Thursday, June 07, 2007

Am I a prude?

I cringe when I ask myself that question.
Why does it come up and why would I post it here?
It has everything to do with the genre I like to read: Romance.
Lately, there's been a noticeable increase in M/M romance stories and I'm trying to get over my trepidation and hesitancy in reading them.

I've read, M/F/M stories and if they're done right, are quite enjoyable. One author that comes to mind is Lauren Dane - Triad and Tri-Mates ... two stories in her two different series. Another is Emma Holly in Stange Attractions. Evenutually the M/F/M stories have elements of M/M, but they always have the female around in the background, keeping me feeling "safe" .
So, does the fact that I am having a hard time shelling out money to read an M/M make me a prude?
Lynn Cash writes fun and saucy romance but writes M/M as Cash Cole.
More and more authors are doing it and I'm not reading them, yet I adore a lot of the authors that are expanding in this arena.
I have to ask, "Why write them?"
I like romance. I enjoy the romantica genre although, not so much pure erotica - that bores me.

What does M/M have to offer female readers? What's the lure, the draw, the point?
Anyone want to weigh in with their thoughts?
You also might be wondering what prompted this post .
I was on Fictionwise and I read the excerpt on this story. It ... intrigued me. Fun concept.
The story piqued my interest until I got to the point where I realized that it was M/M .. yet the excerpt is .... hot, titillating and it made me squirm a bit.
Do you read to squirm or sigh? Or is both the goal?

Heck, what am I even asking now? Beats me. I'm discombobulated after re-reading the excerpt.

I understand that this also is a matter of personal choice, but sheesh people! There is a ton of this being written and published lately. By women! When did the collective decision get made to do this in, what feels like, a flood? Is this a fad? Something whose time has come? Has the writing been on the wall for awhile and I missed it?

*shakes head*
I'll go back to listining to Save A Prayer For Me by Duran Duran - maybe it'll clear my head.

And I'll wait for someone to volunteer to give me their perspective on this.
Meanwhile, I'll share this cute little bit I found since it's Thursday and it's CSI night. *grin*


Mailyn said...

Tons of women find M/M sex erotic. I am one that finds it hella hot.

In Japan the manga industry is huge [not for kids only like in the US] so there are mangas for everyone. Well, there is a very large market of yaoi stories [M/M] and they are written/drawn for women by women. I'm sure gay men read it to but the target audience is women.

It depends on the culture. I do find that the US as a whole isn't as open minded as say Asia or Europe when it comes to a lot of things, especially sex. So it isn't just you. I know more European and Asian women that also enjoy M/M sex but not too many here in the US.

I personally love it and say give it a try! You won't know until you've read one. ^__^

Brandy said...

I'm probably a bigger prude than you are. I just don't get the popularity of M/M romantica. Because, I too have read recently that the popularity of this genre is with women readers. What I'm trying to say is, it's not my cuppa, but to each there own.

eMMa said...

Do men read romance books? Are these books explicit? Or like the old mills and boon books my grandmother used to read?

Sorry for the ignorance. The last book I read was the last Harry Potter book, over a year ago.

Michele said...

Mailyn! Thanks for sharing your opinion. Manga - isn't that like graphic art? Which means, if they write M/M stories, the is drawn and leaving nothing to the imagination?
Oh My!
I can see why that might be popular. Certainly you've gotten my radar spinning with that thought.
I'd say the Japanese, in general, have a totally different take on all things sensual. They always have. Amazing that they've taken it along the path of cartoons... manga..whateva!
Now I have to ask ... Can you recommend a book - accessable in the US - there I might give it a spin?
I AM curious. :-)

Hi, Brandy! You HAVE to visit my MySpace page and check out my blog- two of my favorite authors gave AWESOME responses to this post- I am THRILLED that they took the time to really explore the M/M issue.
It could be my 'cuppa' if written well, and like Lauren said, she doesn't want it to read like a "woman in a man suit".

Thanks for commenting, Brandy!


LOL, Emma! Yes, Men DO read romance AND write it too. There's a bit more of that happening ...not a deluge or anything, and yet ....

And, NO! they are NOTHING like what your grandmother used to read. If she had had curly hair, it would have straightened out in shock at some of the explicitness out there.

Don't worry about the 'ignorance' part - sheesh- romance isn't for everyone. It's just that now there is quite a varied set of writing out there that explores BDSM, Menages, M/F/M and all sorts of things, M/M being the latest "HOT" topic to focus writing on lately.

Can you see your grandmother reading BDSM romance? *gg*
Puts a different spin on the term,
"bodice ripper", doesn't it?

Thanks for sharing.
Oh! BTW?
I've never even read a Harry Potter book myself -seen the movies, but that doesn't count.

So, I don't think "ignorance" is the issue truly - it's all about what you like. Right?

Anonymous said...

i've read a couple of emma holly's books. good stuff. ain't nothing wrong with it.

Mailyn said...

Well do you want a manga? [yes with graphics] or a book? There are lots of free [translated] yaoi manga online and I could point you in the right direction. Let me say that the focus is always on the romantic aspect just like a regular M/F love.

Michele said...

Hi Kate!
Nope, absolutely nothing wrong with Emma's writing. I've enjoyed everything I've read of hers.
Great that you are a fan too!

Mailyn ... Yes! to both.. but aren't the graphics in a book format anyway? Just read from back to front rather than front to back, right?

So, Um, yeah, I would need a translated Manga, *grin* .. otherwise I'd be "lost in translation" LOL...good movie, that.

Sooo, it sounds like you may have a recommend for me?
I'm open.
Thanks Mailyn!

Kristen Painter said...

I don't read M/M and have no plans to. It completely and utterly squicks me out. Ugh.

There are too many other books I can spend money on!

Anonymous said...

The easy answer to your question about why authors are turning to this genre: these days, most of the M/M erotica books far outsell most of the new hetero erotica books, so obviously customers are demanding it. Just the other day one publisher (I think it was Amber Quill Press) announced they created an entire imprint and website devoted to gay/lesbian material since it was the number one request on their customer survey of what the readers wanted to buy. Plus, many authors who write erotica have grown bored with writing the "same old" sex scenes and needed a challenge. I read one of M. L. Rhodes's M/M erotica books (Falling) when I saw it had reached the #1 best seller in gay fiction list at Amazon. I wasn't disappointed, probably one of the best books I've read in a long time, filled with emotions and a detailed storyline and of course two hot guys. LOL But it truly does come back to the "comfort level" of the individual reader...if a reader isn't into the M/M thing or the F/F thing that's their choice and there's nothing wrong with that in the least.

Michele said...

Hi, Kristen!
You are so right about all the books out there ... All I have to do is pick up the latest issue of RT Magazine to see that.
Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Hey there, Anonymous!
Thank you for taking the time to write such a indepth response. I enjoyed reading your POV and you let me know some things I had no idea about.
That's the fun thing about blogging..I learn so much from people and angles I wouldn't have access to otherwise.
Sounds like M.L. Rhodes might be a great one to read afterall.
I mean, the story line sure sounded strong ... your comment backs up that the writer knows their stuff ... just a bit more spice attached.

Have to say, you cracked me up with the line:
"many authors who write erotica have grown bored with writing the "same old" sex scenes and needed a challenge."

I guess it would be a challenge. HOW can a female get into the head of a man who loves other men? We don't love/desire the same way, do we?
What a great question .....
with no answer. LOL

Thanks again for stopping by, Anonymous!