Sunday, April 6, 2008

Why Do We (Females) Like the Bad Guys?

I've been watching the Star Wars saga today with my husband.
The thing that struck me, and I have found it in romances, movies, even in real life.
The tendency of females to desire the bad guy. Not Villains mind you, just Bad Guys.
Anikin Skywalker was exciting before he actually turned to the Dark Side and became a villain.
Hans Solo was a Bad Guy - gambler, smuggler, playboy, but not a villain.

Don't get me wrong. My husband is a wonderful man. He is one of the good men. But when I watch a movie or read a book, my pulse beats a little faster and my pupils dilate with emotion as I watch or read about a bad guy.
Why is that?

From what I can tell from my limited experience and from what I could find on the internet, these seem to be the main reasons:

  1. Bad Guys are exciting because they are pushing the envelope of what's acceptable.
  2. Bad Guys present an aura of confidence because he ignores social constraints.
  3. Bad Guys have a "edge"
  4. Bad Guys keep you entertained and on your toes.
  5. Bad Guys have an appetite for life.
  6. Their hair is a little ruffled, their eyes twinkle with mischief
  7. Bad Guys are outspoken, confident, secure in what they want, and very independent.
  8. Bad Guys are not needy.
  9. He is unavailable.
  10. Bad Guys are always very hot and dangerous.
  11. And last but not least Good Guys are boring.

Now I personally like my bad guys to stay in movies and in romance books. Real life Bad Guys have a tendency to create chaos in the lives of the female friends I have. Jail time, unwanted pregnancies, heartbreak all come from real life Bad Guys.

Happily, if you visit Cerridwen Press or Ellora's Cave you will find plenty of romance novels that offer you heroes with just the right combination of outspoken, confident, secure, very independent, handsome beyond imagination with hair that is a little ruffled and eyes that twinkle with mischief.

Tell us if you like Bad Guys and why. Do you like them in real life or in books and movies or both? And do you agree with my list?

Charlene Leatherman

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