I woke up this morning to my Twitter feed exploding with vaginas.
My feed has exploded overnight with comments about vaginas and women in mm books. Can't wait to find out what that was about.
— Sue Brown (@suebrownstories) July 4, 2013
Not literally, you understand, but a number of very annoyed MM authors making their point. The source of their anger was another provocative post by Wave of Reviews by Jessewave. On the face of it, Wave is making the point that she runs an exclusive MM site and is getting annoyed at the number of books that are not labelled as having MF sex in them.
One day I am going to agree with a blog from Wave. Today is not that day.
Up front, it's her site, she can review what she likes. Her site, her rules. However, she goes on further.
"Why are M/M readers treated so disdainfully? Are we not on par with het romance readers? M/M romance has been around for a decade, so why can’t our authors get it right? Clearly we are not respected because if we were this wouldn’t happen, and so often. Would authors insert graphic gay sex scenes in het romances? Not f*****g likely, unless the book is a ménage or a bi romance, and do you know why?"
Readers, I can't speak for anyone else, but the last thing I think about when I'm writing a story is treating you 'disdainfully', however I don't think about your feelings either. If I think of a book that has a potential trigger in it, I'll still write it, be it domestic abuse, adultery, child abuse or parental neglect. I know that this genre generally includes warnings at the start of stories, unlike other genres, even if it gives away some of the plot.
I have been infuriated by the need of some publishers to include MM sex as a warning, and now we are expected to do the same for MF? What the flaming eff? Is het sex suddenly a trigger issue? Are readers such delicate flowers they can't skip over the page and get on with the story?
I respect my readers to choose what they want to read, and in return I expect not be shoved in a box because it suits a label. I haven't written an explicit MF sex scene in an MM story. Not yet. But one day I might, and I'm not going to be told I can't or that it's disrespectful to readers. At the end of the day I choose to make two men my pairing, but they don't live in a vacuum. Women exist, het relationships exist and if they appear in my books it's my choice to write them. Just as it's the readers' choice whether to read my books.
EDIT: The post has been deleted.