I have an admission to make: I like pretty boys. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who follows me on Twitter, has ever seen the Holsum College Tumblr, or has witnessed me talking about One Direction. I’ve got a thing for skinny boys who are more than a little fem, and I make no qualms about sharing this with the world.
This preference has not always worked in my favor as a romance writer. I once read a publisher’s submission guidelines (can’t remember which publisher) that specifically stated that heroes must be handsome, rugged, tall, and attractive, but NEVER pretty.
Okay, I’m not sure if it was in caps. But they were fairly emphatic about the “no pretty boys” rule.
Apparently, readers of straight romance want their men to look like “men”—whatever that means. Or maybe the issue is that they don’t want to imagine dating someone prettier than they are. Girls get to be pretty, boys…um…powerful? Strong? Scary? Dude, I don’t know what boys are supposed to be like in straight romance…
Luckily, I write male/male romance nowadays and can make my boys as pretty as I want! Like my hero in my new release, Nathaniel. He’s extremely fem, brash, diva-ish, and I just love him for it.
The funny thing is that fem guys get a bad rap not just in romance novels, but in the world as well. Even within the gay community there can be a double standard, with more value being placed on butch, or straight-looking guys than on more effeminate men. This is why I love websites like SuperPretty — which celebrate the feminine side of masculine beauty.
Personally, I love fem guys. There are few men in my life that I enjoy more than the girlie gay boys who are always checking their hair and batting their eyelashes (at my husband), and generally being their bouncy, adorable selves.
Why should masculine be seen as “good”, while feminine is “less good”? Not everyone is going to agree with me on this, but I feel like this way of thinking is not only hurtful to fem guys, but is also kind’ve sexist.
And anyway, pretty guys are hot! They’re easier to relate to and less intimidating than macho men, and hence way easier to imagine falling into bed with. They seem open to everything, in touch with their bodies, eager for new experiences, and not caught up in how they are supposed to act.
If being a real man means not giving a sh*t about what other people think, pretty boys are totally macho.
And that’s why I love them. <3
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My Latest Release: Diva and the Frat Boy
Nathaniel Reece is savvy and fierce and wouldn’t give boring-ass Greg Sanders the time of day, except Greg is the president of a fraternity Nathaniel wants to join. But once Nathaniel gets a taste of the ferocity under Greg’s cool exterior, he can’t stop himself from trying to lure the uptight frat brother out of his shell.
The face of gay life on campus and a crusader heading off to law school, Greg doesn’t see any problem with seducing the flamboyant and exciting Nathaniel. But that’s before he finds out his fraternity brothers are refusing Nathaniel’s pledge bid. Greg’s athletic and masculine and has never had to deal with the censure of his friends or the odd looks of strangers, but if he’s going to be what Nathaniel needs, he’ll have to be comfortable not just being out, but also standing out.
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Retired party girl and science fiction enthusiast, Daisy Harris spends most of her time writing sexy romance and plotting the fall of Western civilization. Her books can be found on Amazon, Nook, and wherever else fine erotic romance is sold.