(1)You've said that men can't sell their stories and that women dominate the field, and while it is certainly true (women dominating the field), you think the reason for this is that women generally write kinky porn for women to enjoy and men do not. Have you taken into consideration the sheer amount of women writing m/m fiction, comparing to man? And that readers of those works are predominantly women? That men are generally not interested in romance genre, which m/m fiction mostly is.
(2)No one is keeping men from writing their stories. They just don’t do it much. In the m/m fiction section at least. Or maybe there is some gatekeeping movement going on, where women harass man out of “their field”. I have never heard about it, but if it’s true than I’ll be happy to be proven wrong. Maybe there are some hidden gems written by not women no one’s heard about because of that. Can you recommend some?
hi, and thank you for these asks. they pose an interesting question: are men stopped from writing erotica?
i want to say yes. but it might not be the way you think.
Oh my gods this. This is everything I try and fail to say when people ask me how to explain fetishization vs storytelling.
Do you know how many books by gay men I edited in my time at the erotica publishing house? One.
Out of literal thousands of manuscripts, there was One gay man writing m/m, the rest were all by women, and I feel safe in saying, the majority of them, not from within the LGBTQA+ community.
And boy howdy did they pitch fits when we turned to them and said “your manuscript does not meet our health and safety requirements please revise” because our house had a strict safe sane consensual rule, along with body positivity, which everyone LOVED when they were writing m/f stories. But when it came to m/m we had so many authors say “ew, but that’s not ~sexy~ :/” to which my reply was often a very politely phrased “literally don’t give a fuck Susan, you know what else isn’t sexy? Bleeding assholes, which coincidentally is what you’re being.”
But y'know, nicer. Because I’m a fucking proffesional.
Anyway. Do you want to know what happened to said singular man writing m/m fiction? He got dropped after a year. Because, and I quote, this is a direct line from our then marketing team, about a gay man writing gay erotica: “that’s not what women want to read”
And if that’s not one of the most precise and fucking infuriating demonstrations of what the fuck is wrong with the “but I write gay slash fic! I can’t be homophobic!” “~allies~” (spoiler: you’re not) in fandom and yes, even in “real” publishing, I dunno what is.
There is a Difference between storytelling and fetishization, and all y'all crying “kinkshaming!” when someone asks you to treat them with respect, need to stop.
i also found this ask that thebibliosphere got, but i’ll only quote what i found the most important:
Which, there’s nothing wrong with women or people who identify as women, writing m/m stories. But when there’s an entire industry dedicated to gay male suffering aimed as cis straight women, there’s a serious problem. People are not objects, they are not dolls for you to play with. Anyway.
this isn’t some fanfiction, or fanart, or even a free manhwa found online. it’s published books, where the authors get payed for every sold book, and men - man in this case - can’t even get a deal. because women don’t want to read gay stories written by gay men. a respectable erotica house lays off their only male m/m writer, becuase the marketing team doesn’t find that women are interested in it.
if that isn’t keeping men away from m/m erotica (and romance), i honestly don’t know what else it might be.
through this blog, i’m also constantly bringing up the fact that non-mlm’s voices are shut down in writing spaces where m/m is prevalent. i’m a fanfic writer myself, writing fanfiction with an mlm audience in mind, and i’ve gotten comments about how my sex scenes are unrealistic (”you don’t need to prepare an asshole that much!”), or boring (”why do you keep adding lube mid sex scene? and condoms?? ugh”), or outright wrong (umm, what?).
i’ve had non-mlm writing partners tell me that i shouldn’t write for mlm, because i should focus on what women want to read instead. i’ve been told, when i voice my concerns over how the community is treating mlm creators, to “leave the m/m community if you hate it so much”. me, a gay man. leave the m/m community (which entail MY orientation, MY sex life, and MY relationships), becuase some women think their fetishization and objectification of gay men is more important than my comfort
this is why we say that mlm creators of m/m are shut down. and we, as both fans and consumers of published m/m media, needs to change this
to change the subject: i’m constantly looking for good gay books written by men, but it’s a long and hard road. most best-selling m/m books written by gay men are self published, just so you know.
i don’t have a list i can recommend right now, especially on the happier side. they’re so hard to find that i’m, myself, still looking for more than one or two. a classic lgbt book, though it’s about internalized homophobia which manifests in misogony and abuse, is giovanni’s room (1956) by james baldwin (a gay black man), and it’s a good book to show that mlm should be the ones writing about male-related homophobia, rather than women.
if anyone wants to add good m/m books written by mlm, send us an ask or reply to this; we’re aiming to keep a list of good representation on our blog in the future