Friday, July 24, 2009

I Am Woman

by Raelene Gorlinsky

Okay, Kelli's got that dang "It's Raining Men" song playing over and over in my brain. So I'll try to supplant it with another tune, today's topic.

We women generally like other women, right? We've had BFFs since we went to kindergarten. There's so much we can talk about with our female friends that we would never say to a man. Most women say they are more comfortable amongst a group of other women than in a mixed group or a group of men.

So why aren't female-on-female romances more popular with women? Yeah, f/f movies (okay, porn) are really popular with men, they apparently love to watch women together just the way heterosexual women readers have made male/male romances such a hot trend in the past few years. But based on sales figures at romance and erotic romance publishers (I don't know about sales at GLBT specialty publishers), those same mainstream women don't buy many f/f romance books. Or even menages of two women and one man, rather than the incredibly popular two-men-one-woman.

A couple of theories are kicked around. Women love the fantasy of being pleasured by two men, but don't see the fun in having to share a man with another woman. Or women don't want the "competition", the comparison to another woman. Most of us already have insecurities about our bodies, our appearance--would we really want a sexual situation where we are compared to another woman, even if she's a lover or friend? Or, worse, by the man in a trio?

But on the other hand--who better to know how to make a woman's body feel pleasure than someone with the same body parts? Would another woman be a more empathetic or understanding or supportive lover because she knows what works best on her own body and emotions, and therefore on her female lover's? Or does the whole idea of sexually touching and being touched by another woman leave you cold?

We're starting to see a few more female-on-female or two-women-one-man menage erotic romances coming out from e-publishers. Ellora's Cave has released some in past, without much sales success, but we have now decided to give it another try. We are actively soliciting erotic romances with female/female content.

But to acquire books that readers want to buy, we need to know what you want to read. So tell us. What turns you on or turns you off in female/female romances--both in the sex scenes and the romantic relationship aspect? Would you read f/f or f/f/m or f/m/f? And of course, the important part--why or why not?

And for those of you wearing an author hat--what are the challenges or difficulties or rewards of writing such stories? Are you at all interested in doing so? How would you research it? Do you think it would attract heterosexual female readers, or only bisexual or lesbian readers?

So...are you interested in such stories? Would you vote with your book-buying dollars?

36 comments:

Karla Doyle said...

I enjoy reading sex scenes of all heat levels, but always m/f. There's no such thing as too much sex, but when I read a book, I want the feeling of falling into the characters and their world - stepping into their shoes (or bed). I can't imagine life without my female friends, but I also can't imagine them in my bedroom.
Personally, it's never occurred to me to pick up a book with f/f or m/m content. I'm open-minded enough that I'd read one if a friend lent it and insisted it was a 'must read', but with all of the other choices out there, I can't see myself buying one.

Anonymous said...

Second book in my series has f/f in it. Still waiting to hear from the publisher to see if they want the first one. I suck at being patient.

Anonymous said...

If done right, I could see f/m/f being really erotic, even though I'm a hetero female who usually reads only m/f. However, I can't imagine buying f/f/m because, for me, the story has to pivot around the hero and his relationship with a woman (or two in the case of f/m/f), not around two women with a hero thrown in merely for their use and enjoyment of his tool.

Katalina said...

My best friend is a Gay woman. Her comments about this topic were revealing. She says she is very conscious of NOT sexualizing her straight female friends and not abusing the intimacies they share with her.
I think because women are by nature so intimate with each we also need some space as a buffer. Unless we are born with a Goddess-shaped hole in our hearts, we are sisters not lovers.
XXOO Katalina

Erastes said...

As I replied to the other subject it was only fair to be balanced and comment here too.

I have never identified with the women and girls in books that I read - I just read them. I never wanted to be Katy, or Lucy, or Lizzy Bennet, I just enjoyed reading about them.

