Genre Purity

Someone linked me the following post (HERE!) and I was going to respond but I don’t think the author will like my comment so I’ll stick it here. The author was (very gently) complaining about a recent review and wasn’t satisfied that the explanation matched the star rating. Now in this I totally agree because the reviewer didn’t really explain why the book got 3.5 stars as the review was brief and mostly positive. The reviewer did however mention a warning due to some het erotica scenes (masturbation and brief BDSM bondage). Now the author found this to be unnecessary warning since their view of sexuality is more of a continuous spectrum than one or the other.

Now my response to that is – that may be true but m/m romance is not reality. In reality, sexuality may not be so strictly defined but in m/m fiction – readers want the fantasy. Readers love and want deep romantic connections, just between two men without the token chick please. The author wondered if m/m readers really hate all mention of females that much, the answer is actually Yes. In short anyway.

One reason for this is a lot of m/m romance readers came from m/f romance. They’ve read the entire genre and the tropes and the classic themes to death and frankly most are sick of weak, stupid, ineffectual females. The female lead in m/f romances tends to be so stereotypical, so bland, and infuriating that a lot of readers cringe and run whenever a female is introduced in m/m. Even the classic fag hag has some reader hate.

Sure there are any number of authors that write fabulous females but there are many, many more that can’t and readers tend to cringe first, ask questions second. So throwing in random het sex will create some reader backlash. Why is it there? Especially an erotic sex scene in a predominantly m/m erotic romance book. What is being accomplished with this scene? Readers can be more lenient with gratuitous m/m sex since that is the focus, but one het sex scene will come under considerable scrutiny.

Just think of it as if the book was an m/f erotic romance and there was a single m/m sex scene. You think THOSE readers wouldn’t blink and wonder “WTF” this was doing in their book? It’s really no different with m/m readers, except those readers are supposed to be more forgiving and accepting. I’m not sure why but that tends to be the response. It’s ok for m/f to not expect any dick-dick touching but in m/m, the random vagina is ok.

That more than anything is what books lack, the reason why these random chicks and het sex are thrown in. In this particular author’s case, she claims the scenes are needed to show the real evil nature of the villain. My first instinct is to question this. You really need a female erotic masturbation scene to show your villain is evil? You can’t do this any other way without a graphic depiction? If the scene is not meant to titillate, why is it a graphic sex scene? Perhaps I’m wrong and I fully admit I could be as I haven’t read the book but really even questioning this doesn’t make me want to pick it up.

Furthermore when books throw in random het scenes to show bisexuality or other reasons, as a reader I wonder why. All too often these scenes don’t show bisexuality so much as just more sex, this time with a woman. Having a graphic m/f sex scene does not equal bisexuality to me. It just means more sex.

So in short, readers do want pure m/m sex in their m/m erotic romance genre. There are good reasons for it and some not so good reasons. That doesn’t mean every book with a mention of a chick or a vagina is destined to fail, but I’d say – know the audience. Some audiences are more inviting of that and some aren’t. You can’t really blame anyone for their reading preferences. Some like Laurel K Hamilton porn and some like actual well-written work. There’s nothing really wrong with that, even if their sanity could be questioned.

So, to the peanut gallery – agree or disagree?
Do you hate random m/f scenes in your m/m romance or is it ok if making a point?

39 thoughts on “Genre Purity

  1. I completely agree with you. Nothing pisses me off more than to come up on a random m/f or m/f/m scene in my m/m books. If I knew it was in the book I wouldn’t buy it because it’s not what I’m into right now. I firmly believe if a book is being sold as m/m it should clearly state somewhere before clicking buy that there is m/f, or any combination with a female, in the book.

    • I also not a fan of m/f/m or m/f in my m/m romances. I was actually considing buying the book in question until I read somewhere that it wasn’t just a m/m book. Like LILYGCS I want it clearly stated if a book contains m/f, m/f/m or even m/m/m, I hate a sneak menage. As a romantic at heart I really don’t like a third person involved once its clear how the two main characters feel toward each other.

      • That’s another personal preference. Not everyone enjoys multiple romance (menage or more) and some do. Once again warnings! I think without warnings, there’s no reason to complain if some readers disagree. But just my opinion.

    • I wish more publishers had explicit warnings like Loose Id. Samhain’s are humorous (although I prefer Loose Ids) but at least both publishers are honest and upfront about any possible problem. Hell, Loose Id goes kind of overboard in their warnings just so no one can complain they didn’t know.
      Better safe than sorry as a reader!

