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M/M Romance Tropes


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I asked this question on a different thread, and one of you messaged me and suggested I start a new thread since my question was a bit off topic from what fanfiction universe you would write in, so I started a this new thread. If I did this wrong, I am relying on the administrators to fix my screw up. Here was my original question.

Several comments on this thread alluded to the possibility (probably true) that women white M/M romance for other women that reflect a female point of view, and that gay men are often turned off by these perspectives, because they do not reflect their own romantic/sexual experiences.  This got me thinking.  What are some of the tropes of M/M romance that reflect women's interests?  And what would be some M/M romance tropes that would reflect a male perspective, particularly the point of view of gay men?  Anyone have any ideas or comments? I am working on my own M/M fiction, and I would like to be more self-aware about the tropes that I'm using. Thanks.

I have taken an interest in Destiel (Dean/Castiel) fanfiction of the TV show Supernatural, and I have noticed that most of the fanfiction writing in this franchise is written by women, and written in a way that put Sam. Dean and Castiel way out of character than they are on the show. Which is ok; it is romance after all. I love Dean and Cas together, but sometimes the ladies take Dean and Cas to Hallmark world and make me role my eyes. Yes, I love it sometimes and sometimes its just weird. It makes me wonder what a Destiel M/M romance would look like if told from a (gay) male perspective.

Help me avoid some of the obvious female tropes (male pregnancies) for instance. The story I am working on now is meant to be and extension of where the story left off at the end of the series, so I want my story to be canon compliant, but I also want Dean and Cas together was a romantic couple in the end.  I posted my first two chapters here and an working on the third now.

dean and cas eye thing.jpg

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cehammock said:

I have taken an interest in Destiel (Dean/Castiel) fanfiction of the TV show Supernatural, and I have noticed that most of the fanfiction writing in this franchise is written by women, and written in a way that put Sam. Dean and Castiel way out of character than they are on the show. Which is ok; it is romance after all. I love Dean and Cas together, but sometimes the ladies take Dean and Cas to Hallmark world and make me role my eyes. Yes, I love it sometimes and sometimes its just weird. It makes me wonder what a Destiel M/M romance would look like if told from a (gay) male perspective.

I'll just give you some advice since you're working on something. Do not go into any project, writing or otherwise, that involves an audience with the idea that you only want to cater to a specific type. Forget male and female tropes completely, because that's just BS. It is a writing style, not a gender style. Some 'people', some 'humans' want to write stories full of fluff and white picket fences, and lots of romantic kisses. Some 'people' want to write about taking every Navy shipmen on the boat's ass cherries. Do not cater to one specific type. It makes no sense to go into this writing business with the mindset of limiting your target audience to a very specific, small, miniscule, one-sided sort of audience.

For one, it singles you out and believe me, people are harsh when they think they're not being represented in fiction, even though they could just scroll down the page and probably find a perfectly well representing piece of fiction to read. I'm not saying you should bend over backwards to the demands of people either, for the sake of it and what have you.  Secondly, you will not grow as a writer. You will pigeonhole yourself and when you pigeonhole yourself you lose the fun in writing. Believe me - I pigeonholed myself into Young Adult/Coming of Age romances and I've done those until I'm sick of doing them. Most of your projects will never see the end and you will falter with motivation, because catering to one specific trope or series of tropes, one gender, etc gets stale fast. 

Also, MPreg isn't specifically a female trope. It is mostly a plot device so that two men can carry a biological child. It may even be fetishized. Do women use it more, maybe. But you see it mostly in Werewolf, supernatural, dominant/submissive, etc tropes as well and those are universal and not male nor female. -- 

So remedy this: 

List all the Tropes you can and put an * on the ones you feel are female specific. Just list them generally, because I for one would LOVE to read that list.

--For the record, I am not trying to be harsh, I don't wish to be anyway. If I come across as being abrasive or rude, I do apologize.  

