• Because there are more m/m romances being published than lesbian romances?
Nope. Turns out that a search of m/m romance published in 2015 (via amazon) turns up 12,112 titles, while a search for lesbian romance for the same period returns 14,002 titles.
• Because fewer lesbian romances are available as e-books, and thus tend to cost more?
Apparently not. Another amazon search for the period 2015, limiting the format to "Kindle edition" returns 10,180 m/m ebook romances, and 13,097 e-book lesbian romances.
• Because m/m romance is newer, the hot new thing, while lesbian romance has been around for the past 50 years?
Amazon hits for m/m romance published in the past five years, by year:
Amazon hits for lesbian romance published in the past five years, by year:
Pretty similar growth trajectories, no?
• Because, as lesbian romance author and publisher Radclyffe suggests in her essay during 2014's Queer Romance month, lesbian romance is a niche market, and hence far less visible to those outside its niche than are other types of romances?
A general Google search turns up 128 million entries for "m/m romance" but only 26 million for "lesbian romance." Yes, visibility is definitely an issue.
Don't know if there is a way to test this one out—perhaps by conducting a survey of publishers? Or of self-publishing authors? A project for the future, perhaps...
My own far from thoroughly-tested theory, based on the (admittedly) few lesbian romances I've read in the past few years. One I'd be interested to hear from lesbian romance writers about.
• Because lesbian romances have fewer, or less hot, sex scenes?
Again, far from any sort of expert on this topic myself; would love to hear from lesbian romance readers about their perception of how the portrayal of sex in their romances has changed (or not) over the years...
• Because I'm uncomfortable, if not outright homophobic, when it comes to lesbian sex? Or, to put it more kindly, I'm more turned on/interested by sex scenes where at least one male (my primary object of sexual interest) appears?
Could well be.
My goal for 2016 is to more actively seek and out and read lesbian romance. Would love to hear your recommendations...
And a question for of you: heterosexual readers who enjoy reading m/m romance, do you read lesbian romance, too? If you don't, do any of the possibilities I've mentioned above sound like the reason why? What other reasons might you not seek or enjoy out lesbian romances?
LGBTQ readers, do you read lesbian romance? Why or why not?