Raythe’s Erl-King Turns 30!

Raythe says …

Thirty years ago the father x son incest epic, The Erl-King, began.

Yeah, you read that right!  My 42nd birthday is Friday, March 25, and I wrote my first version of this story at age 12!

Mathia's portrait of Alric Koenig, elven king in both The Erl-King and The Fell.

Mathia’s portrait of Alric Koenig, elven king in both The Erl-King and The Fell.

Cover for the original Erl-King story, Raythe's first published version of the high fantasy father / son incest saga.

Cover for the original Erl-King story, Raythe’s first published version of the high fantasy father / son incest saga.

Here's Alric in The Fell, which is the latest remix of Raythe's father / son high fantasy serial, currently running on the site.

Here’s Alric in The Fell, which is the latest remix of Raythe’s father / son high fantasy serial, currently running on the site.

One of the podcast ideas that came up in the poll last week was why I like m/m over m/f or f/f.  (We will address this further in podcasts and other blogs, because I think it is an important topic and an evergreen one.)

From childhood, I have been interested in m/m (and incest).  

Why is this?

One of the things that fascinates me, in general, is showing men in thrall to their emotions.  So often, men in “real” life are not allowed to have feelings or, at least, not allowed to show emotions like women are.  To see a man throwing every rule overboard, every taboo, for a forbidden love is intoxicating and fascinating.  

Also, I feel a greater freedom writing m/m.  

In the m/f world, at least, some readers have to “relate” to the female protagonist in a particular way to make a story work when it’s romance. If that female protagonist is not “likeable” for some reason, then readers can have a difficult time enjoying the story because they are hung up on whether or not the female protagonist “deserves” her happily ever after.  

With both love interests being men, I find that this issue does not come up as often, if at all.

There are lots of other reasons I want to explore, but I most especially want to hear why YOU, as readers, like m/m over m/f or f/f (if that is in fact the case.)

As an aside, since people seemed interested in backstory, headcannons, secret stuff, etc. it may interest some of you to know that …

This first iteration of The Erl-King actually had Scott as the main protagonist, with Ethan being his fey friend and NOT a POV character. Ethan was romantically with Alric, but we only saw the incest only through Scott’s eyes.  

There is a scene in The Erl-King where Scott climbs up to Ethan’s window and sees the lovemaking going on between his best friend and Alric, which came from this earlier work where everything was one step removed.

So tell us!  Do you prefer M/M couples in romance?

What are your reasons?  Leave comments below, even if you can’t say it as well as you wish you could.  We really want to know your thoughts, since this is an issue that we’re very close to.

If you prefer M/M to F/M or F/F in romance, why do you think this is?
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36 Responses to Raythe’s Erl-King Turns 30!

  1. Andarial March 24, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

    for me my like of m/m has much in common with yours lol theres a vulnerability thats shown in m/m that in the real world many men may feel but have more often that not been taught that they cant show their “fluffy” emotions. theres also an element about why i like m/m that i cant grasp tho lol i like most m/m i come across unlike f/f and f/m

    as for f/f…. there are hardly any good books or mangas out there. in my experience f/f characters often end up flat or they are just fanservice and their emotions and motivations arent actually shown. the f/f that are decent at least for manga are typically done by those who mostly write yaoi and did a fearure yuri for a magazine or something like that. ive had such a dissapointment finding good f/f that ive mostly quit looking for it all together. (however if you have good sugestions for me i am all ears) even when you do find a decent f/f they are side characters (fang and vanielle from ff13 for example or sailor uranus and neptune) and dont get much attention. or they arent cannon and have a small amount of support in comparison (usagi amd seya from sailor stars… altho most of the sailor moon universe is pretty decent about f/f) i ocassionally find some lovely f/f art and thats about it. i just feel like for the most part f/f is missing something crucial its like they havent figured out (with a few exceotions) how to convey the beauty physically and emotionally of a f/f relationship

    for f/m….. its complicated. lol if the main female lead is super annoying and stupid or overly girly to the point of rediculousness that i cant understand her at all i cant do it. if the fem lead starts off a strong independant character then becomes 100% dependant on her male romance interest and never goes back to being able to stand on her own i cant do it. (i do find this sometimes in m/m but it doesnt bother me nearly as much. im more like meh ok than OMFG ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW) i did read one f/m where it was done from the guys pov and i was ok with that. idk maybe i just relate more to guys – i am pretty fem/m balanced psychologically. i just finished lady midnight (dark artifices) and im ok with the f/m there but their gender roles are swapped with the male still being strong just in a difderent way. i find that truly beautiful and its not often done. actually ive found most of the shadowhunters f/m pairings ok. in general for f/m sometimes the problem is a lack of depth of the characters sometimes the problem is the characters are stereotypical is what ive found

