But so many erotic romance sites are GLBT friendly, which usually means that there’s a ton of gay and bisexual men, but a dearth of bisexual women and almost no lesbians. Transexuals?* Forget it.
I know why. Because the primary readers of erotic romance are gay men and straight women, and bisexual/lesbian women and (maybe) straight men are a much smaller fraction of the readership. (This isn’t to say that all straight women and gay men don’t read F/F fiction, just that my experience within fanfiction has shown me that it’s not very common.)
There isn’t anything overtly antagonistic toward F/F relationships, just a comparative lack of market interest, which I find sad.
Writing F/F relationships has just as much ladypart mention as a straight romance, with a lot of the same stuff going on, just without a cock involved, so it’s not because F/F grosses the average reader out. Does the romantic interest’s bits really matter that much?
When I wrote Winter Howl, I couldn’t care less that the conflict was whether to have a relationship with a woman or with a man. It was never about that. It was about whether Renee wanted to be with Britt or Grant. Love was far more important than such a shallow thing as whom had which parts, and I think the relationship was just as intense (in a different way) between Britt and Renee as between Renee and Grant. And that was what drove the story. Lots of hot sex was a byproduct, not the purpose of the plot, which makes any kind of sex more meaningful to me when I read or write it.
I use Winter Howl as an example because of the dynamics, not because I feel like it has less readership because of the relationships in it. I guess I won’t know that until I write something more on-market. :) I would be very disappointed if people were turned off because of the F/F relationship, though, I guess because I’d feel they were missing the point.
So does this inspire me to write more gay and bisexual men? No, although I do have a true fondness for bisexual men (which will be featured in Cry Wolf) and there’s a M/M novella in my WIP trunk.
Instead, I want to write a supernatural lesbian erotic romance just out of spite.
I totally fail at writing for a market, and I don’t even care. :) I think I’ll schedule that for NaNo2014.
*I have not yet written a story about a trans individual. I’m not yet comfortable writing from that perspective. My first published story ever was about an intersex woman, though. Although those aren’t not so much sexuality issues as a gender ones, and it’s unfortunate we smash them all together like that. Maybe we do that because an atypical gender identity calls rigid sexuality identities into question?