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The 4 Most Unexpected Fan Bases in Pop Culture

#2. Lionel Richie and the Arab World

Never has the waxing and waning of a celebrity's career been so closely tied to a hair style than with Lionel Richie. It's almost as if he flew too close to the sun during the height of his popularity, melting the Jheri curl treatment into his own eyes before falling into obscurity. But abroad, Lionel Richie never went out of style. Even today the Arab world can't get enough of him.

According to GQ magazine in an article entitled "Lionel of Arabia," the only unifying element between Israeli and Lebanese governments, between Shiite and Sunni Muslims is that they all love the shit out of Lionel Richie. Just as Morrissey found fanatics among the Latino population of the Southwest, Lionel Richie has a massive following in the Middle East. Brides walk down the aisle to "Truly," citizens of Bagdad cranked "All Night Long" while their city was being shelled in 2003, people who don't know a single word of English can sing his entire catalogue perfectly. He is adored and worshiped everywhere he goes and no one, not even Lionel Richie himself, can say exactly why.

"Who cares, I'm famous again!"

While this one remains a complete mystery, it's oddly comforting to know that on the other side of the Earth right now there is a man setting up for Salah in the Syrian Desert with "Say You, Say Me" stuck in his head.

#1. Homoerotic Novels and Middle-Aged Women

You may not know it but there is a huge market out there for writers interested in penning stories about sexual awakenings between teen boys. If you can write a compelling story about ranch hands wrestling in haylofts or cabin boys sunning themselves on poop decks, then there is a built-in audience waiting to read your stories of unbridled yearning and sexual exploration. The audience, however, isn't comprised of the gay and lesbian literature lovers you might have expected, it's almost exclusively heterosexual women. Incidentally, most of the authors of these stories are heterosexual women as well working under male pen names to lend the stories authenticity. Ultimately though, it's just a bunch of married, middle-aged women selling gay romance novels to other married, middle-aged women. Still, make no mistake: The fiction is serving the same purpose as any form of pornography. The female fan base isn't reading these gay romances in an effort to bone-up on gay culture; they are reading them for the sex.

Arousal just looks different between men and women.

Why they prefer male-on-male sex varies. The most fun answer is that women secretly like reading about two guys pushing each other over car hoods and jury boxes as much as men like seeing two women do the same thing. But the more boring hypothesis is that women like a story in which the two lovers can come together on the same level instead of falling victim to the hierarchy of gender. I assume that means socially as well as physically since men are generally closer in height too, it allows them to both stand comfortably while rubbing their genitals together like two twigs making a flame in dark andHOLY SHIT I SHOULD BE WRITING THIS STUFF!

Soren has no target demographic. You are all free to follow him on Twitter or Tumblr.

Check out more from Soren in 4 Fan Fiction Excerpts from Celebrities and Understanding People Who See Jesus In Burnt Toast.

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Soren Bowie

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