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Why do some people enjoy being sexually objectified or dehumanized?
Power dynamics are part of our most ingrained struggles as we grow up and learn how to relate to others, and how to get what we want with our parents, family, friends, teachers and others in our lives.
These dynamics develop how we relate to power but also impact how we get turned on by power dynamics.
Did you submit to play the innocent so you could control your dad, or did you try to overpower others and get what you want through dominance?
These learned patterns will likely impact what turns you on.
Women are twice as likely to have fantasies of power dynamics (dominance and submission) as they are to experience it in real life.
I put this down to two factors:
It feels safer for many women to experience this in fantasy as they are in control.
The second is that there is more shame around this for women, hence why they might feel less inclined to live it out.
The dominating force demonstrates a desire for the submissive, and it can become both a turn-on and very validating for the submissive to feel so desired.
In surrender and responsiveness, the submissive validates the power of the dominant, and their responsiveness makes them feel powerful.
The ego plays a big part in the enhancing nature of the dominant and submissive validating each other in this way.
Our fantasies are full of power dynamics.
The headteacher and their student.
The doctor and their patient.
The boss and their PA.
It can be a difference in social status, job roles, age gap, anything that makes one person perceived to be more powerful than the other.
There is a good reason we fight for equality in everyday life, and rightfully so.
At the same time, we must be careful not to restrict our sex lives with political correctness.
This mentality will only shut down some of the potentials for sexual expression and key turn-ons.
If we shut it down, then where can we express this beautiful part of being human?
What we need instead of black and white ideas of what is right and wrong is a detailed debate on consent.
Consent is not just getting a yes.
Consent is when the people involved don’t experience any pressure, fear, intimidation or unwanted consequences from not doing something, and have time to sense what they genuinely want and decide they want to participate.
And within consent, we can let go of political correctness and judgments and allow a free human expression that is both exciting, healing and connecting.
There is so much judgment around power dynamics that we often fail to see not only the erotic potential but also the beauty of surrendering.
In a world where we are always expected to be in control, we lack a place to let go entirely.
Surrender is the practice of letting go of control and within it the ultimate freedom and control.
Fear is what motivates our need for control and the idea that to be safe; we must be in control.
Control requires a lot of energy and focus and can be draining on our energy, spirit, and sexuality.
So, to fully surrender to someone else is more than just a sexual practice, it’s a spiritual practice of letting go and can feel very freeing and empowering.
It’s the real place of freedom because within fear (need for control) we can’t feel entirely free.
And so, the most potent force might be that of surrender.
Surrendering in a sexual power dynamic seems to appeal more to women than men.
The shame put on women around sex from an early age could explained this.
By surrendering and allowing someone else to take charge, we can let go of any guilt and shame.
It allows us to relinquish responsibility and enjoy it more fully.
It’s also more common that people in powerful positions often enjoy sexual surrendering, as it’s the one place they get to let go.
Many men express their wish for their woman to take charge sometimes.
Men wanting to surrender might be surprising for some as the stereotypical view is the man is dominant, and women are submissive.
However, these are, to a large extent, learned roles reinforced through our upbringing.
Many men enjoy both the feeling of being desired and wanted.
We can experience this when someone else takes charge and take the dominant role.
This is when we can let go.
It’s a more unfamiliar role to many men but one they often express wanting to explore.
So, while many men have a desire to surrender, they find it harder to do in real life, especially to someone they love.
There is an interesting association in our culture that size equals power and dominance.
This means it’s often the man that is expected to be dominant simply because he is physically bigger than his partner.
Power dynamics work great as fantasies because it’s safe.
In fantasies, there is no real danger, but they can also be played out in role-play with a trusted partner.
What’s important is to have conversations beforehand and be very clear about boundaries, consent, and have safe words that will stop the scenario if it becomes too much.
Only ever do this if there is full explicit consent from all involved.
That means giving consent without being under pressure or feeling threatened in any way.
Also, ensure you have a lot of trust with the person you do this with and that you have your safe words memorized.
Being taken, which is also part of the power dynamics of a dominant, is a common female fantasy and desire.
The fantasy makes sense when looking at a culture where women are shamed around sex.
For some, being taken and overpowered lets them let go of all responsibility and therefore allow the pleasure to happen “to them.”
Objectification is also a big part of power dynamics.
Desire is by default objectification, as we need an object or something outside ourselves to desire.
Since we have often shamed objectification as something terrible, we again have to understand that everything can be both constructive and destructive depending on how we use it.
If we objectify people to dehumanize them so we can harm them, then it’s very destructive.
However, if we objectify someone to feel more desire, then it can be very constructive.
Allowing ourselves to move between different spaces, emotions, and states is a part of life.
It’s important to be kind; however, this does not mean we should suppress our sexuality.
There is nothing kind about that; it can be hugely damaging and miss a significant opportunity for intimacy.
You can objectify your partner one moment as part of your sexual play and show her affection and love the next.
One does not exclude the other.
Roleplaying also tends to have themes of power dynamics.
Roleplay can be the doctor and patient, police offer and detainee, boss and his PA.
You can use roleplay to create fictional power dynamics that can spice up your sex life.
If power is a theme of yours.
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