Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wicked Wednesday on Thursday - virgin heroines

With paranormal romance, we come across the strong and independent heroine. She knows what she wants and how to get it. Well, in some things.

It's not typical in adult paranormal romances, but sometimes we do come across the virgin heroine. She might be successful at everything else in her life, but love has always eluded her and she's not one to just sleep around. It allows an innocence and newness to the romance, drawing the reader along as she meets a mysterious and gorgeous individual whom she can't stop hungering for.

I prefer an experienced heroine, but I don't mind a virgin as long as she is well written. No one knows exactly what to do the first time around. No one has multiple orgasms the first time, nor after a minute or two in bed with her lover. Be realistic. The loss of her virginity would be a big emotional scene, a turning point in her identity. Not only in how she sees herself, but how others see her. The hero's realization that she's a virgin can also be a pivotal point. And the villain's if it is important to their evil plot!

I've heard the argument that an inexperienced heroine and a very experienced hero creates inequality in romance novels. Sometimes women do fantasize about being taken by a lover who knows exactly what to do. It's about surrendering, giving yourself, and all the emotions that go with it. It's becoming less common to find a virgin heroine and a promiscuous hero falling for one another, but the fantasy still attracts readers. Also, there is a rise in promiscuous heroines who are more experienced than the men. A few times, more so in YA than in adult books, the heroine and hero will both be virgins.

Do you like to read romances with virgin heroines? Do you think an inexperienced heroine and a promiscuous hero creates inequality in romance novels?

14 comments:

  1. Trust me, it's more unbalanced if those roles are reversed!

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  2. I guess i've never given it much thought. I know Sookie in the Charlaine Harris novels was a virgin, but that made sense and it fit really well with her character. I think when i'm writing, i prefer characters to have a bit of experience

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  3. Um. I don't really read romance novels, so can I take the middle road and say "It depends on the situation?" Or is that too wishy-washy? I should probably take a stand on this. I'll consult with my advisors and let you know my position in early 2012.

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  4. Interesting concept. I haven't really thought about it in romances to be honest, although I can see where things could become unbalanced with such sexual experiences, especially if one of them is a virgin.

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  5. I think all of these can be effective if it's natural for the writer. Unfortunately, too many authors try to appease editors or someone else by adding scenes or viewpoints that don't feel true to them. This can have disastorous effects to the story. Good post!

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  6. I don't see what the appeal is with the whole virginity thing. It seems awkward to me.

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  7. Alex and Stephen, the Cougar craze is still pretty popular. I think some young men must like an older woman schooling them!

    Sarah, I agree with you. It has to fit the character as it did with Sookie.

    Briane, hehehe! I agree with you, though. It does depend on the situation.

    Cherie, I never thought about it either until I was doing a bit of research. I think some women will always have fantasies about a confident and experienced men taking them.

    Sylvia, I totally agree. Every writer should write what's natural for them. I've read some really bad romance over the years!

    Michael, I'm with you there. Having a relationship in a supernatural world is complicated enough!

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  8. It depends on whether or not the heroine needs something to make her vulnerable or not.

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  9. Tasha, that adds another dimension, yes.

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  10. I all depends how it is incorporated in the story - if it works well in the story as a whole, then either way can be good. Tasha's made a good point too, though I guess virginity is not the only thing that can make a heroine vulnerable, but it is definitely on of such things.

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  11. Pepca, I don't tend to have virgin heroines, but it's always an option. There are several other vulnerabilities that intrigue me much more when writing.

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  12. Not a fan of virgin heroines... I like them to be strong, come with attitude and preferably a bit of baggage... makes it more interesting:)

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  13. I prefer it actually since it means I can relate to the heroine more. Otherwise I cant quite get absorbed into the story. Guess I'm just old fashioned lol.

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