Greetings, and welcome to the first edition of Dr. Lovinkind’s Guide to Common Romance Medicine. I studied for seven years (three of those disguised as a footman!) at Woodiwiss University’s Romantic Medical School and earned my residency at New York’s famous St. Kinsale’s Secret Baby Research Hospital. I’ve since opened my own practice to offer exemplary medical care to plucky orphans, bluestockings with secret pasts, and scarred Dukes with limps. While I wish to remain anonymous in order to protect the identity of my own patients, I am more than willing to share my medical expertise on the unique nature of Romance Medicine.
The romance protagonist’s skull is less vulnerable to head trauma than a regular person’s due to a thin, extra layer of bone (resulting in the natural “hard-headed stubbornness” of the romance hero and heroine). However, a protagonist occasionally does sustain brain damage. The most common result of this is amnesia.
The portion of the romance protagonist’s brain that houses memory is particularly fragile and vulnerable to injury. Amnesia (whether psychologically or physically inflicted) is an incredibly common affliction for romance heroes and heroines, even though it is rarely permanent. Almost all romance protagonists experience memory problems in their lifetimes, resulting in extreme gullibility, a vulnerability to Big Misunderstandings, and a tendency to jump to negative conclusions—particularly towards protagonists of the opposite sex.
The most indicative case study for this is Judith McNaught’s Until You, in which the heroine, Sherry, suffers severe head trauma from a falling crate and wakes up with no memory of her former life. Her hero, Stephen, similarly experiences memory problems by forgetting that he wasn’t always A Misogynist Jerkface back in the previous book, Whitney, My Love.
Another frequent result of head trauma for romantic protagonists is sudden blindness. Case studies for this condition include The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne and Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros, in which the novels’ heroine and hero, respectively, are rendered blind due to head trauma.
This romance physician has discovered, however, that a poison can often be its own cure—in the case of romance protagonists, the effects of head trauma are often handily reversed by more head trauma. Both Annique from Spymaster and Gabriel from Yours regain their eyesight after a second bump to the noggin.
This discovery has rejuvenated my efforts to prove that the cure for cancer is simply more cancer.
For a romance heroine who wants to become pregnant, the best course of action is to have sex with an Alpha Male. If a heroine wants to triple her chances of pregnancy, she should do so while simultaneously convincing herself that it is only a one-night stand and she’ll never have to see him again. A romance heroine’s body responds to these thoughts by emitting a special “Matchmaking Hormone” that kick-starts ovulation.
Having sex with non-Alpha males can have the opposite effect on a heroine. Take this case study: in Sophia Nash’s A Dangerous Beauty, the heroine never conceived after eight years with an abusive husband who impregnated just about every other woman in the vicinity. But after two months with the hero, she conceives twins. This leads to a condition known in the romantic medical community as the Barren Baby Epilogue.
Such inconsistent fertility is perfectly natural in romance; according to Dr. Theophilus Akin’s study of romantic primate behavior Legitimate Apes, when a heroine is forced to engage in sex with a non-Alpha male, the romantic female body “has a way of shutting all that down.” However, like most prophylactic methods, it’s not 100% perfect, so the odd romance heroine might wind up with a Plot Moppet if she isn’t too careful.
Due to their unique romantic physiognomy, romance protagonists rarely require artificial prophylactics. Birth control, when it is used, is for the benefit of their partners who may not be romantic protagonists.
As mentioned previously, the sexual organs of a romance heroine are naturally equipped to prevent implantation by non-Alpha seed. This also applies to sexually-transmitted diseases. A special chemical produced by the romance heroine’s vagina, known for its unusual, light-reflective properties, acts as a barrier for all bacteria introduced to the vagina from a non-Alpha source – and doubles as a potent aphrodisiac when applied to the romance hero’s sex organ, resulting in the Sparkly Hoo-ha Effect.
For romance heroes, their natural protection against disease is much simpler to explain: their raw masculinity is simply so potent that any and all bacteria that come into contact with their sex organ instantly die of either terror or ecstasy. Many romance heroines should consider the Alpha Male Penis as an all-natural alternative to Purell.
Do you have any questions for Dr. Lovinkind or wish to share your theories and findings on similar romantic ailments?
Elizabeth Vail hails from Alberta, Canada. A book reviewer and aspiring YA writer, she currently runs the review blog Gossamer Obsessions under the screenname AnimeJune.