A Good Man is (Not) Hard to Find – Why M/M Erotic Romance is What You Should Be Reading
by Sherri Goodman
It’s no secret that E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey has taken the erotic romance world by storm. Since the book’s release, and overwhelming success, women seem to be more open about their erotica preferences, no longer a topic for just pillow talk. And the overwhelming preference women have when it comes to the porn they read (or watch)? Surprisingly, it’s not the BDSM-inspired scenes that provide the backbone for Fifty Shades, but male-on-male romance instead. Buzzfeed recently paired up with Pornhub to discover what really gets women going, and they found that most ladies would rather immerse themselves in the f/f or m/m categories than anything else.
So what is it about m/m romance that has so many women in a panty-dropping, vibrator-wielding haze? According to Jezebel, part of the appeal lies in the less-than-traditional storylines that are more common in male-on-male romances than in other sub-genres of the erotic novel. Although the tropes may be the same, m/m romances tend to involve more realistic situations and setbacks, especially when it comes to ones set in historic periods. Another reason for their popularity could be the classic “forbidden love” theme but with an added twist: atypical gender roles. Male-on-male romance often plays with these roles, turning the stereotypical erotic romance motifs on their head and allowing for a sort of escapism that often isn’t present in the f/f or m/f genres.
Though gay romance often overlaps with m/m, USA Today is quick to point out the two are entirely separate genres, with completely different audiences. While gay romance is largely written by gay men for gay men, m/m erotica boasts authors and fans who are mostly women. While the lines may seem blurred between the two genres when it comes to aspects like characters (the brooding hottie who’s a softie at heart, the shy cowboy, the heroic police officer, etc.) and plot, m/m provides more flexibility within the standard guidelines of romance. This allows the story to go more places and do more things—greater diversity, more creativity, surprising content, and a wholly satisfying read.
For die-hard bibliophiles, typical erotic romance of the past may have delivered on the more graphic scenes only to fall flat when it came to plot, relationships, and fully-rounded characters. The discussion of sex in the mainstream that Fifty Shades has sparked is huge for authors of romance, but even better for fans of the genre. With the growing popularity of erotica comes a greater number of well-written novels with better developed plots, characters, and of course, sex. If you’ve never delved into the smuttier side of fiction, now is the best time to get your toes (and maybe other areas of your anatomy) wet. According to Adam and Eve, erotic novels offer a different kind of versatility that allows for endless options. Maybe you enjoy a little solo pleasuring before turning in for the night or like to read the hottest passages aloud to your partner. Either way, erotica is a great way to focus your mind on what sexually arouses you, leading to an improved libido and overall amazing sex life.