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    QUESTION #4 M/M Authors Roundtable Discussion – Why do you think so many women are drawn to M/M romance? Or do you care?
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  • Published: Feb 23rd, 2009

Today we continue our round table discussion with three new blogs/discussions with authors Ally Blue, Jamie Craig, JL Langley, K.A. Mitchell, Chris Owen, Josh Lanyon, LB Gregg and Jet Mykles. 3 new blogs will be posted throughout the day, and yes, we’re giving books away. Stop by our Book Page to read excerpts of the authors books and click on their names to go to their web sites for more information.

This morning we’re giving away a copy of K.A. Mitchell’s  COLLISION COURSE  and JL Langley’s THE ENGLOR AFFAIR to two random posters.

Marisa: Picking up where we left off yesterday; over the years the audience for M/M fiction has become increasingly female. Why do you think so many women are drawn to M/M romance? Or do you care?

untamedheart_lg.jpgAlly Blue:
This is a question the readers of m/m romance, particularly the female ones — and why is that? Because we like to talk? Hmmm — have been pondering for lo these many years. I don’t think we’ve ever come up with a definitive answer, possibly because it kind of depends on who you ask. Different women seem to have different reasons for wanting to read the manlove. There’s the hotness factor, of course. But I don’t think that’s the only reason, or even the main reason. For me, it’s at least partly the draw of something that I, as a woman, can never have: a romantic relationship with a man, as a man. It’s a different dynamic than a male/female relationship, and it’s one I will never experience because I am a woman with no desire to become a man myself. I can’t have it, therefore I am endlessly fascinated by it. Childish? Me? No way! LOL.

jm_de1_taken_coversm.jpgJet Mykles:
The easy answer is, of course, for pretty much the same reason men like to watch lesbians. But that’s not enough of an answer and it’s not entirely true. Partly true, yes, because… well, gee, hot guy mauling hot guy getting all sweaty and worked up and such? Oh I am SO there! But I think it’s also a fascination about men in general. Let’s face it, men just deal with things differently than women. Yes, I’m generalizing, but that doesn’t make it less true. Women have to have some kind of fascination with men otherwise we’d never fall in love. I believe that m/m is an extension of that. You’re fascinated by the one man, what the heck would he do if he was dealing with another man? Would it be easier? Harder? Is the dynamic different? How so? Do they have the same conversations? Do they treat each other differently? Better? Worse? Also, especially if we’re talking historical or contemporary settings, there are just things that men can do and get away with that women can’t. The adverse is also true in that there are some things that are frowned upon. There are so many intriguing questions to go with the physical hotness.

med_ageretribution.jpg Jamie Craig:
Standard lore is that the first fandom slash was written in the 1970s. It was Kirk/Spock–the slash between the two names gives this subgenre its name. And there was a LOT of it–mainly published in fanzines and exchanged through mail or at conventions. I’m not sure if there was a general female audience for gay erotica (or porn) prior to that, but I bring up Kirk/Spock because I think the answer might be there, somehow. I mean, Kirk was the sex-machine who could get all the chicks, so it’d be easy to write him with a woman. And Spock does not have romantic relationships at all! In fact, he only gets to have sex once every seven years, and that’s more animalistic than meaningful. So why on earth were so many women drawn to this pairing–and why is it STILL a thriving fandom? They’re both emotionally unavailable alpha males, they both take their jobs very seriously, and they both have myriad issues. But, despite the difference in rank, they were equals. Kirk could count on Spock no matter what, and Spock had an equal amount of faith in his captain. They could go on adventures together. They could have really rough sex and push sexual boundaries. They were intellectual equals, though they had different types of intelligence. But it wouldn’t be out of character to be tender with each other, either.

I’m getting to a point here. Bear with me. In fiction and literature, men can do things together that they can’t do with women–for whatever reason. Reading, and writing, gay romance is a sort of escapism. It’s a fantasy. It’s an exploration of a life that is familiar and strange at the same time. Familiar, because most women know what it’s like to be in love with a man, yet strange because they don’t know what it’s like to be a man in love with a man. Most great literature strikes the balance between the familiar and the strange. I don’t think gay romance is unique in that regard at all, and I’m not surprised that it’s popular in the world of romance.

