What women want V

Written by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D.

I searched hard for that verb. It means "to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire."

Other verbs I considered: submit, acquiesce, yield, relent, let go, surrender, capitulate, accede, relinquish or abandon control, be controlled, be dominated... none of those quite express what happens in this tricky little dynamic.

First, you must appreciate them, then you must remove things for them to worry about, and then you must provide something to which she can't help but succumb.

I worry whenever I talk about this that people will get it horribly wrong and think that I mean women want to be controlled and dominated by whatever alpha male has the incapacity for empathy to do what he likes without reference to her feelings. That is emphatically not what I mean.

Here, essentially, is how it works:

Women spend a lot of time having to be rational and responsible. Culturally, men are given a lot of permission to be irresponsible, to pursue sex even when it's inappropriate, and women are supposed to be the gatekeepers; women who fail to keep their gates, or who indeed pursue sex rather than wait to be pursued, are condemned as irredeemable sluts. Reputation is a big deal for a lot of women.

(This varies of course. During WWII there were a lot of British women impregnated by American soldiers because in America women were the gatekeepers and stopped the guy from going too far, whereas in Britain the men would be gentlemanly and stop themselves. So all these British women were waiting for the guy to pull up his socks, as it were, and the American soldiers were waiting for British women to stop them... which they didn't. Oops.)

So culturally there's a lot of pressure for a woman to resist. Biologically, there are additional reasons: apart from the metabolic mortgage that is pregnancy, a woman has twice the risk of infection from penile-vaginal intercourse as a man. Also, with our different oxytocin receptor systems, women might be more prone to attaching emotionally to a sex partner. Sex is riskier for women physically, reproductively, socially and psychologically. There are a lot of reasons for a woman to say no.

Under conditions of great (ideally, absolute) trust, women want all those reasons to shrink into insignificance in the face of your overwhelming, passionate, barely restrained need for her.

Your job is to flood her reason, to provide so much evidence that you want her, that all her ideas about resisting are washed away. She should feel drowned in desire, incapable of rational thought.

Yanking off her clothes impatiently, pulling her hair, pinning her to the wall or the bed, turning her over bodily, scraping your teeth on her lips, these are all valuable forms of physical control and force that you can play with, provided you have obtained consent from your partner.

Moreover, the judicious combination of force and gentleness is particularly effective. Pin her to the bed and then kiss her very softly. Grip her hair hard and then lightly breathe along the line of her neck.

Because with every display of force and control you provide, she's asking herself, "Can I trust this person? Am I safe?" The gentleness lets her answer, "Yes, I'm safe. I can let go." And then another bit of force, another bit of control lost, and she asks herself, "Can I trust this person? Am I safe?" A little more gentleness, and she can answer, "Yes, I'm safe. I can let go."

She wants to let go. She wants to succumb. Allow her. Prove that she can trust you, prove that she can grant you access to all of her, absolutely, and that you'll reward that trust with complete, utter pleasure and affection and love.

More "What women want:"
Part I
Part II

Part III

Part IV
Part VI
Part VII

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