Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Girl kissing Girl Fad


I came across this article the other day: Lipstick Lesbians: How this kiss sparked a teenage trend that will disturb every parent and found it very interesting. The subject of girl on girl as a fad has come up many times on this blog and I find it very interesting to read different points of view on it.

This article presents it as a problem. I can see that there are problems with this recent development, but not for the reasons that the article writer states.
She comes from the POV that this is potentially harmful for young girls to willy nilly be kissing and being sexual with other girls as a fad and not for themselves. She blames celebrities who she says are doing it for the attention and shock value for spurring this recent trend on.

"For women such as those [celebrities], it's just another layer to the mystique they try so hard to create around themselves. But for the teenage girls who are, at 15 or 16, in some ways precocious, in other ways they are deeply naive about what the fallout might be from kissing another girl in public.

Yes, they're vulnerable to intense social pressures to fit in with whatever is perceived to be fashionable. And yet few are mature enough to deal with the complicated sexual issues surrounding such behaviour. That's why this celebrity fad is so insidious."


See, I kind of disagree with this statement. I agree that teens will do things from peer pressure. However, I would wager that being pressured by some boy who claimed love and then dumped the girl or even worse, spread the word that she's a tramp after sex, which is far more likely to happen--- is way more harmful to a girl's self worth and sexual maturity than kissing another girl just to be "cool" and emulate a celebrity.


And clearly, when a teenage girl kisses another girl when all their friends know it's due to the fad and they aren't being serious, then how "insidious" is that really? Frankly, I also don't think that 15 and 16 year old girls are that naive about the effects of kissing a girl for themselves and how others see it.
Far worse for me is this statement by one girl.

'It's really not such a big deal. Some of my girlfriends do kiss each other at parties - sometimes because they are drunk, sometimes because they think it will impress boys.

I think this is the bad part of this trend. While I don't think celebrities are doing this to impress men, it's turned into young girls doing it to impress boys, which only reinforces the whole girl on girl as male fantasy thing. I think this is the detrimental part personally.


Then there is this:

'It doesn't mean at all that they'd go further in private. Just that they are happy with each other to be seen doing that. It is a way of showing off, or flexing their sexual muscles to prove they are not square and boring.'

One 14-year-old girl confided to me that 'kissing a girl' was now considered by some in her set to be one of the first 'sexual bases' - a new rite of passage for teenage girls. 'It's something you have to do. It's part of growing up,' she told me.

Another said: 'We know it's the kind of thing that would shock adults, so we enjoy doing it.'

Well, there's no doubt that adults, and particularly the parents of teenage girls, will be disturbed, to say the least.

Seriously, I can't understand why parents would be disturbed over this particularly as opposed to say, sex w/o protection, doing oral and anal sex while claiming virginity (also another fad), etc.

I don't know where this article writer has been, but even back in my day in my tween years, my friends and I would do things like showing our growing boobs to each other, or the sudden appearance of pube hairs and so on during sleep overs. Considering that it was always groups of 5 or more girls, I don't chalk that up to specifically same sex desires of one girl to another girl. It was more a rite of passage and not near as bad as boys masturbating in groups, which is not uncommon.


Tweens to young adults are experimenting with sex and dealing with strong hormonal changes that they don't have control over. Maybe girls haven't kissed other girls as openly before, but same sex sexual experimentation on minor levels has being going on forever. The only difference now is that it's more in the open and less of a big deal.

But psychologist Donna Dawson warns that such things can lead to problems - as a result of undue peer pressure.

'Some impressionable young girls may be influenced to behave in a way they really don't want to. It's a trend they may feel they have to latch on to.'

Again, teens doing things and being damaged by giving into peer pressure is a common issue across the board and not specific to girl on girl kissing or experimenting.


Ironically enough, while some girls think it's cool to kiss other girls, 'lipstick lesbianism' has served only to anger sections of the lesbian community.


