Males and the Romance Novel

The cover image source:

So, I was sitting around and having this conversation. Yes, with a man, it was only one, so I don’t want you to think I went out and talked to a slew of men about this topic. Though I would love to, so if there are any out there reading this get in contact with me. I would love to do a revision on this.

But I been doing a little research on it as well, did you know that men who do write romance novels chose to do it under a woman pseudonym? I had to ask myself why this is.

Well, this friend and I were talking, and he made a valid point. That if it had anything to do with romance then he would prefer to see it from a woman than a man. This made sense to me as a woman to. I mean you do have authors that clear writing as men. I have seen quite a few of them. If you search on Goodreads, you get a list of 179 novels with male authors. Of course, you also have Illona Andrews, she does write with her husband and they do romance. That doesn’t feel like a lot to me.

I don’t know if it’s a masculinity thing or just the simple fact that they fear that their words wouldn’t get read that they feel they need to hide. It may have been the case back in the day. When our mother’s and aunts were reading romance. Back when the men were depicted as the alpha man who runs the house and doesn’t talk about things like love and happily ever after.

Now we embrace that men have feelings too, it is still hard for a man to come out and say they want to cry. Or they need to have that person that embraces them. I would read a romance written by a man if it calls to me. Because man or woman if it’s well written then I am all about it.

Even our book covers have changed, not all of them show this Fabio esk male with tight pants and flowing hair. We love our covers with women on them, showing off their fierce sides. Even our heroines have become a little more badass and not so much the wilting flower. We have embraced the fact that women can change a tire, fight off a robber, and yes wield magic and be completely badass. Our men are still alphas but even they sometimes become overboard too in the Alpha department.

So today after work I was talking to another friend. I guess I should make up names for them, I will call him man friend 2. So, man friend 2 does read romances, he quite enjoys them. He told me the reason for it is. He works all day reading technical manuals that are dry and boring that he needs to sit down and read something with emotion. I then asked him that if a male wrote a romance novel would you be interested in reading it? He told me, yes, so this spurred me on to find out if this was a thing.

We I was completely and pleasantly surprised to find that it is, it even has a name. It’s called Lad Lit. Which is a male romance novelist who write romance novels for men? I didn’t know this was a thing. Now to explain more of what Lad lit is; allow me to post what Wikipedia said,

Lad lit (source: Wikipedia)

Lad lit is a fictional genre of male-authored novels about young men and their emotional and personal lives, often characterized by a confessional and humorous writing style.

The term combines the word “lad,” which refers to a boy or young man and “lit,” which is short for “literature.” The term “lad lit” can be used as a noun to refer to the genre of fiction (about young men and their emotional and personal lives), or as a modifier (e.g., “lad-lit novels”).”

The Male novelist and their readers have adopted this genre and made it a bit broader. It has also adopted the romance that a man may face in their daily lives. Basically, from what I had found is that it’s more like the male version of the Romcom genre.

Interesting still is the fact that there are male readers out there that do read romance. It had to be filled with bits of testosterone in order to get the average male to read it. Please do not take that as an insult to the male gender because it’s not.

I am more interested in the fact that there are men who aren’t written about that read the romance genre. I feel that men should admit to it more. I remember looking on Facebook and seeing an image of Robert Pattinson he was sitting in a library with a book in his lap.

The quote goes

“If you find a girl who reads keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours, but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real because, for a while, they always are. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony and stalk hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.”

Robert Pattinson

I remember sitting there and thinking this is one of the most romantic things I have ever read. But isn’t it the same for males? Shouldn’t we be encouraged to date a man who reads? In our minds shouldn’t as women this be something we want in our men. Not so we can just hang out and talk about books together. But because they, for a while have put themselves in another person’s shoes. For just a time they are that character they are reading about.

When your gibberish just makes sense. Isn’t that something we should strive for?

So, my thoughts are this, men if you read romance, stand up and embrace it. Not all women will look down at you for it, hell some of us will commend and have your back. You can still be big and strong and cuddle up with a good romance. You can sigh all wistfully, I promise it will make a woman’s heart swell when you talk about those characters and comment on how romantic it is. Women embrace your romance-loving dude, they may have done it to see what it was like. They found they love them too, not only does it give them insight but it’s a good way to end the day.

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