For my last couple fic-exchange requests, for the "optional details" sections, I've mentioned things like "I like humor." Which, I'm realizing, is probably an unhelpful thing for me to say. (If for some reason you've been assigned to write for me and are browsing this journal; don't worry! This isn't about my request specifically, it's just me rambling. I like to ramble.)
What I like is dry humor. Wit. Puns. Things that make me roll my eyes or slap my knees. Humor that pokes a hole in the fourth wall. Brick jokes that tie everything together.
There would have been a time, early in my fanfiction career, when I would have said I didn't like humor fics. And by and large, my tastes haven't really changed. So what did? My vocabulary. "Humor," as an FFN genre, became conflated for me with a certain type of crack-fic; adventures of pranksters for pranking's sake. The adventures of the Weasley twins or the Marauders of Harry Potter made me wary--I don't want to read a story where nothing happens except some people playing tricks on others. Similarly crack-fics, where characters are just running around on sugar highs, I really don't like tricks that rely on sort of physical, sensory descriptions of humor--X tricks Y into touching some icky gross substance is definitely a squick for me, I'll backbutton out of that kind of thing.
For reference; here's a list of summaries from literally all the English-language Animorphs fanfiction sorted "humor" on FFN posted during one time period in early 2006 (I joined in late December, 2005).
"okay, so ive decided to turn this into a story! what happens when you wake up and things... aren't how you left them? A FUNNY READ OR SO IVE BEEN TOLD!AND YES! UPDATED! PRAISE ME!"
"The Animorphs get sucked into Fuedal Japan with Inuyasha and Co. Now they have to stop Naraku who has gone to the future and teamed with Visser 3!"
"Chappie 1 O.K Second shot at an Animorph fic. This ones kindof wierd......It is about a Vampire and Andalite. Tragety comes later. Lots of death! :D"
"One Shot.Jake & the Animorphs go to the mall but have an unfortunate encounter with the police.Please R&R.My first fanfic.Please don't flame constructive critism is gratly appreaciated.Thanks."
"I havent updated for a long time, and i'm sorry, so to mae it up to you, I uploaded the rest of the story! :D"
Can you perhaps guess why this genre didn't "take" for me?
In the fandoms where I'm currently active, either this kind of fic isn't as popular, or I'm not browsing in the right places to tune it off. There's still, however, a long list of places where I don't enjoy humor--it's the same as places where I don't enjoy any plot device. Humor relying on the false premise that everyone in a certain demographic or certain scenario has the same principles and the same worldview can make me freeze up and uncomfortably silent. Humor that assumes everyone has the same motivations and goals in life. That relies on identity politics to belittle or to stereotype, regardless of whether you're picking on a majority or a minority group.
And yet I love my wordplay; I love clever characters like Lee Jordan (who I really started loving after realizing how much he had in common with another jokester, Marco from Animorphs), I love bits of potty humor thrown into a story whose author is too right-wing to speak for me in every regard, I love fourth-wall-busting winks thrown into a story whose author is too left-wing to speak for me in every regard (and I still enjoy both of those stories without having to agree politically with everything they say), I love blink-and-you'll-miss-it nerdy one-liners and stealth continuity nods. And when I have to ask for something in my exchanges, well--I don't want sex, I don't want implausible and unconvincing romance, I don't want you showing off how pretentious and deeper than the original author you are, I don't want a crossover with a fandom I don't care about, I want...I don't know. "Humor." Whatever that means.