1. ruskaya

    ruskaya Senior Member

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    not a pro, yet very curious

    is there such a thing as for-men romance novels?

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by ruskaya, Jan 11, 2022.

    I always got the impression that romance novels were aimed at a female audience, and I am wondering if there are novels that do the exact same thing but for a male audience instead. I am referring to content about seeking romance, for instance men taking pleasure in doing romantic things with their partners and seeking flirty hints with a fluttering heart.

    A few days ago I remembered I dated this guy many many years ago who told me he had already planned his dream wedding (all cheesy stuff). For the record, we weren't talking about our wedding together or anything like that, it was in the context of liking dating and what kind of dates he wanted to go on. :p
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    a lot of lager saga stuff falls into that orbit - like Mike Gayle for example
     
  3. Le Panda Du Mal

    Le Panda Du Mal Senior Member

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    In my experience literature with a pulpy romantic bent “for men” embeds the romance element in adventure or fantasy. Winning the love of a beautiful woman by hacking your way into the eldritch shrine of the wombat lich and breaking her out is more exciting than going to cafes, buying ballet tickets, exercising social skills, getting therapy, or whatever it is grown men are supposed to do.
     
  4. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    Genre wise I'd say airport thrillers from the likes of Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy are the male version of the cheesy romance novels. Pulp entertainment aimed at stereotypical sensibilities. But with male specific romantic stories, I'm not aware of any pulp romance books as a category for men. That said, Men and women do tend to read the same higher quality books with romantic sensibilities. I think past the pulp genres are unisex, including fantasy. Movies too. I'm a sucker for romance and romantic movies, but not all of them. I really like "It Could Happen to You" and "The Girl in the Cafe" but hate "Love, Actually" and "the Notebook".
     
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  5. Thomas Larmore

    Thomas Larmore Active Member

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    How I Met Your Mother is a TV show rom-com with a leading male character who was into romance, dating and marriage.
     
  6. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Assertive Neophyte Contributor

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    Would Say Anything qualify if it was a book? If so I would definitely read something like that.

     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2022
  7. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    But are they specifically targeting men? I'd say no, they are universal.
     
  8. QueenOfPlants

    QueenOfPlants Definitely a hominid

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    Tbh., as a woman I also find it more exciting to hack into the eldritch shrine of the wombat lich and free the beautiful prince.
    Though it could very well be that the wombat lich turns out to be the prince or maybe the prince is a butt and the wombat lich is actually cuddly. Or maybe the eldritch shrine needs a key instead of being hacked into.
     
  9. Cress Albane

    Cress Albane Active Member

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    As a guy, I feel there is a severe lack of romance stories targeting my gender. I mean, I can think of a few, but the goal there isn't usually "romance" but sex (American Pie, Big Bang theory, etc.). Some very rare exceptions do target this theme tastefully (Movies "Lobster" and "Her" come to mind) but they usually take an "artsy" approach.

    I'd say if you're planning to write a novel like that, you're gonna have a very small, but dedicated fanbase. I know at least one other guy (except me) who would like to read a romantic story for men.
     
  10. Stephen1974

    Stephen1974 Active Member

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    Penthouse?
     
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  11. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    Or maybe if you just listened attentively to the eldritch shrine, maybe casually complimented it on the way the vines went with the stonework, it would let you in willingly. :)

    Penthouse Letters, if that still exists.
     
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  12. QueenOfPlants

    QueenOfPlants Definitely a hominid

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    Very good thinking! Maybe the eldritch shrine wants to be a beautiful prince too!
     
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  13. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Do these vines make my portico look fat?
     
  14. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    This search may be an uphill climb. A large portion of men fall into two categories; too complicated to quantify, or so simple a sandwich and a beer count as a romantic gesture- and then there’s everyone else.

    I don’t doubt a market exists. The challenge would be convincing a publisher to pursue it.
     
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  15. evild4ve

    evild4ve Active Member

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    Her bodice heaved as she placed six rashers of streaky own-brand bacon onto the grill and waited for him to finish the difficult bit of his 1:200 scale frigate.
     
  16. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    On a related note, romantic suspense seems to be one of the most popular sub-genres with men who read actual romance novels. And if you’ve ever read romantic suspense, you know it places much more emphasis on external conflict than most romances.

    Although I haven’t encountered any recent data on the preferences of men who read romance, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a trend toward other sub-genres with strong external conflict. Military romance, certain kinds of fantasy/sci-fi romance, some western romances, etc.

    These may not be written for men as the primary audience, but they do seem more neutral than contemporary romance as a general rule.
     
  17. ruskaya

    ruskaya Senior Member

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    For a long time I thought the same about what makes a male fantasy of (literally) getting the girl, but with so much interest in disproving stereotypes, I wondered if there were any novels written from the point of view of men.

