Why aren't men reading romance novels?
I'm so glad to be done with the character series! I enjoyed writing it but writing about the same topic for five weeks is taxing. So much so, I had to take a little break from blogging to get my mind right. Now I'm back and ready to share more enchanted wisdom with you all.
I was reading this really good romance novel, The Mighty Storm which is written by Samantha Towle (I need to write a review for the book...so good.) and my husband asked me what I was reading because I was giggling at something one of the characters said. As I told him about the book, I started wondering why men don't read romance novels. I mean, if we're writing these books as a form of escape for ourselves and other women, then doesn't it make sense for men to see what all the fuss is about? At least see what book-boyfriend they're competing with. So, I proceed to ask my husband that exact question and he gave me the exact answer I knew he would.
"I DON'T KNOW."
"I know you don't know why you don't read them and then use them as a starting point for understanding what your wife finds amazing for a man to do to her, with her, for her." This is my snarky response. Of course, I put my e-reader down and jump on top of my soapbox and hold my husband hostage for the next thirty minutes while I explain to him why men don't read romance novels and why they need to read them. By the way, my husband is amazing because he sat right beside me while rubbing my feet and listened to every word I said. I'll tell you what he said at the end of this article. Spoiler alert: It's funny as hell!
Why don't men read romance novels?
My husband's response once I pushed him for a better answer than the first one he gave more insight into the real reason men may not be reading our beloved romance novels. Brace yourself, he really is funny, lol.
"Why the hell would I want to read a book about some man's giant dick that stays hard 24/7?"
His answer was very telling and forced me to rethink some things I never took into consideration. After talking with him and deciding to write this article, I did some research on male anatomy. I kind of knew the numbers, but I'm a serious writer and wanted to have my facts right before posting them on my blog. I checked with Medical Daily, an online medical journal, and these are the numbers I found. Not very impressive, I must say.
The average size of a man's penis is 5.1 inches in length and only 1.5 inches in diameter. Yikes, I wouldn't want to read about some man sporting a 6-inch limp penis either if the average size is much smaller. In America; however, the average size of man's penis is 5.6 inches and 4.8 inches in diameter… So, American men can feel slightly more comfortable reading romance novels if the size of the romance hero's penis is the issue.
But honestly, my husband's response did make me rethink some things. Men are obsessed with the size of their members because women are just as, if not more obsessed with the size of it. No man wants to whip his junk out and have a woman look at it and ask, "Is that all you have?" With so much of a man's sense of self-worth being connected to his sexual prowess, it’s no wonder he's intimidated by reading about the men in romance novels.
Even bearing that in mind, it saddens me that men are so insecure about themselves and what they bring to a relationship that they will forgo the opportunity to better their approach to the women in their lives. Really, who wants a 10 to 13-inch penis invading their lady parts? I have never fantasized about bedding an intact stallion. If men could stop entering into pissing contest with the fictional male characters in romance novels, they would be able to see what women readers find so appealing about their book-boyfriends. Hint: It is not what's hanging between their legs.
Yep, I’ll admit, I love reading and writing about large, well-groomed, beautiful penises as much as the next romance writer and reader; but it's not what the character does with his beautiful penis, it what he does with his beautiful heart and his beautiful mind that made romance readers spend a reported 1.08 billion dollars in 2013 according to RWA.
Insecurity wrapped in fear of emasculation and petty jealousy are the main reasons men aren't reading romance novels and it is also the main reasons they don't step out of their comfort zones and make the women in their lives feel like the romantic love interest in a romance novel.
What if she laughs at me? I want to do something nice for her, but I don't want to look like a punk. I'm not going to go all out for her and look like a fool in front of people just so she'll think I'm romantic. Aren’t flowers and dinner romantic enough? I’m not a billionaire with a private jet, how am I supposed to do what those men do in the books she reads?
No one expects their man to be Gideon Cross, but oh my freaking God! I would leave my husband for him, really I would. But I digress. Women want to see the confidence, initiative, intensity, and most of all, the all-consuming passion that allows our book-boyfriends to sacrifice everything for the women they love. It’s not that Gideon is a multi-billionaire, it’s that he’s willing to give it all up for Eva that makes me willing to leave my truly amazing real-life husband for him.
What is that women love about their book boyfriends?
I’m not going to spend a thousand words answering this, just in case someone decides to show it to their husband, boyfriend, brother, son… you get where I’m going with this. Men aren’t going to read a lot of words until they know it’s going to really benefit them in some way. So, here is what women love about their book boyfriends from romance novels.
Well, this is where my soapbox tirade ended with my husband and I was getting sleeping by the time I’d shared everything I love about writing and reading leading male characters in romance novels. My husband was done rubbing my feet and massaging my hands and had listened and in some cases, responded to what I was saying. As he returned my moisturizer to our ensuite, he stopped at the door and turned and leaned his head and shoulders against the door frame, propping one foot behind him and turned his head to face me and said…
“Ella?” He was waiting for me to acknowledge him and I did with a pointed, sleepy-eyed stare.
“So, let’s say I read romance novels and find a book girlfriend…” I cut him off and told him that’s not an option for him. (I know... hypocrisy at its best. I don't even care.) His response was nothing short of hilarious. “Oh yeah, I forgot. I already have Laura Croft.” Cheeky bastard, he knows how much I hate that bitch.
Remember, writing is a journey and every so often, the universe provides stepping stones to make the journey easier. Enjoy the trip and remember to keep writing and stay enchanted.