Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sexual Objectification of Men in Romance-land, Part 1

Face it, we totally do it.

A few prime examples:



Oh my!
And it's not just the covers. Hop on twitter and follow a few romance readers and/ or writers and you'll hear all sorts of talk that probably trumps what one would hear in a men's locker room... I think. Really, I have no clue, but trust me, we get all kinds of dirty. :)

As for categories of preferred novels, we in romance-land totally navigate by the type of guy. Cowboys, Navy Seals, Vampires, Dukes, even firemen. There's categories of um...certain videos for men that are organized in a similar manner.

See, sexual objectification all the way.

And I don't think it's a necessarily a bad thing. First off, I think it speaks highly for gender equality. For years, many women have protested against the rampant sexual objectification of women in the media. The feminists point the blame at our patriarchal society. I think that's not completely accurate. I think much of sexual objectification comes from the fact that humans are sexual beings. Now...with the majority of the objectification being of women by men...yeah, there's a point there.

But....I believe that many in society have been doing their part to level the playing field, with the romance genre leading the fray...and scoring points. I have a theory that the infamous volleyball scene in Top Gun was truly intended to be targeted for women, despite the homo-erotic accusations it receives. I think someone in the film crew walked by a display of NYT bestselling romance novels adorned with topless Fabio and thought, "Hey, the ladies like their eye candy, too! Let's throw em a bone and maybe we'll do better in the box office?"


  1. Interesting topic, Brooklyn Ann. A couple years ago I was asked to speak to a graduate class at Rice University who were studying romance and one segment was on romance novels. The students were pretty unfamiliar with romance novels, and this topic came up. They were shocked. It was an interesting conversation, with a lot of the guys saying they would not like their wives to read those books. Ha, their wives might not like them to "read" some of what they read.

    In any case, I don't agree with objectification in any form. I don't like it when men do it to women and I don't like it when women do it to men. I don't think it makes it any more okay for a woman to objectify a man just because men do it to us. Love that you blogged about this. It's such a great topic.

  2. Wonderful post...thank you for this one Brooklyn Ann, and for the eye candy :)

  3. Thanks, Shana and Christy! And I agree that a person should never be seen as an object. I think that's why great personalities and intellect are my biggest turn-ons. :)

  4. No one likes to be seen as an object, nor do they enjoy being compared to an ideal and found lacking. There is definitely a double standard, but deep down, it works both ways.

  5. My hubby was a little startled when I showed him some of the pix on various blogs...I told him that it was way past time for women to have their share of eye candy, lol.

  6. That's a reason that I look for romance novels written by men. It actually shows the other side and there are some good ones out there where the objectification is not as prominent. Recently I read Semmant by Vadim Babenko, it has all the elements, but he writes them in a unique way that you really become a part of the read, not just reading the pages. He writes great contemporary romances, I recommend him. is his site and you can get the gist of what I am talking about there.