Monday, October 11, 2010

The Virgin Hero

Perception. Perception. Perception.

And try as I may, I can’t quite see a virgin hero. The topic came up over the weekend with a fellow writer and both of us tried our best to find a way to make a virgin hero sexy and just couldn’t. However, we did decide that a virgin hero works within the M/M pairing. With that said, note that even then the hero would not technically be a virgin, but rather virginal in the sense he’s never been with another man. And that set up, of course, provides lots of layering for characterization and plotting. Bravo!

But what about M/F pairings?

Here’s where I’ve decided that I’m a female chauvinist. I don’t want to read or write a book in which the hero is painted as a virgin. There would be something really off about that to me. It just wouldn’t be sexy—and that usage is an adjective.

1. provoking or intended to provoke sexual interest: a sexy dress ; a sexy man
2. feeling sexual interest; aroused

Now certainly a virgin can feel sexually aroused. And I’m sure there is some erotica out there in which a woman “takes” a virginal man and teaches him about sex. That plot line can be very sexy. But is the hero himself sexy? For me, while reading a sex scene in which a woman pops a guy’s cherry can be very sensual and erotic, the guy himself just isn’t sexy—that story is about the sex act and the plot or sub plot of losing his virginity rather than the character, isn’t it? So I suppose it’s safe to say that I can handle a virgin hero if the story is plot-driven. But that’s not what romance is about, is it? Yes, your plot needs to be interesting and engage readers, but romance is about the romance and the characters and how they evolve—finally finding love.

My friend said, “Lots of books have heroes with flaws.” Ah ha! She said it, I didn’t. Is being a virgin a flaw? Well, I have to admit, yeah, I think so. In the case of the hero, a definite yes. And what does that make me? Biased out the ying yang—that’s what it makes me. I’m a double-standard toting female. I’m just fine with virginal heroines, but I draw the line at virginal heroes. Why? No matter how I cut it, I still see the male in the role of the aggressor. I still see him stronger, more experienced. And I’m not even sure why. I burned my bra right along with lots of other women, ya know?

So I’ve decided that it might be something deeply instinctual in me—back to the cave man days. He goes out and beats a dinosaur to death and brings it home to the little woman who discovered fire and then cooks it. Afterward, he drags her around the cave by her hair and they do the down ‘n’ dirty upside a big rock. Dayum that sounds bad of me doesn’t it?

Well, I just can’t help it. I want my men to know what they’re doing in the bedroom—or in my case, I guess, the cave. Yeah, yeah, I know. They had to get their experience some place. Just not with me or the heroines I write. Okay?

Now my friend brought up “coming of age stories”. There again, it’s plotting not romance. And I’ve recently had the privilege of editing a book in which one of the male protagonists IS a virgin—well, sort of. He’s been saving himself for one special woman. AND he’s done everything BUT penetration. So is he really a virgin? To me? No. It’s kind of like that president who said oral sex really isn’t sex. Uhmmm…okay. NOT! Sex is sex. Oral, anal, vaginal, masturbatory. But technically? You’ve got to have penetration to NOT be a virgin. I think it’s a law. LOL (But the Prez was no virgin.) So while the hero in this story that I’m editing is technically a virgin, he’s definitely had his share of sexual encounters and for me that takes away that virginal stain in my mind.

I’m not downing virgins. Glory to them. Sometimes I wish… well, no, I don’t. You get what I’m trying to say. There is nothing wrong with being a virgin. But does a virginal hero belong in romance? Possibly the sweet stuff? After all, we’ll never see him do it anyway. *snicker* Does a virginal hero have a place in erotic romance?

Here’s what I want you to do. I’m going to play big time agent today. And I want YOU to paint me a scenario in which a virginal hero works within erotic romance. Remember: It’s about the romance and sex, the characters within the story—NOT about the plot. Don’t be surprised when you get a big old rejection from me. Heck, I might even work up a form letter. LOL But I’m going to be a hard hard hard sale. I just don’t think it’s possible for a virginal hero to be sexy. And no cheating. I mentioned the book above in which the guy had done just about everything else and is only TECHNICALLY a virgin. So, paint me a real virgin. All just for fun and to keep the creative juices flowing. AND a chance to disagree with me. Go ahead. I want you to. LOL

See you next Monday…


Elizabeth Black said...

I have a virgin deflowering scene (he gets deflowered by her) in my novel DON'T CALL ME 'BABY'. This one isn't published yet. He's cute and kinda sexy but really comes into his own after he discovers how joyous sex really is and she teaches him. I find HER to be the sexy one and yes the scene is plot-driven.