    • Madamkhaos March 24, 2016 at 9:06 pm #

      One of my favorite book series with a character I felt I could relate to was the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. She’s so… bad ass and relatable. I totally understand not being able to read some books that are f/m because the female lead I’d just so vastly less intelligent than us readers that you just want to rip your hair out lol.

    • admin March 25, 2016 at 12:06 am #

      There really isn’t a ton of f/f out there or the stuff I found was always contemporary romance and not the genres that I’m into.

      I just love these long comments. You guys are the best.

  2. Madamkhaos March 24, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

    Hmm, well I’m a free lover meaning I don’t really care what kind of genitals someone has nor their appearance but whether they’re a good person inside. I’m a female with a wife! Lol So now that you know where I’m coming from, I don’t really differentiate between m/f f/f m/m as others may do. It’s not really that big of a deal but I have been vastly unlucky in finding actual in depth books about m/m and f/f in the fantasy category. I never read ‘real life’ books, the point in reading is to step into a separate world without mundane rules attached. The stress of every day life disappearing while reading a book is the point. Now, I don’t think it had anything to do with what gender the characters are, just that they’re built up with personality. Personality to hate because they’re evil, to love because they are almost perfect, et c. I think us readers enjoy YOUR books because of how well you write, how your characters have such in depth personalities. The ploy lines are intrinsic, the battles are descriptive, the sex mind blowing, and the chapters always making us yearn for more. So personally m/m and f/f is appealing simply because most books in that category usually have barely any plot just sex and that sex is usually not as sexy and sweaty as you as an author can portray. I love how you write as if it’s completely normal to be m/m so us as readers don’t feel anxiety for the characters with loving who they love backlashing. Also that applies to incest as well, highly disgusting in most people’s eyes but you make it seem beautiful and right. Just my personal experience. ♡♡

    • admin March 25, 2016 at 12:11 am #

      Your compliments are making me blush here. I write what I like to read. So I love scifi and fantasy and vampires and all that. But I don’t love coming of age, finding sexually, and all that. Too real life. But I loved mm and since I was already writing fanfiction in scifi with slash why not do original fiction the same way? And the rest was history.

  3. xXCrowFeatherXx March 24, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

    I relate way more to male characters than female characters

    Yes, and I am a woman xD
    I don’t know why that is the case :/ But I really like to read about MxM !
    My inner Fangirl gets super excited and screams like a schoolgirl everytime I read/watch MxM

    One of the reasons why I like it so much is the romance…It is way more realistic for my taste and I love men who show feelings

    *probably a reason why I watch Bollywood T-T one of my dark secrets ^^ *

    And MxM stories are so much more interesting ! The characters and the settings are so varied. And to be honest : I really hate it when I read a fantasy book and the hero is female … I don’t know why I hate it so much, but I just can’t imagine it

    I love your stories so much and I could read them the whole day ! It would be amazing if someone would make movies out of them
    Maybe someday they will. I loved the gay couple in Cloud Atlas 🙂 I really hope there will be more of them in the future movies and books

    Does someone of you know good books with MxM ? There are so few 🙁

    You really should sell your books like everone else in stores and such because they are AMAZING ö-ö
    My bookshelve would be much more beautiful !

    • Catkisser March 24, 2016 at 10:14 pm #

      Oh gosh I know of many! I mentioned one series in my comment here but I don’t think it would be appropriate to list a bunch on this site. Do you use Goodreads? If so I am Gina U there and if you friend me you can see which books I gave four or five stars to. Or if you are on Twitter you can DM me @ginaniu.

