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Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Middle-Aged Virgin...Hero?


No, you aren’t having a flashback nor did I mistakenly re-post my January blog.

Last month while examining reader expectations for the shorter stories I used the movie, “The Naked Jungle” as an example and as so often happens was sorely tempted to veer off onto a completely different subject and explore the movie’s very interesting alpha hero.

At nineteen, Christopher Leiningen traveled to South America and spent the next twenty or so years hacking a cocoa plantation out of the jungle. And that’s all he did, day in, day out. He did not go into the jungle in the dark of night and take advantage of the local indigenous females as was the custom of some of his neighbors.

When the movie opens, he’s built an empire and now he wants someone to share his life but he doesn’t want anyone to realize that he’s…a virgin. He has his brother, who knows his predicament, arrange a marriage for him but when his proxy bride arrives she isn’t the biddable female he’s expecting. And she’s a widow.

Leiningen is brash, he’s arrogant and for the first time in a long while he is afraid. He is the Beast who longs to be good enough for Beauty but his fear keeps him trapped within the confines of his own brutish behavior.

There’s a lot of simmering, civilized conflict that’s absolutely delicious because you want this self-made man to realize that this experienced woman is just what he needs. And that’s before the horde of ants (Marabunta!) arrive and cause all kinds of mayhem, including stopping his wife from reluctantly going back to her very civilized life.

The motivation for his being a virgin is very believable because of the time period involved and the ridged code of ethics that Leiningen follows. Yet there is a vulnerability displayed by him that resonates, in my opinion, even better than the virginal heroines of early romance novels.

In this day and age of alpha heroes that can practically make a woman orgasm with a smoldering glance, what believable situation/motivation would make a middle-aged alpha hero sexually inexperienced?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Paris Brandon

http://parisbrandon.com

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parisbrandon.author@parisbrandon.com

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23 comments:

Janice Seagraves said...

I remember your earlier post. I have a few "virgin" males but their alien.

Paris said...

Hi Janice,
Thanks, nice to know that it left an impression:)Love the idea of the alien virgin male, so many possibilities!

Tina Donahue said...

Wasn't this based on the short story "Leiningen versus the Ants" (or something like that)? I recall reading the story in HS.

Takes real talent to write an Alpha hero who's a virgin. That said, Charlton Heston in his heydey - and even later (Planet of the Apes) - was one hot dude. :)

Paris said...

Hey Tina, yep, it was based on that short story which was also a radio play with William Conrad, the guy who was the police commissioner in the movie as Leiningen!

I have to agree, Charlton Heston was one hot dude!

Nightingale said...

I agree with Tina. Writing an alpha virgin is a real challenge and takes a talented writer.

Tony-Paul said...

How about a virgin alpha who's also a vampire? In my new vampire series, Bogdan Strigoi, cousin and steward of the Strigoi ghidaj(leader) has voluntarily kept that pristine condition for 228 years. Being someone who likes everything black and white with no shades of gray, when he realizes he's bisexual, rather than choose one sex over the other, he decides to remain celibate instead. This leads to some very serious complications.

As a child, I remember seeing The Naked Jungle but I guess I was so young, the hero's virginity didn't make an impression. All I was interested in were those terrible ants!

Paris said...

Nightingale,
I agree, it takes a very talented writer and I think one of the things that I appreciated when I got old enough to understand what was going on in the movie, I realized what a perfect motivation it was for so much conflict! Thanks for stopping by:)

Toni V.S. said...

I've explored this theme a couple of times. In the Chronicles of Riven the Heretic series, one of Riven's sons joins the priesthood thus accepting a chaste life, only to fall in love with a village girl and is freed from his vows by the god Ildred (who planned it that way from the beginning, it seems). There's a scene where he asks the girl to marry him by wanting to know if she'll be ashamed to have a virgin husband. (Of course, she says she won't.)

In The kan Ingan Archives, as part of the sentence, the hero is forced to take a vow of chastity with the understanding that if he breaks that vow, his exile will become permanent.

