Monday, June 20, 2011

Taboo Tens: Day Twenty Xakara

Hello people!

Welcome to day 20 of the Taboo Tens. 

While we celebrate Pride month we should not forget our brothers and sisters in the Bisexual community which is why I am running, Xakara's blog that already ran on Rawiya's on June 13th.

Its a fab blog and i'd like to get more thoughts on polyamory - bisexual romances.

Hope you enjoy it!


Writing from the Middle

Bisexual Romance, Yes, it Exist!
Greetings, Kittens!
Rawiya has graciously invited me along today to discuss “life in the middle” as a MMF romance author. Menage is an ever growing subgenre of romance, a natural extension of the classic love triangle. You know the one I mean: Hero A has everything she ever wanted, Hero B is everything she thought she could never have, who will she choose?
As a pre-teen, I read those books and always wondered why she had to choose at all. Menage emerged to show that she didn’t, at least not entirely. I’ve come across more than a few in which, once the deed was done, the threesome invariably learn that it’s best for her to be with just one of the men, but it’s less of a choice between them and more a clarification of what she/they really want. I can accept that, it’s just not my gig. I prefer the increasing, dare I say pervasive, HEA segment of menage that legitimately becomes poly-romance. I want my threesomes, foursomes and moresomes to work it out, stay together and become a family. Is it harder in real life than on paper? Damn skippy! But so are relationships in general and yet romance is the bestselling genre all same. Readers have extended the fantasy and I say give them what they want. Since I’m not a tease, I also deliver on that.
When you open my books, they’re all poly, all the time, (and there was much rejoicing); but there’s also something else in all of my books, all of the time—male-male love. I don’t mean the gay couple across the street, or the gay brother-in-law and his partner, (although I have nothing against shining a light into their love lives, if they leave their bedroom doors open), I mean two or more male leads that are in love with each other. Men who want to touch, taste and caress one another. Who watch one each other walk by with that hungry, all encompassing need to ravish the object of their affection. Men in awe and appreciation of the attributes of other men. And men who are also enthusiastically, if not always equally, in awe, appreciation and hunger of the attributes of women. Yes, I write Bisexual Poly Romance! And most people don’t know what to do with me.
MFM, that lovely combination that’s all about a women getting everything she wants, is easily shelved with the rest of het-romance and promoted like its monogamous brethren. Change the letters to MMF to become about a man getting everything he wants and suddenly there’s a pause. When the time comes to let readers know your work is out there, some sites that cater to erotic romance readers start to get a little jumpy if you want to stand out on the bisexuality or sexual fluidity of your characters. It goes something like this:
I write erotic romance and here is my MMF book, your readers will like it. “Hmm, gay content.” They’re not gay, they’re bisexual. “Still, male-male content, I’m not entirely sure how to package that to our readers, if you want to emphasize it, have you tried the gay romance sites?” The characters aren’t gay. “But it’s male-male content and they know how to work with that.” Fine, that seems reasonable. The majority of MM readers are women and the majority of them were introduced by various menage, (or slash fanfiction, like myself), stories that obviously worked for them. Many of them went on to launch male-centered romance/erotica sites and know what they’re looking for, great idea. Here you go, I write erotic romance, here’s my MMF book, your readers will enjoy it. “Hmm, straight content.” The characters aren’t straight, they’re bisexual. “Still, male-female content, I’m not entirely sure how to package that to our readers, have you tried the het-romance sites?”.
*Blink* *Blink*
Before you get the wrong impression, no one is entirely throwing MMF writers to the wolves, there isn’t a mad hate-on for bisexual/fluid content, it’s more a matter of neglect. A great story will speak for itself, it just needs someone to listen. With so many books released every day, specialty sites pop up to give all of you a place to come and talk about your favorite genres and find your desired content. They want to make sure that their readers are getting exactly what they want, so they narrow their focus as much as they can and those of us between boxes are forgotten. There are certainly readers who want everyone in the bed to be completely committed to the enjoyment of everyone else present, but where do they go? Where is the one stop shopping?
LGBTQ sites offer the full spectrum, but often the implication is that the stories will be about the struggle of being LGBTQ, rather than about people falling in love and learning about each other. Sometimes it moves beyond implication to outright statements by such sites who are “Telling Queer Stories for Queer Audiences”. Well, as much as I embrace and celebrate queerness, I don’t write queer stories, for queer audiences. I write poly love stories with sexually fluid characters, for anyone who wants to read outside the lines. Where’s my shelf?
In the end, enough writers of MMF, (and FFM, but let’s not even get into the red-headed stepchild treatment of FF content in non-lesbian romance, or of lesbian romance itself), or enough readers will get together and the necessary sites will emerge; either brand new or as offshoots of specialized sites that become spectrum sites to cover the full spread. In the meantime, keeps lists, start group discussions and track down authors doing what you want and getting it right and spread the word. We’ll still be here, writing and waiting for the time when being stuck in the middle, because conquering from the middle out. *grin*
Writing in the Middle Ramble ~ Done

Xakara is an openly bisexual, poly author. Her works include SHIFTING PASSONS ( A Therian World Novella), out with Samhain Publishing. A WAY TO A DRAGON’S HEART (A Therian World Novel) coming October 2011 by Liquid Silver Books. GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST (PsiCorps Book 1), out with Liquid Silver Books and DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT (PsiCorps Book 2) coming July 2011 by Liquid Silver Books.