And also, it’s hot.


tnhotticket.jpgK.A. Mitchell
Yes, Jamie, it is very hot and that’s a good, good thing.  I like Jamie’s exploration of that first popular slash pairing. It does touch on what I think is drawing more and more women to m/m romance, that “balance between the familiar and the strange” as she put it so perfectly.

I agree with Jamie, and with Jet and Ally as well, and I’d like to add something that I’ve heard readers discuss. A lot of them are having trouble identifying with the heroines in romance novels. They don’t connect with her, they connect with the hero. The heroine doesn’t have many flaws, but the hero does. He gets the good lines, he gets to be mean and cranky and tell people what to do. He can get away with beinga jerk sometimes as long as he doesn’t go too far.

For those readers, m/m has appeal. The readers don’t feel like they are supposed to identify exclusively with either hero and both heroes have the kinds of freedom that traditional romance heroes have (the freedom to be an idiot and be redeemed by love). Also, for readers who feel that they are tired of the familiar story, m/m has all new kinds of conflicts and issues to explore. It’s very different, and that’s what draws many people to fiction in the first place, the fascination with living through someone else’s experiences. And for most heterosexual women, the experience of a man in a relationship with another man is far enough removed from what she experiences to make it intriguing.

14688163.JPGChris Owen:
Ohh, very nice discussion.  Personally, I draw a bit from everything that’s been said, but what Ally said really resounds with me. M/M romance is the ultimate in escapist fiction for straight women. What these men are doing (these fascinating, confounding, smart men) is something straight women simply can’t do. We can’t be touched the same way physically, we can’t have those sensations; we can’t feel an orgasm in just that way. And echoing Jamie, a lot of the time we can’t do their day jobs/hold their position/say the things they do and get the same reactions. It can be flat out fun for a straight female reader to dive into the that world for an afternoon or evening. It sure is fun to write.

Coming at it from another angle there’s also the very real notion that gay romance, and especially gay erotica or erotic romance, is a little bit shocking, a little bit out there, a little bit edgy. There’s an appeal in reading something fresh and hot and not what your mother read.

Unless of course, like me, you find out your mom’s read it all before. That can be a bit of jolt, but it did win me a really great beta reader and cheerleader.  Dad doesn’t read my work, though, nor my husband, and we’re all happy that way.

pirate_king.jpgJosh Lanyon:
I think, in fact, m/m fiction started out for women — it’s roots are in slash and fandom NOT traditional gay lit, and that it has slowly but surely picked up an increasingly MALE audience. I was startled when I learned how many m/m writers got their start in slash fandoms — and slash fandom is dominated by women (gay and straight). I think everyone from Ally to Chris has pretty much covered why this is a powerful niche genre. I would add that the increasingly number of gay male readers is a healthy indication that this readership is continuing to grow — that we’re still on the upwards swing — and a sure sign that romance, the appreciation of a great love story, is a universal one.

lb_gobsmacked_500×75022-200×3005.jpgLB Gregg:

It really stinks to be next to last….Uhmm….my understanding is that m/m has pretty much always been for chicks (except for TPig) and recently we’ve (we’ve, as if I have more than one book, omg…) picked up a male audience. I think Laura Baumbach over at MLR Press has done a phenomenal job building a bridge between the m/m audience and the gay lit audience.

Personally, I came into this genre because of Suze Brockman’s Jules Cassidy and Robin Chadwick. I was HOOKED.



langley2.jpgJL Langley:  Well I have to cast my vote with Josh and LB.  I think it started out with female fans due to the publishers.  The publishers, with the exception of MLR,  started out in erotic romance which is marketed towards women.  It’s just recently that men have discovered gay romance.  You wouldn’t believe the amount of email I get from men telling me they had no idea that there was gay romance.  As to why women like it, I think the others said it better than I could.  I must say though I see the trend heading toward more men reading it.  I get as many emails from men as women and something I’ve noticed is as a general rule my female readers are ebook readers and my male readers tend to be print readers.




