Gekko asked, regarding a romance novel we’re both reading…
I do wonder if it’s standard and required for nipples to be dusky pink? Also, must the guy be “handsome” and “hard bodied” all the time, or are there romance novels where the guy is a bit pudgy and squishy? Not that I find “Mike” off-putting (yet)! I mean, I’m all for good looking, hard bodied males, lord knows! I just wondered if there was a standard.
I think that in novels where the heroines are Caucasian, the nipples are pretty much universally described as some shade of pink, though not necessarily “dusky.” I’ve just glanced through a few books on my shelves and found these descriptions: “rosy peaks” and plain “pink” … that’s it from a cursory check. Frankly I was surprised I didn’t find more flowery phrases, but then again, most sex scenes are written from the female POV, so the reader is given her feelings and descriptions of the hero, not the other way around. The scenes that are from the hero’s POV are more likely to be ones where he has to chase some bad guy who’s abducted her.
All romance novel heroes are handsome and fit, though it is acceptable to have a war injury, not that this can ever affect performance in bed obviously. A hero is not “squishy,” physically or morally. Speaking of that, James Bond would not be a true RN hero because he has sex with women already in relationships. Idk what made me think of James Bond. Weird! 🙂
Heroines, though, can be all different. Some are young and slim; others are older and curvier. Jennifer Crusie writes overweight heroines and makes them super-sexy. They can be anywhere from petite (short) to supermodel height, and don’t always fit the established standard of beauty, while the male lead in general must be classically good-looking and over six feet tall.
Isn’t that interesting? Don’t we always assume that romance novels give unfair stereotypes of women, but maybe we’re looking at it the wrong way around. Remember that women are largely writing these novels, as fantasies for other women.
Oh, the novel that Gekko and I are reading is called Fiona’s Fling ~ you should buy a copy for yourself!