1. sweet pandamonium
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    sweet pandamonium New Member

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    Is it possible to make a promiscuous character likeable?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by sweet pandamonium, Mar 15, 2011.

    My main male character, even before set in his current novel, has always been a bit promiscuous, and in his novel, this promiscuity is what keeps the novel moving forward. But my character is trying to get me to let him have sex with not 2, not 3, but 4 characters in the novel. Two (maybe 3) are crucial to the plot, but one of them is just random, although my brain is trying to concoct reasons as to why it would work.

    Anyways what I'm trying to say is, will my character be unlikeable because of how willing he is to have sex with multiple people, even if its crucial to the plot? Is it okay to have a character like that if that's who he truly is, a guy who likes to have fun?

    What should I do?
     
  2. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    If a decent author can make the readers sympathize with even the antagonist, I think you should have no issue making your character likeable, as long as you don't go too far with it (if he's a jerk, you'll have a harder time of it). Look at Dr. Troy from Nip/Tuck -- he's insanely promiscuous, and, even though it's a major character flaw, he's still a reasonably likeable character. Any well-developed character has good and bad traits; it's part of what makes him or her a deep character that your readers can relate to. As far as I'm concerned, your character's promiscuity is just a character flaw, at worst.

    That said, there are some people who are never going to like your character. You'll just have to deal with it; you can't please everyone.
     
  3. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Your have the oppurtunity to paint this character flawed maybe flawed and conflicted ,a character to evoke emotion both good and bad ,likeable / unlikeable may be a value judgement type thing but the character has the legs to be compelling ...you are in envible postion you can have the dude follow the character arc to find some resolution to his inner 'drama' ya dig
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sure you can make him likeable. My Dad is likeable it's how he manages to be so promiscous.

    Make him warm, friendly, kind, decent.

    My MC turns into a tart in this book, goes on to do something terrible but is still likeable.
     
  5. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well. it seems like you got a problem with your own values about sex, making the assumption that anyone promiscuous is unlikeable? Why would they be that?

    Does he hurt someones feelings intentionally?`Does he lie about his sex life to his sexual partners? Would his sexual partners disapprove if he sleeping with other people? Does he hurt "third" parties intentionally by having sex? Is ha an ass? A jerk? A dickhead?

    Or is he just a person who can and like to people sexually and is comfortable about having sex with other people?

    Are you writing him as someone who abuses sex in some way? Or someone who just well likes sex and other people? Does he see sex as a meaningful rich and lovely way to interact with other people, sometimes with people you love, or sometimes with friends or someone you just met but want to share a good time with?
     
  6. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Not something that phases me. I think the only people who'd be offended and put down your novel because of it would be older, conservative people or people who are very legalistic/religious.

    Like w176 said, it depends. Your MC can be likeable and charismatic, like a "ladies' man," or he can be a manipulative jerk. If he's the latter, this will manifest itself in other ways besides just sex.
     
  7. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    In general, I don't think that many readers would find the character unlikable, unless it isn't the reader's taste. Like Mallory stated, that some genres, like religion, or any genre that doesn't like promiscuity. You may want to allow your friends to read the novel if you're not totally sure rather the character would be likable or not. It won't hurt to ask.

    A reasonable reader or publisher would not have a novel deemed as unacceptable of any kind, unless the publisher doesn't have a set genre for whatever the genre of your novel is about. But some may have limited restrictions as to how your book should be written (i.e. The Main character might have to be male or female), but by the content itself, I don't think a promiscuous person would be a bad idea for a novel. I think it just depends on how you write it.
     
  8. Darcehole
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    Darcehole New Member

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    I think it's possible. Barney Stinson is promiscuous, and that is his main characteristic, but he's portrayed in a way that makes him loveable.
     
  9. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Being promiscuous by no means makes a character a bad person. It really depends how you portray your character's personality. Is he a romancer? A seducer? Does he genuinely enjoy the company of every woman he spends time with? Is he only in it for the one night stand? Does he do it only to please himself?

    There is a big difference between a sex addict, and a man who happily loves women that happily love him back.:D (Anthony Quinn is a good example of the later)
     
  10. sweet pandamonium
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    sweet pandamonium New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the reply, it made me feel a lot less like I was writing a story with a horny main character that would make people stop reading in annoyance.

    My character is more of a jerk but he doesn't always necessarily mean to be. When a person has sex with many people it can just happen to lead to problems. Like you all said, I just have to find ways to make him likable and relate able. I think he's just one of those guys who has a hard time saying no to a beautiful person and usually he ends up in committed relationships with the people he has sex with, leading to problems.
     
  11. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    i like characters who actually do the things we all want to do...i want to **** all the time...why shouldn't a main character?
     
  12. sweet pandamonium
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    sweet pandamonium New Member

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    hahaha! Who wouldn't want to get all the guys or girls they ever wanted? That'd be like a dream come true.
     
  13. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Seriously? No mention of James Bond? I mean who doesn't love James Bond and yet he sleeps with just about every girl.

    Just because a guy or girl for that matter isn't celebate and actually has sex a few times doesn't mean they are some sort of bad evil unlikeable person.

    As someone mentioned its more the way he treats the women he is with. Are they just a means to an end? Does he respect women?

    Good luck. :)
     
  14. Primequis
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    Primequis New Member

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    A nice route one can try to play with, referencing over to TVtropes is Jerkass Woobie on tropes if he is on the side of being an ass.

    If he's not, generally speaking, it all depends on his outlook to life and treatment to women. For example, is he an Ethical Slut? If a character was written under that perspective, while they'd have to do a bit of research into that, it would actually make the character all the more an intriguing character. Hedonism itself is not all that bad within playing with, though I would treat the topic maturely and try to understand what you're working with. As said, it would take a bit of research on your part if you didn't already understand the philosphy, but it be well worth it for the end result. I've an online copy of said book if you're interested in reading it which could assist in capturing the mindset.
     
  15. Norule
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    Norule Member

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    Did you ever see the show Californiacation?(if not you should its amazing)

    The MC in that show (david duchovny)plays a succsefull writer (he is portrayed more or less like a rockstar) is kind of an asshole sometimes he has sex with anything that moves. Yet you have to low him somehow, so you can probably make your character likeable.
     
  16. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    Do you honestly think a guy who doesn't like to have fun is likable?

    I'm just saying...
     

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