My first introduction to this concept was in Alien, although that was a little more like a parasitic invasion than a pregnancy per se.
As I moved into writing gay romance, though, I saw it on a surprisingly frequent basis, primarily in sci-fi but also in paranormal stories. Those pregnancies are usually the supernatural or extraterrestrial result of a sexual relationship with an alien or a paranormal creature. While a number of heterosexual romances have happy ever afters concluding with a baby, I’m don’t think I’ve ever seen male pregnancy in straight romances. (And do correct me if I’m wrong – I’d like to see how it’s done.)
My recent release, Alien ‘n’ Outlaw, features alien and human protagonists involved in a romantic relationship. I’ve blogged about how tricky it is to develop an alien species that’s alien but still relatable. I’ve blogged about the difficulty in tipping that over into sexual attraction, and the improbability of finding a species that would have bits in a mutually pleasurable arrangement. Never once did I suspect there was a small portion of readers who were expecting an m-preg storyline because I had an alien and human getting it on.
Quite frankly, it had never occurred to me to write such a storyline, and once I thought about it, I realized I likely never would.
Now, as a woman and an LGBT supporter, I believe strongly in equal rights, including health & insurance benefits and equal marriage & adoption rights. Having a man become pregnant seems like the ultimate in equality, right? And a great step for a sci-fi story. But deep down, I don’t view it that way. Because I’m also a woman who has chosen to be childless, which makes me super-sensitive to a different message an m-preg storyline might send.
I’ve had a few people close to me question the decision my husband and I made not to have children. Let me tell you, procreation does not need to be the end result for a happy couple and my relationship isn’t invalidated because I don’t have kids.
There may be gay men out there who wish they could impregnate their partner, or straight guys who’d like to bear children for their women, but I worry that imposing the procreation factor on a gay couple sends the message that their relationship is “less than”. I mean, they may still have to deal with the ignorance of “which one is the woman”, which is ludicrous since they’re both men. And they can be great parents without one of them actually being pregnant.
So, yes, having men become pregnant may be a great sci-fi storyline, but because of my personal hang-ups and my tendency to overthink shit, it’s not one I’m likely to use. Maybe I would if I were to write straight romances, but even that’s doubtful. Nevertheless, if you’ve got some recommendations for m-preg stories, tell me! Just because I won’t write something doesn’t mean I won’t read it!