CAN STRAIGHTS WRITE GAY? by Adele Dubois
As a straight, long-time married woman, I confess I’ve never had a yen to read male/male erotic romances, nor the inclination to write them. Maybe that’s because I grew up around the theatre—in a world that included my parents’ gay male friends and protégés. In my twenties, I lived in a gay community in the city, and later owned a business with a large gay clientele. Our circle was passionate about the theatre, books and art and we talked endlessly about these interests. As adults, we chatted and joked about sex too, but rarely exchanged the intimate details of our personal lives. I dated my men and they dated theirs, and that was that.
To this day, I cannot form gay male characters in my head without conjuring real images of old friends and acquaintances. Creating male/male erotic stories would be like trying to imagine my brothers naked. No can do.
When I accepted the challenge to write lesbian vampire erotic fiction for the upcoming GIRLS WHO BITE anthology, a different set of issues emerged. What did I know about the lesbian lifestyle? Only what I’d read or imagined. While I’ve had a great deal of contact with gay men, I’ve had little contact with gay women. What qualified me to write a lesbian tale? Could I create a convincing story? Should straights write gay?
As I plotted “The Crystal Altar” I discovered the answers. Apart from the sex scene choreography, story construction remained the same. In fiction, richly detailed characters convey the emotions known to all people. Everyone on earth has the need for connection. It’s the universal experience that binds us.
Once I was no longer intimidated by the same sex challenge, the writing flowed. “The Crystal Altar” short story, and my protagonists Morgan and Rosa, sprang to life. Their labels fell away. My heroines became two people with the same problems everyone in love faces. They also just happen to encounter vampires while resolving their relationship issues. Their fight for survival ultimately delivers their Happily Ever After.
Writing “The Crystal Altar” was, by far, the most fun I’ve had writing erotic romance. Who knew? I hope that men and women, gay and straight, will be open to reading the GIRLS WHO BITE anthology, edited by Delilah Devlin for Cleis Press. The book releases September 13, 2011. This contributor sure had a blast with her story. Next challenge, lesbian shapeshifters!
Okay, so here’s my question–primarily for straight women, but I’d like to hear from everyone. Will girl on girl erotic romance find a supportive mainstream audience like the male/male market has? Publishers are watching the trends and waiting for reader response. What do you say? Be honest. There is no right or wrong answer.
The person who provides the response that stikes my fancy will win a FREE download of my contemporary erotic romance REV ME TWICE. An excerpt of the book can be found at www.adeledubois.com/
Thanks for reading and playing!
An ancient crystalline cavern becomes the setting for a most unusual birthday party…
29 thoughts on “CAN STRAIGHTS WRITE GAY? by Adele Dubois”
Crud! I had a really long response typed out and then I accidentally hit the backspace! Ugh!
Ok, here is the summary. Yes, I think girl on girl can go mainstream. I would have never thought that I would enjoy man on man stories but I do. My first man on man story was Dangerous Boys and their Toy. Yes, it’s a menage but the story between the men is really good. When I read Babysitting the Baumgartners I was surprised how good the story was. Yes, another menage but I really liked the story. I am looking forward to reading Girls Who Bite. It sounds like a hoot. I would love the chance to read Rev Me Twice. Thanks for the opportunity.
Jen–I think GIRLS WHO BITE is going to be tremendously fun to read. Thanks for your enthusiasm. You said, “I never thought I would enjoy man on man stories, but I do.” Maybe women will embrace girl on girl fiction the same way. I know I had fun writing mine.
Thanks for visiting and posting.
I loved Dangerous Boys and their Toy and I’ve read several of The Baumgartners and loved that series!!
i think that as long as it is a well written story it will be just like any other book and be loved by the public. as with any other book if it is not well written then it will not go over well and the book will not be a hit. this doesn’t mean that the whole genre is a flop, in fact i think it will be no different than any other erotic romance line.
Tammy–I agree with you. It’s always about the quality of the writing. Whether or not straight women will embrace the F/F subgenre remains to be seen, but I hope they will. It’s fun!
Thanks for stopping by to play!
