Update: Results of the Romance Family Feud Survey!

Zoe Archer was kind enough to write up the survey results from the Romance Family Feud game at Romantic Times. I'd posted a link to the survey a few weeks ago, and the answers during the game itself were so funny, I asked if they'd be willing to share. Thank you!! 

A big thanks to everyone who participated in the Romance Reader Family Feud survey we posted a few weeks ago.  We had over 575 responses!  The Family Feud game at RT turned out to be more fun than is possibly legal in several states, and we have you to thank (or blame) for it.  The hosts of the game were Tessa Dare, Vivian Arend, Nico Rosso, Louisa Edwards, and myself.  We laughed, we screamed, we made my husband Nico blush.  Pretty damn awesome.    

I promised that I’d post the results, especially for those who weren’t able to make it to RT.  So, without further ado, here are the findings.  Because y’all were very, very creative, I’m only able to post the top five answers for each question, so if you notice that something’s missing, that doesn’t mean it didn’t show up on the survey, it just didn’t rank as high as the other answers.



Name the Sexiest Profession for a Romance Hero:

1.       Military (including SEAL, Spec Ops, Special Forces, &c.)
2.       Fireman
3.       Nobleman (can you be a professional duke?)
4.       Law Enforcement
5.       Cowboy/Rancher

Name the Best Place to Read a Romance Novel:

1.       Bed
2.       Couch
3.       Beach
4.       Bathtub
5.       Anywhere

Name a Person You Don’t Want to Catch You Reading a Romance Novel:

1.       Boss
2.       Mom
3.       No One (romance readers are proud of their reading!)
4.       Dad
5.       Children
Special bonus: three people answered “Rick Santorum.”

Name a Feature on a Romance Novel Cover that First Catches Your Eye:

1.       Chest/Mantitty
2.       The Color
3.       Author Name
4.       Abs
5.       Clothes (mostly the ladies’ gowns that can’t seem to stay on their shoulders)
It’s a special kind of joy to hear Tessa Dare say “mantitty.”

Name Another Word for Climax:

1.       Orgasm
2.       Peak
3.       Come (thank God no one spelled this as “cum”)
4.       Release
5.       Explode

Name an Article of Clothing that is Difficult to Remove:

1.       Corset
2.       Bra
3.       Jeans
4.       Boots
5.       Pantyhose
Spanx was also a popular answer, but not quite enough to make it into the Top 5. Oh, control garments, how we love and hate you!

Name a Term of Endearment a Romance Hero would Call His Beloved:

1.       Sweetheart
2.       Darling
3.       Babe/Baby (many in the audience rolled their eyes at this one)
4.       Love
5.       Honey

When You’re Finished Reading a Romance Novel, What do You do With the Book:

1.       Keep
2.       Give Away/Pass On
3.       Return to Library
4.       Reread
5.       Delete from e-reader

Name a Food That Goes Perfectly With Reading Romance:

1.       Chocolate (by a huge margin)
2.       Strawberries
3.       Ice Cream
4.       Chips
5.       Popcorn
Or you could write about food and romance, like Louisa Edwards, and have the best of all worlds.  Have you seen the abs of the chef heroes on the covers of her books?  Maybe this will mean Curtis Stone will start showing up without a shirt.  One can only hope…

Name Something You’d Find Next to a Hero’s Bed:

1.       Condoms
2.       Book
3.       Gun
4.       Cellphone
5.       Lube
Special prize goes to whomever gave this answer: “a picture of his adopted child that he rescued from a fire.”

Name the Sexiest Shoes a Romance Hero Can Wear:

1.       Cowboy Boots
2.       Hessian Boots
3.       Motorcycle/Shitkicker Boots
4.       Combat Boots
5.       Barefoot
The overwhelming preference for boots makes me love every last one of you.

Name an Adjective Often Used to Describe a Heroine:

1.       Feisty
2.       Beautiful
3.       Spunky
4.       Willowy
5.       Curvy
Everyone at the game proposed that “strong” and “intelligent” become the go-to words for heroines from now on.

Name the Most Common Job for a Romance Heroine:

1.       Secretary/Administrative Assist.
2.       Author
3.       Teacher
4.       Journalist
5.       Aristocrat

Name Something You’d Find in a Romance Heroine’s Reticule or Purse:

1.       Handkerchief
2.       Lipstick
3.       Gun
4.       Condoms
5.       Money

Name Something that Gets You in the Mood For Romance:

1.       Alcohol
2.       Book
3.       Music
4.       Candles
5.       Chocolate
Another popular answers: no kids, which may explain the Adorable But Conspicuously Absent Moppet Syndrome so frequent in romance novels.

