Writing as a man
When I write, I tend to stick to one POV, which is generally female for ease of identification. However, the story and themes I was using in The Hand He Dealt meant a second POV was needed - that of Astra's boyfriend Harry, who unsurprisingly is a man.
This was a challenge for me. Not being a man, I have no idea what a cock or a prostate feels like from the other end. Researching this issue is also tricky. I tried asking the fella about it and got "Uh... it feels good?" Although, having read part of the book (I don't think I'll ever get him to finish the thing) he told me that a comment I'd made about how "he couldn't feel it, not really" - in reference to my heroine tonguing her boyfriend through his boxers - was probably unrealistic since, once hard, every nerve ending in the body is directed into the penis, or something to that effect.
My other source of information was slash fiction, which I used to read a lot of online. Depending on the story, it can be very mild or extremely graphic, and since I don't read femmeslash my reading was focussed entirely on men. It was certainly helpful and gave me plenty of ideas for prostate-related moments, but for the most part it does have one potential flaw - the vast majority of what I read was written by women.
Which can result in that character I call the Girly Man.
To quote Minotaur's Sex Tips for Slash Writers:
One thing to be wary of is writing one partner as the "wife". Men, even gay men, are trained to be less emotionally open, less demonstrative. Yes, we do feel, and even occasionally cry, but gay men are every bit as emotionally closeted as their straight counterparts. Think of all the troubles you have in your relationships with men, and then double them. Instead of just one partner being distant, uncommunicative and emotionally stunted, both are.
Obviously in my case I wasn't writing about a gay relationship, but my concern was Harry losing his masculinity. Harry is a fairly emotional man, in comparison with Ash who is much more the "emotionally closeted" type noted by Minotaur, but it was still important that he remain true to character and not become tainted by my own female perspective.
Is this a challenge for other writers? How does everyone else write as a man while keeping an authentic voice?
Thanks so much for joining us today Tanith!
I have to agree it is a challenge writing from the male POV. I am lucky to have 5 males in my house to draw on. I often will run a thought or dialogue phrase passed them to check if a guy would think or say that. It's quite helpful..I mean, they are so very different to us in the way they think. I also think that sometimes we want to read about how we WANT a man to be rather than how they are...sure it's unrealistic , but it's a nice fantasy LOL
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