I like talking about heroes. They're my favorite part of any romance I read. If I can't connect with the hero, I can't get into the story. I'm betting that's true of many, if not most, romance readers.
Typically, heroes have more sexual experience than heroines. There are a few famous virgin heroes out there — Jamie from Outlander comes to mind — but most have sexual experience and are known for being good lovers. That's as true in historicals, where the heroine is almost always a virgin, and contemporaries.
But how much sexual experience is too much? When does it turn you off rather than make the hero seem more exciting?
That's the topic of my new poll, but let's have some discussion.
Could you see a reformed male porn star as a hero? How about a rock star who made good use of groupies? Or a male prostitute who serviced both men and women?
One of my male friends says he thinks there's a kind of double standard in romance, one that requires the hero to be good in bed, while the heroine is a virgin. He thinks it reflects women's desire to have lovers who know what they're doing, which, in turn, puts pressure on guys. If it's "true love" we're writing about, then why aren't more heroes virgins, too?
So what about virgin heroes? A lot of readers obviously felt it worked in Outlander. Why don't we see more of that?
It seems to me that more erotic novels are moving toward sexual experience for both heroes and heroines. There are now heroines even in straight historical romance who are courtesans and such. Obviously, things are changing. How do you feel about that?
The results of my last poll show that the majority of you (57 percent) think a scene where the hero brings himself to orgasm can be very hot — depending on how it's written. The next largest group (40 percent) think it's HOT. Period. One reader, who by herself constituted 2 percent of the vote, answered that she doesn't find it hot at all. I had thought there'd be more votes in the latter category.
I found the results very interesting. I don't think I would have gotten the same answers a decade ago. I was glad to see that so many of you felt the heroine also has a right to self-satisfaction.
Sorry I've been AWOL. I had an article to write in Danish, which took up a bunch of spare time. Then last night, when I had planned to catch up, I was assailed by a migraine. I'm doing better at the moment.