Yes, I agree with this problem. I can see how lesbians would be less than thrilled about this phenomenon. Girls kissing girls as a fad and not because they are lesbians means that they don't really have to deal with the stigma that many girls who are lesbian, who have no choice, must deal with. Real lesbians are teased and taunted for who they are as teens. This fad rather makes light of what they live daily and the real prejudice that they face.


On the other hand, for someone like me who would love to live in a world with no labels and where people could just be with who they love no matter what the gender, this recent fad is good.


I think it opens the doors for people who are on different points of the Kinsey scale and who would like to be open to some same sex experimenting and love, but who stop themselves due to stigma. At least discussion is happening around same sex relating and that can only be good in the long run.


The comments to this piece are particularly interesting and state what really people think about this, including parents. They are worth to check out.

21 comments:

Jill Sorenson said...

Oh no! Kissing! LOL. I have two young daughters, but I find this fad pretty innocuous. When my girls are teens, I'm sure I'll be worried about bigger issues than kissing.

Interesting article, thanks.

MB (Leah) said...

Exactly!

Cathy in AK said...

Kissing a girl to test the waters of your sexuality? No problem, but "doing it for the boys" or to be cool is a bad idea. I want my daughters to be comfortable with who they are and who they have feelings for, but not by putting on a show.

Maybe this fad is a way to ease the general populace into a more accepting mind set, which would be fine, but I seriously doubt most teen girls (or the guys watching) are thinking about that while smooching. "Yeah, look at Sue and Lisa go at it! This is a great stand for equality and acceptance." Riiight.

BTW, notice there is no "boy kissing boy" fad being reported. Just saying : )

MB (Leah) said...

Cathy you bring up some good points.

The whole doing it for guys or attention is bothersome. I wonder really what percentage of teen girls really do this?

I also wonder what % of girls who got it on with another girl for "girls gone wild" still feel that what they did was OK and don't regret it?

I'm not a parent so I have no clue about these things in reality. I think because this is a controversial fad that reporting on it is probably exaggerated or blown out of proportion to some degree.

From a personal POV, as a teen I never did anything I didn't want to do because of peer pressure. Sexually, I did what I wanted, when I wanted and with whom I wanted and no person or the fact that all my friends were doing things affected me.

Many of my friends were the same. The most that went on was a friend having sex with a boy because he was pushing it, which I tried to talk them out of it unless they really wanted it themselves.

So part of me has a hard time believing that a majority of teens are doing this solely for attention and not because part of them is curious.

The ones doing it solely for attention would be doing something else for that as well if this wasn't a fad.

Another bad thing about doing it just for attention, especially for guys, is that one girl could get into it and really fall for a friend. Things could start out as a joke or play but girls could get hurt in it on that level.

BTW, notice there is no "boy kissing boy" fad being reported. Just saying : )

This made me wonder really how much the whole kissing thing is really about sexuality as opposed to just another way to be rebellious and assert some independence.

As far as guys go, yes, there's always a double standard.

Cathy in AK said...

Another bad thing about doing it just for attention, especially for guys, is that one girl could get into it and really fall for a friend. Things could start out as a joke or play but girls could get hurt in it on that level.

True, tho the same could be said for b/g kissing games. Unrequited love is a bitch no matter who is playing : (

Like you, I'm sure there is other attention-grabbing behavior going on. Hell, they're teens, that's their job : ) but *this* happens to be the thing to do for the moment. If some or most are truly curious, that's fine. It's just that the "I kissed a girl but I'm not really a lesbian" thing seems to be getting the most press, not the honest attempt at self discovery.

Is girl-girl action the new(ish) black for the media? I was reading io9.com regarding the series "Heroes." There is a strong indication that the cute teen girl hero, Clare, will engage in some "sapphic experimentation" (the producers' quotes) when she goes off to college this coming season. Are the creators interested in exploring Clare's budding sexuality? In making a social statement? Maybe. But since the show is aimed mostly at young men (tho some of us old gals like it too ;) it may be a stretch to assume too much.

MB (Leah) said...

