Main Male Character

I just recently finished the Fifty Shades of Grey series.  I’ve always been a fan of romance, but these really piqued my interest because of all the buzz I was hearing in the media.  There has been a considerable amount of airtime dedicated to these books. I had to see what all the fuss was about.  As I was reading, I have to admit I was a little shocked.  I’m not new to romance, but these were a bit more “erotic” than I was used to.  (I’ll only refer to them as erotic because I don’t what to give too much away in case you haven’t read the books.)  Not a typical romance novel.  At least not typical for me. After finishing Fifty Shades, I went to the first book of another new series that was an Amazon recommendation for those who enjoyed Fifty Shades.  It wasn’t quite as “dark” as Fifty Shades, but pretty close.  As I was reading it, I realized that in all of the romance novels I’ve ever read, the main, male characters are all the same.  They demonstrate the same personality, appearance, mannerisms, attitude... All of it.  There’s not much difference from series to series.  Then it dawned on me... is this really what American women are attracted to?  Is this what turns us on?  The profile almost sounds like a stalker or someone we’d hear about on America’s Most Wanted.  Is this somewhat dysfunctional man Mr. Right?  What would you do if your daughter brought him home?

I started to compile a list and these are the commonalities I’ve discovered.  This is what women want and what turns us on... (Apparently.)

Men!  Pay close attention!

1.  He is extremely wealthy. This is easy to understand.  Affluence eliminates a lot of the common stress among couples.  It’s the number one issue couples fight over.  We have enough of this drama in our own lives.   -- In addition to this, not only is he rich... He LOVES to spend his money on his woman.  It’s not difficult to see the attraction in that.  Coincidentally, he doesn’t actually work very often, but his presence is required at numerous work and charity related events which he finds dreadfully boring.

2.  He’s beautiful.  He’s not just handsome... He's outrageously gorgeous... Beyond anyone you’ve ever met before.  He’s well groomed, in great physical shape and always, always smells good.  His scent is unique and intoxicating.  The only imperfections on his entire body are a few telltale scars which make him very uncomfortable.  (Yes, scars are sexy.) He’s always well dressed and appropriately for the situation.  He’s as sexy in a three-piece business suit as he is in ripped jeans that hang on his hips just so.  Most of the time, his hair is a bit longer than the average man.  (I have a problem with this part... Not attractive to me at all but it’s a common image.  Think Fabio.

3.  He’s attractive, and I don’t mean just in appearance.   There is a magnetism about him that cannot be ignored.  It works on everyone.  People are mesmerized by his presence, especially women.  He emits an energy that tells you he’s near, long before you ever see him.  Just the slightest touch of his fingertips can send shocks of electrically charged waves throughout your whole body.  Initially, the obvious, forward, flirtations from other women drives you crazy with jealousy.  But as you grow more confident in your relationship, you welcome the attention and recognize the pleasure you experience knowing that he is YOUR arm candy.

4.  He’s very smart.  Brilliant in fact.  Of course he is... He didn’t become a mega-millionaire by being stupid.  He’s a freakin’ genius.  He picked you didn’t he?  His IQ is off the charts.  Ultra-intelligent!

5.  He is charismatic... a real charmer.  Everyone around him is subject to his mad skills of communication and interaction.  No one is immune.  He gets whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, from anyone.  There is no escaping him.  He’s perfected his techniques because he is so controlling and once he sets his sights on you, you will surrender.  You have no choice. He will make you do/say/think/feel things that you never imagined you would or could do and you will enjoy every minute of it.  He’s extremely chivalrous even when he’s upset or angry.  It is ingrained into his behavior.  He cannot deny it.

6.  He has no friends (which means more time for you), but he has lots of ex-girlfriends, and they are all gorgeous.  You run into them constantly. They are all way better looking that you.  Furthermore they are all still madly in love with him and cause you to question what in the hell is he doing with you.  He is indifferent to them and professes that no one can compare to you.  YOU are different than any other woman he has ever dated and he cannot understand your insecurities.  He thinks you are perfection in every sense.

7.  He is obsessed with you.  He can’t eat, he can’t think, he can’t function when you are not around.  He worries about your personal safety and freely admits that he doesn’t know what he’d do if something happened to you.  If he is near you, he can’t take his eyes off of you.  He stares at you constantly... Always a witness to your actions.  If you meet his gaze (and you will) you melt right there on the spot.  He needs to know your exact whereabouts at all times.  If you change course, or he cannot find you, it drives him insane.  At first this makes you a little uncomfortable, but eventually, you think it is super-sexy.  This obsession also makes him indifferent or even opposed to the thought of children of his own.  He cannot imagine loving someone other than you and does not have confidence in his capacity to love.

8.  He has a dark past.  This is most likely connected to his family in some way.  Bad things happened to him and his history makes him vulnerable.  It also contributes to other personality traits including, but not limited to: possessiveness, unpredictability, raging temper, fearfulness and his tendency to hide or deny his true feelings.  As scary as all of these things are... You want to rescue him, and you believe you can even though he’s confident he is beyond help.

9.  He’s quirky.  He likes to buy clothes for you and knows your exact size... Even your shoes.  Of course he buys only the most expensive (see rule # 1) and gets tremendous pleasure out of giving these gifts to you.  He likes to feed you... And really, really enjoys watching you eat.  One of his favorite things about you is that you seem to have a hearty appetite.  He remembers or somehow mysteriously knows silly, seemingly insignificant facts about you.  These surprises shock you initially, but then you find them completely endearing.

10.  He doesn’t think he’s worthy of you and will leave you at least once...for your own good.  This stems from rule # 8.  He’ll try to push you away or try to leave himself but will come running back because he cannot live without you.  His heart and desire overpowers his ability to reason.

Other than a few, minor adaptations, that just about covers it.  To write a successful romance novel, one only need change the name, age and location of this guy and introduce him to an awkward, insecure woman who is convinced no one will ever fall in love with her.

It’s the recipe for a bestseller.