Edited by Krista
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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Krista said:

Also, MPreg isn't specifically a female trope. It is mostly a plot device so that two men can carry a biological child. It may even be fetishized. Do women use it more, maybe.

As a woman, if I see any story with MPreg in it, I run screaming in the other direction.  

I also agree with what @Krista said.  

Edited by CassieQ
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1 minute ago, CassieQ said:

As a woman, if I see any story with MPreg in it, I run screaming in the other direction.  

Me too. It is most definitely not my thing. If I even see a hint of it, the story becomes a DNF. 

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19 minutes ago, CassieQ said:

As a woman, if I see any story with MPreg in it, I run screaming in the other direction.  

I also agree with what @Krista said.  

 

16 minutes ago, Krista said:

Me too. It is most definitely not my thing. If I even see a hint of it, the story becomes a DNF. 

Same here.  I am definitely not a fan of Mpreg.  As for the rest, I don't think I have anything to add to what Krista said.  I agree completely.  

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Posted (edited)

Actually, I disagree with several of my fellow authors on M/M stories not reflecting gay sensibilities, because I as a gay man am very much into M/M romance written by straight women. I've written entire Blog articles reviewing books and series of M/M romances written by women, singing praises and arguing for wider readership. Keira Andrews, Leta Blake, and Sarina Bowen are among my favorite authors outside GA. I read gay male written works too like Tal Bauer, who bring gay sensibilities and a kick-ass action-adventure together.

However, as a connoisseur of sort in this area, there are writers who get the gay male psychology wrong, at least in my view and probably borrow far too much from Heterosexual romance fiction. I read Nicholas Sparks too along with a few others. Maybe my demisexuality makes being gay a little more complicated, but I love penis and balls without reservation.

Here's some tropes to think about:

1. Mpreg between gay males, especially shifters, I've had my fill. I am praying Keira Andrews doesn't go in that direction with her zombie apocalypse book series, it had so much potential and existential angst in Kick at the Darkness, this was M/M and gay fictions answer to Walking Dead. However, with the introduction of Werewolves hierarchy in book 2 Fight the Tide,with certain wolves being Omega's (I know from other fictions they are the ones to get pregnant), I am deeply worried about this trope. It could be done well and I have no issue if you can make a reasonable story around male pregnancy, but I have yet to read a M/M fiction story where Mpreg hasn't turned the child-bearing character into a farcical character, losing their identity in the process.

2. Beware of "Empty Drama", the reason why I love Leta Blake's writing is that she explores gay characters with emotional depth and imperfections, the drama in their lives shaped them to be the character we read in the story. Will and Patrick Wake Up Married may be a gay comedy, but it is so much more as you read the 6 novella series, because she created imperfect character with a lot of neurotic (and repressed erotic urges). All their issues aren't resolved and hell I love that Will still has alcoholism issues despite being in love, but they continue to work through it, the final payoff makes sense.

However, a certain story (not mentioning it because I don't want to directly critique a fellow gay writer by pen name), I read recently about a 17 year old gay kid kicked out of his home in California, who falls in love with an 18 year old teenage Latino boy, who had to raise two younger siblings and parents were deported due to their immigration status, was just filled with drama without substance. I get what the writer was trying to convey, but good writing is about giving characters depth due to their issues, not to throw one issue after another at them. The payoff message that love conquers all is sweet, but it feels so underwhelming at the end, because you had to jump through hoops from having your main character become a criminal to survive, forcibly inventing plot devices to uplift their situation, and insanely resolve all their problems with a magnanimous court trial.

Bottom line: When you introduce issues in M/M stories, don't throw the kitchen sink in, let the characters be themselves.

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Anyway, I have more tropes, but I don't want to push my luck. As a gay man by identity and a Demisexual by orientation, I might be an oddball in all of this.

Edited by W_L
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1 hour ago, Krista said:

Also, MPreg isn't specifically a female trope. It is mostly a plot device so that two men can carry a biological child. It may even be fetishized. Do women use it more, maybe. But you see it mostly in Werewolf, supernatural, dominant/submissive, etc tropes as well and those are universal and not male nor female. -- 

So remedy this: 

List all the Tropes you can and put an * on the ones you feel are female specific. Just list them generally, because I for one would LOVE to read that list.

