Most erotica today is written by and for women, and bestselling erotica is narrated from a female point of view. The "male pornographic gaze" that sexualizes the female body has been considered offensive by the predominant culture and mostly eradicated from contemporary mainstream literature. But men still lust over female physiology. Is it possible to narrate that experience of male sexual lust without offending female readers? How?
Erotica is not a genre I read, but the lusting male gaze in some fantasy and sci-fi - I cannot say that I always find it offensive. On the contrary - I can find it quite pleasant. I want to be lusted after this way.
Which is, I think, the key to your question: consider how a woman would want to be wanted, and how she wouldn't want to be wanted.
What are some differences?
- Heinlein's characters, for example, never consider that a woman might not be interested. Of course she is, or will be. Which is to say the woman has no character, no agency. She isn't a person, but an object with no will. That - I don't like.
- A man might be attracted to a woman's appearance, but she has other character traits, doesn't she? A man might be drawn by a woman's wit, strength, the way she moves. Or he might be repulsed by her cruelty, no matter how pretty she is. When a woman is nothing but a chunk of meat or a barbie doll, it is disturbing.
- There is the question of consent. Wanting to "do things to her" is objectifying. Wanting to do things with her, or have her do things to the guy is more interesting.
Which all boils down to: in the man's thoughts, treat the woman as a person, not an object. Men, for the most part, want women rather than sex dolls. Women want to be wanted as women, definitely not sex dolls. Win-win.
The problem I see is the double standard in sexualization. It seems much more acceptable nowadays for women to a have a lusty look on (attractive) men than the other way around. The cause for this might be the still living cliché that men tend to only think this way while women 'just do it for fun'.
But this discussion is not the main point here. Personally I just strongly dislike sexualization of male or female in either way.
Describing the male view point I would make sure that lust is not the only thing the protagonist sees in his (physical) love interest. As long as he is not controlled by his sex drive there are plenty other things he recognizes on her and in her personality.
She always pins up her hair to a loose bun, revealing the skin of her neck. He tries not to constantly look, dissipating the thought of touching the soft skin behind her ear with his lips. But every time he regains control over his flittering thoughts, she smoothes some loose wisps back, catching his eyes with her secretive movements.
If you are able to show that his thoughts are more than
See woman, want sex
you should have no problem. It is indeed utterly impossible to not offend anyone. But if you write in a respectful manner, the only ones to be outraged will most probably be misandrics that aren't your target audience anyways.
Borrow liberally from male-oriented (often Japanese) erotic literature.
It does exist, contrary to the assertion in the question; it's just heavily oriented towards nerds, as a result of its roots growing out from Japanese popular culture (e.g. manga, anime, and light novels). Many of the original Japanese works were even written by women - for instance, the ecchi harem manga Sekirei was written by a woman who was a fan of gay male romance stories, who ultimately decided that she wanted to make more money so she wrote a story about a guy who gets a harem of busty women.