(Find out more about these authors by clicking on thier names for links to their web sites. Also check out excerpts of their books on our book page. )

This morning we’re giving away a copy of K.A. Mitchell’s  COLLISION COURSE to and JLLangley’s THE ENGLOR AFFAIR to two random posters.

tncollisioncourse.jpglangley3.jpg

23 Responses to “QUESTION #4 M/M Authors Roundtable Discussion – Why do you think so many women are drawn to M/M romance? Or do you care?”

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  1. Sarah
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 12:42 am

    All interesting answers and I have to agree wholeheartedly with Jet – it might just be a fascination with men! 😀


  2. Renee
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 1:17 am

    I read both m/f and m/m romance. I enjoy reading about romance heroines as much as I enjoy reading about m/m protags. However, there are different things these genres bring to the table.

    One difference I see between m/m and m/f romance that makes m/m interesting to me is the different dynamic between the protags. Since gender difference and traditional power relationships are removed from the equation in m/m, there’s the feeling (when I read it) of, “Where do they go from here?” I find that really interesting. Any two people (regardless of gender) are going to have power dynamics and issues between them, but this issue is not one of them.

    I love what Jamie said about slash fic. I haven’t read any, but I might do some late night trolling thru the webs for it, now.


  3. Erotic Horizon
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 2:25 am

    I read across all genre and once i was introduce to M/M a few years ago, i have never looked back. all the above resonate with me and i hope author never stop pumping out those fantastic m/m romances.


  4. Stacy ~
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 3:51 am

    When I read my first m/m story, it was because of the forbidden factor, not so much me reading a m/m story, but the characters’ situation. I admit, one of my favorite plotlines is the forbidden factor, and that’s in any kind of romance. And okay, I’ll admit it, their encounters were rougher, wilder, and very earthy. That totally appealed to me. Mix that in with a love story, and you’ve got me.

    K.A. mentions that a lot of readers feel they can’t connect with the heroines in many of today’s f/m stories, and after giving it some thought, I realize that in many instances, that’s true for me. Most especially in paranormals where the heroine is a kick-ass warrior with a horrible past, but it’s also happened in contemporaries, when the heroine is too perfect: she’s beautiful, smart, understanding, brave, and the essential male fantasy, all roled into one. I can’t connect to a character like that, no matter how likeable she may be.

    LB keeps mentioning Jules & Robin and I have to again agree. Suz wrote some of the hottest, most moving scenes between these two characters; she totally put me through the emotional wringer. And I loved her for it. The fact that it was a romance between two guys didn’t bother me one bit. In fact I completely loved it. I was so, so happy when Jules, this amazing guy, got his HEA. It was, and still is, a beautiful love story. Period.


  5. Kris
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 4:05 am

    I was a bit like Stacy. I read my first m/m because it was a little naughty, but there was also a large dose of WTF involved.

    When I first came across the epublishers that had whole sections of m/m romance, I was absolutely amazed I had somehow missed out on a whole new genre and set of new-to-me authors, and wanted to find out what it was all about. When I read the magical word ‘romance’, I was absolutely intrigued.

    After reading a few, I realised how much I liked the genre; not only for the hot sex *g*, but because I really enjoyed the more balanced relationship that two guys seem to have. For me, there’s only so much angsty ‘but I’m an equal partner in this relationship too’ and ‘treat the little woman seriously’ crap that you can read in het before you get sick of it.


  6. H
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 5:06 am

    Chiming in as a fanfic reader (and long-standing reader of SF/SFF and murder-mysteries), a couple of things spring to mind – it was always the relationships formed/shown in the stories that snaffled me, although I’d started reading the book/s for the ‘verse or puzzle. For a long-time my secret (and then not so secret) guilty pleasure was romance. I didn’t substitute myself for the heroine, I just wanted to know more about the hero and the relationship. As I considered myself a well-rounded reader of “genre” books by this point, it was small step into reading gay murder/mystery, but it wasn’t always “right” (I think it is the word selection as much as anything, which flips something for me from Gay Fiction to m/m – most blokes take the direct path, women like to meander – or something). When I read Lynn Flewelling’s first Nightrunner book and I knew I was on to something, especially when the second one was released, but there wasn’t much else there that I could find. I got sucked into fanfic via JRRT fandom stuff and then found slash. For the first time in years, after I stopped blushing, I bought (almost) no books … I was too busy reading *g*. When an flist friend was published by Torquere Press, I bought her book and stayed to look around. There, I found Jordan Castillo Price and started buying more titles, then more flisters were published by Dreamspinner and on it goes.