Name a Synonym For the Hero’s Manly Bits:

1.       Cock
2.       Manhood
3.       Rod
4.       Shaft
5.       Member
Vivian Arend turned bright red when she had to write “cock” on the whiteboard.  I’ll always treasure that memory.

Fill in the Blank: The First Kiss is on the Lips, the Next Kiss is on the…

1.       Neck
2.       Breast
3.       Jaw
4.       Throat
5.       Ear

Name the Most Romantic Romance Novel Couple:

1.       Eve/Roarke (In Death series by J.D. Robb)
2.       Lizzie/Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
3.       Dain/Jessica (Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase)
4.       Claire/Jamie (Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon)
5.       Sam/Alyssia (Troubleshooters series by Suzanne Brockmann)
We didn’t get to ask this question at the game, and I’m actually glad.  I get the feeling a brawl would’ve broken out.

Name the Most Romantic Setting for a Romance Novel:

1.       England
2.       Beach
3.       Island
4.       Cabin
5.       Scotland

Name the Sexiest Part of a Man’s Body:

1.       Eyes
2.       Chest
3.       Shoulders
4.       Arms
5.       Hands
The “Adonis belt” a.k.a. “that v-muscle on his hips” nearly made it into the top five.  You lusty ladies!

Name an Animal You’d Love to See as a Shifter:

1.       Wolf
2.       Panther
3.       Tiger
4.       Lion
5.       Horse
I also call this question: Doing Vivian Arend’s research for her.  *wink*  Also, Honey Badger was a popular answer, so I’m hoping that we get werebadgers soon.  The hero can keep saying, “I don’t give a shit.  I take what I want.”

Name the Most Ticklish Part of the Human Body:

1.       Bottom of Foot
2.       Ribs
3.       Belly
4.       Armpit
5.       Neck

Name Something That Can Be Used to Tie Up a Hero/Heroine:

1.       Tie
2.       Scarf
3.       Cravat
4.       Pantyhose/Stockings
5.       Rope
Nico Rosso was taking notes during this question.  I wonder why…

Name the Least Sexy Occupation for a Hero:

1.       Garbage Man
2.       Accountant
3.       Plumber
4.       Lawyer
5.       Sewage Worker
If you suddenly see a glut of garbage man or accountant heroes in books, you know why.  Never present a challenge like that to a writer.

Name the Person You Trust to Recommend a Book:

  1. Friend
  2. Smart Bitch Sarah (woot!) (SB Sarah: Thank you!)
  3. Sister
  4. Mom
  5. Librarian

You know who’s missing from this list?  Bookseller.  Make of that what you will.

And there you have it!  The results of the first ever, highly unscientific Romance Reader Poll!  Were there any answers that surprised you?  Anything that made you go, “Well, duh!”  Share your thoughts here!

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Ilona says:

    Just did this with my mother and sister who both don’t read romance. It was really good fun and caused much hysterics and laughter and the best quote was from my sister for most romantic setting “what’s that place where pirates of the carribean was set?” she also kept yelling out fireman as an answer

  2. 2
    LG says:

    I don’t think I could take a hero who was a honey badger shifter. I’ve seen the footage, and I think that hero would be just a wee bit too alpha (not to mention frickin’ Terminator-like) for my tastes.

  3. 3
    Mandi says:

    Thanks for posting this. Made me LOL :)

  4. 4
    Jewel says:

    Honey Badger Don’t Care!

    hee hee hee
    had to throw that in after LG’s comment ;-)

  5. 5
    Lil' Deviant says:

    This was awesome! Thank you for sharing.

    Plumbers are usually very good with their tools.  *wink* 

  6. 6
    RSG says:

    “Rick Santorum” made me choke on my Snapple.

  7. 7
    Tam B. says:

    A honey badger has featured (not as a hero) in Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series.  The doctor (who keeps patching up Kate) is one.  I can’t remember his name at present.

  8. 8
    Katherine O'Grady says:

    Those are the best answers. I laughed so hard! I can only imagine how much fun the session itself was. And I am laughing at the image of Vivien Arend blushing!
    Thank you for posting for those of us who didn’t make it to RT12.

  9. 9
    Nadia says:

    Honey Badger!  You’d need to have the werecobra for his nemesis.  It’s what’s for dinner!

    That survey is awesome.

  10. 10
    MissB2U says:

    Your sister is obviously very clever!  Something good is bound to happen if you keep yelling “fireman” often enough…(heh).

  11. 11
    Karenmc says:

    Can I take back my original answer and say “Rick Santorum” now?

    Awww, I feel much better.

