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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.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

Lawd, lawd. I'm assuming that I'm not being too presumptuous when I start this all out by saying, I'm pretty sure that more than just a few of us can relate to this title and topic. I know that personally, there are several men from my sexual past who would've been out of my space a lot sooner had the sex not been…shoot, so damn good. And it's because of that very thing that you'll never ever convince me that sex can't mess with your head. The oxytocin highs (that happen when we kiss, cuddle and orgasm) alone can easily explain why a lot of us will make a sexual connection with someone and stay involved with them for weeks, months, years even, even if the mental and emotional dynamic is subpar, at best.

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