Why We Love the Sexy Heroes of Urban Fantasy

It is an interesting phenomenon.  The more civilized and sensitive the modern man has become, the more masculine, bold, assertive and challenging the heroes that populate our fantasy books have become.

Vampires, werewolves, genies and demons.  These are the kind of heroes that populate the urban fantasy and paranormal books we read today.  They are larger than life, opinionated, assertive and powerful creatures and about as far from the real men of today as you could get.

Maybe that’s the point.

Real life involves dishes, pot bellies, bad breath and the occasional unwanted odour.  That’s something you’ll never find in the pages of urban fantasy books.  Vampires do NOT break wind.  Werewolves would never choose a footy game over making mad, passionate love to you!

That’s not to say we don’t love the men in our real lives.  Of course we do.  But fantasies, in a way, are about the roads we have not taken, the lives we have not lived and the loves we have not experienced.

That is why the heroines of these books are always flawed but kickass types.  We need to be able to see ourselves in them.  If they were perfect, we would never buy into it because we are not perfect.   It is also why we require the men in these books to be extraordinary.  We want to be swept into the arms of an uber-male who must worship us, body and soul.  There is no room for dishes or taxes in the arms of a vampire or werewolf, thank you very much.  Reality must not intrude on the dream.

I would also argue, and no doubt there will be many women who disagree with me, that another reason for the appeal of supernatural men is that they are the ‘bad boys’ of the supernatural world.  They don’t follow human laws or moral codes.  They deliberately flout social convention.  They go after what they want (hopefully, you).  It appeals to the teen girl inside us who yearns to be the one who wins the local bad boy and makes him a good boy (not too good, though).

How many of us didn’t cheer when True Blood’s Sookie conquered the heart of the cold vampire Eric, just by being her sweet but spunky self?  Or hoped that Bitten’s Elena would forgive the werewolf who turned her into a werewolf?  It’s that bad boy thing, I tell you!

True Blood

the appeal of bad boys

 

Werewolves, vampires, demons – they all have a dark side which they either embrace or struggle with.  It makes them a little – or a lot – dangerous, unpredictable and exciting.  Along with that dark side, though, always comes incredible, untamed passion.  What woman doesn’t want to be the one who is the focus of all that?!

I asked some female friends why they loved supernatural heroes and got a variety of responses.  “because they love with an intensity no man can hope to match”, “they are hot!”, and “gee, what girl doesn’t want to be forced to choose between her hot vampire lover and her hot werewolf lover?”  It all boils down to the same thing – the desire for passion and excitement in our lives, real or imagined.

Some might think real men might as well give up now; how can they hope to compete the uber-men of fiction?  The truth is, there is no competition.  The uber-men of fiction cannot hope to compete with the reality of a man who laughs at your bad jokes, brings you a cup of tea steeped to perfection and always takes the kids to their sporting events because he knows how much you hate those cold winter mornings.  The men in our lives mightn’t sweep us off our feet with displays of passion every day but the reality is, and I hate to confess this, I wouldn’t be able to handle a man who was constantly passionate for me!  A girl needs her beauty sleep and time to read a good book!

I am happy with the reality of my life but – whatever you do – don’t interrupt if you see me reading a book with a kickass heroine on the cover and a gorgeous man beside her…

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