    • Andarial March 24, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

      reythereins really are some of the best. given some of her supject matter it would probably be hard to get it published and then afterwords have to worry about censorship and stuff. sad but true :/

      theres actually a lot of books out there – search genres on amazon or goodreads. heres some suggestions tho:

      cronin’s key by N.R. Walker

      the experiment (saving caeorleia) by alicia nordwell

      the harvest: taken by m.a. church

      pack collection by cardeno c.

      love rising by piper vaughn (this is short)

      sexind tine around by sandrine gasq-dion (also short)

      the boy who couldnt fly straight by jeff jacobson (teen book so no sex)

      the half of us by cardeno c.

      untill forever comes by cardeno c.

      clockwork pirate by lyn gala

      dark space by lisa henry

      no. 6 (manga/anime and also no sex)

      Katekyo! (manga)

      seven days (manga)

      sekaiichi hastukoi (manga… rape and dubcon warning tho… continuously thru out…)

      junjou romantica (manga… also has rape and dubcon thuout – same author as sekaiichi)

      mayonaka no oyatsu (manga – uncleXnephew)

      sorenari ni shinken nandesu (manga – one of my favs)

      hana no mizo shiru (manga)

      omairi desu yo (manga)

      konya mo nemurenai (manga)

      kimi to kore kara (manga. sequil to one above and focuses on different characters)

      • Andarial March 24, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

        ah… i just read comment above mine and realized i probably shouldnt have put all those on here >.< sorry 🙁

        • admin March 24, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

          It is totally ok! I’m a reader too and love to hear about good stories.

          • Andarial March 24, 2016 at 11:58 pm #

            *relieved sigh* lol

          • Andarial March 24, 2016 at 11:59 pm #

            happy birthday btw 🙂

          • Catkisser March 25, 2016 at 12:44 am #

            OK then! Some of my five star books:
            M/M Romance
            Sutphin Blvd by Santino Hassel – very urban, grown up and comples characters.
            Strong Signal by Santino Hassel & Megan Erickson: very modern and original
            The Way As He Sees It by A.M. Arthur: another original premise

            Back Where He Started (literary novel) by Jay Quinn: Very grown up main character and situations, some hot scenes : )

            The “Seasons” series by Jay Bell

            For fantasy:

            Some Kind of Magic by R. Cooper: Elves who love sugar!
            Shift in Time by Mercy Celeste: Pussy cats and shifters
            Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane: Fabulously snarky main character

    • admin March 25, 2016 at 12:13 am #

      I think one of the reasons you might relate more to male characters in romance anyways is because of the way there are only so many archetypes that women are allowed to be. Men are given greater leeway so therefore easier to actually relate to!

    • awarne1 March 25, 2016 at 1:55 am #

      One of my all time favorites is The Trap by Indigo Wren.
      I too wish I could have my library filled with physical, beautiful books authored by Raythe. Maybe one day….

  4. Fiona hayes March 24, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

    Well I just love male on male. I am into yaoi I have a very big collection. Doing a male on male is so much better you can get more In depth with them and there problems so very easily. They don’t put on stupid airs like women do. They really have to one up each other I can’t get into that. What you write is the greatest. So I wish you both the erl-king and your self a very happy birthday.

    • admin March 25, 2016 at 12:42 am #

      Thank you for the bday wishes. I think again this thing with women is that authors believe that they are limited in the types of women they can do.

  5. Erica March 24, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

    I used to read strictly m/f romance novels and manga, but I got really bored with the characters. It was always the same plot, and the same ridiculous conflicts. Although there are a couple romance novelists who I like and still read I just don’t usually care for the female main characters. As I get older and more secure and confident with myself I can’t stand female characters who have no capability of making their own decisions or who make a huge deal out of something obviously contrived to make the page count longer.

    I started reading Yaoi manga a couple years ago, and only found your site this fall. I have found that although there are some m/m stories with the same pitfalls as other stories that I now enjoy them a lot more than I do f/m stories. The characters are more relatable, and it’s not like I can’t see aspects of myself in either of the male characters. I really enjoy your stories and read the Merman series very quickly. I couldn’t get enough. Keep up the good work!

    • admin March 25, 2016 at 12:57 am #

      I do think as we get older (sacrilege!) and accept ourselves that cookie cutter women in a lot of mf just can’t work anymore. Been there done that so to speak.

  6. Catkisser March 24, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

    I have been fascinated with (and turned on by) the notion of M/M relationships and sex since at least high school and maybe even junior high. I think that at first it was because it was foreign and taboo (this was quite a while ago kids).

    At first I just made up scenarios and stories in my head that were pretty tame. I searched for any books I could find in the library that were gay themed. I was lucky in that I had access to a university library. I desperately searched for any movies and were thrilled with such titles as My Beautiful Launderette and Making Love.

