Sunday Small Talk

There is nothing really new here other than I did make strives on my SF story but I don’t like my chances of finishing it by deadline. At least at the end I’ll have something for a future market.

So instead today I thought I’d talk a bit about the erotic aspects of my stories. My last two stories (Corpse Powder and More Than His Scars (which has been sent to DSP for consideration for the Love Wins anthology)) have zero sex in them and that was a conscious decision.

I was reminded of it yesterday when another m/m author switched from romance/erotica to YA because she felt neither romance nor erotica were her strong suit. I feel that way myself. Neither of the above mentioned stories are particularly romantic. Several others I know who DO feel comfortable with the romance feel either less comfortable with the hard core sex scenes, or, like me are just plain bored with writing them.

That is seriously the case with me. I’m just plain tired of writing sex. I don’t feel uncomfortable with it but in many cases I’m bored with it and that goes for reading it. I find myself skimming those sections lately while reading novels in the genre. It might be a hot scene but to me it’s just meh, let me get back to the mystery/demon hunting/alien fighting whatever of the plot.

So seeing several far better known authors than me were also tired of writing the sex scenes, I got to thinking. I did even more thinking after animazement where I saw several readers eyes glaze over when we talked about the plot or another really relating to the LGBT community but spark like fire when we mentioned ‘oh by the way, lots of m/m sex.’ The two warring thoughts I had were 1. if I take out the sex I might lose readers. 2. I am uncomfortable with people reading merely because they think the m/m sex is ‘pretty’ or ‘hot’ (and I could go on here because I’ve seen tons of very unkindly thoughts from so parts of fan fic where that the sex is all that mattered but I don’t want to offend too many people.) I have to say I’m beyond uncomfortable with the idea that the only reason people are buying the books for the sex rather than any interest in the concerns of the LGBT community. It makes me wonder if I’m actually doing something that could be somehow detrimental (I tend to overthink)

So I decided to play a bit with my fiction. Corpse Powder could have had sex scenes. Well if I wanted it not to be in the anthology because it was too freaking long. It ended up novella length and needed cut. There was no way to get it in without cutting more. I decided to do the fade to black instead. I think it works. Time will tell if readers agree.

I didn’t use sex in More Than His Scars because it was a story in my Kept Tears universe and Aaron is dealing with the anniversary of the day he lost his arm in the war. He’s in a bad head space and Rhys (and Corrine) are trying to get him back on his feet. There’s a hint at the end that he and Rhys will have a romantic night but that wasn’t what the story was about. I felt sex would have been distracting, maybe even disrespectful to actual veterans, suggesting a good fuck will take your mind off your disabilities. So I left it out on purpose.

As for Blood Red Roulette which I’m retooling does have some sex but the story is definitely not really a romance. There’s a romantic subplot and some awkward first time sex but I’m trying to take a step toward the non-romance lines that are thankfully cropping up because I’d much rather read those genres personally.

Same for Behind Blue Eyes. I know there will be some erotic moments but they’ll be shorter in spite of this being about a man being sold as sex slave. It’s more about the ugliness of that (as opposed to the BDSM world where someone willingly submits, this is not about that at all!)

I’m not entirely turning my back on the romance side though. I am trying to find time to work in a contemporary romance as I was challenged by the ladies a animazement to at least stretch and try it. I swear I had started it but I cant find any record of it. I’m boggled by that!

As for the SF short I’m working on, I’m not sure where to work sex into it! I did want one scene or at least a make out scene but it’s turning into flat out SF and a sex scene right now would be…awkward from the story telling side of things. Hmmm.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Small Talk”

  1. I absolutely sympathise. But things are getting a little bit better than they were. It’s a while since I’ve seen comments like “you can’t have a book about gay men without explicit sex scenes because that’s disrespectful” or “if a book doesn’t have explicit sex scenes its not worth reading” or the scary statistic in a 2010 reader survey that said that 89% of readers only bought books with a high heat rating. There’s more choice now, a greater acceptance of gay genre fiction, and that’s so good! It’s gutting writing books when you know you’re chasing that elusive 11% of readers who won’t think you’re wasting your time.


    1. I will agree that it is getting much better. Okay I’m not sure how sales are for DSP’s other line and I know Wayward Ink has a non-romance line too (and probably others. I haven’t really looked as I don’t have anything really ready). THat is a scary stat and sadly I have seen some comments still (along with the one that really kills me: if there’s a woman in the story I’m not reading it) but I’m hoping that things get better. Certainly my sales suggest I’m only reaching that 11%. But in some ways I’d rather do that than tell a story I don’t really want to tell just to appeal to a wider audience.


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