The villain... We hate him, but need him, because without him, there would be no story. The hero would be nothing without this guy, because he would never have lifted his butt out of the office chair (or whatever his sedate lifestyle might be) if the villain hadn't done something to spur him into action. The villain can also be the most compelling character in the book. A good villain will always get some sort of rise out of hero and reader alike. In fact, the villain is probably going to be a big reason as to why we even bond with the hero. And damned if I don't sometimes support him instead.
Sort version is: I have a thing for badasses. Of any persuasion.
Why would that be a problem?
Ever noticed how the hero can be such a girl?
"I never asked for this." "Why must I be the one that must deal with this?" "Oh sigh but the life of the chosen gifted one with wings and a halo is sooooo difficult." Any one of this is not necessarily a problem. But for some reason, the line isn't drawn until faaaaar past my woobie tolerance level.
As supposed to the villain...
"Hmm... and suddenly I can summon all the bats out of hell... interesting." "I have no fear or concern for collateral damage. I think I can do something with this..." "Damn... being the evil overlord sucks sometimes. But man does it get me pumped!"
I'm thinking a lot of you are seeing what I mean.
It's not necessarily that I have massive sympathies with evil. But the fact is that I have a respect for people who see their strengths and owns them.
Yes, the life of the pure and the good is a lot more difficult, but it must have its perks. If I can't get to experience some of them through the hero's eyes, isn't it natural that I will then rather move over to the villain's end, where it's usually obvious exactly how much the villain enjoys his job?
So come on... let the hero enjoy the perks of his situation at least a little. It doesn't make him less heroic. It just makes him less of an unnecessary martyr. And then you can squash him like a bug under the burden of his hero status.
All you like.
Just don't make the torture the only thing the hero experiences.
Do you also start rooting for the wrong side if the hero doesn't measure up?