I am happy to hear that some people do not consider MPreg to be a specifically female trope.  I have a feeling that Dean might end up pregnant at the end of my story, but with a more manly response, and less sexualized.  After all Dean has always been the more nurturing one, so I feel like he deserves a baby of his own.  And this is Supernatural after all, so it could happen.  Dean's not going to like it!

I hope that revelation does not scare away any potential readers.  I have also become a sucker for all those Alpha/Omega "Werewolf, supernatural, dominant/submissive" fanfiction tropes.  I feel ashamed. LOL

I wrote a blog post a few years ago about M/M Romance and listed all kinds of tropes.  I will put the link below.  I was hoping that the readers of this forum could help me identify the more female specific ones (if you believe there are male vs. female tropes), what would you all put on that list?  I want to read that list to.

https://ceh3167.wordpress.com/2017/10/06/the-romance-genre-gay-fiction-and-m-m-romance/

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38 minutes ago, W_L said:

However, as a connoisseur of sort in this area, there are writers who get the gay male psychology wrong, at least in my view and probably borrow far too much from Heterosexual romance fiction.

I think this way of framing it is more accurate. Calling these tropes “female” ostracizes women and distracts from the heart of the conversation. I doubt that’s the intention you had in writing this, so @cehammock I hope this is helpful in clarifying what you’re looking for.

I think “heterosexual” is also not exactly at the heart of the conversation either. And there’s a good conversation to be had in there. 

Gay male psychology doesn’t have one definition, but in general it seems you are trying to say that many tropes that show up repeatedly in gay fiction simply don’t reflect the actual lives and experiences of many gay men.

At the end of they day I think it would be informative to hear from gay men what tropes don’t reflect their experience and which stories they’ve read seem more accurate, no matter the gender of the author.

Thank you so much for your examples and your list @W_L 

1. MPREG - definitely not my thing, but to each their own. I think pregnancy classifies as a heterosexual trope, but I’ve met people of a variety of sexualities and genders who were into it at one point or another.

2. Drama - I really enjoy drama but I agree that it can quickly lose its impact if there’s no meaningful character development or realism involved. That nuance can be very tough to tackle as an amateur writer.

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40 minutes ago, headtransplant said:

I think this way of framing it is more accurate. Calling these tropes “female” ostracizes women and distracts from the heart of the conversation. I doubt that’s the intention you had in writing this, so @cehammock I hope this is helpful in clarifying what you’re looking for.

When I was first thinking about M/M tropes I was thinking about them primarily in terms of heterosexual romance as opposed to gay fiction, so when I read that some people considered certain tropes to be female and others to be male, in terms of representing the people's experiences, that seems like a potential new way to give my thinking nuance or it might be misdirected.  I am still interested in what people think.  I do wonder if there are tropes that could be specifically labeled as male or female, as if men and women, or gay or straight people, would have mutually exclusive experiences or expectations.  I am doubtful. Is it not possible for gay couples to have romantic fantasies just like we attribute to heterosexual women?  Does there have to be one universal gay male romantic tropes that involves multiple sex partners?  I am wondering if that kind of debate is somehow a reflection of the own voices movement in publishing that has certain per-determined expectations about what a proper "representation" is? I'm still thinking about this question.

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@headtransplant and @cehammock

Heterosexual romance fiction to me has gender roles embedded with the narrative. It's a reason why Mpreg genre has failed to impress me, I read a bunch of Shifter stories too. Team A.L.P.H.A and its sequel Alphabits by Susi Hawke and Christa Crown were fun reads as a full series collection, if not for the story-line elements with the Mpreg at the end removing character dynamic earlier in the story. I thought both Susi and Christa had great ideas in their universe and interesting characters, but it seemed like they just rolled back with tropes that I've read a million times from heterosexual romance.

