The Alpha-Beta Soup of Men

Reading books by men has become a regular activity for me. How better to understand the nature of the king? As a writer of romance, the male of the species takes a lot of my attention. We won’t find many romance writers for whom that is not true.

For me, it also helps that I raised three boys even though I grew up with four sisters. Some of my most recent escapades into the world of men’s fiction have been in the company of John Locke, Lin Robinson,  Stone Wallace, Frank Waters and Zane Grey, among many others. (One cannot avoid reading the works of male writers if one chooses to be a literature major…)

One of the questions that always arises in my brain is ‘Why do women want men to be more like women?’

A recent Toyota commercial is a case in point. In this particular 30 second effort, the receptionist at a dealership is talking to a potential customer whose boyfriend comes in with a frothy coffee and a puppy he’s rescued. Besides the total emasculation of this otherwise hunky guy, what are we supposed to take away from this?

That women want that? Are you kidding me?

Look at the results of the recent  broadcast of the mug shot of a known felon. He had good bone structure but those eyes? Those were the eyes of a guy whose predatory instincts were in full furl. Thousands of my sex (that means gender for those who don’t like the word s e x) were all over wanting to take him home. (Not me! If he isn’t already a threat to women, he soon will be, IMO.)

Those are just two opposing examples of women’s preferences. Here’s another: current teen idols v. my teen idols. I idolized The Beatles, one in particular as all Beatles fans had to choose. While they were youngish and I was even younger, they were, in fact, men. Not especially good-looking but talented, successful, brilliant, hard-working, dedicated, ambitious – need I go on?

And then we have certain very pretty, somewhat androgynous, singularly prepubescent males with no visible means of achieving adulthood.

The psychology is quite simple: The unattainable regarding my teen idols kept me and millions of other young women quite safe while we explored the ‘concept’ of sexual attraction. In these times, it’s not the ‘concept’ young women are expected to explore but the reality. Therefore, idolizing the pretty and sweet offers the same security. While our hearts are engaged, real temptation has no power.

In any case, men are not like women, not from their earliest breaths to their final gasps. Thank goodness! Make your peace with that, ladies, and live a happy life.

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    1. Thank you, Jeff. The relationship between men and women is definitely not a new field of exploration. These are my considered thoughts, not in any way scientific or studious! Your novels are part of the reason I became interested in men’s writing. Reading books like Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold, makes me realize that the males of the species are precious entities, and something of an endangered commodity. There ain’t nothing like a dude!

      1. Thanks, Leigh. In that novel (Man-Cold) and it the prequel (which you helped me with a few years ago and is coming out this month), I explore the foibles and failures of communication between the sexes… along with those tender moments when things finally DO come together.
        And, along the way, there can be humor mixed with the befuddlement.

          1. Thanks. It’s changed quite a bit since you saw it. I got rid of the head-hopping and the editor is having me cut out some of the text which slows the pace.

    1. In this, I have a reason for choosing books by men. I also have a reason for choosing books by women. If I’m reading for pure pleasure, I choose any book by anyone of any age about anything and I have a long, long list of books I want to read for pleasure, one I probably will never complete. Thank you for commenting, Christine.