I have to confess that if someone had told me fifteen to twenty years ago that books would go digital, vampires would remain top sellers and women would fall madly in love with male gay romance, I would have said I think you’re mistaken.
I like being surprised and those three trends have genuinely surprised me, especially the warm embrace women readers have given to male gay/ bi-sexual romance or M/M. The popularity of M/M continues to soar with new devotees joining the ranks everyday.
Who knew that would happen and why did it happen?
I’m going to throw out a few of my thoughts and opinions about the current popularity of M/M romance and I BEG YOU TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS WITH THE REST OF US IN THE COMMENTS BOX.
First, let’s state the obvious women are not the only ones reading M/M. Gay and Bi-sexual men love it too and I strongly suspect a lot of straight men sneak a peek, just because it’s nasty hot willy-spanking stuff.
Because M/M sexuality tends to be frank and to the point. There’s lust, tenderness and romance but it’s male-centric. For the most part it is free of the overwrought tropes used in old style romance novels, which for many readers translates into variety. An M/M storyline can break free of a predictable path and take the reader somewhere else.
Second: M/M romance is inherently Heroic (pun fully intended!) The lovers involved usually take great risks by simply daring to approach a desired partner. Threat of punishment, rejection or exposure is often present. That amount of sexual tension delivers the emotional drama we romance readers crave! When love is declared taboo, risks are taken, forbidden realms explored and hearts are put in harm’s way—you get great story telling that not only turns readers on, it may also leave them weeping in sympathy.
Third: We learn about our hidden selves by looking beyond ourselves. Compassion is a beautiful teacher. M/M romance acts as a mirror to the slippery forbidden realms of female sexuality. M/M often reflects a raw sexuality and makes no apology for pursuing partners who are prized purely because they thrill the heart or deliver immense physical pleasure. Female fans of M/M love seeing male characters brought to their knees, made vulnerable and their loving sides exposed. It’s a paradox but it’s often true that we never see ourselves more clearly than when we are looking at someone else and feeling compassion for them.
Forth: From a female POV men are often the mysterious other country. A million bad jokes have been made about the differences between Venus and Mars but deep down I think most women remain curious about what male sexuality would look like, if women weren’t looking. M/M romance opens that door and allows women a peek into a forbidden world that in the end may look strangely familiar. Love is love and after all is said and done, male or female, it’s still a human heart.
What do you think of M/M romance? Are you a reader, an author or even a critic of M/M, please share your opinion. I love getting comments and I will try to respond to any or all of them with a detailed answer.
Also some lucky, randomly-chosen commenter is going to get a surprise ebook emailed to them, so leave a email addy, please!