wow, this is really interesting and i really like this topic.
i also don't have a lot of time to write, so sorry, this will likely be a little disjointed and have errors.
what i love about reading and watching romance (pg-13) is that it makes me think, "oh, that's so beautiful, they're so perfect for each other and i want them to survive all the crap life gives and be with each other forever." -essentially. i am a HUGE romantic and i get very personally down when i am taken on a fictional journey where they don't make it or one dies or something. i almost can't handle it.
i am in my late 20s and have been married for almost 10 years. i am unusual (unfortunately, it seems) in that my husband and i are totally devoted to each other. we literally are each other's best friend and confidant. we face the world together, we try to see each other's POV and work out differences quickly and thoroughly because we don't even think the word divorce--we are both in this forever (as in after this life). we are lovers and we try to keep intimate love only to each other, which is why both of us avoid smut/porn. yes we fight and sometimes it's as passionate as the way we love, but we recognize that we are two different people and will inevitably disagree. i wanted to say all that to explain where i'm coming from.
anyway, i have read many M rated stories and there was a time that i read them thoroughly and a time that i skimmed over the too-graphic scenes. the problems i felt when i read the graphic scenes were many. first of all, lots of times those sex scenes are often too perfect and it makes people expect that perfection. i saw that that could be a wedge in our relationship. also, i often times thought in my mind, "i really hope some inexperienced teen isn't reading this, it will be so unfair to their partner in the future." the truth is sometime sex doesn't work out and if you're mature about it, that' ok! secondly, it made me focus on the wrong thing. what i love about a beautiful romantic pg-13 story/movie is that i get so caught up in their lives and love and then it ends promisingly and i'm left seeing their beautiful relationship, which was expressed partially physically, and i think about how hubs and i feel that way and it leaves me wanting to seek him out and celebrate that love that we are blessed to have. it puts the focus back on our relationship and makes me want to be better to him and work harder for us and love each other more fully--emotionally and physically. -but when i'm 'watching' someone else have sex (in a movie or book), the focus is 'that's hot, where are they going to go with this.'
i don't know, i might be in a small percentage with this, but i love romance because of how it focuses my thoughts back to my relationship and strengthening that real life
thing. i don't love romance so that i can try to experience love and passion in my mind through others.
as for male/female authors writing other points of view, it doesn't bother me when it's close enough. there are times i notice that it's rather unlikely that a man or woman would think that way, but i get so wrapped up in stories it's pretty easy for me to move forward. it did get me interested though and i began asking hubs to describe how he thought and felt during certain moments.
i always knew we were different, but yes it is quite a big difference! at least our different roads are still taking us to the same place.
p.s. reading the twilight series actually changed my philosophy on physical love, in a great way, and made our marriage better. this all happened without seeing actual sex scenes. i think that's a pretty big deal and shows how influential romantic stories can be even while keeping them chaste.
i hope that all made sense. feel free to ask me to clarify if needed.