Tab A goes in which slot again?
October 29, 2011 8:08 PM   Subscribe

Where can I read some good gay erotica?

My NaNoWriMo outline includes a gay (male) couple, and given that all the hetero couples are likely to get it on, I wouldn't want to leave the gay couple out of the fun. But while I have a kabillion pages of straight romance reading and some real life experience to inform my opinions on straight sex and how it's presented in a romantic but explicit context, I have no matching experience with gay sex.

I'm not overly hung up on getting things perfect, since I fully anticipate my NaNo project will suck and get stuck in a drawer forever and ever amen, but I also don't want to hang myself up on this point, and end up losing at NaNo because of it, so I thought if I did a little light reading in the next couple of days, I could at least have some sense of how these things work to draw from.

I'm not totally clueless as to the potential mechanics of the situation, but in straight sex, at least in the romance novel context, it's pretty much understood what the rough sequence of events is, and it all culminates in vaginal penetration which leads to simultaneous orgasms that rock everyone's world. There's not really a question of whose vagina gets penetrated or whether that's negotiated or obvious or whether everyone takes turns or what exactly happens, because there aren't any other options.

My problem with just grabbing whatever from Literotica is that my understanding is that much of the gay lit that floats around the web was written by straight women (pot, meet kettle) and thus may be just as ill-conceived as any attempt I would make would be.

Recommendations for specific stories or specific sites would be appreciated. I don't mind signing up for things that are behind a registration wall, but I'd prefer not to pay if I don't have to.
posted by jacquilynne to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

It's not erotica but the novelist Alan hollinghurst will definitely tell you what goes where and how it feels once it gets there. Maybe check out The Line of Beauty or The Swimming Pool Library from the library and read the bits the binding seems to have been opened to the most.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 8:29 PM on October 29, 2011 [6 favorites]

I second Alan Hollinghurst for some brainy sex - plus he is an awesome writer. For something more florid - there's always Anne Rice.
posted by helmutdog at 8:33 PM on October 29, 2011

I haven't readElements of Arousal, Lars Eighner's guide to writing gay erotica, but I've read with great enjoyment some of his erotic work as well as his non-erotic memoir Travels with Lisbeth, and found him a wonderful author. His website seems inordinately difficult to navigate, but here's (I think) a link to the
posted by layceepee at 8:48 PM on October 29, 2011

Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh jumps to mind.

Also, I wouldn't dismiss Literotica (and the like) completely. Even if the writing isn't 100% authentic, the best of it is written pretty deftly to at least appeal to the fantasies/desires of many gay readers. I think it'd be really hard (yeah, I said it) for a story to get a ton of 'favorites' from the target audience if it wasn't at least hitting some of the right buttons.

wait, I'm mixing my metaphors now, aren't I.
posted by argonauta at 8:56 PM on October 29, 2011

Do you know about the Nifty archives?
posted by hermitosis at 9:02 PM on October 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

Don't know what level of sophistication you're looking for, but if you want some 'down in the trenches' gay literotica, just go to

A lot of gay literotica bypasses the nuances of straight porn, especially when written by women, but has something for everyone. On the other hand, some gay literotica weaves stories on multiple levels that just might blow you away (pardon the pun).
posted by matty at 9:06 PM on October 29, 2011

If this violates self-linky policies, delete at will, but it's relevant! I happen to co-edit a webzine that is entirely gay erotica. Much of it is written by women, but there's a big archive of stories of all kinds of different levels of romance and pornographic content, so go nuts.
posted by whitneyarner at 10:00 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Clive Barker has written lots of gay sex scenes. Here's one of my favorite horror stories of all time: In The Hills, The Cities, which includes a fairly short and soft-core one.

A recent study shows that only 33% of gay and bisexual men have anal sex, so don't assume that it always culminates in that.
posted by empath at 10:32 PM on October 29, 2011

Alberta Manguel has curated a few anthologies--two of a wide range of erotica called the other side of paradise, which has lots of queer stuff, and a smashing gay male anthology, with some serious hot scenes, called In Another Part of the Forrest--it is the best anthology of msm writing i have encountered, and though it has a large chunk of realtionship stuff, it doesnt skimp on sex.
posted by PinkMoose at 12:12 AM on October 30, 2011
posted by PinkMoose at 12:15 AM on October 30, 2011

You may also be interested in Minotaur's sex tips for slash writers, notes by an actual gay man for all those straight women writing homoerotica. (I find Zap Colors helps a lot when reading his original site).
posted by Lebannen at 4:13 AM on October 30, 2011 [3 favorites]

The nice thing about gay sex is that there aren't social scripts set up to guide things. Spontaneous, unique and passionate - get those elements in and you'll be okay.
posted by whalebreath at 4:52 AM on October 30, 2011

Empath, that recent study you referred to says that About 33% of men in that survey had anal sex during their most recent sexual experience. It said nothing about the regular sexual habits of the surveyed men. The actual prevalence of experience with anal sex among gay men seems to be from 50% to 75%.
posted by General Tonic at 11:46 AM on October 31, 2011

Thanks, all.

I've marked Lebannen's post as best answer, because the tip section on Top or Bottom answered one of the questions that left me most unsure.

I read some of the stories, as well, just to get a sense of how gay sex is often portrayed in erotica.

I'm at 12163 words on my NaNo project, and more than half of those deal with this couple, so I think we can safely say you saved me from brain freeze in this area.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:28 AM on November 6, 2011

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