Whether you like it or not, we spend a huge part of our lives being controlled by other people. From a very young age, we are introduced to a host of influential characters designed to make a significant contribution to our lives. Teachers, parents, employers and nuns. We never really escape authority and while most of us cannot wait to exert power of our own, some of us derive great satisfaction by being told what to do, when and how to do it. What we don't know at the time is that we are slowly being conditioned into one of two roles...the powerless or the powerful.
As I headed down south for the long weekend, I pulled into the local
News Cafe to catch up with
Charlotte and Emily. We'd somehow got onto the topic of sex when
Emily made a shocking revelation. "I love giving head. I don't know, I
think it's a
power thing for me." Charlotte nearly gagged at the thought of it and chose to adopt the opposing stance. For Charlotte, a man who takes control in the bedroom is what made her cookie crumble. As I considered both ideas placed in front of me, I couldn't help but wonder, have we been geared for sexual segregation all our lives? Is the world made up of Anastasia Steeles and Christian Greys? Masters and slaves, tops and bottoms, S & M? Can one extreme exist without the submission of the other?
When the power dynamic is mutually beneficial, sexual satisfaction is a sure win but what happens when the darker side of control becomes too much? Manipulation is a skillful art used as a defense mechanism by narcissists who are either too insecure or too afraid to live in the real world. They spend a lifetime creating a false identity in order to safeguard their innermost vulnerabilities. What may have started out as a
positive reinforcement of one's self-esteem turns into a compulsive need to control everything and everyone around them. While most of us refuse to acknowledge our inner control freak, the other half is
busy getting off on it...and not in a good way.
If you have a friend like Gee it's best you run the other way and don't look back. She's beautiful, charming, confident and not afraid to let the world know it. She's the kind of girl who never pays for her own drinks at a bar, a legend in her own right with a head the size of an air balloon. She's revels in using her sexual prowess to get what she wants no matter who gets hurt in the process and at the end of the day, nobody's feelings matter but hers. Basically she gives women a bad name.
The one thing that always amazed me about Gee was the way she'd always have some kind of lap dog boyfriend eating out the palm of her hand despite going out of her way to humiliate and disrespect him in public. I remember the time that she physically assaulted some guy in the middle of a dinner party before storming off into the middle of the night. I was mortified for him but like the fool that he was, he went after her. Was this form of hyper-dominance or submission maybe going a little bit too far? Just how damaged was she? Was her vagina made of platinum?
Peter Parker probably said it best; "with great power comes great responsibility". The ability to influence and wield power over someone is a great gift especially when you find someone eager and willing to submit. There is a fine line between sexual empowerment and sexual manipulation and while some men and
women make it their personal mission to assert their dominance through sex, money and physical strength, control is essentially yours for the taking.
When it comes to control, what role do you play?