So – I was reading a historical yesterday and read a scene where the hero was filled with lust for the innocent young heroine. As they weren’t committed to each other – in fact they had barely met, he headed off to slake his itch with his mistress. When I read that I was ready to scrunch up my face and deduct hero points.
Fortunately instead of slaking his hunger on said mistress, he ended his association with her – thus keeping his hero points.
But upon pondering upon my instant reaction, I wondered why it would have bothered me. And I know I’m not the only one who is bothered when the hero seeks ‘some lovin’ from another willing woman once he’s met his heroine. Although he’s met the future love of his life, there often isn’t any commitment in this scenario. So why does it bug us? It’s not like he’s being unfaithful. He can’t cheat on someone he hasn’t paired up with yet.
Partner Katie sent me an email not long ago asking if I thought that Derek had done the deed with one of the ‘house’ wenches. She chose to believe that he hadn’t. Although I offered my opinion he had – and in that rare instance it didn’t bother me, I did console her after saying he probably didn’t because he had too much gin in him at the time for anything to really ‘work’.
I’ve seen many a reader who refuses to read anything with adultery in it. And I must confess I really see their point. I don’t like it either and tend to avoid it if I know in advance that it is part of the storyline.
But that isn’t the case in what I’ve been pondering.
Would it bother us as much if the situations were reversed? Mind you I can’t think of any historicals off the top of my hear where this is the case – oh – wait a minute – there is one hanging on the periphery of my mind now that I think of it……. (damn I hate getting old – I can’t remember it – if I do, I’ll edit this) but back to the topic. If there was such a story line, would we dock heroine points or think to ourselves “you go you adventuresome heroine self you”. I’m thinking in my case it would be more the second scenario.
So why does this bother me – and maybe others? Why do we hold heroes to an unrealistic standard while not necessarily holding the heroine to the same one?
Does it bother you if the hero does the horizontal tango with someone other than the heroine once he’s met her – even if they don’t have any kind of understanding? Does it bother you if the heroine does? And are you stricter with historicals?
I’m still pondering this without coming up with any good answers.
And totally off this topic – I started humming this morning and I’m getting close to rubbing my hands. There is a new episode of SYTYCD Canada tonight!! Only 3 hours to go!!