    Someone commented on the sense of equality between the protags in m/m and that is sort of it, although not really, for me. Perhaps it is that by removing one of the barriers, gender-inequality (and most women I know would say it still exists), you open the door to looking at the characters as individuals, without that particular bit of baggage that I probably bring to every “mainstream” book I read. I have a lingering sense that too often the heroine in a traditional romance, when she isn’t utterly perfect, is either too much of a doormat or too strident and I get fed up with her – oddly, I am far more inclined to let timid or insecure male characters have their head and learn on their journey and to not let an alpha-male assume the role of a bully in my mind. It’s unfair of me, but I can’t sit back and enjoy, cheer on and wallow in characters I identify with (purely because of gender or some squick of mine) – I want to be entertained and enthralled and to suspend my disbelief, as I read.

    Or perhaps I’m just a voyeur at heart, wanting to peek in at those “different” neighbours. *g* Is it because their relationship is often invisible to others, that they can be friends/colleagues/enemies on a level not possible between the sexes without someone outside “interfering” before Something Happens, or is it because the inevitable Babies and Booties are just much like real life (or a real life they don’t want/can’t have) for some readers?

    A friend of mine, who owns a bookstore specialising in Romance, SF and SFF, loves gay novels (and reads them to her husband in bed), once said to me, “I like men, I like reading about men, so if one sexy man is good, then two are better and I don’t have to shove the heroine out of bed!”. That isn’t the same view as mine and our tastes are different, but we both read the books featuring two male protagonists, so maybe it is a case of Whatever Works. Part of the appeal of m/m, for me at least, is that when I start reading, my sympathies can swing from one character to another without feeling as if I’m reading two different stories (and as there are different, but not exclusively different, male characters, then the reader has a choice not offered to him/her in heterosexual-centred fiction).

    I like to think it is because I know where to find books I want to read by authors with good stories to tell.
    With romantic fiction such a big part of the publishing world, it seems inevitable that, hand in hand with the internet, readers are going to be able to find exactly what they want to read (instead of those smash and grab visits where anything that resembles a romance is snaffled) and to be able to interact with each other and the authors. I’ve bought an embarrassing number of books in the last 3 months (even for someone used to have staff discount in a bookstore!) and all have been from publishers without a presence in my local bookshops (disclaimer: this is a small country), so someone must be doing it right.

    Sorry, I’ll shut up now, this is my second public posting of the day (something, I don’t do), it’s late enough on a Monday night to shuffle to read and I’ve abused far too much grammar and punctuation to continue. I’ve read and enjoyed at least one book this month by all of you (and in one case, bought a t-shirt!), bar LB and had already made a note to get Gobsmacked. Wish I was more coherent.
    Cheers 🙂


  7. K.A. Mitchell
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 7:47 am

    H, you can ramble late at night any time. I might steal some of your answers for the next time I’m asked this.

    my sympathies can swing from one character to another without feeling as if I’m reading two different stories (and as there are different, but not exclusively different, male characters, then the reader has a choice not offered to him/her in heterosexual-centred fiction). This is a great point. I agree. It’s part of what I love about reading and writing the genre.


  8. LB Gregg
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 8:43 am

    LB keeps mentioning Jules & Robin and I have to again agree. Suz wrote some of the hottest, most moving scenes between these two characters; she totally put me through the emotional wringer. And I loved her for it. The fact that it was a romance between two guys didn’t bother me one bit. In fact I completely loved it. I was so, so happy when Jules, this amazing guy, got his HEA. It was, and still is, a beautiful love story. Period.

    Stacy~Well…I was on vacation when I was answering these questions…er…so I may have repeated myself and, uh, been a bit brief. At least I was somewhat coherent. Heh. I do wish we could have seen a bit more manlovin’ with Jules/Robin…but it’s understandable that Suze couldn’t go that route. These things take time, but she took a brave and timely step. And it’s a huge, NY Times Best selling step.