I guess it depends on what you mean by virgin. If the character is virgin in body only but eager to have sex that character could be considered sexy. I suppose it's all in the packaging.

C. Zampa said...

I wouldn't EVEN begin to try to paint my own scenario of an erotic virginal hero.

But I do remember one of those 80's films...was it Revenge of the Nerds'...where the nerd gang finally had the opportunity to have sex with the popular girls.

The bouncy, cheerleader-type girls went into it, figuring it would be a lark; but much to their surprise, the young nerds had been fantasizing about sex SO much more than the more popular jocks that, when the time came, the cheerleader girls were very, very surprised. The nerds turned out to be very 'seasoned' lovers, able to bring much pleasure, take CONTROL of the sex, simply because they had 'practiced' in their minds for so long.

I've seen many films and read many books (hey, give me time to think of their titles) where virginal men, beause they HAD fantasized so much, surprised their lovers by being very adept, not all fumbling and shy.

Good, though-provoking question. I'll have to think more about it now. Hmmm....

Cari Quinn said...

Fun topic! In my current WIP, targeted to HQ Blaze, my hero's sort of a born-again virgin, LOL. He was actually very sexually experienced and was, in fact, in the middle of having sex on a golf course when he was struck by lightning three years ago. After that, he lost most of his sexual memories (along with lots of other memories too) and can't maintain an erection long enough for sex. Until he meets the heroine that is, who helps him. ;) I've written their first sex scene and I think it's both hot and sweet. Of course I may be nuts, LOL

I've always wanted to tackle a true guy virgin. I've already tried a red-haired hero...a male virgin can't be far behind. ;)

Tess MacKall said...

Nope. Lizzie that's plot driven. And nothing wrong with a plot-driven book. I like them. But I'm talking a hero for romance here. Specifically, erotic romance.

If it's all in the packaging, package me one. LOL

REJECTION SLIP FOR YOU. LOL Sorry...although a big time agent would never say "sorry". Hmmm...I need to work on my agent demeanor. Get nastier. LOL

Madison Scott said...

Nope, in romance I do NOT want a virgin hero. I'm with you. He doesn't have to have been with a long list of women, but I want him experienced.

Tess MacKall said...

Carol...I think you hit the nail on the head. When the only movie you can think of with virgin heroes is "Revenge of the Nerds"? Well, I kind of think that says it all.

Was that a suggestion, btw? LOL

And I'm not talking about a virgin who can BE a good lover. I'm talking about him being sexy. Can you paint a hero where the reader knows he's a virgin and have the reader think he's sexy? You sure as hell can't keep it a secret that the hero is a virgin until after the fact.

So, you get an A for pointing out Revenge of the Nerds, but a big R for not finding a scenario. Sorry...dammit, I'm supposed to be a nasty big time agent with these R's. I'll try harder next time.

Tess MacKall said...

Well, Cari, give that hero virgin a try then and let me know what you come up with. I just don't think it can be done. I've racked my brain all weekend. I cannot find a single scenario to make a hero seem sexy as a virgin. I did think about some paranormal situation in which he had to remain a virgin until a certain time...but still, I just couldn't see it.

So you get an A for your unique story premise which you're subbing to HQ Blaze, and a pat on the back for that red-haired guy (sorry, not into them either, lol). And no rejection cause you only gave me the promise of coming up with something. So I'm still anxiously awaiting your pitch. LOL

Tess MacKall said...

Ahhhh...Madison. No disagreement, huh? Okay. When you agree, you agree. LOL

I want my men with some seasoning.

Everyone is trying really hard to come up with something for me, though. I really would like to see someone prove me wrong on this.

Nicole Zoltack said...

This is probably cheating, but how about the first time James Bond had sex? Even he had to be a virgin at some point in his lifetime!

Tess MacKall said...

So you're asking readers to think back to when the ULTIMATE sexy hero was a virgin? Inventive. I'll give you kudos for that, hon. LOL

But can you write James Bond as a virgin. And nope, you can't make him JAMES BOND, then do a flashback to the day Montypenny or whoever it was took his cherry. LOL

You've got to give me a virginal hero. With all the virgin stuff that goes with it. The fear, the will-I-do-this-right willies. LOL The clumsiness that goes along with virginity.

He could not be the confident, debonair spy he is as a virgin. Can't be sexy.

