By Siobhan Muir
Do men read romance?
The answer to the question appears easy, but if you really think about the kinds of stories men (and women) enjoy, I’d wager the answer is actually, “Yes.”
Before you get your britches in a twist, let me give you my perspective.
Many guys have told me they don’t read romance, but the media has done a bang-up job (pun intended) of depicting romance as smarmy, melodramatic, unrealistic tales with throbbing manhoods and heavy bosoms. To be honest, that sounds awful to me, too, and I write (and read) romance. My own husband said he didn’t read it because all the guys had sexual organs the size of small baseball bats and were “ruggedly handsome” to a fault.
I offered to write one and let him read it to see if I could prove him wrong. Long story short, I pulled it off and it wasn’t just him I impressed.
Here’s the thing about romance. Romance stories, by definition, must have a “happily-ever-after” ending. This means the characters must like each other and want to stay together at the end of the book. That’s it. So they could have hot and heavy sex, or it could sweet sexual tension that is never shown, but if they get together in the end, that’s what makes it romance.
Everyone likes that kind of story, even men.
Men also like action/adventure, and they like to have the hero save the day in exciting ways. Look at Star Wars. Don’t try to tell me it’s not romance or love. Why do you think Darth Vader became the way he did? It wasn’t from abuse or lack of love from his guardians. It was from the fear of losing the woman he loved. LOVE. Right there. Harry Potter? What saved him in the end was the love he felt for his friends, Ginny Weasely, and his parents. Star Trek? The tight love and friendship between Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty (among others).
Almost every popular tale out there is a love story, though the romance genre puts the love in the forefront. And almost every human out there wants love in one form or another. The key is to get around the media’s skewed and disdainful definition.
For myself, I write paranormal romance, which is basically kick-ass adventure with hot sex, and some of the characters aren’t entirely human. There’s action, adventure, suspense, and sexual interactions meant for adults. And someone almost always dies in my tales. 😉
So, if you happen to be male and think romance is bunk, give my tales a try. They might just surprise you and give you a whole new section of the library (and ebook store) to peruse. (And if you want to know the one that impressed my husband, it’s entitled Her Devoted Vampire.
Thanks for stopping by and happy reading.