Although bisexual myself, I'm not really very interested in reading either f/f or m/f, or any permutation of that. I will read a m/m/f IF the reader can convince me that the relationship isn't only validated by a woman being in the mix. The trouble is that the so called "bisexual stories" I've read so far have been with appalling Mary Sues who simply walk into a story and turn every single gay man in the pages instantly bisexual or worse, they are CURED of their gayness - because it gives a horrible message that all it needs is the right woman the stop a gay man being gay.

Seeing as how my comments are always skewed from a historical perspective, I see quite a lot of f/f books (historical) on sale, and of course, the best selling GLBT historicals are Sarah Waters' books!

Lynne Connolly said...

I don't read f/f and I don't write it. I have written f/f/m and had letters from readers asking me how much f/f action there is, because they don't like it.
M/m romance is written for women, not for gay men, although some might read it. Gay fiction is entirely different.
But I have to be honest and say I don't write f/f because it doesn't interest me. I'm hetero, went to a girls' school, and saw naked female bodies on a regular basis. Yawn. I think it's my lack, rather than something to be proud of, I'd love to add that extra dimension, but I can't pretend an interest, it wouldn't be fair.

Cassandra Gold said...

I don't write f/f (or m/f for that matter), but if it's well-written I'll read it. F/f is not my first-choice genre, but I've read some excellent stories when picking up anthos/bundles that included f/f along with other genres.

This probably sounds weird, but I want more emotion than sex with my f/f. (Of course, I like a lot of emotion with my m/m and m/f as well, but I hate all-sex f/f most of all. It seems more porn-ish than the other genres, which doesn't make any sense at all, does it?)

My least favorite genre lately is menage. I'm so over it. I don't really get why an established couple would need a third, and a permanent threesome would seem very difficult to maintain IMO. I'd rather read f/f than menage.

Of course, given the popularity of menage, a lot of people disagree with me. *shrug*

Karen, aka ammonite said...

I do not agree that gay men do not like or read/enjoy romantic novels. I think many of them want love just as much as women and heterosexual males do.

That said, I read and write m/m erotica, and I am a heterosexual woman. I read somewhere on the web that something like 80% of the slash written on the web is written by heterosexual women. Seems there are many of us out there that appreciate the same thing that heterosexual men do about two women "getting it on."

I do not read f/f because women's bodies do not "turn me on." I certainly appreciate their beauty, the same as I do a beautiful painting or sunset. I love to look at a beautiful woman the same as I love to look at a beautiful man, only I want to touch the man.

I like my erotica to leave something to the imagination, something for each reader to put their own hot idea into, the little tease, anticipation. The mind has to be part of the turn-on, not just the physicality. The sex is not only the body but the smells, the set-up, the location, each character's personality, background, the intimate, detailed moment, the timing.

I tried f/m/f once; she was too nervous, though the other two of us were ready. I cared a lot for both of them, and it was all about the caring and intimacy, not the sex - for me, anyway. I could write it that way, I think. Perhaps I will give it a try.

Lee Rowan said...

I think some of the lower interest in f/f romance is just reflecting averages--the number of lgbt folk in the overall population is between 5 and 20%, depending on your definition. Most het readers seem to be more likely to look for s/s involving their preferred gender--het men like cheesy f/f videos, het women are more likely to read m/m romance. Why would one read about love & sex with a gender that doesn't appeal?

As a man I worked with put it, "Guys aren't sexy. Women are so much prettier, guys are hairy and smelly." (Hey, he had a low self-image but at least he wasn't vain...) For women, I think a lot of the appeal is seeing men as more emotionally open and vulnerable--there are lots of other reasons, but I do think for women, it's emotional as well as sexual appeal.

Since most romance genre readers are het women, it's reasonable that the biggest subgenres would be f/m or m/f/m, or m/m. As my sister put it, if there isn't a woman in there, she doesn't feel like she's included .. though she likes some m/m if the storyline is interesting enough.

I also think that since nearly all of us grew up in a homophobic society, we have an ingrained--not necessarily instinctive--reluctance to investigate something that might arouse feelings we don't want to explore. How many het men do you know who volunteered to go see Brokeback? How comfortable would you feel riding the bus with a book that had a gay-friendly cover?