Are the creators interested in exploring Clare's budding sexuality? In making a social statement? Maybe.

I read about that at this site:

lesbian.Pro.com

Also, True Blood is supposed to go there as well with some minor girl on girl.

I'm jaded in that way that I think in the case of Heroes it's probably as titillation for young men watching. Maybe not in the case of True Blood though which is more watched by women I think.

I loved that Once and Again went there because it was an honest portrayal of two teen girls exploring and discovering their own sexuality, which included same sex attraction. Too bad that show got canceled just after that one show in which Evan Rachel Wood kissed her friend.

And that was before this fad, although maybe the beginnings of it.

I think Madonna was the one who skyrocketed this whole fad with her Britney kiss. But in the case of Madonna, it's not so strange. She's anyway sexually out there and does things for shock value.

But I think it probably titillated both boys and girls, that kiss and everything since then, has reinforced this fad as something cool to not take seriously. For good or bad.

Chaeya said...

Of all the things teens do to get attention, release angst and to impress their friends, I think this writer is blowing things out of proportion. You have kids choking each other to get high, stealing their parents prescription drugs and other more harmful things. Plus she shows a picture of Madonna and Britney, something that happened years ago, so has the girl on girl action in public.

I also agree many teens go through extreme pain as they come to grips with their sexuality. As a teenager, I was part of a support group for gay and lesbian teens dealing with our sexuality because there wasn't such at that time. We came out in a time when it wasn't as "chic" to be gay, and it still isn't accepted seeing how fervent the opposition against Prop 8 was. I don't appreciate seeing drunk girls feeling each other up on the dance floor for a bunch of guys who could really give a crap anyway. I don't appreciate it because at the end of it all these girls are like, "okay I'm done, get away from me."

Yes, there is a fad among men that they call "on the downlow." It doesn't happen on dancefloors and these men are very usually very average looking guys, and they will adamantly deny they are gay. One tried to pick up my husband one time.

I don't think much of this is happening on a teen level as much on a college and 20-something level. From what I've observed.

I could be wrong though.

Chaeya

M. A. said...

OT: My Colonial History teacher is the stupidest human being in the world.

Back on topic:

Interesting article. I think it just goes to show that teenagers sometimes do absurd things to generate attention from the opposite sex. That tendency is nothing new.

I don't see how the girls kissing each other is somehow "worse" than any other whacky trend.

Mfred said...

For me, as a lesbian, the reason I take offense to things like Katy Perry's song or these kind of articles is because the underlying argument is that girl-on-girl action is a deviant behavior, not what "normal" teenagers should be doing.

For Kate Perry's song or the Madonna-Brittney kiss, I also found it offensive to be told that my sexuality only has worth when it stimulates or titillates men who watch it.

I think part of the reaction of the gay community against this kind of press is that many of the people who engage in this "trend" are just as prejudiced against homosexuality as they were before engaging in same-sex sexual behavior.

kirsten saell said...

For Kate Perry's song or the Madonna-Brittney kiss, I also found it offensive to be told that my sexuality only has worth when it stimulates or titillates men who watch it.

That's what gets me. I hate getting all up close and personal with someone on the dance floor, and when she gets me all hot and bothered, it's like, "Oh, I'm only doing this to turn on my boyfriend." Gahh!

And since I've come out as bi, I've actually had men offer to set me up with women they know, and it's always, "Then I can watch." WTF? When was the last time you asked one of your het friends if you could watch them have sex?

And when I ask what the woman is like--how old, what does she look like, what kind of person is she, the response is always something along the lines of "Why would you care? She's a woman." As if the moment you admit to same-sex attraction, the assumption is you'll fuck anyone who shares your own genitalia.

Granted, I wrote a book where half the sex was voyeuristic nookie between two women, and an f/f/m poly where a lot of the excitement came from watching (both by the man and the women), but dude, if I wouldn't fuck you, I certainly wouldn't let you watch me fuck someone else!

