Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's the deal with women and M/M Erotica?

What's the deal with women and M/M Erotica?
I've asked myself this question many times over the last few months.
As a straight (well as straight as anyone can be), forty-something year old widow with four kids to brag about, I'm probably not the first person you'd think of when it comes to authors of Gay Erotica.
Yeah, well imagine MY surprise!!
I recall the first time I read a M/M novel. The author, Blak Rayne, had just released her first story with a mutual publisher and I just had to check it out... let's say that curiosity had me by the tail.
I credit her with popping my M/M cherry and she was more than happy to have done it.
After reading it though, I found myself asking more questions than I thought possible about the genre


Okay, so naturally some were dumb, but as she explained, there's no such thing as a dumb question when you're sincerely trying to educate yourself on something you know nothing about.
Let's face it...to my knowledge, I've never had sex with a gay man... kinda defeats the label in the first place doesn't it? Not that a gay man would never sleep with a woman... I suppose some might, should the situation arise, but that's neither here nor there. We'll tackle that topic another day!! 

Anyway, in her stories the relationship lines were profoundly drawn and it was clear one hero totally dominated the other in the bedroom, though he may not have in the public eye. It was a futuristic military story, and the way the characters were depicted, their roles were often times reversed.
It reminded me of a time when I asked lesbian friends, "Okay, so who's the dude in the relationship?"
I decided the best answer should be, "Whoever has the bigger toy."
**shaking my head, still trying to get that yummy image out of my twisted mind. 

I also decided the allure for me to M/M erotica as a reader is that vulnerable side that one must reach to open their hearts and minds to something that is still, unfortunately, so taboo throughout modern society. Things are changing, but not nearly fast enough.
As a writer, my reasons are close to the same thing.


I have a need to create believable characters, flawed and struggling. Somehow the angst and emotions run so much higher, not to mention hotter, when dealing with two men.
The power struggle is addictive. Getting two "alpha" males to come face to face with a natural attraction, toss them together in a situation which ultimately leads to love, and then sitting back and waiting to see who grows the most, who gives, who takes, who goes above and beyond the call to be true to themselves, has to be the most challenging task I've encountered as a writer. Not to mention the satisfaction and utter delight I feel when the ending is a happy one. Strangely enough, after a while, the stories stop being about two men and become stories about two people. Isn't that how it should be anyway?




People don't seem to bat an eye when guys fall all over themselves because two women kiss, only to have a conniption fit when women react the same over two men going at it, all hot and heavy.
Personally, I find both to be hot, simply because I appreciate passion as much as the next person


Admittedly, I do have a type and if the pics I've shared throughout my website and this post aren't revealing, then perhaps you need to have your eyes examined.
I like 'em athletic, hot and not too hairy. **please excuse me for a second while I reflect on these sensual images...
In the end, I can't speak for everyone as to why women love gay erotica, specifically M/M stories. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes and it's not for me to judge.
What I do know is this... women aren't writing the genre because men aren't capable. (Heheh, I mean who would know about love and sex with a man better than a man.)
So it's not about stepping on toes, or taking a jab at our testosterone infused counterparts at all. 

The best explanation I have is that a good chunk of readers are women and women do tend to get all mushy over the romance stuff. *please don't write to me about stereotyping people with that remark....
Instead, ask around. How may of your male friends read romance? Now how many of your female friends do? There isn't really a need for a head count...the ladies will win hands down.
Now how many romance authors out there are female? Male?
I think you get my point. It was only matter of time before some of us crossed the bridge and left our mark on the other side. And if the end results means more choices out there for everyone, including more stories tailor-made for the gay community, then how can this be a bad thing?

I hope my first M/M erotica continues to touch lives in the same way it has so far.
We play around a lot here, discussing sex and drooling over hot guys, but a lot of these stories have messages that go far past gratuitous sex. My stories do and a lot of the stories of my fellow authors do as well.
Sensitive topics are addressed and real human issues are dealt with. Wrapping those touchy subjects up into a good story with a lot of emotion and adding in the necessary amounts of sensuality, just makes it come through on a deeper, more personal level. After all, it's all still romance.


If you haven't followed my blog yet and would like to, the button is somewhere up there on the right. If you want to visit me on Facebook or check out my book, Beyond Honor... those links are below.
Have a great week and ya'll come back now, ya' hear!!


29 comments:

  1. I think I like M/M for a lot of the reasons you described, but one thing keeps sticking it for me. I love men. Sure, they frustrate the hell out of me, but I love men. With men, a lot of times what you see is what you get, and I appreciate that since I have a very low BS tolerance.

    And seriously. TWO men. THREE men. More? Can I get a hell yeah?

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    1. Not gonna hear any arguments from me, Cassandra! LOL! Thanks for stopping by!!

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    2. LOL!! Jessica, 2nd your emotion!!

