Whole Lotta Screwin’ Going’ On
In an earlier post I talked about the section on Ellora’s Cave’s website called EC for men. I’m intrigued by it for a few reasons. The target reader is primarily men, but all the authors seem to be women. And assuming that’s the case, do women capture what men really want? Why aren’t men writing these stories as well? Is EC for Men finding an audience?
Ellora’s Cave’s description of this line says it’s “stories written specifically for our male readers. Although many women enjoy them too! The stories are shorter, focus more on the sex than the “relationship”, are aimed at male sexual fantasies. More of what men want or need from women—sex, love, acceptance, admiration, dirty talk; less of what they don’t need (judgment, drama, expectation of anticipating woman’s needs).
Interesting, right? I haven’t seen another line try this approach and I applaud EC for giving it a go. Perhaps there are underserved readers out there who’d embrace this line. In any case, I decided to give it a spin for myself so I ordered and read four of the stories.
Let me say right off that I refer to them as “stories” because they are certainly in no way novels or even novellas. The EC for Men description says the stories are short, 7,000 to 30,000 words, but all four of the ones I read were most definitely in the 7,000 word count range. They’re also not romances. EC says the stories focus “more” on the sex than the relationship. Well, in all honesty, the ones I read focused only on the sex and zero on the relationship. There was a whole lotta screwin’ going’ on.
An interesting discovery in these books is that they are 100% written from the man’s POV. There’s nary a female POV to be had, which is very different from “traditional” erotic romance whose primary target audience is women. Most of the POV is from the heroine, but we definitely want, and get, the male viewpoint sprinkled throughout the story. Apparently EC for Men readers prefer being able to deduce for themselves what the girl might be thinking rather than having the author give us her take on things.
Overall I thought the stories were well written and accomplished the goal of giving straight males their fantasies. Uninhibited women without relationship expectations, without drama – without pubic hair! – are all the rage at EC for men. One of the stories actually had the woman demand that her guy lie on his back on the bed so that she can “do all the work.” Several of the stories also contain female/female scenarios.
I admire publishers who brave new territory and try different venues, and I tip my hat to Ellora’s Cave for embarking on EC for Men. That said, the line launched nearly a year ago and there are, to date, only fourteen available stories. I’m wondering if EC for Men is a new frontier that’s failing to find a home.
I’d love to know what readers think.
Until next time,