If you replace the Omega in their stories with a cisgender female, the story would just be a heterosexual romance of a boy meeting a girl, there's plot that forces to save someone dear to them, and the boy impregnates the girl. The other problem here is that the boy and girl in their shifter universe can't control the "Heat" when they meet their "destined mate", so it gets very repetitive. I bought both series in their entirety with my Audible credits, I don't regret reading those stories, but I feel they just lacked nuance.

I guess to me, impregnating your lover is a heterosexual romance fiction trope. Especially, when that lover, who becomes an amalgam "pregnant female" (talking about burden of carrying a baby and back pain or the inability to hold back piss) and matronly (when the character becomes a nagging wife-archetype despite being biologically male) after giving birth, it doesn't feel good to how your characters were set up initially or the situation.

With that said, I also beta read for a non-binary writer, who is light years ahead in describing trans-males and trans-females within their fantasy story. There is a difference between a non-cisgender person writing with perspective that a biological male is pregnant versus a cisgender person doing it based on established knowledge. Emotionally, the pregnancy went into the depth of characters' role as creator/life giver, the transformation of who you are born as versus who you are meant to be, and higher beliefs in self-actualization that I don't find in writers of the Mpreg shifter genre.

Like I said, I am an oddball, but I love great stories and exploration of characters, no matter if the writers are gay, bi, straight, trans or cis or non-binary, queer, or asexual. Make sure the character is the star, not the plot device.

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To add to my ongoing list:

3. Overusing "Fated Lovers" trope: I love the idea of finding your soulmate, I want to find my guy one day too, but do not overuse that plot device in your stories to make every character pigeon-hole to be with their fated lover. Sexuality and romance is dynamic, there maybe monogamous couples and there may be polyamorous couples, or quartets. One of the classical story-lines in Romance fiction is that you will find "one" guy or girl that will fulfill your everyone desire. I have no problem with idealistic romance, but people go overboard

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Has anyone else noticed this recent trope:

- An Elderly Woman who serves as the gay couple's advocate: I have read few novel length stories and series where old ladies from neighbors to grandmother to aunts, act as advocates for gay male couples. I like the trope, it's very fairy tales-esque, but I do wonder when did this trend begin and it appears to be very common within the novels I read, so is it just my Amazon algorithm or something more intrinsic? It's an interesting trope I think readers may register with, if you always wanted a female support system, like a grandmother/fairy godmother type figure in your life making sure your love life ends up working out.

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Anyone else noticed this trope?

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On 5/26/2021 at 12:22 AM, cehammock said:

ttps://ceh3167.wordpress.com/2017/10/06/the-romance-genre-gay-fiction-and-m-m-romance/

This is a very good essay, and it explains why I've found a lot of the m/m romance I've looked at to be very unsatisfying.  I am on record on this site as decrying the unrealistic depiction of gay men in a lot of fiction, and I don't mean to say that heterosexual women writers cannot get into the psychology of gay men and write them realistically, just that the m/m romances I've read appear to have been written by authors who didn't choose to do so.  If, as you say, m/m romance is mostly written by heterosexual women for other heterosexual women and is basically a vehicle for their fantasies, that explains what I've picked up on, and it means that the genre is not for me, since I don't share those fantasies.

By contrast, m/m romances by men are often preoccupied with surface appearances and raw sex.  This reflects the fact that men's sexuality is visually stimulated, and that gay guys have few qualms about seeking out sex and are more likely to connect with other gay guys than straight guys are with women (the gay men of my acquaintance have lifetime sexual contact numbers that are ten to a hundred times those of the straight men I've talked to about this).  It's not that gay men can't be monogamous, but that the social pressure to be so in the gay community is far, far weaker.  (I once read an article by an early gay rights advocate who asserted that it was the duty of all gay men to sleep around as much as possible, in order to fight the patriarchy.)