So you get an A for being very inventive--thinking outside the box, but an R overall cause it wouldn't work. I'm not supposed to tell ya I'm sorry cause I'm a big time agent and all...but...I am. LOL

Natalie Dae said...

Tess, I'm not going to even try that one, my love.

I like het men in the books I read and write to know exactly what they're doing with their todger.


Tess MacKall said...

Todger? OMG...that actually means penis? one for me.

You can really come up with some words, Nat. LOL

So, we have another one who can't disagree. I'm beginning to think that no matter how hard anyone tries, that we're all just double-standard-toting females.

We can deal with virginal heroines but not virginal heroes. I'm going to have to research that a bit and find out why.

Elizabeth Black said...

Oh, Darn, Tess. Another rejection. LOL

I'm not convinced a virginal hero can be sexy either. Not even sure about a virginal heroine. They're too dreamy and dull the way I've seen them drawn.

BTW, I tried to look up sexy virgins in movies on Google and all I came up with was a bunch of porn sites. NOT what I had in mind. LOL

Tess MacKall said...

Oh Lizzie. Virginal heroines are definitely sexy. The mere fact they are virgins--untouched terrain--makes them sexy. Which is just not true with a man.

Definitely going to research this entire topic a bit. Might stretch this blog out to next Monday. lol

Again, sorry for the R, but us big time agents gotta do what we gotta do. LOL

Toni V.S. said...

Interesting blog Tess. My answer: In my series The Chronicles of Riven the Heretic, I have one character who stays virgin for two novels. Ilke kan Ingan is the illegitimate child of a warlord, raised with his legitimate brothers and becomes a priest. He's hated by his jealous older brother who continually throws females into his path only to see them all rebuffed. Ilke's a doctor and a warrior. He's killed men as well as healed them. He's seen his brothers with women, seen the emotion his father has for his mother, so he's not ignorant. He's suffered what he considers the sin of night emissions when confronted by a beautiful serving girl, but never given in to his yearnings but for ten years has buried those same feelings within himself because of a sense of guilt over being a bastard. After their father is declared a traitor and is killed, the brothers scatter and Ilke takes refuge in a little village where he becomes their healer and there fall in love with a young woman for whom he is willing to beak his vows.

Ana Lee Kennedy said...

I see how a virginal hero can be a problem, but maybe a story where both the hero and heroine are virgins and have sex with one another the first time.

Tess MacKall said...

Sounds like a great series, Toni. But I'd have to question how long this hero goes without sex. Erotic romance is about how sex affects the relationship between the hero and heroine. If you have two books with him as a virgin and no sex...then it's not erotic romance. The hero and heroine must have sex and frequently to erotic romance. It looks like he doesn't meet his lady until book three.

While I think your stories sound totally yummy--I read a lot more than erotic romance--the idea of having a hero through two books without sex and remaining virginal doesn't further the romance. So, this big bad agent will have to give you an R because the premise doesn't work.

But you do seem to think you've painted this man as sexy. You mention him as being a doctor and a warrior--which have very sexy vibes. But you also mention him as a priest. That wouldn't be something I'd find sexy. Especially in an erotic romance.

But a very good try. Just like Nicole, you're thinking out of the box for sure. I'll have to pick up a copy of your books. They DO sound like something I'd like to read. Soooo, lol, you may not have landed a big bad agent today, but you might have landed a fan. LOL

Tess MacKall said...

Okay, Faith. I'm getting a picture of two blind mice. Getting another picture of Blue Lagoon. More coming of age stuff in which the act itself is what the story is about rather than the character and whether the character is sexy.

No, wouldn't do it for me. The character has got to be sexy when he walks onto the page. You could describe his body as looking like one of those Ellora's Cavemen I'm seeing so many pics of and I may just drool. But the moment you tell me he's a virgin? I'm gonna suck back up all that drool and just not like him...errrrr...want him. And THAT'S what it's all about. As a reader, I just couldn't want him.

I'm definitely going to look into this subject and see if some research has been done on why it's NOT okay for a man to be a virgin.

Okay, Faith...kudos for thinking of two virgins and giving me double whammy. lol But a big R. Doesn't work. Now go write something and prove me wrong. lol

Unknown said...

I'm not seeing it. I think part of the sexual experience is what makes the alpha male who he is. Sad but true.

Tess MacKall said...

I think you are so right, Kissa. It's the heroine who tames his wild ways after all, isn't it.

