According to countless articles and various surveys, one of the top fantasies for straight women is sex with another woman. Whether that’s in the context of a collaboration with the man in their life or whether it’s a solo project, the prospect of lady love gets the female motor running. So why does F/F erotica get the short shrift with readers of erotica and erotic romance?
I’ve read lots of great M/M erotica and erotic romance. I don’t think there’s anyone I know who isn’t down with boy love, unless they’re lying to me. Many of my friends on Goodreads have entire shelves devoted to M/M erotic romance. But everybody gets a little squirmy (not the good kind) when talking about Sapphic sexual encounters. There’s a lot of mumbling and shuffling of feet, some downward-cast eyes, and next thing you know, “Will you look at the time?”
Hmm… Why is that?
I have a Facebook friend who admitted that her husband felt threatened when she casually mentioned she wanted to read F/F erotica. Somehow, that was more scary for him than his wife reading about well-endowed billionaires. Why? My guess is that it seems like a real threat. In a straight man’s mind, no middle-aged housewife is getting banged by Christian Grey. But in his fertile imagination, she could very well have a few too many margaritas on Girls’ Night Out, let her friend Tracy slip her the tongue, and end up in a relationship that’s very confusing for the children. Men fear that kind of stuff. Legitimately fear it.
But what do women fear? Where is the reluctance to indulge in one fantasy while indulging others? Why is a literary dip in the lady pond such a taboo?
In my network of readers, authors, and bloggers, I’d say the top fantasy going (for both male and female readers) is the male dominant character. The alpha billionaire/demon/hedgehog/T-Rex is the winner. Bonus if he likes a little bondage or wants to inflict mild humiliation. The next fantasy in the hierarchy is the M/M romance, which includes lots of hot and rough sex but culminates in love. (Presumably because hot gay men, like hot dominant billionaires, are harder to tame, but sweet sweet love can domesticate their feral hearts.) And FYI, many of the avid M/M readers are lesbians. (Yep.) So there you have it.
There are only a few friends of mine who admit they enjoy a F/F story.
It could be that they really aren’t curious, although that negates both everything I’ve ever read about female fantasies and the many drunken confessionals I’ve heard from girlfriends over the years.
It could be that, like my one friend, their husbands or boyfriends are threatened by it enough to make them sacrifice the few books that come along that strike their fancy. Better to pass it by than have to spend hours cajoling a sulky S.O. (I get it, ladies, I do.)
It might be the fact that there is a dearth of traditionally- and self-published female erotica, especially quality stories.
Personally, I’m hoping that more steamy lesbian stories will make their way into the market and lure straight women to the genre. You know why? Because women are HOT together. They can be as bossy and demanding and selfish as men or they can be more sensual, more attentive, more satisfying than men can ever imagine being. They don’t have that bothersome refractory period to worry about, and they get the mysteries of the female body.
It’s good times, people. Very good times.
My favorite feedback about A Whole New Level is when women who have never read F/F before tell me they enjoyed the girl-on-girl scenes in that story. Yes! Now we’re talking! Some confessed to being a bit squeamish about reading the girlie action at first but later confessed to finding it “sensual” and “hot.”
I love just all sexual pairings, so I don’t want to confine myself to a niche, at least not yet. I’ll be honest – if there are any two people in a room (or three, but not four unless they’re paired off, otherwise things get a bit busy with all the bits and pieces to pay attention to), I am all over it. Men and women. Men and men. Women and women. Any pairing whatsoever.
I can’t claim to be a “lesbian author” in the traditional sense, because I don’t identify as lesbian and my female characters do not all identify as lesbians. My characters are lesbian, bisexual, bi-curious, heteroflexible, and straight. They are the fluid children borne of an omnivorous mind.
But I have a soft spot in my heart for the F/F genre. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a literary underdog right now. Maybe it’s because my lesbian friends are clamoring for me to write more of it. Maybe it’s just so hot that I really want to share it with the world, the way I couldn’t shut up about Magic Eraser after I first tried it. (Though believe me, vaginas are infinitely more magical than any cleaning product, I promise.)
In any case, I’m doing my little part by working on my own F/F projects. I love writing about women together. My first lesbian erotic novella, I Owe You One, is due out February 1st from Strange Flesh Press and will be available on both Amazon and Smashwords for only $.99.
For more great works by women for women about women with women, check out Strange Flesh Press or Ladylit Publishing, two presses dedicated to lesbian erotica.
And if you’ve read a great F/F story or have some thoughts on why the F/F genre is still such a touchy subject, I’d love to hear from you!