  12. 12
    JimLynch says:

    Nice answers!  (I’m surprised “penis” didn’t make it for any entry in “sexiest part of a man’s body.”  Either it’s a given that he’s well endowed, or women are willing to overlook a really small cock if the eyes are big.  Methinks not…)

    And for “least sexy occupation for a hero,” I’m surprised no one mentioned mortician (making the “How was work today?” question potentially awkward) or gynecologist (which could also make “How was work today?” pretty awkward, actually—plus, as they said on the show FRIENDS, you don’t want the hero to come home and say, with exasperation, “If I see one more of those today…”).

  13. 13
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    In general, I’d say plumbing is a fairly non-sexy profession, but never forget the Liquid Plumr Double Impact duo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…


  14. 14
    TMS says:

    Plumbing may not be sexy, but I remember after a plumber came to our house to fix something, my mom took one look at the bill and said, “Never mind marrying a doctor girls—marry a plumber!!” LOL

  15. 15
    Amber Lin says:

    I tweeted this but seriously, has there ever been a romance heroine who kept condoms in her purse!? I haven’t read one, not even in erotica actually. I’m wondering if that’s not feminist wishful thinking, like an empowered sex-positive heroine *should* keep them around, but I don’t think that actually happens in books. Let me know if you guys think of any.

  16. 16
    Ann O. says:

    From now on I’m calling all Alpha Heroes honey badgers.

  17. 17
    Zoe Archer says:

    Mortician was mentioned, especially in the game, but it wasn’t popular enough to make it to the top five. Gynecologist was also a popular answer, but, again, it didn’t rank high enough.

  18. 18
    ksattler says:

    Yay for librarians!

  19. 19
    Louisa Edwards says:

    The session really was hilarious, mostly because the ladies who came to play were ready to THROW DOWN. What I’ll never forget about the Synonym for Hero’s Manly Bits question not only turned Viv red, it was the fastest, most flawless set of answers out of the whole game.

  20. 20
    Taylor Reynolds says:

    This gives me some much needed happy for the day!

  21. 21
    Hannah E. says:

    Name the Sexiest Part of a Man’s Body:

    1.    Eyes

    Really?  C’mon…

    Also, I have totally waiting for a book about a garbage man.  I am so over military men, law enforcement officers, fire men, etc.  Or how about a computer programmer?  Or a video game game designer?  We need more geek heroes. 

    I’m really surprised, by the way, that one of the supposedly least sexy occupations for a hero is “lawyer.”  I guess I’m biased, since I’m a paralegal, but I think lawyers make great heroes.  They can be really hard workers (especially trial lawyers), they can be very intelligent, and they can be great judges of human nature (again, expecially trial lawyers). 

  22. 22
    Gabi Stevens says:

    Thanks for posting. I was just thinking about the survey yesterday and wondering where and when the results might be seen. Me? I’m the one who answered she’d like to see dolphin shifters—one of the the species thought to have sex for pleasure (because you needed to know that, right?).

  23. 23
    Vicki says:

    I’ve known some very sexy (and sexually active) GYNs but, during med school, the guys would tell each other to have a lot of sex the month before your gyn rotation because you were going to lose interest for a while.

  24. 24
    Nico Rosso says:

    Interestingly, lawyer was high on the list for both the least sexy and most sexy occupations for a romance hero. Guess they play a complicated role in our society.

  25. 25
    Alison Kale says:

    I adore that romance readers know Hessian Boots well enough that they made number two. And (thanks to Wikipedia) I’d like to add a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan, c.1880:

    “While a lover’s professions/ When uttered in Hessians/ Are eloquent everywhere!”

  26. 26
    Gemma says:

    I took “Animal You’d Love to See as a Shifter” to be one you had yet to see as a shifter, which would knock several of the top answers out for me. I went for alpacas. Because they’re hilarious-looking.

  27. 27
    Chelhitch says:

    It was so much answering!! Y’all should do those more often, bet we all get more creative!! Thanks for letting us have a little giggle at your blushing expense!

  28. 28
    Laurie Evans says:

    That’s it.  My next romance hero that I write will be a garbage man!

  29. 29
    Girlygirlhoosier52 says:

    Dang… wish I’d been there!!!  you had me laughing til I cried!!!

  30. 30
    delphia2000 says:

    Am I the only one here who can’t stand Claire/Jamie? I read that series up to someplace in the middle of the 3rd one and finally decided I didn’t know why I was reading them if I didn’t like the main characters. (I guess because I liked the history part.) I’ve since learned to put a book down if I was not enjoying it. Finally realized my time was precious.

    At any rate, I shall steal from the tv show and clap, saying “Good answer(s)!”

    BTW, my dad was a plumber and he was always my first hero. One bathroom, 11 people. Yeah, my hero twice over!

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