There is this idea floating around society and the media that the “giving” position in sex is powerful and the “receiving” position is weak. Normally, that correlates to men being in the “giving” position and women being in the “receiving” position, so there’s quite a bit of backlash I’ve seen for that idea as well.
I agree with the backlash insomuch as saying that I don’t think there are inherent powerful and weak positions in sex. Powerful and weak is related to the person more than the position.
But I do think that there can be dominant and submissive positions in sex, and that dominance and submission are inherently linked to the position. This is different, though, than a dominant or submissive person. (And this is completely different than powerful and weak – you can be dominant and weak and powerful and submissive, they’re really two different things.)
But dominant and submissive are related to power – just maybe not in the sense that you’re used to thinking about power. And I’m very much interested in the power relations during sex.
When I first started being sexually active, my boyfriend at the time really like me giving him blowjobs. And while I wasn’t always comfortable with him asking for it (that’s a completely other discussion), I really like giving them. Most of what I liked at that time was the sense of power I had while going down on him. That I could make him want things and feel good and make his breathing change and make him orgasm.
He didn’t like going down on me, though, and he wasn’t very good at it so I thought I didn’t really like it anyway and stopped asking.
My next boyfriend also liked me going down on him, but he rarely asked for it; and I probably did it more just in the course of things you do while having sex than I did for the previous boyfriend. There were likely a number of reasons for that, but one is that it was no longer just a “power rush.” I liked to make him feel good because it made me feel good. I liked the taste of his skin and the smooth yet hard feeling of his erection in my mouth.
It surprised me the first (and so far only) time I had an orgasm while giving him a blowjob. That by focusing so much on him, first the taste and feel of him, then his breathing and his reaction, that when he finally orgasmed, I felt like I had been put through the wringer as well, even though he hadn’t been touching me.
And yet, even then, there was that bit of a power rush. Of an, I did that, kind of feeling.
And I don’t consider it a bad thing. Not at all.
I also liked him going down on me, and he was good at it. And while I had a very big insecurity issue about that at first, I don’t remember thinking much about the power of it.
Because while maybe I felt like there was an inherent submissiveness to my position, wasn’t there also a type of submissiveness when he played with my clit? If someone does that for long enough I end up a writhing ball of happy feelings, so it’s not like I’m more in control either way.
And yet, I don’t feel the same sense of power when I play with a guy’s penis. Maybe it feels just as good to him, but in a different way, than me going down on him. But it feels very different to me.
And it’s true that I feel more vulnerable when a guy goes down on me than when he’s fingering me. But is that due to any inherent power structure in the sex position or is it due to my insecurities?
The question ends up being, what makes a position more or less powerful, dominant or submissive? Is it really inherent in the position or is it something found in the relationship that is played out through sex and so it can be different each time?