So, Nic, why DO you write M/M romance?
I’m in a bit of a weird situation when it comes to writing same-gender erotic romance. While I count myself as primarily straight, my best friend of some thirty plus years is gay, I do a podcast with him and another friend that is considered part of a gay podcasting community, and a number of good friends are also GLBT. I understand that human sexuality is a spectrum and hetero/homo/bi/a are expected points spread along it. In other words, it’s all normal and good (and frankly I’m flattered when lesbians hit on me, especially the cute ones).
But still, primarily straight. And primarily straight women who write M/M erotic romance can run into problems from people accusing them of taking a M/F relationship dynamic and giving the “female” character a penis in order to cash in on the market for M/M romance. Worse, we get accused of fetishizing M/M sex and turning it into a masturbation tool for hetero women (much the same as “lesbian” porn, and I use that term loosely, is used by hetero men to get off). Unfortunately, both of these things do occur, the latter particularly in yaoi manga and anime. If it helps at all, M/M fetishization makes me just as uncomfortable as it does its detractors (gay and bi men are people, not sex toys. Same goes for lesbians and bi women), and badly written M/M erotic romance where the smaller/weaker/beta partner is obviously a woman in disguise drives me nuts. If you’re going to write sex scenes with two guys, they should be two guys, with all the characteristics of their gender. Also, why is the smaller partner always the beta/weaker/femme in disguise? Many of the guys I know on the shorter end of the scale are often quite dominant. But I digress.
The reason why I like writing M/M erotic romance is very simple — it’s more of what I like to look at. Oh, dear sweet mother of God, but I love men’s bodies — the way they’re shaped, the jut of a stubbly jaw, the curve of a bubble butt, the broadness of muscular shoulders. And yeah, I love penises — there, I’ve said it. I fell in love with them the moment I saw my first in-person erection and thought, “God, that’s a beautiful thing.” I know some women think that they look a bit odd, but I’m a proud aficionado of the phallus.
And when I write erotic romance, it’s got to be something that turns me on. Because of what I like, that’s usually the thought of two attractive men almost blind with need for each other, falling into bed or the nearest flat surface/wall/whatever as they get hard and writhe and moan and caress and lick and suck and happily fuck each other into ecstasy…er, excuse me for a moment. Need to cool off.
There, that’s better. Anyway, I like watching two attractive men who are genuinely into each other have sex. And “into each other” is important — I’ve seen my share of gay-for-pay porn with two guys who are obviously thinking of the paycheck instead of who they’re with, and frankly I’d rather watch paint dry. That being said, I am very aware of the tendency to fetishize this sort of sex, which is why I do my absolute best to stay as far away from that slant as possible. I want my characters to be as real as I can make them, not just literary blow-up dolls. Yes, they have smoking hot sex — I am writing erotic romance, after all. But they also have problems and bad habits, and have to struggle to get what they want, and are nowhere near perfect. I don’t know about you, but for me reading about perfect Ken dolls is boring as shit. I want my readers to get hooked into the story and cheering for my guys, so characterization is what I spend the bulk of my time working on when I write a story. As much as I enjoy writing the sex scenes, all that pyroclastic fucking is really just the cherry on the sundae.
By the way, all of this doesn’t mean I dislike MF erotic romance. I enjoy it very much, and plan on writing it in the near future (hell, the last book in the Olympic Cove series will be an MF book). But in the meantime, I’ll keep on writing what appeals to me both as a writer and a woman, and that usually means two hot guys happily humping away. Bless their hearts.