A friend of mine showed me this picture as a possible candidate for one of the characters in my book. “He’s a little young….maybe that’s the character in his twenties…but damn!” I said in response.¬† I’ve made her leave it up on her Instant Message window so I can stare at the guy all day long and have him stare back at me when we text one another. There’s something about this guy’s look that drips with sexuality…..you can’t help but wonder what’s going on below and what you’d like to do¬†with him if he were looking that way at you…
“Where did you find that???” I asked her.
“I searched the phrase ‘hot guy’ and he came right up.”
I quickly opened my browser and typed in the same. A whole lot of pictures came up but none of them scorched and sizzled like this guy. A lot of the men looked posed, like dolls. Their body positions were right, but there was something missing in their…well, their essence. This guy looks edible….this guy looks like he would savor touching you, that he would engage in sex with you as an act of sacred worship. That’s the kind of guy who appeals to me. That’s the kind of guy who won my heart, when all was said and sampled.
When I began searching the topic of writing romance, I read a few things that I found curious. One publishing house listed a bunch of “rules”. One of the rules stated, “Your male characters must always be handsome and well hung. The women can be any size or shape, pretty, ugly, it does not matter. But make sure the guy is a hunk.”
Hmmmm. I appreciate attractiveness to be sure. And, hey, I’m no Marilyn Monroe but¬†once I learned how to master my sexual energy, it was game on…. I freely sampled the male population. There was the yoga instructor with silky brown hair down to there….the fashion photographer…the greying asshole architect who thought he was all that and then some. The tall, dark and handsome men always broke my heart. The blond blue-eyed men always shared their hearts with me…for a time. All of them were attractive. As shallow as it made me feel, I could not fall for the kind but overweight guy with the limp and the uni-brow; this furry black strip that stretched across his forehead. I wanted to whip out a compact shaver and give his eyebrows…er, eyebrow…a complete makeover, as in separate the wiry mess into two distinct eye accents. Or, the balding man who looked like he might work at a bowling alley was a no-go, with his sweat stained long-sleeved white cotton¬†shirt and yellowish teeth. But, even though I liked my men to be attractive,¬†I quickly discovered that looks did not make the man. If a guy didn’t have a heart and soul, he was just a shell to me. There’s nothing compelling or sexy about “well-hung” if it’s not infused with “great-heart.”
As I defined my characters, I gave them muscles, height, and attractive good looks, the way I would want to see them. But then I endowed them with more than just looks. The one who seemed to look like stereotypical male perfection made me feel uncomfortable writing about him until I gave him some human flaws. He had to show at least a little vulnerability. The manly guy had a couple of moments that made me burst out laughing….not that I was making fun of him, mind you. I was just pleased that, as manly as he was, he could show some chinks in the armor. Like a Navaho weaving, I want my characters to have a flaw in the weft that allows the ego to escape and gives the soul room to breathe.
It’s a curious business, this crafting fantasy romance that appeals to the masses. And I know we each have our own preferences. I’m sure Mr. Unibrow went on to make someone a happy woman. The man was as nice as nice can be.
As I mentioned in my article Member of the Club, I am somewhat restricted to what words and how I can describe bodily parts and bodily functions. I am not in any way restricted as to the qualities I can use to describe a character, however. So if the public demands a sterotypical guy, I’ll give them a sterotypical guy….as long as I can heap him with a lot of other qualities that make it more fun and enjoyable in the long run. Like the juicy, seductive hot guy in the photo above. Pure steam….plus, we hope, a whole lot of heart.