As a straight woman my first exposure to same sex romances was Wolf Tales by Kate Douglas, I have known and loved many gay friends over the years but never thought I would find reading the stories would be sexy for me but boy was I ever wrong. I tend to like bi-sexuality in stories the best and the only explanation I have for that is that it is all about the feeling and love for me. In those stories as with Kate’s is that it is all about falling in love with a person not the sex. I love that authors who write in this genre tend not to have a filter and pre-conceived notions about what is right or wrong for every human on the planet.
Nicole–You said, “I tend to like bi-sexuality in stories.” Me too! That’s the reason I offered REV ME TWICE as a prize for GIRLS WHO BITE paticipants. I like to write and read about bi-couples. The subgenre is fun for me as both an author and reader. The F/F subgenre is just emerging and I hope readers embrace it the way they have M/M, though it might take time.
Thanks for joining the discussion!
Yes and to answer the question,lol I guess I really didn’t! As long as there is love and strong emotions in the erotica I think the f/f market will open up as the m/m. I dont want to pigeon hole male authors but these f/f stories I think need to be written by females, they need to have the “meat” in the story, and be hearty with the emotion. They can’t be just some “hot female” action, you know what I mean?
From my point of view women want love and romance… and hot sex!
I never thought the m/m stuff would get me going but it does! It has a raw male honesty and deep emotional feel to it. As long as the f/f stories have that as well I’ll be on board.
I think the answer to your question is yes. F/F will find it’s notch in the market. I am a Marketing Director for a e publishing company and I and my owner has been seeing a spike on f/f books.
I am also bi-sexual. I didn’t know this until a few years ago. I love my men however when I would read m/m and or f/f I found it erotic as hell. I also got sexually turned on by reading f/f erotic.
As far as can straights write gay, I say yes they can. m/m & f/f romance are the same as straight romance except the partner is same sex. We go through the same emotions, feelings attractions as straight couples. Partners play head games in same sex relationships as they do in straight. I think some people think of gay relationships like there alien to this world. We love just as wel and passionately as straight couples do. So I think any straight author can write gay erotic & romance as long as they use there experiences on how they feel when they felt the attraction the chase the sparks and than the lovemaking with the emotion & feelings. This is just my opinion.
Teresa–“A spike on F/F books”. Music to my ears! I think the GIRLS WHO BITE anthology is going to be huge. Perhaps readers will look for more girl on girl and bi-couples stories from the authors. We’ll have to see.
I appreciate you stopping by to share your perspective!
I have to agree with the others about straights writing gay. I’ve read a lot of M/M and F/F, and as long as there is a great story with it and lots of emotion I think it definitely could go mainstream. Can’t wait for the Anthology to come out, it looks great!! Congrats.
Rachel–We’re definitely on the same page. Thanks for sharing your view. I certainly hope F/F goes mainstream. The GIRLS WHO BITE anthology is bound to break down barriers.
I also feel most females (as long as they aren’t close minded) can appreciate the beauty of the female form. Sensuality sometimes get stifled in females the same as emotions get stifled in males.
But we devour erotica because it’s still there that deep seeded sensuality is part of us and we recognize the beauty and power of other women no matter your sexual preference. We are lush, curvy, and sexual no matter our shape or size what’s not to love?
Nicole–I totally agree with you on that. Women are beautiful, and I’m surprised by the number of straight women who pretend not to notice, or deny that part of themselves. I am straight and have been monogomous for 25 years. Yet I’m not afraid to write F/F or bi-curious stories or read them. Maybe others will follow suit and enjoy the freedom of reading an emerging subgenre. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
I think it will be interesting to see how ff stories would do with the male readership. I can’t wait to see the guidelines for EC For Men. I think guys might enjoy m/f/f (more if the f/f characters were into them in the same way m/f/m works).
Paisley–I have a feeling men will love GIRLS WHO BITE. I agree that EC for Men will tap into the m/f/f fantasy. Guess I’d better get to work! “)
Adele, what a provocative post. I have to say, as a straight woman in a committed relationship, I get what you’re trying to say. Recently, I tried my hand at lesbian erotic romance. I wanted to try something new and the characters just grasped me and demanded I finish their story. Fortunately I did, because it was immediately snapped up by MuseItHot Publishing!
