Chit Chat and All That!
The Similarities and Differences Between Straight and Gay Relationships in Real Life and Fiction with
Julez S Morbius, Pablo Michaels, and Sharita Lira writing as BLMorticia
We decided to make this more of a conversation than an article. I found this to be very enlightening to talk with Julez and Pablo about this subject as we all strive to make our stories believable even though two of us can only identify with being gay in our stories.
Pablo gives great points as well since he has been committed to his partner for several years. He also speaks about writing hetero sex even though he hasn’t had the experience firsthand.
BL: So we are to talk about the differences between het and gay sex. I’d like to do a different angle on this. Yes we can talk about the facts of how it feels but also how it affects our writing.
Yes the same feelings and emotions are used in both but when we cross, that would be me, into writing what we don't know, how will we handle it?
Julez, I'd like to know if you can add some thoughts on transgender writing as well. I recall you saying you hadn't experienced it but loved writing it. How do you translate what you havent done into making the stories believable?
Julez: Being fundamentally straight, I’ve never been with any sex other than a woman, I prefer to write transgender and, on some occasions, gay male because I think it is more of a challenge. Writing what we don't know makes us more cautious and therefore a lot more precise in the detail and description.
Regarding transgender writing I believe that the same rules occur as for all genres, but what I’ve read in the past portrays the transsexual as just a sex object to be used and that's wrong. Transgender people are people after all and should be afforded the same respect as any other gender, whether straight, gay, lesbian or bi. They also have feelings and emotions and they should be portrayed as such.
Writing sex scenes is also not much different, except the obvious. And as long as that’s remembered it’s easy to make a scene flow just like any other. For instance if the scene is between a trans woman and a man it has to be written more as a gay male scene when describing the oral and penetration and if it’s a woman and a trans female, the scene is more lesbian until the actual trans penetrates the woman and then it becomes almost like a hetero scene.
BL: Awesome explanation Julez. I agree with everything you said.
I especially agree with the part about being more precise when it comes to writing something you haven't experienced. I have to admit, my gay male sex mind thinks of porn. *laughs* But what I added to it was more emotion instead of just the fucking. More romanticism. When I did the sex parts I asked Ike Rose, another gay writer, to read one of them. One of the things he told me is gay men don’t always fuck right away when they get together unless it’s a one nighter.
That is the biggest misconception I'd think, right Pablo?
People think gay men cannot be in relationships without fucking or being promiscuous. I recall sending one of my stories to my writers list for critique and someone told me it was unrealistic for me to think a gay man was holding out to be with one man.
How is that? I mean, there are gay whores and het whores. In all truth, when I wasn’t married I had more than my share of sex experiences and really didn't care what people thought of it. Of course I was cautious but I loved having sex.
What about gay men? I mean, they can be in and out of people’s beds and or committed.
Ike has been with his man 29 years. It can happen.
Julez: Excellent point BL. Romanticism is just as important whether the couple are in a gay, hetero and even trans relationship. With just sex there isn't a relationship at all, and sex is also no way to build a relationship. You may have the greatest sex partner ever but without the extra little things like love, respect, romance, honesty and faithfulness a relationship will crash and burn very rapidly, and sometimes there is too much misconception that same sex partners can't have a loving relationship, which of course they can and many do. Hell Gay and trans relationships can sometimes be a hell of a lot stronger than hetero ones due to bigotry, hatred and homophobia that is faced because all the negatives faced pull couples together.
BL: So true Julez. Let’s see what Pablo thinks!
Pablo: Speaking as an active gay man, I think most gay men are very romantic waiting for Mr. Right or the knight in shining armor to come into their lives. In the late sixties and seventies I experienced monogamous relationships with men I loved. I also was quite promiscuous when not in a relationship. As I got older I couldn't jump into bed with a man the first night or even the first week. Although when I met Mike, he was more persistent about having sex on our initial dates, but I held back for a couple of weeks. We’ve been together for fifteen years and our love keeps growing. We are both hopeless romantics.
BL, you have brought up a very good point about writing. I think Julez did an excellent job in writing about transgender emotions. We all write about something we're not very versed in at times. We either learn by experience or vicariously through other people's lives. The important thing to remember is that we learn as we write. Personally I don't have much real life experience with heterosexual sex, but I dabbled with it a small amount in my novel. I based my scenes on what I learned through reading other author's writing. The important thing to do is research and learn as we go.
I agree Julez; you have to treat your characters with true human, natural emotions. People usually are not sex objects unless they want their lives to be only that. My second lover in the early 70's was a psychologist who counseled primarily gay and transgender people. He had one patient who became a woman who coupled with another transgender female. It was a very different type of relationship. Transgenders suffer more from discrimination and commit suicide more frequently than any other sexual lifestyle. They have emotions which most people do not recognize as being unique.
