Sex, Power & Control
“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” ~ Attributed to Oscar Wilde
It’s doubtful Wilde said that as the word “sex” only meant gender when he was alive. But whoever said it, we certainly see the truth in it in our world today.
When I say “sex is often about power and control” you may think of men using their power to take sex. This is certainly one way it happens, but it’s not the only way. It’s often said “the low drive spouse controls sex”, and we certainly see plenty of that, from both wives and husbands. On the other side, many men and women seek sex more to shore up their self-image than because they have a real physical or emotional desire to be sexual. The teenage boy who says “You would if you loved me” is probably horny, but he may be looking for more than just a bit of physical pleasure. This is even more likely to be true for a husband who is honestly unsure of his wife’s feelings for him.
For much of history limiting sex was one of the few ways women had to exert control over a man. But to use that power, a woman had to be willing to forgo any sexual pleasure for herself. It’s difficult to say no when you want it so bad you can’t think of anything else, and it’s difficult to seduce someone you don’t like if you care about your own desires and pleasure. I wonder if this has contributed to women distancing themselves from their own sexuality and teaching other women to do the same. Is there a fear that wanting or needing sex makes you vulnerable or takes away a form of power and control you need? Do girls learn this so early in life it interferes with proper sexual development?
How much a part do you think power and control play in your sex life with your hubby? Are you doing it? Is he doing it? Is either of you doing things that contribute to the other using sex for power or control?
Sex can be used for intimacy and connection or as a way to show your control and get non-sexual things. Only one of these is loving and healthy.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and both sex and my marriage are better without these games!
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