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!