  2. It’s really a matter of personal taste, isn’t it? Personally, I like my m/m het-free, and that includes any combination involving a woman. Like you said, Kassa, we want the fantasy. On the other hand, there are readers who like variety and that’s cool, too. I also read urban fantasy and would be miffed if I came across a scene or a chapter with spaceships and robots. It’s just like anything else in life, we all have our preferences.
    As authors, we are often told to write what we want, what comes from our inner selves, which is pretty gratifying. But if we concern ourselves at all with our audience, then we have to take into consideration what they will and won’t tolerate. It’s one thing to push your reader out of their comfort zone a bit, and another to drag them kicking and screaming.

    • I totally agree it’s all about personal taste. Some people don’t mind the random het scene in their m/m and some abhor it.
      I think the key is just knowing the audience. If you (as an author) want to include a random het scene, go for it! Just don’t try to market it to the purists or slip it in under their noses. Don’t be surprised if some readers don’t care for it.
      Same with anything else. If it’s a bisexual book, go for it! Write anything you want but it’s just a matter of not trying to make certain readers accept elements they don’t want. Just like some readers won’t read any kind of BDSM at all, some don’t want chicks. I think the key is just being honest if such is included so readers can be knowledgeable about choices.

  3. I wonder if one of the reasons it bothers people is that if they have experience reading the romance genre in general they are used to the books being very clearly categorised and know what they can expect to a large extent. That’s essential since there’s so much romance published, the reader needs a way to filter them to what she likes and doesn’t like. So they come along to this fairly new part of the romance genre and expect that same stratification and don’t always find it.
    So I think labelling something “romance” gives the reader more expectations than simply “it’ll focus on the relationship and have a happy ending.” Publishers have to see that as a price for using the label “romance”, which is of course a marketing tool.
    Of course if it’s not labelled romance then, hey, anything goes and I take my chances by reading it.

    • Interesting. I’m not sure I ever saw it as a romance classification but you could definitely be right.
      Need to think on that one. Thank you for the great comment!

  4. No fly-by va-jay-jay for me, please. It’s one thing if I know it’s there ahead of time because that affords me the choice of reading the book or not. But some random het-sex thrown in for whatever reason…
    Sort of like going a hockey game and in the midst of sticks and pucks, they clear the ice for some figure skating. Even if the figure skating only lasts a few minutes, it’s not what I’m there for. It’s still skating and there’s still ice, sure, but it’s not hockey, right?
    ~Tis *hoping that made sense*

  5. They’re all the same to me.
    I went through a very short phase where I hated “girl cooties” in my m/m romance, but then I got over it. I just like sex and relationships, and it doesn’t really matter who’s involved. Good characters, good romance, good sex = good book.
    So no, a random vagina in a m/m book doesn’t bother me if I feel like it fits the story. In fact, sometimes it’s a fun surprise

  6. I’m a bit schizo on this issue. (Strange for me, I know. ;)) On the one hand I prefer a book to be tagged with m/f so I know ahead of time want to expect and not to be ambushed by a throbbing clit. On the other, I don’t mind it – if the m/f actually works for the story.
    One book along these lines which immediately springs to mind is Lynn Lorenz’s One Good Deed. I thought the m/f scenes in that were actually an important part of the storyline and the development of character.
    To me, the most important word/term in relation to this issue is not m/f, but ‘random’. Completely random acts/scenes/whatevers rarely work no matter whether the story is m/f or m/m.

    • Well very true. Random scenes don’t work anywhere. I think the addition of such “unexpected” events though is necessary to be tagged. Whether the m/f scene in a m/m is fitting or not, some readers will still have an negative reaction if they’re not expecting it.
      I recently read a book that wasn’t tagged with the warning and though the scene was fitting, I just know it’ll get slightly blasted for not saying up front it was put in.
      Someone mentioned romance readers tend to be purists and I think that’s pretty true for the most part. There will always be crazy cookie lovers that are odd!

    • Kris
      Funny you should mention One Good Deed which had several scenes with a prostitute, one full on sex scene and 2 or 3 oral sex scenes. This book was a “free” book on the site and when the winner (who was male) found out about the het sex he refused it and Lynn Lorenz, like the lady she is, offered him one of her M/M books. I never did review the book for the site because no one wanted to read it.
      When I read het I knew what to expect. Similarly, I want to know ahead of time if there’s a va jay jay in an M/M book, even if the author says it’s necessary for the scene to have a female masturbating or giving head. I and many of the readers on the site don’t want to read about it. The book may be wonderful but it still won’t appeal to me if there’s M/f sex in it.

