Aug 18 2014 2:30pm

Men in Uniform: Hot or Not?

The Girl He Knows by Kristi RoseToday we're joined by author Kristi Rose, whose The Girl He Knows is out now.

The Girl He Knows is about a man-in-uniform who happens to be the older brother of the heroine's best friend! And then one morning they wake up in the same bed. Oops! Of course they think they're embarking on a “no strings attached” relationship, but it becomes so much more.

Kristi is here to talk about men in uniform, and what makes them so delicious.

Thanks, Kristi! 

When I think of a man in a uniform, I think military and HOTTIE and this is what my mind’s eye sees:

Chris Pratt and more as Navy SEALs in Zero Dark ThirtyI’m certainly biased; I’m the spouse of a service member. I know firsthand what these guys sacrifice and maybe that’s why I think they’re sexy. These guys pictured were SEALs. That’s top of the food chain for me.

Hot man in uniform makes me envision a guy (insert SEAL) who has lots of tats and carries pounds of tactile gear. He’s able to carry you, over his shoulder, while engaged in a fistfight and shooting pirates or aliens or shapeshifters.

All at the same time.

After which, he’ll deliver you to safety, kiss you soundly, and proceed to cook you dinner, vacuum, and scrub the toilets. That’s sexy, right there.

Apparently those of us who like men in uniforms (AKA MIU) are not the norm. Lots of people don’t like uniforms and think it diminishes a man’s hotness. Clearly there’s a difference of opinion, creating the inevitable ‘Team.“
Like Team Edward or Team Jacob.

Team Morelli or Team Ranger?

Team Boxers or Team Briefs (or for the renegades—Team Commando)

When asked this questions on social media sites, I encountered some interesting responses. The standard answer was that MIU were not any sexier than, say, a man in a suit and tie. Many complaints about MIU were the short haircuts these men sported. I don’t understand this. But I like bald guys. Others stated they didn’t like the organization the uniform represented. Fair enough.

With preferences regarding MIU being split, how does this affect books about MIU and their covers.

Lucy Monroe’s Close Quarters cover tells us a lot. Smokin’ guy + camouflage pants and dog tags = hot man in uniform (HMIU). The cover advertises the military theme and caters to those of us on Team HMIU.

Close Quarters by Lucy Monroe

Jessica Scott’s books are 100% military and her covers reflect that in various ways, again catering to those of us who like HMIU.

It's Always Been You by Jessica Scott

Yet, in Jill Shalvis’s Animal Magnetism series, three of the five heroes served their county. However, the covers don’t reflect that even though it’s plays a part in the book. My guess is it’s because the men have moved on to other non-uniform jobs.

Heather Ashby is a military romance writer and there’s no denying her books contain MIU. Her covers reflect that. It’s up for you to decide if they’re hot or not. I know where I fall. 

Forgive and Forget by Heather Ashby

On Amazon’s bestseller list for contemporary romance only one cover gave the slightest hint of a MIU. If the other books had a MIU, that information could only be found from the blurb. Of the top 20 military romance books on Amazon, only 6 had covers that indicated HMIU that was military. Others in that category were either fireman, cops, or in a motorcycle club. Scroll past the top twenty and racecar drivers started popping up. Looks like the pool of HMIU just got larger, right? 

By definition a uniform is simply an identifier of someone’s profession, organization or rank. Therefore, when we ask if the man in uniform is hot shouldn’t we consider any profession that has a specific dress code? Cops, fireman, UPS, mailmen, racecar driver, priest, knights, professional athletes, superheroes, or even Scotsman (Outlander, anybody)? How do those of you on Team Not-Hot feel now?

In an article posted in the Los Angeles Times (1995), psychology professor Midge Wilson calls the positive reaction to a MIU the M-Factor: Masculinity.

She says, “A man in uniform taps into . . . father figures, heroism, protection and power. He also suggests a chance for excitement and adventure.” I think it’s safe to say this statement could be applied to fireman and Superheroes.  Maybe not so much for priest or the UPS guy. But, that’s just me.

Many of these uniformed men have physically demanding jobs and if they’re in the military they have fitness requirements as well. Pair those, and the results are usually a swoon worthy body. For those MIU who are in the armed services or are public servants their uniform signifies a commitment to something bigger than themselves and that alone gives them an air of chivalry. Hmm, a modern day Knight in shiny Kevlar.

But do these uniforms increase the hottie factor? Let us ponder this as we look at some pictures of men in various uniforms.

Top Gear driverIs this sexy?

Not so much.
No matter how he poses. Even if, while driving a Prius, he can outrun a bad guy in a Ferrari. Sorry, Stig. Maybe if you unzipped your jacket a tad?

But this is sexy and hot and mouth watering and….

