Friday, April 22, 2011

Fetish Friday special guest: Sascha Illyvich

Yay, a visitor! For today's post I bring you a special guest, Sascha Illyvich. Sascha is one of those rare creatures, a dude who writes erotic romance. It's mostly kinky, because he rolls that way himself (if you follow him on Twitter, you know that already). He also hosts the Unnamed Romance Show on Radio Dentata, contributes to the WriteSex Panel blog, and teaches classes in writing erotica, and, and...oh, lots of other stuff. Go read the bio on his website! Let's get to the guest postin'. 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.  A 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. 

Often times both men will be in powerful positions either 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 fashion 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 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, 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


  1. Thanks so much for visiting up Sascha. It makes sense that the motivation for the Dominant male character and the traditional Alpha romance male are the same. Although I'd love to hear your take on writing Alpha submissive male characters. In that case the hero is still offering the emotional protection and guidance, and showing his strength through his ability to be vulnerable. But again, I think thisis all the same thing.

  2. Great article Sascha. Thanks for being a guest. A well written character makes the most memorable stories.

  3. Really great article. By drawing the paralells between the Dom and the Alpha it makes writing motivation and POV very clear.