Real Men Read Romance

At the risk of sounding immodest, the advice I’m about to impart on how to crank up the romance level with your significant other is so simple, yet so brilliant, I expect to be awarded a significant humanitarian award. Like the Nobel Peace Prize. Or the Order of Canada. Or the coveted Above-and-Below-the-Sheets Excellence Award.


To put my money where my mouth is, I will share with you the secret for injecting more romance into a relationship, both in and out of the bedroom:

A man needs to learn what makes a woman tick.

Think, for example, how wonderful it would be if a man grasped the fact that ogling the waitresses at Hooters is an unconditional no-no; how delightful if the man embraced his woman’s hormone-whipped mood swings with a hug, reassuring words, and an offer to clean the toilets; how glorious if the man memorized her most sensitive spots, and lavished attention on each and every of them. Frequently. Gently but firmly. The way his woman loves most.

How, you may wonder, can menfolk absorb this arcane knowledge without the woman indulging in either mind-melding or nasty threats involving sharp implements? The answer is simple:

The man must read romance fiction.

Okay, so I’m taking the high road and ignoring the eye-rolls, especially from men, so please bear with me. To nudge her guy in the right direction, the woman may have to take the lead. To help her achieve this goal, I have devised a no-fail Action Plan containing Tasks, Sub-Tasks, and Milestones.

Task 1 is to hook the man through logic. Explain that romance novels provide unlimited opportunities for a man to plumb the depths (so to speak) of the mysterious world of Venus. In the process, he might even reach new insight into Martians. How, I ask you, can any man in his right mind resist unveiling the feminine mystique—what his woman loves, what she hates (even though she may not admit it), what turns her on, what turns her off, in short, what makes her tick?

Once reaching the first milestone (the man’s buy-in that romance novels offer him untold benefits), it’s time for the woman to implement Task 2. Ladies, take a deep breath and drop a hint that, going forward (that’s man-speak, required to indicate you’re on his wave-length), his enlightenment will cause those Gates of Paradise to swing open more often. And bingo! He’s riveted by the bait of abundant sex. Second milestone achieved.

At this point, it’s important for the woman to advance quickly to Task 3. Tap into his competitive streak by recounting your recurring fantasy of a man sprawled in an airport chair, legs crossed, waiting for his flight, briefcase and laptop at his feet—a manly man oozing testosterone, a hunk who is truly comfortable in his own skin. Explain that he has discarded his business report on financial trends in favor of the latest Nora Roberts bestseller, and is dabbing his eyes, making no effort to hide his emotion. Finally, assure your guy that, at the end of the day (more man-speak), only real men read romance.

If you’ve done your job properly, you’ll soon hear him beg for, say, Maureen Fisher’s latest romantic comedy, or even romances by lesser-known authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jill Shalvis. Simply hand your dude the mushiest romance novel you can find, place a box of tissues within easy reach, and give him space to do the rest.

Mission accomplished! I offer you a methodology for a man’s transformation into one who understands women inside and out. A man who knows exactly what to do to, when, and how to do it.

I raise my glass to those real men who read romance.


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