    I like men, I like reading about men, so if one sexy man is good, then two are better

    Laura B. says that, too! I CONCUR.

    Kris~LOL

    Renee~Me too. I like both, but I’ve fallen off the m/f wagon and I’m now six months behind in my reading! I’ve got that new (old) Lisa Kleypas…


  9. azteclady
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 8:49 am

    Other than the “I like men” and “if one man is good, two men are better” arguments, I’ve always seen male friendships as different (alien). The illusion of being privy to the intimate dynamics of such a relationship is very, very attractive. Why an illusion? Because men are also people, and just as there is a whole humongous, nigh-infinite range of women (from the ultra girlie to the consummate kick ass tomboy), there is of men.

    And ditto on Jules and Robin–that kiss scene in Hot Target is still one of the most amazing and romantic scenes ever.


  10. Kati
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 9:35 am

    It’s funny, in the mid-90s I was reading a menage book, but one where the heroes both had sex with the heroine but not with each other, and I remember thinking, “How much hotter would this book be if the boys got it on?!”

    I do read m/m for the HAWT factor, but also because as I said yesterday, it’s the idea that men are generally a mystery to me, and I like m/m because both characters are male, so we get inside their heads much more than we do in m/f romance. Male interactions fascinate me because I think in general they relate to each other so differently the we as women do.

    It reminds me of an episode of FRIENDS, the one right after Ross and Rachel kiss for the first time. Rachel does this WHOLE elaborate description for her girlfriends, there’s wine, and a lot of detail and ooohing and aaaahing. Then you flash to the boys, and Ross is saying, “So I kissed Rachel last night.” Joey looks at him and goes “Tongue?” Ross: “Yeah.” Joey: “Cool.”

    It’s the getting behind the curtain thing that I love about m/m. We get inside their heads.


  11. Brooks
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 9:37 am

    Women are very curious about men. The M/M story gives insight into the feelings and vulnerabilities of men. Women many times are looking for the emotional connection to the characters, and this is the perfect venue to express the different, yet similar emotions that men go through in relationships. There is a sense that perhaps women can understand and relate to men better because of the glimpse into the mystique of the male psyche. And, of course, it’s hot.


  12. Samantha Kane
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 11:09 am

    I feel anything I say at this point will be redundant. 😉 But honestly, I began writing m/m/f because of the same experience Kati talked about. I was reading a menage and the men never touched one another. It was unbelievably unbelievable. IMHO, if you are going to get naked with someone in bed, I don’t care how many people are in it with you, you are open to any possibilities that may present themselves. And also, it was a heck of a lot hotter when the guys got some from one another, too.

    I think writing the m/m aspects of those menages, and my first strictly m/m which was just released, have helped me to write better heroines. The problem of readers no longer connecting with the heroines in romance novels has been building for a while. It used to be they were always too perfect or too innocent, and now the trend seems to be they’re too tough, too flawed, and too bitchy. Very little in-between. (Disclaimer: yes, there are exceptions.) But writing sympathetic, flawed, strong male characters involved in a romantic relationship helps me to write female characters in a similar vein. (I hope!)


  13. Rhonda
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 11:34 am

    I agree with Stacy about it being the forbidden factor that got me started. And also with Kati and Samantha, I started reading menage and hated that the men did not touch each other, then I read Rough, Raw & Ready by Lorelei James and loved it when the men were together also. Since then I started reading TA Chase, JL Langley, and most recently Josh Lanyon’s (along with Laura) Mexican Heat and have to say that they are some of the hottest books I’ve read.


  14. Renee
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 11:54 am

    ::waves::Hi, LB! 🙂 If it’s the Hathaways, it’s a good one! It’s looking like I must add some Brockman to my list.

    Yes! I recently read Be with Me, which was good (it was menage with 3 men, one woman), but really, the thing that bothered me about it was this denial/repression of sexuality/sexual feelings between the men. It just didn’t ring true for me. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve been reading m/m and had this level of expectation, or if it was the book itself, which didn’t sell the fact that these men could be so focused on the woman, but not on each other.