Gay male writers appear to have their own set of fantasies, quite a few of which were satirized by Graeme in his hysterically funny short story, "My Roommate's Gay."  A number of the sites I've discovered while looking around the Interwebz are are preoccupied with the travails and triumphs of thirteen-year-old boys (apparently it's the age at which many gay writers think their lives started drifting off course; they may not be entirely wrong).  I just wish I'd met my true love at that age and had had even a tenth of the sexual stamina of these fictional boys.

In any case, it is the skill and goals of the writer that are at issue.  A writer capable of getting into people's heads is going to write good, realistic fiction and avoid clichés.  I'm not so sure the tropes you list in your essay are so much "female" as "heterosexual."  The fundamental notion is that there is a dominant sex and a submissive sex (or, in gay terms, some people are doms and some are subs), and that there is one "real" type of sex, in comparison to which all other types of sex are either secondary or unreal.  This makes a certain type of sense, from the point of view of a heterosexual couple trying to conceive a child (and I imagine it's the reason William Clinton tried to assert that a blowjob wasn't "real sex"), and it also makes sense that gay writers imitating m/m romances written by heterosexual women might carry over some of these notions into their own writing.  The contrary view, however, was expressed by the sex columnist Dan Savage a number of years ago:  the more types of sex we consider "real" and "hot," the more real, hot sex we are likely to have.  Likewise, submission and dominance are complicated issues, and the dominant partner overall may be the submissive one in bed.  Likewise, as our lesbian sisters can tell us, who penetrates whom has nothing to do with who's in charge during sex.

 

BTW, the Elderly Woman Advocate is popular and can be overdone, though I have enjoyed quite a few stories with such a character.  She has her real-life counterparts in the lives of many gay men, though not always so "elderly."  In my case, as for many of my friends, it was my mother, who was a force to reckon with.  She laid down the law to her conservative Baptist family and demanded that they treat me well.  It worked; whatever they may (still) be saying behind my back, they've never inflicted their homophobia or their religious prejudices on me directly.  And of course, the younger generation's attitudes are a lot less hateful to begin with.

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1 hour ago, BigBen said:

This is a very good essay

Thank you. I appreciate it.  I think you are right, it might be better to distinguish between heterosexual and gay tropes instead of female vs. male. I have been thinking about working on another essay that tries to explain that distinction, but I also wonder if such a distinction really exist? You have seem to have given this a lot of thought, and I appreciate your comments. When I look back at all those trope i listed, It seems like all of them in some way or another could be labeled as heterosexual/straight since they ultimately seem to derive from a heterosexual perspective. What would be a trope that would derive for a gay expectation or imagination that has not been transposed from straight culture? Just promiscuity?

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 I haven't thought it all the way through, yet.  Here's a start, though:  it's a given that we are all human beings, so our basic psychology is the same.  Yet heterosexual mores since the invention of agriculture are premised on the need to ensure that men know who their children are, hence all the customs by which men dominate and restrict women and hedge in their sexuality.

Gay men and women, on the other hand—while historically pressured to do their reproductive duty to their society (marginal cultures can't afford to let anyone off the hook, if they want to survive)—meet one another more as equals.  This makes, I think, for a very different set of relationship challenges, since there are no pre-defined roles to slot into.  My ex and I found it both liberating and scary to have to invent the pattern of our relationship as we went along, yet watching my sister, a strong woman, negotiate the cultural expectations involved in her romantic relationships with the men in her life actually made me glad for the lack of a cultural template for his and my relationship.

Now, some of the expectations of the romance genre are pretty hard to escape.  In fact the genre is pretty much defined by the need for the two main characters to achieve monogamous couplehood.  Whether this should really be the case in gay romantic fiction is a question we don't seem to think about, though perhaps we should.

But even within the constraints of the genre as currently defined, there is a lot more room for diversity of thought and outlook.  Surely, making at least some gay male characters be a lot more promiscuous before settling down would make stories truer to real life.  A lot of men, gay or straight, are not naturally monogamous (though of course many others are), and exploring the reasons for a man's deciding to quit playing the field and settle down might well make for a compelling story.

