Friday, April 23, 2010

Which do you prefer?

The other day I was discussing the roles of the sexes with a writer buddy of mine. We were talking about how much romance heroines have changed over the last three decades (in a good way). They've gone from the relative doormats of the 80's to kick ass DEA agent vampire killers who aren't afraid of their sexuality (I don't know if there's a heroine who meets all that criteria and if so I'm not referring to anyone in particular, lol). As more wine flowed, the topic of alpha males came up. No, this post isn't about alpha males, though I could talk about my love for them all day. When I say alpha male, I'm not talking about the jerky hero from the 80's, but a dominant man who's protective of his woman no matter what.


I'm going to backtrack a little before I get to the point. Before I was married I dated a decent amount. I don't want to say a lot, but my dating life was very healthy. In all that time I never asked a guy out and I'm not actually sure why looking back. It could have something to do with my deep southern upbringing. So when I read romances, I like for the hero to pursue the woman (as a rule). Don't get me wrong, I like the woman to be the aggressor sometimes (when the man is too dense to make a move), but the way I looked at my dating life and the way I look at most of my romance books is if the man is interested, he'll make the first move. Of course there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule. One actually comes to mind right now but it just came out and I don't want to give away any spoilers.


And yes, I realize this perception is a double standard, but it's the way I like to read so it's not wrong, just an opinion. It could have nothing to do with my southern upbringing and could instead be something biological. Or it could have everything to do with the fact that my husband pursued me with a quiet intensity for almost a month before we finally went on that first date. ;)


I want opinions! Check out the poll to the right of this post. The questions are in context to this blog post and please expand on your answers. I'm very curious!

12 comments:

Wynter Daniels said...

I'm with you. I like the man to make the first move in most circumstances. And in romance, I like the heroine to bravely resist - at first. In my college days I must admit I did make the first move a couple times, but I will say that the likelihood of that happening were directly related to how much alcohol I'd consumed;-)

Savannah Stuart said...

Lol, Wynter. Alcohol makes a difference. I should have added that to the poll ;)

Cara McKenna said...

I voted for "depends on the situation". And I hadn't really thought about it before, but my heroines tend to do their fair share of persuing…though generally the two take turns fighting for the pants (and the man usually gets them in the bedroom). Unlike Wynter, coy women who bravely resist annoy me as a reader, as do pushy men (unless they're exceeding and convincingly charming, or head-over-heels incurably nuts for the heroine.) If the characters' dynamic is too polarized with one as the hunter the other the target, I have a hard time imagining their HEA is built to last. I like a pair who keep each other on their toes.

Dalton Diaz said...

Oh yes, who doesn't like the strong, confident male in pursuit? (Keeping in mind, of course, that these are heroes and heroines and not real-life creepy stalkers.)

Respect is huge on both sides, too.

Kaylea Cross said...

I'm with you, Savannah. Protective (not a**hole, mind you) alpha males pursuing the heroine? Yum.

But what I'm most interested in finding out now is the whole story behind your whirlwind courtship with your hubby. It sounds so romantic!

Savannah Stuart said...

Interesting answer, Cara! I admit, I still like the male to take on the role of hunter *g*. There's something so hot about it, but I agree, the heroine MUST keep the hero on his toes (and vice versa)!

And amen Dalton! I love reading a heroine who becomes the sole focus of a smokin hot man but not in a stalker way, lol.

One day I'll tell the story, Kaylea! I'll probably tell you long before I post it though :)

Michelle Polaris said...

Clearly I find nothing wrong with women going after men. That being said, there's nothing sexier than a man who makes his interest known, after which the women turns the tables on him and pursues. Or places her firm booted heel down and sets the limits on the pursuit. I'm not sure that's a category in your poll. I chose "some of both."

Jina Bacarr said...

Excellent idea for a poll, Savannah. Interesting to note that so far no one has voted for "woman pursuing man."

Savannah Stuart said...

Michelle, I KNEW what you would pick, lol! 'Firm booted heel' Hmmm... I like the image that evokes ;)

Jina, I thought the same thing. As a psych major, I'm convinced it's biology!

Ironically, I just want to say that the most recent short story I recently read (and *loved*!!) had the woman taking charge in the first scene in the most sensuous, almost innocent way. Of course, afterward, the hero took the reins like nobody's business. ;) Still, it broke from my mold interestingly enough.

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Savannah!
For the most part I love when a man pursues a woman. Especially with a single-minded intensity that lets the reader--and the heroine--know she is the only one for him and he's going to have her no matter what. That is sooooo sexy. *sigh* But depending on the plot and the heroine, I also like when a heroine pursues her man. Like when she does it so subtely he doesn't even know he's caught until it's too late! LOL! I love that! So, yeah, depending on the situation I can go both ways--I mean that in a totally platonic manner, by the way...

Adele Dubois said...

I definitely like a man confident enough to persue a woman with dignity and grace.

Best--Adele Dubois

Cara Bristol said...

I voted for having the man pursue the woman. Not that I think there's anything wrong with a woman pursuing a man, but there is something sexy about a man willing to put himself on the line and go for what he wants. Of course, for this to be sexy, the woman has to be INTERESTED, otherwise, it then becomes annoying.