Women adore men who frown. It’s actually been proven. Bizarre? Yes. Surprising? No.
Throughout literature and history, generations of women have flocked toward the ‘brooding hunk’ – the attractive but menacing romantic hero. Gentlemen, knowing why this phenomenon exists will help you. Ladies, knowing why brooding hunks are not always your best bet is equally valuable.
Here’s a list of famously tall, dark and handsome brooders who you may benefit from studying:
Satan (Yes, You Read That Right)
In Paradise Lost, Satan is a swashbuckling, charismatic, free-willed rebel, who famously says, “Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven.”? Women like leaders. We’re not saying you should join forces with evil and disgrace mankind, but still, be interesting. Show that you think for yourself.
Satan comes with some pretty serious baggage. Eve was easily fooled by a devilish smile and a shiny apple, and look what happened to the world. Satan may have a wicked wink, but he’s still responsible for the downfall of the entire human race. Men who seem evil probably are evil.
King Henry VIII
King Henry VIII doesn’t automatically seem like the sort of romancer you want to emulate (at least, let’s hope not). But as a young man, Henry VIII was apparently the Johnny Depp of the English monarchy, with an “extremely fine calf.”?
King Henry VIII: Brooding Hunk?
No matter how twisted and sordid his personal life became, Henry VIII was once a great lover of music, dancing, sports and celebration. He was intelligent, well-read, and intellectually curious. Rule of thumb: wit, sophistication, and cleverness will always attract women. (Of course, so will the throne of England. And shapely calves.)
Just because a king is attentive to you one day does not mean he won’t behead you the next. Power addles the mind. (So does jousting, by the way—the History Channel reported that one accident in 1536 left Henry brain damaged). And remember: if a man commits adultery with you, chances are that he’ll also cheat on you. Anne Boleyn began her ill-fated romance as Henry VIII’s mistress. He married Anne and then had an affair with her sister, Mary. He later beheaded Anne, and married Jane Seymour one day later.
Most of the women you will date have read Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, which recounts a twisted romance between two lovers on the bleak English moors. Heathcliff, the romantic lead, is universally known as gruff, unpleasant, rude, and somewhat demonic. Yet for some reason, women still seem to love him. Here’s why—Heathcliff may be surly and unpleasant, but his devotion to Cathy is almost inhuman. Learn from the one good quality Heathcliff possesses: his ability to love—genuinely.
Never, ever date Heathcliff. Seriously, don’t do it. Just because a man is nice to you does not mean he is good for you. Word of advice? Pick a guy who won’t ruin the lives of everyone around you. If your boyfriend is insane, possessive, and obsessed, your relationship is not going to grow. Wuthering Heights brilliantly illustrates the failure of a love that cannot evolve: both Heathcliff and Cathy end up unhappy, and dead.
Byron was almost literally responsible for emergence of the term ‘brooding hunk.’ (Academics call it the ‘Byronic hero.’) He was a brilliant, moody poet, whose very name sparked interest and intrigue. Want to emulate his appeal to women? Write stunning love letters, notes, and poetry. (Be sure it’s good, though. Byron, for all his personal problems, was one of the finest poets in English literature). Be passionate, and attract women with a fierce, intensely artistic wit.
Lord Byron, c. 1824
Don’t fall in love with the man who’s literally written the book on being a libertine. Also, don’t fall for a man whose most famous quote is: “Man’s love is of man’s life a thing apart, ‘tis a woman’s whole existence.?
It’s fine to fall for a tortured artist, but be careful you know about all the demons lurking in his closet. In real life, Byron was a serial womanizer who left his conquests either suffering from Byron-induced insanity, or else accusing him of sodomy, violence, adultery and incest (all valid charges, by the way). Want a real portrait of Byron? Check out the film, starring Johnny Lee Miller. (Warning: this is not a date movie.)