How alien can an alien hero be in sci-fi romance? #SFR

This is what aliens look like in sci-fi romance.

This is what aliens look like in sci-fi romance.

If you read sci-fi romance, one of the first things you’ll notice is how much aliens from other planets resemble humans.  Not only do they look like us, when it comes to mating, our DNA is perfectly compatible. Inter-species reproduction is never a problem.

When sci-fi authors create their romantic extraterrestrial heroes, rather than giving them alien characteristics, they tend to make them super human: taller, bigger, stronger, faster than the average Terran male. I’ve read a lot of sci-fi romances in which the hero was 7 feet tall.

(The average height for a human white male is 5’10. Men from the Netherlands are the tallest in the world, averaging 6 feet tall. See a height chart.)

On rare occasion, I have run across sci-fi romances/sci-fi erotica where the alien main character did have nonhuman features.  I’ve encountered blue skin, scaly skin, horns, an “excess” of body hair, claws, sharp teeth, and once, two penises (the hypersexual heroine was quite happy).

There’s great physical diversity among aliens who are not the main characters or who are the bad guys. For villains, anything goes.

This is what SFR alien heroes DON'T look like.

This is what SFR alien heroes DON’T look like.

Alien heroes are humanoid so they will  appeal to female readers. It’s hard to fall in love with a tentacled, blue alien who slithers, oozes slime, and communicates through the sense of smell rather than a verbal language. Mixed marriages are so challenging. Lol.

I have to confess, I personally prefer humanoid alien heroes.

But what about you? How much diversity in appearance in a sci-fi romance can you accept? What types of alien facial/body characteristics turn you off?

  • Extreme height
  • Horns or facial ridges
  • Technicolor skin
  • Scales
  • A tail
  • Claws
  • Multiple appendages (more than 2 arms, 2 legs)
  • Unusual body odor
  • Non humanoid genitalia
  • Excess body hair
  • Lack of body hair
  • “Missing” facial characteristic such as a lack of a nose, ears, or eyebrows

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12 Responses to How alien can an alien hero be in sci-fi romance? #SFR

  1. nikki says:

    Tentacles… squid like is a real turn off for me. I tried reading a book like that and it made me sick to my stomach

  2. I most definitely like them to look as much like us as possible! Call me old fashioned…

  3. Interesting article, Cara. Loved the height differences just here on Terra, but I’m with you and Natasha on this. I’d prefer the hero to appear as human-like as possible. A feature that can be “shifted” in and out or hidden (like antennae or horns) is okay, and I suppose an extra arm appendage could be helpful at times, though possibly disconcerting. If it’s so alien it pulls me out of the story to figure out how everything “fits” together I’d say it’s a turn off. Definitely coitus interruptus.

  4. Suzy Frenchman says:

    I like humanoid aliens , two arm, two legs. They can be tall, blue, an other oddities don’t bother me.( horns, scales, tail, or sharp teeth)

  5. I’m a fan of many types of aliens. But when it comes to copulation, I prefer humanoid aliens. If there are any differences, I like to know ahead of time, so nothing comes as a surprise when they’re getting it on. Though, an extra penis would be an interesting surprise. LOL

  6. Ben says:

    This question has been circling in my head for awhile so I figure I had to post. I agree I prefer more humanoid maybe taller but then I though about a four armed man, while you would have to make him bigger to make the frame of the man work I wondered how that would effect spanking. Could hold her down better and twice the arm power so he would get tired may be a plus!

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