In books that is.
Since December I’ve been slowly getting back into the M/M genre. Very slowly. I’ve been reading much more in other genres and so whenever I pick up a m/m book I’m shocked by the amount of sex. It’s like I forgot how much sex dominates the genre.
Clearly time has done nothing to change the fact that m/m basically is synonymous with erotica romance rather than just gay romance. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing since it sells well and people enjoy it. I love it. If someone’s going to have sex in a book, I’d rather the author show it than fade to black. Generally of course and there are always exceptions.
However my recent forays back into the genre have me feeling like a prude. When reading Amy Lane’s book Gambling Men, I easily fatigued on all the sex. I remember distinctly saying to myself “They’re having sex AGAIN? Why can’t they just have a relationship conversation than go to bed for once.” I fully recognize that this particular book is not a full on sex fest (like oh Sean Michael for example) and there is honestly nothing excessive about the number of sex scenes in comparison with both previous Lane books and others in the genre.
Even saying all of that I got tired of all the moaning, stretching, and cumming.
I chalk this up to reader preference and clearly my tastes are changing, as they’re wont to do. But what seriously struck me while reading books recently is that the sex scenes are fine but they’re not exactly necessary. Authors do a commendable job furthering the plot through the sex scenes but that’s because there are so many that it’s needed. Without that, the sex scenes would be distracting fluff.
This brings me to the questions on both sides.
For authors – are they incorporating sex scenes because the story calls for it (and authors like to write them)? Or are they adding so many because that’s what the genre and readers want/like?
For readers – how much sex is too much sex in an m/m book? Is there such a thing? And would you read the story anyway without the sex?