Men who read romance and other mythical creatures.

Romance is for women, right? Men wouldn’t touch the stuff, right?

Oh, naysayers, I am shaking my head at you! Why? Because you’re wrong. There are men out there who regularly read romance…and not because a book with a sexy cover happened to fall into their hands. They seek it out.

Don’t believe me?

This past week, I received a lovely message from a reader on Goodreads. I won’t post his message here but I was tickled pink when I read it. This young man reached out to let me know he was a fan, that he had read the majority of my books and was looking forward to following my series as they continued.  You can imagine my delight (thank you, Jay Jay!)

Is this reader alone in his reading preferences? Is he like the mythical unicorn, wonderful to contemplate but entirely imaginary? I don’t think so.  I’ve had reviews on my books from other men before. The readers aren’t the only ones devouring the genre either. There are also male romance authors out there. Some do quite well. I assume these men actually read what they write.

Why is there still such a stigma surrounding men reading romance? Are men not allowed to love or explore the theme of love in literature? I thought it was pretty much universal.

Of course, we can look to our literary history. Romances have always been considered frivolous and fluffy…you know, very much what women have been considered by some men. I recall reading an article some time ago about male romance authors with Mills & Boon who had to write under female pen names in order to get their romances published. Sure, this was years ago, decades even, and yet the stigma remains.

I see the general derision in my library work sometimes. When romance novels pass the circulation desk, some male customers curl their lips. Heck, some women take the same stance as well. That’s a whole other post and I won’t get into that now.  There’s really no need for this scorn. I just know in my heart of hearts some of these customers have dog-eared romances tucked into their bedside tables, where no one will ever find them.

What would you really think if, on your commute to work, you started seeing men reading romance novels out in the open? Would you honestly do a double take upon seeing a dude reading the latest scorcher on the subway? What sort of judgment call would you make, if any? Would you assume his wife made him read the book or that he was eclectic in his tastes? Would he seem any less masculine?

There are so many things in this life that divide us. Let’s not allow books to be one of them.  We love what we love and no one should make us feel inferior for it.

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12 thoughts on “Men who read romance and other mythical creatures.

    • That would make one’s morning, Rachel, wouldn’t it? 🙂 There’s nothing wrong with it. We all want love in our lives, as I said in the blog, so why not in our books? Thanks for commenting today.

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  1. Sing it, Sister! I know a few romance authors who are men. And one couple writing-team. Like the stigma attached to soap operas and yet the soaps people KNOW that nearly 50% of the audience is actually male. Yup. My dad watched (secretly… ) as did my FIL. Oh the shame of it. 🙂

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  2. We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, so why judge people by what they read. It wouldn’t bother me to see men reading romance books in pubic.
    As a romance writer it amazes me how this popular selling genre still has a stigma. I see it everytime I’m asked, in person, what I write.

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  3. I wish more men DID read romance novels! I think they are so crippled by the belief that men should be macho and hide their feelings. Romance novels would definitely teach them what women really want and bring out their softer side. There is an old gentleman that is a patron at our branch and he loves the vampire romances. He has been ill so his wife comes in faithfully and picks them up for him! Kudos for both of them! There you go Rosanna! A new fan for your upcoming book! Will it be in print or online?

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    • I love hearing he is such a fan of vampire romance, Margaret Ann! I need to meet this guy! LOL I think you’re right. So many men are crippled by the belief feelings are “evil.” What harm is there in reading a book? As for my new books, stay tuned. I’ve got ebooks coming between Jan-March and hopefully some news on a new contemporary soon. My vamps are still in the writing process so nothing there yet. 😉

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