Does Domination Equal Consent?

By Autumn Morris

Control. Most of our decisions in life are powered by our relationship with control. Whether we feel we need  everything done in a specific way like OCD, or whether the idea of control scares us and causes anxiety. We may be somewhere in between the two. Control is key in our decisions, in our experiences, and in our reactions.

The interesting thing about character traits like obsessive control, or vice versa, is they carry over into the bedroom. The control-obsessed may become dominant lovers, while the control-repulsed may become submissive. Some traits present themselves as fetishes, others as simply preferences or diverse tastes.

Let’s stick with the idea of control: from a distance a dominant-submissive relationship, along with many other aggressive sexual styles, can seem violent, and reminiscent of sex that is not consensual.

How do we draw the line between sexual desire/fulfillment and sexual assault and rape?

Let’s reference the glorified film and novel, 50 Shades of Grey.

50 Shades of Grey shows scenes of what could be perceived as abuse. The screen displays Anastasia (Mr. Grey’s sexual partner) tied, bent over, and being beaten with several pain inducing items. Mr. Grey, has had particular experiences that require him to be in control of everything, to include his partner. This scene is victory for him because he is exercising his sexuality in a way that works for him. But what about his partner, Anastasia? She is being explicitly hurt for the benefit of someone else, is this assault?

There is a very fine line between being “kinky”, fulfilling a fetish, and being assaulted or raped.  How can you have control over someone and still allow them the power of choice and the power to change their mind?

The fine line is consent.

Never feel ashamed of your personal arousal algorithm, it’s part of what makes you unique. “There are two doorways in every mirror. One goes to beauty, adoration, beauty, worship, and inner peace. The other doorway goes to jealousy, fear, hatred, August, and resentment.” But if we aren’t careful, the very things that bring us pleasure can bring others pain, and THAT’s something to be conscious of.

Using control as the example: dominating a partner during sex may be intriguing for them, it may be their fantasy, it may be their fetish, or it may be something that they just want to try. If both partners are willing and ready, by all means, explore your sexuality together. But control is tricky, and if a partner is being dominated without him/her having a choice, this is assault. If a partner is being dominated, and communicates they no longer want to be dominated yet dominance continues, this may be seen as assault.

So how do I exercise my dominance and live my truth without the fear of hurting someone I love or care about?

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Open the lines of communication. Tell your partner your desires, the degree of your desires and the intention of your desires. Allow your partner to have the space to experiment with you to see if they desire it too. Most importantly, allow your partner the space to say that your desires do not fulfill them, and they would not like to experience them.

Society tends to belittle less favorable sexual desires. As explained earlier, some of our sexual desires are directly influenced by our environment, our upbringing, and our previous experiences. Be truthful with yourself about what arouses you and be truthful with your partner about what arouses you. Then, find a way in which you and your partner can experience pleasure without loss of integrity, choice, or consent.

Happy sexing, sucking, licking, biting, whipping, squeezing, tickling, and cumming.

 

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