I think most het women don't read f/f romance because a) it has no men, and b) they have all the reason in the world to keep to the side of the ballroom that raises the fewest complications. If you're happily married, there are a lot of reasons to read stories that reinforce what you love about being with a man, and not too many for piquing your curiosity about the other possibilities.

I'm not criticizing, here; I spent almost a decade avoiding slashfic for that very reason...and didn't realize what I'd been doing until after I'd come to realize that I'm bisexual. If I had found a better man as my first spouse, or if my wife had been born male? Probably wouldn't have bothered with f/f. For me, it's the person, not the gender.

What I find interesting is that I have no interest in writing f/f fiction. Before I became involved with my wife, I read a good deal of f/f fiction--mostly mysteries, like Sandra Scoppetone's*, and some erotica--but once I had the real thing, I lost interest in f/f romance. Not to say I would never read or even write it, but for now... it would have to have some other strong plot elements besides the love story. In writing, I seem to like playing on the other side of the fence--we have a pretty comfortable, unexciting, middle-aged lesbian nest, so I go sailing into cannon-fire in my imagination with my m/m sailor boys. Why? Who knows? Those are the ideas that pop up and ask to be written.

As far as marketing is concerned... if you look at Amazon, lesbian fiction and romance do command a respectable share of the bestselling list, often outselling gay romance. Most of the 'dedicated' lesbians I know read a lot. My guess is that marketing f/f romance in a serious way would require venturing out of the "romance" pasture where boy-meets-girl is the standard, and into more lavender fields. I also suspect you would run across the same criticism from lesbians as some gay men express about women writing m/m--a het writer who has no experience of same-sex relationships may miss some of the fine points, and lesbians are, in general, likely to take exception to stories that read like they're written for het men.

If you want feedback from the woman-oriented women who would likely be your biggest readers, might I suggest you post a thread like this on the gay and lesbian boards at Amazon? Ask the girls who want f/f what they're looking for!


* Scoppetone writes good mysteries, and the f/f is relationship stuff, no erotica. Good writing, for any whodnunit fan.

Angelia Sparrow said...

I'm hesitant about f/f, both reading and writing.

Writing first: I feel as if I am putting too much of my own sexuality out for public consumption and critique. I got burned with "you're doing it wrong" statements from readers (mostly male). I knew I wasn't, since my girlfriend wasn't complaining.

I've written three lesbian pieces professionally. I may or may not write more. (am considering one for EC)

Reading: I have to feel like an author knows what women do in bed and isn't just cribbing from porn with big hair, shaved bushes and extra, extra long fingernails.

I trust women writers in this regard more than male ones. And I trust lesbian and bisexual writers more than straight ones on this topic. (after all, who is having the sex?)

Anonymous said...

I'm a heterosexual woman who adores the power of the male beast, and yet one who doesn't fear the vulnerability of female love. I can't do the psychological or industry analysis of some who've left comments, especially those who are industry insiders. Yet, I can tell the ECPI editors what I'd choose to read and why:

m/f forever and always if the hero is alpha, irregardless of whether the heroine is a bad girl who kicks ass or a delicate flower who sways with a gentle breeze (provided, of course, she isn't a TSTL heroine).

f/f if both characters were heterosexual women who happened to fall in love, showing that love knows no gender.

f/f/m or m/f/m (with limited or no homosexual content) if I were in the mood for a bit of wicked female domination.

f/m/f (with or without homosexual content) if I were in the mood for some lovely female subjugation to an alpha male, and yet parity with another woman.

f/f, m/m, and m/m/f (with m/m homosexual content) if I were in the mood for exploration of the unknown.

I suppose what I'm saying is that I could enjoy anything, provided the story had emotion equaling the sex. It's all in the execution. I don't want to read any story (no matter who's doing the kissing, licking, shagging, etc.) that's lacking in serious emotion. After all, it's the serious emotion that was at the heart of early m/f American romance writing in the days when the reader got left on the wrong side of a closed bedroom door.

