What Elements Would Readers Like to See More of in Gay Romance?

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It’s Monday, which means it’s time for another Listopia post. All of these are based on completely unscientific polls in my reader group on Facebook, so if you’re a statistics professional, I apologize. I’m just having fun here, haha.

The question this week was this: “What trope or element would you like to see more of in gay romance?”

This, of course, is a rather broad question, so the answers are as well, but they still show some interesting patterns. This is what readers preferred in order of most voted for:

  1. Asexual or demisexual main character
  2. Non-white main character
  3. Hardcore BDSM within a loving relationship
  4. Mystery/Crime drama
  5. Rent Boys
  6. Twinks that top
  7. MMMM or more
  8. Stereotype subversion (toppy twink and gentle not alpha muscle types)
  9. Non-binary main character
  10. Brocest/incest/twincest

Honorary mentions were, amongst others, transgender characters, silver foxes (yes, please!), exhibitionism/voyeurism, and two or more guys in a loving, but open relationship.

My Thoughts

Some of these absolutely have the sales stats to prove their popularity, with the success of my own Irresistible Omegas series as an example (MMMM, so #7), as well as the Ballsy Boys series (porn stars, so kinda #5). And I’ve definitely seen a lot of interest in BDSM books and all kinds of kink and taboo.

The non-white character one is a tricky answer. I believe readers when they indicate this, but the reality is that books with a non-white character on the cover sell less well. I’m not sure how to explain this other than that readers rationally want more POC in their romances, but unconsciously are still fairly white-oriented.

Thoughts? Share in the comments!

2 thoughts on “What Elements Would Readers Like to See More of in Gay Romance?”

  1. I’ve noticed that as well. Yet there are several books with at least one MC is a POC. But it’s just the white guy, sometimes well tanned, on the cover. That list is perfect btw.

    1. Yeah, authors (and publishers) have gotten careful with putting people of color on the cover since evidence shows those books sell less. That really, really bugs me…

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