13 February 2010

From Where I Sit

I've discovered something interesting - I love it when that happens *grin* The lovely Meredith Shayne and I were discussing a scene in A Dangerous Thing (Josh Lanyon). It starts with Jake asking Adrian:
'So,' he said casually, 'You want to fu*k?'
And was followed by:
'Sure,' I said.
At the time of reading said scene (while having breakfast, which I don't think had any impact on my response but I thought I should disclose it) I felt...I'm not exactly sure...disquieted? It wasn't until Meredith and I were chatting about the book that I mentioned my disquiet over how the scene was set up. Hmm, that's not quite right. It wasn't the scene itself, but the dialogue. It felt...rough, blunt. Physical, not emotional. Very...basic! That's the word I was looking for. Basic! Not romantic.

Meredith's reply was that, when she first read the scene, it struck her as incredibly masculine. And our resulting conversation got me to thinking about how men approach sex - with women and with men. So, are the m/f romance novels we read accurately reflecting how men approach sex with women, or are they romanticizing it? And are the m/m romance novels we read accurately reflecting how men approach sex with men? Is the scene in A Dangerous Thing typical (and yes, I know use of the word typical is a bit strong).

9 comments:

  1. Ah, that's a big question. :) Not being a male person, I'm pretty sure I can't answer it. I do remember some big discussions here and there (Wave's place, for example) arguing both ways for the m/m.

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  2. Ah, that's a big question. :)

    Yeah, it kind of is *grin* Sorry! That scene in A Dangerous Thing just got me to wondering...I'm always asking questions :) Will try and search Wave's blog - thank you.

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  3. From my personal experience, I'd say that there is a bit of the fantasy in the m/f romances--the way we would like it to be, so to speak. However, and depending on the person, romance novel male speak can get quite close to reality, IME.

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  4. Well, I guess it would depend on the people and the situation, don't you think?

    I do expect romances to be romanticized--that's why I read them. As for the Adrien English books, I have a hard time imagining Riordan being emotional.

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  5. I'm with AL on this. I've been told that men would prefer the more direct approach, as displayed by Josh Lanyon; but have to smooth it out if they actually want to get it. Men have to romanticize it for some women if they actually want to score.

    It boils down to the same thing; just how much pretty you want on it, depends on the person (usually by gender).

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  6. azteclady - thank you. Nice to know that in some circumstances the dialogue isn't too far off reality.

    heidenkind - yes. Now that I think about it, it was rather a stupid question. But that's par for the course with me. And even though I've only read two of the Adrian English books I can't Riordan being emotional either.

    Mariana - LOL. Figures :)

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  7. Honey, you so need to watch Queer As Folk. That will certainly open your eyes about some guy's attitude towards sex. *g*

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  8. It's not a stupid question at all, so don't say that! :)

    What Mariana said is quite similar to what I said to you in my original email - society teaches women that the direct approach is not something they should respond to, so men who want to sleep with women generally (depending on the woman) have to sugar-coat their broaching of the subject if they want to get anywhere. But with two men, that societal pressure is removed, and so the direct approach is - generally - all that's needed. That's why the lead up to that scene in A Dangerous Thing works for me as a realistic scene between two men.

    As for whether the portrayals in fiction are romanticising things...well. To a certain extent all fiction is romanticising real life, so there's that. But also I think that you can't generalise about these things (even though I've just done it in the paragraph above, LOL) - in my years on the internet I have seen many a rant about scenes in fiction, how they couldn't possibly happen like that, that no one would say that/do that, etc etc, but none times out of ten - even 9.9 times out of ten - someone in the comments will say that actually, yes, whatever it is is possible, because they've said that/had that said to them/done that/had it done to them. Everyone's experience is different, and just because you haven't experienced that doesn't mean no one has. I think that as writers, we have a responsibility to get things as realistic as possible by using our own and others' experiences, and to have our characters react in ways that stay true to the personalities we've created for them. Hopefully then the story will ring true to the vast majority.

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  9. Ugh, NINE times out of ten! So much for the preview function.

    Also, I second Kris on the Queer As Folk thing - it's a great show, and a real eye opener.

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