I can still remember the day I heard that men, in the old days—I mean, really old days, would bite the ear lobe of their lovers whilst de-flowering them. Sounds...barbaric.
But, if you think about it, men often do things that take us out of our normal, or push us into a different mindset. Like when he said he likes short dresses, so you go out and buy ten new mini dresses. At times, it’s not even what he said, it’s more what he made you feel while doing a thing, and the slightest insinuation can make you want to try something new. I don’t mean in a bad way, like encouraging a mate to do something dangerous, but in a way that is adventurous and outside of the traditional manner of doing things.
Since art imitates life, it’s no wonder that as readers we find outselves drawn to heroes that push the envelope on their heroines' ‘normal’, and thereby awaken something inside of these women that makes them feel more desirable, more confident, more open to new experiences. And if we put this in terms of, say, ice cream, these heroines go from vanilla to rocky road or wild cherry.
The book at the very top of my list of case-in-points would have to be the first novel I read in 2013 that made me pull an all-nighter: Vanilla on Top by C.J. Ellisson. In the book, nice girl Heather is encouraged by her friends to attend a speed-dating event, where she meets Tony. He’s hot, of course, and she is kind of hot, but she's not awakened just yet. Kind of like a lot of us, right?