By Kimberly Dawn Neumann
“Female seeks a tall, handsome, mysterious, muscular, passionate, chivalrous, poetic, well-bred and possibly brooding male partner for long-term romantic fireworks.” Sounds like something out of a romance novel, right? Exactly. And it’s one that many women might be reading at any given moment to enjoy a healthy dose of escapism. But if you’re a dude, you’d never think of picking up a bodice-ripper for yourself… right? Well, maybe you should!
“There’s a lot men can learn about women’s secret desires in the pages of a romance novel,” says Reid Lance Rosenthal, author of the #1 best-selling historical western romance book, Threads West. And to dispel any preconceived notions you might have about the kind of man who writes romance novels, bear in mind that Rosenthal is a “man’s man” — a real, live, fourth-generation cowboy who herds cattle on horseback in Wyoming when he’s not busy writing. “Women love romance novels because they create, enhance and underscore their need for love, a good man, and an insatiable desire for meaningful, physical satisfaction. Make no mistake, guys — romance novels just might be some of the best passion textbooks out there, and when you turn that last page, you’ll be astonished at how much you’ve learned about how to fulfill a woman’s wishes, capture her mind and heart, and satisfy her emotional and physical needs.”
Still not quite ready to visit the romance section at your local bookstore, guys? Then get a head start with these five romance-novel-to-real-life tips from the author himself designed to help you get the girl and ride off into the sunset together. There’s no better time than now to start working on your own happily ever after!
Romance-to-Real-Life Tip #1: Embrace your masculinity — be a man and act like a man
“Though some — incredibly — might disagree, the basic, universal truth is that a woman is a woman and a man is a man. They are two very different creatures. It would be difficult to pick up a long romance novel that does not follow this premise or guide the interaction between male and female characters using that fundamental principle,” says Rosenthal. “There are exceptions to all rules, but typically, a woman is drawn to traits such as masculinity, strength, relative stability, brains, and someone who’s secure enough within himself to accept who she is and all her female facets, too — including beauty, brains, sex appeal, femininity… even those occasional Mars-versus-Venus moments.”
However, this doesn’t give you free license to adopt a new persona that is inauthentic in order to successfully woo women. Instead, this tip is actually all about embracing the traits that already make you your particular kind of man (remember, not everyone needs to be James Bond or Rhett Butler — different women are attracted to different types of men). Male romance protagonists — particularly in the adventure, western and mystery subgenres — are generally true to themselves. Rarely are they pretentious. Again, there is a lesson here in female readers’ intrigue: a man’s mystique begins by him simply being himself. “Assuming you are serious about your relationship with a woman, why would you be anything else?” says Rosenthal. “A man that is comfortable in his own skin — whatever color, flavor, or discipline — is highly attractive to women. ‘Faking it’ will result only in heartache in the short term, and long-term disaster for your dating life.”
A man can demonstrate his masculinity through his physical appearance, lifestyle, athleticism or other strength-based skills, romantic ardor, sense of humor, or his exhibition of intelligence and character… but it must all be real. As in fiction, the contrived man will eventually be discovered — much to the disappointment of both parties in real life.
Romance-to-Real-Life Tip #2: Make her feel like she’s “all woman” to you
According to Rosenthal (and most romance novel plots), the key to making a woman feel like she’s “all woman” is through a man’s acts of chivalry, acknowledgement of her femininity, appreciation of her intellect, and consideration of her views. She feels empowered by her femininity when a man’s physical need and irresistible primal attraction to her is spoken and demonstrated often by tone, whisper, touch, romantic gesture, or lovemaking. Again we return to the complexities of the male-female tango that occurs in well-written romance. “Most women demand — and deserve — respect for their intellect, accomplishments, and contributions to society. But the art of making a woman feel like she’s ‘all woman’ lies in her certainty that her man appreciates her not only for those fine attributes — and that he equally appreciates the curve of her hips, how her touch takes his breath away, and how she is the focus of his primal desire,” says Rosenthal. “That ‘all woman’ glow ignites her deep, inner desire for the sizzle of her man’s touch, the flash of his smile and the passion of his body-molded embrace. Then, her self-esteem is buoyed and her confidence in her own sexuality expands.”
