It seems that everywhere I go these days I see someone stating they have 'wholesome' content, as if we're supposed to receive extra points for being 'wholesome.' However, I love that and I'm not being snarky. I support that fully, and everyone who has wholesome content. A few years back, I self-censored my gay erotic romance, Chase of a Dream, in order to give it 'wholesome' gay content. At the time, I just didn't use the word 'wholesome.'
But that wasn't the only reason I self-censored. I clearly have no problem with erotic romance, erotica, or any strong sexual content...gay or straight. In fact, I prefer content with sex over quasi 'wholesome' content because I know most of us are thinking about sex, or actually doing it regularly, and I see no need to pretend with books. With that said, the main reason why I self-censored was to prove that if you remove the sex scenes from a gay romance you'll still have a strong story line with plenty of love and emotion. And if you remove the sex, the book can still stand on its own.
As far as I know, I don't think anyone else has done this. I've looked and I can't find anything. If someone has done this, I apologize. However, typically, you won't find authors or publishers self-censoring just based on free speech alone. They don't like to do this, and I agree with them. I'm not advocating that other authors of erotic romance self-censor. I'm simply showing readers that a gay erotic romance can become a 'wholesome' Hallmark love story just by removing about 7,000 words. It really was that simple. In fact, it's much easier not to write sex scenes in books.
I also left the original uncensored version of Chase of a Dream up for sale for those people who aren't concerned about 'wholesome' gay romance. I wanted to give readers a choice this time and I have absolutely no regrets about doing this.
Here's a link to the self-censored (abridged) version.
In this 52,000 word abridged version of the sequel to "Chase of a Lifetime" that does not contain any strong sex scenes, Jim Darling finally finds the happiness he's been chasing for so long. He and Len Mayfield have settled into a quiet routine in their small newly renovated home in the Hollywood Hills, and they enjoy every minute they spend together raising Len's toddler grandson, Culum Mayfied.
And then one evening Len's grown son, Cain Mayfield, from his former marriage shows up in Los Angeles and asks if he can live with them while he's trying to figure out his life. Though Len isn't too thrilled about his grown son moving in, Jim can't refuse him. Cain was Jim's best friend in Texas at one time, and he's also Culum's irresponsible dad.
While Jim and Len try to adjust to this huge change, Cain decides he wants to open a legal medical marijuana dispensary in California. So in order to get experience, he takes a job at an established marijuana dispensary and winds up having a brief affair with the sexy transgender owner who turns his life upside down.
When Len announces that he misses his ranch in Texas and he wants to buy a ranch within commuting distance to Los Angeles, Jim is apprehensive at first. But he eventually agrees they need more living space, and he sees how desperately Len needs to be with his horses again.
But will the events leading up to all the changes they face be too intense to keep their loving marriage as strong as ever? And will sexy young Cain Mayfield drive a wedge between them with his inconsistent choices, his careless attitude, and his desperate need for attention?
Matt Shaffer On Lisping and Gay Stereotypes
Here's a good link about gay stereotypes and how we should embrace them sometimes. I find it excellent because I have been slammed at times for writing about gay characters who sometimes tend to be gay stereotypes. Unfortunately, sometimes I think I hit that proverbial nerve, too. This one amazon reviewer really didn't like it.
EVERY gay stereotype Mr. Field exploits to it fullest without even providing a reason why or the basis of an interesting story.
I still stand behind every word in this book, Unabated, because the characters are all authentic and they didn't do anything wrong. I've also written a lot of books that focus on breaking down the stereotypes, on purpose, but that always depends on the story and where the story is going. And whether we like it or not, there are stereotypes. That's just a fact that cannot be denied. Just because one reviewer didn't like something I wrote won't mean that I'll change the way I create my characters.
With that said, I like what Matt Shaffer recently said in this question and answer piece. He absolutely nailed this reply with perfection.
Look, we’re going to be stereotyped whether we like it or not. That’s not just actors or gay people, it’s everyone. I love that the generation beneath me is trying to break stereotypes, but at the end of the day, there have been tropes we’ve fit into. For me, the lisp…I did some research and that was one of the identifying ways it was safe for men in the 50s to find one another and be with each other. So yeah, part of being stereotyped is embracing the stereotype. As a performer, I learned to accept that because you get typecast. If I had to embrace it for my career, why can’t I embrace it for my life?
Here's the link to more. I think you'll enjoy it. It's a great POV piece, too.
How to be a Good Gay Bottom