Cover of Small Town Gay Bar
I would have thought that this topic was exhausted a long time ago, but I still get asked pretty frequently why it is I am so darn into M/M romance. I’ve even encountered the assumption that I’m probably the only woman who is.
So I was just watching a really interesting documentary called Small Town Gay Bar, about the only gay-friendly establishment in a small town in Mississippi. The interior of the bar had one of those flashing electronic signs, that read: “I don’t know why I like it, I just do.”
I think that more or less sums it up.
I mean, it’s pretty simple. Men are hot. More than one guy is even hotter. Just like, for many heterosexual men, two chicks together is practically the Holy Grail of sexual experiences.
And sure, if we dig deeper, it IS a little different. Not because we’re talking two men having sex instead of two women. Maybe because, by and large, women approach sex differently. Some women love the idea of men being sensitive together, being intimate, vulnerable. After all, even the most alpha of assholes can fall in love.
I’ve heard of women who are into M/M because they believe they were born as gay men trapped in womens’ bodies, or simply feel that it’s just another layer of their sexuality. Women who have emotional blocks because of some sort of violence in their past, and sex between gay men is safe because it’s strictly fantasy - something that is nonthreatening because by its very definition they can never be involved directly. For some women it’s just the eye candy. Some women get a kick out of some of the generalizations about gay men being into clothes and gossip – something some of us would love our husbands to be into, but we know it’ll never happen. Maybe others just have a voyeur kink. Other theories I’ve read recently: gay men are more accessible, and they don’t have to worry about their gay friends leaving them for another woman the way they might with a boyfriend or a husband. M/M typically has a harder edge to it than m/f or f/f, and so on. I’m not stating any of this as gospel, these are just things I’ve gleaned from talking to other female fans of m/m.
In reality, I’m sure the reasons are as many and varied as the women who read the genre. Maybe it’s even because – stereotypically – gay men hit the gym more often, and we like the buffness. Well, hell, I think it’s safe to say we do like the buffness.
As a writer, I prefer to write from the male point of view, and I’ve been interested in m/m for as long as I can remember. It is not about jumping on the next hot genre bandwagon, as far as I’m concerned. I like that writing gay romance allows me to push boundaries and play with subject matter that I wouldn’t be allowed to in mainstream romance. There’s more freedom, and more fun, to stretch my creative legs. Larger than anything, goddammit, there’s the fact that everyone deserves their happily ever after.
On a personal level it’s brought me back to being involved in the gay community. Kinda in a fringey way, but still. Back when I was younger and went from dating girls to dating a guy I made the assumption that I wouldn’t be welcome in my local LGBT community anymore. Right or wrong, I don’t know. Still, I regret that I withdrew.
As a reader, there’s a lot to plain and simple fact that naked guys are hot, and they’re even hotter when they’re naked together. Yeah – that totally works for me. Not to mention, some of the best writers I’ve read write in the gay romance genre. Period. Some of those other reasons are in there for me as well, I guess. I haven’t honestly taken too much time to consider it, because the bottom line applies: I just do.