Sometimes I have to remind myself not to think like a woman when I write my male characters. In my last story, while in the hero's pov, I described another man as having the face of a supermodel with a body to match. Thank God for my crit group. One of the ladies pointed out that a man wouldn't think of another man that way.
So now when writing a man, I go to a reliable source. Men. Not one man, many men. My husband and his friends, both married and single. I've dubbed them The Testosterone Pool. They let me know when my male character starts sounding like a woman.
There are times when writing a man gets really tricky. Men don't see themselves the way we do, and that causes a dilemma. Most romances are targeted for women. So do we write men the way a woman wants to see him, or do we write him with a typical male brain? Think about it. Most of us would hate a hero that had sex on the brain all the time. But, The Testosterone Pool informed me that not long after meeting an attractive woman, they start to wonder what she looks like naked. (Hubby stayed out of this conversation. He does have to live with me.) Refusing to believe this, I extended my question to family members.(I had to promise that nothing they said would be repeated to wives or girlfriends.) They agreed with The Pool.
There is a such thing as going to far. I draw the line at the hero calling the female character horrifying names. Bitch and the c word (I can't even bring myself to type such a repulsive word) never comes out of the hero's mouth when referring to the heroine. It's a pet peeve of mine.
So who do you go to when you write your hero? How do you make sure you don't feminize him? Or do you just wing it?