Tuesday, July 14, 2009

f/f vs. lesbian

I posted a rather long and rambling post on LVLM today on the question of whether lesbian romance is synonymous with f/f romance. Part diatribe, part stream-of-conscsiousness, part genre analysis, it explores many of the reasons I believe the two genres aren't simply six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Any of you all want to go check it out, please do! It's even mom-safe. And leave a comment--even if you think I'm full of hooey. I'd really like to hear opinions, even those that differ from mine.


Tiah said...

That was really interesting to read. I didn't realize there would be a difference in f/f and lesbian writing. But I really wouldn't know because the only books I have read with two women together have been yours and that involved a man in the mix. I'm not even sure I would be interested in reading a story with just two females. Something about having a male involved makes it more relatable to me.

kirsten saell said...

Aww...I'm the only f/f you've read? I'm kind of flattered and all warm and fuzzy now...:)

I agree, stories that include men--whether that means f/f/m poly (like Bound by Steel) or m/f+f menage (Healer's Touch)--are my favorite, too.

I think what a lot of straight and bi women really miss in pure f/f is the kind of power dynamic you find in m/f. And it's really hard to write that without going the whole "butch" route, and as...I don't know--androgynous(?) as Lianon is I hope she hasn't ever really come off as butch-lesbianish.

I am writing an f/f at the moment (well, at the moment it's stalled, but eventually it will grab me again). It's Lianon and Rhianna's story, and though there's some m/f sex at the start, the man isn't involved in the relationship between the women. I'm hoping that Lianon is a dynamic enough "hero(ine)" to kind of keep that D/s dynamic going.

And hopefully that will make some straight woman readers overlook the fact that there's no penis in bed with them, lol.

Tiah said...

"I think what a lot of straight and bi women really miss in pure f/f is the kind of power dynamic you find in m/f. And it's really hard to write that without going the whole "butch" route..."

Right. That is why I like Lianon so much. She is strong like a man but has a softness about her that makes her feminine at the same time. And while she is a strong, kick ass character, that alone would not be enough to make me interested in just her and another female. Having a male involved brings out the femininity in her which I like. I guess I just don't like when women try to be the man.

Having said that though I will read Lianon and Rhianna's story because that is the background to the story I love so much.

All this is so confusing. You are a bad influence. I was a good girl reading my vampire books and now I am discussing f/f vs. lesbian books, and how I prefer to read about a f/m/f threesomes to just two chicks. lol ;0)

kirsten saell said...

If I'm going to be an influence on anyone, I'm happy to be a bad one, LOL.

It is hard maintaining the spark with Lianon and Rhianna in a way that will appeal to non-lesbians. The D/s dynamic has to be there, but it has to be much more subtle or you do get a mannish heroine, which is not how I see Lianon at all. In my head, she's...unique.

Hard to articulate, but yeah, it definitely makes things hard not having the penis there.

Hey, if you wanted a rec for an f/f/m that focuses more on the f/f relationship (the first two thirds of the book deal almost solely with the two women falling in love), you should try Michele DeLully's La Bonne (Samhain). It's one of my absolute favorite books, beautifully written, with a dominant alpha heroine who is still feminine and sexy.

It's contemp, which is usually a big BOO for me, but I loved it in spite of that. A gorgeous, gorgeous book.

Tiah said...

Cool, I'll check it out.