  15. Elisa Jankowski
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 12:47 pm

    I would agree with what everyone else said, plus a slight expansion on the guys liking to watch two women together… I think passion and romance are appealing, and can be more so when done in an erotic manner. Most porn doesn’t really touch on the emotional aspect of passion, which is a major tenant of romance (duh, Elisa) – which is why I agree that just like men like to watch lesbians, women like to watch gay men (though I think a large amount of women like to watch lesbians as well – even if they don’t admit it). Which just goes back to what I said, passion is sexy whether it’s m/f, m/m, or f/f (or any extra combination thereof).

    It’s exciting to know the male demographic of the readership is growing, because it just cements it for publishers, authors, and readers that this is a genre (or multiple genres) of worth and it should keep on coming! What got me to read m/m was actually a m/m/f book that had me thinking part way through “these men are great and obviously ave awesome chemistry together, why aren’t they exploring their sexuality with each other as well?” and then it happened – I don’t want to analyze why I had such a grin when it happened, but there it was. It was amazing. And it was all about the chemistry and emotion and trust. Then I got into reading the strictly m/m stuff and I love that as well. But then, I would: I *love* love.


  16. D
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 2:29 pm

    I started out in GLBT genre fiction when I was about 13 or 14 and struggling to come to terms with my own sexuality. I devoured absolutely everything I could find- Tales of the City, At Swim Two Boys, The Last Herald Mage… Just knowing that books like these existed meant so much to me.

    One of the things I find so frustrating with this type of fiction, though, is that unhappy endings seem to be the standard- I quickly began to get sick of gay protagonists that were tortured, murdered, etc. etc. And of course, romantic relationships are downplayed in genre fiction (unless, of course, we’re going to be killing them off, a la Mercedes Lackey)- authors seem to be so afraid of romance and sex. Even in a series like Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner (which has a huge fan girl following), we never really see Alec and Seregil interact on a romantic level- generally, they’re too busy running for their lives or saving the world or what have you, which is good for the plot but not as great for romantically-inclined readers.

    I discovered m/m fiction in late 2007. And, honestly, I was NOT impressed with what I first read. While the stories might have more romance and sex than traditional genre fiction, this often came at the expense of believable characterization or a well constructed plot. And (this is just a personal preference) I became so frustrated that the men I was reading about seemed so restricted in terms of their sexuality- I mean, I know super toppy tops and incredibly submissive bottoms exist in real life, but Christ, it’s just so goddamn hard to relate to them as a reader… where are the normal, playful guys who just like sex and don’t need collars and capes and god-knows-what to enjoy it? It seems to me that a lot of female writers got their beginning in slash or yaoi, where sexual roles are more regimented. And maybe most women find it easier to idealize a sexy aggressive alpha and empathize with a charming mouthy beta (who always ends up bottoming… okay, this also drives me crazy. Just because a guy is short or slender, does not mean he automatically likes to/ must always bottom. And vice versa for big, alpha men and topping, lol). Although I know this works for a lot of women, it doesn’t for me.

    ANYWAY, somehow I managed to stumble upon Jordan Castillo Price, an M/M author who writes a mix of paranormal/romantic suspense/horror. And wow, did she ever completely sell me on the genre. One of the things I love about her PsyCop books is that we get to see a monogamous, happy relationship between the two male leads develop throughout the series (who are both gay and define themselves as such, with none of this ‘gay for you’ silliness)- and these are two guys who are genuinely likeable, as well, despite their hangups and flaws. Soon after, I discovered Lee Rowan, who writes a completely different genre (historical), and yet I fell in love with her work, too- absolutely charming protagonists (though definitely NOT Mary Sues), an incredibly tender love story and well researched, interesting plot lines.

    I guess I haven’t answered the original question here, why I, as a female reader, enjoy m/m fiction. I do agree with many of the posts above- the dynamics of a relationship between two men can be really fascinating, and yes, two gorgeous men together is better than one gorgeous man by his lonesome. But aside from the curiousity/sexiness factor, I think I’m drawn to these novels because, when they’re done well, I’m able to completely escape from my life and fall in love with the characters. I read m/m for the same reasons I read every genre- it’s entertainment that I’m (hopefully) able to become emotionally invested in.


