYLA: We all know that one. 

SARAH: And secretive is sexy?

KAYLA: Well it’s just the drama. 

SARAH: As I said, the tension, the yearning, the drama, the realization, the turn. 

KAYLA: Exactly. 

SARAH: On that note, yeah that’s all I got. You have anything else? 

KAYLA: The thing I was going to say is I can understand why aspecs, probably specifically aro people would be confused by these. 

SARAH: And yet here I am. 

KAYLA: Yet here you are. Well, I feel like the key to enjoying tropes like this is fully understanding how unrealistic they are and just fully leaning into this. 

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: Like no one is claiming, I hope at least, that this is how actual romantic relationships work. I can understand an aro person being confused by this because it’s like “maybe I don’t understand romantic relationships in the first place because I don’t relate to that”

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: “and now you’re adding all this crazy stuff on top of it, like what am I supposed to do with that?” You kind of have to fully disconnect from the reality of that and just take it for what it is, you know? 

SARAH: Yeah, it’s like idealized for entertainment purposes. If one of my friends was like “yeah I’m going to pretend to be dating this person for whatever thing” I would be like “you’re fucking crazy” 

KAYLA: Okay it would actually be the opposite for me, because recently a friend of mine had a reason for fake dating somebody, so it did in real life come up. 

SARAH: I think the reason I’m like “no you’re fucking crazy” in regards to that is because I’m like the part of me that’s like you don’t’ fucking need a partner that’s stupid.

KAYLA: Yeah. 

SARAH: To do something for other people’s expectations, and I understand why some people feel forced into that, if that’s your situation, I don’t look down upon you. 

KAYLA: The true reason I was so excited when a fake dating situation may have happened in front of me was specifically so it could come to fruition like a book.

SARAH: Yeah. 

KAYLA: The only reason we were all excited is –

SARAH: The entertainment. 

KAYLA: Now we get to be in a book. No, yeah. It was fully for the entertainment. No one thought it was actually going to happen, but we were like “well, now I’m entertained”

SARAH: Yeah, all right, anyway. Here we are, two aspecs who love tropes.

KAYLA: What you going to do? They’re entertaining and you just got to not take them too seriously, you know? 

SARAH: You know what I realized recently? 


SARAH: Is that I don’t, this I already knew, but I don’t often seek out romantic movies and books and stuff but if I happen about them there are absolutely ones I very much enjoy. So I was like yeah I don’t really ever seek that out, but then I was like but fanfiction. 

KAYLA: Yeah. 

SARAH: it’s not always like, I love a good found family, focus on that. And there are certainly fanfictions I have read that have been more of character studies or have not as focused on the romantic relationships, but like fanfiction is that in most cases. 

KAYLA: The vast majority of fanfiction is romance based. 

SARAH: Yeah, so I was thinking maybe it’s that it’s characters I’m already familiar with. If it’s characters that I don’t already care about, I don’t care about your romantic story, you know what I mean? 

KAYLA: Well yeah it’s not like the only reason you’re reading fanfiction is the romance. 

SARAH: Exactly.

KAYLA: Part of it is getting to know the characters better, whereas a romance book the only thing is the romance. 

SARAH: Whereas for me the romance and the relationship is a part of developing the character, and just seeing them be a boss ass bitch. 


SARAH: Yeah, that’s all. Great. Kayla? 

KAYLA: Yeah. 

SARAH: What’s your boll? Which is beef and poll combined.

KAYLA: I think the poll should be like “do you enjoy romance”

SARAH: Maybe it’s “what’s your favorite trope” and then one of the options is “no”

KAYLA: I don’t think I ever put up a poll for this week. 

SARAH: You know, yesterday I was thinking that. I was like “man I hope she did’

KAYLA: I didn’t.

SARAH: Perhaps do it now.

KAYLA: Perhaps. Oh, and we even have a secondary poll. 

SARAH: Silly silly. 

KAYLA: I forgot. 

SARAH: Silly silly. Okay, cool. What’s your beef and juice? 

KAYLA: My juice is that I read Radio Silence by Alice Oseman in two days and it is fantastic, as of course it is. Alice doesn’t miss. My beef is that we’re doing this right now. 

SARAH: Oh I have some beefs for you. 

KAYLA: Yeah? 

SARAH: One of them is that I got Kayla a strange interesting and exciting birthday present and I paid extra for it to be on time, and you know what? It’s still not there. And now Kayla is in Michigan and it’s going to arrive when she’s not there. I’m very displeased. 

KAYLA: So now I texted my cat sitter and I was like “hey sorry, but if you see a package, would you bring it in?”

SARAH: A strange package. Here, I’m going to mute Kayla and tell everyone what it is. 

KAYLA: What? Not fair.

SARAH: I got her a potato parcel, where you can just send –

KAYLA: Joke’s on you, I can just listen to this episode before I get home to the package. 

SARAH: Hey, shut the fuck up. I’m talking. I got her a potato parcel. You can just send a potato in the USPS. You can just send a whole ass potato with stamps on it. So it’s a potato that says – what does it say? It says something to the effect of “Happy Birthday, bitch xoxo uwu - Sarah”. Now the people know.

