Friday, August 7, 2009

Trying to GET THIS

Okay, I don't want to offend anyone here but for some time now, I've been trying to figure out the appeal of male/male books to heterosexual female readers. Some of my best friends have been gay guys and I know books about them and their sexual/love relationships are all over the internet these days. That's good. In a free and open society every kind of love story imaginable should be readily available but you'd think these would be marketed to gay men , wouldn't you? Straight women are buying them up and devouring them.

I'll confess, I like my heroes straight and I want him to find the woman of his dreams. I've never bought a m/m book, though I HAVE read scenes before. So can someone out there please tell me what the appeal is? Not for the gay male reader but for the straight female. These days you can go to just about any publisher site and find their home pages full of hunks in a hot embrace on about half the covers. So I've been wondering...why do straight women love these stories?

In the Meantime:
Reviews are coming in for Lone Star Lycan, Book Two of the High Plains Shifters series at Ellora's Cave. So many thanks to Amethyst Nymph at Literary Nymphs for the Five Nymph review! Here's a bit of what she had to say:

Regina Carlysle has come up with a winner in Lone Star Lycan. Readers won’t be able to put the book down without finding out what happens next. The sexual attraction between Quinn and Joe is impossible to ignore and draws readers in like ants at a picnic. The immediate connection this couple shared left me longing to hear more stories about Joe’s Lycan friends, and I intend to be first in line for whatever this author publishes next.

Read the full review HERE!

Melinda at Night Owl Reviews gave LSL a Five and named it a Reviewer's Top Pick! YAY! Here is a bit of what she thought:

Oh my god Regina Carlisle not only created a great story but so much heat it leaps off the pages. I loved the whole paranormal shapeshifter aspects of this book and so didn’t want it to end. Quinn is one lost woman who only wants one thing and that is love. I loved that Joe is all man she needs but she is afraid of falling in love for the first time. Lone Star Lycan is a smoking hot read from the talented Regina Carlysle. This was a definitely a keeper for this reader.

Read the full review HERE!


Mia Watts said...

I don't know. And I write them. Perhaps the forbidden nature?

Amber Skyze said...

I wish I could explain, but they appeal to me. I enjoy reading them and I've written one.

Nicole Morgan said...

Oh my god, Oh my god, Oh my god. Thank you sooooooo much for bringing this topic up today. I was really starting to think that I was this oddball(I'm serious too). I'm heterosexual, married, I wrote M/f erotic romance, I've even been known to dabble in the M/f/M menage story line. But in the past couple of months I have seen promos/excerpts from M/M or M/M/f books and I have gotten really into them.

I couldn't figure it out and I HONESTLY was like I've got to be the only one. Whew, at least you bringing it up makes me think theres at least two of us.

Okay, so heres my answer/opinion as to why it't hot, in demand or enticing, however you wish to put a label on it.

When I started writing erotica it was because I found it just plain exciting. I think its amazing that you can write something and actually excite someone without any visuals. Then as I got more into the industry and saw the different types of erotica there was out there, whether it was BDSM, multiple partners, etc. you see that while we're all writing some hot and steamy stuff, it is actually 'beautiful'. These characters for the most part have intense feelings for the other parties and other than the missionary M/f position there are many incredible ways to express those feelings.

I figure if it feels good than it can't be a bad thing, right? I mean if you have two men that have a deep connection with one another and they turn eachother on why not express that? The sexual act and variations there of are erotic yes, but they are a beautiful and magnificent way to express your feelings and devotion for that person at that time. Even if its not love and happily ever after at that moment it is all about the other person(s) and you and feeling.

So, I never used to and a year ago I wouldn't have been able to watch an erotic movie with two men,but now I think I could because I see something differnt in it, I see the beauty of the act. Does that make sense?

Okay, I better shut up now, because you asked for a blog comment not a novella.

But I'm sooooooo excited you brought this topic up. Thank you for doing so, can I come back and talk later? I can't wait to see what the others have to say.

Nicole (winks)

Fran Lee Romance said...

I can't say I love m/m romance, but the way Mia writes them, they are filled with laughter and humor and genuine male idiosyncrasy that makes me chuckle and feel that the homosexual aspects are secondary to the plot. I don't know if I would enjoy f/f either. I think hers are the only n/n books I've bought. I can easily handle m/f/m, but I guess I'm just an old fart who can't quite get into the guy/guy thing unless it has other aspects that keep me reading.