  17. Josh Lanyon
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 2:37 pm

    It’s exciting to know the male demographic of the readership is growing, because it just cements it for publishers, authors, and readers that this is a genre (or multiple genres) of worth and it should keep on coming! What got me to read m/m was actually a m/m/f book that had me thinking part way through “these men are great and obviously ave awesome chemistry together, why aren’t they exploring their sexuality with each other as well?” and then it happened – I don’t want to analyze why I had such a grin when it happened, but there it was. It was amazing. And it was all about the chemistry and emotion and trust. Then I got into reading the strictly m/m stuff and I love that as well. But then, I would: I *love* love.

    Jessewave did an interesting poll/post on this at her site, and I admit the number of readers who said they had moved into m/m via menage did slightly soften my attitude toward it. I hadn’t previously considered the chick anything but an unnecessary justification for having two men together. I see now that for some readers it’s a way of easing into something that might seem otherwise utterly (as Kris or someone above put it) WTF. *g*


  18. Cathy M
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 2:43 pm

    The romance storylines for m/m are wonderfully fascinating, have a mega hotness factor, with sex scenes taking us places we just don’t usually go in regular romance land.


  19. Natasha A.
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 2:43 pm

    It’s great reading all the reasons why….I know have thought about it but wasn’t really sure why it was so popular with women.
    oh and leave me out of this draw please!
    I actually have these ones! 😀
    K.A.’s is great and I can’t wait to read JL’s!


  20. orannia
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 3:09 pm

    Hmmmm. Honestly, I can’t tell you why I like to read m/m romance – I don’t really know….

    Personally, I came into this genre because of Suze Brockman’s Jules Cassidy and Robin Chadwick. I was HOOKED.

    I’ve only been reading romance for 3 years so I’ve been at discovering the Troubleshooters (although I am happy I have another 12 books in the series to enjoy 🙂 ) I’ve only just met Jules (I finished The Defiant Hero last week) and I am so happy there is an HEA down the line for him 🙂


  21. K.A. Mitchell
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 3:57 pm

    Thank you so much, Natasha! JL’s is a great read.


  22. Jody F.
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 5:08 pm

    I read m/m fiction for the same reason I read any other romance. It’s to see two strong characters who care about each other carry on a positive relationship….and oh yeah, the hotness factor.


  23. Ethan Day
    on Feb 24th, 2009
    @ 8:28 pm

    I’m coming onto this discussion now that’s it’s pretty much over, but figured what the hell, I’ll post a few comments anyway.

    I’m a newly published author in the M/M or GLBT romance genre. I’m also a gay man, something I didn’t realize was so rare in this genre. Some of the things I’ve read, such as:

    “You wouldn’t believe the amount of email I get from men telling me they had no idea that there was gay romance”

    This was true for me 5 months ago. I had no clue it was out there, and I’m delighted to find it is, as both a reader and writer.

    I was a little surprised by the amount of female authors, but certainly didn’t find it shocking. I’ve always had stellar relationships with women. LOL…usually better ones with women. They tend to last longer if nothing else. This fact also made it seem odd there would be an issue with it in the first place. Gay men and straight women have a long running history together, it doesn’t seem remotely odd to me that there would be women readers and writers in this genre. I love writing women, they wind up being some of my favorite characters. What’s the difference, in that respect.

    What I do have an issue with is some of the comments I hear like, men who cry in a GLBT or M/M romance are perceived by some to be weak, or less masculine. That these male characters are really just women with a penis. This is crazy! I would never berate my friends or call them sissies for crying? I’d attempt to comfort them.

    I think that people who feel this way, aren’t really interested in reading GLBT stories. They may like the M/M idea, as long as they behave like a straight man. Part of the liberating thing about being gay for me, is that I don’t have to conform to the same heterosexual male model of behavior. It was like being set free from a cage for me as a nineteen year old coming out of the closet way back in the dark ages of the early 90’s. I certainly have no intention of being shoved back into that way of thinking for me as an individual, or me as a writer.

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