Today I’m happy to welcome my friend, male romance writer Sascha Illyvich. Take it away, Sascha!
In Romance Stories, Dominant Males are Alphas
By Sascha Illyvich
In a discussion with publicist Sharon Aviles, we’d discussed my teaching romance authors how to write BDSM and incorporate the elements of the Lifestyle into their romance stories. She’d said that the interesting thing was in traditional non kinky romances, we call Dominant males, Alphas.
Sure they may not be kinky, but both men have to take charge of situations. Both men feel the need to control and the underlying reasons behind this need for control is generally the same: the belief that his way can guide his heroine into safety feeds his need to be a leader. I teach this often in my course on how to write from the male point of view. It’s aimed at romance authors, but the lessons still apply to a broader spectrum of fiction writers.
Oftentimes both men will be in powerful positions such as corporate CEOs or highly trained military experts. These men are used to getting their way.
In the bedroom we see similarities too. Whether he’s using ropes and handcuffs, spankings and scarves, or just good old fashioned strength to make his point, he’s still on top. His goal is pretty much the same, drag something from the woman that she wants to give but doesn’t know how. She’s generally afraid to ask for it and that fear is often masked as stubbornness or anger. Sometimes it’s blatant fear.
As a guide, the dominant male must guide the submissive on their journey towards inner peace, just as the alpha male must show the reasons he’s overprotective. Bondage becomes a tool used to strip away control and bring out emotions needing to be dealt with, while the Alpha male may use consensual force to do the same. In effect, he’s binding the heroine and making her choose another path, one that leads to growth, rather than stunted movement. Different plot devices can show us these traits from both sides. Using the react vs respond method of character development talked about on WriteSEX, we can get this accomplished as writers.
His ability to see past her defenses as an alpha male or Dominant is what spurs him on to guiding her. It’s not until he’s learned to grow through the plot that he realizes he’s guiding her as she’s guiding him, but that’s another article. In the end, the two types of men are really one and the same. Our labels are just for publisher and reader convenience as they help us define the characters for the appropriate markets.
– Sascha Illyvich
Heavenly Bodies – Two Fantasy Novellas in one book!
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