Hi, I’m Jo Myles and I’m a bi woman. Of course, since I’ve always been in relationships with men, most people just assume I’m straight. I bet, however, that like me, many of the supposedly “straight” female readers and writers of gay romance are in fact bisexual. In fact, I’m also willing to bet that a fair few of the male ones are too.
Yes, it’s true, pretty much everyone falls on a scale of somewhere between completely heterosexual and completely homosexual, and I probably fall a little closer to the het than the lesbian end. However, although I’ve rarely had the opportunity to act on my girl-crushes, I notice attractive women at least as much as I notice attractive men. Sexy people are sexy—I don’t care about their gender.
But it’s not easy being bi, not least because the media hardly ever represents bi people. It’s no coincidence that the terms “bisexual erasure” and “biphobia” are often bandied about in the bisexual community. Bisexuals often become invisible—we get defined as either straight or gay/lesbian depending on who we are currently in a relationship with. The first series of the television show Orange is the New Black illustrates this perfectly. Despite Piper’s assertion that she falls somewhere on a Kinsey scale, everyone else is keen to label her as either straight or lesbian. Incidentally, I still think it’s a fabulous show and well worth watching for its portrayal of bi, lesbian and trans women.
Another television show that got it right—for a while at least—was the BBC’s Doctor Who spin off, Torchwood. All the main characters had sexual encounters with people of both genders, and Ianto and Jack were two bi men in a relationship together. Of course, the writers had to spoil it by killing off Ianto and then having Jack assert he was gay rather than bi, but for a while it was gripping viewing. In fact, it was the way Torchwood messed things up that drove me to start writing gay romance.
It’s important for me to see more bisexual heroes in gay romance, which is why I often write them. Robin in Barging In, Perry in Stuff and Jeff in How to Train Your Dom in Five Easy Steps are all bi characters, although as I wanted to reflect the way things are for bi people in the real world, they often end up labelled as gay by other characters in their stories. Unfortunately, even in the gay community bi men and women can meet a surprising amount of hostility. It seems that many people out there aren’t ready to accept that for some us, what’s between your legs isn’t an issue: we’re more interested in your personality and other attractive qualities.
I’d love to hear from other bisexuals in the comments, and for all of you to use it as a space to share your recommendations for gay romances featuring bisexual heroes. I know there must be loads of great ones out there!
About Jo Myles
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
Jo publishes regularly with Samhain. She has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion.
About How to Train Your Dom in Five Easy Steps
Sometimes the little head really does know best.
Jeff White’s needs are simple. All he wants is a submissive to help him explore the dominant side that his ex-girlfriend couldn’t handle. Problem is, inexperience in both dating and domming has resulted in a string of rejections.
What he needs is an experienced sub willing to show him the ins and outs of controlling a scene. Unfortunately, the only one willing to take him on is male, and Jeff is straight. One hundred percent, never-gonna-happen straight.
Easygoing painslut Eddie Powell doesn’t care that Jeff is younger, working class, and shorter. Eddie likes a bit of rough, and Jeff fits the bill perfectly. The trick will be convincing him to follow Eddie’s five-step training programme—which would be easy if Eddie wasn’t starting to have feelings for the rough-around-the-edges landscaper.
Once Jeff lays his hands on Eddie, things definitely get out of hand. But it’ll take more than hot, sweaty, kinky sex to persuade him to come out of the closet—especially to himself.
Warning: Contains a happy sub, a confused Dom, a high ratio of sex to plot, misuse of root ginger, and a suitcase of kink. Written in Jo’s usual exceedingly “English” English.