Do male/male romances have to be steamy?

I’m excited to have L. M. Brown here on my blog today. She has graciously hosted me on her website, too, recently. And now I back away and let her take over.


Hello everyone and thanks to Starla for having me here today.  I am here to talk about male/male romances and whether they have to be graphic in the bedroom.

I have read and written male/male romances for a long time now, starting my career in the realms of fan fiction before moving on to original stories and publication.  Back in the days of fan fiction I wrote many genres including non-romance and male/male slash stories.  Because I wrote so many genres, and because there were a lot of youngsters following my stories, when I started to write more graphic sexual scenes I decided to lock those away on my journal so only those who over 18, who had requested access could see the ‘naughty bits’.   Even now, some four years since I locked them away, the requests for the extras hit my inbox on a regular basis.  The general consensus seems to be that because a story is slash, it should therefore also be graphic when it comes to the sex scenes.

Male/female romances don’t have to be erotic to be successful.  Some of my own favourite male/female romance books are of the sweet variety, where the sex scenes take place off the page.

The heat ratings at publishers include the lower ratings for those romances that could be classified as sweet, but how many male/male books are actually in this category?  Relatively few by my estimation.

So, why is this?  What is it about the male/male genre that seems to make readers (and writers for that matter) equate it with also being hot and steamy?

Have you got any theories about why so many male/male stories are graphic when it comes to sex?

Do you prefer this or would you like to see some sweet romances in the genre as well?

Not all of my stories have characters who are in and out of the bedroom from one chapter to the next, but they still seem to end up there more often than not.

In comparison to my last book, Between Heaven & Hell, my latest story is very tame.  Let Down Your Hair is a male/male fairy tale romance, but even so it is still a far cry from a traditional fairy tale when it comes to the sex scenes.  If you get the chance to read the story, I hope you enjoy it.


In a world where fairy stories are historical fact, Prince Aiden is on a quest to find a princess to rescue and bring home as his bride. Deep in the Enchanted Forest he finds Robert, a cross-dressing painter who lives alone in his tower. Mistaking him for a woman, Prince Aiden is determined to have Robert as his bride.

When the prince of his dreams shows up at Robert’s tower he is far from happy, especially when the handsome prince refuses to believe he is a man. Can he convince Prince Aiden to love him as the man he is, or is their happily ever after doomed from the start?


Robert sat up so they were on eye level once more. “I never said my true love was a woman,” he whispered before leaning forward and brushing his lips across Aiden’s. Aiden sat there as still as a statue, while Robert contemplated when exactly he had lost his bloody mind.

When it was clear Aiden was not responding to his kiss at all, Robert pulled away and threw himself backward onto the mattress.

“What was that?” Aiden asked.

“I believe it’s called a kiss.”

“There’s no need for sarcasm. Why did you kiss me?”

“A wife has the right to kiss her husband if she wants,” Robert snapped. “Since you insist I play the part, I figured I can kiss you if I want to.”

“But why would you want to?”

Robert snorted humourlessly. “Damned if I know.”

Aiden settled back down beside him. “Have you ever done that before? Kissed another man, I mean.”


“Do you like me?”

“Would I have kissed you if I didn’t?”

“So you do like me?”

“I suppose so.”

“It’s only natural, I guess. Everyone is waiting for the handsome prince to come rescue them from their dreary lives.”

“My life wasn’t dreary.”

Aiden turned his head to wink at Robert. “I notice you didn’t question my handsomeness.”

Robert threw a pillow at Aiden and turned his back on him. It was going to be a very long night. His cock, wide awake and raring to go, reminded him it was going to be another uncomfortable night as well.


Available from Silver Publishing


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6 thoughts on “Do male/male romances have to be steamy?

  1. Myristica

    I’m so glad you brought this up. I have a difficult time reading sex scenes, let alone writing them. Not because I’m a prude, but because, to me, you’ve read one sex scene you’ve pretty much read them all. It does depend on whether the writer is able to capture the ’emotion’ within the scene that will determine if I will read it through or simply skim over it to get back to the story. I do a lot of skimming over sex scenes as a result of the: ‘Been there, done that’ feeling I get when reading them.

    I prefer intimacy over the actual sex act. If I can imply the sex is there, then I leave it to the reader’s imagination. I try to write some sex scenes, but as I said, it’s very difficult. A friend of mine once said, “How many times can you choreograph a sex scene before you start repeating yourself?” This is why I skim through them. The story, the relationship, how it’s built outside the bedroom (or wherever it is they are having sex), is the most important thing for me. Some writers can really bring the sex home, some not so much. To me, it’s the story and relationship that counts and the sex is fine, but for me, it’s something I can do without when it comes to the story. My books are very tame compared to others out there, and I’m sure that may affect my sales, but writing sex scenes takes a talent I need to improve on before I can honestly say my stuff is ‘hot’. Now, intimate? Heart tugging? Angst-driven? I’m there!

    1. L.M. Brown

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Like you, I have skimmed a lot of sex scenes in the past. I prefer the intimacy and the emotional build up more than anything else.

      My books generally do fall into the hotter category with graphic sex scenes in them, but I do wonder how long it will be before they are starting to get repetitive. It is something I am conscious about needing to work on.

      I hope that the plots of my stories are enough to grip the reader without having to rely on the heat level, which isn’t always that high.

  2. Starla Kaye

    Interesting thoughts on the sex vs intimacy thing. I write a lot of sex scenes and don’t have a problem with it…other than how to make them really fit the particular characters. Sex is pretty much sex. Intimacy or the emotion behind the sex is very, very important.


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