  7. I think I’d have to agree that the key here is “random.”
    I really like the idea of books that are m/m only, and I have several under my belt now, two out there getting their wings on the world. There’s a play and freedom in writing it that I didn’t even know to dream of. I’m not sure what it is, and I try not to analyze it overmuch in case I break the magic.
    However, it makes me sad to think that this is all I ever get to do, and as an artist I resist that idea, I have to admit. I would say that the books I have in mind that would have het romances as subplots still serve something, and it’s actually the main m/m romance. “Random,” yes, is odd in any construction. But I’d hate it to be dismissed unilaterally from the genre just because—the same way I’d hate to see any door closed on the art of story.
    The same “this feels tired” aspect of traditional romance that seems to have driven several of you out of that genre is what sent me out too, but as a writer. I couldn’t seem to find the magic line between “new” but “just the same as everything else/safe and predictable.” For me, the m/m genre is just so open and amazing, like the wild west. I like the openness and the freedom. I like the challenge.
    What I’d hope is that the blurb my publisher and I craft and my first chapter (which is always up for preview, so in my mind counts as a “warning”) sell the promise of the story honestly, and I do work hard at that, because I see it as my job. I believe it’s my responsibility to convey the soul of it so that a reader can tell, by cover, blurb, and sample, what he or she is getting into. Because I’d never expect everybody to like every story I wrote, and I’d assume, especially if I pushed around at the edges of the genre, sometimes I’d push in a direction someone didn’t want to go. But I want to push, because I think that’s where traditional het romance lost me. I remember reading in the early nineties and feeling like every book was a new adventure. I don’t think we reclaim that with too much restriction.
    I’m finding the discussion interesting. I do think of “what makes for a good story for the reader” as I write, trying to make it clean and consistent and accessible, like sliding into chocolate. If any of you are inclined, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the idea of new territory/pushing boundaries that I raised. Is the need to know content more important to you? Does it depend?
    I’m running out of questions, but I’m hungry to keep this going. Will leave it here and hope I’ve sparked something in someone. Because text only is notorious for hinting the wrong tone: I mean no disrespect in any way to a reader who wants NO het and all manner of warnings, even for reasons they can’t readily explain. But as a writer who wants to push edges and still make an open, inviting space for readers, I am interested in any crumbs you pass my way.
    Heidi Cullinan

    • Hi there! Welcome and thank you for commenting, you’ve provided a ton of food for thought.
      I’d have to say that in some ways m/m is just as restrictive as traditional m/f romance. Just in a different way. There is a good solid majority of readers (perhaps silent majority but they are definitely there) that will not allow any m/f into their m/m. They’ve come to this genre running from the “f” and don’t want it. But you will have a contingent that won’t read BDSM or menage or any number of variations that just don’t appeal. So you’ll never produce a book that hits on all cylinders for every reader.
      In some ways there is the expectation that het subplots are not included since it’s a story about two men. In reality gay men don’t exist in a bubble so there’s no end to possibilities to sexuality but in the fictional world, the issues are romanticized a great deal. That doesn’t mean an honest book pushing the boundaries will be ignored but I’d say be careful how many boundaries you push in one book. Readers are willing to go outside their comfort zone but push too much too far and you’ve lost them. It’s one thing to have some het sex because it shows something and another to have multiple scenes and a strong het subplot. If that makes sense.
      I love books that are outside the mold and different from the mass of m/m but if it pushes the boundaries some, it never hurts to throw the warning in. That way I can always wait until I want something challenging and different. Knowing what I’m going to read in a vague sense (horror, romance, traditional, sweet, raunchy, etc) does help me in when to read books that I’m in the mood for. I don’t need an outline of everything up front but just a sense of the book always helps.
      I’d say go for what you want to write, how you want to write it. I never would be one to stifle authors. I depend on them! lol. But I don’t think a mention of some key elements that may or may not bother readers is bad. At least in my opinion.

  8. Personally, I don’t mind so long as the sex scene (any sex scene, actually, whether m/m or m/f or whatever) serves a purpose in the story. If there’s a reason for it being there, then fine. If not, then I skim through it, and that goes for m/m sex too.

    • I agree on both points. Either sex scene needs to have purpose in a romance/book. I’m just saying you wouldn’t likely expect m/f in a m/m or m/m in a m/f. So the shock is not always good.
      Random sex is draining. Sometimes I want to slap them and say “have a conversation about laundry!”