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  2. Well, I'll be able to credit you with popping my M/M cherry because your book will be my first. As for why straight women enjoy M/M, I can't speak from experience yet, but I'm curious to see how the roles play out in a M/M situation. In M/F, for the most part, males are the initiator and dominant. I'm anxious to see how the roles reverse. Maybe I'll drop you a line after I finish your book to give you a M/M virgin's opinion. :)

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    1. Aquita,
      The power struggle is exciting. No matter how much we women want to be equal, when it comes to the bedroom, and most relationships in general, someone is always the more dominant. I'm not saying it's always the man, but it does have to be someone.
      Two men just make that dynamic a bit more interesting and sometimes you're surprised by who takes the lead!
      I hope you enjoy, Beyond Honor and don't worry honey, when I take your cherry, I promise to be gentle! Bwuahahaah!

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  3. I could start out by saying "I have a lot of gay friends" Because I do. But I don't fantasize about what goes on behind their closed doors!
    Stereotypically, I've always believed when gay men make a commitment, they do so with more sincerity than many hetero couples. For one thing, it's not like they "must for the sake of the baby" And many of the gay male couples I know have made a lifetime commitment. Doesn't mean they don't grow away from each other, but let me have my fantasies.
    As for the m/m erotica, when it's done well, it's superb. The added struggle against society for a male to either come out of the closet or to have the confidence to "flame on" gives even more depth to the romance. Not writing them yet, but reading them for sure!

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    1. I know men in long term committed relationships as well...know some women, too for that matter. And while I don't fantasize about the people I KNOW, it doesn't stop me from conjuring some really tasty scenarios in my head about other men (usually very HOT men) LOL!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I think we're on the same page... pun intended! Hehehehe!

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  4. I think you hit the nail a little bit with the men and f/f things. If my husband and I are feeling frisky and want to watch a little flick from, let's say, Wicked, he's all on board if there's f/f. Put in a little m/m and he's all 'grossed' out yet expects me to be into f/f as 'passionately' as he is. Eh?

    In all, I want to read the hot and heavy and see that to two are commited to each other and will go through great lengths to be together. Gender be damned.

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  5. Kastil,
    I couldn't agree more on all of your points.
    It's just my opinion, but I think men shy away from Male/Male stuff because of an innate need to maintain their "man card". Perhaps that's just another way men fight so hard NOT to appear vulnerable...part of that "chest pounding" Tarzan stuff society drills into them from birth, while women are encouraged to be open to new ideas and explore our likes and dislikes as a way to rise up from centuries of being the more oppressed of the two sexes. Again, just my opinion.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    Tyler/Robin

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    1. Absolutely. When my husband's best friend finally came out, I was happy for ihm. He's in a relationship that is going to last until the girl hopping he did in his youth. Through him, I've met some great m/m and f/f couples. I might be cynical sometimes but to looks at a couple and see that wink in their eyes is sigh-worthy. The pics you have in your post...very hawt and sigh-worthy.

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    2. I hear ya' Kastil!
      And the pics took me hours to find. Not because they were hard to come by, but because there were too many yummy photos from which to choose! Bwuahaha!

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  6. I think you hit it on the head when you said regardless of sex, it is still romance. Some of the best romances I've read were M/M because of the compassion, respect, and love portrayed by the characters. I want to see how these lovable people get their HEA. Thanks so much for posting such an insightful blog post, Tyler. :)

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    1. Thanks, Siobhan,
      I think that when you have two heroes in a story, while one may be trying to "dominate" the other, even during the emotional struggle, each maintain that unspoken, "He's a man, so give him the respect he's due," kind of arrangement. The story become something so much deeper when that is conveyed properly by the author.
      It's also my opinion that it helps if an author can be flexible and not threatened by surrendering completely in order themselves, to get that emotion through... if you've never been vulnerable, how can you convince a reader your character is? JMO!

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  7. I always feel the naughtiest when I write M/M love scenes as opposed to M/F. Why I don't know. Maybe because society said I should?

    The most beautiful sight to me is two men kissing. It gets to me in a way no straight couple humping two inches away from me ever could.

    Still, romance is romance despite the gender and that's what I read and that's what I write.

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    1. WORD, my feisty sister!!
      And what you write has inspired some pretty intense ideas for me!!
      Ahem, Love the Sinner! Yeah buddy!!

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  8. M/M Romance is the best and you hit it on the head about it being hotter ma'am. Its just more fascinating than hetero, what can I say?

    I believe women just like romance period, so alot of us can connect with two males in love moreso than men. :D

    Keep up the great work hunny!

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    1. I think you're absolutely right, honey bunny!! :-)
      Thanks and you keep it up, too!!

