Towards the end of last year, I got totally hooked on M/M romances. Now, I mean there are some that are just as terrible and horrific as some of the M/F romances I've read - and I would assume, the F/F romances but I've not read enough of them yet to really feel that I can comment.
Now I probably read more gay romances than straight and I got to thinking about why that is. It's not what I originally thought - or probably what you're thinking. It isn't even the fact that there seems to be a lower number of creepy-ass alphaholes in these books. (Though there totally is less.)
It's the switch in dynamics.
Most straight romances follow a character template of super-masculine guy that just oozes testosterone everywhere he goes and a more demure woman. Demure is a good word for it especially in historicals. In contemporary (and possibly fantasy) inexperience would be a better word. There's a lot of blushing on her part, usually.
(I'm certainly not saying always, because there are some authors that write straight romance that I would follow anywhere because they don't follow this pattern.) Then they hate each other but then they gradually realize this is just unresolved sexual tension.
However, what I've found in gay romances haven't been like this at all. Usually both guys are somewhat experienced. (I mean, after all, a man's not a virgin! Unless he sometimes is…) And, even if he's not that experienced, there's a good deal less blushing.
Sometimes it's best friends having a natural progression to lovers, other times it's enemies to lovers, but most of the ones I've read and loved, it's more of an acquaintances to almost-friends to lovers.
And then there's the fact that so many straight romances are unequal. I mean, even now in this day and age, sexism is still a thing. Until it's not anymore, it's always going to reflect that in books. But I've read a lot of 'romance' novels where the guy coddles the girl. There's so many things she 'can't' do because - well, he loves her and doesn't want her to get hurt so he'll take care of her.
But, in a gay romance, the guys work together. (At least, the good ones. Novels, I mean - but guys, too.) There's more a feel of equality and that they truly rely on each other. I love that. I love the couples (any combination) that stand beside each other in support.
Sadly, this is something that isn't very common in straight romances - but if it was? I'd love them. So much.
Your thoughts? Do you read M/M or gay romances? Or F/F or lesbian romances? (because if you read them, I so want suggestions!) Do you read straight romances? Have you noticed any of this? Or am I totally hallucinating? (Don't answer that.)