So I was asking a few people “in the know” about certain trends in M/M books these days. Some of it surprised me and some of it didn’t. And I didn’t know whether to be surprised or not when I was told…
“Young gorgeous protagonists…that’s the way to go every time.”
Apparently that’s what sells. And covers that look like Japanese cartoons.
Frankly I was stunned…
More often than not, when I get an email from a reader, they tell me how grateful they are that my heroes have more…human traits.
Which means most of my heroes are at least thirty and go into their fifties. They rarely have washboard abs. They almost never have long hair. They usually aren’t thin. They sweat. They have hairy chests and sometimes are going bald.
I am a bear. I am not a twink and am certainly no longer young, although older people call me “young man.” It makes me laugh.
Because of all these things, I like to write about imperfect people. People with flaws. People who have hang ups, who fly off the handle, who have to lose weight (if only for their health), who have been through bad breakups, and who can barely pay the rent. And almost none of them want anything to do with raising children. Believe it or not, I don’t know but a few gay men who want kids. They don’t even want to be uncles.
I guess—in this big ramble—I want to ask…
Is it true? Do most readers like to read about young, boyish, girlish, or gorgeous men?
Sidebar—when asking women why they liked gay porn, and when asking them how they can imagine themselves as one of the two men since they are a woman… I was also shocked to discover that they don’t imagine themselves as either man. When I asked gay men about why they watched gay porn, overwhelmingly they picture themselves as one man or the other, or imagined themselves joining in.
I like what I like to think of as “real men.” I am rarely, if ever, attracted to pretty boys. Facial hair is a huge turn on as well as hairy chests. I am not into men who wear makeup, or women’s underwear, or who perfume themselves within an inch of their lives. Once in a while I will like a young man, or a smooth-chested man, or a pretty boy. I love the guy who played Peter in the Chronicles of Narnia, and I like Danny on Revolution. But most of the time?
It’s Hugh Jackman, or Ben Cohen, or Bradley Cooper for me. Bearish guys if not downright bears.
I think that is why I loved Rick Reed’s new book, Chaser. The men in the book are GAY. They are not women with a penis. They like to suck cock and get fucked and shoot all over each other. They don’t demand that you shower first. They have no interest—that I saw—in raising kids.
They are flawed. Caden likes heavy men. Kevin is heavy, but not happy about it. Caden has to go away for five or six weeks and Kevin goes on a crash diet and loses a lot of weight and works out like a MF. When Caden gets back home, he is shocked and stunned by Kevin’s appearance. He has a very hard time dealing with it. As a matter of fact, he has trouble getting hard.
I could hear certain readers everywhere saying how much they hated Caden for not being able to see below the surface. I loved Caden because he was real and acted real. I understood. If I went away for six weeks and my hot bearded, hairy chested man had gotten laser hair removal, I would be appalled. And I love him more than life itself. But I was attracted to him precisely because he was bearded and hairy.
I fell in love with the man inside. But men? Most of us are very sight fixated. We can look at someone and—BOING!—be attracted to them and want to fuck them or get fucked by them. Dating and candles and wine and romantic car rides are rarely needed.
That’s the truth of it.
I think all this is part of why I loved Chaser. I hope you will read it. AMAZING book. Read this to find out about real gay men!
All of this was the inspiration for my first novel All Alone in a Sea of Love. Flawed men who learn better. Who learn to look within and find love in some of the most unexpected places, even while their dicks get them into trouble. Or at least that is what happens to my main protagonist. He has to stop thinking with his dick and think with his heart, and when he does? Then the outside isn’t nearly as important as what he finds on the inside of his new found love.
I would love love love to know what you think on these subjects.
What kind of man turns you on? And is it really that appalling that men sometimes think with their dicks?
As long as in the end, we do what’s right and think with our hearts?
Let me know?
To Purchase Chaser: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=chaser&osCsid=n2n0lcd04hucl6u64l4u33jm82&x=22&y=4
To Purchase All Alone in a Sea of Love: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=All+Alone+in+a+Sea+of+romance&osCsid=n2n0lcd04hucl6u64l4u33jm82&x=49&y=8