The Sexual Double Standard for Romance Heroines

Readers occasionally contact me and ask, “Why can’t you write a virginal heroine?”

I’ve written a few, but a virgin doesn’t really work with the stories I tell. I have no problems reading romance stories that have a virgin as a female protagonist. One of my auto-buy authors writes virginal heroines almost exclusively and it works with her themes and core story.

Would it be difficult to change the way I tell a story so my heroine is a virgin? Yes. I guess I could take a shortcut and briefly mention her lack of sexual experience. But if it has no bearing to the story, the relationship or even the moment, why bother?

Maybe the question shouldn’t be about why I don’t write a virginal heroine. I think the real question is: why should I?  Continue reading “The Sexual Double Standard for Romance Heroines”

Is a Romance Heroine Required to be Smart?

 

What is the most important quality of a romance heroine? When Maya Rodale surveyed romance readers for her Dangerous Books for Girls study, a whopping 89% said the most important trait was intelligence. A sense of humor was a close second at 87% and independence came in third with a 69%.

Why is a romance heroine expected to be smart?  Continue reading “Is a Romance Heroine Required to be Smart?”