Can an Alpha Male Be Sensitive?

Dominant Alpha MaleWhen I first began writing the erotic romance Power Play, I knew that Sergio, my hero, was artistic and very sensual. And in the story, he’d discover he was a dominant. But he also is warm and sensitive. I never categorized him in my mind, or in the promo material I wrote when I sold the book, as anything other than a dominant and a “sensual artist.”

Then when it went up on sale on Amazon, I saw readers tagged the story with the term “Alpha Male.” That made me wonder, was he an alpha male? I hadn’t really thought of that. He’s sweet and polite and considerate. Alphas are typically considered rough around the edges–a wounded heart inside, with a tough skin outside that keeps them from having to feel others’ pain. Can a sensitive man still be an alpha?

On the other hand, he is clearly a dominant. That leads to another pertinent question, are all dominants automatically alphas?

I looked up the definition of “alpha male” as it pertains to humans, and said, “a domineering man; the dominant member in a group of males.” The dominant aspect is critical in the definition, but only as it pertains to other males.

Bruce of Alpha Within posted his opinion that “Alpha male = High-Status Male (amongst other males) …this leads to power which attracts women naturally…” Again the reference is to other males. This matches the definition as it’s used in the animal world.

What about a Dominant/submissive relationship? In this case, Sergio is dominating a very powerful woman, one who clearly has power over both men and woman in her career. Does this make him an alpha? Do we look at his position at work to determine that? He is currently an underling, but about to make partner. In the workforce, alphas do have to defer to other alphas above them, until they get to be the big boss or CEO.

So, is Sergio an atypical Alpha? Or just a sensitive Dom? What do you think?