A TOP FANTASY - WANTING ONE'S PARTNER TO TAKE CONTROL OR TO TAKE CONTROL ONESELF
It's one of the most popular fantasies across genders - having one's partner take control for a night. Many people assume, incorrectly, that this is a woman's fantasy, in the style of 50 Shades of Grey. And while it is certainly part of the popularity of the book, studies and data show that it is a very common desire for men also - and is popular regardless of sexuality or sexual orientation.
UNDERSTANDING THE APPEAL
Have you ever turned up at a cafe or restaurant to meet a good friend, a bit overloaded and drained by work or by your day, and then been handed a big dinner menu of options and felt overwhelmed, and wanted to defer to your friend to pick for you? Or to the waiter to recommend an option? And then felt relieved and that you could relax and decompress and just enjoy yourself?
Yes! Because sometimes it's nice to let someone else make all the decisions, and relieve you of responsibility and stress and the anxiety of choices and decisions.
Or perhaps your partner enthusiastically wanted to get a sharing platter or a seafood platter for 2, to share between the two of you, and you could see the pleasure of the idea written all over their face, and were only too happy to oblige. That it was lovely to let them choose, and lead hedonistically. And it's also nice to see just what they pick, getting to know where and in what they take their pleasure, learning about them, and seeing them radiant in their pleasure and enjoyment.
Or perhaps the shoe has been on the other foot where it was YOU who had strong ideas about what you wanted to order for the both of you to eat at the restaurant. And felt relieved and only too happy for you to lead the food ordering.
The same kind of dynamic is at play in our intimate sex lives. Who's more submissive, or who's had a tiring day and wants to be led? Who initiates? Or something I often recommend rather than initiation of sex ("Shall we?") is a kind of dance of talk and gestures and flirtation, compliments, teasing, touching, towards desire.
Many people, and statistically women in higher frequency, are turned on by what is known as "responsive desire". (Which is another blog post waiting to happen. If you're interested in the topic of responsive desire, and mismatched libidos which are incredibly common, I recommend Emily Nagowski's book "Come as You Are".)
Some partners have an established power dynamic of who leads and initiates and is the more dominant partner, and some like to mix it up and take turns to some degree.
However, interestingly, when it comes to a person taking charge, I often get people coming to me for consults and classes because they say they don't feel confident to do so. Perhaps they don't know what to do, and want ideas. In some cases they have ideas but lack the confidence to execute them. And some say they know they have it within themselves because there are times they've confidently taken control, but they don't know how to get themselves into that energy and frame of mind.
CULTURE, SHAME, UPBRINGING, TABOO: WHY SOME FIND IT HARD TO TAKE CONTROL AND LEAD
Often when people find it a bit of an internal struggle to take control, even when they know their partner wants them to, the roots may be traced back to cultural baggage from their upbringing, and notions of who they are "meant" to be in terms of their social conditioning. For those with a religious upbringing, that can be another layer of ideas that are affecting them.
What are you afraid of being? What words might be said about you? Through these means we can often begin to unpack whatever that weight is that is pressing down on them. Speaking those words up from your body and being. Looking at them. Is that really true - would you really be that? No it's silly, is often the answer, totally old-fashioned and conservative, ridiculous even, or hateful and judgmental. And yet that's what a person needs to look at, honestly openly and truthfully with themselves, to move past that baggage.
Coming up in my classes, are words like "bitch", "slut", "selfish", "ball buster" and other derogatory terms. Words with the weight of social judgment, slurs often with particular gendered prejudice around the roles patriarchal society and religion and our culture expects us to conform to. And which by identifying and bringing up from the deep of our psyche and body, we can begin to challenge and tackle.
(What would you feel you would be called if you fully stepped into your power? The words are all the loaded words they came up with. (Image: Anne's own))
OWNING THE WANT (AND WANTON)
When it comes to women in particular, it's very common in our society that some struggle to express their want. They feel embarrassed, awkward, overly self-conscious, or even completely unsure and disembodied from their own want.
The reason? Many women in patriarchal society have been raised to be pleasing and appeasing - to be the caretakers of the old, the nurses of the sick, the one who cooks dinner, the one who does more than their fair share of the cleaning. They are the ones who are meant to remember and track the birthdays of family members.
These are the traditional gendered roles that have impacted on the way girls have been raised - to think of others, to cater to others wants and comfort. To put others first. And in doing so, suppress their own wants to some degree, busied thinking of everyone else. It's unsurprising that this pattern may continue on into their relationships and sex life.
That's when I ask "What do YOU want?" Some really struggle because of this. Or perhaps it's that there's a creative blank. That they know a little of what they want, but then there's a blank of I'm not sure, I don't know.
Part of my class is teaching how to own the want. Tapping into your own desires. Checking in with yourself as to what you want, and how to find that if you've become so distanced from your own wants.
QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
The theme of Queen of the Night brings the topic back to one's want, and to the senses. How does your body feel? Could you use a massage? Where do you have knots in your body? What would feel delicious right now? What kind of touch do you want - firm, kneading, gentle strokes?
Are you thirsty? If so for what? Water? With ice or without? With a slice of lemon or not? Or perhaps you'd like wine? And what else? Chocolate? Fruit? Something hot and spicy? Something with texture and crunch? What would taste and feel amazing in your mouth right now?
Queen of the Night also brings in practices informed by Goddess rituals, of bathing and dressing up, transforming oneself energetically for a night out. Bringing out different aspects of oneself.
In the British Museum is a famous artwork named 'Queen of the Night'. It is of a woman holding symbols of power in her hand, standing on lions, with owls at the side, riding through the night sky. It is believed to be of the Goddess Inanna, the powerful Goddess of sexuality in ancient Mesopotamia.
(Queen of the Night (believed to be the Sex Goddess Inanna - Ishtar), Clay plaque, c1800-1750 BCE, British Museum (Image: Anne's own))
She was worshipped as the star of Venus, which is both a morning star and an evening star. And I find this relevant to my students, that you are bringing out a different side of you, like the evening star aspect of yourself.
You can be a particular person at work, and for your friends, and in your everyday home life, but you can also bring out a part of yourself that is a more fierce and dominant sexuality.
The pop star Beyonce had her alter-ego as "Sasha Fierce", enabling her to overcome the conservatism of parts of her upbringing that would cast self-judgment upon her wearing thigh high boots and a bodycon dress on stage. To darken her eyes with more mascara than she'd wear everyday. Perhaps too she had a different perfume scent she spritzed on herself. She'd style her hair differently, let it all out, thick and abundant and free. Or perhaps to the contrary reverse, slick it back very hard-edged to offset her choice in make-up. And over time Beyonce describes how she'd no longer need to become Sasha Fierce, as a kind of different person or alter-ego, because she realized that She was part of her and in her all along.
("Queen" Beyonce (Image: Wikicommons))
What Beyonce describes is to me like a person's "evening star" part of themselves. And in letting that part of oneself shine, that person honours themselves, all the parts of themselves. It can be beautifully freeing and radiant, and a privilege for their partner to see and be subject to. A person who is in their want, and in their sexuality and desire.
And that - dear readers - is the secret of Queen of the Night.
It's owning your want, connecting to your senses, to what would feel good, what would taste delicious, to what you desire...
It's about honouring your evening star, and letting your bright radiance shine, being centre of your partner's attentions.
(A glass of wine is wanted - from our Queen of the Night video.)
Book now for Queen Of The Night VIP Event on March 14th where I will be meeting you all in the upstairs salon at Passionfruit, champagne in hand. It's a wonderful night of Queenly decadence and a chance for you to browse the store and enjoy some fun, games and discounts.