A Man’s Take on the Romance Genre

My husband agreed to let me interview him to get a man’s take on the romance genre! He doesn’t read romance, but the poor man is surrounded by stacks of romance novels in every room of this apartment.

Photo by Avonne Stalling on Pexels.com

Hello Husband! Thank you for letting me interview you!

You’re welcome

Are you excited to give us the male take on the romance genre?

I don’t know if I’m the definitive male take on the romance genre…..What are you laughing at?

(Psst! I’m laughing at how cute he is)

Do you feel like you know a lot about the romance genre, since I read so much and it’s all over the house?

I don’t think I know like a ton, but I know some by osmosis. I never read one myself. Being around you, I know the tropes and stuff. 

You’ve read the ones that I wrote

Yeah, but I think those are a little different. Part of it is that you set out to buck some of those conventions

Let’s see what your take is on some of the topes. 

What do you think is the reason for time-travel romance? Why do women like it?

It gives you the ability to pull in any type of setting you want. It also takes somebody from the modern day, with problems that modern people can identify with and removes their responsibilities, so it can function as just pure fantasy. 

What do you think is up with Billionaire romance?

People like it for the power imbalance. Plus they have money. 

What do you think is up with Regency?

I think they like it for the clothing style, as well as other social conventions of the time, like balls. And we all know we’ll never see a Regency romance with like a villager. It’s always like a princess that marries into royalty. It’s all the glitz and the balls.

Um, guy….there aren’t really any princesses or royalty in Regency?

Oh…That was just my perception

What is up with Paranormal romance?

I think there’s a couple of things going on. It has more of the fantasy aspect, because the protagonist is special by being involved in it. It ties into other stuff like alphas and there’s a hint of danger with the male paranormal character. And there’s a power imbalance by definition. A werewolf is going to have powers beyond a standard human. 

Why aren’t there any short or fat male love interests?

Women don’t like short or fat men. 

Ohhhh….my heart!…Poor short and fat men! 😦 But what about the rare women who do? Why is there no romance for us? There’s niche porn for every type of man.

If it’s romance published by a publishing company, they want to hit the widest audience possible. Maybe you see more niche stuff in the 2-page amazon smut things…

Does it make you feel bad that romance only has one type of man? Tall, outgoing, and mean?

Not necessarily, because I think it’s functioning mainly as a fantasy. You don’t see wide body types, because short and fat dudes are just normal, everyday guys. Those books are a distillation down to pure fantasy. It’s not trying to reflect everyday life. 

It doesn’t make you feel bad that you can’t go anywhere in those house without a shirtless Fabio staring at you? Lol

It’s whatever. 

Do you believe romance is harmful in it’s current form?

(Long pause)….I don’t know.

So you sound like you’ve got a different opinion than I do.

I think that you might have an argument if romance was read widely enough that it shaped romance attitudes. I think women’s attitudes are shaped more by rom-coms and movies. Although those have similar tropes. I think romance fiction on its own probably doesn’t shape people’s views very much. 

How do you feel about being married to someone who voraciously reads romance?

It’s whatever. It’s your thing. 

Why do you think women read romance and men usually don’t?

It’s a genre where the tropes are entirely geared towards women. Some men probably read and enjoy romance, but it’s geared towards women. 

If romance was made for men, how would it be different?

Uh….I don’t know.

Well, if you were gonna help write one, what would you suggest might make it more appealing to men?

I mean, I think you’d have to have…something like….like a science fiction or fantasy with a strong romantic sub-plot, rather than have it be the A-story. 

But why is that? Why wouldn’t it be the A story?

It’s not necessarily true of all men, but men don’t get as into stories with a focus on interpersonal relationships. Add a story above it to give it more context. 

What did you know about romance novels before we met?

Not much. Not more than the average person. 

What surprised you about the romance genre?

I’ve learned that it’s more popular than I would have thought, and there are way more subgenres than I would have expected. 

Which subgenres do you find most ridiculous?

I guess just that crazy stuff you see sometimes like “I was bought by the millionaire CEO.” It’s so blatant, like if you distilled all the romance tropes down to their very base. 

Well, thanks for giving us your male take. 

Okay, cool. I don’t think I was that interesting.

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That’s my adorable man and his take on the romance genre. Let me know if you want to see more content with him in it! He’s pretty shy, so I usually can’t talk him into collaborating with me. But I think he’s starting to get into it. And he’s basically my co-writer in every single one of my books.

When I see other writers on reddit lamenting that their significant other won’t read their work, I’m just like….bruh, wtf did you marry them for? Legit, I couldn’t be with someone who wasn’t supportive. Not only is he supportive, he helps plan and research for all my books. He gets really into coming up with ideas for them. He doesn’t like to take credit, which is why his name isn’t on any my books, but for real, y’all, he’s the creative brain coming up with half the ideas for my books.

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    1. That’s true. I’m probably too judgmental at times. I see so many writers complaining their SO won’t read their stuff and maybe it would make them feel better to just accept that their partner isn’t into reading.

      And yeah, I have to credit him. He adds a lot to my work 🙂 He doesn’t actually do any of the writing, but he’s super involved otherwise. I wish I could get the dude to for-real cowrite a book with me. Alas, he says he’s too shy :/ Ah well. We’re all different humans, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

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