al·pha male (noun) – The dominant male animal in a particular group.
So, I’m working on a contemporary (meaning: set in our modern age/world) romance for the Writing Wenches Summer Anthology. This has me thinking a lot about the structure of romance and how to make my storytelling style and what romance readers like to read, play together nicely. I’m also finally making my way through all the seasons of Criminal Minds on Netflix. This, inevitably, has lead to a blog on the sexy men of Criminal Minds. 😀 Call it “research.”
But – can all my favorites really be called “Alpha Males” according to the standards of typical 21st century romance novels? I’m gonna tackle that topic today & I want YOU to vote for your favorite of these three lovely (possibly) Alpha Males from the show. Can Dr. Reid overcome that sweet talking Morgan or will the strong silent Hotch curb stomp them both?
Now, let’s dish about Alpha Males…
Everyone from Harlequin to Romance Writers of America members (and more) have slight variations on the definition of Alpha Male and what make up his characteristics – both good and bad. Looking at the ones that seem to match up we can tell this: he’s confident in his abilities – a master of his environment, he’s driven to win the day – he’ll never stop fighting for what he believes in, and in one form or another is charismatic and undeniably desirable to the heroine.
Considering these points alone, I think it’s pretty fair to say that the three aforementioned men from Criminal Minds are actually Alpha Males. And sure, I’m certain there are arguments to be made that Reid fails to make the cut on some level. He doesn’t have the typical ‘Fabio-look’ that tends to be seen on Romance covers of yore. I get it – but in almost none of the Alpha Male descriptions did I see a physical description included – just that the Alpha Male had to be desirable/irresistible to the female lead character.
Of course, the three of them fail at some of the negative points which many suggest go hand-in-hand with being an Alpha Male. In fact, the internet has a lot to say about the topic of “Alpha Males” and how negative that term really is. Google it. You’ll find a lot of fodder and not just from women. Men are getting in on the action too; though far more disturbing is how many “how-to” videos and sites are out there to help YOU become an Alpha Male in order to “get chicks.” Let me just say that most of their suggestions would not land you in a lead role in any romance I’ve ever enjoyed.
So, what do you think. Since the internet has failed me with a lack of agreement on the topic – I want to hear from you. What’s sexy? What makes the male lead in a romance worthy of a positive spin on the term Alpha Male? What does Alpha Male mean to you? And while you’re here, vote in my poll. I’d love to know which Criminal Minds Alpha Male has romanced you most. As for me… I’m just going to leave this here.