And I think there's a market for everything, provided the e-publisher has a customer-friendly website that allows for quick and easy identification of material (EC doesn't currently have such a website, IMHO). As a busy professional, I certainly don't want to spend precious time reading through dozens of blurbs (and clicking on excerpts) to find the kind of story I'm in the mood to read. Not long ago, this happened to me when I was looking for a f/m/f story, but came across only m/m/f over and over again until I finally gave up.

Flick said...

I wouldn't buy FF, nor FMF. I have no interest in writing it either. I like alpha females but I prefer them to be funny and quirky not -in your face pushy. Yes to buying MFM and MM though.
I don't even like non-erotic books that feature FF relationships no matter how slight. I'm not homophobic,I'm just not comfortable with it and so choose not to read it. I wish I knew why!
But I'm not one who has lots of female BBFs. I'm shy and keep myself to myself. I don't have hangups about my body or sexuality but I don't strip off at the gym and bare all. I don't see anything inherently interesting in a female body like I do in man's. Maybe I need to be reborn as a gay guy?

Anonymous said...

I'm het. I like m/m. Not f/f. Authors Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman (married to each other) write m/m. Melissa Scott (bi or lesbian) writes m/m. Elizabeth Lynn (lesbian) writes m/m. What we all have in common is not just that we like m/m but we don't confuse our realities with our fantasies.

Anonymous said...

I'd be more interested in f/f than f/f/m or f/m/f. In the menage area, two women sharing a man doesn't appeal because it feels like there would be competition. There would be with m/f/m too, but the fantasy works better for me. My main reason though is that I don't like to share my man and don't really enjoy reading stories where the main heroine does. That's one reason I don't really like m/m/f either. Unless it's done well, in either scenario a woman can end up being the third wheel.

I'm glad EC is opening up to these genres again, but I'd really love to see them take a chance with femdomme/male sub stories. Male subs don't have to be wimpy. Joey Hill wrote a fab sub hero in Natural Law and I don't think I can be the only woman out there who would enjoy these stories. Giving the power up to a male dom is a great story line, but having a kick-ass female who can control a man without emasculating him is hot too.

ECPI Editors said...

Hey, Anonymous,

EC is open to fem dom/male sub stories. We just don't see good ones! Unfortunately, the subs are either poorly written regardless of genre, or the hero is indeed a wimp. Natural Law by Joey W. Hill is such a success because the hero is a true alpha - everywhere but the bedroom. Women love that. But a fully sub hero doesn't seem to interest our readers.

So if an author wants to submit a fem dom story with a gorgeous, hunky hero and a heroine who lets him be alpha everyone but during sex - we'd love to see it.

Raelene

Shayla Kersten said...

While the majority of what I write is m/m romance, I have included some f/f in a short story I sold to Black Lace. And I had a blast with it! I would love to write some f/f, after I finish the dozen projects I have lined up already!

I'd definitely be interested in reading some good f/f. Zane's Purple Panties is one of my fav anthos. Cleis has a lesbian antho coming out next month that I want called Lesbian Cowboys. The cover is hot enough to make me turn in my het card! *cackle*

I'd love it if EC had some good f/f stories or even f/f/m.

Anonymous said...

As a lesbian, I feel enough books of the past were so poorly written, so poorly portrayed us a people and over all made it seem that our lives were somehow different from our straight counterparts, we had no desire to purchase. It was hard to pick up a f/f book and not feel we were suppose to besome sort of sex machine that had sex with anything as long as it was a woman.

As a writer in the community, I have heard time and again, give us a well written book that portrays us as people and our sex as something believable.

As a writer of f/f, I strive to produce a well written book that portrays us as real people. One that shows sex our way and not as so many believe it to be because "it cannot be any other way".

dena celeste said...