Regina Carlysle said...

Think that's it, Mia? I suspect maybe that's it. For the same reason so many love paranormals. Fuels the imagination.

Regina Carlysle said...

I have yet to read one, just scenes (and very well done ones like Mia's and Amber's). I mean, this is some verrrry good work. I just have tons of questions about this. Do ya'll research? What? Do you read other writers work or go to sites? I'm just completely igorant about it because I've never been a gay man. No clue.

Now, I've never participated in a menage either but I've written them. Mainly I just imagined how it would work and read how others portrayed a menage.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of M/M stories. Part of it is the forbidden factor, part of it is just the "if one is good, two is better" idea. Is it really any different than guys watching a couple of girls? I read it, I write it, I watch it.

Teal Ceagh said...

I've just finished writing a MMF urban fantasy novella trilogy for Ellora's Cave, and it's heavy on the MM sex *and* romance angles. I loved writing it. Why?

I've been thinking a lot about that, and I'm pretty sure that it taps back into the same reason that readers love romances novels in the first place: they adore seeing the vulnerable side of the hero--seeing how the heroine can wrap him around her little finger, and bring him to her knees.

Isn't MM sex and emotion scenes exactly the same thing...only times two? You get to see two hunky heroes bought to their knees by love?

I know that's what's working at the back of my mind for me, as I'm writing the scenes, and it makes them very powerful indeed.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the MMF scenes in stories, but haven't yet read straight MM. I guess, as Mia suggests, it's the forbidden nature that appeals?

Katalina said...

An M/M relation worked its way into my first book by default. Helen suggested I add one to sell my first story, so I had to say yes. I was so nervous about getting it wrong and offending someone I practically locked the doors and shut the blinds before I started writing. As I wrote I began to enjoy the relationship. I viewed the two men as personalities with a strong vested interest in the other's well being. They were also members of a all-male culture that had to look outside their group for a female mate. I did wonder if I would alienate Gay readers when a strong heroine enters the story and becomes the focal point of attention.

Regina Carlysle said...

Oh yeah, please Nicole, come back and jump right into the conversation!

I have to say it's FUN finding a new genre or author, whatever. After reading my first paranormal many years ago, the excitement was amazing.I devoured everything. Maybe it's the same with you and the m/m stories.

Regina Carlysle said...

I've always wondered about you ladies who write m/m get letters from male readers? I'm just wondering if the gay males enjoy these books as much as the ladies do or are they critical about the way things are depicted?

Anonymous said...

Hi Reg, great topic, by the way. I don't want to offend either, but this type of erotica doesn't appeal to me either, though I can see why it does appeal to others. I just can't get all hot and wet for a guy--who wants another guy, you know...just me, though. Apparently this is a super hot market and I say, go for it, if you can write it, enjoy reading it, or watching it, I won't judge and never do. Everyone has their little 'turn on's' you know.

Fantastic answers, everyone. I'm intrigued.

Regina Carlysle said...

Great point, Taylor. Plenty of women don't find menage or bdsm appealing. They want a straight m/f story. That's fine too. It's just a matter of taste and preference.

I watched Brokeback Mountain. Found the story fascinating and the acting incredible but the 'love scenes' made me so uncomfortable. maybe I'm a putz for admitting this but it's the way I felt.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I can make this make sense. To me, I don't look at them as m/m, I look at them as two people who want to be together, and usually, ultimately, find love. It could be f/f, it could be m/f, f/m/m, m/m/f, etc (you catch my drift).
I know personally, when I look at people, I try very hard (and I have been succeeding in this) to not think about their sex. I think wow, they are attractive, or look at that smile, or man, that laugh makes me go tight inside.
So, for me, to finally find something that wasn't just penis and vagina, it was pretty awesome, to read the dynamics.

Anny Cook said...

I've written a couple scenes that were included in a ménage relationship. For my guys, it wasn't something calculated, but simply who those men were.

Actually, those scenes were the easiest to write. So I'm not sure they were "correct" or not. Nor have any men--gay or straight--written to comment about them.

That may be the answer in m/m scenes in a ménage... that the issue is not so much a gay relationship as a love relationship.