In a WIP, I have a soldier-priest assigned to protect a young woman and told to do whatever she wishes to keep her happy. Of course the first thing she wants is for him to make love to her...

Toni V.S. said...

I've explored this theme a couple of times. In the Chronicles of Riven the Heretic series, one of Riven's sons joins the priesthood thus accepting a chaste life, only to fall in love with a village girl and is freed from his vows by the god Ildred (who planned it that way from the beginning, it seems). There's a scene where he asks the girl to marry him by wanting to know if she'll be ashamed to have a virgin husband. (Of course, she says she won't.)

In The kan Ingan Archives, as part of the sentence, the hero is forced to take a vow of chastity with the understanding that if he breaks that vow, his exile will become permanent.

In a WIP, I have a soldier-priest assigned to protect a young woman and told to do whatever she wishes to keep her happy. Of course the first thing she wants is for him to make love to her...

Toni V.S. said...

How about a virgin alpha who's also a vampire? In my new vampire series, Bogdan Strigoi, cousin and steward of the Strigoi ghidaj(leader) has voluntarily kept that pristine condition for 228 years. Being someone who likes everything black and white with no shades of gray, when he realizes he's bisexual, rather than choose one sex over the other, he decides to remain celibate instead. This leads to some very serious complications.

As a child, I remember seeing The Naked Jungle but I guess I was so young, the hero's virginity didn't make an impression. All I was interested in were those terrible ants!

Paris said...

Tony-Paul,
Your story sounds wonderful and yes, I can imagine all kinds of conflict! Good luck with the series:)

Yes, I saw the movie as a child and remember wondering why she had to have never been married. Thought he was just being arrogant about always having to have something new that had never been owned by anyone else. Didn't get the subtle subtext, lol!

Jami Gold said...

Interesting! I remember your earlier post too, so I'm glad you had the disclaimer right away. :)

I have this issue in one of my stories, and I've solved it in a similar way to what we see here in the movie and what some of your other commenters have mentioned. My hero is a mix of extreme workaholic with strong morals, like Heston's character, along with an idealistic streak that makes him see in black and white. The heroine, of course, is VERY gray. :) In addition, he's a tortured hero and the whole concept of sex touches on things so deep in his psyche that he's blocked it out. He doesn't recognize why he does what he does, so he can't even choose to change his behavior.

Sandy said...

What a unique premise for a hero. Sounds great, Paris. Will definitely read this one.

Paris said...

Jaimie,
I'm so glad I added that disclaimer, lol! Your story sounds very interesting, thanks for sharing:)

Paris said...

Sandy,
I haven't written this story but several people here have mentioned the treatments that they've given some of their stories and I have to say that I'm intrigued!

Thanks for stopping by:)

jean hart stewart said...

Unique idea, which makes it fascinating in itself. Haven't done this one yet, gotta squirrel it away for the future. Lots of possibilities.

Cara Marsi said...

Very interesting concept-a male virgin in this day and age. There aren't many male or female virgins over the age of 15 anymore. The only time I read about a male virgin was Outlander by Diana Galbaldon. Remember she travels back to the 17th century and marries Jamie, a virgin? She has a great line in there about how male virgins are underrated. Jamie was very enthusiastic.

Paris said...

Jean,
It is a great concept! Looking forward to your take on the subject:)

Paris said...

Cara,
I can see where enthusiasm would work in his favor:)

Adele Dubois said...

Paris--Unfortunately, the movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin keeps coming to mind, and I can't get it out of my head! Wish I had a better scenario to offer.

Best--Adele

Paris said...

Adele,
LOL, I actually watched that movie in anticipation of using it to compare how it was handled. Decided on a different angle:)

Thanks!

Liz said...

okay NOW my imagination is running WILD for my next WIP...."orgasm with a smoldering glance" indeed (very funny)
thanks for this
Liz

Paris said...

Liz,
Glad I could help, lol! Looking forward to reading that story:)

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