Moreover, the fact that procreation is off the table for a same-sex couple means that their sexual practices can be a lot more diverse.  In real life, this frees each couple to form their own understanding of what constitutes "real sex" and "making love" in the context of their relationship, and the logical consequence for m/m romance is that the genre's relentless focus on anal sex as the culmination of two men's sexual relations is unrealistic and not essential to the genre. 

There also seems to be a taboo against incorporating some of the kinkier sexual practices gay men get up to into stories, though I'm not sure why this should be.  Have writers tried this and found that stories about characters with sexual kinks aren't romantic, or something?

I've also known constellations of friends who were sexual partners, as well.  While they didn't define themselves as being in a group marriage, they essentially were, and seemed happy together.  Wouldn't that make for a nice, genre-confounding happy ending, too?  I've read some really good stories about gay menages à trois, so I know it can be done.

Anyway, these are the sorts of thoughts rattling around in my brain at the moment.

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On 7/17/2021 at 3:15 PM, BigBen said:

There also seems to be a taboo against incorporating some of the kinkier sexual practices gay men get up to into stories, though I'm not sure why this should be.  Have writers tried this and found that stories about characters with sexual kinks aren't romantic, or something?

I've also known constellations of friends who were sexual partners, as well.  While they didn't define themselves as being in a group marriage, they essentially were, and seemed happy together.  Wouldn't that make for a nice, genre-confounding happy ending, too?  I've read some really good stories about gay menages à trois, so I know it can be done.

Anyway, these are the sorts of thoughts rattling around in my brain at the moment.

Leta Blake and Keira Andrews would disagree with you :) They have a lot of kinks in their story, not just BDSM stuff either. Leta Blake for instance incorporated "breath-play" and roleplaying in Will and Patrick series in book 4, which were incredibly hot as gay sex scenes go.

If you want to get a large buffet of kink and gay romance, I suggest Nora Phoenix as her gay relationships are really good, along with her plots.

In terms of GA writers, I've got no issues with writing about kink, if all participants enjoy it, there's no reason why writers shouldn't include it. Some gay and bi guys enjoy toys, some are orally fixated and others prefer hands/touch, and there's even folks who prefer biting (without going into vampire fiction). None of it violates our rules, it's all consensual and age appropriate, so it's a matter of personal preference and willingness to explore your personal interests.

I can provide a few books if you want to read gay romance writers who enjoy kinks, it's not outside mainstream anymore, just a sub-genre that people mislabel sometimes mistakenly label as BDSM :( 

 

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On 7/18/2021 at 6:24 PM, W_L said:

Leta Blake and Keira Andrews would disagree with you :) They have a lot of kinks in their story, not just BDSM stuff either. Leta Blake for instance incorporated "breath-play" and roleplaying in Will and Patrick series in book 4, which were incredibly hot as gay sex scenes go.

If you want to get a large buffet of kink and gay romance, I suggest Nora Phoenix as her gay relationships are really good, along with her plots.

In terms of GA writers, I've got no issues with writing about kink, if all participants enjoy it, there's no reason why writers shouldn't include it. Some gay and bi guys enjoy toys, some are orally fixated and others prefer hands/touch, and there's even folks who prefer biting (without going into vampire fiction). None of it violates our rules, it's all consensual and age appropriate, so it's a matter of personal preference and willingness to explore your personal interests.

I can provide a few books if you want to read gay romance writers who enjoy kinks, it's not outside mainstream anymore, just a sub-genre that people mislabel sometimes mistakenly label as BDSM :( 

 

Marquesate can be included here too. She's an Irish writer who writes gut-wrenching(in a good way), no-holds-barred military gay fiction which, in some ways, is far removed from typical romance, yet the romance is very much there. Special Forces is a tour de force that covers decades. Cheers! 

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13 minutes ago, Headstall said:

Marquesate can be included here too. She's an Irish writer who writes gut-wrenching(in a good way), no-holds-barred military gay fiction which, in some ways, is far removed from typical romance, yet the romance is very much there. Special Forces is a tour de force that covers decades. Cheers! 

