Shades of Al Daltrey: Interview with a Real Life Christian Grey
As “Fifty Shades Darker” films in Vancouver, women are once again thinking of Christian Grey, BDSM and sexually dominant males. I felt it my journalistic duty to bring you an interview with a man who knows about it all, first hand.
Al Daltrey is a real life Dom who lives the lifestyle and also writes strong BDSM erotica. His books come with a warning label and are not traditional erotic romances, yet he has gained a faithful following of female fans that appreciate his unapologetic peek into the world of BDSM. You might even say it brings some of them to their knees.
By day, Daltrey dons a suit and tie, and works in marketing. In 2014 he opened his laptop and somewhat accidentally launched a second career as an erotica author, penning his first book, Testing the Submissive. He admits it is “more extreme” than anything he would ever consider doing with a real life submissive, yet readers say the story makes them tingle in all the right places.
There is a line in that book that, to my mind, sums up why women love to read about powerful Alphas. “Experienced and mature dominants always have an understated confidence,” he writes. “There is no need to flaunt their power.” There is something very sexy about men, real and fictional, who own their power.
His second novel, A Condo With Two Views, is written from the point-of-view of both the Dom and the Sub. His most recent book, Pain, Pleasure, and Purpose (Book One) is the story of three best friends who help each other navigate life, loss and love…and lots of kinky sex. “I poured everything I had into this story,” says the author.
It’s not often you get to pull up a chair and talk to a real life, happily married, sexually dominant male, so we appreciate Al taking the time to answer some of our burning questions.
AC ROSE: What exactly is a male dominant?
AL DALTREY: First, let me say: definitions are not always universal. Ask 25 people the difference between a liberal and a conservative and you will get 25 different answers. All my answers in this interview are my personal opinion based on my personal experiences. Others in the BDSM lifestyle may disagree, and that is fair. For this question, I assume you mean a sexual dominant. The simple definition is: a person, male or female, who takes control during consensual sex. The submissive of course, relinquishes that control.
And what is exactly vanilla sex?
Vanilla sex is simply regular, normal, healthy non-BDSM sex. Or, even more simply…non-kinky sex. It is a term that became popular within the BDSM lifestyle to describe sex between those who are not in the lifestyle.
So from your perspective, can a sexually dominant male enjoy both?
Absolutely. Personally, I have always loved great vanilla sex. I may practice BDSM, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy vanilla sex too. BDSM became the icing on the cake. In a good healthy sexual relationship, there are nights where a couple wants the lovemaking to be soft, tender and romantic. Another night, for kinky fun, they might employ bondage and spanking. The point is, it’s not all or none. There is room for both.
How did you find yourself on this path, personally? And are you currently in a power exchange relationship?
I was born with it. I know that for a fact. Growing up, the fantasies and inclinations were there. That said, for me, consent is key. I do not believe in force, and do not find force arousing in any way. Today I am very happily married to my beautiful wife.
Female sexual submission is a controversial topic. Some see female submission as a weakness yet many women find role play satisfying and they obviously like reading about it too.
During my lifetime I’ve been lucky enough to meet my fair share of submissive women. And don’t for a minute think these women were weak. Outside the bedroom they were confident, opinionated, gregarious and self-assured. In fact, many of them were successful executives or professionals. At the workplace, they kicked butt. However, inside the bedroom (so to speak) they wanted to feel the strong firm hand of a dominant man taking complete control.
What got you started writing erotic books?
I started writing because of an interest in BDSM, not because of an interest in writing. One day, I flipped open my laptop and starting writing a kinky BDSM story, not really thinking about where it would lead. Soon I had 20 pages, then 40, then 60 and I knew I was on my way to my first novel. I heard about self-publishing, so cleaned it up and uploaded it onto Amazon. The reaction seemed positive, and soon I had a Street Team on Facebook helping me promote the book.
Erotic romance is a huge now. Do you find as many readers who just want to read about kinky sex for arousal?
In my view, the market for erotic romance novels is far bigger than the “kinky sex for arousal” market. The latter market scours the internet for sites such as Literotica to get their fix. There are exceptions of course. Some novels do well. But generally, I believe the market is remarkably small.
Since you are writing as a sexually dominant male, what do think women hope to learn from your books, and from you?
I worry about that. My books are not intended to “teach” anything about the BDSM lifestyle. They are intended simply as fiction. A story. I worry when people read my books hoping for a glimpse into the real BDSM lifestyle. My books have a lot of stuff that I don’t condone. Just like action movies are exaggerated, so are BDSM novels. People should read my books for fun, not for education.
Is the sex in your novels rough because that is what your readers want?
It’s not that I’m trying to cater to what the reader wants but in storytelling almost everything is exaggerated for dramatic effect. In a cop story we see these wildly spectacular car chases where 10 Police cars chase a car through crowded streets at speeds of 200 mph. In a medical drama the Doctor heroically saves countless lives. In a sports movie the athlete scores the winning goal with two seconds left. Think of every single Hollywood movie you know. So, with a BDSM novel, the same applies. The tasks that the submissive must perform are exaggerated for dramatic effect. It’s fantasy. So, in my books, the sex scenes are intensified as is the case in every other genre.
Your reading audience is primarily women. Some would like to turn their vanilla mates into dominant males, or at least get them to experiment. Any advice on getting guys to try new things?
To answer a question like that would take pages, and even then, it varies by person/couple. I’m not sure I can provide a succinct answer. There is some information on my blog. As I say in my blog: not all men are born with a dominant gene. With those men, I’m not sure that there’s any hope. Those men who have the underlying qualities – at least there’s hope. Someone could probably write an entire book on this, lol.
Do people call you master?
As mentioned, I am happily married and have been for some time. My wife does not call me “Master” no. Nor do we discuss our personal lives in any kind of detail. I can tell you that I have been called “Master,” and it’s actually a lovely feeling. Obviously it is commonly used in a scene, but also it can be a nice endearment among two people who live the lifestyle. He might say, “Sleep well my little pet,” and she might say, “Goodnight Master.” Like anything, if terms of endearment are overused they become goofy. We’ve all been around couples who make us gag because they are so lovey-dovey. But used properly “Master” can be a great word. I’m not sure if your question was poking fun at the term…but I hold it in high regard.
Learn more about Al Daltrey.
Visit Al Daltrey’s Erotica BDSM virtual community.
A.C. Rose is a sex and love journalist. She also writes very steamy romance books.
She is former editor of an iconic women's magazine and has written extensively on sexuality, relationships, female desire, hot men, and the “kissing book” industry.
As our HOT ROMANCE columnist, she regularly interviews today’s most popular authors and experts about books, women’s fantasies, handsome Alpha heroes, and penning passionate love stories.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), Passionate Ink (PI), and the Author’s Guild (AG).