I get the appeal of alpha males. Alpha males are strong, assertive, in control, dominant…slap a sexy body on it, and he’s howl-worthy. Part of being a writer (a good writer, anyway) is being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes, and imagine what something might be like from somebody else’s point of view. So I definitely understand the appeal. Myself, though…personally I can’t stand them.
Whether they’re real or fictional, Alpha males always rub me the wrong way. Whenever I read a romance and the dude starts going Alpha – which is like 85% of all romances – I immediately begin to dislike him, and usually stop reading. This is why, I have to admit, I start but don’t finish a lot of romance novels. I’m a bad romance novelist that way. It’s hard to read up on everything in your genre when you’re constantly yelling “Fuck you!” at the pages. My desire to kick the dude in the nuts becomes overwhelming. The problem, I realize, is me.
I’m a real-life Alpha female. And Alphas don’t mix.
What are my Alpha female bona fides? Well, the word Commander is literally in my day-job title. I suck at most sports – except the ones where you beat people up. I’m really good at those. I’m the primary breadwinner of the family. I’m usually the de facto leader of things in general.
But here’s the thing – Alphas are often abrasive, arrogant, self-centered, bossy, unyielding, bombastic, and harsh. I’ve been all these things at some point (even right now as I’m writing this post!), though I try to temper them for the sake of navigating polite society. And let’s face it – it’s more acceptable for men to display these traits. Sexism and all that.
When you put two of these kinds of people together…Fireworks happen, and not the good kind.
I had a Taekwondo instructor once who was definitely an Alpha male – think a Korean Bruce Lee with an even darker edge – and I eventually had to stop going to the classes he taught because we clashed too often. It wasn’t sexual tension, just pure animosity.
So reading about other Alpha males always raises my hackles. As I’m trying to identify with the heroine, and the hero is doing his Alpha thing while she supposedly brings him to his figurative knees such that he changes his ways just for her, I can’t help but desperately wish she would bitch-slap that asshole. Let him work through his own fucking issues by himself. Oh, he “takes what he wants,” and that’s you? Fuck that. Fuck that hard. NOBODY should take you. And if he tries, hate him forever. If he can’t love you on your terms, then screw him. Choose you, Anastasia!