Alpha males are an indispensable part of romance, and they have been since Edward Rochester locked his wife in the attic and decided to seduce a nineteen year old (spoiler alert.) And I've read a lot of great Alphas lately, which has led me to wonder about the appeal.
What do we readers (and writers) like so much about this archetype that we keep coming back to it over and over? Is it the freedom that having a dominant lover brings? Freedom from choice? The freedom of knowing you'll be taken care of emotionally and sexually? Is it something instinctual within women? Something engineered in us from back when having an alpha mate was necessary to our (and our host of cave-babies') survival?
I think these are unanswerable questions because the answers will be different for every woman. Some women might find the physical attributes of the Alpha the best while others might crave that emotional dominance. And some women might find the idea of the Alpha altogether repulsive--after all, we aren't living in caves any more and more women than ever are the heads of their households and relish the role. I'm somewhere in between. I am the breadwinner and I wouldn't trade my marriage with its foundation of mutual respect and equality (both in the bed and out) for anything. BUT, the Alpha presents a fantasy for me. A fantasy of being swept off my feet, of having everything taken care of so that I'm free to love and pleasure as much as I can. An escape, a vacation from reality.
What about you? Why do (or don't) you like the Alpha in romance?