Why is it that romantic tales are almost always set in a bygone age? Is it that we have lost hope for romance in our own age?
I believe that men are just as interested in romance as women- it is just that we express our self's in practical ways rather than symbolic ones. Women tend to prefer a flamboyant style or romance with champagne and twenty four red roses- even if she does not like champagne. With women it is always the thought that counts while with men it is the practical result.
Romance fiction relies upon a sense of mystery towards the opposite sex. The woman is generally a virgin and comes from a sheltered background. She knows little of men and the hero knows little of women. He is a little older and often has a dark history that makes him interesting. The hero generally comes from a all male world such as the navy or the world of business so that he can regard the heroine as a fragile and exotic flower. He becomes obsessed with her because he lacks the feminine in his life, does not understand it and yet craves it.
Where is this mystery now? How can a man and a woman see one another as mystery when we are told every day that men and women are essentially similar? Where is the mystery when we are told that a woman feels the same emotions and experiences the world as we do? What can possibly be discovered apart from sex?
This is the root cause of the over sexing of society- the idea that men and women have nothing to discover in one another but their bodies. Once we have accepted this simple lie then there is nothing else to the opposite sex that is remotely interesting.