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  9. Hey Tyler, great post! I really enjoyed it, and I think you're dead on, in terms of your guesses as to why this is such a popular genre with so many women. Hope you don't mind, but I wanted to let you know I referenced it here, as it inspired me to think about this in relation to my own upcoming release: http://jcandrijeski.blogspot.in/2012/06/notes-on-mm-erotica-and-official.html

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    1. Thanks, JC!! I loved your post and shared it with my FB and Twitter friends! Stop by anytime and as I said in my comment on your blog, share updates on your upcoming M/M release!! We'd love to have you!!
      Tyler/Robin

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  10. My M/M cherry was popped about a year ago by good old Raven McAllan. I have to say I read them for some of the reasons you pointed out. But as Cassandra already said, I love men. LOL

    Congratulations on your new book, Robin. I look forward to reading it.

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  11. Thanks for stopping by, Kiru,
    Men are yummy creatures, aren't they? :-)
    *sigh...

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  12. Hi Robin! JC Andrijeski pointed me in the direction of your post - I like your take on straight women and M/M romance/erotica. My cherry was popped reading QAF (Queer as Folk) fan fiction - well, actually, maybe it was popped WATCHING QAF in the first place - but for months I thought I was the most perverted straight girl EVER. I was terribly relieved to discover that a million straight women were addicted to the show. And hundreds of them were writing really sexy fan fic.

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    1. SM, you're part of an elite group of women who love boys who love boys and what a club to belong to. Thanks for visiting!
      Tyler/Robin

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  13. I promised you this comment about 2 days ago! The day job got in the way but here I am!

    First, I love your comment that we (writers of m/m erotic romance) end up not writing about two men, so much as we end up writing about two people, falling in love, having difficulties, and overcoming them. It's about the human experience, ultimately.

    It get funny looks when I declare that this genre is strongly feminist, but I believe it. I found my way to it through fandom and m/m fanfiction. While fandom DOES date back quite a ways, modern fandom took shape around the original Star Trek series and K/S fic. The identification of a homoerotic pairing in pop culture and the subsequent fanfiction is done mostly, but certainly not exclusively, by women (I've known my share of fanboys).

    The internet and the e-book revolution allowed fandom to morph into the Indie publishing industry of m/m erotic romances. This is an industry that is heavily, heavily run and populated by women. Women are (heavily, not exclusively) the authors, editors, publishers, reviewers and readers. We're taking control. Men are no longer able to pat us on the head and humor us for our silly hobby. We've found a way to fuel and share our love of something, and to make some money at the same time. That's a powerful thing.

    Why do women read and write m/m? Because if one hot guy is hot, two hot guys are scorching! Seeing that natural beauty is our superpower. You said yourself, no one thinks it odd when two men get excited watching two women together. Whey wouldn't we enjoy two men together? We tend to like romance stories and stories with heart. Why would we not merge the two?

    UCLA did a study that showed that gay men's brains process the world in the same manner as straight women. We have more in common than we realize, it seems! ;-D

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    1. Thanks, Kendall!!
      I like the way you think. Thank you for finally coming by to comment. I'm not surprised by the UCLA study and their findings. Gay men are just smart enough to see what most women have loved about their sex for ages. Naturally!! LOL!

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  14. Hi -interesting post, and interesting comments too. I wonder if you would be interested in hearing from a man who has written m/m erotica?

    I’m a guy who lives up to the stereotype you mention - I enjoy f/f erotica. But I’ve also taken the next step of enjoying m/m erotica as well.

    I'm a writer, too - just for fun, not as a profession - and recently I've found myself most interested in writing a m/m story. To do so was a thrill for me because it allowed me to express a part of myself that I would never express in real life. And all the time I was writing, I wondered whether a woman would enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy reading f/f. Truth be told, I wondered whether she would enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    Anyway, I hope you don’t mind a little shameless self-promotion, but now I've finished my story - a full-length novella about a m/m encounter. I'm not sure it exactly qualifies as "romance," but it goes into detail about the characters' feelings, and why these two guys are getting together. It also goes into explicit detail about what they do when they do get together - written from a man's perspective. It’s based on some experiences in my own life, but it goes to an extreme that is beyond anything I’ve ever dared to try. I’ll be publishing it soon as an ebook but I’d love some feedback before I do. You can find it at plungingintothepool.blogspot.com.

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  15. Hey Robin,

    Great post. I've found myself thinking about this a lot recently. How does a straight woman start out reading m/m erotica? What is the appeal? How do they relate to the characters? Etc. I agree with several of your points, particularly the part where you say it's really just about identifying with the characters as two people (and forgetting about the taboo side of it). It's funny. As a gay man, I ask, "How could a straight woman identify with a gay relationship?" But as I was reading your post, I realized that I've never asked myself, "How am I able to identify with straight relationships?" It definitely is just about being able to empathize with people, and the fact that we even wonder why m/m appeals to straight women really does speak to how we conceptualize taboo sexual expressions.

    Thanks so much for the post. It's nice to get a straight woman's perspective on this.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Devon. It's also nice to hear the perspective of someone who's smack dab in the middle of the topic, from the inside looking out, so to speak.
      Love is love and sex is a natural part of expressing that emotion. It's all about how one chooses to look at it and accept it for what it really is. ;-)

      Have a great weekend! <3

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