Frankenstein’s Lover: Four Steps to Building the Perfect Male Lead

By Grace on Mar 12th, 2015

For too long, we have labored under the tyranny of the Imperfect Male Lead. Men who are more lout than lover, men who stumble through the smut and trip over their tongues when they ought to be putting them to better use. No more! These are romance novels; aren’t we the ones in charge?

We can build him. Stronger. Smarter. Sexier. We just need the building blocks. After all, what’s a little theoretical grave-robbing in the name of the perfect pretend man?

  • #1The Bod

    A younger model. Something streamlined. Something sleek.

    Look: I have nothing against a male lead who isn’t a bronzed adonis. Everyone has a particular make and model that tickles their tits; I’m not here to judge! Personally, I prefer my men on the skinny side rather than built like a small truck. What I am tired of, though, are novels that rely on a single-sentence description of our guy and leave it at that. “He’s, like, super hot and has a bunch of muscles,” just isn’t enough. We need details! Good eyes, good face, good arms. (Does anyone else have a thing for dude arms? Because I sure do.) He should be in good shape, but not obsessively so.

    Likewise, we ought to consider general presentation. I love a guy that can toe the line between overly tidy and downright gross. Slightly rumpled, perhaps, the kind of man who owns cutoffs and a suit (and knows when to wear which). Hair you can run your fingers through, or the ability to pull off that close-shaved crew cut look, with the jawline to match. Neither the bodybuilder nor the beauty queen be: lots of lean, rippling limbs, pretty eyes and a nice face should do the trick.

    In conclusion: whether you prefer your guy a little soft and snuggly or basically cut from marble, we can all agree that he ought to have good eyes, good hair and a killer smile. Bonus points for good arms. (Woof.) Ladies, to work!

  • #2The Brains

    The command center of the whole operation. Our brain must be in good condition--and normal, above all else!

    The heart may be what it all hinges on (more on that later), but without the brains, it’s a non-starter. We’re not looking for Kelso from That 70’s Show, but neither do we want Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. Is he alluring, with all that fast-paced deducing? Absolutely. But can you imagine trying to date someone that emotionless and logic-driven? Maddening. No, we want a man with wit and humor, who can keep up with a sharp lady but doesn’t always think he’s the smartest person in the room. After all, what can we teach him if he doesn’t think he has anything left to learn?

    Whether he’s street smart from a wealth of experience or a distinctly quieter product of academia, we’ll take it. Bad boys and bookworms are welcome, so long as they’ve got a sense of humor and something more than pudding between the ears.

    In conclusion: why do they always ask if we want brains or brawn, as if they’re mutually exclusive? Ladies, we can do better--I want my man-meat with a side of grey matter!

  • #3The Heart

    D’awwww. That’s where the feelings come from! Also: blood. Which, you know, is vital to several important bodily functions. A healthy ticker means a healthy “tickler”!

    This is the really, really important bit. It’s so disappointing when novels have a male lead that’s all cranky pronouncements and lack of emotion, just to try and shoehorn a half-baked revelation in at the end. “Oh my! I’ve suddenly developed a bad case of the feels!” No, while you want a guy who isn’t falling apart every five minutes, he has to have real emotions. We want a man with a soft side--why do you think we like men in uniform so much? They’re a potent cocktail of brawn, pathos and community service that just leaves us weak-kneed. Think hot firefighters with dark secrets, rescuing kittens. *Swoon.*

    There’s nothing wrong with a guy who starts out seeming cold and distant, so long as we eventually find out that it’s just because he’s so full of feelings that he just can’t contain himself any longer oh my gosh. (And lo, his heart grew three sizes that day, and exploded out of his chest in a flurry of hugs and rainbows and they lived happily ever after.) That said, I’m perfectly happy with a guy who wears it all on his sleeve! Who has time to play guessing games, anyway?

    In conclusion: The heart’s the best part. Go find one with plenty of feelings and a lot of potential. Don’t be alarmed if the person currently in possession of the heart has other ideas: it’s for a good cause.

  • #4The Undercarriage

    Cm’on, you knew this was coming.

    Obviously, barring extremes--don’t be coy, you know exactly what I mean--it’s less about the size of the tool than how well it does the job. Our Franken-lover can’t just be equipped; he needs the knowledge and generosity to use that equipment (and the rest of his assets, too!) A male lead should know when it’s time for sweet, silly sex and when it’s time to try that thing he read about once that requires patience and flexibility and will probably never, ever happen in real life. Most of all, he needs to be attentive and open to instruction. Sex gods are all well and fine, but a proper guy knows that every lady is unique and has different needs!

    That being said, you know… a big ol’ schlong never hurt. I mean, in a strictly theoretical sense.

So ladies, our mission is clear. We can build him: the muscular, witty, sensitive, sexual man we all deserve (to read about). Go! To the graveyards of fallen romance novels! Gather the supplies. Our day is nigh!

...As soon as we get a good thunderstorm.

And we want to hear from you. What are the necessary parts to build your Franken-Lover?