I like f/f that is emotionally connected, but also fully immersed physically. I've written an f/f/m, and I really enjoyed the process of it. My research was real life experience as a bisexual woman who has had relationships on both sides of the gender line, and some of the emotions I've felt.

It's challenging in that there can be a lot of drama, jealousy and fraught emotions when it comes to women being together, but I think that when personalities mesh, either as friends or lovers, some women just click that way and it creates a lasting bond.

Well, I think that the readership depends a lot on what the reader interests are. There's a lot of mixing and matching with picking books. Some want to experience things outside of their real lives, and some want to read something similar. It'll depend on the mood at the time, and probably some curiosity.

I think I'd like to read more contemporary f/f, or BDSM f/f. Mostly I've seen fantasy, or sci-fi, and not too much of it either. There's so much m/m/f or m/f/m or something like that...I would love to see some f/f that's of the same quality as the m/m I've read. And for there to be menages and more that are f/f/f or f/f/m.

Blessings,
Dena Celeste

Anonymous said...

I have never written f/f romance because it just doesn't turn me on. I write about the interplay between opposites, and with two women in bed, even if one is dom and one is sub, there is no fire as far as I am concerned. I can write about a man licking pussy, but personally, the very thought of a female licking pussy doesn't appeal. I'm sure I will be one of the great minority, but to me, that just sounds...icky.

I have lesbian friends, and had to laugh when one told me I just hadn't found the right woman yet. Hell, I can't even eat raw oysters without it hitting my gag reflex. I sure as hell couldn't get past the issue of female body fluids in my mouth. And in order to write about something, I have to feel as if I am in the middle of the action.

Anonymous said...

While I'll admit to being curious, its never going to be something I'll ever act upon. I can't ever see myself making love to another woman and must admit to feeling a little uncomfortable. However I would imagine that although it might be a small market there would indeed be a market for such romances. Once the inital step had been taken.

shrtrican said...

Well although my view my not be popular I am compelled to share it. I have not been interested in any m/m stories. I would love to read and f/f story that has substance and shows the true embodiment of what that relationship could bring. I would even enjoy m/f/f but as I said earlier the storyline is what would have to solid and each of the characters have to hold their own. My two cents =-)

Fran Lee Romance said...

Any sexual commitment between consenting adults can be handled well by authors who understand the motivation and the background. I enjoy some m/m when the men seem real and not cock-sucking sex machines that have no feelings or thoughts beyond the heat of the moment. The same would apply to f/f romance. Women do not have to be "butch" or masculine to enjoy each other. Just as men do not have to be effeminate to enjoy sex with a male. I think it depends on the author and how they craft the romance, and how "real" the people involved are. Leave the stereotypes out and make the characters deliciously human and sensually lovable.

Ann Jacobs said...

I can imagine situations where a heroine might "share" her male lover with a friend who needed to recover from a very flawed relationship or something, but I doubt I'd ever write a scene where they both pleasured the male at the same time. I can't envision ever reading or writing a f/f story, because I can't imagine sex between two women being romantic OR erotic. I guess I just love men, in my bed or my heroine's, LOL.

But then I write heterosexual romance, and I don't foresee that changing. My own fantasy come true is having one Alpha male who'll do whatever it takes to fulfill me sexually and in every other way.

Catherine Lundoff said...

There's a fairly thriving f/f romance and erotica market for the small and medium-sized presses like Bella Books, Cleis Press and Bold Strokes Books. These presses have been quite successful and their books sell quite well.
I primarily write f/f because I find it both more interesting and under represented than m/f and m/m, though I do dabble in other combinations as well. I'm rather puzzled to see authors like Melissa Scott, who writes primarily nonerotic, nonromantic sf with lesbian and bi women protagonists, and Delia Sherman and Ellen Kushner, who have written a number of novels and stories with lesbian characters classified above as 'm/m' authors. "Trouble and Her Friends" and "The Porcelain Dove" are not by any stretch of the imagination m/m works.
From a reading a standpoint, I'll read m/m occasionally but I don't find it as compelling as most works with strong female protagonists. So yes, I would vote with my dollars for well written lesbian romance or erotica.
As for a heterosexual/bi women's audience for it, it's there to be tapped into and expanded. I frequently hear from readers and reviewers of my own work who do not identify as lesbian. I'm certainly not alone in this.There are a number of writers and reviewers as well who identify as bi or heterosexual but prefer to write f/f.