KAYLA: I can’t believe you’ve done this. 

SARAH: My other beef is white men. I think most things are their fault. To be clear, white women also bad, but regarding recent news, white men, you know? Just a reminder, abortions are health care, health care is a human right. If you do not have a uterus, do not speak on this topic. If you are a Republican politician, I hate you. There are also a number of Democratic politicians I hate, including but not limited to Joe Manchion and Kyrsten Sinema. Kyrsten Sinema, you are an embarrassment to queer people everywhere. My juice is that my TikTok account is very good. 

KAYLA: Sarah has cultivated a very specific brand very quickly. 

SARAH: Yeah. @costiellie . Nothing but bangers.

KAYLA: Something all right. 


SARAH: You can tell us about your beef, your juice, your distaste for Kyrsten Sinema on our social media @soundsfakepod. You can find our poll on our Instagram maybe on Monday, maybe not.  Who knows? 

KAYLA: Who knows? Who is to say, truly. 

SARAH: You can support us on patreon. You can do so at We have two new $2 patrons. They are – no, on the doc I wrote beef and juice before poll, now I’ve just gotten more confused. It doesn’t make sense.

KAYLA: It just doesn’t seem right. We need to listen to an old episode.

SARAH: Our new $2 patrons are Ayla Walker and I read this as Low, it’s Lowv, but their payment came in in Swedish Krona, so I think it’s pronounced Lowv. 

KAYLA: That’s very exciting. 

SARAH: Yeah, I had to look up – 

KAYLA: Well hello Switzerland. 

SARAH: – what the thing was.

KAYLA: Did I say Switzerland or Sweden? I think I said the wrong country. 

SARAH: Sweden. Don’t they use the Euro in Switzerland? 

KAYLA: probably. 

SARAH: Are they in the EU?

KAYLA: I’m sorry for getting your country wrong, but I met a really nice Swiss guy the other day. 

SARAH: (typing sounds) Switzerland currency. No because I don’t think – are they in the EU? Switzerland in the EU?

KAYLA: I am not the gal for these kind of questions. 

SARAH: Yeah I didn’t think so. Because Switzerland is Switzerland, that’s like their whole thing. They don’t take sides. So they don’t use the Euro and now I’m questioning everything and I’m checking.

KAYLA: Mhm. 

SARAH: S e k. Sek currency. Swedish Krona. Kay.

KAYLA: There you go. 

SARAH: I just gaslit myself. Thank you, both of you, for your contribution to the gaslighting Sarah fund. Our $5 patrons who we are promoting this week are Edward Hayes-Holgate, Elizabeth Wheeler, Ellie, Emily M, and George Ankers. We also have a new $5 patron, which is Nick Ford. Thank you, Nick. What a delight. What a delightful time.

KAYLA: Awesome. 

SARAH: Our $10 patrons who are promoting something this week are Arcnes who would like to promote the Trevor Project, Ari K. who would like to promote Thought Slime, Benjamin Ybarra who would like to promote tabletop games, and Changeling and Alex the ace cat – thank you Changeling for being part of the reason we made this episode, because I believe it was Changeling who said “I don’t get enemies to lovers”

KAYLA: There you go, Changeling at it again. 

SARAH: Our other $10 patrons are David Jay, David Nurse, Derek and Carissa, CinnamonToastPunch, my Aunt Jeannie, Maggie Capalbo, Martin Chiesl, Mattie, Potater, Purple Hayes, Rosie Costello, Barefoot Backpacker, and the Steve. And we have a new one! Kya Eikenberry. Hello! Thank you, tell us what you’d like to promote. I was going to message you but I was on my work computer and I forgot the log-in and couldn’t get in. It was very odd. We only have like 2 passwords. 

KAYLA: It’s the same password we use for everything. 

SARAH: I know. That’s why I was so confused. 

KAYLA: Kay. 

SARAH: But on your behalf, I’m going to promote your name because I think it’s fun. Kya Eikenberry. 

KAYLA: That is a good name. 

SARAH: Anyway, our $15 patrons are Andrew Hillum who would like to promote the Invisible Spectrum podcast, Click4Caroline who would like to promote Ace of Hearts, Hector Murillo who would like to promote friends that are supportive, constructive, and help you grow as a better person, Leila who would like to promote love is love also applying to aro people, Nathaniel White who would like to promote, Kayla’s Aunt Nina who would like to promote, and Sarah Jones who is @eternalloli everywhere. Our $20 patrons are Sabrina Hauck, Merry Christmas in this month of May, and Dragonfly. Dragonfly will be promoting the fact that I have been slowly losing my voice over this episode. 


SARAH: Kayla I don’t know if you can hear through the phone, but the mic in front of me definitely can.

KAYLA: I can’t notice that, but who’s to say?

SARAH: You know today I had like a headache, sinus pressure, and my throat has been scratchy, I’ve been phlegm-y. This is all information everyone wants .Thanks for listening. Tune in next Sunday for more of us in your ears. (whispering) and to talk about weddings.

KAYLA: And until then, take good care of your cows.

SARAH: And your throats. 

KAYLA: So true. 

SARAH: If you have a lozenge, loz away.