I think we can all agree on that. Oh sure, there are the awesome guys who will read (or skim) a romance novel written by a friend, but overwhelmingly this is a genre read by women. So, here’s a complex analysis of why men don’t read romance, and there are some good points to the article, such as:
Patriarchy is depressing and oppressive for women, and romance novels understand that and provide a salve.
That makes sense. Whether we’re talking novels set back when with handsome brooding dukes marrying governesses, or contemporary romances where Alpha stud billionnaires fall for waitresses, it’s fun to imagine the perfect wealthy man falling for us and making our world (and our children’s world) beautiful and easy. The heroines don’t have to do anything but be a little bit smart and sassy and a whole lot of sexy, which is in the eye of the beholder. Not all romance heroines are slender young blondes any longer. Every size and type of woman is represented in these books now. We can relate and fantasize.
But think about that. While it’s possible for us to transport ourselves into the female characters, it’s impossible for the men to do that. How many men can relate to being a British duke or an Alpha stud billionnaire? Reading those books would be depressing for a guy, I would think. But it isn’t just the title/money/looks of the heroes, right? Romance novel men are not only outwardly successful, they are also brilliant and witty and incredibly good in bed at all times; they are always in control, even when faced with death; they connect with the heroine in such a profound way upon first meet that they know what she wants and how she thinks when they barely even know each other.
A real man can’t relate to any of that, because these are fantasy men, written mostly by women for women. It’s not really all that complicated.
Here’s a fun article about the kinds of horror-erotica (horrotica?) you can find on Kindle. From lycans (werewolves) to alien impregnation, if you’re searching for something kinkyscary… it’s out there. ~DOO DOO DOO DOO~
And you do know I have written a sexy story about a girl and a dragon, yes?
On a more serious note, this story reminds us of the wackos among us (in case you forgot). A critic started stalking and mocking a writer online, who then turned the tables and began stalking and harassing the critic. People need to calm down and read moar pr0n.
Speaking of getting upset, I wrote this last night and scheduled it to poast at 1AM. Not only did WordPress fail to publish it, but the poast disappeared from drafts and I had to rewrite it. Major RAWRAGE!
Talking historical romance here–why write an earl when you can have a duke? Forget the truth of some gouty old fat grouch, the dukes in romance novels are young (30ish) and handsome. Virile, obviously. Well-muscled from riding (not to hounds cuz that is disgusting) and fencing. Plus they’re just generally good at everything, whether it’s cards or bar brawls or witty repartee. And of course they are all incredibly skilled in lurve-making, usually first learning at the um feet of an older, beautiful married woman. A duke must be deep and philosophical, but also funny and occasionally reckless, and he is emotionally guarded because of the Bad Thing. Maybe his mommy ran off with another man and drowned at sea, or his father disowned him, or he was wounded in battle and rejected by some horrid society girl. Whatever. He’s guarded and our heroine must melt the ice from his heart.
Lorraine Heath has a fun article about the prevalence of dukes in romance writing. I found Ms. Heath’s writing via a link from a HuffPo piece on romance novels. Generally I avoid HuffPo, but they came up in my Google romance novel news alerts and that actually is a decent article, touching on many aspects of the historical genre. It begins with the teaser question of why are Regency dukes dominating all the romance titles, and mentions how Amazon presents you with a narrow rance of choices based upon your last searches and purchases, but the article ends up discussing the huge variety of time periods and heroes you can find with a little bit of effort. Just do your own searches instead of relying upon Amazon’s algorithm to tell you what you might like to read next.
The BDSM cowboy sounds interesting. I am looking for new ideas to both read and write about.
I’m pleased to announce that I’ve done my second bundle… three short Sugarplum romances for a great price. Check out A Taste of Sugar in the Amazon Kindle store. (Free to Kindle Unlimited peeps.)
Thanks and have a great weekend!
I know y’all picture me somewhat like the above, right? Yeah, yeah. The sexpot erotica writer, dressing in sexy lingerie, spritzing herself with perfume, getting a glass of wine… and then writing at a lovely desk with a vase of flowers nearby.
Here are a few snapshots of real erotica writers and their typical days and appearances.
Honestly, I can only write while wearing the FMP’s for an hour or so and then I’ve gotta kick ’em off and relax!
I have a bit of a confuzzlement here. Perhaps some kindly WordPressario will help me out.
On the top bar right side, when I’m logged in, I see my silhouette couple, which is correct. That is the image I’ve uploaded to Gravatar. And when I comment as Anna, it shows up. All is well.
But on the left side, before my name and blog address, it shows a kitty face. When I first began this blog I did indeed use that kitty face for my avatar. But I can’t see where to change that to the silhouette couple. I realize that it probably doesn’t matter as the correct Gravatar is showing when I comment, but it’s BUGGING ME!
Thanks in advance for any help. 🙂
By Cara McKenna. I read Hard Time this weekend on my Kindle. Librarian meets con in the prison literacy program. Extreme hotness ensues. You’d think that would be a rather predictable story, but it wasn’t.
Annie is an extremely believable heroine. The story is told in first-person, which I generally dislike in a romance novel, but it worked here. We are with Annie every step of the way, from how she was initially petrified to even walk into the prison and start helping the men, through her lust at first sight moment when she sees Eric, to her coming to care about these guys and their issues. She has all sorts of conflicting feelings over Eric, his reason for incarceration, his family, her family, etc. I really felt like she could have been me ~ that’s how well McKenna pulled in the reader.
I thought I would be able to figure out what happens later in the story to create a major conflict between the protags, but I was incorrect. That’s a good thing!
And now for the bad. Remember how Elmore Leonard advised not to write what readers tend to skip? The romance between Annie and Eric had to be clandestine while he was in prison, OK. So, we read their love letters, which at first was fun, but I began skimming them. Because reading about reading about feelings? Kinda very far removed from feeling anything. And then when they texted and had phone sex? Um just no. Phone sex is hard enough to get right when you’re actually doing it, but reading about phone sex? No. Not happening.
So, there was that. (The takeway for romance writers is to be very careful about sticking long letters/emails/text convos into a story.) But overall? FOUR STARS for Hard Time.