BL: So many great points Pablo. I wasn’t aware that transgendered people have a higher rate of suicide. That’s awesome about you and your partner too. I appreciate your frankness. So true about reading and learning. Each book should teach you something especially in areas you’re not well versed in to bring more reality to your stories.
Julez: I agree about reading as well. I myself never thought I would find writing gay and trans stories more satisfying than if I stayed within my comfort zone, until I actually began reading in those genres. Now I only read hetero stories very rarely as my aim is to bring trans stories up to the popularity level of het and gay ones.
BL: I agree with everything you've said Julez! That's the reason why I write it. What’s more romantic than watching a couple get through all the prejudices and the stereotypes and fall in love? That to me is hotter than just the sexual element anyway. The sex is the icing on the cake.
Pablo, I agree with that as well. Are we learning from what we write? With each story, I'd like to delve deeper into the emotions of what 2 men face when falling in love. For that reason, I've started reading articles and books that deal with coming out to peers and family, getting help when they feel lost, etc.
The sex is the last part but as I staed about what Ike said, that’s a learning process as well. The emotional and romantic aspects to me are most important. You'll never see me writing a story without it. If I wanted just pure sex with no emotion, there are plenty of m/m books out there with that.
I’m not the one that wants to read or write that. I believe a man can be as sensual as a woman, and not just a gay man.
In writing, you have to convey their feelings, make the reader feel what your MCs are feeling. That’s what I try to do, whether in gay or straight writing!
Pablo: I'd like to throw out a subject relating to our partnership. Do you think LGBT writers have an advantage in their genre of writing? Can they express more from their personal experiences and personify their characters more closely with emotions and understanding? What about the experiences in the workplace?
BL: I think LGBT writers have a slight advantage yes in mostly the, how it feels, department. Meaning sex itself. However, I believe I can convey the romance and emotion between two men just as well as a gay man. My thing is, I believe that both males and females can be romantic and sensual. Every person displays those emotions differently too.
Julez: I think yes possibly LGBT writers do have an advantage if they are in the type of relationship they write about, but as you may know by now I’ve always been hetero, just in the last 3-4 years becoming bi-curious, yet I really prefer to write the gay or trans stories for the romance and passion.
Pablo: I enjoy reading most genres but I must confess that I have had little time to read. I have books that I have not opened and promises to buy others.
Julez: Unfortunately I’m not in the right position to say much about orientation in the workplace as , due to my partial disability, I don't actually go out to work anymore.
However when I did it was a 'macho' work environment if you will and sex was only talked about in the hetero sense as everyone was either het or in a het relationship.
Pablo: Thanks for your interest. I came out openly after too many years of suppressing who I was. In my first years working and out, I did not hide my sexuality. I wouldn't get the meat and potatoes from people I worked with. I dated customers and had a fabulous time. During my last long term work, I was put in shipping and receiving with a straight manager and assistant who were from New York City totally biased against LGBT people. There was one other flamboyant gay man in our department when the whole store was flooded with gay people and lesbians I did not hide who I was as far as being gay in a hostile environment. The others saw how much good work I performed and learned to accept me for my sexual orientation. We all worked hard without any rewards and we partied after work together. They came to respect me, maybe because I picked up their ways of communication while the other gay people in the store frowned upon me and them. We had nick names for each other. Mine was chili dog because I put my dog where the chili came out. I went along with this and did not have sex with anyone I worked with but tried to keep friendly with the other gay and lesbian workers. They all supported my endeavors in writing. Unfortunately my closest friends from that time died when their lives were young. I felt I made a statement about how being open as gay made a difference to other men and women.
BL: That’s so an awesome thing Pablo that you made a difference in your workplace. In my experiences being in the workforce, I had very little gay coworkers. At my last job, my boss was openly gay and very cool. He didn’t talk much about his relationships. I also had a lesbian coworker who was quite frank about her experiences which I liked. What better knowledge on a subject than to hear it from someone first hand.
In conclusion, we have looked at our own experiences and tied them into our writing. We’ve learned that even though people who are of the gay community may have the upper hand when creating a gay story, we, as mostly hetero people like myself and Julez can still be spot on with our writing as long as we learn from it.
This discussion shows that even though we are different, a mostly hetero man and woman and a gay man who’s fully committed to his partner of 15 years, we all agree about the romanticism and sensuality. We all agree that commitments and promiscuity can be reality for gay and straight individuals and despite the obvious differences; we are still one and the same when it comes to love.
Thanks for listening.