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Today we are welcoming Storm Moon Press to the blog for a guest post and giveaway. Make sure you leave a comment at the bottom of the post if you are interested in entering the giveaway!
Bisexuality in Erotic Romance
One of the biggest obstacles to increasing bisexual visibility in erotic romance is that the traditional limitations of the romance genre restrict the story to following a single, monogamous dyadic relationship. When the story is focused on only two people, it can be difficult to introduce bisexuality as a concept. Additionally, many readers have expressed distaste at reading even tangentially about relationships of a different orientation to the primary one in the story, which makes authors even more hesitant to discuss bisexuality.
Unfortunately for bisexuals, this leads to an erasure of sorts. Not only do bisexual characters rarely feature, but also situations that could otherwise be classed as bisexuality are reframed to avoid using the word. One very common example of this occurs frequently in gay fiction and is sometimes called “Gay For You”. The idea is that one of the men in the romance has traditionally only had straight relationships, but there’s just something about the other man that draws him in and makes him question.
What’s implied in this type of story is that the character had previously been heterosexual, but is now homosexual as a result of this relationship, or that the character isn’t “really” gay, except for this one person. In either case, the character’s sexuality is being defined solely based on their current relationship, and in both cases, the character would be more accurately described as bisexual but for the stigma attached to that word. This isn’t a problem inherent to fiction, but rather a reflection of a broader tendency among people to assume that if someone is dating a person of the same sex, then they must be homosexual, but if they are dating someone of the opposite sex, then they must be heterosexual.
The fact is that a bisexual person doesn’t suddenly become straight if they date someone of the opposite sex any more than a person who is in no relationships at all suddenly becomes asexual. A person’s sexuality is more than just a measure of the sex of the person they’re with at any given moment. But people judge based on what they can see, rather than considering any alternatives. So while I don’t believe that it’s an intentional erasure based on some kind of rampant biphobia, the end result is that bisexuals have few examples of characters that accurately reflect their life or that speak to their experiences. And until readers begin to demand those kinds of stories and authors start to challenge expectations by providing them, the bisexual romance market is likely to remain untapped for quite some time.
However, it is a market Storm Moon Press is trying to broaden, to delve into, and we encourage authors to write fully realized bisexual characters. We ask readers to pick up a book starring bisexual characters and read about something that they might otherwise know very little—or even nothing—about. It’s such a broad world, and we’re eager to explore every inch of it!
We’re also happy to showcase one of our bisexual romances today in the form of a giveaway! Comment on this post to be entered to win a PDF copy of Erik Moore’s The Direction of Greatest Courage! This contemporary bisexual romance follows Jason as he is brought out of his shell and into a relationship he’d never dared dream possible. Comment for your chance to win!
Where you can find Storm Moon Press and Wild Moon Books: