Gay Erotica as genre does not earn much shelf time. I thought it about time that we delved into what it meant writing gay erotica. A quick look at Amazon is enough to see that these shelves are dominated by women. The few male authors of gay erotica do not seem able to even take themselves seriously. My cursory inspection revealed author names such as Dick Cummings, Randy Manners and Miles Long. Now whether or not there really exists a Mr Dick Cummings is quite beside the point. What is obvious is that many if not most of the male authors of this genre are (unintentionally?) cheapening the genre with poor covers and and obvious slant towards pornography.
To help clarify what it means writing gay erotica, allow me to introduce Mr David Roslyn...
I have been a fan of all types of erotica over the years and when it has come to gay erotica, I have found it amusing that the good ones are generally written by women - women writing about male gay erotica.
Of course there are men doing the same but in general there have been two distinctive differences. The books penned by women have more emotion and context intertwined with the erotica and the erotica itself is often subtle. In essence, the sex had complimented the story, whereas often with male authors, the story has complimented the sex.
After having read a collection of short stories earlier this year, penned by a male author, I was appalled at the pathetic attempt at narrating simple pornography, instead of creating stories that involved sex and the enjoyment and relevance thereof to a particular character or situation. I then decided to try my hand at my own and after having written 3 short stories, I realised a character was forming. So then I went on to write my first eBook and followed it with two more.
Erotica vs Pornography
Erotica deals with sex and is meant to cause a sexual response, whereas pornography is usually visual but in the context of writing it is explicit and only about sex. Thus to differentiate the two I would say that erotica works on all aspects that create a response, whether emotional, physical or contextual. In opposition to this, pornography in written form is simply an account of sexual scenarios and nothing else.
I would admit though, that my first book had a lot of sex in it but in the end I decided to keep it as such because it was central to the character and what was to follow for him. In the second and third book, there were more complex characters and sex was important but not the only focus of the stories. The reader could be attracted to the character and their nature, as much as the physical situations.
Granted, I did not write an award-winning series but wanted to entertain my readers with realistic stories that are to some extent based on my own experiences or imagination. The fact that I did drama when I was younger enabled me to write them in first person and in essence become these characters, thus making it more believable and interactive. This was my choice.
10 tips for authors of gay erotica
But by going and learning through the process, I have found ten things that I believe any person writing gay erotica should keep in mind:
1. Don’t only fill up the book with a bunch of sex scenarios. Let the sex be a character or an integral aspect defining a character.
2. Be mindful of the sensitivity of gay people. So avoid using terms as ‘abnormal’ or ‘unnatural’ when referring to their sexual orientation. It is good to have a gay person edit the book.
3. Don’t ever refer to being gay as a lifestyle choice.
4. Respect the fact that gay people in general want the same things as any heterosexual person; namely, love, passion, commitment and a sense of belonging
5. Be true to the nature of people and avoid passing prejudice as an author onto a character. This simply means that the character should be realistic and not a cliché
6. Don’t repeat sex scenarios word for word or context for context in the same book. If the sex is to be mundane then simply refer to it and not describe it – unless of course the point is to show that the character is bored with it. In this case, the sex scenario should be brief.
7. If reading the sex scenario after the book has been completed results in a physical, mental or and emotional response in you as the author then you have a winner!
8. Don’t limit yourself to your own experiences but explore alternative forms of sexuality. This is why I also write bisexual or heterosexual content because though it may not appeal to me in some instances it is still erotic in itself.
9. When describing a sex scenario, use all the senses to describe what is happening. It adds to the allure. Be reminded that every person is in tune with their own unique preferences and find different things stimulating, i.e. some are attracted to what they see, whereas others are stimulated by what they smell or hear.
10. Most importantly, have fun! It is supposed to be entertainment for adults.
About the author - David Roslyn
An introverted author who pours himself into his passion - writing gay erotica - for a neglected readership. Stumbling into the genre by accident David now dedicates much of his day to developing his characters and their romantic trists.