I think this attitude of male voyeurism and the consescending "ooh, two hot chicks making out, but they aren't really lesbians", is what's led to such a backlash against bisexuality among the lesbian community. I can't really blame some lesbians for wanting me to pick one yard or the other when straddling the fence is equated with this kind of behavior.

That said, girls kissing girls isn't something I'd equate with teenage pressure to have sex or do drugs. The problem I see is that it's only seen as cool if the girls don't discover they really are gay.

Oh, and there is a male version of this, though it's not seen in the mainstream media. Go to youtube and search "hot emo kiss" and you'll see what I mean. I'd bet two thirds of the people viewing those videos are girls and women...

Anonymous said...

grrr... is all I can say to that article.

M. A. said...

kirsten,

Your discussion about your experiences is very interesting parallel towards het relationships, I think.

There often appears to be a social element dictating that a female ought to be flattered by the attention and interest of a male...ANY male. I think it dates back to traditional gender roles with males functioning as head of family/provider and females functionning as wives/mothers.

The idea was that a woman (unable to acheive education, or any type of lucrative profession) should be grateful to any man willing to give her the time of day!

In 19th C. Europe, at a ball, if a woman declined an invitation to dance with a specific man--whatever the reason--it was considered bad manners for her to dance with any other man for the remainder of the evening. You had to dance with any man who asked, or you did not get to dance.

Now, I guess if Joe Coffeedrinker offers to "set you up" with his wife/girlfriend/lesbian friend/acquaintance, you're supposed to jump for joy over that too and not worry about petty details like "What if I don't know/like the person?"

Regarding the disrespectful propositions you've received...that is just EW EW EW! on so many levels it is not even funny. Knowing your excellent wit, though, I am sure you explained yourself clearly and put things in appropriate perspective for the...er...interested parties.

kirsten saell said...

There often appears to be a social element dictating that a female ought to be flattered by the attention and interest of a male...ANY male.

I've read that a huge influence on female libido is the concept of being the "object of desire", though I'm not sure if that's a biological thing or a social/psychological thing. I do think there's certainly something to it, since some straight women have told me they feel a boost to their libido even when a woman shows interest (though that doesn't translate into a desire to have sex with that woman). For women, a lot of the desire to have sex seems to come from feeling sexy and desirable.

Of course, that doesn't mean I'm going to feel anything but yuck when a man says he wants to hook me up with a woman so he can watch. And yeah, I put those guys in their place. It's fun making them blush over their stupidity.

Part of that attitude, I think, comes from Girls Gone Wild and decades worth of Penthouse pictorials, and centuries of the sexual objectification of women. And I do think as m/m becomes more popular among women readers, gay men will have to put up with more of that sort of voyeuristic condescension.

There are already rumblings among gays that women should not write m/m erotic romance because it objectifies men. I always let those men know that if they want to fight the good fight against the exploitation of homosexuality for the titillation of straight people, the problem is really more pressing elsewhere, lol.

But men have a right to their fantasies, just as women do. All I ask is they keep me out of it. Because I'm not here just to give you a woody while you think of me with another woman, thanks. My sexuality is mine, and it's by invitation only.

:)

M. A. said...

There are already rumblings among gays that women should not write m/m erotic romance because it objectifies men. I always let those men know that if they want to fight the good fight against the exploitation of homosexuality for the titillation of straight people, the problem is really more pressing elsewhere, lol.


I have a few author acquaintances who are very "into" the M/M trend, both as writers and afficionados of the genre. The strangest thing in the world I've ever seen or heard is an ordinary, middle-aged, educated woman get all giddy over alleged sightings of M/M sexuality (such as cast members of "Torchwood," for instance.) Her husband is baffled by it.

It's obviously a form of titillation and it's meant to appeal to voyeuristic "kinks." Not that I'm knocking M/M. I'm working on a M/M story myself, but I admit I'm more "into" the characters and the storylines than I am "into" any titillation related to "seeing two guys get down together." Watching doesn't do anything for me.

