So here's a sort of a wishlist for 2013, things I'd like to see more of in m/m, and things I'd like to see a lot less of as well.
Dub-con. I do love me some dub-con. Blackmail stories are really doing it for me at the moment. I love the power games at play there, but I've yet to find one I really love-love. Any recommendations are welcome!
Puppy play. Hot, cute, and at the same time weirdly humiliating...or so I thought. So often puppy play involves the big nasty Dom getting his rocks off by humiliating his sub, the the puppy play becomes -- and this may be the point, I guess -- dehumanising. The problem with dehumanising a character though, is that pretty soon I stop giving a damn about him. M/m needs more sweet puppy play...but J.A. Rock and I have got some of that covered... :)
Humiliation. No apologies, I love it. But, like with the puppy play, it's a fine line. Cross it into dehumanisation, and you've lost me.
Age play. Sometimes creepy, sometimes awesome. I want to read more of the awesome, please.
More drag queens! But only if we also get to see what happens once the make-up comes off.
Frat boys. Because they're young, cute, and a completely foreign species to me. We don't have frats in Australia, so all my working knowledges comes from movies and TV. So I basically know nothing.
ANGST! MORE ANGST! I do love a book that puts me through emotional hell. As a writer, I'm a sadist. As a reader, I'm a total masochist. But it's totally subjective. A book that makes you cry might just make me roll my eyes and wish every character hurried up and died. And vice versa. Everyone's taste is different, which is what makes comparing opinions so much fun.
And now for the things I'd like to see less of.
I'd like to see less insta-love, but that's always been a pet peeve of mine.
I'd also like to see less of what's become a staple in m/m -- the solo shower jerk-off. Now admittedly I have one of these in one of my WIPs, but ever since it was brought to my attention how common it is (thanks, Ami!) it's going to go.
And while we're on cliches, why are so many Doms multimillionaires who do nothing else but hang out in mysterious sex clubs? Seriously guys, you don't get to be a multimillionaire without at least occasionally going to work. This year, I'd like to see more Doms with real jobs and mortgages, who have to stop off on the way home from the mysterious sex club to buy milk.
And I hate -- and will always hate -- when a Dom is a Dom because he was abused, abandoned or unloved as a child. Or, worse, when a sub is a sub because he was abused, abandoned, or unloved as a child. Not every kink needs a nasty psychological trigger, and not every scene is a therapy session. Sometimes you just need what you need. It really can be as simple as that.
What would you like to see more of in m/m? And what really annoys the hell out of you?