Cheating is a big deal in the m/m genre. Most readers don’t like it and won’t read it.
I don’t get it. Cheating is the very essence of relationship drama. It adds all kinds of angst to a story, and in talented hands, can involve the reader to the point where they can’t put the book down. Think of Presumed Innocent. Brokeback Mountain. Anna Karenina. The English Patient. Madame Bovary. The Scarlet Letter. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that some of the best books ever written center around someone cheating on someone else.
In my just-released ebook, Devin meets and has sex with Jim while on vacation. There’s enough of a spark there to convince them they should explore their connection further, but Devin goes back to Sarasota while Jim remains in the Keys. They agree to keep their relationship open for the time being.
This isn’t sitting well with some readers, and I have to wonder why. The guys just met, for chrissakes. They haven’t committed to each other and they’re separated by an entire state. It makes sense that they remain open to sexual offers from locals while pursuing their interest in each other. But they consider Devin fucking his psycho teammate, Jorge, cheating.
Sex and love: Is it different for men and women?
Women want the happy ending. They want the love interests to meet, fall in love, get it on (preferably with tons of fireworks), and never, ever stray. Since the majority of readers of m/m books are female, most of those books have an HEA (happily ever after). That’s okay. Reading is escape and the reader should get what they want.
The Blue Paradise has a happy ending, but the main characters go through some shit before they get there. For those that want a completely angst-free book, buy Bringer of Light. The characters meet, fall in love, and never fucking stray. It’s happy/happy from start to finish, a wonderful love story without great conflict.
I prefer something meatier. I want the books I read to reflect real life. I know that some men will collide in back rooms and alleys for a quick orgasm and go merrily on their way. It’s just an orgasm, people. It’s not love.
Men have a much easier time separating the two. Until they commit to The One, they’re content to enjoy casual sex with as many partners as possible. They’re hard-wired for it. Not to acknowledge that is to ignore one of the great truths about men.