Daniel Craig in Cowboys vs. Aliens

So, if he was driving the above Prius…looking like this? Holy Moly. Shut the front door. Cowboys. That’s a uniform, right?

What about cops?

This is what you see on the streets. In Italy. Is it sexy?

Carabinieri image by Charlie Dave via Flickr
Carabinieri image courtesy of Charlie Dave via Flickr

The image says they’ll protect us, especially in a duel. But…

Meh. Maybe if they were in SWAT gear?

This is what cops hope you see when they pull you over or you stand next to them in line at the bank.

Armed with Steele by Kyra JacobsWhat’s so hot about this guy? Definitely his body but the gear does it too. It tells me he’s a good protector. He’s strong. Brave. Much like the good psychologist said earlier. Not much uniform on this guy but I get the SWAT vibe and that ratchets up the hot factor. My apologies to the cops who walk the beat.

What does all this mean? Just what you think. HMIU is a personal preference. Like turning your cup of hot black tea into an Earl Grey Latte (with foamy milk and vanilla syrup). 

But what do you think, considering the definition is not limited to military, are MIU hot or not? And what uniform does or doesn’t do it for you?

Learn more or order a copy of The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose, out now:

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & Noble



Kristi Rose was raised in central Florida on boiled peanuts and iced tea.  She’s lived by an active volcano, almost fallen off a mountain, and eloped in Arkansas. Today, as a proud military wife and mother of two, she’s been lucky enough to travel the world. No matter where she is, she enjoys watching people and wondering about their story? That’s what Kristi likes to write about: everyday people, the love that brings them together, and their journey getting there. Kristi is a member of RWA.

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Lege Artis
1. LegeArtis
Oh, MIU are my weekness.
I think I identify uniform with competence, and that's a huge turn on for me. You know...something like this practice:

2. keen23
MIU are one of my least favorite tropes. Cowboys are my absolute least favorite, followed by MIU. It just does nothing for me. Cops, firemen, SEALS, Rangers, etc all are blergh to me.
Maggie Boyd
3. maggieboyd66
MIU are definitely of interest to me. The book still has to be well written but if it is well written and contains a HMIU? Bliss!
4. lauralee1912
As I mentioned in another thread last week, my husband has accused me of having a SEAL addiction. I agree with you, maggieboyd66, a well written book with a HMIU is bliss. The hero has to be honorable and have professional competence to go with the uniform, whether he is a SEAL, a cowboy, a police officer, or the hot UPS guy who used to make deliveries at my workplace. Nice essay, Kristi, and I like bald guys, too. :)
Kristi Rose
5. KristiRose
Thanks Lauralee1912. I use check out the UPS guys until my brother-in-law became one and totally ruined it for me. :-)
Kristi Rose
6. KristiRose
LegeArtis- WOW- those guys rock! Evenif they are wearing masks- HOT!

Keen23- Thanks for sharing. Do you find the uniform makes a guy lookless attractive? I have a friend who thinks uniforms are a total turn off- evven if the body in it is HOT.

Maggieboyd66- AMEN
7. jymckay
MIU are definitely hot, hot, hot! Add some tats, sweat and dirt from all their hard work and I'm in heaven!

Love the article Kristi!

Kristi Rose
8. KristiRose
Jess ;-)
I agree- 100%. If they cooked dinner while in their uniform- that would be an additional check in the hot department. I like to see hot guys being domestic- I prefer this to happen while they are in their uniforms. <3
9. DianeN
I'm totally addicted to men in uniform, mostly thanks to Suzanne Brockmann's memorably hot SEALs. I'll take a Marine over a billionaire any day of the week, and I'm definitely not immune to either firefighters or police! And the shorter the hair, the more I like them--unless of course they're Special Forces on active assignment!

As US engagement in active war situations around the world has wound down in recent years I'm noticing there seem to be fewer military HMIU in romance novels, and that makes me sad.
Kristi Rose
10. KristiRose
I totally agree. It seems the HMIU is out of fashion.
I, too, love Brockmann's SEALs. But I'm a sucker for those guys anyway:-) So, knowing that you like HMIU- would you read a romance about a HMIU but a wounded warrior? Maybe with a prosthestic? Or does that go to far?
I'd love to know what you think.
11. allyson55
Military uniforms are definitely hot. Army, Navy, Air Force, SEALs, especially officers, firemen, cowboys - yum! Police, not so much.
The book 'Shoulda Been A Cowboy' by Lorelei James has Cameron McKay, who served in the military, return home as an amputee and get a job in the Sherriff's office. He's gorgeous and, of course, gets the girl in the end.
Kristi Rose
12. KristiRose
Thanks for the tip on the book Allyson55. I have several friends coming home as wounded warriors and I have an incredible urge to make a hero a wounded warrior.
I see we have the same taste in uniforms:-)
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