Today B takes over and tells us why she loves to read m/m romances…
When I was first asked to consider writing an article about this topic, I thought it would be fairly easy to do. I’ve since decided that’s not the case. M/m fiction is hot, sure. And can be sweet, too. But so is a lot of hot romance or erotica. Is it that sex between two men is still considered taboo by some, and therefore a guilty pleasure? Possibly, except that I don’t feel even a twinge of guilt when reading it. Most of the m/m authors I’ve read are women, so it’s not about a difference in the gender perspective of the author, either. And so on, and so on…
So, what is it about m/m fiction that makes my toes wiggle? My journey towards m/m fiction began with several ménage stories, each involving one woman and two men. Guess which parts were my favorites? Yep. The ones that involved just the men together. Once I figured that out, it didn’t take me long to delve into m/m romance.
So, that leaves me with the idea that it’s the love between men that’s so appealing. And I think maybe that’s because it has nothing to do with me at all. In any story with a female narrator or main character, I tend to view the happenings of the novel through her eyes. Her experiences, at least partly, become mine within the context of the story. I’ve read many wonderful books that have made stepping into the heroine’s shoes for a while an absolute delight: brilliant novels with intelligent, strong leading women, engaging plots that have kept me turning pages far past any reasonable bedtime, and delicious intimacy that demanded a few rereads, at least. What a wonderful escape they can be!
But, with m/m fiction, more specifically, erotica, it’s easy to just watch the story play out, and hurt and hope for the men involved as a spectator. I cheer for them from the sidelines, am horrified and angered on their behalf when things go badly, and could happily imagine buying them a drink (or four) and listen to anything they wanted to tell me for hours on end. And if they’re content when the novel is done, then I’m generally ecstatic as a reader.
M/m eroticism, at least in the books I’ve read, also tends to be very unguarded and deliberate. Seduction seems to be more internalized, a common device being one partner making the other aware of his previously unacknowledged need, then waiting until that need explodes into unreserved taking in relatively short order. Emotions tend to be expressed with more efficiency, if not a more basic disclosure of the heart, in general. Even if the underlying sentiment is unbearably sweet, the language is most often going to be raw enough to blister. And isn’t that bunches of fun?!
Of course, all these are opinions based on my singular experiences as an observer. I’m sure that’s part of it, too. It’s not a huge leap from observation to voyeurism, after all, and curiosity is admittedly part of the attraction.
Whatever the reasons, I’ll just continue to wish all the boys well and a truly happy ending. And if they make me squirm a little along the way, I can live with that just fine.