Adriana said...

I do write f/f scenes and mostly bisexual heroines because that’s what I love to read. Sexual orientation is on a continuum; enjoying reading or fantasizing about sex between women is a point on that continuum, part of the “sexually fluid” identity that’s coming into the lexicon. Romance can happen between any pair (or more) of partners, however gendered, and all deserve happy endings, however they define them.

Meg Leigh said...

I'm a lesbian, and I write. Mostly I write m/m, but I have also written some f/f. I tend, in my f/f to stay out of the bedroom, because I don't feel at all comfortable writing lesbian sex. I get the feeling that readers might think that the things I write, are also things I'd do in the bedroom and I really don't need to promote that. Of the two stories I have out at the moment, one has a sex scene in it, and the other doesn't go there at all and I was much more comfortable in writing the latter.

I don't buy, or read much f/f fiction myself because I have seldom found f/f fiction which I could relate to. As someone else pointed out, much of the f/f out there today seems to assume all lesbians are butch, tough, oversexed and aggressive and want to have sex with anything female that comes within pouncing range.

I am more interested in reading about lesbian relationships as a whole than I am in reading lesbian erotica.

This view may make me unpopular with some people, but I've been unpopular before. ;)

Jean Roberta said...

I get most of my books free by offering to review them, so I'm probably not a good representative of the "buying habits" of any reader demographic. I write mostly f/f erotica and some non-erotic romance because this seems to come more naturally to me than other combinations, though I'm willing to try everything else I know of (on paper). Menage intrigues me because of the difficulty of making it work long-term - only flexible & resourceful people need apply.

Actual lesbian lives seem incredibly diverse to me, and I like to see that reflected in what I read. There is a diversity of published f/f stories with varying proportions of sex vs. emotion. The presses mentioned by Catherine Lundoff seem to be doing well even in an economic slump, so someone is buying their books.

Beth Wylde said...

Beth Wylde:
I'm both an avide reader and an author. I write what I like to read which covers quite a lot of territory. The first story I ever had published was supossed to be a m/f story but it transformed into f.f instead. I've been hooked on the pairing ever since. There is just something so sensual and sexy and intimate when two women connect with one another that isn't there when a man is involved. I'm not a big fan of m/f/m but I definitely think f/f/m could be great if well written and I'd love to see f/f at EC. I actually sent in a query to EC several years ago not realizing that they didn't take f/f. I'd love to see that change. (I will honestly say that from what I have seen f/f does seem to sell better in print format than in ebook)I'd love to see that change too.
Beth
www.bethwylde.com

Kissa Starling said...

I've sold several lesbian stories to print publishers and every time someone suggests that lesbian erotic romance doesn't sell well in digital form it surprises me. Some of these comments are very interesting.

I believe that a publisher has to be totally behind lesbian and bisexual writing to promote and ultimately sell it. 'Trying it on' has been attempted by many in the past and it just doesn't seem to work. A few months ago a chose a digital publisher for one of my f/f stories because they already have the reader base for that genre.

Trading hats here- I would definitely buy f/f and maybe some f/f/m stories as a reader. I have a vast library of print erotic romance but the variety of f/f ebooks simply isn't there. There are so many plot twists for the other genres. As a reader I want variety- give me female pirates, ghosts, sweet librarians, grandmothers, etc.

I say let's expand this genre- the print sales for f/f are astronomical. There's no reason digital publishing can't ride the same bandwagon.

Rena Marks said...

Wow, I'm totally opposite. I'm completely straight, very boring...never even had a threesome, though I can write about them. I've never been able to write m/m, to me it just rang false. I don't see how I could make two men not seem wimpy.

