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Why Relinquishing Control In The Bedroom Is The Ultimate Power Move

Sex

I must admit, I am an alpha woman. We are savvy, stylish, walk-into-the-room-and-glow-all-over-the-atmosphere women that is as multi-faceted as we are multi-layered.

We are powerful without gesture and all-encompassing without effort. We are the conductor in the orchestra that is presence and will sway the melody to our liking.

We're the power movers. The one that must have everything in a certain order to ensure that what we want happens the way we want it, when we want it. The one that has to be in total control of every situation or else we will be met with discomfort and anxiety because, well, people cannot do what we do the way we do it.

And for the most part, it is the exact description of a lot of women that I am close to or gravitate toward. We all have this sixth sense to be bold, ambitious, driven, and exacting in order to live our best lives. Or do we?

Deep down, we all have that undercurrent of longing for balance. A balance that I have learned can only be gained if we are willing to relinquish control. Yes, even the most powerful of alpha female women need to give up the ghost and loosen the reins to let our hair down.

And that power move can only be mastered in the bedroom.

For the past ten years, I have been living in my single season. That's 3650 days of dating, courting, situationships, celibacy, abstinence, self-pleasure, sexual boredom, and bouts of just throwing in the relationship towel altogether. It is enough to make me question my sanity at times! I felt like I missed out on prime relationship conversions because I have been chasing my ultimate life. A life, by the way, that is a constant work in progress. To cope with the droughts and sporadic periods of activity, I rethought my approach to sex.

Sex is very selective for me.

The bedroom is holy ground where power roles can be reversed or inverted. In there, I needed to be extra careful what energies I brought in and how it would affect me because I refused to let negative energy into my safe space. So, I compartmentalized sex. I separated the intimacy from what I desired and became motivated by something completely primal and basic. It worked, or so I thought.

A few years ago, I met this guy who changed my life.

He was the epitome of the Type A, alpha male. He checked all of the boxes on my list; handsome, ambitious, driven, and a gentleman. In my world, I lucked out! My spidey senses were tingling and I was excited about a guy for the first time in a long time. He and I had a great connection, but we never hit the mark. Wrong time, different paths, different sacrifices.

All things considered, I think I pretty much set myself up for the challenge of an alpha male. They are as every bit powerful as we are, but without the nurturing quality. Which meant I had to dig deep just to get the emotional responses that I required to function. He had requirements, too, and needs that translated into my doing something I never quite wrapped my head around:

Submitting to the power of someone else.

With him, it was easy to be sexually expressive and it was freeing.

His magic hold over me was his ability to get me to open my mind about what I truly desired and what I was willing to do to get it. I'm the girl that likes spanking and erotic asphyxiation, among some other hot and heavy things. But he upped the bar in just how much I enjoyed it. That's how I knew he pulled something new out of me. He was a dominant spirit; more than I had had before, and it was thrilling to be able to release the submissive side of myself without being degraded or judged for relaxing into it. The thing is, if he didn't require it, I never would have found the power to do it.

Full disclosure, the Alpha and I never had sex.

Never. Not once, nope.

What we did was more intimate than intercourse could ever create.

The boundaries we expanded through touch, physical experience, and vulnerability was intense. But not Fifty Shades of Grey intense. The entire affair depended on whether or not I trusted myself to be in the moment. Trusting him was not an issue, myself on the other hand? Not so much.

For the woman whose plans have plans, and whose lists have lists – deviating from what was my norm and willingly letting someone else take charge, that was the struggle that I had to conquer. A struggle it was. It took me some time to get to the point where I was ready.

Gratefully, I found my inner Wonder Woman and discovered the true power in submitting and allowing yourself to be on the receiving end.

Let me tell you, I still haven't recovered from the experience! Learning my exact limitations and what it takes to get me there was truly liberating. He did that for me. He allowed me the room to give myself permission to grow.

It wasn't about his need to lord his sexual fetishes or desires over me.

Despite what people think, there are rules of engagement when it comes to sexual submission. There was no moving forward if I was the least bit wary. It was all I about what I permitted myself to allow; what I submitted to. Through him, I did the one thing that I have been trying to perfect my whole life: I let go.

The notion is this: if I could let go of my own hang ups about what I desire in the bedroom and let someone else lead me to figuring it out; then what would happen if I did that in every aspect of my life?

What if I submitted to my creative processes? Or to my free spirit? Or to not driving myself absolutely insane trying to chase the American dream (which doesn't exist actually)?

What if I submitted to myself and allowed myself to live rather than shuffle through my existence on hyperdrive with peripheral blockers on?

The what ifs are endless, as well as the possibilities. Submitting to those possibilities and learning your limitations leaves you with two choices: push past those limitations or hold onto them for cautionary measure.

Those are the only two choices we have. To be fearlessly transparent, submitting to my own healthy desires and letting whatever happens happen is far more thrilling and fulfilling than forcing things to happen. That may mean that my single season goes on a little longer but I'm finally secure in that.

Living my best life means knowing it is filled with uncertainty and variables I cannot plan or create lists for. Power moves are all about having the upper hand in situations and making decisions that propel your life into the direction you want it to go into. Submission is going to get you there. Sex is amazing when you're open to new possibilities; so is life.

And life for me got a little more robust once I gave myself the permission to surrender and let go.

Can you say in full honestly that you are living your best life? Have you fully opened your mind and heart to experiences that both scare you are cause growth? Are you submitting to yourself and your desires and pushing past the limitations that you have set on yourself?

Chances are, if you said "no" to any of those questions you may need to shed some control. Luckily for you, that brand of liberation can be found in your bedroom.

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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