Shameless Saturday: The Boys of my Pre-Teen Dreams

 Welcome back to Shameless Saturday where I come clean and air my guilty pleasures...

So you all know I have an appreciation for a good-looking celebrity--hence the boyfriend of the week posts and that whole romance writing gig I do. :) However, this is by no means a new obsession. Oh, no. When I was 13, my room was literally wall-papered (including the ceiling) with pages ripped out from the likes of Big Bopper and Teen Beat. (Much to my parents' chagrin. I think they're still trying to cover up the stains that sticky putty left on the walls.)

And it didn't end there. Me and my best friend, Tammi, also created this whole fictional world where we were each dating our respective crushes. Pretty normal, right? Um, well, is it also normal that we would write each other letters as if we were truly dating said crushes? Yeah, didn't think so. I'd like to think those elaborate letters detailing the scandalous (i.e. kissing and holding hands) exploits of me and my boyfriend Joe McIntyre (of New Kids on the Block) were the start of my romance writing career.

So I thought today I would honor those baby-faced boys who started me down this path. 

Welcome to the walls of my pre-teen bedroom...



So this was the exact poster I had on my wall and it was my FAVORITE. *sigh* How I loved him...

(He's still hot for the record--even if I grew up to be taller than him, lol.)



Jonathan Brandis was second only to Joe. I fell in lurve with him in that movie Ladybugs and then SeaQuest. However, looking at this picture makes me sad. Jonathan, unfortunately, struggled in his career once he became an adult and in 2003 took his own life. His friends said he'd been suffering from depression over his career. : (  R.I.P. Jonathan



Eddie Furlong in his Terminator 2 days. My first glimpse of how good a bad boy could be. :)



Elijah Wood pre-Lord of the Rings, though frankly, he doesn't look all that different now, lol.



And another New Kid because frankly, I was obsessed. (I still heart them.) And lemme tell you, Jordan has gone from cute to mega hot with age. I think he may make an appearance on Boyfriend of the Week one of these days.


Alright, so there they are--the boys who stole my little pre-teen heart. So, fess up, who was on your walls? 

Boys and Girls Are Different: Fantasy and Fictional Crushes


Image by Scented_Mirror (click pic for link)

Girls and boys are different. I know, shocking revelation, right? But seriously, on a regular basis I'm reminded how very different we are. 

Last night on American Idol, Scotty McCreary won the whole thing. I honestly wasn't that invested anymore since my favorites (James Durbin and Pia Toscano) had already been voted off. But hubs declared that he knew it was going to be Scotty a few weeks ago because of the "girl crush" factor--meaning Scotty had cornered the Bieber/preteen vote and no other segment of the population had a chance of overcoming the force that is girls obsessively crushing.

Basically, he believed that even if Lauren Elena was the hottest looking teenage girl ever, teen guys (or any guys) wouldn't get that fervent and vote 200 times online for her. Dudes just don't do that.

This then started the conversation about how girls (and grown women) get all swoony over certain actors, musicians, etc. and that he just doesn't "get" that. Of course, my boyfriend of the week posts (and romance novels) were used as an example.

So here's the basic summary of the conversation:

Dude logic (hubs): Why do girls want to obsess and drool over people like Jared Leto and Alexander Skarsgard when they know a) they will never actually be with that person and b) you have a husband or boyfriend you already love at home?

Chick logic (me): It's fun. And it's a group activity--girls swooning over boys together. And women are largely fantasy based in their sexuality. Guys are too, but whereas guys are more about the visual fantasy (some random naked girl in a p0rn video), girls are more relationship/character/idea based (we want to KNOW about the person, they are sexy not just because of the way they look but because  of the character they play or image they portray, how they act, etc.) I'm sure this has an evolutionary basis of men wanting to spread their jeans, er, genes and girls wanting to lock down a guy to kill bears for them or whatever.

Dude logic: But I don't look like Jared Leto/Ian Somerhalder/etc. So does that mean, you really want someone that looks like them vs. someone who looks like me?

Chick logic: One has nothing to do with the other. And Jared and Ian would be too short for me in real life anyway. :) It's not about that. Oh and those men I swoon over in romance novels--they don't even exist. So it's not about reality. (Plus, my hubby's hot, so really, he has no worries there, lol.)

Dude logic: But if I were swooning over Carrie Underwood or something, that wouldn't bother you?

Chick logic: I've accepted that I will never look like Carrie Underwood. She's not my competition. Like her if you want. (I have a little girl crush on her anyway, so couldn't blame him.)

Dude: Y'all are complicated.


So what this all comes down to for me is that guys need not get their ego bruised when women pick up a fictional crush or read their romance novels. Those men are not competition. It's just fantasy fun. And for any guy who is married to a woman who reads romance novels, he probably learns pretty quickly that this  habit does nothing but benefit him. Here's the deets from a great article (Readers of Romance Have Better Sex Lives) on the topic:

Psychology Today states that women who read romance novels make love with their partners 74% more often than women who don't. Why? Because, according to a scientific study conducted by Harold Leitenberg of the The Journal of Sex Research and Psychological Bulletin, when women fantasize frequently (as they do when they read romance novels), they have sex more often, have more fun in bed, and engage in a wider variety of erotic activities.
Many therapists now go so far as to recommend reading steamy romance stories to boost a woman's sex drive. Their reasoning: "taking part in enjoyable activities such as walking with a partner, listening to music, having a glass of wine, taking a bath, or reading a romance novel can help put women in the mood for sex. These activities can help women shift into their "sex self" from their role as mother, wife, employer, or employee," says Carol Rinkleib Ellison, PhD, a psychologist and author of Women's Sexualities. Christiane Northrup, M.D. of Women's Health Wisdom also says: "Consider reading novels or renting movies that contain sexual content to help you get in the mood."
For those of us that enjoy a steamy romance novel on a regular basis--this is not new news. We've been trying to tell mainstream nay-sayers this all along. We women are turned on by "emotional stimulation" the way men are aroused visually. Though more and more romance authors are leaning toward more erotic romance, women don't always require graphic sex scenes to become aroused. After reading an emotionally intense love scene, a woman feels more open to the "idea" of making love--or "in the mood" for sex.


So there you have it. Reading romance novels is good for all involved (so go pre-order mine now ;) Link in the right hand corner.) And hold on to your hats if anybody every figures out how to really do p0rn videos with a real plot and good acting, tapping into that emotional component for women. The p0rn industry could look very different...because men haven't cornered the market on dirty minds. Women just haven't found many films that can live up to the fantasy reels we can create in our brains or in our books. 

So what do you think of this discussion? How do you view the differences? Does your significant other ever call you out on your fictional crushes or romance reading?