In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to further the debate surrounding 50 Shades of Grey by addressing the simple question do women want to be dominated or desired; do women secretly fantasize about being submissive?
First a quick update:
**** “15 Quotes 50 Shades that reveal abuse, violence & rape” – Read the 15 quotes from the book that reveal that the book is not simply a love story with erotic sex. https://patrickwanis.com/blog/15-quotes-50-shades-reveal-abuse-violence-rape/
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Now, let’s talk about the debate surrounding 50 Shades of Grey by addressing the simple question do women want to be dominated or desired; do women secretly fantasize about being submissive?
Please note that I am not referring to the rape which occurs in the book 50 Shades of Grey and which, I address in my article “Do women pine to be abused and controlled?” and video https://youtu.be/btwwRycL-pk . I am referring here to conscious submission and submissiveness by a woman to a man.
While feminists today might argue that the feminist movement seeks equality between men and women, the movement has also been recognized for promoting superiority of one sex over another. Feminists have been vocal and active against any examples, in any area of life, where men dominate women. Feminism is a direct counter response to patriarchy.
Feminists will argue that men and women are equal and therefore women should never be submissive to men. Submission refers to being willing to obey someone.
However, does the loud voice of feminism represent the real desires of women?
Note: I am not referring to things such as equal pay, equal benefits or the right to vote; I am referring here to the personal relationship between men and women.
Do women want to be equal or to dominate men, or, do they long to be dominated by and be submissive to a man?
Domination and submissiveness are not mutually exclusive. However, a person can make a choice to be submissive (and in certain areas and aspects of a relationship) without being dominated or controlled in all areas.
The way that women have embraced 50 Shades of Grey reveals that there is obviously an element or elements that represent desires and fantasies of women, which probably do not fit the feminist manifesto or the politically correct western culture, and which, accordingly include the female desire to be submissive.
I would argue that these 5 elements are the key desires and fantasies of women contained in the book (clearly excluding the rape that occurs in the book.)
1. Rich, powerful man – the Alpha male
To be in relationship with a rich, powerful, wealthy, influential, highly successful, handsome, young man who will bestow gifts and provide a glamorous or luxurious lifestyle; power creates a sense of safety, protection and autonomy
2. To save and nurture
To rescue, save or help a man reach his potential (change him to what they believe he should be)
3. To be intensely desired
To be desired with such overpowering passion by the man that he cannot control himself (note when a woman is attracted to the man, she perceives what is actually ‘stalking’, obsessive or extreme behavior as romantic gestures and actions).
4. To submit
To feel so safe that she can sexually and emotionally submit to him. Power is an aphrodisiac and when a woman gives herself to an irresistibly powerful man, she may experience more intensely an orgasm; submission occurs when one feels safe, protected, comforted, and even invincible in the wings of a powerful man
5. To bloom
To learn from the man on multiple levels (this is age and life-phase-dependent) – a young woman will be enamored with an experienced man who can teach her about life and herself, and help her to open and bloom sexually and emotionally
“Sex and power are linked as they both cause a surge in the hormone testosterone in both sexes. Testosterone in turn ramps up activity of the chemical messenger dopamine in the brain’s ‘reward network’. This is why power is an aphrodisiac – by ramping up the reward system it also increases appetite for other reward-rich activities such as sex.”
– Ian H. Robertson PhD
“Erotic lust is one of the most necessary components of a marriage. Marriage without desire is a prison. You can never lose the raw, carnal desire that draws a man to a woman and vice versa, making them feel desirable.” – Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of “Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer”
“To be truly feminine means being soft, receptive and – look out, here it comes –submissive.” – Gabrielle Reece, American professional volleyball player, sports announcer, fashion model and actress (married to Laird Hamilton, American big-wave surfer)
“I would not be an author, actress, producer, mother of 3, a career woman if I was a weak or oppressed woman. There’s nothing weak about me in my marriage.” – Candace Carmen Bure in an interview with CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/videos/submissive-women-who-use-softer-approach-to-keep-relationships-strong/
Interestingly, the research supports the premise that women actually want to be submissive. One study in 2009, “Social Dominance and Forceful Submission Fantasies: Feminine Pathology or Power?” by Patricia H. Hawley & William A. Hensley reveals that the more socially powerful or dominant the woman is, the more she will “prefer forceful submission fantasies (more than subordinate women)” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00224490902878985#.VO34ivnF9qU
Researcher and therapist E. Barbara Hariton interviewed dozens of women in 1973 about their fantasies, with the majority of women reporting that they fantasized being “forcefully taken.” Again, this finding is not, nor should it be equated with rape; it does support, though, the notion that women welcome the aggressive lover who has deep insatiable desires for her. In her 1973, article, “The Sexual Fantasies of Women” Hariton wrote “Common ‘force’ fantasies… do not involve rejection or abuse. They appear in dominant and independent women who imagine themselves desired and wooed…”
As I reveal and elaborate in my video submissiveness, in the movie and book 50 Shades of Grey, is also portrayed as oppressiveness, control and ultimately rape.
It should also be noted that sexual submission is not the exclusive sexual turn-on of women; men also enjoy sexual submission. The 2009 study referenced above also revealed that men also enjoyed the fantasy of forceful submission. “It makes a good deal of sense that an alternate fantasy self would be the target of aggressive womanly pursuit free from rejection and restrictions.” In other words, men enjoyed the aggressive woman in bed because they feel that there are less limits and less possibility of rejection.
Finally, the words submission and submissiveness hold different meanings and definitions for each person. If a woman chooses to be submissive in her relationship, then she must determine what that specifically implies and in what areas of her relationship she will be submissive. As mentioned earlier, being submissive should not be equated nor lead to being controlled.
“Humbled Females is an adult Internet community drawing readers from many walks of life, though the one unifying element bringing us together is our heartfelt belief of the good of adult relationships where females overtly and consensually submit to their male counterparts.” –
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist