First go read this interview posted over on Remittance Girl’s page between RG and the editors of the Best Men’s Erotica antho.
The most interesting part to me was this bit about what they are wanting to see in BME (incidentally if it gives you an eye into my proclivities I had to fight not to read it as Body Modification Ezine):
What are you looking for in the Best Men’s Erotica entries in terms of approach?
Not just fuck stories, but self-awareness — awareness of ones own masculinity, how ones masculinity attracts a woman, persuades her to have sex, brings her to orgasm and influences her view of that connection afterward. Alternately, what is it about masculinity that makes a woman want to seduce a man? What is it that she is willing to surrender to or, alternately, what vulnerability (in masculinity) does she savor and want to seduce? What *is* it about the masculine that *works* for women? What do women see in the masculine and what do men enjoy about their own masculinity? How does their masculinity define their understanding of the feminine? Do they see the feminine as something to subdue? Do women see the masculine as something to submit to? What about when those relationships are reversed? What does it mean to be a masculine submissive?
These are all questions which deserve an answer, even if only provisional one. What is masculine sexual energy and how is that used to attract the feminine — and what does the feminine pursue in it and want from it?
For BME, I want to see inside the male characters’ heads – either directly through POV, or through the illumination of action and perceptions from the narrative. Beyond physical sensation, or want, or hunt, or conquest, are the thoughts, desires, and conflicts that drive them. Even the simplest, most vanilla love story is _not_ simple. We don’t call it ‘stepping lightly in love’ for a reason; the man falling has a story, and I want to hear it. And men don’t operate in a vacuum. Their partner(s) or potential partners are ‘other’, but not objects (or, if they are treated as or act as objects, the “why” of that can be a whole additional layer of complexity). How does the male character’s internal circumstance manifest? How does it interact and affect that other? What is the consequence, the feedback, the ultimate change of state over the course of the story – from physical to emotional and more? That’s the kind of story I would love to read.
From my perspective given that I often write from a male POV I found this very interesting.
Between these two answers there is a difference in approach I find very interesting. Will’s answer is very towards heterosexual male/female masculine/feminine. Where Raziel uses more inclusive language that leaves more area of interpretation as to what can happen surrounding masculine sexuality.
One of the problems I’ve seen in erotica right now is that a lot of markets tend to shy away from that open interpretation. Both erotica written for/by men and for/by women. For me as a reader this has presented a problem because I am not heterosexual and as I’ve mentioned a lot of what is in the market now just does nothing for me.
Looking at this interview and the call for submission (read that here) there is something that a lot of publishers are missing.
Character, story, and situation are open. Be literate and erotic. Our common orientation is heterosexual, but bi/pan/tran/homosexual stories are welcome and encouraged. If it can turn on or erotically resonate with someone who’s not a dyed in the wool homophobe, we’re interested. The primary focus of the sexual action is the male experience, male sexuality including but not limited to pleasure, is the main element. Style, humor, and intensity are all open; and happy endings are not required.
Many markets and even editors these days are riding the cash flow. Cash flows for romance that is often formulaic in what people are asking for. Heterosexual, Gay and the occasional bisexual tryst. There is also the market for (to steal Remittance Girl’s phrase) sexed up classics. Read what she had to say about those here.
From the perspective of my own work, it is deeply refreshing to see the bolded. Will and Raz (both of whom are fine authors in their own rights I dig their work) have opened a door and taken a stance intentional or not that bucks current trends.
I appreciate their clearly stated desire for literate and erotic. There is an unfortunate dearth of that in the market.
As a writer (I may or may not submit I haven’t decided yet) because I don’t write what sells in the mainstream markets, this sort of call gives me a glimmer of hope where I have honestly had none.
Again I have to say that there is room for all kinds of erotica.
Even if I don’t submit I want to read this collection. I want to see some aspects of male sexuality that go beyond have big dick will travel. I am a greedy reader. Give me something beyond the homogenous White, gorgeous, romantic (in terms of romance as it’s own trope) people having tender loving rooted in one type of love.
Let me say again if that’s what you read or write that’s fine. Go on with your bad self.
Perhaps I had the misfortune of coming of age in a time when erotica in print and on the internet was this wide open field of many kinds of sex and sexuality. If I wanted to read erotica that was/is transgressive and mean it wasn’t difficult to find. If I wanted fucked up love, one off I will fuck you because you’re here type stories, etc etc they were pretty plentiful.
Overall this is another reason that I am excited about Burning Book Press. Both as a reader and a writer. I desperately hope more presses start taking their approach and diversifying.
There’s nothing wrong with any of the erotica currently available in the world. Remember that please. What’s wrong is how hard it is to have to dig in order to be served. It’s unnecessary and demoralizing.
Okay that’s all.