Romance-to-Real-Life Tip #3: Use every opportunity to become more sensual
Pay careful attention to the subtle body language an accomplished romance writer weaves into their characters’ interactions in sequences that foreshadow an upcoming steamy sexual encounter. Then, start using these simple, nonverbal cues yourself! “A hand resting lightly on a forearm, the flicker of an eyelash, a tongue that runs slowly across an upper lip, a wide-eyed soft-but-steady gaze… these gestures all send a message. The upward spiral toward feeling hot skin pressed against hot skin will then proceed at a pace that’s mutually agreeable toward a culmination that is mutually satisfactory,” says Rosenthal.
|We all have five basic senses: touch, sight, sound, smell and taste. Think of the delightful premeditation involved when romance novel characters are making plans to titillate the target of their desire. A couple that wants to ensure they’ll enjoy consistent levels of elevated arousal over the course of a relationship has to embrace every opportunity to tickle each and every one of their partner’s senses — naturally, purposefully and with spirited dedication. “The tone and inflection of the voice, a man’s hand pressed lightly on a woman’s abdomen, a mix of sensual command and sensory surrender; these are just a few of the little things that will keep the male-female thermometer above 98.6 degrees,” says Rosenthal. “And don’t forget the eyes, which can be coquettish, inviting, penetrating and adoring. Each look has its time and place. When employed properly and naturally, a simple gaze will most certainly turn up the rheostat.”|
Romance-to-Real-Life Tip #4: Set the scene for romance
Sure, there are always candles, lighting and music to get you started, but those things are just romantic common sense. “However, to truly create the nonfiction theatre of sizzle you need to build excitement, anticipation — and eventually, mutual seduction — use props and locations which will satiate her in an olfactory way. Bring a smile to her face with something audible; put her mind at ease with indications of cozy security and make her eyes light up with appreciation when she enters the scene and setting you’ve arranged for her,” says Rosenthal. “Select some morsels to tickle her taste buds, and then combine all of these elements to build toward an unavoidable, primal cadence together.”
Another way to use romance novels to your advantage is to read passages from them out loud to your woman. “The written words of a great romance novel are like natural kindling to your pheromones’ flame,” says Rosenthal. “Reading selected passages in bed (or prior to heading to the boudoir) can be the cherry on top of the cumulative, whipped cream-topped molten desire that you and your partner have created. Don’t be surprised if delicious distractions begin to take over long before you finish the chapter you’re reading.”
Romance-to-Real-Life Tip #5: Make sure she knows that you love her — and want her, too
The words “I love you” can be hard to say those first few times, but typically, it does get easier — assuming the feelings expressed are true (see the “be authentic” principle referenced in Tip #1). That simple, three-word phrase might be the ultimate emotional expression amongst humans, and therefore, one of the pinnacles of verbal interaction between a man and a woman. It signifies a special state of affairs — a unique shared bond and emotional attachment between the two of you. But that takes us full circle back to the basics of male-female synergy — the sexual tension, desire, and constant physical interchange. “The phrases ‘I love you’ and ‘I want you’ are equally important,” says Rosenthal. “It’s that second phrase that elevates a great romantic relationship to the searing ‘all man — all woman’ level. That demonstration of desire, when equally exchanged, is the oh-so-sweet icing on the relationship cake.”
Bottom line: men and women are sexual creatures, and as Rosenthal suggests, don’t fight it — delight in it! “If we return to the time-proven blend of what’s written in romance novels and real life — i.e., the concept that a man is a man and a woman is a woman — we know that the overwhelming majority of men and women each have a deep, primal core,” says Rosenthal. “This is thanks to one million years of evolution at work, and there’s nothing improper about attraction — and there’s certainly nothing wrong with acting on primal magnetism in a primal way. When the moment, the feeling, and the attraction is there, let those primordial body chemicals come out to play and take things to a physical level,” says Rosenthal. “A hot, wet tongue softly tracing her ear, the press of warm lips against her neck, sassily grabbing each other while giggling, lingering hugs that you don’t want to end, torrid lovemaking — these are all tangible results from these projections of shared primal heat.” And that’s exactly as it should be!
Kimberly Dawn Neumann (www.KDNeumann.com) is a New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, Maxim and more. A frequent online contributor for Match.com’s Happen magazine, she’s also the author of The Real Reasons Men Commit and Sex Comes First as well as the founder of www.DatingDivaDaily.com. She freely admits to occasionally devouring a good romance novel, and would love to be wooed in the ways exemplified by that genre (take note, boys!).