The rich dom, he who is a titan of industry- because he's always a he although I'd appreciate titles including rich dommes in the comments' section. He has a huge heart (and sex drive) for his darling submissive woman. E.L. James wasn't the first to use this trope in a romance and certainly won't be the last. It sometimes is with extreme irritation that I have to deal with this thought, given that I have my own rich dom in The Queen, the Master as the head of everything in my Vala's Story serial.
When I started writing Vala's Story, the explosion of BDSM erotic romance hadn't happened yet. For a queer, poly, kinky person like me, there were only the "BDSM classics," like Anne Rice's erotica, de Sade & Sacher von Masoch, "On Our Backs" magazine. Sure, there were things like "Penthouse Letters," but those were made for the straight male to enjoy. Even romance failed me because those were targeted at straight (often white, middle class), monogamous women.
When I first created The Queen as a very rich, I wanted to imagine Tom rich and able to fix all our problems. He who was the original basis for The Queen was living in a coffeehouse while I suffered a sort of mundane neglect from my parents, after years of serious emotional abuse- I can still hear my mother: "This isn't for publish." Well, fuck you. You've never apologized for not supporting me when I needed you. I've gone off on a tangent though. Things weren't nearly as bleak for me as they are for Mearr/Vala at the beginning of "Out of the Night: Book One," but they weren't good either- my mother was only one piece of how my world as a young adult just wasn't right.
Then as the story morphed from birthday gift for Tom into an erotic serial, the size of The Queen's stable and his "white knight" complex, the need for him to be insanely rich was confirmed. How else was he to feed and home everyone he loved? How else could he make their lives better than when their lives had become intertwined?
from the soon-to-be-released "Gates of the Garden: Book Two" Iona explains to Vala in the kitchen:
"Counting The Queen, there's nineteen of us, and you make twenty. Then when Erik and Brenna are here, we're twenty-two. That's a lot of people."
The immediate difference I see between the "rich dom" trope, how it's normally used is that all that money goes to a crazy lifestyle for one dom/sub pairing- The Queen uses the money not only on his large family. Although he does engage in the very trope-appropriate donating of money to causes for which he cares. Not that I have anything against monogamy as a way of living; it just seems horribly irresponsible to me to have all that money being spent mostly on two people. Even if I was comfortable writing monogamy, I'm not sure I would be comfortable giving two people as much richness, as I've given The Queen and his family.
Be watching for "Skipping Down the Primrose Path: Book Three" to come; there's one scene in which I truly show a joy in doing for others. I enjoyed showing off The Queen's wealth, yes, but the others' joy is the focus.
So while neither good nor bad, I have my billionaire dom, a white knight, who in some ways is the very archetype of the perfect rich guy in a romance novel.