I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: branching out in the world of Romancelandia has been eye-opening in many, many ways. I’ve read books I never thought I’d ever read. I’ve seen opinions, hot takes, and rants I probably could have lived without. I’ve seen some lovely things, too, of course!
Ergo, much of the time when something new comes across my “desk”, my interest is piqued. Case in point: Dragon shifters.
Which is to say that I had several influences that piqued my interest and guided me over time to biker smut: A little bit of exploration of alpha-holes when I was working on a project last year. The book Under Locke when I was listening to Mariana Zapata’s backlist, which was absolutely one of those “He is so bad, and I should feel like this is so not okay, but I really don’t hate it” situations. And one or ten Twitter hot takes that I struggle with, because I frankly agree with the sentiments or the underlying arguments, but also I am not looking for any kind of perfect reading materials, aside from the perfect thrill.
I was curious. What is this MC smut all about? What about it makes people talk about it like it’s a trope? Why is it a dirty secret pleasure? Why is it bad news? WHAT IS GOING ON?
So I read one and I was like, “Okay, so that was a thing that I just read.”
And then I read another one and I was like, “This is pretty messed up, and I am scandalized and also delighted by the fact that I am scandalized.”
And then I just started binging books because, once I started, I had to know why some of these books and authors were so popular. (Pro tip: Kristen Ashley comes up quite a bit. Don’t start with Wild Like the Wind like I did.)
So, instead of writing a bunch of reviews, I decided to prepare this series of pieces that discusses biker smut and explores my experience of reading it. Over the course of the next weeks, we’ll look at the settings, characterizations, romance, sex, and politics of MC romance.
This smut is not for everyone, in no small part due to some of its extremely problematic content. But since we’re about matching readers to books, a conversation about what exactly this content includes might be useful to someone somewhere. Or just useful in that I’ve done all the reading for you, and you can enjoy the rubbernecking. In which case, you’re very welcome.
Next up, we’re starting off easy with a discussion of setting. But fear not, gentle readers. There will be charts.