Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Virginal Heroes?

I read on yahoo today that the number of teenage pregnancies had rose in 2006 from what the numbers had been in the 1990s and are still rising. Oddly enough, I was talking to my teenage daughter last night about sex. At this time, she is in the mindset of waiting until marriage. Though, I am not disillusioned that that might change. We discussed how girls her age and younger were turning up pregnant at school. Yes, we live in Mississippi and it was number 5 on the list for rise. At least we weren’t number 1 like everything else.

I also asked her if she expected to marry a man who had waited. She replied with a yes. So I proceeded to ask where she thought she would find a man who waited. I wanted her to really think about it because I’m not sure the guys she’s hanging out with will fit that category.

Now that doesn’t mean they are bad kids, but let’s face it, do guys really wait for marriage? We live in an age where you’re an adult at 18. Yet we treat the group of 18-25 as children calling them young adults where once teenagers were thought to be young adults. More and more they are still living off their parents. And parents are allowing this. They take care of them financially and don’t require them to grow up. But they are. At least their bodies are if not their minds. By the time a girl is 25, she’s been able to have a baby for 12 years. In some cases even longer. We happen to be created with natural urges. And while we might be living longer, women still reach a point where her childbearing days are over. Yet we wait to married later in life after college and a career. In a lot of cases, a woman feels like she has to choose between kids and a career.

Historically, women have been the expected sex to wait until her wedding night. But even that has changed. Girls no longer see it as the moral thing to do. Sex is in their face from a very early age. If you allow your kids to watch TV at all, it’s drilled into their brains. Forget about the movies. There are rated R movies that I would let my kids watch before some PG-13s. They’re filled with sexual euphemisms from start to finish, but yet we tag these as okay for 13 year-olds? These kids are in junior high and no way ready to handle the responsibilities that come with having sex. Yet about 54% of all girls ages 15-19 are having sex. So what does that say about boys?

Okay, so what about the romance hero? How many romance stories have you read with a virgin hero? I don’t think I’ve read any. I’ve read some with the heroine being a virgin. Usually these are historicals or stories where she’s 18. (This does not include inspirational or Christian as I have not read those genres.)

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not preaching one way or the other about abstinence. I’m just observing the lack of virgin heroes in romance stories. Why? Because I’m writing one and curious as to what readers want. Does being a virgin make the hero any less of a hero? Does he have to have had sex with lots of women to be heroic? Does being a virgin actually mean that he couldn’t possibly be a good lover? What if your hero has chosen to wait? Are there no men in the world that could choose this?

I for one will actually think twice about writing a romance with a virginal hero again. Why? Because he’s moody to start with and really needs to get laid. Second, once he gets laid, that’s all he wants to do. I had plans to move this story along, but he’s getting sidetracked and wants to add about ten sex scenes. I had to put my foot down on that one. But he’s still insisting on at least three more than I had plan. Two, I’ve written. But he wants one more. Men.

So what do you think? Virginal heroes or not?


1 comment:

  1. I don't see a problem with virgin heroes, any more than with virgin heroines. Your story is historical, so it's believable. If it was contemporary... not so much. IMO, it's not terribly believable for a male or female to be virginal these days, past age 18. I know they are out there... but everybody's shocked if they hear of one, so they'd be just as shocked to hear of one in a novel! :)