I'm continuing my Writing; The Alphabet series with 'D' is for Dominance. Today is my turn to write a piece on the subject, so here's my personal take on dominance for writers.
The Oxford Dictionary describes ‘dominance’ as “Power and influence over others”. When we write about a Dominant (or Dom/Domme) as part of Erotic Romance this is exactly the attributes we are pertaining too, although in fiction we usually add a few of our own, too.
When we write about a Dominant we usually describe them as having an air or aura which gives them a superiority over most people – especially submissives.
For our own enjoyment we make a Dominant either incredibly handsome or beautiful (depending on their gender) or attractive in some other way, which draws others towards them. As writers we always keep in mind the fact that what we envisage as enticing might not be the same as that which a reader might prefer – men don’t always have to be tall, dark and handsome and women don’t always need to be slim, blonde and beautiful. Sometimes, by making the Dominant visually appealing we can add the element of surprise when they later turn out to be intimidating or fierce. Making looks a little deceptive can add to their fascination.
Apart from looks, we often like to give them a confident manner; one which would attract a submissive and entice them to hand over control to this person – they would have to trust a Dominant implicitly. A fictitious Dominant would have a voice which matches their authority – a squeaky voice doesn’t usually conjure up an image of mastery, whereas a deep, authoritative tone invokes an almost fearful excitement as well as a surety that this Dom means business. It doesn’t have to be a loud voice either; a quiet air of menace can be much more effective than a shout. A raised voice, or shouting, can actually suggest a loss or lack of control – totally the opposite of the impression a Dom would usually wish to depict.
Body image is an important facet of a Dominant. Although we often portray men as having a large, muscular body or women as having the shape of a supermodel for our own fantasies, they don’t always need to fit this stereotype. The important thing is that the Dominant should be comfortable in their own skin – someone who is self-conscious is hardly likely to instil confident in their submissive. Having a body that they are proud of – no matter what their shape - is much more likely to make a Dominant appealing and enticing.
Something which is becoming more commonplace in fictional Dominants is wealth. The billionaire who has everything as well as dominance and good looks would be attractive to most people, but they don’t always have to be rich. As long as the Dominant is confident in their manner, their character could still work – the sad fact is that money often instils the confidence and superior air which we look for in a Dom. Perhaps when we create a less privileged Dom we need to work on their personality a little more carefully, making their assurance come from within; giving them a self-belief and morality which then becomes part of their character – thus making a totally different individual than his rich counterpart.
All in all, it is fair to say that in fiction – as in real life – a Dominant can vary substantially. Looks, physique, lifestyle, personality are as idiosyncratic as we would like them to be, but the main attributes which we all seek in a Dominant is, of course, dominance itself – one who has power and influence over others.
I hope you have enjoyed my take on the subject and will join me again on Friday for my 'Meet the Author' spot when my guest will be Julie Shelton. Come and find out all about her and her latest release. Until then I hope you enjoy the rest of the week and have fun with whatever you are reading and/or writing.