Alright, Ladies and Gents, I want to know what you think about a topic that was recently brought to my attention.
The other night I asked my husband if he would read the beginning of my book and give me an objective opinion.
*Before I go any further, let me point out that my darling hubby is extremely forthcoming with all of his opinions - whether it's something as miniscule as my fun-patterned knee socks that I love (and he hates) or something much bigger like his political views - and also has a dislike for anything unrealistic. He's very alpha male, but his romantic side is only coaxed to the surface with (a lot of) alcohol. Oh, in case you're a newbie to my blog, I should probably emphasize that I write...
Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking either. ;) j/k*
So he gets through about two pages and can't bring himself to keep reading, due to the unrealistic nature of the content. WHAT?!?! Unrealistic? I haven't even gotten to anything paranormal yet. It's at a college graduation party for cryin' out loud, I think to myself. What could possibly be unrealistic about it?
If you haven't read my First Chapter yet (how come?! It's only posted on here like a bazillion times in a bazillion different versions. What else do you have to do?) the premise is to establish the relationship between my hero, Dominic, and my heroine, Angelica. They've known each other since they were five and have been best friends, but Dominic has always had a secret crush on her. He hides it pretty well and Angelica is too naive to ever notice. In the opening scene, Dominic is inebriated and has a hard time controlling his more amorous and lusty thoughts about her. During one of the times that his mind goes off on a sexual tangent of all the things he wants to do to her, it mentions "the part of him that was now pressed against his zipper," which (for all of you Angelicas out there) is of course referring to the erection in his jeans.
So, my husband says that he has never known any man that has ever gotten hard just from thinking about a girl in such a public setting, much less when he's plastered, and even less when it's a girl he's known for almost two decades because he would've learned to control that years ago. AND he says that there's no way that Angelica wouldn't know he had the hots for her, therefore she would feel uncomfortable around him as opposed to the oblivious comfort she feels. Now, because I'm not a guy, I can't argue his points because I truly don't know what the norm is for men who are in the middle of a bender with lusty thoughts of their life-long best friend. So here's a snippet of our conversation that followed, and then I'll get to my point...
Me: Well, that's why we like the romance books because who doesn't want a man who'll get hard just at the thought of her?
Him: Seriously? In real life you'd like to have some guy, or one of your friends, get hard just from being around you?
Me: (my initial knee jerk reaction) Of course! That's hot.
*Husband giving me that look that causes me to pause and really try to picture what he's saying*
Me: Actually that might be more creepy and awkward than hot.
Him: Which is exactly my point. It's super fake.
Now, for those of us that are avid romance readers (holla!) we all know that this is completely normal and we would be extremely remiss if we didn't mention how the sight of the heroine affected our heros on such a physical level. It gives us the tingles, the shivers, the butterflies, what have you. In our alternative universes it's not only an acceptable reaction to a man's lady interest, but it's a necessary reaction. I mean, what fun would it be to read "Dominic's eyes traveled over her body and appreciated her beauty, but thanks to years of training himself against his baser reactions, it no longer affected him." Oh, HELL no! Closing the book and moving on to another one. Thank you and goodnight.
So my questions are these:
Girls: Would you feel totally comfortable - even flattered - if you knew someone (friend, co-worker, acquaintance, random stranger at the grocery store) got an erection just at the mere sight of you?
Guys: Do you think it's more common than my husband seems to think for a guy to have that kind of reaction to a girl?
Girls: Why, if in real life we wouldn't like that type of attention, do we crave it in our books? Is is simply because we can suspend our disbelief enough to allow ourselves to be immersed in a world where alpha male attentions run rampant and fierce and the men are so damn desirable that who the fark doesn't want that kind of flattery? (btw, fark is my new favorite made-up swear word. it's fun to say. try it. i'm going for a global trend here, people.)
Okay, let's hear it kids! What are your thoughts on this whole schlameel?