      • No, I wouldn’t expect an m/f sex scene in an m/m book, but it wouldn’t particularly shock me or turn me off, either. [shrug] If there’s a reason for it to be there, then that’s fine.
        LOL! about the laundry conversation. Seriously. 😀

  9. You know what, this is very interesting. Not that I’ve written a lot, and what I have written is pure MM, but I’m very much “I’ll go where the character takes me” type person (even if that makes me sound slightly gaga). What you’ve indicated here, is that IF I ever write a gay novel with random vay-jay-jays (thank you TC Blue!) I’ll be sure not to call it an MM Romance. Because you’re right, it is not an MM Romance. It may well be a romance, but one has to pay attention to the nomenclature used to describe it.

    • Hi there! Thanks for commenting. *noddles* Tagging, tagging, tagging!
      If I’ve learned anything from this discussion it’s to be sure to label the books properly. Include what you want but warn readers so they know. I don’t think its ridiculous to expect a m/f to include only m/f sex scenes so the reverse is also true for m/m. At least in my humble opinion.

    • I’m totally with you. But what I want to know is what do I do with my m/m centered fantasy novel where the het sex is present because those relationships show how stilted traditional sexuality has become and is a metaphor for a choked off society? Even if it isn’t published by my m/m centered publisher, its best marketing would be as an m/m love story. I really am with you, but I worry about what too much limits do to us as artists. And I’d really hate for the m/m genre to get as stilted as het. That would break my heart.
      I haven’t read these books that violate the senses like people seem to be hinting; maybe that’s where I need to start. I’m really struggling with this one, because I see both sides.
      What I like is review sites like this and even Goodreads reviews that help explain that some books are different. My first book is more fantasy than m/m, and some readers have rated it lower for that, and said “this had too much fantasy for me.” I’m really, really glad for that, because I’m hoping someone checking that out who doesn’t like fantasy either doesn’t waste their time, but someone who loves it says, “I’m game!” and goes after it.
      I don’t know. I go round and round and round. Thanks for your blog post on the same, Chris. Still mulling….

      • I’d say if you feel the het scenes are necessary to your book, include them. Just put a warning at the end and say something like “brief m/f sex” or something to the effect. If you feel the scene is necessary and shows an essential element, than don’t bow to readers and just hope they also see it as that.
        I’d say you need to put a warning on there though. A lot of readers can pick up the book and enjoy it knowing their may be a brief scene (I personally don’t throw books with brief m/f if I know about them) but if I don’t know about it sometimes I feel slapped with scene I didn’t particularly want.
        Go with your gut but warnings are never bad. You’re not warning readers to stay away, just to be more open. Same with BDSM warnings. Who knew adding a chick is equivalent to such a controversial issue? hehe.

      • My question would be, do you need the graphicness of the het-sex? In my Florentine novel, one of the characters does have a formalised relationship with a woman, but it is very “and fade to blaaaack” (actually I’m not sure if they get it on at all). The stiltedness of their relationship is shown in the way they interact and they are positioned to marry each other, rather than in the bedroom.
        I don’t think MM is the correct genre for a lot of books published as MM. I am firmly of the belief that a lot of these novels are NOT romance, they are Gay Fiction. I find it sad there is no press for Gay Historical Fiction, rather than Gay Historical Romance. (well you know me and my historicals — but the same applies to every genre Gay Fantasty (not in the porny sense) etc)

        • Well, now, that’s the thing. The het sex isn’t too graphic. The first one is a bit, but it’s more because it’s part of a spell. The second is pretty brief. To be honest, I gloss over it the way m/m sex is traditionally glossed-over in, say, fantasy. You know, those novels you read because the romance is so great, and then you get this little tease of a sex scene and then rush off and write fan fiction because you didn’t get what you wanted? That’s what I do. Some, but NOTHING like the m/m stuff.
          I waffled for over a year on where to send this one. I’m going to try my own publisher (Dreamspinner) first, because the part that’s most sacred to me is the m/m sex. I don’t want to go to a fantasy pub and have them love everything but the buttsex. That was the whole point. Plus I love my publisher. With the heat of a thousand suns. If I can stay at home, I’m staying at home. If not, I’ll cross that bridge.
          You know what, though, I am very, very, very glad for this discussion because what it has done is shift my view on the warnings. DSP doesn’t do them explicitly, but I”m going to work even harder to make sure the blurb and opening chapter give hint enough that people can know. I was thinking too much of my own sensibility as an author; I had forgotten how it felt to be falling into reading for pleasure and escape and *needing* to know that I was safe in a book, and what a pleasure and release it was to not have to work to find that out.
          Very, very glad to have found this blog. I’ll be following and hopefully will keep learning.