I enjoy reading lesbian fiction, if the story is good. I wouldn’t say it’s my main genre to read, but with any good tale, I need it to be engaging and emotionally accessible. I’ve had a problem reading lesbian sex scenes just for the sake of cheap titillation. But sex for no good reason in a book is never good. It’s not restricted to any genre.
Perhaps it’s important to note that I am open-minded about such things. I’m not a homophobe in any way and it’s one of my pet peeves when I meet someone who isn’t as accepting as I am. But unfortunately, I know those people are out there. And I’m afraid they won’t like it.
Interesting fact: recent studies have shown that once 10% of the population vocally likes something, the rest (or majority of) the population will follow suit. Hop on the bandwagon so to speak.
Best of luck with the book, Adele! And I have to say, this is one of the most gorgeous websites I have ever seen. I need to step up my own website! lol
I am trying to wrap my brain around that 10% statistic … crazy
I am thinking of that statistic using my own little world to base the theory.
OK say, I have ten friends one friends comes to me and recommends a book. Am I going to read it?
Yes I most likely would.
But I can name scenario after scenario where that answer will change
but wow this is the kinda crazy stuff that gets stuck in my brain!!!
Nicole–That’s what’s so great about discussion!
I like your example, since I can relate to it. I almost always read books recommended by friends. “)
L.K.–I’m so glad you hear you ‘get’ me. That 10% statistic you provided is fascinating. While there might be some resistance at first to F/F fiction, that is bound to change. There was no market for paranormal romance at one time, and then its popularity exploded.
Best of luck with your writing, and thanks for your good wishes. I hope you enjoy GIRLS WHO BITE!
well knowing alot of gays and living next door to 2 of the sweetest guys in the world and there friend who visit i say put you mind on some one in past that you did not get long with or just talk to some gays and ask them what you think on books
some can be ride but most are great
Desiree–Thanks so much for visiting and posting! I hope you enjoy GIRLS WHO BITE!
Many thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat and play. It’s been a lot of fun talking with you. I hope you’ll visit the GIRLS WHO BITE website often.
The winner of REV ME TWICE is Nicole!
Nicole, please contact me via the Contact link on my website at http://www.adeledubois.com/ to arrange for your prize. Also, if you’d like a Kindlegraph for the book, you can request an autograph through Amazon.
Thanks Adele, I also really enjoyed chatting with you and think I have met another kindred spirit, I am also pretty sure you have a new fan!
I will be sure to keep up with your work and blogs.
I think they are wonderful!!!! looking forward to the book!
Ella–You say you enjoy F/F stories? Yay! I hope you enjoy GIRLS WHO BITE as much as we enjoyed writing the stories. Thanks so much for visiting.
Readers–Since the conversation has continued, I’ll offer an extra free copy of my ebook REV ME TWICE in September to one commenter. Check back for the contest details posted on the GIRLS WHO BITE website.
After writing m/m, f/f and every combination under the sun, I decided I was “human”. Sexuality is humanity. The ways we act on our sexuality is the same as how we act out our appetites. I started out writing a romantic m/f love story with a fetish. I had an editor request a fem/dom story. I went yuck but I gave it a shot. Eventually I wrote and edited four different magazines. Manhandled Males which I became Victor and wrote all m/m material. I got more fan mail from the guys than I ever got from my favorite choice. I did Just Us Girls who were all ladies on ladies. There is a big market there. The men love to see women with or without a man in the picture. I also did Rose and Thorn which was a romantic m/f. Then I did Men Under Control which was the fem/dom. Between writing for all the mags, I was reading quite a few stories every month to publish in the mag and looking at a bit of artwork to go with the stories.
With several male friends reading for believability, I learned that I could draw from any thought or feeling that I was not afraid of myself and develop a good character with aspects that worked for the story.
Since I did this for about eight years and always had a mag going out each month in one combination or another, I am not much of the reader of the stories anymore. Also, I have more fun writing them than reading them.
Can a straight person write gay… oh, yes! What a straight person learns about herself is worth the attempt.
Mary–Congratulations on your success! I agree with you that writing erotic stories is fun, but I hope you’ll make an exception about reading them with GIRLS WHO BITE. Thanks so much for stopping by to share your experience!
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