Nice pick, I wish I she had more online presence though, Special Forces isn't on Kindle and Audible doesn't have any of her books :(

Another new theme I am noticing in gay romance is the additional of abusive former gay partners, I am glad the topic is getting brought up, too. Gay spouses may be new, but it's not like being gay means that your partner can't be abusive, physically or emotionally. In Sci-Fi, I recently reviewed Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell, which highlights this theme in a breathtaking universe of intrigue and space operatics. On the contemporary gay romance front, a novel I read recently sparked the same issue again Reunion by Lynn Van Dorn, about the lives of two former gay high school lovers, who split apart due to secrets and a horrible gay bashing. There's a HFN ending, but the story's depiction of a gay spouse psychologically abusing his partner into being suppliant/perfect obedient mate, my heart just sank.

 

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39 minutes ago, W_L said:

Nice pick, I wish I she had more online presence though, Special Forces isn't on Kindle and Audible doesn't have any of her books :(

Another new theme I am noticing in gay romance is the additional of abusive former gay partners, I am glad the topic is getting brought up, too. Gay spouses may be new, but it's not like being gay means that your partner can't be abusive, physically or emotionally. In Sci-Fi, I recently reviewed Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell, which highlights this theme in a breathtaking universe of intrigue and space operatics. On the contemporary gay romance front, a novel I read recently sparked the same issue again Reunion by Lynn Van Dorn, about the lives of two former gay high school lovers, who split apart due to secrets and a horrible gay bashing. There's a HFN ending, but the story's depiction of a gay spouse psychologically abusing his partner into being suppliant/perfect obedient mate, my heart just sank.

 

Her books are available on Amazon, and I remember reading one time that her books were available on kindle. You can actually read Special Forces for free on her website, as well as Deliverance, which is a companion story. Here's the link... http://www.marquesate.org/free-reading.html 

As far as abuse in gay marriage, I wrote an anthology piece about that very subject. It's not very long... here's the link in case you're interested... 

 

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57 minutes ago, Headstall said:

Her books are available on Amazon, and I remember reading one time that her books were available on kindle. You can actually read Special Forces for free on her website, as well as Deliverance, which is a companion story. Here's the link... http://www.marquesate.org/free-reading.html 

As far as abuse in gay marriage, I wrote an anthology piece about that very subject. It's not very long... here's the link in case you're interested... 

 

Thanks for the suggestion and the link to the free ebooks for Special Forces.

She has other books including Deliverance (spin-off to Special Forces) on Amazon's Kindle, but nothing on Audible, so it will likely take me a little longer than my customary 8-12 hours of listening to go through her free ebook.

https://www.amazon.com/Marquesate/e/B007FHNBBG/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_2

I'm glad you're approaching abusive relationships with candor; I do prefer a happy ending in my gay romances to contrast with the bleak reality that exists :) 

More complex romances are still a limited or even taboo subject, if the two lovers of a gay romance are both still in love, sane, unaffected by grief or circumstance, and non-abusive. I think that might be something I'll play around with. Heterosexual romances have played with the concept about finding fulfillment in life and love, so why should gay romance not have similar goals for its characters :) Two people who truly love one another, but cannot fulfill the others needs is an interesting concept.

If you want the antithesis to gay romance (the photo negative), A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara outlined various concepts of gay romance and had wonderful characters who could have had HEA, but she gut-wrenchingly (like a nuclear weapon) in her book tore down everything and everyone, ending with the main character's self-loathing, depression, and loneliness causing his suicide (There's no happy Heaven, no hope for the future, just endless loss and regret). I can't really read that book from beginning to end, but read it piecemeal, its the liquid nitrogen to the hot gay romance genre. However, I read it, because it represents the opposite of the genre without being anti-gay/homophobic, it is love, hopeless unfulfilled need, and tragedy in an inhumane world with an uncaring creator.

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