I do believe that same-sex erotica IS used to titillate heterosexual voyeurs, and I can appreciate why the GLBT would resent that.

Chaeya said...

Kirsten said: "I think this attitude of male voyeurism and the consescending "ooh, two hot chicks making out, but they aren't really lesbians", is what's led to such a backlash against bisexuality among the lesbian community. I can't really blame some lesbians for wanting me to pick one yard or the other when straddling the fence is equated with this kind of behavior."

Exactly and I find it even more difficult to meet a decent woman now than when I came out in the 80s when it was more unacceptable. The problem I've run into Lesbians having is pretty simple. Many of them want to be in a one on one relationship with a woman, and that's understandable. But then it doesn't help bisexual women when you get ads "let's get together and my man will watch" or you get the many "no strings attached" ads or "my man doesn't know." No one wants to go through that. Being bisexual does not mean I'm promiscuous, it doesn't mean I just want to get A female, any female like I have the need for a "burger" and lick my fingers and go home when the deed is done. The worse is having some dude staring at us, and I don't want some woman sneaking around on her man. I told my husband what I am and that if I'm with a woman, I'm with her, there's no audience. So I no longer post ads on sites because I get either one or the other "hey let's play" (Eww, I don't want to play) or the "eww you're married" from Lesbians. Yes, bi means I like men AND women. I have one man and I'd like to have one woman. May sound unfair, but I can't help what I am. I can't decide between one or the other. So I guess I'm just gonna be alone as far as a female goes.

M.A. said: "It's obviously a form of titillation and it's meant to appeal to voyeuristic "kinks." Not that I'm knocking M/M. I'm working on a M/M story myself, but I admit I'm more "into" the characters and the storylines than I am "into" any titillation related to "seeing two guys get down together." Watching doesn't do anything for me."

When I first heard these were big sellers for women, I felt that women were enjoying it more for the taboo factor moreso than they liked to see two men. Having spent so long around gay men, seeing two men or two women kiss is no different than seeing heterosexuals. I think a love story between two individuals, regardless of their sex, is very beautiful. I have yet to read a m/m written by a female because I will admit I have been a little prejudiced, just as when I see porn where MALE directors put two women together. I'm sure I'll read some and I'll probably change my mind. For me to write a m/m, I feel like I'm invading someone else's territory. Not that I ever won't.

M. A. said...

Chaeya:

When I first heard these were big sellers for women, I felt that women were enjoying it more for the taboo factor moreso than they liked to see two men. Having spent so long around gay men, seeing two men or two women kiss is no different than seeing heterosexuals. I think a love story between two individuals, regardless of their sex, is very beautiful. I have yet to read a m/m written by a female because I will admit I have been a little prejudiced, just as when I see porn where MALE directors put two women together. I'm sure I'll read some and I'll probably change my mind. For me to write a m/m, I feel like I'm invading someone else's territory. Not that I ever won't.


I have dubious feelings about restricting media material based upon gender discrimination. If someone doesn't want to read a book because they don't care for the book's genre or content, that's one thing, but it wasn't so long ago female authors could not get a fair shake in the publishing industry in ANY genre. Readers, male and female, subscribed to concepts that women lacked the intellectual ability to write at a match in quality to a male writer.

Mary Shelley's original publication of "Frankenstein" was anonymous because of this kind of prejudice. I don't think any reasonable person in the present day would deny her talent and competency as an effective storyteller.

The prejudice is sometimes reversed in the traditional romance industry. Male authors adopt female pseudonyms to avoid the prejudice that only female authors can write good romantic fiction for a female audience.

I dunno, when I create characters, I craft them as personalities. If I restricted my characterizations solely to a straight, adult female (like myself,) my work would get pretty repetitious and boring.

JenB said...

This fad made its way through the goth cliques at my junior high when I was in 8th grade (15 years ago :P). And at that time I think it truly was just a fad. A goth girl would walk around with lipstick prints on her cheek or kiss another girl on the lips in the cafeteria in front of the preps and jocks. They all called themselves bi. "Cool" kids never participated.

