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Gay male erotica turns me on — so what?

Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Her short story "Don't Ball the Boss" (inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch) was nominated for the Pus...

How I went from reading gay erotica to publishing it myself

When I first started reading Sherlock fan fiction, I was resolutely against the whole Sherlock Holmes and John Watson romantic relationship scenario. I just didn't see it. Instead, I focused more on Sherlock and Irene Adler — but then. Then, I read one simple fan fiction in which a certain Dr. Watson seduced famed detective Sherlock Holmes, and I was hooked.

I started reading more homosexual fan fiction, which quickly developed into reading homosexual novels. Then, shockingly, I got the inkling to write some gay erotica of my own.

Don't Ball the Boss grew from my attraction to British actor Benedict Cumberbatch and a photograph I saw of him with openly gay American actor Zachary Quinto. In the photo, Zach looks like he's completely enamored with Benedict, and from this simple image grew a short story about a male Hollywood personal assistant in lust with his male boss.

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The story got picked up for publication almost immediately and was eventually nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Quickly, I became known as a woman who wrote homosexual erotica. I've since published five short stories and two novellas (not counting the novel I recently completed) that feature homosexual relationships — and these fictions are not PG.

The truth is, picturing two men together turns me on. Why? Well, as a straight female, I think men are beautiful. I think two men kissing is a gorgeous thing, especially if the men are gorgeous. I like the vulnerable tenderness of two dudes in bed, when men, stereotypically, are supposed to be so tough. I want to see two guys cuddle, OK?

My sexual fascination isn't always accepted, of course. When I tell some people I occasionally write homosexual erotica, they get grossed out and can't understand why. Then again, I don't expect most people think about sex as much as me, and when you think about sex a lot (and have a colorful imagination), you're open to pretty much any fantasy your brain puts together.

But I don't want to write homosexual sex off as some weird fantasy of mine. I do think it's truly beautiful and not always in an explicit way. I don't need to read or write about penetration to be fulfilled. I've read some amazing gay young adult literature (the happy ending sort) and stories about two men adopting a son that make me coo just as much as the explicit stuff.

In an era when gay marriage is now federal law and people are much more comfortable being out, I don't see why literature shouldn't be the same. We've beaten the hell out of straight romance. We've seen enough covers with Fabio. Now, thanks to authors like JR Ward, Christopher Rice and even Rainbow Rowell, we're reading love stories about two men — and, as popularity indicates, we love them.

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I will keep writing gay erotica, because frankly I write for myself, and I love writing about two dudes in love. I'm always going to get weird looks because a lot of people don't understand why I think Hozier's music video, "Take Me to Church," is such a masterpiece. They don't understand why I think it's cute that Benedict Cumberbatch kisses close male friends on the cheek and gives them hugs that would melt me into a horny puddle.

Our society is moving forward, slowly, so isn't it about time we stop being shocked by straight women like me fantasizing about two men having sex? I think so.

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