He's got to be sexual to be an Alpha. But what about Beta and Gamma heroes? Personally, I have trouble with Beta heroes. Gammas are perfect but then I think my Alphas are too. lol

But even with a Beta, I just can't imagine thinking of him as being sexy if he's never had sex. So why the double standard?

I said earlier in a comment today that the mere fact the heroine is a virgin makes her sexy. So why not a man?

Definitely bugging me. I consider myself pretty enlightened. But just can't hang with a virginal hero. LOL

Nicole Zoltack said...

How 'bout this... Adam as in Adam and Eve. There's no pressure with him being a virgin because Eve has no one to compare him to, so there's no pressure. No pressure means he doesn't have to feel all nervous and quivery as a virgin.

Jocelyn Modo said...

Sounds like you've got your mind made up on this topic. ( ; Since you've got R on the brain, I'll argue this one out for myself in case the opportunity to write a heroic virgin comes along. The question is, does male virgin = nerd/un-sexy?

Well, that’s definitely the cliché out there.

I don’t like clichés. They’re boring. Besides, why should a man's sexual experience define his innate personality / sexiness? I can think of several sexy and legitimate reasons for him to still be a virgin up until he gets it on with the heroine in an erotic story.

So if he is confident / charming and knows the heroine wants him / finds him sexy, I don't see any reason for him to act the cliché, i.e. fearful, clumsy, with the "willies" when the opportunity to have sex presents itself.

The priority for most writers in any sex scene is to make the sex emotionally satisfying and first times always equal lots of intense emotion so...a definite challenge but ultimately doable. He just needs a good back-story and an intense connection between himself and the heroine. Maybe something like:

Literally bred to be a soldier, Hero, has spent the last thirty-two years surviving one war after another without ever knowing peace.

At last the planets are united and Hero is retired from the space force he was born into. On his first ever shore leave, he meets Heroine who has never met a soldier she didn’t hate. But there is something different about Hero, drawn into his world—a world she could never understand, she longs to understand him…

I suddenly want to write this. Hmm…Oh, and I could call it Love and War

Tess MacKall said...

You are definitely a deep thinker, Nicole. Hmmm...Adam and Eve, the ultimate erotic romance. Biblical aspects that might throw a dash of cold water on it all. But then there is the whole being made in God's image thing which means Adam would be the perfect male specimen.

But what could be sexier than two people prancing naked through the Garden of Eden? Hmmmm...ya's kind of like a coming of age story but for adults.

You gonna write it? And are you going to toss in Lilith?

Now if you can honestly tell me this is something you'd write, I might just be inclined to request a full. LOL

Not bad, hon. Not bad at all. I'm kind of seeing it. Especially if you write about Lilith. Isn't it amazing we had to go all the way back to the dawn of man to satisfy me--possibly satisfy me, that is. LOL

Nicole Zoltack said...

Yay no rejection this time! I think I might write this although it would have to be under my pen name. Hmmm... *the wheels are turnin'* I hadn't thought about adding Lilith... now that could really make things interesting! I'll write it and send it to PIP once it's finished and polished. It'll probably be a little while though, with the two little ones, but I think this definitely has potential.

Tess MacKall said...

Well, actually Jocelyn, I don't have my mind made up. Nicole just presented what I believe might just be something doable.

"why should a man's sexual experience define his innate personality / sexiness?" Exactly, Jocelyn. Why should it? I don't know why it does, but it does.

And you're right. Virgins don't necessarily have to act all nervous. Don't have to have "virgin" tattooed on their forehead. Not at all.

But when I hear the word virgin...that's what I think. You might recall that my blog started out with the repeated word of

I posted a blog about a month ago about writing male POV. It too was about PERCEPTION. You have to be careful what you write or your characters are perceived a certain way. Same thing here with the whole virgin issue.

And I think I've admitted to personal prejudice in all of this. But I honestly think I'm right too. There is a double standard when it comes to men who are virgins. No matter how enlightened I believe I've become or how enlightened society has become, it's still not okay for a man to be a virgin when it is okay for a woman to be a virgin. And I honestly believe that the vast majority of erotic romance readers don't want to read about virgin heroes.

Now for your story premise. I like it. I really do. However, if it is going to be an erotic romance, you have to have sex and it must be often. Can't be just one time or two times in a full blown novel. Then it becomes mainstream. Keep in mind that erotic romance is just as much about the sex and how it affects the hero and heroine as the romance itself.

So, if you can write a book in which you show some of that virgin-bred-to-be a soldier hero's angst, loneliness, desire to be loved...and get on with the story so that he can start enjoying his sexuality with his woman. Make it hot. Make it often. And keep the interpersonal conflict going on between the two of them to keep readers engaged...well, then this big time agent pretender would definitely request a full.

