A warm welcome to author Rick R Reed joining us today to talk about his new new release the Trilogy M4M
Check out the fantastic guestpost Rick wrote for Love Bytes!
Welcome Rick 🙂
Why Do Straight Women Love Gay Romance? Why Do We Love Whom We Love?
A Guest Post by Rick R. Reed, author of the trilogy of romance, M4M
Romantic hero number one, with stars in his eyes, asks romantic hero number two the age-old question, “Why do you love me?”
And romantic hero number two, who is a wise man indeed, gives a response that at first blush may seem glib, “Why not?”
This morning I am thinking about why we love what or whom we love. That question, I would think, would have great resonance among readers of romance, because it’s core to most of our stories—and often a writer feels he or she needs to give credible motivation for a couple falling in love. And in fiction, I kind of agree, but is it true for real life?
At the very first GRL in New Orleans, I had the pleasure of having lunch with reviewer Elisa Rolle and my dear departed friend, William Neale. At that lunch, I asked Elisa, with her reading far and wide in the genre of m/m romance, what interested her, a straight woman, about two men falling in love. She had an answer, which was, basically, that she loved romance and she found the power dynamic in hetero romance to be, finally, unsatisfying. Those books often had a lot to do with a woman being somehow rescued by the love of a big strong man. But, she said that in a romance between two men, the power dynamic between the love interests was often more equitable.
I thought that was a brilliant answer and one I have oft-repeated when people ask me why a large part of my own readership is straight women.
But then I began to wonder—why does it matter? Why does it matter why you like gay romance over straight? We like what we like. I have finally come to the conclusion that asking the question of why straight women prefer gay romance over straight is a futile exercise.
For one, the answers, if they even exist, could be as varied as the respondents. But number two, and more importantly, is the fact that it doesn’t matter. Questioning why you like something can be an exercise that sets itself up for failure.
Who knows why we like gay romance? We just do. Do we need to understand the motivation to enjoy the end result? I don’t think so.
We don’t need to understand why we love chocolate ice cream over vanilla.
We don’t need to understand why we prefer T-shirts and jeans over more formal dress.
We don’t need to understand what psychological machinations cause us to choose vodka over scotch.
We just like this over that.
We simply know what we like. And I think that holds true with reading. If we think about it, we may say we like romance because we love reading about that moment when two characters find one another and fall in love. But why ‘gay romance’ someone might ask. And I grant you the freedom to say, simply and truthfully, “I just do.”
Which brings me around to the real question on my mind: why do we love whom we love? From my own personal experience, I can tell you that, for me, finding the person who might seem like the perfect mate on paper can often be the worst choice. My most disastrous relationship was with a man with whom I had the world in common. If we hadn’t headed down the romance road so quickly, we may have been great lifelong friends. But instead, we chased after a romance we both thought would be right, because we had so, so much in common.
But here’s the thing: we had no spark. There was no magic. And, ultimately, the romance we tried to forge withered on the vine.
Conversely, I have had relationships that have been totally wrong in almost every way for me (and that also ultimately didn’t work out), but for some indefinable reason, they were a lot of fun and there was a spark. Who knows why?
Now, I am fortunate enough to have found someone with whom we had a spark and with whom I’ve found harmony and that is one life’s most cherished blessings. But I have also grown old enough and wise enough not to look this gift horse of true love in the mouth and ask, “Why?”
The only answer, really, is “why not?” Because, whether it’s books or life partners, the answer to that question isn’t really what matters. What matters is, “I just do.”
What do you think?
Finding and keeping love can be a challenge in the modern world of blogging, social media, and online dating, as one man will learn in this trilogy.
VGL Male Seeks Same
Poor Ethan Schwartz. At forty-two, he’s alone, his bed is empty, and his HDTV is overworked. He’s tried bars and other places where gay men are supposed to find each other, but it never works out. Maybe he should get a cat?
But his life is about to change…
Poor Ethan. He’s received the most shocking news a gay man can get—he’s HIV positive. Until today his life was perfect, with a job he loves and Brian, who could be “the one.” The one to complete him and fill his lonely life with laughter, hot sex, and romance.
But Ethan’s in for another shock. Could Brian have infected him?
Alone again, Ethan wonders if life is worth living, even with a cat. When an old nemesis sends a Facebook friend request, Ethan is suspicious but intrigued. It seems this old acquaintance has turned his life around, and the changes might hold the key to Ethan getting a new lease on life… and love.
Real Men. True Love.
Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their Boston terrier.
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