Men and Romance: Sara York Shares Her Views

Welcome back readers!  This is our third post discussing the "men can't write romance" post I spotted on a social networking site last month. Remember to leave a comment with your two cents, or buck fifty, or whatever, to be entered to win the $10 Amazon gift card at the end of the month.

Sara York Speaks on Men and Romance

Men and Romance, few people think the two have much in common, especially when it comes to writing. Men are supposed to be action oriented, and show no emotions. They seem unencumbered by the baggage of traditional romance so how could they write it? It’s simple, our assumptions about men are wrong. We place men in an archetype, expecting the lines around them to never fuzz or cross but humans are much more complex than archetypes allow.

Throughout history there have been men who have penned romance stories. Bards and storytellers through the ages have spun tales that incited the romantic in others. In more recent history men like Leigh Greenwood, who has a healthy backlist, hide behind gender-neutral names, disguising the fact that they are men. Then there is Jennifer Wilde, really Tom E. Huff, who also wrote straight romance. There are more, like J.W. McKenna, S. L. Carpenter, and Chris Tanglen. Some men prefer to stay hidden behind women’s names in the straight romance genre, in the gay genre it seem to sway the other way, where it’s okay for men to write romance.

I love writing male characters, whether it’s straight guys or gay men, I love delving into the intricacies of men. Men are deeper and more emotional than society gives them credit. Men are very romantic but I think part of our problem in believing that men can be romantic is our notion of romance. When we believe that romance has to be a certain way, look and feel exactly as it does in our thoughts then we miss out on the opportunity of true romance.

Romance isn’t an activity or an event, it’s the twisting and turns of our emotions and our excitement that brew together leaving us breathless when our partner comes home from a trip, or the pleasure of a call or text from your lover. We place value on those little treasures because of the way we think of our partners and ourselves. So romance is manufactured in your mind and not the other person in your relationship. You decide if something is romantic and for far too long women have had a set script for romance thus blocking out the true romance of men right in front of them.
Men exhibit romance in many ways, through thoughtful gestures to words and touches of love. When you can see the depth of their romance it’s not too hard to believe that men can write romance. Every day, millions of men are being romantic, but all too often their gestures are brushed aside. It’s time to start seeing your man for how he really is and say good by to archetypes, allowing men to show, embrace and write romance.


  1. For me, its about the author - do they write a gripping story, building tension, making the culmination believable - its not the gender that drives who can write romance


  2. Bravo, Sara! For special occasions, or just because, my husband buys me my favorite coffee and books by my favorite authors. Books and coffee. What's more romantic than that? :)

  3. SHEW! For a moment there I thought I'd have to dig out the ol' drag wardrobe, poof my wigs, slip into a pair of Prada pumps and change my name to "Dustina Rhodes".

    Does it really matter WHO writes? As long as a gripping story line unfolds with well developed characters? I agree with Anonymous/Suze.

    Sure, men and women have different perceptions which will result in varying degrees of differences in telling a story. But what's wrong with a little diversification? Being a guy, I tend to read more male authors, probably cause I relate better with the author's views. But that isn't to say I don't read works by female authors, actually I've read a few stories (written by female authors) that felt more like they had been penned by male authors. Go figure! To me, it all boils down to the story, the characters and how many times I get "misty eyed". I enjoy the adventure and the journey into reading of a world that the author has created, no matter if it's male or female. Any way, it looks like my drag wardrobe will stay packed safely away, at least for another day or two.

    hugz & tugz
    Dustin Adrian Rhodes

  4. As the Bad Boy of Romance I tend to eschew things in my stories that don't add to the romantic conflict, because that's what my readers want. They have come to understand that I deliver a certain type of romance story and if I let them down, it'll be harder to make that next sale.

    I'm glad you did cover that men are romantic in our own way. When researching some of the information for my Male POV workshop, I came across an author who was just...stereotypical in her description of how men behave and act. It made me sick to know other women were learning from an inaccurate source of information.

    I'll always enjoy teh challenge of pleasing thousands of women...with my words ;)

  5. I want to be taken along to get to the next page.to sigh.laugh be involved and at the end say that was really a good book. Does not matter male or female.

  6. I want to be taken along to get to the next page.to sigh.laugh be involved and at the end say that was really a good book. Does not matter male or female.

  7. In one of the reviews of my first published story, "My Valentine Prince", the reviewer was actually amazed that a man could wrote such a romantic story. Why? Even my basically erotic stories, some of them involving rough sex, have HEA endings or romantic hints.

    I come to romance naturally - I'm in a 31 year monogamous relationship with the same man. How romantic can you get? I suspect that the attitude about male writers has to do with the fable that men "only think with their little head". Men are as varied as women. As we roll back the stereotypes of groups, we find multi-textured human being instead of cardboard "types".

    Lesbians who flit from bed to bed instead of nesting (the stereotype is of women who hand out apartment keys during their first dates, and they think gay men are all incapable of LTRs);
    Straight men who don't jump on a woman as soon as they're alone but let a romance develop before making a pass (OK, that
    s become the staple of straight romance, but face it, they're all written as if that's rare) - Hell, straight men who hate sports and gay jocks.
    Straight women who are polyamorous - have more than one male lover.
    Bisexuals who stick to one gender at a time...

    You get the idea.

    The sermon is over - pass the basket.... (w)

  8. "Men are as varied as women"

    That. I actually have unpublished blog posts on this subject in three parts. I just haven't published it yet, but I've felt the need to do so more and more lately. I just don't like generalizations.

    Great post, Sara :)

  9. I love all of your comments on this subject. It's funny how our perceptions get in the way of reality and we discount the romance that is right in front of us.


Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955