I kind of get the whole lonely soldier thing. And the sci-fi angle of being bred to be a soldier--just do his job and nothing else? Hmmm...interesting. Until he discovers HER...and ultimately sex.

You may just have yourself a winner, Jocelyn. I say run with it.

Tess MacKall said...

Ahhhh...glad you are going to go with it, Nicole. I think it just might work. Truly. I'd read it.

Unknown said...

Reading this post and these scenarios and I had to play along. As far as famous characters go, Obi wan Kenobi is-was a virgin. The Jedi are monks and his padawan, Anakin, broke rank and vows to be with Padme. I don't know about you all, but I wanted to make Kenobi aka Ewan MacGregor,scream in passion. If you're going have a male virgin, then you can go with the warrior monk. Just saying. I imagine a warrior monk whose managed to overcome temptation through meditation, etc. is forced into a situation where he's supposed to protect/guard a woman who is just pure enough to peak his protective instincts, but sexy enough to really turn him. It would be hot to watch him finally, finally surrender.

I don't normally like virgin heroes, but this was really fun, Tess. Thanks!

Tess MacKall said...

Melissa...the whole warrior-monk thing may just be it. I think that's pretty much akin to what Jocelyn is shooting for too. Her virgin hero being bred for war and yours taking vows or coming by their powers mysteriously.

But we've got to fit him into an erotic romance. Which means, he's got to come out of virgin-warrior-monk mode and into sex mode rather quickly. You're going to have to paint that sexual tension right out of the gate. I worry about how to do that. I know you'd show how conflicted he is, but it would really take a lot of careful thought.

I'm slowly becoming a believer that it can be done. There's not much room to work with. And I'm still not sold that the vast majority of romance readers would read it.

But we may all have inadvertently found the next NEW hero in romancelandia. The VIRGIN HERO.He'd have to be structured tightly--no pun intended there. lol And because of the nature of erotic romance, he'd have to be a fast learner too. LOL So you can't have a story that drags on and on in order to get him to bed and into full Alpha mode.

But, this is another winner, hon. Really think you might could pull this off. My hat is off to you...Jocelyn...and Nicole. Way to work it, girlies!

Kathryn Scannell said...

I won't call this a pitch, because it's not something I have any inclination to write. I think you've overlooked a fairly popular trope.

How many romances are there out there, particularly historicals, in which the heroine seduces a Catholic priest? If he's playing by the rules he's supposed to be a virgin, barring youthful experimentation before he realized he had a calling.

The mere fact that he's forbidden makes him sexy and desirable in many women's eyes. Doesn't work for me personally, but it gets written enough that it obviously works for a lot of readers.

Tess MacKall said...

Well, Kathryn, I think the whole Catholic priest thing--ala Thornbirds--is pretty much mainstream. Could you make it erotic? Yes, I think you could. But for me it would have a bit of an ick factor. However, I can't see making a man of the cloth--at least not a priest--sexy.

There was that one down in Florida or some place that got caught on the beach with his girlfriend last year. I remember him as being attractive. But I also remember thinking that he was simply a pretender. I seriously doubted he'd ever entered the priesthood as a virgin. Not so sure that most of them do anyway. But I honestly didn't think there was anything sexy about that scenario. We're talking about painting a virgin as a sexy man. As sexy as the typical erotic romance Alphas.

The priest type of story would be more plot-driven than romance/character driven, I think. Warrior-monk? There I can see a certain kind of aggression, a man hiding behind vows for whatever reason, but at the same time a real chest-beating Alpha.

With a priest I just can't see that. So for me, at least, the priest would not have a place in erotic romance. I could never see him as being sexy. Never see him as an Alpha.

But that's a really good reach, Kathryn. WOW...I'm really impressed by the ideas I'm reading here. We've got some very talented authors commenting today for sure. I love it when we touch on a subject that makes the brain percolate. lol

Janice Seagraves said...

Hi Tess,

I have a soft sci-fi romance still in the polishing stage, were the heroine ends up with two mates.

Her first mate has been mated before, but his mate died.

The second mate is named, Blade, and he is a virgin in every sense of the word. He hasn't even been kissed yet. But he kisses the heroine when the other mate's back is turned. I think its a sexy scene, but he bites her lip accidentally and gets addicted to her pheromones.

My story is character driven. I'm a pantser, so it has to be.

