Loving with Liam: control in the bedroom

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By Liam Conlon, Columnist

If there’s one part of sexuality that’s misrepresented in mass media, it’s BDSM.

BDSM is a blanket term that includes bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism. I wouldn’t be surprised if any or all of these terms would make you think of a guy in a leather gag suit being ridden by a dominatrix with a whip. That scenario must be very off-putting  for many, but as budding “responsible global citizens™” we should move past simple stereotypes to understand why people do things.

BDSM concepts are controversial and, until the 90s, were met with skepticism, believing the tendencies were no better than sexual perversion or illness. Even now,  I think it’s easy to still see that same assumed violent or psychotic element in television shows or movies.

Fortunately, in a 2007 study by the World Congress of Sexology, they found that “BDSM is simply a sexual interest attractive to a minority, not a pathological symptom of past abuse or difficulty with normal sex.”

I think the most fundamental part of BDSM that pretty much everyone can relate to when it comes to sex is the notion of control. During sexual intercourse, it’s usually one person that is in a position of power over the other. Whether it’s one person being on top, or one person doing the moving during sex, we naturally become divided into one who is dominant and one who is submissive.

While there are specific positions that really play towards harmony between the people involved, I think there’s also something great to play towards the variety available with control.

It’s very important to keep an open line of communication in these situations about what you’re comfortable engaging in. Remember that control when it comes to sex is not about hurting your partner or forcing someone against their will.

On a basic level, if you are the one who normally in control during sex, try letting your partner take the reigns. It might be hard to just let go and allow another person do what they want to do, but it might be exciting as well. If we’re not in the position of control, then we can’t predict what’s going to happen.

Another simple way to exert control is physically be in charge of their body.  Holding various parts or putting your partners arms/legs in a certain position can be a more direct approach to assuming control.

Again, the goal is not to put someone in a situation where they’re struggling against what you’re doing. Even if you’re twice as strong as your partner is, you can cede control physically: It’s all in your head.  And that’s what I think control is really about. There’s a sort of enjoyment that chaos can bring in sex.