I've had "write post about writing/read sexuality" on my todo list for too long and I wanted to make the general note before it got too stale. In a lot of way's this is in response to Nora's post on magic district and I think something else that I can't trace down the reference to.

Basically I saw a couple of things where non-normative sexualities (more promiscuous, more casual, more queer) were underplayed or criticized fiction because of concerns (real or other wise) that the non-norm sexuality would be distracting or feel "Ham handed."

And I sort of gawk. Not because I think that this is incorrect. Writing about queer sexualities in fictional contexts is distracting, and something of a big deal, relative to non-queer sexualities in fiction. I also think it's a bit distracting in real life, that the discomfort/distracting experience that many people get isn't the result of ham handed political message insertion into writing, but rather, a fairly reasonable depiction of what it's like to have your embodied experience politicized, to be (nearly constantly) reminded of the cultural dissonance you have.

Sure, it's possible to under-represent queer lives in fiction, it's possible to write queerness inappropriately, or to over-normalize it. But if your readers are distracted, if they're made uncomfortable, you probably did something right.