And yes I think Blade is sexy, snarky and funny. He's a tough guy, but the heroine finds out he's got a good heart. Blade is my favorite character, er, alien in Alien Heart.


Tess MacKall said...

Hiya Janice,

Your guy might work. It would seem that in a sci-fi, possibly apocalyptic setting, new world type of thing we might find THE VIRGIN.

I still want to see these virgins on paper, though. What we've talked about with a couple of these scenarios is very promising. But the execution is all important.

I'm hoping one of you ladies will be emailing me an excerpt of your virgin hero. I'd honestly like to see if I could find one of them sexy. I think it's a great challenge and I hope someone pulls it off for sure.

Good thinking, Janice. Run with it.

Samantha Gentry said...

Interesting concept. After giving it some thought and trying to come up with a scenario, I failed. A male virgin isn't sexy. I want a hero to know what he's doing, even if it is the heroine who seduces him (for whatever reason). She may have been the aggressor, but he knows exactly what and how to do it.

A book I wrote several years ago has a scene where the hero reflects back on his first time when he lost his virginity to an "older woman", he was 15 and she was 17. The prospect of his first time both scared and excited him.

Tess MacKall said...

I agree with you, Samantha. I really don't want a Virgin Hero. Regardless of whether someone can make a hero appear sexy as a virgin, I'll still want my seasoned men. LOL

But some of these authors have come up with concepts that might pull it off. It will definitely be the execution. CAN they make him sexy?

I'd say that what draws me to these concepts is the reasoning they've given for WHY their heroes are virgins. But like I've said, they would need to get him out of virgin mode pretty fast to make the story erotic.

Anny Cook said...

Sorry. I'm gonna go waaaaay out on the other limb. I would LOVE to see a virginal hero with one caveat. He can't be dumber than a box of rocks.

Somehow, VIRGINAL has been equated with ignorant, dumb, naive, even downright stupid. Why?

Why is a "well-seasoned" man any more desirable than a man who values himself enough to be picky and has enough self control and discipline that he doesn't jump everything that wanders by?

Some of the sexiest stuff I've read in the past was about men and women who discovered sex together.

Sadly, much like you said, Tess, the IDEA is rejected out of hand. Why would a writer spend time and effort writing something editors don't want?

Tess MacKall said...

"Why would a writer spend time and effort writing something editors don't want?"

That's pretty much it in a nutshell, Anny.

My personal preference is NO virgin. And since ninety percent of erotic romance writing is about the big ole Alpha, I'd say that most women eat up that seasoned man with a spoon too.

So WHY is it wrong to have a virgin and see him as sexy? Something definitely worth exploring I'd say.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Tess. I have an idea that I've been toying with and I'd love to give it a try sometime. It's been said here that virginity has been equated with naive, etc and I happen to agree. If you let it percolate enough, though, I believe that a sexy virgin hero can be found. As soon as my current writing and working schedule allows, who knows...I'll let you know when I do.

Toni V.S. said...

Thanks for the kind words, Tess. So a little more from me. The series of the Chronicles of Riven the Heretic (Riven being the father of ILke and his brothers) from DOuble Dragon Publishing. Ilke only appears in the last two books of the series, mainly because he isn't born before that. I think I mentioned his older brother keeps sexually insulting him, plus throwing women in his path because of his own jealousy (he thinks his father favors his bastard son) such as ordering servant girls to go to his brother's bedchamber at night, and grateful fathers offering their daughters to the warrior who saves their village, etc., so Ilke does have his share of sexual temptation. He just always manages to talk his way out of it, sometimes to his own mortification (and hates himself for even allowing himself to be tempted and also for not giving in). Since this series is set in an Medieval-type era but on another planet, the priests are a little different from the general meaning of the word, and can be warriors or doctors or scholars, also. Ilke is trained by his father to be a warrior, he's trained by the priests to be a doctor.

I have one other hero, Aric of Blood Sin, who isn't a virgin but does lead a life of celibacy for twelve years because he's been accused of a crime he didn't commit and is exiled. He takes an Exile's Vows--poverty, privation, chastity--until the day he's pardoned and allowed to return home. Everywhere he goes, his chastity is immediately challenged by women and the lad has a long struggle ahead of him, for to give in means he admits he'll never return him. Of course, he finally finds that one woman for whom he'll give up his hopes of going back home but it takes twelve years and many refusals before that happens.

Toni V.S. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anne Rainey said...

LOL, I've never read a virgin hero. I prefer them with a bit of experience. ;-)