Part One - Ghost of Xmas Past blurb from Goodreads

Four years after being gunned down by the city's most infamous crime boss, Empath and PsiCorps Agent Torrin St. James wakes from a coma to find that he's seemingly lost everything. Entered into the WitSecPsi program, as part of his cover Torrin is believed dead by the members of his psychic Triad, Resonance Partner Riley Valin and Psi Anchor Sky Roarke--his fiancé. Faced with nothing but the cold comfort of justice in testifying against the crime boss, Torrin convinces his Handler Quintus to help him barter his cooperation for a chance to break protocol and see Sky and Riley before the trial.

Two days before Christmas, in a secure safe house hours outside the city, PsiCorps makes arrangements for Torrin to see the two people he loves the most. It's everything Torrin's wanted from the moment he opened his eyes, but when the time finally comes he's left to face a multitude of truths and a symphony of sorrows. After four years the loves of his life have moved on, his Handler Quintus has been keeping secrets, and there's a high-level leak in the agency he's given his life to. The entire world has turned upside down and Torrin doesn't know if he has the right to fix it, but he's about to find out. Isolated in a safe house, under the worst storm of the season and no way to turn back, he'll learn if their feelings for each other are still passion incarnate or if he's just a ghost from Christmas past.
Contains: Psychic sensation play, same-gender making out, differing-gender making out, M/M/M/F foursome, polyamorous HEA


What a great blog! I hope you all enjoyed!

Please leave us your thoughts and win a copy of 

Edward Kendrick's Everyone's Man

Thanks for visiting us today!


Rawiya said...

TY Xakara for being a guest today!

Jean Marie Ward said...

It's always tough to open up a new door. Consider how long it took simple old m/f erotic romance to gain legitimacy in publishers' eyes. But you'll get there. :-)

judiebabie said...

I loved her thoughts! I'm a big M/M/F fan and I love to see the male love both of his partners!

Rawiya said...

Thanks Jean and Judie for stopping in.

I have two MMF's that alter ego, Rawiya is writing. I love MMF and it should be given a lot more attention than its getting!

Carolan Ivey said...

Years ago I read a beautiful story that was M/F/F, and I've never seen one since, more's the pity. I wonder why that is?

Anonymous said...

Great post!

MMF are my favorite stories. They are becoming more prevelant, but still not as much as some of us would like.

Share the Love!!

Susan R
(blogger will no longer let me use my google account)

Rawiya said...

Thank you Carolyn and Susan.

Totally. There needs to be more MMF and FFM!


xakara said...

Thank you all for the comments!

@Rawiya, Thank you for having me. What a great place to visit! :)

@Jean Marie, True, MF erotic romance took a bit to find its footing, and MM, as rapidly as it may be growing, is still finding its place. It will be a split between waiting for recognition and pushing into the niche to bring that recognition about.

@ Judie, Thanks for this comment. I know readers like you are out there--in abundance no less. It's just about getting the content where they can find it and get what they want! So glad you came by!

@ Carolan, I agree. I see FMF, but I know there are many MFF authors out there. They just need a place to be represented. MFF also suffers the repetition of "FF doesn't sell well", but I think that's a self-fulfilling prophecy that can be changed.

@ Susan, Again, so glad you came by! I know you all are out there and I know you want the material. We just need a few places where we can promote it and let you know it's out there. Give me time! :)

readingromances said...

Amazing guest post, Xakara!

JoAnna said...

MMF menages are new to me. I just started reading them and I have to say I love them.

beckerjo at verizon dot net

Rawiya said...

TY both for visiting today, Joanna and Reading Romance

xakara said...

@Reading, Thank you! It's always great to know when a post resonates.

@JoAnna, Welcome! I love the MMF genre, (obviously *grin*), and I'm so glad you found us. Read widely and keep a lookout for more Writing From the Middle, discussing the genre where you can weigh in as a reader and let us know what's drawn you in!

Thank you both for coming by!


Rawiya said...

Note: I just recalled I was giving away AJ's angel by LA Witt today.

If you'd like a chance at the book. Please comment on the Sheila Gallagher post