But I can write f/f or m/f/f. I don't know why, I just find it flows to write about women and sex with each other rather than male sex. To be honest, I throw the man in for variety. LOL

Meta Michaelson said...

I would love to see f/f or f/m/f at Ellora's Cave. I love reading stories where one woman finds herself entranced and devoured by a man and another woman. I've read stories where the primary relationship was the f/m, potentially a married couple and the other female character was the girlfriend of both.

There is an up-and-coming true life story coming out called Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage by Jenny Block. It's a fascinating account of a couple who opened their lives to a new chapter. The girlfriend, Jemma, spends time with them, makes love to both of them, goes on dates with each of them, but the central relationship is the married couple. I would love to see fantasy stories about open relationships with strong emotional connections. I would absolutely buy them. I would also love to see stories where the three central characters live together in f/m/f relationships. Absolutely enticing.

Thanks EC for opening the doors to this potential!

Jen Bluekissed said...

I also would love to see f/f at Ellora's Cave. I write f/f, m/f, and m/m. I agree with the comment that was made about not just trying it out. The publisher has to be committed to a genre to make it work and sustain sales.

Bekki Lynn said...

I'm thrilled your're giving F/F another chance. With wonderful covers and careful marketing, it'll go.

I know I'd enjoy some well written lesbian stories and know other women who would as well. We'd also like some well written f/f interaction stories where the author doesn't come off skittish.

I hope to see more f/f/m, f/m/f stories out there, too.

We need to erase this stigma that women don't think of sex as often as men.

Kate S said...

Wow, it makes me sad to see how many people say they'd never write or buy f/f. I consider myself straight, and I've both written and bought f/f and f/m/f.

A good story is a good story - period. When the characters are engaging and the plot exciting, it doesn't matter to me what gender the main characters are, or who they love as long as their partners are lovable.

NormTracker said...

I have been looking for some good f/f and f/f/m. As a bisexual woman, m/m was the first tag I'd look for in an erotic story (even when I identified as straight), and I gradually moved on to m/m/f. When I first started exploring my sexuality and being open to the fact that, yes, I was bi, it still took a bit to convince myself to read f/f stories. Why? I saw that as THE POINT of no return. It took a lot of online archive-perusing before I got over my fears. Long story short, I would definitely buy books that featured f/f and f/f/m content. One of my biggest fears in my day to day life is that I will end up squicking one of my attractive, straight female friends, so if it works out for the heroine, it might give me and other bi women out there a chance to see where the starting point can be. Why are we letting the males have all the fun? It'd be great to see a good story that contrasts and compares the similarities and differences of the two women, because that is what females are so threatened about with each other. Comparisons happen all the time in the real world. It happens when two women walk together, definitely, so why not explore every aspect of this so we can better understand this? If we have a believable male point of view, all it can do is teach everyone about what we have to fear in this case (nothing).
Now, as an (aspiring) erotic writer, I find myself a bit discouraged because I want to write f/f and m/f/f scenes in addition to what I'm already dabbling in. I want to explore female relationships that turn into more. I want to know how to tell if your friend is uncomfortable or comfortable with such. And I don't want to hear it from magazines or celebrity gossip articles. I want to read a convincing story about it. And with such content as unpopular as this post says it is, it seems that those stories will be just sitting in my archives. But you know what? That's fine. I've got the bug now, and my brain won't rest until I've gotten it out of my system, if indeed, I ever truly get it out.

*looks back over her comment* Um.. sorry, I had a lot to say.

Anonymous said...

I am a woman who is happily married to a man. I know M/M is primarily written for straight women, but I don't care for it. It just doesn't do anything for me. However, I do regularly purchase and read F/F and F/m/F stories. I particularly like Paisley's F/F stories. She writes for EC.

It's all about a heroine being central to the fantasy for me. I don't want to read a story that doesn't have a woman in it, nor do I want to read a story that doesn't have a woman central to receiving pleasure. That dynamic has a big impact on whether or not I buy a book.