Friday, December 18, 2015

Realism in Romance (part deux)

In the M/M romance genre where we have shifters of every kind, vampires (who don't sparkle... that wasn't praise btw sparkly vamps ROCK!), kidnappings and shootings much higher than the national average we have cries for realism.

First, I'll go back to:
1) What is realism?
2) Who defines it?

And I'd like to remind you:
Everyone's experiences are different so your REAL may never have been experienced by me or vice versa. Heaping on judgment doesn't quite work in the scheme of things.

In the M/F romance I wonder if we'd see these criticisms. I'd guess maybe a few. (Hell many of us reading and writing in the M/M romance genre is partly because we couldn't identify with the characters.) But overall I don't think you'll see as many vocal complaints by readers. Why is that virgin having multi-orgasms? Why isn't he shooting off in her mouth? Why is she tolerating his sexist behavior? Why... You get the idea.

But why is there such an outcry in the M/M romance genre?

In my humble opinion I think that's because in Het Romance there's a clearer line between fiction and romance.  M/M romance has become a catch all for gay stories that haven't found a home elsewhere.

I think that's awesome and great... more the merrier!!!

What I don't find great is when I'm at a romance convention and I'm told that romance is a lesser form of literature. I'm not happy when readers of romance are laughed at or made fun of because they enjoy characters who are left or right of the spectrum of average... or certain activities squick them out.

Recent Facebook exchange about using spit as lube.
Does it happen in real life sex situations? Yes.
Is it comfortable? NOT always & especially not when the spit dries up it can hurt the fucker and fuckee... unless the ass is quite spaceous...  or maybe the couple are into pain (which is fine but then reader needs to know that & can cheer YEAH MAKE HIM HURT!)

May I suggest instead of laughing at readers who has an issue with this realism you must write to be true to the story HELP THE READER! Bring the reader deep into the heads of the guys who OMFG just have to have each other now. Make the reader pant so hard they are cheering the guys on. And go ahead and show the realism of what happens to dick and asshole when the spit runs out.

I read a M/M scene in a M/F romance using only spit and was horrified. (BTW I'm not against only using spit especially for quick cummers) The lack of intimacy hurt my heart for the characters... the lack of lube was a symptom of the lack of caring between two characters in love for years.

Let's remember gay fiction is different than gay romance. Don't judge one book by another genre's criteria.

I'm not saying realism doesn't have a place in romance but let's bring the reader's with us and be clear some reader's don't want/need the level of realism a writer is pressed bring out in the pages of a book. Absolutely your right as an author. But then accept the romance reader might not be thrilled with that realistic detail... or maybe they will. (KNOW THY TARGET AUDIENCE)

Hugs, Z.

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