Friday, January 28, 2011

RomDom(me): The Appeal of the Romantic Dominant

The 1-800-DOM-help group is celebrating two releases in the series today with this post. Controlling Interest by Francesca Hawley and Fettered Love by Michelle Polaris. In honor of both, Francesca and Michelle dedicate this collaborative blog on BDSM and romance.

The Romantic Dom: Strength and Tenderness

When I first found EC shortly after they first began to publish, one of my first reads was a BDSM romance. I had to work myself up to ordering it…but once I did, it captured my imagination and so did the hero. BDSM was new to me then but the lifestyle spoke to me as a reader. My favorite part was the male dominant.

His appeal was his intensity. His complete focus on the heroine. The way that even though she was the submissive, he wanted to please her. To make her feel safe. Cherished. Protected. Yes, this is coming from a woman (me) who is a feminist and is perfectly capable of looking after herself, yet the thought that a man could take care of me and I could let him was a real eye opener. It seized my interest and teased my libido.

The idea of being protected and cherished appeal to me as a reader. Even better is the fact that in order for a relationship between a Dom and a sub to flourish, complete honesty and trust is absolutely necessary. No need to lie about what you think or fake an orgasm you didn’t have. Nope. He gets the unvarnished truth from you and you get the truth from him. I’m not completely sure I like the second part as much as the first, but hey, I can deal.

So, when I began writing erotic romance, I knew I wanted my heroes to be alpha males. In control and competent. My favorite archetype is the warrior and that definitely fits a dominant man. All of the heroes I’ve written have been dominant and their ladies like them that way. Like me, my heroines are talented women, but they enjoy letting the hero lead in the bedroom. It’s a turn-on for them and for the hero.

However, a vital fact here is that what I read and write is erotic ROMANCE. So that means that any alpha hero I write about must not only be dominant, but he must also be romantic. He must fall in love with the heroine and ache for her and with her. Writing an edgy, dominant man without turning him into an asshole requires some practice and a great character. I’ve been really fortunate to have some strong yet romantic dominant males seduce me into writing their stories.

The latest is Torin Stuart. A businessman with a sense of humor and a strong desire to make his BDSM club the best one out there anywhere. Forcing him into close quarters with Mouse, his late mother’s personal assistant, was a necessity. Thus Controlling Interest in the club was at the center of their intimate tug-of-war. Tor and Mouse have carried torches for each other for years and only now can they explore it. Tor, for all his tough practical nature, is actually a bit of a hopeless romantic. He wants to share his life with someone and when Mouse tells him a lie, he’s really hurt by it which turns him into a grumpy bear. But when they finally work through their problems, a happily ever after is definitely in the cards for Tor and Mouse.

The Romantic Domme: the feminine flip side.

Romance and Domination? How can a woman who ties up her lover, may use floggers, paddles, whips and other instruments of discipline, and make strict demands on his service, sexual or otherwise, be a romantic? Easily.

I've always considered males to be the more romantic gender. I don't know why. Maybe the image of knight gallants a-wooing. They bring chocolates, they bring flowers, they write love poetry. Yes, they do. I've received some in my day. But women, despite being extremely pratical, are also romantic.

First, I agree with Francesca that Dominants are loving, tender, and romantic because of how they cherish and protect their submissives. When a scene is done, it is most crucial that a Domme take care of her sub, tend to him physically and emotionally to make sure he transitions back to his normal state from whatever sub space he entered. Although a submissive exists to please his Domme, she in turn wants to please him.

We all realize by now (or at least I hope we do) that men are different from women. Men are much more physical animals. They are sexually focused. I propose that a Domme who is able to pay tribute to this sexuality, to provide a loving hand to her sub to meet his kinky needs, is honoring that sexual identity. She's not minimizing or objectifying the man, but being honest about his sexual focus. Meeting him on the terms that feed an important part of his soul. And isn't feeding the soul the stuff of romance? Although not all BDSM is sexual, there's ususally a sexual edge to it, and I am most interested in committed, loving, romantic BDSM relationships that include sex because that is what I write.

In my latest release, Fettered Love, my heroine, Sarah, cares deeply for Evan, her submissive lover from years ago. She crafts a careful scene to help him face his emotional injuries from the past. And when the tender, soft domination scene doesn't work, she knows her lover enough to go harder, edgier, to help him to his catharsis. The very epitome of tough love (grin). She's romantic in her honesty and devotion to helping Evan heal, no matter what it takes. I've posted the blurb below. This is a story of love rekindled between three former friends who had discovered BDSM together over a decade ago in college. I hope you enjoy this book, and the innately romantic focus of BDSM.


Controlling Interest

Mozelle “Mouse” Vincent inherits money, a club and her boss’ son as a business partner when society leader Regine Stuart dies. Torin Stuart knows what his late mother’s wishes were for his exclusive BDSM club, Erotically Bound, but he’s pissed that he’s forced to trust Mouse—especially when her inherently submissive nature arouses the sexual Dominant in him.

After baring all in a heated, intense scene, Mouse realizes they still have to work together, but now Tor challenges any business suggestion she makes. When she wants to offer education classes, Tor dares her to organize the class and participate—as a submissive.

To his chagrin, Mouse agrees, but he can’t stand the thought of any other Dom touching her. Suddenly there’s far more at stake than the controlling interest in their club…because love is the ultimate prize in their power exchange.

Fettered Love
Kirk, Master to his long-time lover Evan, decides it’s time to place his permanent collar around Evan’s sexy cock. But when he proposes, he faces a surprise. Evan wants a child. So where will they find a kinky woman to help?

A mysterious card with the 1-800-DOM-help number advertises assistance for unusual problems in the BDSM community. When Evan calls, he recognizes the voice of Sarah—Kirk’s best friend from childhood, Evan’s Mistress of several years in college. They both loved her and suffered betrayal when she walked out of their lives.

Now she proposes to be the mother of their child. No strings, just a chance to have the men she respects and loves back in her life. Evan embraces the idea while Kirk rages with mistrust.

At Evan’s request, they share one night of passion, Kirk and Sarah working together to dominate Evan in the scene of his erotic fantasies, hoping it will be enough to rekindle trust and make all their dreams come true.


  1. What a great post, Michelle! I want to try my hand at a FemDomme story and you do it so well, I'll have to study how you create your dominant women. And with Sarah you did an AMAZING job. I loved this story. It was moving and tender but also tough and edgy, just like your heroine. Fettered Love is a great read! Congrats on your new release!

  2. Wow! What a fantastic blog! Great insight into the roles of D/s. You ladies rock.

  3. Thanks for stopping by to comment Desiree! Loved Delight Me and congrats on the new release.

  4. Oh ladies! Congratulations on your releases. Both of them sound very yummy. Here's wishing you both many, many happy sales!

  5. Nina - thanks for the good wishes and congrats on YOUR new release, Maid for Master too - a hot, sexy BDSM read. Woot!

  6. Ladies, Congratulations on your wonderful new releases! What an interesting post and I have to say this is an amazing series. I'm definitely intrigued by both your stories:)

  7. First, thank you Nina and Desiree. And Francesca, you did a masterful (hah!) job making me fall in love with Mouse and Tor on the first page. I was more invested in those characters more quickly than in most boooks I've read recently. The balance in this story was perfect. You made me almost want to write my own male Dom story you did it so well. And I saw your five siren review at Siren Books. Yay!!!! You are a wonderful writer, gal.