December 1, 2013

Late to the Party? A Male/Male Confession

Sure, we know it's Australia *now.* But once upon a time, it was Terra Incognita.
Sure, we know it’s Australia *now.* But once upon a time, it was Terra Incognita.

By Alexa Day

Today we at Lady Smut are kicking off our Male/Male Theme Week to celebrate the release of C. Margery Kempe’s Man City: Martin. The trouble is that I haven’t really read any male/male romance. Near-complete ignorance of a subject does not typically prevent me from writing about it, but today I’ve decided to approach things with a touch of discretion.

The truth is that I don’t really have a reason for neglecting male/male books. Sure, there are the deadlines hovering over me like a little raincloud that produces everything but words. I haven’t really read as much of anything as I’d like lately. That’s more of an excuse than a reason, though, and it’s a shameful excuse at that.

Heaven knows there are whole genres that I consciously avoid. The picket-fence-and-pregnancy happy endings of so many sweet romances do nothing for me. Innocent heroines are a real turn-off for me, too. And while I’m really excited about the newer crowd of urban romances, I don’t feel any desire to read one of them myself. But male/male isn’t just a rapidly growing subgenre of erotic romance any more. It’s everywhere romance is, except possibly inspirationals. (In fairness, though, there aren’t even Catholics in inspirationals.) If I had applied myself, I’d probably have found many a male/male romance to check all my bow-chicka-boxes.

I’m not all that concerned about the absence of women from the driving action of the typical male/male story. I spent a lot of my early days in romance identifying with characters who didn’t look like me, only to find that they were more like me than I gave them credit for. Even if that never happens, there’s something exciting, something thoroughly engrossing about the experience of reading about people who are altogether unlike me.

At any rate, Martin from the latest of the Man City books sounds like exactly the sort of person I identify with. I’ve been the single person invited to join good friends during the Merry Season. After that our paths diverge … but it sounds like Martin’s hot friends, Scott and James, are going to make his spirits bright in exactly the way I like to hear about. There’s a story I can get behind. And next to. And in front of. I might be late to the world of male/male romance, but Terra Incognita looks pretty good from here!

Stick with Lady Smut, neighbors. We’ll show you all sorts of things.

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  • Post authorC. Margery Kempe

    Heh, I know a good place to introduce you to this brave new world — a review copy of MAN CITY!

    Reply to C. Margery Kempe
    • Post authorAlexa Day

      Sweet! I know that odd-elf-out at Christmastime feeling all too well, so I’m curious to see what sexiness awaits Martin. 🙂 And I’m really excited to see everything m/m has to offer.

      Reply to Alexa Day
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    What I appreciate about m/m romance or fan/slash fiction is that it still gets that forbidden no-we-can’t kind of tension that so few contemporary romances can lay claim to anymore…Meanwhile, my friend says that f/f slash fiction doesn’t really have that forbidden feeling either. Hmmmmm. Do you think that might have anything to do with why m/m is so much more popular than f/f?

    Reply to Madeline Iva
    • Post authorAlexa Day

      Now that is an interesting question! And another reason to start with m/m — I just loooooove the forbidden tension. 🙂

      My thinking — from my desk at the center of The Land of Ignorance — is that the placeholder effect is why f/f is not as popular. I hope I’m wrong about that; I’d hate to think that we’re missing out on good stories because we hetero women can’t immerse ourselves in the characters.

      Reply to Alexa Day
  • Post authorElizabeth Shore

    I like m/m but have never stepped back to think about WHY. Perhaps it is indeed the forbidden, or at least the perception of forbidden that doesn’t seem to resonate (at least for me) in f/f. In any case, m/m is an enjoyable genre and Man City: Martin a great way to indulge in it.

    Reply to Elizabeth Shore
    • Post authorAlexa Day

      I’m an analysis addict, I guess; the “why” of things is somewhat seductive to me. The “why” also has a way of guiding subsequent purchases for me, so win-win!

      I can’t wait to meet Martin!

      Reply to Alexa Day
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