Here are the results.
Q1. Assuming that you have a OTP in any of your fandoms, would you/do you ever read (excluding beta-reading) slash fanfic that puts one half of your pairing with another character?
131 people who answered this question and their answers were as follows:
66 (50.4%) said 'occasionally'
39 (29.8%) said 'often'
18 (13.7%) said 'never'
08 (6.1%) 'didn't have a OTP/didn't read slash
Q2. Would you/do you ever read slash fanfic whereby at least one half of the pairing is a character about whom you do not particularly care, and/or the story is about a pairing that you cannot see?
130 people answered this question and their answers were as follows:
91 (70.0%) said 'it depends on certain things, e.g. the writer'
24 (18.5%) said 'no'
15 (11.5%) said 'yes'
00 (0.0%) 'didn't read slash'
The results of question one in particular really surprised me, and go to show that my understanding of the term One True Pairing (OTP) appears no longer to be the 'norm', (if one can ever use that term to define anything in fandom), and that the definition of the term has, like so many other fandom terms, evolved.
For me OTP means that the pairing are together and that one doesn't read/write about half of the pairing with another character, unless it's before the OTP get together and by the end of the story they are indeed together. They are the pairing and are not put with other characters.
I was less surprised by the high number of people who said that they would read slash fanfic even if one half of the pairing was character for whom they did not particular care and/or the story was about a pairing they could not see. However, the overall percentage (81.5) did surprise me; I was expecting it to be lower than that.
The most popular reason given for people reading slash about half of their OTP with another character and reading slash when one didn't particularly care about half the pairing and/or couldn't see the pairing was 'if the story is written by one of my favourite authors'.
I admit that I have never had to deal with this, as none of my favourite authors in any of my fandoms (past or current) have ever written outside of my OTP. Maybe this is because with the exception of NCIS (and to a lesser extent Due South), there has only ever really been one pairing, thus it has been the OTP.
Other popular reasons were 'the story has been recommended by someone I trust', 'my OTP is small and there isn't enough new slash fiction around', 'the summary really captivated me', 'I don't really have a OTP, I have more of a OTC (one true character), so will read slash about him/her with any other character', 'I'll only read it if it's before pre-canon, i.e. before the characters meet'.
So it appears that, given that I answered 'never' to Q1 and 'no', to Q2, that I am unusual in my slash reading habits.
I mentioned above that it appears that the meaning of OTP has evolved somewhat, and to continue my curiosity, I'd like to see what, if any, the 'norm', or most common understanding of the term is. As such, I bring you another poll.
I appreciate that for some people the term OTP differs from fandom to fandom. If that is the case, would you please answer this poll for your main OTP. Also, of course, my wording is going to differ from other peoples', so unless it differs wildly, please try to select one of the definitions, rather than 'Other'.
When it comes to reading, please exclude beta reading when considering your definition of OTP.
I am taking this poll as:
As a reader how would you define OTP?
I will only read about the pair together. There are no circumstances under which I'd read about them with someone else.
I will only read about my pair together. The only exceptions are if the story is before they meet, or they are with another person when the story begins, and the story ends with them being together.
I will only read about my pair together. However I will sometimes read a threesome story about my pairing together with another character.
A pairing about whom I am passionate and I don't really see either of them with anyone else. However, I can read about one of them with someone else, if one of my favourite authors has written the story, or there aren't new stories about them together.
They are the pairing within the fandom that I prefer. However, I'm happy to read about one or both of them with other partners.
Other. Please explain in comments.
As a writer how would you define OTP?
I will only write about the pair together. There are no circumstances under which I'd write about them with someone else.
I will only write about my pair together. The only exceptions are if the story is before they meet, or they are with another person when the story begins, and the story ends with them being together.
I will only write about my pair together. However I will sometimes write a threesome story about my pairing together with another character.
A pairing about whom I am passionate, and don't necessarily see them with anyone else. However, occasionally I want the challenge of writing about one of them with someone else.
They are the pairing within the fandom that I prefer. However, I'm happy to write about one or both of them with other partners.
Other. Please explain in comments.