Fantasy versus Reality – The Condom.
Yes, yes I went there. This is an interesting debate that makes the rounds every few months and opinions change frequently within those few months.
In the m/m romance (which almost universally means m/m erotic romance) land there is always a ton of talk about condoms. What’s funny is that the condom debate in m/f romance sometimes happens but most readers aren’t as picky as m/m readers seem to be.
So what about it?
Some readers seem to draw the line at fantasy versus reality when it comes to condoms and almost always insist that condoms be used. It’s safety and in this day and age of safe sex slogans, it’s also somewhat looked upon as a responsibility.
In fact condom usage is so prevalent in m/m romance books that when a condom ISNT used is when I take notice. Most of the time I take for granted the condom and lube supplies (with the ubiquitous white tea towel) and I almost don’t even notice. Every gay man seems to have a packet of lube and a condom they carry around for those needed occasions and it’s a fact.
But who cares when it’s fiction?
There are those that say who cares! It’s FICTION! Use the condom or don’t but make it hot and sometimes bareback is just hot. And really, very few m/m romance books are depicting gay men in reality. Not to knock authors but of course their men are going to be hot, gorgeous, and packing a serious bulge. So if as readers we’re going to accept the fantasy of the story to begin with, is arguing about the use of a small detail like condoms silly?
What’s even more interesting is that the condom debate directly affects books. Authors feel obligated to include condoms even when I think they’d otherwise not. For example when reading Duty & Devotion, this monogamous couple of over a year who have shared just about everything – including swallowing hundreds and hundreds of times – actually uses condoms when they finally have anal sex? At that point I thought the condom use was over the top but if the author had –dared- not to add the condom, I’d bet readers would have commented. I’ve heard similar stories from authors that although it’s fiction, they dare not mess with the condom always rule.
So what do you think readers, writers, and peanut gallery.
Condoms always, sometimes, never?