Ooh look. Dave said a dirty word.
Maybe there’ll be some man-titties in the next frame. Actually I don’t have any problem with man-titties on covers, but do feel it’s rather discriminatory not have equal numbers of females versions of the same on covers, without the fuss.
It’s interesting how the word has become a catch-all for what is de facto soft porn, as well as some books which are anything but. It isn’t of course much to sex alone, but you could be fooled at times. A chaste kiss at the end of a story of mutual attraction and the path to that kiss is rare, these days.
Still: It does seem to have become synonymous with books where the action is principally between the emotionally or physically attracted protagonists. And it’s a female-dominated genre in its own right, with both readers and writers. The logic applied to this is men are not romantic, only interested in sex, and therefore this is right and normal.
It’s also about as logical as an emu on acid. There is very little genetic material not shared between men and women. The hormonal cocktail is a different mixture and it does have physiological and sex-drive effects, but it’s mostly the same hormones. Nurture is, increasingly, much the same. Yes, there are differences in median male psychology and median female psychology. There are also a large proportion – probably nearing half, who don’t fit neatly into one or the other. The male group psychology and female group psychology dynamics are quite different, basically due to testosterone and its effects on behavior.
But honey, before you go off to la-la land and say well, it’s all testosterone and group pressure then… consider this. Testosterone also makes men bigger and stronger than women. Yes, Natasha the Russian Lady weightlifter could crush Joe Average, but if Joe Average wished by physical means to force his will on Jane Average, he could (which is why if I have grand-daughters, they’ll learn to shoot, but that’s another subject) and if all Joes felt the same way about all Janes by sheer physical force… they could have their way. So: if romance exists it must be by some degree of willing collusion by men. That’s merely by logic. Speaking from history and personal experience, men are if anything, less pragmatic and more idealistic and therefore more illogically romantic than women, they just don’t deal with it quite the same way. Part of this is the different group psychology. Letting your male peer group know you’re just big soppy puppy wanting to strew rose petals is not going to help your social status there.
And yes there is sex involved, but seriously, hookers are a lot cheaper than flower, dinners and chocolates and much easier than bad love poems, for a far more certain outcome. Emotional attachment must be important to both genders. The big difference, I think, is males 1) don’t talk about it among themselves much 2)in evolutionary terms surviving fights or catching dinner was more important to men, and getting the right hunter and looking after babies more important to women. Very unfashionable now to think of it that way, but it is still something in the way the genders and their peer groups see the world and deal with it. And yep, some guys are good with babies and do the interpersonal relationship gossip well, and some girls can hunt and can’t do chit-chat. We’re not that different, and we share a lot of genes and nurture. This blog is about writing, so on that subject… anyone who says men are not interested in books with romance in them is missing a good 70% or more of men. However -and this is a generalization: 1)I’d guess they like less dissection of it (AKA less angst, less Chamomile tea) 2)and more OTHER (action, setting, non-relationship drama) to a book. And yeah, they really don’t want their peers looking at them reading slushy romance.
That’s how I try to put it in my books 🙂
So: what’s your take?