So I come across this rant by a gay man who writes gay fic. Apparently, some slasher gals were angry with him for writing? Not really clear what started it all, but the gist of the anger was because this gay man wanted women to know that gay men do not exist for our fetishes, and that we maybe need to stay in our own lane a bit, and by the way...we often get the sex wrong, so stop making him feel like he's not welcome to write stories about two men in love because he's a gay man, for Pete's sake!
Okay...there's a LOT going on here.
First of all, I hate when one group kicks another to the curb, especially for doing something creative. Not to burst any slasher's bubble, but can you not remember submitting your first fic? How nervous you were, because you hoped your efforts would be well received? And you got some feedback, and hopefully it wasn't all bad, and you took some suggestions and you got better at being a writer? Since the Ranter didn't say specifically what set him off, I'm not sure if the crits were about his actual writing, or if they were just ragging on him for his gender. The tone of his post seemed to indicate it was merely because he was a male, but that may be his interpretation. Without further details, I have no way of knowing.
Obviously, stating men should not write gay porn is moronic. Ranter did get one thing right: women often treat the men in their fics like they all have vaginas. Can't count how many fics I have read where there is no lube mentioned, no prep, no cleaning. Anal sex basically consists of "You hard? Great! Shove it in, my Dude." When I come across this now, it's like a typo. I know what it should be, even what the writer should have written, but for the sake of the story I go on. Or not. This can be what throws a reader out of a story, and is a legit criticism. It could also be laziness. You're writing about crab fishing on the high seas but you've never been in any water bigger than your pool...what do you do? RESEARCH. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...the Internet is a invaluable resource. It's all out there people. Read a bit, eh?
In my own writing, I try to slip things like showers in prep for anal sex into the narrative without dancing around with a big sign stating said character is now performing an enema. Why? Because I personally don't find enemas to be sexy, but I do understand the need for them. Lube is also a must have, and for crying out loud...you're a writer! Find some in a drawer! They make little lube packets you can carry in your pocket now! Stop using spit!
Okay, give me a moment to point fingers at the porn industry. Maybe your female slash writers are getting the notion a guy can hock a loogey at his partners anus and they are good to go BECAUSE OF ALL THE SPITTING! I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Could the folks in porn flicks please stop spitting on each other? I understand for some people, this may be a turn on, but I'm seeing it more and more, especially in the gay porn, and it's about as sexy as the sound of someone hoarking before they shoot a wad of phlegm at their partner. At least for me, this is not foreshadowing of him cumming on his partner, and makes me cringe Every. Damn. Time. Do legions of people really find this hot? Am I being prissy about this?
I also immediately assume the writer is young when I come across fic where the gay sex is missing things like lube and prep. I don't always say anything in my feedback, but I'm pretty diplomatic when I do, and even if they are not young, they may be a new writer, and I don't want to stomp out their creativity. Crits are hard enough to take, you don't have to sharpen the barb.
As for fetishizing, I have no real idea. I can't completely state why I like to read and write slash. There are many reasons, and I'm not sure any of them fit that description, or if they all do. I try to keep my slash under the radar of folks who aren't into it, but that is probably due to my age. When I started? Writing slash was WEIRD. Like Fight Club, you didn't talk about it. Hell, I didn't even know anyone else did this sort of thing until I was well into my teens, and even then it was just some weirdos writing about Kirk and Spock. (Mind you, I didn't think they were weirdos, but the rest of the world did.) And no, I don't believe for a minute that gay men exist for my enjoyment, what an odd notion. Part of what confuses me is the fact that slash started out as two characters who were NOT gay. You still have the trope of "No homo...except for this ONE guy."
This may cut to the heart of the issue. "Slash" and "Gay Porn" are two different animals. In the beginning, slash wasn't just two men having sex, it was about two men falling in love with each other. In the course of the story, and as sex became something we all got comfortable with, you saw it more and more in slash, but it was not the primary reason for the story. As time went on, the writers began to cut corners. No longer do you find most stories starting out as two men who do not consider themselves gay, and discover this about themselves through their attraction to each other. Part of this is to cut to the "good stuff" if you will, and part of is that plot gets old too. As more young writers came into being, gay men were becoming more mainstream.
PWPs popped up, which a lot of folks enjoy, but to me it's like potato chips without salt. Meh. If I'm in the mood for porn, I'll just go watch some porn, I don't need characters for it. And from my perspective...this is the reason more WOMEN write slash. Slash is porn of the mind and of the heart. I don't think you find as many men, gay or otherwise, writing slash because men are (generally, now) more visual. A guy reading smut loves when you describe things characters see during the sex.
How do I know this? I used to write on a primarily male smut site.
No fluttering of heart strings there, just some raw dog sex. I guess I should clarify: Porn is video, Smut is pure sex in text, Slash is love/sex. That's the way it is in my head, your head may vary. In the Before Time, when we were all on dial-up, a video was something you downloaded and then you went and made coffee, walked the dog, maybe washed the car...in other words, a three minute porn clip would take an enormous amount of time to get to you, and was often glitchy, or even worse, you got knocked off line before it finished loading. Arrrghh! So we had smut stories, gay and het, and they were all the rage. Me being me, I hung out (pun!) in the gay forums, and after wading through the hundredth fic full of mangled spelling to reach the end and have it be "And then he shoved his cock in his gaping hole and came." (Wait...what? That's it? Three hundred pages and this is the payoff?? Groan.)
Yeah, I started writing. And you know what? If feedback was anything to go by, I was fairly good. Yeah, it was sexy, it was kinky, and it was visual, but it also had a bit of plot. Not as much as I put in my slash, because the reader is here for the smut, but enough to make it interesting. Ultimately, I drifted from writing on there, although I'm still a member on my old Yahoo account. ;-) Since I've always been a slasher, I gravitated towards that, enjoying the use of characters and exploration of feelings. I wanted to get into the heads of the characters, not just their dicks.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying men cannot write slash! I'm just offering a reason why you may not see as many in the field. It saddens me that any woman would make a male writer feel unwelcome, but it may be blowback from women afraid to share the sandbox. For years, slashers were always thought of as crazy women who write gay smut, and I think this generation has embraced that, and maybe they are afraid they will get marginalized in this too. It's an unfounded fear, and frankly, we should encourage anyone who wants to write slash to do so. More talent for us! That's what I say. And maybe, in time slashers will stop being thought of as complete sickos, and maybe we will even get a TV show that is totally about men who love each other.
Oh, we already have that? Phfft...Supernatural doesn't count. Cockteases.