Something Ryan Field said on his blog inspired me to comment further:
“I also like the way the author handled the sense of smell. This is a big thing for me in gay erotica…or even gay romance. I’ve been slammed at times for my descriptions of smell and I’ve never known why. All I know is that gay men don’t want their men to smell like bubbles and powder and soap. They want them to smell like men. When they see a sexy arm pit, that arm pit better not smell like Oil of Olay.”
This is so very true.
I do not wish to imply Ryan will agree with what I say next.
I would suspect any slams about smells would likely come from women because society expects them to smell good. I know I have walked away from women when we have reached the “getting naked” point because they were too “ripe” for me to even consider going further. Most “het” [heterosexual] men want no surprising smells down below and will be graphically direct with other men on the issue. Thus, women tend to be rather fastidious with respect to the love tunnel and assume that because “gay men are like women” that gay men are similarly fastidious. And some are but I would not do them!
There is something to be said for the vague yeastiness of an uncircumcised man when nearing him for a blow. Ejaculate comes in many flavors—not germane here—but it also comes in many smells the best of which evoke for me the sensation of freshly sawn lumber or walnuts. Sweaty balls are an aphrodisiac to more than a few of us with the XY chromosome. Post workout body odor is not a turn on for me, but a clean, unfragranced (sic) man can have a pit smell that reminds of greasy hands from having worked on an engine.
There is something that will be forever erotic to me about a musty men’s room. There is something about the cigarettes, booze, lube, and latex smell of a notorious gay bar here in town that excites me.
Numerous studies have shown that the sense of smell is sharply different between the sexes sometimes with the same odor producing opposite sensory reactions.
While “the smell of testosterone is in the air” is a terrible cliché, I posit that men can actually smell the testosterone of another man and it is this “viscerality” that drives male/male passion infinitely more than being emotionally in touch with each other and communicating openly and honestly.
Thus, when I read jejune writing about scents in man on man sex stories—the lion’s share of the writers being women—I have to laugh because their sense of smell is wired differently. This just reinforces my belief that gay literature cannot be written from a femalecentric (sic) perspective just because the women writing it assumes to know how gay men tick.
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