          • Hi Amazoniowan
            I was very interested in your comment about working with DSP (which is one of the pubs my site reviews for) because I have asked Elizabeth North about posting warnings either on their site, or in the book blurbs, about het sex in their M/M books, and so far I haven’t seen any. Amber Allure does a fantastic job about content warnings (violence, het sex, menages etc.) and I don’t understand why it would be difficult for other publishers to adopt something similar. I absolutely hate it when I’m reading an M/M book to come upon het sex in the book and many of the readers on my site do as well. Sure, a few M/M readers don’t mind het sex in their books but most of them want no part of it.
            Obviously authors should write what they want, but they should research their audience to make sure that their books will appeal to the target group they are aiming for. If they send their M/M book that contains het sex(no matter how mild) to an M/M publisher they should be prepared for a bit of backlash from the readers of that sub genre.

            • Hi, Jesse. (Wave? Sorry, I’m so bad at who’s what name where!) First off, thanks for posting Special Delivery as a giveaway this week. Always happy for ink.
              I can’t speak for Dreamspinner, but I can speak for why I’ve been hesitant about the labels in the past and why while I acknowledge the need especially after this discussion, I’m still trying to find the way to warn without the tags at the bottom. I actually avoided submitting to publishers who had them. They were jarring to me and felt like spoilers. I also saw them not as help to readers but as some sort of policing that het books don’t get, and it got my back up. I’m realizing now that this was an incorrect assumption, but that’s where I came from. I also have worried that if we keep doing that we feed into ridiculous desires to have all books labeled and age-limited, not for reader’s ease of use but because we are “bad.” Given all that I just said, please note this discussion in particular has given me pause.
              What I can tell you that I do with my blurbs I help craft for DSP and the first chapter is try very hard to make sure I reflect the book the reader is buying. I see that as my job more than the publisher because I know my book best and know what story I was trying to tell. I always blow the blurb draft by my betas, too, and they are blunt about what isn’t right. And I do try to include what might be touchy. In Special Delivery’s blurb, for example, I was firm about including hints that there would be “kinky sex” and hopefully hinted at light bondage, and I made very sure it was clear there would be a threesome. I also rewrote and rewrote the first chapter, trying to find the way to say “this book is going to have high sex content but still be fun and have heart” and the way that worked in the end was to have Sam giving a blow job to a jerk but kind of enjoying it while also feeling bad because his mom would have been disappointed. Now, I didn’t make it clear that there would be menage in the Double Blind blurb, I’m realizing, and the first chapter doesn’t hint at that. So that’s my bad.
              And I had people email me to ask “what kind of menage? what kind of BDSM? does the threesome stay together?” so I get what you’re saying.
              So I’m acknowledging your very fair point. What I’d suggest is to have readers write polite letters to DSP. Not angry ones, but reasoned ones that say, “We would like some warning.” Personally, I’d rather the warnings be on the DSP site but not at Amazon and third parties–this is me again not wanting to have my work feel like it has a parental advisory. But–well, I’m still mulling on this one. Really mulling. I would suggest having people write in. I want to be able to write books that go everywhere. But I want you and others to be able to pass when I go too far. For the record, I would always answer any reader’s questions, and for you, Jesse, I’ll start putting some labels on my own website, but behind a cut so that if someone doesn’t want to be spoiled they don’t have to. (Just give me a few days, please. *g*)
              I think that’s enough babbling from me. Again. I have absolutely enjoyed this discussion. It has been informative and civil. I would hope I can make my readers feel as safe in my books as you have made me feel in this discussion.
              Heidi Cullinan