Kelley Nyrae said...

I have never read one either. I have NO problem with them but like you, I'm not sure it would apeal to me personally.

Paris said...

I like m/m erotic romance. I've read a couple of excellent m/m romances, very emotionally gripping, one was even very funny and I have to say that I loved the characters!

Perhaps it is the 'forbidden' nature of the relationship that appeals to me. Perhaps it's just two people who can't keep their hands off each other and the hot sex they have!

Then again, maybe it's just the way my brain is wired but I find m/m stories incredibly hot;-)

Bekki Lynn said...

I read more f/f than I do m/m, but I love them both and I've written both as well as the interaction of both within a multiple partner relationship.

For me, I think it's the fact they are more like-minded and on more equal terms. The grit between same-sex couples is an attraction. And yeah, some have the same issues as m/f, some have quite the attitude brought on my society, but I love it all.

Maybe it comes from working along side them and getting to know that allows me to enjoy them.

I recently read a short story where a guy hitched a ride with another and they start talking, the looks begin, the flirting, the ineundos. I enjoyed it so much. They ended up in a room together. I seriously laughed my butt off -- it was awesome -- the end was priceless and definitely made it a shelf keeper for me.

The whole senario was something my husband and I would do.

Carol Lynne said...

I think women enjoy them for a reason they aren't even aware of. When you read a het romance, I think it's pretty typical to put yourself in the woman's place. If you do too much of that, you end up wondering why you don't have someone who loves and adores you like the Alpha males in the books do. When you read a M/M book, you're allowed to step outside of the relationship and simply be an observer. You witness the love story unfolding and think, "Aahhh, those gay men are so sweet with each other." You don't compare your relationship to theirs because it's just different. Because of this, you don't find your own relationship lacking.

Just my two cents.

Anne Rainey said...

I don't know. I don't read them. Not that I think there's anything wrong with it, they just hold no appeal for me.

I've even been asked to write one and had to say no. I can't write something that holds no appeal for me, ya know?

Julie Robinson said...

The only one I ever read was quite by accident, as I did not realize it was a m/m. They hold zilch appeal for me. Neither do menages, for that matter. You couldn't have summed up my feelings on the matter any better than when you said: "I'll confess. I like my heroes straight and I want him to find the woman of his dreams."


ccastano said...

This is hard to quantify, isn't it? I notice from the comments it either appeals, or doesn't. I've read m/m, and now written one. I admit that the one I wrote, snuck up on me, possessed me, and was one of the easiest things to write that ever flowed out of me. The loves story touched me, the two men touched me. Did not even expect that, at all.

I think two things I can put a finger on, for me. One, I think it takes strength to admit that you love another man, because it's unconventional, bound to get backlash, and most men who are gay even likely have some internal conflict at least at first. Secondly, it's a relationship I can't be involved in, so that may make it even more appealing somehow. I can only watch from the outside, and not ever be personally invested,because, well, I'm a girl!

I think possibly another aspect is I'm such a sucker for those who are not always accepted, and I have gay friends, I'm highly protective of it. That could be an element as well, as women, our protective nature comes out towards them??

So, the strength of these men appeals to me, being an outsider likely makes it titillating, I feel protective of them, and other than that, I really wish I could define it!

Roxanne Rhoads said...

I have read some M/M but totally not into it, though depending on the story it doesn't stop me from reading it. Like right now I am reading Jenna Black's Morgan series, that has quite a bit of M/M action. It doesn't do it for me but it doesn't turn me off the books either.

Same thing for Tanya Huff's Blood Books, in those Henry is bi but the books never push that too much and I still think Henry is sexy as hell.

I have been feeling the same way wondering what the appeal of M/M for female readers is. I just can't get into a guy that is into other guys. It just seems wasteful to me:-) All that gorgeous male flesh being used with another man. Blah. I like my men straighter than straight wanting only women.

Girls, we have enough competition when it comes to men being turned on by other women I don't want to worry about a guy that's into other guys too.

Julie Robinson said...

I love it, Roxanne! My thoughts exactly!!
It just seems wasteful to me:-) All that gorgeous male flesh being used with another man. Blah. I like my men straighter than straight wanting only women.

Girls, we have enough competition when it comes to men being turned on by other women I don't want to worry about a guy that's into other guys too.

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