By the next semester, though, most of them had boyfriends and they never mentioned the girl thing again, even in later years. Most are married now and have kids.

It was really odd. I think it was vaguely similar to the drunken party entertainment that sorority girls put on in college, but I really believe it was more about rebellion than sexuality or titilation. I don't think sexuality played a very big part in the jr high thing. Most were 13 years old.

Chaeya said...

M.A. I think you completely misunderstand me. I didn't say anything about the media restricting women, nor that women should be restricted or that they weren't smart enough to write about such subjects, comparing my "prejudice" to the prejudice suffered by women writers from long ago is way way off here. I know well the history women had to overcome to write.

My prejudice in certain things isn't limited to women because of her sex, it's because I've listened to women who have had no dealings with the lesbian & gay community jump on the m/m bandwagon because it's selling.

I'd be more inclined to read something you wrote than one of them. I said I was a "little prejudiced" against it, I didn't say I was dead set against it, nor did I say I would never read one. I've read Anne Rice and I think she's done a fine job of writing the intimacy between two men, just like I loved the way D.H. Lawrence described a woman's feelings as she was getting kissed in Sons & Lovers.

So please, do not take my "little prejudice" to heart. Even though I have gay characters in my next WIP, I don't feel completely comfortable writing a m/m yet.

M. A. said...

Dear Chaeya:

Please, forgive me if I came across as a SUTA (Stuck-Up Tight-Ass) in my previous message. I admit, I tend to be overanalytical and I sometimes overintellectualize things. If I came across as somehow judging your opinions of specific genres and who might write them best -- whatever the reasons for your opinion -- you have the right to your own feelings and to make judgment calls based on those feelings.

LOL...I'm just sort of sharing my long, rambly opinion, too. I know I sometimes sound argumentative when it's not my intent to argue, but to explain myself.

My prejudice in certain things isn't limited to women because of her sex, it's because I've listened to women who have had no dealings with the lesbian & gay community jump on the m/m bandwagon because it's selling.

I have real concerns about nontraditional pairings or groupings in romance fiction as well. As a writer, I adore writing these kinds of scenarios because I get to really "stretch my writing muscles."

I think a big "problem" is that these stories are written to cater to the majority audience ("straight" females) and not to the GBLT community. So members of the GBLT and their friends/families/supporters will read these stories, wrinkle their noses, and go, "Ugh! This is just drek."

And yes, particularly in epublishing, the big sales are in M/M romances. A lot of writers of either gender, I'm sure, are trying their hand at it just to get the sales or even to get better exposure for their other books.

I knew writing M/M would be a tremendous challenge for me, so before I even began my story's outline, I put a lot of work into crafting my two male leads. I made these HUGE extended character outlines, just going over any little detail. By the time I finished, my gay male couple became so "real" to me, I sometimes see them standing in the room while I work on their first story.

I really love them now, and I love working on them, but I had to "work" to "reach" them in a way I don't really have to in order to do more traditional romance, or F/F.

Menage is hardest for me to write. I'm polishing off a menage a quatre right now (M/F/M/M) and a huge portion of the novel's word count is devoted to establishing the multiple relationships, which are all loving but in different ways. A one-on-one is always easier and shorter to do for this reason (unless the menage is more "for fun" and not all the partners are romantically involved.)

Chaeya said...

It's all good M.A., I have done the same thing. ;o) I understand when you have your "baby" there you're protecting. You work the same way I do. A lot of work goes into tackling certain subjects which come up in our writing. I've always considered writing as much psychological as it is artistic. We become driven to approach areas and work through them in ways where we wind up breathing so much life into our characters they do feel real. It begins to go far beyond standard "research", the spirit of your characters begin to speak to you and guide you along their journey and you become as one taking dictation. I came to understand how actors and actresses can become so triggered and emotional when working through their character because I've started doing the same thing. I know people thought I was nuts driving along engaged in dialogue. Luckily blue tooth headsets have come along to exonerate me to some extent.