    Flash forward to the advent of the internet and my discovery of glorious slash fan fiction and then M/M romance novels.

    Now, I think that my main attraction is that I don’t have a female romantic protagonist with which to compare myself. I’m not putting myself in the picture at all so I get to just enjoy the men’s stories. I like stories where the guys are equals, such at the wonderful Cut & Run series but also really enjoy stories, such as many on RaytheReign, where there is an imbalance of power. I like the contrast of younger/older and bigger/smaller partners. (Also true for porn scenes). I do not read F/M romance.

    • admin March 25, 2016 at 1:19 am #

      I totally remember My Beautiful Laundrette! I too was so obsessed with anything I could get my hands on. Everyone I knew thought I was a freak but was too nice to say but I knew from the very beginning what I loved. Thank goodness I had a mother who said it was totally cool I liked mm incest! She still laighs about it to this day.

  7. Ipodpixie March 24, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

    I really like m/m but I detest it when one of the dudes is made too feminine. They can wear make up, tight clothes, get their nails done – whatever, but I wish authors would stop trying to make them substitute women. Just because the character is naive, a virgin or short doesn’t automatically make them weak and feeble.

    Luckily for me you haven’t done this with your stories. Incest isn’t a genre that I find appealing personally but each to their own.

    Many happy returns for your birthday Raythe, you and I are the same age but my birthday is next month.

    • admin March 25, 2016 at 1:40 am #

      I almost hesitated putting my age out there and then I’m like I’m really happy with whom I am and that has a lot to do with how I write.

      I keep incest to two stories and no more of the 7 running just because it would get boring and it would not be fair to those who don’t like it.

      • Andarial March 25, 2016 at 1:50 am #

        ive never seen m/m incest out and about (like on amazon or at b&n) do you have any sugestions for those of us who would want more of it?

      • Ipodpixie March 26, 2016 at 10:43 pm #

        We’re 42, we should be proud of all the crap that has happened to us and we have overcome!

        We have hopefully reached a place in our lives where we are happy and able to be the people we want to be – including an over whelming love of m/m!

        Have one of your special cocktails on me or have one of my favourites – bourbon and amaretto with coke!

  8. Keith March 24, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

    All the reasons why I like M/M have been mentioned already I think…
    – Women have no depth in most fiction. I just can’t relate to them. The men are always more interesting, and hence of course I want them to be together rather than with the flat women.
    – I’m not attracted to women’s body, so if there are sexy times I will be much much more aroused if it’s men on men action.
    – Most of the time I just can’t relate to couple dynamics in F/M romance. The women follow a role given by society, and I really don’t fit in this role.

    Now, it doesn’t mean that I only read MxM novels! Actually, most of the fantasy I read still features hetero couples. I just can’t help it, 99% of fantasy has hetero main characters. I’m not gonna stop reading because of this (anyway, there usually isn’t that much romance and sex in the fantasy I usually read). Rather, I will read and enjoy how well written the story is — and then I will read a shitload of gay PWP fanfics on my fav characters ^^ (and hopefully a long, extremely good fanfic’ if I can find one)

    And I won’t read a book just because it’s MxM, too. I’ve been disappointed in many MxM published romances… It really depends on the quality of the writing. Actually, the only MxM stuff I read now are Raythe stories, and fanfictions. Some fanfictions are just awesome, they have an interesting plot, epic action, and a very intense development of the emotions of the characters. It’s something I haven’t found anywhere else than in a few fanfictions and in Raythe’s stories.

    • admin March 25, 2016 at 1:43 am #

      You are adorable!

      All the points you made I think I will be copying verbatim for the pod cast lol! That’s a really comprehension list.

      I actually have taken to reading almost everything but romance because the romance often fails for me. But the action or the worlds or the characters don’t. So I understand what you mean.

  9. Evilcleo March 25, 2016 at 12:58 am #

    Much like Erica, I just got bored with what heterosexual stories offered. I still read M/F but it’s in small quantities, when I need to read something cute or the author is Jayne Castle. Sometimes she makes the heroines sound like broken records in terms of dialogue but otherwise, they’re pretty strong and independent characters who need some male help but can hold their own. Can’t really find f/f stories to like. I’ve found one shoujo ai which was pretty good but you could write a book about all the plot holes and unanswered questions the author conveniently didn’t mention for it to be successful.

