Where are all the baldies and the fatties?
Chances are, if you’re reading a M/M romance story, sooner or later the guys will remove their clothes. (Hopefully sooner!) And chances are, when they get nekkid, they will have six-pack abs, chiseled muscles, and not an ounce of fat.
Now, I know books are fiction. The M/M genre traffics in tropes and types. I love reading about ridiculously sculpted guys bumpin’ uglies just as much as the next reader. However, there’s something to be said about guys with meat on their bones. An article went viral this spring touting the sexiness of dadbod. Beerguts, untoned arms, receding hairlines – total turnons! Bigger guys can be hot. Bigger guys can be cute. And bigger and fat doesn’t have to equal the Nutty Professor or Jared before Subway. There’s plenty of sexy in between Greek gods and morbidly obese.
While I do love me some hot bodies, I also have a soft spot (or maybe, um, hard spot?) for chubby guys. When I saw Neighbors last summer, I preferred Seth Rogen over Zac Efron. Watching Mad Men, yes, I think Jon Hamm is a pillar of sexiness, but I found Rich Sommer, who played Harold Crane, cute in his own teddy bear way.
My current crush is the prison guard Joel Luschek on Orange is the New Black, played by Matt Peters. He has these penetrating eyes, thinning hair, full beard, and big gut, but you put it all together, and he is a total cutie. Yes, please, and thank you.
I’d love to see more M/M characters who look like Seth, Harold Crane, or Luschek. On the flip side, there are people who find skinny guys with no muscle definition incredibly good-looking. I think there’s room in the genre to feature imperfect bodies. Guys exist without cut jawlines and rock hard abs, who myself and others would want to read get it on.
I’m aware that sex sells. Hot guys on covers sell. I’m promoting a book right now with a jacked body on the cover. But we’ve also seen covers with no bodies and covers with normal looking guys sell well. Variety is the spice of life.
In one of the stories in Behind Closed Doors, excerpted below, the love interest for Blake is chubby, full-faced, and sporting a beard and chest hair. I based him on a guy I briefly dated many years ago, who reminded me of a fat Ryan Gosling. I’m excited to incorporate a different body type into my M/M writing.
Perfect bodies can get boring. It’s our imperfections which make us attractive.
What do you think about body types in M/M? Sound off in the comments!
Blurb: At Browerton University, a lot can happen behind closed doors.
Two frat brothers can reveal their true feelings. An honor student’s dark past can come to light. Ten hours in a car can turn strangers into lovers. And a coach can teach his star quarterback a very valuable lesson.
Catch up with some familiar Browerton students and meet new ones. Four stories. Four doors. Endless possibilities.
Door Number One: The Whitmore Room (Out in the Open prequel)
Door Number Two: Is There a Porn Star in my Class?
Door Number Three: Road Trip Cone of Silence
Door Number Four: Coach’s Revenge
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS is a collection of gay new adult romance stories filled with humor, heart, and hot guys. The book is intended for audiences 18+ as it contains explicit sex and language.
Buy Link: Amazon
Excerpt: During his History of the Renaissance class, the same thought came to Blake Corrigan. More of a question, really. Eight words that itched at the back of his brain and refused to leave him alone.
Is there a porn star in my class?
It was a question Blake had tried to laugh off, but it never got the hint. His curiosity had been piqued innocently enough. Winter break was over, and he was ready for a fresh quarter of classes. He recently switched majors from journalism to acting. After acting in a few plays around campus and taking a few performance classes, he decided to take the plunge. It was truly a new year, a new schedule, a new Blake. He had dumped a guy who he’d thought was Mr. Perfect but had turned out to be Mr. Perfect’s sketchy, sleazetastic cousin. Never fall in love over beer pong. Another relationship down the drain. Another gay guy to avoid at parties.
Blake had chosen this class as one of his arts and sciences distribution requirements. Unlike his fellow actors, he didn’t go for the easy class this time. He wanted to challenge himself and learn and be bowled over by gorgeous works of art.
He also wanted more modern forms of eye candy.
Blake couldn’t help scoping out the guys in his lecture hall. He did it with every class the way some people always look for emergency exits in crowded restaurants. Force of habit.
Blake called him Portlandia. With his disheveled brown hair, thick beard, button-down plaid, and chunky hipster glasses, the guy looked like he’d crawled out of a coffee shop in the Pacific Northwest.
Unlike Blake’s usual class crushes, Portlandia was cute, not hot. He had some meat on his bones and freckles flecked his nose. He listened attentively and seemed to give a shit about the Renaissance. He didn’t have that jaded or dazed look in his eye that most college students walked around with daily. Portlandia was different. A new type for a new year for a new Blake.
It started as a few harmless glances during class, a concerted effort to enter and exit from the same door as him, a flutter of butterflies in his stomach whenever Portlandia spoke in class. But one morning, when his roommate was off at an early class, Blake took advantage of the privacy and jerked off to Internet porn. Appropriately enough, he found a video of a professor giving it to his star pupil butt-good. As the clean-cut blond moaned in pleasure and begged his professor to come on his face, Blake had a realization.
I know that guy.
He thought the freckles and pert nose under that face full of jizz looked familiar, but he laughed it off. Then he went to class and took a good look at Portlandia. He tried focusing beyond the beard, the glasses, the full face. Then he stopped laughing.
Is there a porn star in my class?
The professor showed off images of Da Vinci’s works on an overhead projector. Blake craned his neck up and to the left and checked out Portlandia in the far row. He tried doing facial recognition to no avail. Why did that actor have to make so many exaggerated O-faces?
Perhaps they were distant cousins. Portlandia did not have the ripped muscles and shredded abs of the guy on Blake’s computer screen. Nor did his skin have the same tan glow. Although in Pennsylvania, in January, who could blame him? And he wore glasses, not as a prop.
Like, to actually see.
Portlandia caught him staring and gave him a polite you’re creeping me out, dude smile. Blake turned around in his seat.
“No way,” he muttered to himself. It was a ridiculous concept at his core. Porn stars did not go to college in the middle of Pennsylvania. They lived in Los Angeles or Miami, where it was warm, where they didn’t need their brains. Blake wished his life was this exciting. It wasn’t. Porn stars did not go to Browerton University and take art history classes on Wednesday afternoons. They didn’t study the David. They were the David.
Still, a certain part of Blake (not that part) wasn’t convinced. Didn’t guys do porn to save up for college, or was that only stripping? He would have to get a better, closer look. A mystery like this needed to be solved. It was either that or pay attention in class.
About the Author: A.J. Truman remembers his college days like it was yesterday, even though it was definitely not yesterday. He writes books with humor, heart, and hot guys. What else does a story need? He loves spending time with his pets and his partner and writing on his sun porch.
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