I have to admit, I become rankled by fads. I like to be supportive of writers because it's hard work to write a book. Here I am a year later, still making fine tuned edits on my first book. But we write what we know or have respect for and that's different from someone who writes because it'll sell and it's the rage. I feel the same way about all the Twilight copycats or the rush to toss a bunch of YA out on the market because that's what's selling. The agents don't make it easier when you go to their websites and see that's what they are looking for right now, or go to an erotic publisher and they want all the m/m they can get their hands on which incites writers who just want to get something out there on the market to write about it.

Recently, I was on a thread where it was thrown out there if readers wouldn't mind if the female lead of the book had a lesbian encounter and the number of nays was unsettling. What was interesting was they'd read it if it were in the "general literature" section. So basically, a Romance is there to cator to their fantasies only. So it must have all the right components and f/f doesn't belong there. Geez.

I dunno, I read Romance to read about a love story regardless of what it entails or if there is a menage or what's going on. It doesn't have to be a monogamous relationship to me, the woman could be cheating on her husband like in "Frenchman's Creek." I'm all for the author to show me something, not to fit into my constraints of my definition of a love story. But what can you do? Especially when you have a story that doesn't fit in with general fiction?

Menage is also a tough subject because personally I don't care for them. But I find someting erotic about watching them. I was surprised when the hero in my book decided he wanted one. I told him if I didn't like it, I was cutting it out. I let him guide me through it, and found it a turn on how it came about. I was surprised.

SUTA (I like that). Keep me apprised of your story, I'd check it out.

M. A. said...

Chaeya,

I think the most profound experience I've ever had (so far) as a writer is I once dreamed of a character I was working with.

The eeriest thing? In the dream, the character LOOKED "more like himself" than he looks in my mind. I'm not the most "visual" thinker and I tend to use real people as "types" to describe my characters.

In the dream, the character had taken on a unique, distinctive look, close enough to his "type" (a popular celebrity I admire) but still different enough to be his own unique person.

The character was a villain, and in the dream he was stalking me while I was trying to hide from him. Really creepy. I woke up all confused, and for a minute it almost felt like "somebody" was still in my house.

I have to admit, I become rankled by fads. I like to be supportive of writers because it's hard work to write a book. Here I am a year later, still making fine tuned edits on my first book. But we write what we know or have respect for and that's different from someone who writes because it'll sell and it's the rage. I feel the same way about all the Twilight copycats or the rush to toss a bunch of YA out on the market because that's what's selling. The agents don't make it easier when you go to their websites and see that's what they are looking for right now, or go to an erotic publisher and they want all the m/m they can get their hands on which incites writers who just want to get something out there on the market to write about it.

*sighs* Yeah, a lot of "hack writers" like to cater to the trends. They're "in" the business for gratification (income, fandom, attention, etc.) These are the writers who will churn out multiple ebooks with simplistic, formulaic plots and two-dimensional characters in as short a time as possible. If they're decent writers (some of them are)they do very well with this.

That said, publishers contract books they believe will sell. If they're selling thousands of M/M books, vampire books, cowboy books, etc., they put out calls for submissions for those genres.

It's hard to blame the publishers (businesses selling product/s) for requesting products for which their customers express demand. It's smart business for writers to examine the trends and popularity of particular genres. Catering to those trends can garner more readers.

There's a difference between catering to trends, and exploiting trends, however.

The level of work I put into writing is such that, with my limited schedule (I'm a full-time student in a pretty demanding curriculum) I can't pump out 12 "decent" novels or novellas a year. Since I only end up with a few publishable works, I feel I owe it to myself and to readers to offer the best writing quality I can. That means work. Evaluating and re-evaluating, editing, and rewriting until I have a good, polished product to offer.

By the time I complete my M/M book, M/M might not even be a "hot" trend anymore. But it doesn't matter. I'll have written a good book, and hopefully enough lovers of the genre will still be willing to pick it up.