    • admin March 25, 2016 at 2:22 am #

      I think authors feel they are hemmed in when maybe they aren’t. But there is this definite sense that’s why we aren’t seeing more variety!

  10. River Iris March 25, 2016 at 1:57 am #

    I have a complicated relationship with sexuality in general. I was talking about sex with my friends and siblings (we’re emotionally close okay!) when I was eight or nine. I didn’t understand why I was talking about this (or what sex was other than babies) until years later when I found out one friend had been raped by their father for years. Until this realization, things happened that had nothing to do with sex. So my first conscious grasp of it was when I turned sixteen. Fan fiction and eventually a few novels I’d herd of (‘The Story of O’ and the ‘Beauty’ series to name a few) led me to M/F erotica. Since I was sixteen I read as much as I could. Then some authors I liked started writing or referring M/F/M stories and a few F/F. Some of the threesomes (and orgy like parings) made me emotionally uncomfortable, but I loved most of the F/F. For a while I wondered if I was a lesbian. But outside of fiction that sort of relationship was shamed (still is to an extent even among gay communities). This all lead to a dislike for years of anything but M/M because I didn’t like feeling like women could be portrayed as anything but sex objects or homemakers. M/M is a safety net to my desires. Now I go with anything that has a good story, gender orientation holds little meaning. I hope this isn’t too jumbled. Happy Birthday, Raythe. Here’s to ninety more good years! =D♥

  11. admin March 25, 2016 at 2:26 am #

    Thank you for the lovely bday wishes and the complex and well thought out answer. I have the best readers in the world.

    Anyways I totally understand where you are coming from about the stories. I’m so sorry for your friend and I sincerely hope she is all right.

  12. Amaterashu March 25, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

    I’ve read m/m over 10 years and I guess the main reason for liking it is that I have major problems how women are written in m/f literature. They are either hopelessly weak and incompetent or super women who can do everything better than men, normal women are such a rarity in books. I don’t mean that women can’t have quirks/talents but a teenager who speaks several languages, fights, can hack and is really pretty just makes me roll my eyes.

    Another reason for liking m/m is because men are usually written more equal than women. Well, there are of course stories where the bottom is made into a replacement female, especially among fanfic, those are immediate drops for me and it has made me avoid anything tagged with alfa/omega and immediately drop mpreg stories.

    Well this turned into more like ‘why I have trouble liking m/f stories’ than why I like m/m, oh well… By the way the bit about Scott being the original protagonist of Erl-King was really interesting.

    And happy birthday! Or is it already belated happy birthday? Anyway congratulations on being one year older. 🙂

  13. Sabrena March 25, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

    Happy birthday!

  14. Kitty Pride March 26, 2016 at 1:11 am #

    お誕生日おめでとうございます! I have always loved fantasy or sci fi stories. I found M/F romance boring and uninspired. BL manga has been a hobby of mine for more than 20 years so I have always enjoyed M/M parings. But there is a lot of horrible gay fiction out there. Your stories have captivating characters, hot sex, unexpected romance and tons of fantasy twists. I really have a soft spot for elves with long hair!! With the exception of one story on the site (which I didn’t like), I have read and enjoyed all the rest. Checking out your new chapter posts is the highlight of my days now.

    • Ipodpixie March 26, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

      Elves with long hair – yes!!!

  15. Kotone April 6, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Let’s see, for me it started with BL anime when I was 16. Since there’s not much of that I went to manga, eventually ending up reading the really hardcore stuff by the time I was 17/18. I also eventually found the very few hardcore yaoi anime there are (they need to make more in my opinion) hidden in the dark depths of the internet (at the time they were anyway).

    Since I love anime in general I discovered fanfiction.net and started reading a bunch of stuff on there, then one story I read said it put the watered down version on that site and put the real version on adult-fanfiction.org so I followed the link and read that, then I was like, wait a min so all of this is the awesome hardcore stuff? Sweet!

    At some point I stared reading the original fiction on there, some of which was good, though you have to sift though a lot of junk, and saw an add for you site involving vampires and yaoi (those adds are really convincing!) and had to see what it was about. It took me a while to commit to subscribing (bought some stuff on amazon first and used the discount code) but it is so worth it!

    Happy Birthday btw!

    I’m surprised so many of the people commenting here are that much older than me (only 21) not that it matters, age is but a number, happy reading everyone ^-^

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