Whether or not they salivated over the love story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, women who have read Fifty Shades of Grey can't seem to shrug off the submissive fantasy at the heart of the trilogy. They're left wondering about trading power for pleasure. And they're wondering how -- if at all -- it's possible to enjoy a BDSM-flavored sexcapade that may seem like 180 degrees from their admittedly vanilla sex lives. Where would they even begin?
As it turns out, as author and relationship/sex coach Pamela Madsen explains, getting our lovers to behave more like Christian and take charge in bed really has nothing to do with buying them a fancy necktie or flogger ... and a lot more to do with making him feel like The Man.
Madsen, author of "real-life Fifty Shades of Grey" memoir, Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure...and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner, says she frequently talks to women about the reason their men are struggling to be more dominant in the bedroom: We are constantly "topping" (BDSM term for being dominant/wearing the pants) our men! The "offense" could be as simple as sending them out for groceries and upon their return, criticizing the brands or types of milk or cheese they've bought. Or taking charge in any situation -- from financial to child-rearing to how you have sex -- because you're assuming he doesn't want to be bothered or you've become accustomed to being the decision-maker, the one in control. Madsen explains:
When we're topping our men all the time, how are they going to have the balls to top us? You want him to be in a place of masculine power, feeling that he can take you in his arms and throw you on the bed. But is he going to want that after you cut off his balls? If you don't let him pick the movie or the restaurant? If you're running the show in the bedroom?
It makes sense, right? So, how do you stop topping your man? Not only so he'll give you what you desire, but so you quit taking a toll on his masculinity and confidence -- two traits that are extremely integral to him rocking both of your worlds in bed. Madsen says we should ask ourselves:
How are we communicating -- with thoughtfulness, gentleness, and love? Can we let him win ever? Try changing the attitude in the house.
Oh, sure, the knee-jerk reaction to what Madsen says might be that women have worked really hard to be equals with their partners, so why sacrifice that for a more intense romp in the hay? But Madsen's not talking about throwing all of your power and control down the drain. She even says that since being a submissive woman, it's not like she's given up her ability to "top" in her everyday life or take charge in her marriage. (And when you think about it, by making the conscious decision to surrender to our men, we're still exhibiting control over a situation to get what we want!)
The bottom-line: Sex isn't always politically correct. There are traditional masculine and feminine roles and boundaries we should try to respect if we want to keep sexual chemistry balanced -- and especially if we want our men to be more like Christian Grey!
Be honest: Do you ever find yourself topping your man? Would you try to stop in order to heat up your sex life?
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside