In a romance, your reader has to fall in love with your characters. It helps if at least one of those characters—usually the more dominant or masculine one—is positively drool-worthy.
What makes a romance character sexy? For masculine characters (my specialty as an M/M romance author), rock-hard muscles and a height over six feet tend to be the norm. But an attractive physical appearance isn’t the only thing that makes a character appealing, and by itself, it isn’t enough.
The below character traits list features several positive character traits for your romance heroes and heroines to embody so that they can charm their love interests—and your readers.
There’s a reason so many romances feature alpha males (though be careful to keep your character out of “alphahole” territory). A person who knows what they want and isn’t afraid to go after it is sexy, especially when the thing they’re going after is their love interest.
Many people find confidence attractive. Like assertiveness, this trait can go too far, but when a person just knows they’re sexy or have a great personality, it’s easier for others to know it too.
Pretty much everyone wants a partner they can depend on. One way to show your character is dependable is to show them supporting your main character through an ordeal or otherwise helping them out.
A large number of romance readers refuse to read romances with cheating, and that’s because faithfulness is sexy. Being faithful means honoring one’s commitments. If your polyamorous lovers made an agreement not to stray from their triad, for example, it’s sexy if they honor that.
Daddy kink, anyone? Or maybe your other main character is a single parent in need of a partner. Then paternal instincts will be very attractive to them, and the reader who seeks these kinds of stories will also find fatherly traits attractive. You might prefer to think of this trait in non-parental terms. Maybe your character is someone others can look up to. Or maybe they work with kids professionally or are a dedicated older sibling or other relative.
Funny/Has a Sense of Humor
This is one of those cliché traits everybody says they want in a partner. But you have to admit—it’s nice to be with someone who can make you laugh. Even the darkest story needs a little comic relief, and your main character could be the thing that provides that.
Trust is the foundation for every solid relationship. If your character tells the truth and has integrity in their actions, their love interest and your audience will be more likely to fall for them.
There’s nothing more attractive than a partner who cares about your feelings. If your main character considers their love interest’s happiness and is thoughtful about how their actions affect them, your readers are more likely to fall for them right along with your other main character.
A character who’s passionate about their love interest can be very attractive, especially when that passion lights up the bedroom. But they can also be passionate about their job or other activity. Maybe your characters share the same passion, and that’s what originally brings them together.
This goes hand in hand with dependability and fatherliness, but another way a character can be responsible is by taking responsibility for their actions. This is a great trait for your characters to develop. Maybe they aren’t taking responsibility for their own crap at the beginning of the story, but they probably are when they’re doing whatever it takes for love.