As I sat watching demonstrations of dominance, submission and power play in bed, I assumed it would be another “meh, not for me” experience. But then I saw something I hadn’t observed before. As I watched a dominant objectify their submissive, I felt my face getting flushed and other parts of me heating up in an unmistakable way. Was it possible I’d found a flavor of domination that I liked?
Actually, let’s back up a bit. As many young women are, I was raised to be independent. I made my own breakfast at age 4 and did my own laundry at age 8. I’ve always enjoyed being empowered, and that has translated into my adult life in many wonderful ways. But one sticking point was that ceding control in sex, which is a turn on for my husband, seemed to be a turn off for me.
Indeed, as we have started becoming more sexually adventurous in recent years, any attempts at him playing a more dominant role and me playing a more submissive role in the bedroom have ended with me losing my lady erection and him confused as to why I can’t just let go and trust him to lead.
Since I wasn’t quite ready to give up on enjoying power play, we decided to attend a workshop on dominance and submission to see if it could offer any insights. I was excited to find that instead of being greeted with demonstrations by people in black leather issuing strict commands which were obediently followed, we were shown a wide variety of power-based interactions. Surely one of these would work for me!
We saw service-oriented dominants asking for things to make them more comfortable like taking off their shoes and massaging their feet and bringing them a cold drink. We saw pain-focused dominants flog and offer intense physical sensations to their submissive. We saw dominants request sexual favors that the submissive seemed eager to provide. Watching brought up a range of range of responses in me, but none of them felt erotic. Was my mission doomed?
Luckily for me, when you shift from being an engineer to a sex and relationship coach, I know it was only a matter of time before I would find myself back in another workshop. Indeed, a few months later, I was in a workshop watching that fateful demonstration where the dominant objectified their submissive. And even more luckily for me, this was a workshop where we were asked to pair up and practice with a partner.
Excited and curious, I asked my class partner to try this objectification-flavor of dominance on me and he agreed. At first, he ordered me to stand with my back against the wall, and looked me up and down slowly and appreciatively. Then he directed me to sit just so in a nearby chair, and told me what he saw and why he liked it. It was only a few short moments, but the increased heat across my face, chest and nether regions confirmed that although the power aspect of the equation still wasn’t all that interesting for me, this objectification thing really did the trick.
Unfortunately, I also felt resistance to learning I liked to be objectified. I mean, I firmly believe that treating a stranger as a sexual object instead of a person is entirely rude, degrading and disrespectful. Could I let go of that value in the privacy of my own bedroom and just lean into wanting… very badly… to be objectified?
As I shared these thoughts with my husband, another thing that happened in my childhood years popped into my head. I was a scrawny little kid who was never picked for my physical abilities on the playground. Like literally always the last kid left standing when any teams were being formed. Maybe there was something about being objectified that allowed me to feel appreciated, chosen and deemed pleasing in a way that healed old hurts?
Regardless of the origin of my turn on, we both decided to go ahead and experiment with it. Since that conversation, he has objectified me in many delicious ways like telling me how much he loves my body and giving me devilish up and down glances from across the room. And thankfully, any form of resistance I once had to enjoying these moments has long since melted away.
Actually, wait a minute… he’s ogling me right now, gotta go!
New to this blog and want to start at the beginning? Check out this post about why I started a blog about sex.
This blog reflects real-life experiences. I'd love to hear about your experiences, so let’s continue the conversation in the comments section below.
You can also check out these resources or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in classes or coaching to explore your own sexuality. I am a sex and relationship coach and if I can't personally help you, I'd be very happy to connect you with other wonderful sex educators, coaches and therapists.
© Pam Costa, 2017