              • ugh. stupid LJ ate my response so try two. *beats something*
                As one that enjoys warnings let me say that I think they may have started out as some kind of warning about questionable material but I think they’ve evolved quite a bit more. Perhaps at the beginning just including m/m sex was considered racy and thus needed the warning but these days I think it also helps to warn readers about elements they may not be expecting. This is very different from adding to your blurb/warning/excerpt that there will be a bloody murder with a cop and several red herrings.
                Also a big difference between m/f and m/m is that with m/f romance it’s pretty easy to tell from covers and publishers if the content is going to be racy. There you tend to see very explicit covers for erotica and if it’s a menage or bdsm, it tends to be from a different imprint than your average contemporary or historical romance.
                In M/M the covers are all over the place. A graphic bdsm book may have a cover that depicts two fully clothed men or in fact just a house on a cliff. There may be no mention of bdsm in the blurb either, or perhaps not enough to let the reader know it’s a main focus. With a menage sometimes covers don’t have three men or they only include one or sometimes there are three men on a cover of a romance that is only two people. So more and more readers of m/m realize that they can’t simply trust covers and blurbs like perhaps in other genres to help differentiate books. Thus they need more clues from things like warnings. I consider them exactly that – clues to help pick out key elements of the book that blurbs often don’t include.
                If used carefully and only offering those elements that are necessary, then warnings won’t be spoilers and can help readers choose books they’ll like and want to finish.
                At least in my opinion and that’s how I’ve always used them. In fact I’ve been disappointed in DSP several times for having het sex scenes out of the blue whereas at least I know it’s coming from some publishers like Noble, Loose Id, Amber, Samhain.
                So it’s an ongoing thing I think. I don’t think you need parental advisory stickers lol but I do think the clues which are available in other genres are sorely missing in m/m currently so readers need extra help.

                • It’s pertinent to note that when I wrote Hero last year, I literally knew of one place, Ellora’s Cave, where I could sell it. I never dreamt it was a novel, let alone a paperback. I figured it was going to be a novella, but I worried because I didn’t seem to write the kind of heroes they were known for at EC, and I was that clueless as to where else to go. Even Special Delivery was written largely with no genre conceptions except that I was pretty sure I was doing it wrong, because the few books I’d stumbled on or downloaded as trials to me read as straight men fucking each other. I didn’t want to go to those houses, but I didn’t know what else was there. My horizons have widened considerably since then. But I think I’ll always be colored by the fact that I sort of fell here through a rabbit hole. Sometimes I think that gives me a nice fresh perspective. Sometimes it makes me accidentally ignorant.
                  For me the quality of the writing and storytelling is always the most important detail. I can tell by the skill with which an author crafts the first chapter (or fails to craft) if it’s going to be something I want–most of the time. And I sort of dropped the bit where someone else might tromp through eight miles of headhopping and shit development and pacing just to get a sweet cowboy romance or a really hot and heavy vampire in the city gig. And want to make sure there’s no het.
                  Like I told Wave, if you feel strongly about it, I’d suggest writing DSP and asking for that. And also like I told her, I will make my own warnings on my website in the meantime. Because this is a two way street. I am here to tell the stories I need to tell, and I’m going to tell what I need to. But my goal is to sell books and make readers happy. So if this is something I can do to facilitate that, then I’ll do it. Can’t speak for my publisher. But I can speak for me.

                  • I’m just throwing in here since I read Hero last night – I don’t think it should have any warnings. And I do agree if you actually put some on that story, it would give the wrong impression. This is a M/M fantasy romance story. It’s kind of mind breaking, as another poster said, but I don’t think needs warnings.
                    Just my random comment on that.

                    • Oh, so I get all set to post warnings, but not on Hero? 🙂 Double Blind probably should at least warn about the menage, I suppose. Possibly “gratuitous use of poker” as well.
                      I will be very curious to hear your thoughts on Hero. Excited because you’ve promised to be honest. Feedback=growth.

  10. Hi Kassa
    You know what my response is to your post. Love it. I just replied to Lisabet’s post and basically told her that M/M readers don’t want women in sexual situations in M/M books. I’m not an author – he/she is at liberty to write what s/he wants, but I know what I want to read and if I buy an M/M book it’s not to read about het sex.
    As you said, authors should know their audience and if they have het sex in M/M books they should expect them to be rejected by most M/M readers – not all, but most. I don’t hear authors complaining when het readers don’t like M/M sex in traditional heterosexual romances, yet they expect M/M readers to accept het sex in M/M romances!!!!

    • Hi Wave!
      Thanks for commenting. I tend to currently slide towards your focus. I’ll read a het sex scene in a book but that’s not why I prefer to read m/m. And it has to be an essential scene or I’m lost.
      You also hit on my biggest complaint. That somehow we’re supposed to be more accepting of the random chick lol. Um not always sorry no. Well said!

  11. s.a.meade says:

    My first book has a very brief, totally clinical m/f scene in it. Basically, it’s there to show that the narrator’s relationship with his (soon to be ex-) girlfriend is on its last legs. As it was my first m/m novel and I hadn’t really read very widely in the genre, I was surprised that one or two readers expressed mild disappointment with its inclusion. Had I to do it all again, I’d keep the scene but would’ve added a warning.

    None of my subsequent books have m/f scenes because there’s no need for them in the plots.

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