    But to be clear, I am thinking specifically the counterpart to "female" romance genre as in those where the woman (reader) dreams the perfect romance with a lot of chasing and indecision (I guess Twilight style, although I am 100% confident I will never be a fan), which also happens to have lots of hot sex with hot men (yes, I am suggesting stereotypes here). I was struck by the interest and pleasure some men have for dating and doing it the "right" way--all of those rules that Valentine's dates imply and expect, for instance.
     
  18. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Fast and the furious? a guy and his car. Kinda like how gothic is a girl and a house. Seriously though I might be onto something ... the person who writes about a guy finding the perfect car - gold.

    The only one I can think of is Harold Robbins - sex and drugs and glam-trash. Possibly Sidney Sheldon though I think that was aimed more at women.
     
  19. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Contributor Contributor

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    Are you talking about something like the movie 'Adventureland'? That was more from the guy's perspective.

    When I think if the male equivalent of Romance I think of something like 'Last of the Mohicans' (the movie) or maybe even 'Buffalo '66'
     
  20. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Wow, intense movie! Loved the use of the Yes song—was it Siberian Katru or Heart of the Sunrise? One or the other.

    Not sure I'd consider it romance from a male perspective so much as attempted human connection from the perspective of a totally fucked-up person. Much the same as The Brown Bunny, also written/directed by and starring Vincent Gallo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  21. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Originally of course the terms Romance and Romantic referred to Rome—specifically ancient Rome. Roman Tales meant tales of exotic adventure in faraway places or long ago. Yeah, Star Wars qualifies. That became Romantic tales. During the golden age of magazine publishing it got reduced to meaning specifically relationship/dating type fiction aimed at women, the biggest reading audience.
     
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  22. RMBROWN

    RMBROWN Active Member

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    Man sees girl. Man wants girl. Man wins girl, spends the rest of his life trying to figure her out and make her happy. The real side of romance for men, "my opinion and experience" is what happens after you get the girl. Life begins when you face all the struggles of raising a family, trying to balance jobs the bills and all the other distractions in life. Looking back one of the types of stories that are interesting and worth watching are the ones where the romance is part of the formula, not the main ingredient. Marly & Me comes to mind as the kind of story a guy could watch, and kind of witness love in life. Getting the girl is the easy part, keeping her the hard part. Guys always want to know how things work and what makes them tick. As a guy I have been known to buy something, take it all apart just to see how it works.

    Guys are pretty simple and the only women romance stories I am familiar with deal with the drama of a relationship, not the stuff that makes it work. In my circle of friends I seriously doubt any would be interested in a standard love story. If you can figure out how to throw in a few fist fights, gun fights, some good booze, some fast cars and a cute girl sitting in the seat next to him, ya might have something.
     
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  23. Cress Albane

    Cress Albane Active Member

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    Back in school, I was taught that the term "Romance" comes from the "Romanticism" literary movement, present in Europe around XVIII and XIX centuries. The movement emphasized the importance of one's emotions and individualism, which often came to complex descriptions of the subject's love life, since these were usually full of conflicting, well, emotions. It often assigned deep, emotional value to otherwise mundane events, often glorifying them (hence the term "romanticizing").

    I never heard the term had anything to do with ancient Rome, but it would make sense, considering the fact that "novels" only gain traction in Europe during the Renaissance, and Renaissance was known for its love of ancient Greece and Rome. Apparently, many European countries referred to novels as "Roman", which might have something to do with the elite's fascinations - although, that's pure speculation on my part :D
     
  24. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    It was the other way around actually. The terms Romance and Romantic were already in use when Romanticism became a movement.

    OK—you made me want to find some corroboration. Here it is:

    romance (n.)
    c. 1300, romaunce, "a story, written or recited, in verse, telling of the adventures of a knight, hero, etc.," often one designed principally for entertainment, from Old French romanz "verse narrative" (Modern French roman), also "the vulgar language," originally an adverb, "in the vernacular language," from Vulgar Latin *romanice scribere "to write in a Romance language" (one developed from Latin instead of Frankish), from Latin Romanicus "of or in the Roman style," from Romanus "Roman" (see Roman).​

    It makes sense, since the Romance languages were those that came from Rome (Italy).
     
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  25. Cress Albane

    Cress Albane Active Member

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    Oh, ok, that makes sense. Etymology was never something I was particularly good at :oops:

    Although, my main point was that for many readers, the term "Romance" became intertwined with stories about a character's inner, emotional world, usually linked with their matrimonial status, thanks to "Romanticism". Therefore, using this term to describe stories about emotional turmoil connected with one's love life did not come out of nowhere.
     

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